Samsung sends octa-core engined Galaxy S4 into orbit

The Galaxy S4 is the latest, most high-powered and full featured smartphone ever released by Samsung.

We heard that line somewhere, piqued our interest, and got one, the very first commercial unit of Samsung's latest android flagship device, to tinker with.

Our editor Art Samaniego, Jr. was among those who attended the launch of the S4 in New York on March 15, and got CEO and President of Samsung Asia Pte. Gregory Lee words that Manila Bulletin TechNews would be the first publication in the Philippines to receive a unit for review.

So what can we say about the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Samsung really went all-out by designing a smartphone with eight cores. The Exynos 5 octa-core processor makes the Galaxy S4 one super-powered beast. But really, it's just two quadcores with different tasks, one for the basic day-to-day affairs, the other for bigger tasks such as photo processing, either one activating when needed.

Samsung took several cues from the previous model and improved the style and built for the Galaxy S4. The looks and feel is premium, and it's hard not to admire the faux metal edges and the polycarbonate chassis that gives the device a more solid build. The rear panels sport crisscross patterns, which adds style and personality to the device. As of now, it comes out with two colors, the Frost White and the Black Mist. While both colors stand out with style, elegance, and a clean sheen feeling of prestige. Our only concern is the Black Mist attracts too many fingerprints.

It's hard to tell the difference between the Galaxy S4 and its predecessor. The S4's screen has been upped to five inches with full HD resolution with super AMOLED technology. The screen sports the root of the Air View feature, called the ClearPad. It is an advanced capacitive feature that detects fingers up to two centimeters away. This lets you preview an item by hovering your finger above it, and by going to the settings to activate the ''extra sensitivity mode'', you can touch the screen with ease even while wearing gloves. The screen also contains Gorilla Glass 3, which makes the screen sturdier than the previous model.

The interface is sleek and easy to navigate around, and with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean powering it up, lots of neat upgrades can be expected.

The Galaxy S4 packs a whooping 13MP rear camera plus the high-powered processors, delivers some of the most stunning images ever captured on a smartphone. It sports several features of its own such as Drama Shots, Beauty Shots, HDR, among others, all to provide a satisfying photography experience. Switching modes is blazing fast, and the simplicity, makes this into a highly flexible device.

Pop the hood open and you'll have access to the 2,600mAh removable battery, along with the microSD and micro-SIM slots. Samsung has lots of cool plans to include inductive charging back covers and devices to supplement the Galaxy S4.

Air Gesture may not sound all that new at all, and some may even doubt it's use, but for some people who need to focus on multiple things at once, the Air Gesture proves to be an excellent feature. The first of these gestures is Air Jump, it scrolls page-up or page-down by waving your hand above it up or down. The second is Air Browse, which lets you hop from one tab to the next by waving your hand left or right. And the last one, Air Move, move apps by pressing and holding them with your finger and waving your free hand left or right to transfer the held app.

Now about the eye-tracking technology -- the front camera will be watching your eye movements, and as creepy as that may sound, it's actually pretty cool as it utilizes the Smart Scroll feature. Basically, while looking at the device, tilt your head up, and the screen will scroll up, tilt your head down and the screen will scroll down. It isn't a hundred percent perfect, as not all apps support this feature, but we can brace ourselves for the amazing potential this technology will be able to offer.

Expect more of our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in future issues, as there are still more to discover, and enjoy.


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    N. Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options