Samsung enthusiasts may love the Galaxy S4 smartphone just the way it is, as the current iteration of the device sold more than 10 million handsets in just one month. However, there will soon be a number of special versions of the S4 that cater to users’ specific needs.
Whether you prefer a smaller, cheaper smartphone, or a tougher, more rugged version that's able to keep up with your active lifestyle -- or a cleaner and more customizable operating system, or a more colorful handset -- whatever you prefer, there’s a probably a Galaxy S4 for you. Here’s a rundown of all of the members of the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone family.
Original Samsung Galaxy S4: Exynos/Snapdragon/Korean Variants
Currently the most popular smartphone and only variant released so far, the original Samsung Galaxy S4 hit the market in late April to a tremendous response. Depending on your region, you can buy variants of the Galaxy S4 with different processors. The Galaxy S4 with Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa chipset is largely available in Asia and Africa, while the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor variant is largely available in America and Europe. Eventually, some countries like Poland, Germany and the U.K. will receive the Exynos variant. Korea-based Samsung reserved a special Exynos variant for its own country; in that smartphone, the processor clocks in at a lightning fast 1.8GHz and also has LTE capability.
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Other than the aforementioned, all variants of the Galaxy S4 are identical, featuring a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 Full HD Super AMOLED Display; 2GB of RAM; 16GB, 32GB and 64GB internal storage options; a 13-megapixel camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera; and a 2,600mAh Li-Ion battery. Connectivity options include 3G and 4G LTE as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. The Galaxy S4 runs the Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean operating system and includes a number of special features such as smart scroll, smart pause, hand gesture control and group play, among many others.
Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
Samsung announced the Galaxy S4 mini on Thursday and is expected to hold an official launch for the device at its Premiere 2013 event in London on June 20. Designated as a mid-range device for the Galaxy S4 line, the mini will be smaller and less expensive than its flagship cousin. Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S4 mini will feature a 4.3-inch 960 x 540 qHD Super AMOLED display, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, with 5GB available for personal use and microSD support for up to 64GB of memory.
We will also see the Galaxy S4 mini packed with an 8-megapixel camera with TouchWiz technology, a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE, and NFC for the LTE version. Some variants of the Galaxy S4 mini will feature dual SIM support. All variants will run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with the TouchWiz UI on top.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 mini will also feature a 1.7GHz dual-core processor; however, Samsung has not indicated which manufacturer will produce the chipset. Current rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 will be outfitted with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset, but earlier rumors suggested it will have a Samsung Exynos 5210 CPU. As no such chip exists, or at least no such chip has been unveiled, we believe that Samsung may use its Exynos 5 Dual chipset, which, like the Snapdragon 400, clocks in at 1.7GHz. We may also see Samsung release different processor variants for the Galaxy S4 mini as it did with the Galaxy S4.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active has not yet been announced but its specs have been leaked and we know that it will be a significantly sturdier version of the best-selling smartphone. The Active is reported to be rugged, with water and dust resistance, and will run the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chipset and all other standard specs of the Galaxy S4. Recently, tipster @evleaks shared what appears to be official photos of the AT&T Galaxy S4 Active, which features a metallic back casing and reinforcements and three front buttons, instead of the singular home button seen on the original Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 Active will reportedly also be available in teal, while other leaks have shown a device encased in red. There is no word on when the Galaxy S4 Active will be released; however, many expect that it will be unveiled at the Samsung Premiere event on June 20.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition
Announced at the Google I/O conference keynote in May, the Samsung Galaxy S4 “Google Edition,” runs on a stock version of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, completely devoid of the Samsung TouchWiz interface. It is also referred to as the “Galaxy S4 Nexus” due to the fact that it will bring a user experience similar to what is seen on Nexus brand devices. The Google Edition Galaxy S4 will be available starting June 26 on the Google Play Store exclusively in the U.S., and will sell for $649 for the carriers T-Mobile and AT&T. It will also come with 16GB of internal storage and with LTE support, and it will will ship bootloader unlocked and automatically receive system updates directly from Google.
A developer’s edition of sorts, the Samsung Galaxy S4's features will not only allow developers to easily root and modify their S4 handsets, but users will also have more of the device’s internal storage available for personal use, without the large amount of bloatware installed by Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Developers Edition
Developer’s Editions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 recently surfaced on the Samsung's official online shop for the carriers AT&T and Verizon. The variants featuring 16GB of internal storage will sell bootloader unlocked for $649 as AT&T and Verizon are the only U.S. carriers that sell their original Galaxy S4 handsets with locked bootloaders. Unlike the Google Edition, this variant does not run stock Android. However, it will likely be a good option for Verizon customers who want their bootloaders unlocked legally, as developers have already figured out methods of bypassing the bootloader on both AT&T- and Verizon-powered Galaxy S4 handsets. Many suspect developers for AT&T will prefer the Google Edition because it runs stock Android.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Colors
Samsung has begun offering its original Galaxy S4 in a multitude of colors to appeal to different tastes. Currently, the Blue Arctic version is available in Japan and the Red Aurora version will be available on AT&T in the U.S. starting June 14. Brown Autumn and Purple Mirage versions will also be released at some point. Owners can also have their Galaxy S4 handsets customized and plated in 24ct. Gold, Rose Gold or Platinum courtesy of the U.K. company GoldGenie for a cool €2,000 or $2,586.