Samsung gets ready to counter-program the iPhone with the Galaxy S4

Samsung gets ready to counter-program the iPhone with the Galaxy S4

I'm in New York with our Windows Phone editor, Daniel Rubino and our videographer, Martin Reisch, to help Android Central's Phil Nickinson cover the ever-loving stuffing out of the Samsung Galaxy S4 event at Radio City Music Hall tonight. (Yeah, all of us can work cross-platform, go figure?)

What we're expecting is a bigger, badder-asser Galaxy S phone. So much has leaked already that there may not be too many surprises. The screen will likely be bigger (somewhere between the Galaxy S3 and the Note II?), processor will likely be more advanced (big.LITTLE dual quadcore), and Samsung will do what they do best -- throw a dizzying array of software features at us to see what sticks. Rumors range from eye-tracking to make sure we're paying attention to videos, to hover-mode for the touch sensor so you can gesture above, not just on the display, for even more options.

What's real and what's wishful blogging, we won't know until tonight. I'll be in Times Square with Martin if you're there and want to say hi, and get your picture in the Android Central feed. Otherwise we'll tweet what we can -- @reneritchie and @safesolvent -- but if you're at all interested in Apple's biggest competition to date, keep it locked on Android Central and the Samsung Galaxy S3

The iPhone 5 is almost 6 months old. The iPhone 5s is still months away. Samsung's picked the perfect time to counter-program Apple. It's their turn in the spotlight. While we wait on the next iPhone, let's see what Samsung can do.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Samsung gets ready to counter-program the iPhone with the Galaxy S4


I wouldn't say that they "suck" but I did go from a S3 to an iPhone 5.
Samsung has a shotgun "Throw the kitchen sink at it" approach while Apple seems to be more refined.

We'll all see tonight what Sammy has to offer.

A prime example of Apple's competitors taking advantage of Apple's potential predictability, as mentioned by Rene this past Monday. In the article "The "iPhone 5S" Problem" a great read if you missed it.

Samsung has good feature phones.. But they should work with more materials for their phone body and not just plastic. Give their phone that premium look and feel. Plastic looks so cheap.

They have said some things indicating they are aware of the complaints about cheap plasticky feel. We will see if they did anything about that with the S 4. Given the screen size I wonder if there is any need for the Note 2 which is only a little bigger. It does have a stylus but I bet few people use it.

If the leaked photos are any indication then it looks like they're still sticking with the pretty much the same plastic. As far as Android phones go, HTC did a bang up job on the One. Very nice.

It's a sad display of frivolous consumerism when "premium look and feel" is a factor in a purchase, and not just what the thing can do, how well, how much it costs and how much it lasts.

I get aesthetics and ergonomics, but this "premium look and feel" indocrination that Apple marketing has managed to imprint on users baffles me. I much rather have a polycarbonate phone than a metal one, it is ligther, cheaper, and more resistant to shock and bending.

My dream phone is a Galaxy S3 running iOS, I wish I had that option somewhere.

seems slightly unrealistic. There are many things where style is a huge deal in contrast to simply what a product does. Most people pick a car based on looks in huge part not simply how well or fast it drives or how many features it has. Like a Hyundai may have more features for the money but if you want a Benz a Hyundai just doesn't cut it. For many many products something simply has to do certain things "good enough." But style and looks matter in this world. For some people it doesn't matter but for most it does.

@Derrick4Real I completely agree. If you want the Cadillac of phones, get an iPhone. If you want a Kia that will gives you features you don't need, get a Samsung.

Good to see what the competition puts out but the android ecosystem doesn't work for me like the the apple one does. Good luck to you guys and Samsung at the event.

It is nice to see competition. Even if Sansung isn't for you, they are keeping Apple in their heels.

A few friends have the SIII and it works well but the biggest problem I have with it (other than its not a iphone) is that it's made of cheap feeling, and looking, plastic. The prettiest android phone I've seen is the htc one, that is one good looking piece of hardware, if only it came in at a reasonable size.

I just think it's funny the world went crazy saying the iPhone 5 was a bore and looks too similar to the 4/4S and here is Samsung releasing a S3 but a tiny bit bigger with better specs with the same design and they will all say how fantastic it is and how it's not the same as what Apple did last year.

I would watch but it's at 6pm eastern which is prime time to not be in front of my computer. Samsung is still learning though.

I honestly don't know what it's going to take for me to get impressed by any Samsung hardware or software. When it comes down to it, it's just things still tacked on Android and the compelte experiences with the apps are going to define how well a device and platform will be received.

If the "leaked" pictures of the new GSIV prove true, it will look even cheaper than the GSIII. Granted, if you keep upping the screen size every year, you don't want to be weighing down the pockets of those whose pockets you wish to lighten.

I don't care about cheap feel, plastic, or any of that. The way a product is branded and how it's respected to all customers is what makes me feel loved and cared for. What I do care more about is that Samsung is a bully to all the other phone makers out there. This is a good thing or a bad thing for them. I only like Samsung for their TVs or home appliances.....but as far as phones go, I don't care for them only because of this copying-type-thing. It's not like they turned the web, ipod, and phone all in's just a product that will be going up against the iPhone. But no phone will ever be an iPhone. Regardless of what comes out, the iPhone stands in its own arena, it's own class. Samsung is just another 'pc' out there that's affordable to most users so that is how they will benefit out of all of this. They are the closest competitor to the iPhone than LG, HTC, etc. I wouldn't call them a threat because both companies have their own Cliques. It's much more of inventing new things for the future as they release their products. So whatever they (Samsung) come out with, it will only be overshadowed by Apple's upcoming events/announcements. I mean, heck, I have always been on these boards reading up on the latest tech news, and I haven't even seen Galaxy 1 or 2 and not even that much of 3 being blown up as much as this 4 has. And how unique is it to say "Be ready 4 the next galaxy". I don't know about you, but the way Apple had come up with the shadow 5 for their iPhone 5 spectacle was much more thought-out than this no-brainer 4. I guess they wanted to choose the 14th as good measure as well? Brilliant. Anyway have fun there guys. Take lots of pictures!

You don't think Samsung behaves the same way in their appliance and TV divisions?

Most of your complaints are drivel. Really, the advertising phrase bothers you? I'm sorry, but that's just sad.

I think is will be a good try but I do not think it will effect us die hard IOS users like iPhone of course. I am sure other Android users will be enticed though. Good luck Samsung.

I agree about getting the envelope pushed. It's a good thing.
However, how much screen do you actually need on a phone? Want more real estate? Get a freakin' tablet...

Not all of us want to choose between a 4" phone or a 7" (at smallest) tablet screen. I've found 4.3-4.5" to be a good sweet spot for a phone screen that I can put in my pocket and isn't too large. I like my iPhone 5, but honestly wish it had the screen size of my Galaxy S2.

The REALLY important thing is that we have a CHOICE in what we want, vs. being told that "this is the screen size you'll enjoy because we said so", which is (IMHO) the core of the Apple vs. Android debate.

Don't think that just because somebody offers one of the things that you want it means you have a choice.
If none of them suited you, I'm sure you'd moan about lack of choice.
They offer what THEY want to offer.

I'm looking forward to this event. A lot of my friends have the S3 and they love it. Currently I have the iPhone 5. Although I really enjoy my iPhone, there are some things on the S3 that I'm envious of. Here's hoping that the S4 pushes the envelope for smart phones yet again. Who knows what the market will be like in 3 years when I'm ready to upgrade again. <- Yes... I'm a Canadian who has to suffer through 3 year contracts! Haha.

This is a new thing for me. I never liked any of the OEM skins that destroy the Android OS, especially Sense. Because of how Android OS operates, applications are constantly opening themselves because they are 'services.' The more 'intense' the OEM's spin on the Android OS is, the slower it becomes. This is what made me drop my Razr Maxx and go back to my old iPhone 4. I would have to open my task killer every 5 minutes because my phone would slow down because of all the apps opening; horribly flawed OS.

Now that I Jailbroke my iPhone this time, only thing I miss is my Battery and the iPhone not being friendly with Wireless Routers; seems like it doesn't always stay connected and push notifications don't go through.

I'm hoping this new Galaxy helps raise the bar because I like it when competition happens; consumers win. I don't feel the need for the eye-tracking, but the hover input ability seems cool; however, seems like it might be a battery drainer.

I'm not really sure how well this will go over. It may be good timing for them but is there really any good timing? These Samsung galaxy releases always seem to get a lot of hype initially but then it dies away quickly.. I'd say people are already getting hyped up about the iPhone 5S. Leaks have already been becoming popular and people are talking about it, and like this said its not even for months!

Aside from all the specs and design questions which could be endlessly discussed, I really can't see the benefit of this eye tracking thing, nor this finger hover magic. I mean, maybe it could help some disabled people like another accessibility feature, but adding another way to interact with the screen, what for ? You can already tap with one or two fingers, swipe, and pinch, thus reproducing the desktop equivalent of right clicking or any other kind of process commonly used. As far as I know, this was always enough, and even too much for apple who kept only one button for the mouse.

For me if you need more than that to interact with an app, it's just a design failure.

I can't wait to see the Galaxy S4. It might even change my birthday wish from an iPhone 5S( when it comes out) to the new Galaxy! The S4 will be one of the best phones ever!

I'm a dedicated and brand loyal Apple devotee, but I must admit, Samsung dangles a pretty temptress out there.

I really hope that Apple realizes the treat this could be for them. They need to revolutionize the evolution of the iPhone if they want to stay on top.


I'd love to be blown away, but smartphones (and Android in particular) is all about big screens and fast processors these days. Making them ever-faster and higher-def is a feat of engineering, but it's not innovation.

HTC One's 4MB "Ultra Pixel" camera; Lumia 920's super-fluid screen and OIS; even Apple's insistence on keeping the iP5 screen size down at 4". These are features that set the products apart and make them interesting. Samsung will reveal a big, flat, rounded rectangle with faster guts and zero innovation. No doubt it'll be a great device, but it's more of the same so ... meh.

My thoughts exactly. The presentation itself was cheesy, but when they got into the meat & potatoes, I was left hungry for something more satisfying than just gimmicks I would never use. I want some meat and cheesy potatoes.

The best thing was the hover gestures and extra sensors.
I have a windows phone 8 and the htc vivid and 2 ipads and 2 ipods..

Wow its nice to see imore talking about the S4 very level headed, in the article and in the comments too. AC right now is just full of fanboy rage.. :/

I really prefer iPhones than phones like the S3or the 4 because although I have an android phone, I just think they are so difficult to use and apple is way simpler since I have many apple products

after watching a hands on video I have to say I am not impressed with the G4. It looks just like the G3 only with slightly better improvements. If I was going to get android I would get an HTC one or wait for google X

This plays right into the idea that Apple's release cycle can be exploited by competitors. I'm all for companies making products better, but Apple may want to do something unexpected soon.

But we don't know what Apple's release cycle is. We don't know when the next iPhone will come out. It could be June, could be September. No one was expecting a new iPad last October. You have to have some kind of schedule otherwise nobody buys thinking if they do something new will be right around the corner and what they have won't be the latest and greatest.