Probably anticipating the excitement among Android fans who want to get their hands on a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4, Verizon has decided to move the launch date to an earlier date last month. As you probably know, Verizon was in a tough spot after Samsung announced the rest of carriers would receive and be able to hand out the new flagship devices at a much earlier date.
Considering that the news upset quite a few people, the announcement with the early launch and the prices was naturally very well received by Verizon customers. Without trying to be ironical, you can say that this is one of those rare moments when the carrier under-promised and over-delivered. In regards to the costs of the Galaxy S4, the 16GB card version is worth $200 with a contract and $650 without signing a new contract.
A candidate for the “smartphone of the year” award
As expected, the S4 will run on the latest 4.2.2 Jelly Bean featuring Samsung’s TouchWiz interface. What this means is that the new device will keep most of the capabilities and system features of its predecessors, including the S Beam, Smart Stay and multi-window. In addition, the Galaxy S4 will also include:
- Air View
Perhaps the most exciting and promoted features of the S4, the Air View is essentially a technology that permits you to interact with the screen without touching it. The mechanism behind this feature implies hovering your finger over the apps, files and folders you want to open. Even though you might say this is rather useless overall, in reality Air View is quite helpful when you are browsing through photo albums or galleries.
- Air Gesture
The second most advertised feature in the new S4 is Air Gesture, an option that relies on a proximity sensor cleverly located near the touchscreen. While it could be a little confusing at first, frankly the feature could prove to be quite helpful in the long run.
- Smart Scroll
Developed particularly to meet the needs of the busy businessmen of today, the Smart Scroll feature permits you to scroll down rich-info pages by simply tilting the head of the device. Samsung considerably improved the feature by making sure you will be able to do so with a greater degree of accuracy.
- S Translator
As its name suggests, the S Translator is an app that permits you to translate various phrases and words in a few dozen supported languages. While the translator itself is said to work pretty well, the voice recognition feature still needs more tweaking.
- Smart Pause
An interesting feature, Smart Pause makes use of the front-camera to determine whether you are actually watching a video by acknowledging the position of your eyes, so it can pause/play it accordingly.
Even though it is not as functional as the standalone SwiftKey app, the new Samsung keyboard is not actually that bad. To be more precise, you can detach it and use it as a floating keyboard, you can take advantage of the camera typing mode and thanks to the optical character recognition, you can now take words from real documents and use them in any text field.
- Optical Reader
The Optical Reader app is essentially an optical character recognition feature which can prove to be invaluable for users who need to access business cards and documents fast.
- S Voice
Owners of Samsung Galaxy are aware of the faulty Siri-like assistant developed by this brand. The good news is that the new S Voice promises to be much better in terms of accuracy and speed, although you should probably expect the typical “server error” to pop out occasionally.
And that’s not all!
Over the past couple of years Verizon has been very busy fixing their slow LTE network by buying and selling Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrums. As users noticed lately, the abundance of phones and devices have practically clogged Verizon’s current 700Mhz C-block. Since it’s estimated that more and more customers will try to connect with their LTE compatible devices in the new future, the retailer decided that the network upgrade can’t be postponed any longer and they’re expanding it later this summer. The new network promises to be reliable, extremely fast and to operate at over 400% of the capacity of the current AWS services.