NFC payment technology is on the cutting edge and Samsung has implemented Visa payWave into the Galaxy S 4 which completely bypasses carriers. Visa payWave works by storing encrypted payment information on an embedded secure element within the phone versus storing payment information on your SIM card. Samsung claims the Galaxy S 4 is the world’s first device to do this with Visa payWave. NFC payment services like Google Wallet have had issues with carriers, Verizon being the largest. Back in December, the carrier delayed approval of Google Wallet while not surprisingly developing their own mobile payment service, Isis. Samsung seems to have been aware of carriers interfering and has developed a better way for users to pay with their smartphones.
Source: CNET UK
One thing you can’t argue about is the success Samsung has enjoyed with the Galaxy S and Note line. Each newer version has always exceeded the results of the previous version, and it doesn’t look like that will change with the Galaxy S 4. One UK retailer, Phones4U, says that pre-registrations are going through the roof. In fact, they are seeing a 40% increase over what they experienced with the Galaxy S III, and it has only been 48 hours since they opened pre-registrations.
“The anticipation surrounding the next Samsung Galaxy has been astounding and it has already received the most pre-registrations as Phones 4U of any other smartphone launch in 2013,” said Scott Hooton, Chief Commercial Officer at Phones 4U. He also went on to say that it could be the “biggest selling smartphone of 2013.”
It doesn’t seem limited to Phones4U as EE is seeing some action. “The interest we’ve received from consumers and businesses has almost reached fever-pitch levels,” said Paul Jevons, Director of Products and Devices at EE.
We had heard that SwiftyKey would be involved with the stock keyboard on the Galaxy S IV, but nothing was mentioned about it during the event. That is because it won’t be the SwiftKey keyboard exactly, but the the prediction engine itself. SwiftKey does have one of the top prediction engines, so this isn’t surprising.
Dr. Ben Medlock, co-founder and CTO of SwiftKey, said from the New York launch: “Following our great success with the SwiftKey 4 launch last month, we are excited to confirm that Samsung has chosen SwiftKey’s innovative keyboard technology to be at the heart of its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. This is fantastic progress for our vision of bringing the best touchscreen typing experience to as many people as possible.”
Since most people that own a Galaxy S III are probably stuck in a contract with at least 1 year remaining, it’s good to know that Samsung plans on bringing most of the new Galaxy S 4 features to the Galaxy S III. I say “most” because some features such as anything regarding the IR blaster won’t make it since the GSIII lacks an IR blaster. So this means that features such as AirView, Smart Pause, Optical Reader, Group Play, Drama Shot, Photo Eraser, Sound and Shot, Cinema Photo, Dual Shot, Dual Recording, ChatON Video Chatting, ChatON Screen Sharing, S Translator, Adapt Display, and S Health will probably make it to your phone. I presume they will be part of the Android 4.2.2 update. As to when that will happen, no word, but you know how that goes with all the carrier testing. I wouldn’t expect carrier branded devices to approve the update until the end of the summer, but that’s just my opinion.
So there really isn’t a need to worry about upgrading, but if you’re still on the fence, you can check out our hands on video as well as Samsung’s overview video on the Next Big Thing.
Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 isn’t about the specs folks. Sure it sports some of the best specs around, but Samsung wants you to know that their phone is a life companion full of features that you need. That’s why they only spend about 1 minute talking about the specs in this four minute video. The rest of it is all about those new features including AirView, Smart Pause, WatchOn, Optical Reader, Group Play, Drama Shot, Photo Eraser, Sound and Shot, Cinema Photo, Dual Shot, Dual Recording, ChatON Video Chatting, ChatON Screen Sharing, S Translator, Adapt Display, and S Health. Hit the break for the full video and be sure to check out our hands on as well.
To say last night’s Galaxy S 4 event was cheesy might be an understatement, but one thing they did do was effectively explain all the new features of the phone itself. Sure, we could have done without all the pomp and circumstance, but you don’t bring 3,000 people into Radio City Music Hall without at a little. If you’re looking for more cheese for your Friday, or maybe you didn’t get a chance to watch it yet, you can watch the event in it’s entirety by simply hitting the break. Click here for our hands on.
Earlier this evening we saw HTC play the role of party crasher at Samsung’s big reveal event for the Samsung Galaxy S IV. Their efforts to present a different option did not stop with their pre-activity stunt though. Since Samsung’s event concluded, HTC has been busy leveling criticisms about their competitor and the new device. Read more
If you’ve been itching to have a few more customization options on your phone lately, we’ve got some really cool apps you’ll be interested in. Developer astoncheah on the XDA forums has released a trio of apps into the Play Store aimed at giving you a ton of customization options, ranging from a highly tweaked lock screen to a customizable widget, and even an app that lets you shake your phone to launch apps or toggle settings on your device. Read more
XOLO has done it again! Their latest addition, the X1000, will offer some incredible specs for a price that won’t drain your bank account and leave your wallet bare since the X1000 will sport the following new features:
- SHARP HD 4.7-inch, 720p, 1280 x 720 LCD (edge-to-edge), 312 PPI
- 2GHz Atom Z2480
- 32GB of expandable storage
- High-speed 8MP rear (with “Burst Mode”)/1.3MP camera at the front
- 1GB of RAM
- 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G
One fairly disappointing feature of the X1000 is its use of the antiquated Android ICS OS. This means buyers have to hope XOLO releases the Jelly Bean upgrade in a timely manner, or that a bootloader unlock and CM ROM is around the corner for it. But for the price, it may be worth settling for the archaic OS and bring a little Intel Inside.
AT&T is looking to bring its RootMetric-awarded “fastest 4G LTE network” to a few new areas in the Southern US. The new areas that will see these new speeds are Cleveland, Tennessee and Augusta, Georgia, as well as other areas in the middle of Georgia including the city of Macon. While it’s nowhere near the coverage that Verizon has it’s good to see AT&T expanding its coverage. This is perfect timing especially if you’re considering the newly announced Galaxy S IV from Samsung.