Software - Camera

Samsung spent comparatively little time talking about the Galaxy S 4 hardware and instead chose to focus mostly on software. While Android 4.2.2 is the underlying OS, Samsung’s customizations are very visible and present throughout the Galaxy S 4 experience.

The user interface and experience is distinctly Samsung. The Touchwiz icon stylings and water sounds that permeate the experience remain intact and mostly unchanged. UI performance is finally at the point on most of these modern devices where it’s just amazingly smooth throughout everything. The Galaxy S 4 is no exception here.

Samsung spent a lot of time adding functionality to its camera app, which now includes the ability to shoot stills and video out of both cameras simultaneously. This is similar in nature to an LG feature we covered last month at MWC, Samsung calls it Dual Camera.

Dual Camera is very easy to activate (there’s a dedicated button in the top left of the camera app). Once activated you can choose from various filters/effects, including a basic split screen mode.

As a way of enhancing stills, Samsung includes support for Sound & Shot - a feature that captures up to 9 seconds of audio alongside a still image.

There’s a new mode dial that allows you to switch between shooting modes, including some new ones like drama shot which lets you take multiple stills in a burst mode and combine them all together to show character progression in a still frame.

Burst shooting can also be used to erase a photo bomb with eraser mode, a feature we’ve seen before (highlight and remove a character from a scene).

On the video side, the Galaxy S 4 introduces Cinema Photo - a feature that lets you shoot a video, highlight areas that you want to continue in motion and have the rest remain static - resulting in an animated gif.

In its final new camera feature is the ability to create, group and stylize albums of your photos. You can create albums locally on the Galaxy S 4, style them with templates, and send them off to print via Blurb. There’s Trip Advisor integration to pull in highlight information about the locations you’ve taken photos at.

The camera software features are aimed at bringing as much of the photo processing/organization experience onto the smartphone as possible. Samsung clearly has the point and shoot market in its crosshairs and it is leveraging the fact that modern smartphones are sophisticated computing platforms in order to go after that market.

Introduction & The Hardware S Translator, Air View/Gesture, Smart Pause/Scroll and More


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  • edwpang - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    Quite some people talked about the usefulness secondary battery. I think it make more sense to have a LARGER battery than to have a spare battery with the same capacity. Reply
  • 10101010 - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    For many people, why would they want to carry around, hold, grip, etc., a phone with a giant battery all day? Maybe they only need extra battery a few times a week. And then they take their second battery. It's a little bit inconvenient to have a second battery, but they their phone is still light, easy to hold, etc. for the majority of the time they use it. Seems like a worthy trade to me. Reply
  • Hanako_Ikezawa - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    Exactly. I love my note II but it would be unreasonable to assume everyone would want to drag a phone that big around all in order to have the battery life that it offers b/c of its size.

    Back in the dark ages my instinct would last almost 2 weeks with out plugging in b/c I just replaced the battery when it finally died. I do miss dumb phone battery life though xD
  • Tams80 - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    There's no reason you can't have both. Reply
  • wrong - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    Removable batteries have an important underappreciated use: guaranteeing that the phone is powered off all the way.

    Ever had a phone on switch get triggered in a pocket? Ever thought your phone was off but had an alarm go off? Ever needed to turn your phone off silently but got a jaunty goodbye tune instead? Ever been in a plane, or a courtroom?
  • magnetik - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    First picture, I thought you cracked the screen. Reply
  • Silma - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Not impressed by S translator.
    Compare it to the free Bing translator for wp7/wp8:
    - works offline
    - with typed text, voice
    - with live scan: hover your phone camera over a restaurant menu, a newspaper article or whatever
    - has been available for more than a year for free.

    Regarding removable battery it's back to the future. It now looks high end but was standard standard of so long ago before manufacturers absolutely had to ape Apple even in its failed design decisions. Same with ultrabooks really.
  • leomax999 - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Looks like radio design wins for Infineon (intel).
    It looks like they had used the cost savings in traditional areas to pave way to new features.
  • cyberguyz - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Anand, in your comparison chart you are comparing the North American SGS3 (Dual Core) to both North American and International flavors for the SGS4. You are doing everyone a disservice by not including International SGS3 with a quad core Exynos 4 SOC and 1GB memory Reply
  • landerf - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Ao is anyone else visiting Tech Report and thinking they're at ananadtech and then visiting anandtech and zoning out because they don't know wtf they're looking at? Reply

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