FutureFive NZ - Coming to a Galaxy near you - the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Coming to a Galaxy near you - the Samsung Galaxy S4

After 40 days and 40 nights of waiting, Samsung finally unveiled the Galaxy S4 to the world.

Beamed live from Times Square, Samsung president JK Shin addressed all ends of the globe, from New York to Germany, to South Korea to New Zealand.

"Imagine the possibilities of what a smartphone could provide for us in our lives," JK said. "The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers a richer, simpler and fuller life.

"That's the world we imagine as we always have the smartphone with us."

Taking over from Shin in the driving seat, some overly enthusiastic American dude entered the stage, describing the device in a way only American's can.

Side by side with the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy S4 is "mind-blowingly thin" - American exaggeration at it's best there - with a full HD screen which is "unbelievably sharp" - American exaggeration again.

"Slimmer yet stronger," said unknown American dude, with the product set to hit 155 countries by the end of April.

Available in both 3G and 4G, the smartphone comes with memory of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB - in either White Frost or Black Mist. Whatever happened to just calling a colour a colour?

"Getting you closer to what matters in life, bringing your world together," the somewhat cheesy line is Samsung's way of saying this smartphone rocks, to lend a phrase from it's American endorser.

The poor narrative and presentation aside, the phone speaks for itself.

“With the Galaxy S4, Samsung is again going to enhance the way we live,” JK Shin said.

“All the innovative features of Galaxy S4 were developed based on the insights and needs we found from our consumers all around the world.

"Following the successful Galaxy S4 series, this phone is yet another great proof point of people-inspired innovation.

"At Samsung we’ll never stop pursuing innovation conceived by people, so we can inspire them in return.”

Becoming the world’s first Full HD Super AMOLED display, the smartphone comes with a 5-inch large screen and a 13 megapixel rear camera.

Key features include:

• Group Play - With its ‘Group Play’ function, users can enjoy music, photos, documents and games with those around them without even requiring a Wi-Fi AP or cellular signal.

This feature enables users to connect directly with others to share, play and co-create content and entertainment instantly. Its ‘Share Music’ option allows users to have the same song playing on multiple phones in sync to create the best party atmosphere.

• S Translator - The Galaxy S4 brings all people closer together by breaking down language barriers.

The feature provides instant translation, using text or voice translation on applications including email, text message and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech to text and text to speech.

• Smart Pause - ‘Samsung Smart Pause’ enables you to control the screen by where you look.

When you are watching a video, the video pauses when you look away then it starts right up again when you are back.

‘Samsung Smart Scroll’ allows you to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen. It recognises your face looking at the screen and movement of your wrist and then scroll the pages up or down accordingly.

• Air View - ‘Air View’ allows users to hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it.

You can even see a magnified view on the internet browser, or a phone number saved in the speed dial on the keypad. With ‘Air Gesture’, you can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand.

• S Voice - With ‘S Voice Drive’ you can activate commands via voice control for optimization when driving. Once connected with a car Bluetooth, the phone automatically turns into driving mode converting text to speech so you can easily and safely check messages with no need to look at the screen.

• Optical Reader - ‘Samsung Optical Reader’ makes life yet more effortless, by automatically recognizing text, a business card or QR code information, and providing useful functions such as translation, call, text message and search.

• WatchON - At home, using ‘Samsung WatchON’, the GALAXY S 4 will transform into an IR remote to control your home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner.

In addition, you can enjoy various content including live TV, cable TV and VOD based on the rich information provided by EPG (Electronic Program Guide).

Features aside however, how much will it cost? Reporting live from the event in Auckland, Techday is yet to have this information at hand, but you will be the first guys to know when we do. Keep checking back for updates.

First impressions of the Galaxy S4, what do you think? Tell us your thoughts below

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