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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  • OCedHrt - Monday, March 18, 2013 - link

    Since HTC is still failing at marketing, I'd like to point out that it also has IR sender for remote control. Reply
  • ATBTCT - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - link

    What the heck are you spouting? Samsung puts bigger battery compared to other manufacturers and still manages to make it removable. You are saying as if phones with non-removable battery have bigger battery, which is exactly the opposite save for razr maxx. Just look at HTC one x and HTC ONE. What did HTC gain by making the battery non-removable and what did Samsung lose by making it removable? Nothing. Whether the phone has bigger battery or not has nothing to do with it being removable or not....no matter what the companies say...Having removable battery just gives you choice. For me removable battery doesn't mean I go on swap frenzy but I can swap it when necessary. In any case Samsung phones have good battery life compare to likes of many who use non-removable batteries except for web browsing where having AMOLED screens has its disadvantages. Reply
  • ATBTCT - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - link

    Yes, a keyboard Geek who is apparently a fool knows a lot about a phone that he has never seen. Maybe you should go and give Samsung engineers a lesson on how you should give up on something when you run into an obstacle. Reply
  • shorty lickens - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Will all these neat features be added to the Note 2? Cuz I really dont wanna swap phones after three months. Reply
  • boe - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    All I want to know is did Samsung finally work with Verizon to fix their POS radio/reception/antenna issues?

    I love the PDA side of the Samsung phones but their phones don't work for crap on Verizon's network. The HTC and Motorola phones work fine so it isn't Verizon's network, it is just that Samsung can't be bothered to fix their f'n phones.

    They fooled me once with the Galaxy Nexus - shame on them. They fooled me twice with the S3 - shame on me. NOT until they fix the reception issues will I ever get a Samsung phone again or until I switch carriers.
    Reply
  • ANKSHA - Thursday, March 21, 2013 - link

    Does S4 support both technology GSM and CDMA? Suppose if I buy S4 from VERIZON/SPRINT.... can I switch back to AT&T/TMOBILE? Reply
  • brandensilva - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    I'm fine without the spare battery swapping annoyances. I did happen to purchase a fairly large battery pack though that I can use if I really need the juice on trips. I could easily have my phone go a full week of heavy usage with it. I find that far more convenient than actually shutting the phone off and throwing in a new battery. Reply
  • superflex - Monday, March 25, 2013 - link

    Could the display be any more over saturated? Reply
  • yos123 - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    I like the way everything is detailed. Great post Reply
  • rohini - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    i agree that it is a very decent phone and Samsung is trying to keep a check on the price tag of its smartphones but WE CAN'T JUST IGNORE the looks of the phone. In India its going to cost us about 45k INR which is a huge amount of money and the buyer wouldn't mind if it made to look somewhat better than the SGS3.
    Why the hell does it have its looks identical to the older SGS3??

    On the other hand, the phone comes with a lot of software goodies like air gesture and something called eraser shot. More info can be found on http://www.speedmango.com/15-awesome-features-of-s...

    What I believe is that these days the hardware spec war is coming to an end. People dont care that much the hardware specs anymore. Even a 15k Micromax Canvas HD has a quad-core processor. What matters the most is the software features and the after sales support.
    Reply

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