Samsung Launches the Galaxy S4

The new device offers welcome new features, but isn't seen as a "game-changer."

On Thursday, Samsung revealed its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S4, at a New York event filled with hoopla. The phone includes some interesting new features, particularly it's eye-tracking camera, but most analysts see it as an incremental step forward rather than a revolutionary mobile device.

The Guardian's Dominic Rushe reported, "In a packed Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4, the latest iteration of its best-selling smartphone, and set out its challenge to Apple on the US giant's own turf. In a widely anticipated move, the company unveiled the most eye-catching feature of the new phone. It has pioneered the 'smart scroll and smart pause' feature. The facing camera on the handset monitors users' eye movements and behaves accordingly. Tilting the phone while looking at it will scroll web pages and it can even pause a video if a user looks away."

Bloomberg's Mark Milian noted, "Gadget makers tend to go over-the-top with their product launches, but Samsung Electronics was in another galaxy tonight. The Korean tech company brought in Broadway performers for a mammoth production at New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall, which seats about 6,000. The hour-long spectacle was broadcast in Times Square, where chairs were set up for people to watch a talented young boy tap dance and actors crack lame jokes. Oh, and there was also a new phone."

ZDNet's Larry Dignan rounded up analyst reaction to the new phone, writing, "Samsung's Galaxy S4 debut went off largely as expected and yielded an evolutionary device that won't dent Apple or its iPhone franchise too much, say analysts." Among the analysts he quoted was Topeka analyst Brian White, who said, "Samsung introduced some interesting new features in the Galaxy S 4 many of which we expect newer smartphones to include as the year unfolds. As such, we view the Galaxy S 4 as a refresh but NOT a game changer."

Meanwhile, Samsung also made another major announcement on Thursday--naming new co-CEOs. According to All Things D's Min-Jeong Lee, "Samsung Electronics Co. on Thursday named the head of its consumer electronics and mobile divisions as co-chief executives, a move that analysts say won’t significantly alter the company’s current management structure or rebalance power."

Tags: Android, smartphone, Samsung, Galaxy S 4

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