Samsung took the stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last week to unveil its latest flagship smartphone, the much anticipated Galaxy S 4. In a rare shift, Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 actually looks very similar to the company’s Galaxy S III. It packs plenty of first-class hardware, including an eight-core processor, a 5-inch, 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera, and plenty of storage.
While the hardware is impressive, Samsung is focusing on the software and services that its smartphone offers. The phone comes pre-loaded with several new apps, including S Translate (for translating into several languages through voice and text), a revamped S Voice for using the phone safely while driving, and more. The camera even offers more than a half-dozen new features; you can snap photos of yourself while taking pictures of others, for example, and record sound while the shutter snaps. You can hear “Happy Birthday” being yelled the next time you view a photo of your best friend’s birthday, for example.
Perhaps the real story is in the accessories that Samsung will sell with the device. The company offers an Aria-like body scale that, when paired with S Health 2.0 on your phone, will keep track of your weight and your weight history. It syncs with Bluetooth, too, so all you need to do is step on the scale and the phone does the rest of the heavy lifting (pun intended, of course).
Samsung also has a heart rate monitor that it is billing as an “effective running coach.” The monitor will track your heart rate in real time and works with Samsung’s Running Mate app. A similar accessory, the S Band, tracks your steps, calories burned, and the distance you travel every day. It also syncs with the S Health 2.0 application to provide reports over time. It even measures your sleep efficiency so you can see if you’re moving a lot while you’re sleeping and track your habits. The device is waterproof to 10m, too, so you can wear it in the shower or in the pool. No doubt, Samsung’s definitely going after the fitness industry and its products will directly compete with other products, such as the Nike Fuelband and the Fitbit.
So while Samsung might have taken the stage yesterday to unveil a new smartphone, it actually unveiled a lot more. New software continues to push the boundaries of what we can do with our smartphones, and the added accessories will truly make the Galaxy S 4 not only a mobile internet device, but a life companion.