Galaxy S4: 'best ever' Android phone takes fight to Apple
Samsung puts on glitzy New York event to say 'we're not playing Pepsi to Apple's Coca-Cola'
SAMSUNG unveiled its much-hyped Galaxy S4 smartphone in New York last night, and first impressions are favourable - with some hailing it as the fabled 'iPhone killer'. Tech Crunch gushed: "[It] is Samsung's, and perhaps even Android's, best phone yet. In fact, it very well may be the best smartphone on the market, period."
The glitzy launch took place at Radio City Music Hall "with the sort of hoopla and hyperbole normally associated with a movie premiere", according to The Times. But apart from showing off all the bells and whistles packed into the S4, the glitzy event had another purpose.
"Samsung appeared to be sending a message to Apple's bosses in Cupertino, California: you no longer have the monopoly on cool," said the paper, although it noted that some of the showmanship at the launch was "at times awkward".
Tech website CNet noted: "The Samsung fanboys are starting to grow as vocal [as] the Apple faithful... The rest of the industry better watch out."
So, what has it got? The 5in screen offers more pixels that the human eye can take in, says the Daily Telegraph which calls it "the first of a new generation of smartphones".
Other features include Air View, which allow users to interact with the screen without actually touching it, and Smart Scroll, which tracks the users eyes and reacts if they look away from the screen.
Other fancy features include a translation app, health monitoring features such as a pedomenter and the ability to use the phone as a TV remote.
The Register said the S4 makes the Apple iPhone 5 look like "yesterday's news" but went on to conclude that "it's just a frickin' phone".
Some felt it was too similar to its predecessor, the S3. CNet UK "would have liked a dash of revolution with our evolution. The S4's new features are divertingly gimmicky, but not particularly dazzling or useful, and the whole package is wrapped up in a body that's all too familiar".
But everyone agrees that Samsung is taking the fight to Apple. Forrester analyst Charles Golvin told The Guardian that Samsung has no intention of playing Pepsi to Apple's Coca-Cola. "Samsung wants to be number one. In fact, it's saying if you think Apple is number one, you are wrong."