It’s that time of the year when the Android world is rife with speculations and discussions about the most awaited devices in the upcoming year. Other than Google’s own Nexus brand which is guaranteed to set the rumor mills spinning at top speed at the possibility of a new device launch, there is perhaps no other brand or lineup which commands that kind of frenzy – except the Galaxy S smartphone lineup from Samsung.
Such has been the success that Sammy has enjoyed with it’s high-end Galaxy series, that these devices probably form the base for revenue and profits that Samsung earns quarter after quarter. The Samsung Galaxy S3, is already the highest selling device and probably the best one of 2012, as was its predecessor the Galaxy S2 in 2011, and the Galaxy S before that.
It is only natural then, that the next crown prince of smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S4 would be highly-awaited, and more than that, highly speculated in the days leading to its unveiling. While there has been the odd rumor about specs, and hearsay about a rumored release date, information on the Galaxy S4 has been hitherto surprisingly elusive. Samsung sure knows how to run a tight ship.
However, fresh rumors breezing in from Korea, Sammy’s home market seem to indicate that Samsung may be adopting a whole new approach with the Galaxy S4, one that could redefine the device categorization philosophy it has followed insofar. As per this juicy rumor, Samsung will include S-Pen functionality with the Galaxy S4 at launch. S-Pen functionality is a feature that has hitherto been reserved for and associated with devices in Samsung’s Galaxy Note stable, and has met with a considerable amount of fanfare. The legacy Galaxy S series have typically fallen under the high-end smartphone niche with cutting-edge hardware and features, and to-die-for displays. This move may well blur the lines between the two distinctly different device categories that Samsung has maintained so far and mark the beginning of a unified lineup of devices.
Come to think of it, Samsung had already started porting some of the Galaxy Note 2 specific features like Multi-WIndow and Smart Rotate to the Galaxy S3 a few weeks ago, and that could be seen as a precursor of things to come in 2013. Also, the Galaxy S3 design, moved away from the straight-line sleekness of the best-selling Galaxy S2 to adopt a more rounded finish reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 2. Put together alongside each other, you can’t miss the similarities in design between the S3 and the Note 2, which adds a wee bit of credence to this rumor, in retrospect.
On the flip side, a move like this may well cannibalize sales of the Galaxy Note 2, which have been pretty spectacular so far. But then, another way to look at it would be that if someone doesn’t dig a screen larger than 5 inches, but is still attracted to the S-Pen and S-Pen enabled apps, this presents an awesome option in a smaller package. And knowing Samsung, the user experience on either device will be just as fluid.
Other rumored specs for the Galaxy S4 include the powerful Exynos 5440 SoC processor, 2 GB RAM, a Full HD 1080p AMOLED display (Can’t expect anything lesser considering 1080p is to 2013 what 720p was in 2012), a 13 Megapixel Camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board.
The source also claims that Samsung may be releasing the Galaxy S4 as early as April 2013, which is not too far-fetched considering the April-June stretch is when Sammy tends to debut its flagship Galaxy S devices going by the last couple of years. Well, S-Pen or not, all of the other OEMs which have been dishing out 5″ 1080 phablets like pizzas off a conveyor belt, had better get ready to face off with the Galaxy S4, or whatever it is going to be baptized as. This is going to be one helluva smartphone!