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Samsung launches flagship Galaxy S 4 in UAE

Regional market set for official launch on 27 April

The S 4 was developed for the premium consumer market.
The S 4 was developed for the premium consumer market.

South Korean smartphone market leader Samsung Electronics last night announced the availability of its fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone, the Galaxy S 4, in the UAE, at a gala event in the Armani Hotel, Burj Khalifa, Dubai.

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

Consumers will be able to buy the Galaxy S4 from all major retail outlets from 27 April.

The S 4 was developed for the shrinking premium consumer market. Samsung hopes the gimmick-laden handset will attract enough consumers to take it to the next product cycle, which could see the smartphone maker abandon Android in favour of the open-source Tizen OS.

The new handset is crafted with a larger screen size and battery, and a minimised bezel, housed in a 130g, 7.9mm body. At launch, two colour options will be available - Black Mist and White Frost - with a variety of additional choices to follow later this year.

"With the launch of the Galaxy S 4, Samsung is continuing to enhance the way that people live by offering the best-in-class hardware and the most advanced software to provide a true life companion for consumers in the region," said Hayssam Yassine, head of Telecommunications Group at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

"Following the successful Galaxy S 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."

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

While Samsung makes no mention of the S 4's onboard processor, online media sites report that the device will be powered by a Samsung-built eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor, running at 1.6GHz. According to the reports all markets outside the US market will have access to the eight-core S4 models, where the American market will have to make do with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S 4 Pro 1.9GHz chip.


The Galaxy S 4 has, according to Samsung, the "world's first" Full HD Super AMOLED display and the 5-inch, 441ppi screen is made of Corning's new Gorilla Glass 3, designed for durability.

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

Equipped with a 13 megapixel rear camera, the Galaxy S 4 also boasts a ‘Dual Camera' function that allows simultaneous use of both front and rear cameras. At the same time, the ‘Dual Video Call' function enables users to make and receive a video call while showing what you they are looking at during the call.

The device is also equipped with 12 shooting modes including ‘Drama Shot', which allows users to blend all the action in one continuous time-lapse, and ‘Sound & Shot', which stores sound and voice together as the picture is taken.

Story Album curates content, such as SNS posts, memos, location and weather information, as well as photos and videos, to create a photo album personalised around a user's timeline of special occasions and events.

Also included is S Translator, a companion app that provides instant translation, using text or voice on applications including email, text message and ChatON. This instant translation is possible both from speech-to-text, and text-to-speech, meaning that, according to Samsung, "you can rely on understanding everything whilst you are abroad".

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

The handset supports HSPA+42 Mbps and 4G LTE, which Samsung claimed provided worldwide connectivity. The S 4 does this by integrating an LTE version that supports up to six different band sets allowing the smartphone to function in most LTE coverage areas as well as enabling global LTE roaming. Furthermore, Samsung said TDD/FDD LTE Dual Mode version will be introduced later this year.



Many of the rumoured gesture controls are featured in the S 4. Samsung Smart Pause allows control of the screen using eye movement. When users are watching a video, the video pauses when they look away, then starts when they look at the screen again. Samsung Smart Scroll enables scrolling of the Web browser or emails without touching the screen. It detects eyes and recognises the movement of a user's wrist, then scrolls pages up or down accordingly.

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

Air View means users can hover with their fingers to preview the content of an email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. Users 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, it is possible to change a music track, scroll up and down a Web page, or accept a call with a wave of the hand.

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

Other gimmicks include Optical Reader, which automatically recognises text, a business card or QR code information, and provides functions such as translation, call, text message and search; Samsung WatchON, which transforms the S 4 into an IR remote to control a home entertainment system including TV, set-top box, DVD player and even air conditioner; and the new S Health app, which uses a combination of sensors built into the device to systematically and automatically monitor users' health, surroundings, and more to "help improve quality of life", according to Samsung.

Check out our image gallery of the UAE launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Check out iSkin's rugged protective case created for the Galaxy S4.

Assessment of the S 4, an arguably more hotly anticipated device than even Apple's iPhone 5, is so far positive with most reviewers choosing only to bemoan the pocket-straining dimensions and the non-premium feel of the still-present plastic pop-off back. With much of the other features, Samsung has elected to merely deliver more of the same to a market that showed great affection for its predecessor, the SIII. As tech site CNET said in its review, Samsung decided "if it ain't broke, don't fix it; just turn it up to 11."