Samsung Galaxy S IV: New Feature Details

We're learning more about the Galaxy S IV before its March 14 launch.
Mobile World Congress 2013: 9 Hot Gadgets
Mobile World Congress 2013: 9 Hot Gadgets
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Samsung is preparing to dazzle the tech industry when it launches the Galaxy S IV at Radio City Music Hall in New York on March 14. Earlier leaks provided a decent set of specs for the smartphone, and new details help round out a more complete picture of the device and what it will offer.

The newest information comes in the form of leaked screenshots. The screenshots, which were provided by GSM Israel, show that Samsung has revised the design of its TouchWiz user interface a bit, with new icons and a redesigned settings menu. If accurate, this would be a welcome change. The current TouchWiz motif is a bit cartoonish.

The screenshots also reveal a number of possible features that will be included in the Galaxy S IV. One, called Smart Scroll, ostensibly would track the eye movement of GSIV owners to scroll through websites. Another feature, called Smart Pause, would automatically pause media – say, a video -- when the user turns his or her head away. Samsung has long fiddled with such features, a handful of which can be found on devices such as the Galaxy Note II.

The screenshots also apparently confirm that the device will run Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean at launch, which is almost, but not quite, the newest version of Android available.

[ Are iPhones tougher than Samsung phones? Read iPhone 5 Crushes Samsung Galaxy S3 in Crash Tests. ]

One disappointing development: The Samsung Galaxy S IV will probably have a cheap plastic exterior, just like its predecessors. Speaking with CNET, executive VP of Samsung's mobile business Y.H. Lee said the company needs to manufacture devices quickly and efficiently because of the high volumes it ships. In order to do that, it selects materials that are readily available and easy to manipulate. Lee suggested that any sort of metal frame, chassis, or shell would not meet those needs. In other words, don't expect the GSIV to offer a high-quality hardware experience such as those offered by the Apple iPhone 5 and HTC One.

Earlier leaks provided many details about the hardware. The GSIV will use Samsung's Exynos 5410 processor. This eight-core chip is clocked at 1.8 GHz per core, arranged in two 4-core banks. The processor will be paired with 2 GB of RAM, and the GSIV looks like it will be available with 16 GB and 32 GB storage options. The new screenshots appear to confirm these hardware specs.

The GSIV's screen will measure 4.99 inches diagonally and have a full 1920 x 1080p HD resolution. It will include a 13-megapixel main camera that can shoot 1080p HD video and a 2.1-megapixel user-facing camera for video chats.

Given the event venue and Samsung's penchant for pageantry, the Galaxy S IV launch will be a spectacle. We can only hope that the device itself lives up to the hype Samsung is creating ahead of its launch.

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