Samsung Galaxy S4: Screen can be controlled by looking

Last Updated 15 March 2013, 15:10 IST

Samsung Electronics unveiled its new flagship smartphone Galaxy S4, with a feature that would enable users to control the screen by where they look.

Samsung launched the fourth generation of Galaxy S series at Radio City Music Hall in New York Thursday, according to an e-mailed statement.

The Galaxy S4 showed numerous improvements. The "Smart Pause" function would enable users to control the screen by where they look. When users are watching a video, the video pauses if they look away, then it re-starts right up again when they look back, reported Xinhua.

The "Smart Scroll" function would allow users to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen. It recognizes users' face looking at the screen and movement of their wrist and then scrolls the pages up or down accordingly.

The flagship model was equipped with high-quality features. It had the 5-inch full HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. The model had a pixel density of 441 pixel per inch (ppi).

A "dual camera" function, which had a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, would allow users to select eight different ways to combine the two photos taken by both cameras.

It comes with 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and 1.6 GHz Octa-core processor depending on regions, supporting 3G network as well as the 4G LTE. Especially, the hexa-band LTE version can support as much as six different band sets, which means a function in most LTE coverage areas.

Samsung planned to roll out the new model through 327 mobile operators in 150 countries starting possibly late-April, surpassing its predecessor Galaxy S3 that was launched via 296 wireless carriers in 145 nations.

Global sales of the Galaxy S3 reached around 38 million units since its launch in May 2012, according to the estimation made by Woori Investment & Securities' analyst Sophia Kim. The Galaxy S4 was expected to exceed its predecessor, with its sales touching 65 million units by year-end.

"With the success of Galaxy S3, consumer royalty to the Galaxy brand became stronger," said Sophia Kim at Woori. "Amid sluggish sales of Apple's iPhone5, there will be no follow-up models from Samsung's rivals in the second quarter."

Samsung still lagged behind Apple in the US, which is the second-largest smartphone market following China, and accounts for the large portion in the high-end models. The gap in the US market share between Samsung and Apple was 12.2 percentage points in 2012, while sales of iPhone series were 1.8 times more than Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones last year.

Samsung was expected to narrow the gap with its marketing efforts. According to the US market intelligence company Kantar Media, Samsung's smartphone ad spending was $401 million in 2012, outdoing Apple's $333 million.

"The global smartphone market will ultimately come down to marketing," said James Song, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. "Samsung's emotional marketing strategy will better connect with consumers and help it achieve quarterly Galaxy S4 sales of over 30 million units."

(Published 15 March 2013, 13:56 IST)

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