Samsung Galaxy S4 Vs. Rumors: How Well Did Mockups, Renders and Concepts Predict The Smartphone's Design?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 was unveiled in March and released in late April, putting to rest the many of the rumors about its design. With more than 10 million handsets sold in just one month after its release, the Galaxy S4’s slim build, thin bezel and 5-inch display are among the many characteristics that owners enjoy. But we wonder: How well did the rumors predict what the Galaxy S4 will look like?

It seems there is no mystery left in smartphone releases. By the time a popular device is unveiled, rumors have likely leaked all of its most important details, including prominent hard drive specs and design. While many concepts do show design features that enthusiasts would simply like to see on an upcoming smartphone, many others are near spot-on, with the design of handsets that have not yet been shown to the public.

Let’s review some of the mockups, renders and concepts that more or less accurately predicted the design of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S4  Samsung

Here is the actual Samsung Galaxy S4. Its curved rectangular shape is a cross between predecessors the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S2. While it the device is millimeters less wide than the Galaxy S3, the thin bezel of the Galaxy S4 accommodates a 5-inch 1,920 x 1,080 Full HD Super AMOLED display. Above the Samsung label at the top of the device are its light sensor, ear piece, proximity and gesture sensors and front camera, from left to right. With one physical home button on its front, the Galaxy S4’s menu and back buttons are embedded in the device. The Galaxy S4’s volume buttons are located on the left side of the device, while its camera button is located on the right. On the back of the Galaxy S4 are its 13-megepixel camera and flash, at the top center, and its speakers are at the bottom left.

gs4 concept 1 Galaxy S4 concept by SamMobile  SamMoible

This concept, which was developed by the people at SamMobile and released in January, is a close representation of the pre-release Samsung Galaxy S4. It appears to be slimmer and longer than the real Galaxy S4 and has a thinner bezel. The rendered device notably lacks a home button and has only three nodes for sensors and the front camera.

gs4 concept 2 Galaxy S4 concept by Desmond Ma  Picasa

This concept, which was developed by Desmond Ma, a Samsung fan and student from Hong Kong, is likely one of the most spot-on representations of the Samsung Galaxy S4 prior to its release. Slight differences can be noted, such as the thicker bezel, and the rendered device appears to be taller than the actual Galaxy S4. Ma’s home button is also slightly larger, and he was also off on the size and placement of the front camera and some of the sensors.

gs4 concept 3 Galaxy S4 concept by Ben Ling  Ben Ling

This concept, which was developed Samsung fan Ben Ling in November, has the general look of a Samsung device, but does not quite match the real Galaxy S4. Ling’s rendering more resembles the Samsung Galaxy S2, as many rumors suggested that the Galaxy S4 would steer away from the rounded look of the Galaxy S3. While the bezel size is not bad, Ling’s picture loses on its lack of a home button and the placement of the front camera and sensors.

gs4 concept 4 Galaxy S4 concept by Gotta Be Mobile  Gotta Be Mobile

This concept was developed at Gotta Be Mobile in March, just days before unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4. While the rendering was an impressive attempt to capture the look of the Galaxy S4, it lacked many telltale features of the actual device. As per the common theme, the rendered device appears to be taller and narrower than the real Galaxy S4. Gotta Be Mobile gives the rendering an impossibly thin bezel and a rather large, trapezoid shaped home button instead of the oblong shape of the actual home button.

Viewing the accompanying video, we that the rendering has only the front camera and on sensor on each side of the device. The back is also devoid of the texture that can be found on the real Galaxy S4, and the placement of the main camera’s flash and the speaker is also off.

While we realize it probably is impossible for concepts to capture the exact details of an unreleased device, we feel they do a decent job of predicting smartphone designs. Do you think that pre-release concepts, renders and mockups are good sources for what an unreleased device will look like? Sound off in the comments below.

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