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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  • WaltC - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Why list the PPI of every phone except the iPhone? Don't want to embarrass Apple? Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    Sounds right, you know how that internal fanboyism filter works.
    Science and stats becomes the drooling monkey as soon as the perceived Politically Correct winner is about.
    Reply
  • WaltC - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Well, it's at least wonderful that we don't have to struggle through "Retina Display" comments as though the phrase meant something profound...;) I always preferred "Retsina Display" anyway. Reply
  • akdj - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Why such hatred for Apple/iPhone in these comments? Seems to become more and MORE ubiquitous....regardless of Anand's reviews. I'm a fan of both--I'm an owner of a Galaxy Note and iPhone 5. This would make a helluva 'thesis' for a graduate student in Psychology/Psychiatry!!! LOL. Too many of you folks spend WAY too much time beating up iPhone users, Apple's design philosophy and/or the silly 'benchmarks' that truly mean nothing when compared to 'real world' experience. I'm excited for the GS4. I can't get rid of my OG GNote fast enough. It's buggy and slow as hell---but dicking around with the Note 2, I've noticed a significant improvement in UI 'speed' and overall usability. I suppose this is to be expected from a gen 1 device (My Note 1)---but Good Lord!!! It seems not a single page in these 18 of comments lack a bash or poke to the eye of the iPhone or their owners. Words like 'retarded' are pretty lame...and definitely reveal the intelligence of said posters. Plenty of folks are asking valid questions and add interesting information to the discussion---but again, Where is this 'hate' coming from? Is it envy? As an iOS and Android developer...as well as Windows and OSx everyday user...it kicks my ass that so many people HERE, on one of the MOST respected 'geek' sites on Al Gore's inter-webs are so damned insecure when it comes to Apple products. I just don't get it. There really, truly is absolutely NO need to even bring the iPhone into the discussion. Anand didn't---other than a single mention or two when it comes to design aesthetics. Along with HTC and the use of aluminum vs. plastics. I don't mind the plastic on my note--and I definitely appreciate the easy access to my SD storage and battery---but when it comes down to the nit 'n grit, I do prefer the solidity of aluminum/metal construction. As well---the MOST complained about 'feature' if you will of Sammy phones IS the construction (use of plastic). Again, I don't necessarily agree that being the most detrimental issue on Samsung mobile devices. I just find it ridiculous the extent some will go to in order to slam what Apple is doing! Quite over the top---especially considering Apple's contribution to Smart Phone technology (along with Samsung/Google) back in '07.
    **Rant Over**
    Reply
  • WaltC - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Feeling better?...;) Now, calm yourself and take a look at the table above entitled: "Smartphone Spec Comparison." If there's not an iPhone in there I'll eat my hat...;) Reply
  • frombauer - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    I would really like to see Samsung (or HTC) release a smaller version of these flagships. 5" is too big for me, give us the option to have a 4-4.3", quad-core, 2GB RAM, 720p phones! Reply
  • kascollet - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    +1000
    A small high end phone pleeeeaaaase !
    Reply
  • ATBTCT - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    Despite the 5 inch screen this phone is the same size as S3 and HTC ONE. Reply
  • Mugur - Monday, March 18, 2013 - link

    Yes, most people failed to noticed that... :-). It's not the size of the screen, but the size of the phone, people. Also it is 11 mm wider and 13 mm taller than an iPhone 5. It's not the size of a ping-pong pallet... Reply
  • kascollet - Monday, March 18, 2013 - link

    Yes, that's too big for me. Reply

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