back to article First Samsung Galaxy S4 review leak: Stop FONDLING, start FINGERING

Samsung's new Galaxy S4 smartphone isn't being launched until 2300 GMT today - but the first review is already online with technical specifications and videos of it in action. And it suggests there's no need to touch the mobile's touchscreen to make it work. A few journalists bagged early access to the new handset on …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. James 51 Silver badge
    Joke

    Maybe their just producing the knock-offs now before the orginal has hit the shelves.

  2. James 51 Silver badge
    FAIL

    their =they're

    Need edit option.

    1. magickmark
      Headmaster

      Double fail

      They'er = They are

      Need a grammer opton.

      1. JimmyPage Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Treble fail

        Grammer = Grammar

        Need a spelling option.

        1. Euripides Pants Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: spelling option

          Grammar don't need no spellin' option, she's been dead longer 'n Grampar!

          1. Silverburn
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: spelling option

            Need new keyboard option after reading so much grammar fail.

      2. davtom

        Re: Quadruple fail

        They're = They are

        They'er = spelling mistake

        1. Simon Harris Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Quintuple fail

          opton -> option

          Need a proof-reading option!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?

    Looks great. iPhone and iOS are increasingly looking like a trip down memory lane. Can Apple do something special with iPhone 6 to meet the challenge or are we set for more legal tedium from the 'lets litigate not innovate' company?

    1. John Latham

      Re: Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?

      I think the wider issue is that all smartphone and tablet makers are struggling to develop anything genuinely game-changing at the hardware and OS level, as evidenced by the fuss about phablets being the next greatest thing (really?).

      Perhaps that's a positive sign of maturity and stability. The online world still hasn't totally adjusted to the death of the Windows-PC-as-primary-computing device yet. Many websites still don't work very well in a mobile browser, and there are banks (and the Irish revenue service) that still require Java to log in.

      There have been many dead-ends in consumer electronics (my attic-crap-boxes are full of things like folding Palm keyboards and Xbox 360 HD-DVD players) but it seems like touch-based smartphones and tablets are here to stay.

      Thumbs up for long-lived devices* and incremental improvement.

      * unless your battery is glued

      1. Mark .

        Re: Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?

        "The online world still hasn't totally adjusted to the death of the Windows-PC-as-primary-computing device yet."

        As much as I love my Android phone, the "death of the PC" is still a bit ridiculous - yes, I want them to improve websites rather than relying on "apps" for only one or two platforms; no, I don't want to use my small phone as my primary computing device.

        (Well, it might be primary in terms of sales - mobile phones have long outsold PCs, whether it's dumb phones, feature phones, or Symbian smartphones of the 2000s. But I don't think higher sales means that most people are using them as their primary device - rather they upgrade more often, or people are more likely to share a PC in a household than a mobile phone.)

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: Is this the start of the post-iPhone era?

          > the "death of the PC" is still a bit ridiculous - ... no, I don't want to use my small phone as my primary computing device.

          No one has suggested that you do. You have a PC that you use, and will continue to use, but you might not buy another one. Your current one may last 10 years (I daily use machines older than that) and increasingly you will use phones and tablets to do tasks that once were PC only.

          It is not that PCs will stop being used, they will increasingly not be bought, ie it is the 'death of the PC manufacturer' (and PC OS maker).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proximity fingering? Naughty Samsung. Sounds great really. Will save the screen from getting sticky. Erm ...

    1. Paul 135

      No doubt tech journalists will try and make this out to be an amazing new innovation, despite the fact that it existed in the Xperia SOLA a year ago.

  5. EddieD

    Looking good...

    My contract is up in 4 months, and I'm not going back to Winphone, so phones like this are definitely tempting - and by July they'll be affordable...just...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimmicks all the way.

    So if you want to watch a YouTube music video while working purely to listen the music you have to watch the video now? these things get switched off when people realise they don't work that well. So why add them at all?

    They're just gimmicks added to fill the vacuum of real useful features that have all been done now.

    How about something useful like doubling the battery life?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Wrong icon, you need this one

      <----

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How very dare you

      How dare you suggest that Google/Samsung/Android are not perfect. Are you not aware this is el Reg?

    3. Lutin

      To be honest, I thought the smart stay feature was a gimmick before I tried it (it's the feature that keeps the screen awake if it detects your eyeballs looking at it). Having used it I find it works very effectively. There is no reason to switch it off.

    4. Steve Foster
      WTF?

      "So if you want to watch a YouTube music video while working purely to listen the music you have to watch the video now?"

      Erm, isn't that what music players and internet/FM radio are for? Why waste bandwidth on video that you aren't interested in?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Big Brother

      >"So if you want to watch a YouTube music video while working purely to listen the music" blah blah blah blah .........

      Is it time for el Reg to get rid of the coward posting option? I'm getting tired of all the moronic shiite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Anonymity

        "Is it time for el Reg to get rid of the coward posting option? I'm getting tired of all the moronic shiite."

        You, Andy, appear as shite to the, perhaps, older folks who remember a time when usage of the Internet meant that you could be anonymous. Hail El Reg for paying tribute to the good ol' days. Now get off the Internet already, Andy, and go cry somewhere retard. I wish you the best with your friendly neighborhood stalkers, gangbangers etc...

        1. Silverburn
          Stop

          Re: Anonymity

          Sorry Andy, but there is no corrolation between being anonymous and "posting moronic shite".

          We Gold and Silver posters don't need to be anonymous to post our moronic shite, ta very much.

    6. Mr.Mischief
      FAIL

      FAIL you are

      Yes.. listen to Youtube to listen to the music.. So the screen stays on wastes battery and YouTube stops when you turn the screen off.

      Wouldnt it be easier to just download music to your phone..? Or do you expect them to pander to every cheapskate out there?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8 processor core? 8?

    What, exactly, is the point of having 8 processor cores on this thing? I've only got 4 in my desktop pc, and that rarely needs more than 2 of them. You only need 8 if you're planning on running a LOT of apps simultaneously in the background, actually doing stuff instead of being suspended. For starters, how many things do you need to be able to be doing actively doing stuff in the background anyway? And even if you can think of a use for it, you'll only be able to do it for a few minutes and then your battery will run out.

    Its just another gimmick, along with the eye tracking and proximity sensing stuff, that no one will actually need or use.

    1. Richard 22

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      I think it's big.LITTLE - 4x low-power ARM A7 cores which will be used most of the time and 4x A15 which can be switched to _instead_ of the A7 cores when things get demanding. (A7/A15 are binary compatible).

      I wouldn't be surprised if the A15s barely get used, but it should make for better battery life, and 8 cores sounds great on the marketing.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      8 cores are to save power, since they can be individually turned on only when required. Not all of the cores are the same, some will be optimised for keeping the phone ticking over on standby, some will be for specialist tasks such as decoding video. Anyway, the sooner the phone accomplishes a task, the sooner the user can pop it back into standby and turn off that thirsty screen.

      That's the concept. Since many phones today have at least two cores, and the manufacturers are competing on battery life, one assumes there is some truth in it.

    3. Tokoloshe

      Something useful for those 8 cores

      Samsung could get Folding@home ported, especially since Sony have ended support on the PS3. All that silicon could do some good overnight, after the phone has fully charged and is still connected to the mains.

    4. Richard Gray 1
      Pint

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      From what I have read, it is more like two quad cores.

      A low powered one for everyday stuff to preserve the battery, and a really kick arse one for when the load needs it.

    5. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      > You only need 8 if you're planning on running a LOT of apps simultaneously in the background,

      Not so. Android supports threading, so one app could use as many cores as are made available to it.

      > Its just another gimmick, along with the eye tracking and proximity sensing stuff,

      By having many cores (though I suspect that only 4 are usable at any one time, the choice being made between high power CPUs and battery saving CPUs) there is more ability to keep the eye tracking and proximity code running so that these respond instantly while the running apps still give good performance. With a single core there could well be stuttering or slow responses due to context switching.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      >"I've only got 4 in my desktop pc, and that rarely needs more than 2 of them."

      I can assure you, my 6-core workstation will beat the crap out of your 4-core on almost any process. Depends on if you need speed or not.

      1. Mark 65

        Re: 8 processor core? 8?

        "I can assure you, my 6-core workstation will beat the crap out of your 4-core on almost any process. Depends on if you need speed or not."

        and I can assure you that you'd be surprised at how single-core dominated most software currently is. So, in all likelihood, his 4-core will probably have a higher clock rate than your 6-core and hence his will beat the crap out of yours on almost any process. PC benchmarks tend to be more multi-threaded than most typical use applications and their dominant tasks/workflows.

        1. Naughtyhorse
          Thumb Up

          Re: 8 processor core? 8?

          As you say all depends on the task, now I don't know about you but I kinda suspect that someone with 6 cores on their desktop is doing more than reading email, surfing, and a bit of word and excel on the side. My lappie has an i7 chip, and the principle applications I run use all the cores/threads most of the time (not so much when I'm gawping at the screen, chewing the end of a biro, working out what I'm supposed to do next) and i recall the old days, less, but faster cores not being so good.

          i guess your mileage may vary.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. aqk
            Boffin

            Re: 8 processor core? 8?

            >>> ...all depends on the task, now I don't know about you but I kinda suspect that someone with 6 cores on their desktop is doing more than reading email, surfing, and a bit of word and excel on the side. <<< ....

            Either that or he's a top executive.

            The presidents of the various companies about 15~25 years ago always had a MUCH more powerful PC than me, a lowly techie.

            It was very useful for the prez of the last company I worked for, to play Solitaire on. And he much appreciated it when I showed him how to play Freecell- A much more ADVANCED game! But it didn't get me a raise.

            Anyhow the company went out of business a few years later.

    7. Bob Vistakin
      IT Angle

      Re: 8 processor core? 8?

      The point on Android? Mucho - it's a true multi tasking OS, unlike the half assed "tombstoning" comedy effort Apple brainwashed their iSheep into believing is just the same, and hence can't make use of that kind of horsepower no matter how much they innovate Samsung.

  8. Elmer Phud

    Winkers

    Can you wink at it in Morse Code?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Winkers

      I don't know why this was downvoted. A program to do that could actually be useful to some people. Stephen Hawking isn't unique.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the rumoured eyeball tracking is evident, and demonstrated, pausing on-screen video when one looks away from the display

    That's going work really well for the people who look away from the screen when there's something they fon't like/are scared of appears. Can just imagine someone watching a nature program on this when suddenly:

    Aargh - a spider, quick look away, wait a few seconds, it will have gone now, look back, aargh - its still there, look away again, wait a bit longer,. look back - its STILL THERE! etc etc etc

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I have a medical condition called nystagmus, basically me eyes don't ever stay still. So would this leave me unable to watch video, and with the screen auto-scrolling around like a flea on speed?

      Interestingly (and irrelevantly) drinking alcohol makes this condition improve - I presume because it's a muscle relaxant. Sadly my doctor refused to prescribe me booze though...

      1. Lutin

        You can turn the feature off if it doesn't work for you.

      2. Ian K
        Boffin

        "I have a medical condition called nystagmus, basically me eyes don't ever stay still. So would this leave me unable to watch video, and with the screen auto-scrolling around like a flea on speed?"

        I suspect the quick answer to that question's "Yes".

        I suspect the longer answer's "Yes, unless you turn that feature off".

      3. Dave 126 Silver badge

        >So would this leave me unable to watch video, and with the screen auto-scrolling around like a flea on speed?

        No, it wouldn't. Turn off the 'feature' in settings, or install a 3rd party media app which doesn't use it. Otherwsie just stick some tape over the sensor.

        You'll probably want to install a 3rd party media app anyway, just to extend the codec support.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Technically, noone's eyes stay still. These saccades mean that our eyes jump around to different parts of the image that we're viewing several times per second. So, in order to make an eye watching technology, they must have already compensated for regular eye movement. Whether that would be enough to compensate for your condition is another question though.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I saw my super geek mate last night, was surprised to him with some old phone. "I've just sold my Galaxy SIII... [Why?!] ... The SIV's getting announced tommorow!"

    Announced? When does it ship?

    Since I hadn't got any decent answer out of him when he eBayed his SII just prior to the release of its successor, I didn't bother asking what exactly his SIII didn't do for him.

    He then proceeded to show me the custom firmware on his router, which was happily sat on a fibre connection in the next city...

    Oh well. He's the same lad who used a satellite connection for newsgroups years before broadband came to our rural neck o the woods. Amazingly, he didn't know to put anti-freeze in his windscreen washer reservoir in his fancy German car... since colliding with a parked car this, he now does.

    1. davtom
      Stop

      Anti-freeze is a BAD idea to put into a washer reservoir! De-icing fluid is a better idea.

      Keep the anti-freeze for the radiator.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Proper washer fluid has an anti-freeze in it. Use the correct stuff - at least in the winter - or freeze up and possible damage the washer parts.

        1. aqk
          Pint

          Anti-freeze is sort of a generic term-

          It more appropriately describes its properties when mixed with water, not its formula.

          Anyhow, windshield wiper usually has alcohol in it (the Methanol kind, not the Ethanol in your Scotch or gas tank).

          You would not want to keep, or add this highly flammable stuff in a hot radiator.

          Whereas the liquid in your radiator is a mixture of water and Ethylene Glycol - or the "newer" Propylene Glycol + a bunch of other crap you don't wanna know about.

          But the original poster is right. They are all "anti-freeze" in one form or another. Whatever gets you through the night.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      fancy German car

      Not the only one. I well remember a colleague taking delivery of a new BMW in winter, and promptly burning out the washer motor when the nozzles froze and he just kept trying to pump water out.

      Windscreen washer fluid never seems to work properly. Even though mine is the recommended strength for down to -15 degrees, wind chill (and presumably water on the nozzles which then froze) caused it to stop coming out when the temperature hit -4 this week.

      The problem with these features on cars is that they aren't used for much of the year and they catch you unawares when the weather suddenly changes. But people don't like nannying messages coming up on the display.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Anti-freeze"

        Antifreeze will take your paint off. Do not put it into your washer reservoir.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "aren't used for much of the yesr"

        You don't use your washers all year round? Can you actually see out of your car?

  11. Daleus
    Thumb Up

    My SGS1 had proximity..

    My SGS1 had an issue, I didn't have to touch the screen to interact with items...just hovering very close to the screen would push items etc. Not 100% of the time. Remember: Yesterday's bug is tomorrow's feature.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So

    They've made it slimmer so the camera protrudes - hopefully they made the camera surround metal like on HTC phone so it scratches anyhing it rests on.

    Whay not just make the phone a mm or so thicker and use the space for a monster battery?

    1. JC_

      Re: So

      Anyone interested in how mobile phone cameras work, here's a good article on AnandTech. It's quite astonishing how many layers they can pack into that tiny space.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So

        I think you're confusing the words "good" and "mind-numbingly boring" there.

        1. JC_

          @m a d r a

          Clearly you missed the bit where I said "Anyone interested in how mobile phone cameras work", you tool.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. PsychicMonkey
    Mushroom

    bloody hell

    the fanbois jumped on this quick.

    I suspect once Apple "innovate" these same features they will suddenly be great and needed, just like the "we don't need a bigger screen" arguments....

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: bloody hell

      Not sure about that. I think we're just running out of exciting innovations to put in phones at the moment.

      I certainly don't need a bigger screen though. I think the current iPhone is too big, just a touch too tall for my tastes. Something under 4" seems better to me, but obviously I'm in a minority. Just like I'm in the minority who like a stylus, for which I'm very grateful to Samsung, for being the only people who seem to still love them.

      1. Paul 135

        Re: bloody hell

        We need a return to proper QWERTY keyboards. My old Xperia Pro is superior to any touch keyboard I have used. Now that devices are becoming thinner and thinner, surely there is ROM to innovate on even thinner QWERTY sliders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: bloody hell

      Apple haven't done all of the gimmicks, they made their screen bigger in one dimension.

      In case you've not noticed, Apple doesn't do gimmicks and feature counts. These things aren't essential and can clutter the interface and reduce usability.

      One of the most feature laden mobile OSes is symbian, but is that popular now? nope, why? because it had really diabolically bad usability.

  14. supreme-overlord

    Where is the innovation?

    So it's a faster processor presumably, not sure if the camera is better but that's par for the course, and the continual screen expansion. So eyeball tracking is what's new? TBF this sounds gimmicky. e.g. looking away from the screen for a couple of secs is fairly normal, so having the video pause would be annoying for me, so you'd hope those "smarts" can be turned off.

    Eyeball tracking sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me.

    1. JDX Gold badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Where is the innovation?

      There's no longer a need to innovate, phones are already so good and do what is required.

      Everyone's been saying Apple stagnated 2 years ago but presumably that is just because they were 2 years ahead and now the rest have caught up.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        FAIL

        Re: Where is the innovation?

        JDX,

        How can you say that! My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich! Until this appalling oversight is rectified no phone can be called usable!

        Also, where's me flying car and me home robot to do the washing up?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Where is the innovation?

          >My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich!

          Depends if you have a model with an overheating (or self-combustible) battery!

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Happy

            Re: Where is the innovation?

            >My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich!

            Depends if you have a model with an overheating (or self-combustible) battery!

            Dave 126,

            Whilst I don't mind paying for my gadgets, I'm not paying the cost of a Boeing 787 just to make a cup of tea!

        2. JDX Gold badge

          Re: Where is the innovation?

          >>How can you say that! My phone still can neither make me a cup of tea, nor a bacon sandwich!

          People are still adding features to phones. But they are just cramming new things on as gimmicks, not finding needs to meet. Like apps/web-connected TVs. You'd be better with a dedicated bacon sandwich machine.

      2. Dazed and Confused
        Joke

        Re: Where is the innovation?

        Everyone's been saying Apple stagnated 2 years ago

        how can you say that, in the last 2 years we've seen Apple Maps.

        Oh, on second thoughts, perhaps they just lost their way.

  15. Bodestone

    Mouse-over..

    If the software behind the proximity works the same as the note range then hover is supported with the built in browser. I use hover menus all the time via the stylus on my Note 2. It is exceedingly useful.

    It's great to see this extended to the finger if, as stated, if it works well and is accurate.

    I do turn off a lot of the eye tracking stuff on my phone as it is not overly useful for me. That's not to say it wouldn't be for some however. My colleague finds the prevention of screen time out really useful for reading articles on the bus.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Mouse-over..

      Manual scrolling with eyeball-triggered screen brightness seems a more subtle and useful way of using the tech... as long as it results in a net battery saving.

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mouse-over..

      "I use hover menus all the time via the stylus on my Note 2. It is exceedingly useful."

      Same here on a Galaxy Note 1. I also sometimes use it with a bluetooth mouse, which gets you a normal style mouse-pointer on the screen, and hover works with that too. It also works in Firefox, not just the built-in browser. I just assumed that it was the same on all Androids.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mouse-over..

      What do you use the "hover gesture" for?

      1. Eradicate all BB entrants

        Re: Mouse-over..

        Well I hover to see where the hyperlink on a web page actually leads to. Makes it fun when hovering over the phishing email links to www.yourenowskint.com :)

      2. SkippyBing Silver badge

        What do you use the "hover gesture" for?

        xkcd.com

    4. MrXavia
      Thumb Up

      Re: Mouse-over..

      Mouse over is VERY needed, due to the poor web designers who have no idea how to make a website accessible...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Yawn - real android please...

    I await my personal robot with growing impatience.

    All this phone tomfoolery is becoming achingly dull. Bigger screen, faster processor, megapixel that, gigabyte the other - it's still just a phone with a computer on it that has a handful of apps that are marginally useful.

    For the most part, it's used to show off to your mates, bore/embarrass/harass people with, remind you there's no escape from work - I mean really, what's the big deal anyway?

    We were promised jet packs, flying cars, robots ... most importantly, ROBOTS.

    I want to get home to find my house clean, dinner waiting, garden done. Heck, I want to send my robot to work a few days a week to take notes, whilst I enjoy some quality leisure time.

    Better still, I want to read reports on the TV about Robots going nuts and demanding equal rights.

    I bet the Farflung Galaxy S4 doesn't do that, oh no, it just sits there like a rectangular slab of plastic, reminding you that it's really a big old Yawn, or worse, the bearer of bad news: "Sorry, Matt, but you'll have to work this weekend, there's a deadline looming due to our complete ineptitude and bending over backward for clients"

    I'd send my bloody Robot around to sort them out - my Robot v. your Robot, I crush your puny S4 under my plastisteel jack boot!

    1. Bad Beaver

      Do you happen to work in advertising…

      … or a related idiot circus by any chance?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do you happen to work in advertising…

        Idiot circus. We have all manner of acts. Mountain Lion tamers, Neck bearded ladies, Gnomes ...

        What's your excuse?

        1. Bad Beaver

          Re: Do you happen to work in advertising…

          There really is no excuse. But it takes one to know one … and we do a lot of spine extractions.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn - real android please...

      Yep, these feature are needless gimmicks.

      What smartphone technology was supposed to solve was all manner of things. Communication obviously, but location based services are still woeful.

      A phone that has really good lifestyle aids for transportation, shopping, eating and so on built into the phone and easy to use would be great.

      Your phone knowing your routine, journey etc would be very handy. Telling you your train is late, telling you that you need to hurry up or you'll miss your train.

      Even a phone that says "hold on, there's an accident/roadworks" before you leave work.

      But nope, we get eye tracking, whoooopee shit.

      1. Paul 135

        Re: Yawn - real android please...

        ERM Google Now?? Not that I would ever use it out of disapproval of Google's spying.

      2. Mark .

        Re: Yawn - real android please...

        Sounds like Google Now on Android, which the S4 will therefore have.

  17. Bad Beaver
    WTF?

    Appalling waste of resources

    8core? Does it really take that much to make Android a pleasant experience? Those features also sound as though they could provide plenty of opportunity for the device to fail and annoy in new and interesting ways. I am much more interested in what Jolla will put into their upcoming device. Sailfish appears quite nimble on the extremely outdated hardware they use for demos, so I guess we are in for a treat.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Appalling waste of resources

      Cores are just etchings on a piece of silicon. If you have the space, why not put them on there. It's not really any extra effort or wasting anything.

      1. Bad Beaver

        Re: Appalling waste of resources

        So you do not think that "phones" these days are a little bit on the excessive side in terms of CPU, especially looking at Android?

        1. Wang N Staines

          Re: Appalling waste of resources

          Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

            You sir have no soul, to quote Tim `Tool Time` Taylor, `More Power!!!`

            1. Bad Beaver
              Stop

              Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

              Well, I bow to all your downvotes. Apparently, all those cores, each runnin at almost 2GHz, are SUPER EFFICIENT and have ZERO impact on battery life. Awesome, I want one.

              1. Gob Smacked

                Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

                Well, 4 superfast cores solving the problem quickly, what results in a 95% mean idle time on a single low power core is very power efficient.

                It seems counter intuitive, but more power and good power management can easily result in overall low power solutions. The battery will probably last much longer than the Galaxy SIII's...

                1. Bad Beaver

                  Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

                  Thing is, I have here a Nokia N9 with a measily 1 GHz Cortex A8 single core CPU. It multitasks like there is no tomorrow with no lag and still nets a full day on a single charge of a battery almost half the size of the G4. Why? Because MeeGo is a nimble little minx, that is why. As said, I am really looking forward to what happens when Sailfish is running on more current tech.

                2. Alan Brown Silver badge

                  Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

                  > It seems counter intuitive, but more power and good power management can easily result in overall low power solutions.

                  This applies to engines as well. The MPG of a small engined car goes to hell pretty quickly under a heavy load (like 5 large geezers jammed into it, or towing a caravan)

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

                Actually, you're right, they might literally have zero impact on battery life if they're clock and power gated and only enabled when the phone is plugged in. But don't let me get in the way of your sarcasm.

                1. Bad Beaver
                  Pint

                  Unleash the power of your mobile phone – by plugging it into the wall

                  That actually sounds quite reasonable.

              3. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: Why have 12 cylinders when you can have just 1?

                > and have ZERO impact on battery life.

                They have ZERO impact on battery life when they are switched off, which on ARM they can be. A 4 core can reduce to using 25% of battery by switching off 3 cores and then can reduce this even further by reducing frequency and even more by going into sleep mode. A single core can only do the last two and so in reduced mode may use more battery than a 4 core.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds annoying

    I think I would turn off all these great new features immediately. They would be worthless or worse based on my usage patterns. First of all, I don't know what good hover is. The only times I hover on something is when either I'm not sure I want to tap on it, in which case I would be royally pissed if it got tapped while I was trying to decide, or if I'm getting ready to tap something, so, same. Then the eye tracking so that videos get paused. Utterly worthless. When I put a video on my phone it's because I'm trying to show it to somebody else and I typically set my phone between us. I doubt the camera would be able to pick up anybody looking at the device in that situation and then we would have to go through hoops to unpause the video. (Was pressing the pause button on a video really such a hardship...?)

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      What do you use the "hover gesture" for?

      Dammit, and there's Samsung forcing you to buy the phone.

      If you don't like the feature set maybe buy something else, it`s called choice and is why my mother has a Nokia 100, which is nice as I don't have to explain how it works.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What do you use the "hover gesture" for?

        It's a comment thread and I'm throwing in my two cents. That's what comment threads are for.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          What do you use the "hover gesture" for?

          and I'm commenting on your comment. Keep this up and we'll have a conversation!

  19. McVirtual
    Meh

    IR - Yay!

    Awesome... I'll dig out my Palm V and transfer all my old contacts :D

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Message from the sponsors: Oy, Smith!

    you WATCH this advert, or we'll cut off your oxygen supply, starting in ten... nine, eight... there, good lad!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    4?

    Didn't Apple patent the number 4?

  22. JB
    Unhappy

    8 cores?

    No doubt that's the international version - the North American one will have a Z80, if you're lucky!

  23. Dan Paul
    Devil

    Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

    Hasn't one big complaint about smartphones in general been that you can't talk , use the GPS and check email at the same time?

    Seems to me that 8 cores would probably help to solve that problem.

    To my understanding, Apple believes that "multi-tasking" does not involve doing many things at once but means that you can "resume" working with the second application when you are done with the first. Also, the only ones that will run concurrently appear to be Apples own apps, NOT 3rd party apps and then all bets are off.

    To me Apple's "multi-tasking" is simply switching between apps. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4211

    People really want multi-tasking like on your PC. On my Windows 7 machine (Core i5 3570 and 32 Gig Ram), I can have Word, Excel, Outlook, open and be defragging while editing a 20 meg spreadsheet file AND listening to Pandora. That's my idea of multi-tasking.

    I believe Android will be the ones that really offer something close to a PC experience from multi-tasking, speed, software availability and features. Not immediately but eventually they will take the lead.

    Eye tracking though not showing an immediate benefit in the few days we have heard of the feature, DOES INDEED have some possibility for helping the handicapped communicate and use a phone interface better.

    Lets see what Stephen Hawking says before we condemn a brand new user interface tool.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

      "To my understanding, Apple believes that "multi-tasking" does not involve doing many things at once but means that you can "resume" working with the second application when you are done with the first."

      Then your understanding is crap.

      True, Apple doesn't allow "general" multitasking where every app gets background CPU time to do whatever they want, but they do have several scenarios where apps can register to continue running in the background, and they cover all the scenarios that you're complaining that you wouldn't be able to do. Namely, 3rd party apps certainly can run in the background to play music (Pandora, etc.). They can also definitely provide turn-by-turn navigation and similar GPS-related services (Waze, Google Maps, etc.). In fact it's a very common scenario for me to be running Downcast to listen to a podcast, and also simultaneously run Waze to get traffic-aware turn-by-turn directions, and also check my email and/or text messages, browse the web etc. if I'm waiting to pick somebody up on my car.

      1. Dan Paul
        Devil

        Re: Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

        Did you look at the link I included to Apples own website where they say exactly that?

        I thought not.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

      Cores aren't directly to do with multitasking (although multitasking may be easier with more processing power, and adding more cores is an easy way to provide that extra power). Symbian had the multitasking you describe for years, always on single-core CPUs, including ones much slower than today. My Amiga did proper multitasking on a 7.14MHz single-core 68000. And Windows PCs did multitasking long before multi-cores existed...

      1. TheWeenie
        Pint

        Re: Eight Cores = Ability to actually multi-task

        "My Amiga did proper multitasking on a 7.14MHz single-core 68000"

        I was an Atari man (y'know, with the full 8MHZ 68000!). And what makes me smile is that the ST v Amiga arguments back in the early 1990s were just as partisan as the Android v Apple arguments we have today. Can't help but wonder what we'll be bickering about ten years from now!

        The S4 looks like an evolution. Clearly the biggest barrier to phones these days is the battery capacity, so trying to find any way of improving this is going to be advantageous. Well done to Samsung for including the storage slot though. I use a One-X and I wish that had the same option.

  24. Mark .

    Doesn't Sony Xperia already have the hover-touching functionality? (It already has Full HD, come to that.) Not that I'm criticising the S4, I'm excited to see what it brings - but I think it is interesting to note that there are high quality Android phones being released all year round.

    "boasting 1920 x 1080 pixels with a quality the reviewer reckons is equal to Apple's Retina display."

    Apple released a full HD phone? The iphone 5's resolution doesn't even match an early S3, let alone an S4. Even using their flawed metric of resolution divided by screen size (flawed because I like a larger screen, whilst this metric favours smaller screens), the S4 will be way higher. (Unless this is some alternative measure he was on about, but then, "Retina" has been a trademark that Apple have used purely to talk about resolution divided by screen size.)

    Though if we want other definitions of quality, I'd still like a phone or tablet with a matte display like my Samsung netbook please - who needs pixels, when you can't see them in the sun?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      '"boasting 1920 x 1080 pixels with a quality the reviewer reckons is equal to Apple's Retina display."

      Apple released a full HD phone?'

      Maybe English isn't your first language? Clearly by stating the resolution and then saying "with a quality..." the article was making separate points about display resolution and display quality.

      There are a lot of aspects of display quality that you're apparently not aware of. Brightness, contrast, black levels, viewing angles, evenness of backlight, glare/reflections, performance in bright sunlight, color space coverage, color accuracy, switching speed... and probably some more that I've forgotten.

      1. Mark .

        "Maybe English isn't your first language? Clearly by stating the resolution and then saying "with a quality.""

        Ah yes, the ad hominems. I did address that possibility in my post. As I say, the "Retina" trademark specifically refers to resolution divided by screen size, not some other notion of quality (which could be any number of things, and doesn't have one single winner - it depends what we measure, as well as personal preference). E.g., when people say the ipad mini doesn't have Retina display, they mean it doesn't match what Apple's standard of pixel density for that trademark was, and not anything to do with other aspects of "quality".

        "There are a lot of aspects of display quality that you're apparently not aware of. ... and probably some more that I've forgotten."

        Yes, exactly! (Though, I suppose it possible for the screens to be equal in every regard, since Samsung make the displays for both...)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Ah yes, the ad hominems. I did address that possibility in my post. As I say, the "Retina" trademark specifically refers to resolution divided by screen size, not some other notion of quality "

          You have it backwards. If it's the word/term "retina" (lower case, etc.) then yes, you're right, it's to do with pixel density. But if it's used as in the article, i.e., "Apple's Retina display", and basically as a trademark as you yourself point out, then that refers to a particular screen or set of screens that have many qualities other than pixel density.

          1. Mark .

            So Apple have the trademark "retina" with a lower case to refer to pixel density, and "Retina" with an upper case to refer to some of their screens. Fair enough, but if that's true, that's pretty damn confusing :)

            I concede that a trademark can change it's usage - e.g., Nokia's Pureview first meaning high megapixel sensor, then being used for other technologies in the Lumia 920. But I think it's fair to clarify that statement, referring to one spec, then saying it's equal to a phone that's nowhere near that. (Plus without an objective specific thing to compare, it's all a bit vague and subjective as to how screens compare...)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "So Apple have the trademark "retina" with a lower case to refer to pixel density, and "Retina" with an upper case to refer to some of their screens. Fair enough, but if that's true, that's pretty damn confusing :)"

              No, retina is a term/adjective (not trademarked) in use long before Apple made their Retina displays. Not really confusing at all. "Apple Retina Display" is a brand name/trademark and a "retina display" isn't, as you might expect.

              "I concede that a trademark can change it's usage - e.g., Nokia's Pureview first meaning high megapixel sensor, then being used for other technologies in the Lumia 920. But I think it's fair to clarify that statement, referring to one spec, then saying it's equal to a phone that's nowhere near that. (Plus without an objective specific thing to compare, it's all a bit vague and subjective as to how screens compare...)"

              I suppose, but people can still do it. I assume you can look at two televisions next to each other and decide if their display quality is comparable (independent of resolution, too) so why can't a technology reviewer do so for two phone screens?

  25. We're all in it together

    8 cores provide the answer to

    Whether Jim Bowen really is Pope.

    Super, smashing, great, amen.

  26. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  27. GaryDMN

    Android is not an Apple killer

    Apple's last quarter was the best in history, not just for Apple, but for any tech company ever. They are just beginning to dent the Chinese and Indian markets, which account for more than 50% of the worlds population. Apple thinks long term and Apple customers are the most loyal tech customers on the planet. Apple will be just fine, because they are really a software company with the best software and Android will continue to show the faults that plague diverse Open Source distribution deployments. Consider the news that Samsung's new phone ships with an old Android Operating System as an example and you won't have to wait long before viruses and the like become an issue on Android. At some point Samsung and the others will be forced to become software companies and take full ownership of the Open Source version they want to take forward.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And proximity fingering isn't the only innovation

    It's not an innovation, perhaps for the plebs who only look at Samsung and Apple for mobile phones, however none of this is actually new, users have been enjoying these things for ages...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9Q73bHn9xus

    It's like the Nokia 920 backlit camera stuff, appeared 14 months earlier on Xperia phones....

    1. Mark .

      Re: Android is not an Apple killer

      I'll skip the obvious flamebait, but some issues are worth addressing:

      Samsung _are_ a software company too. The Samsung phones run TouchWiz, and this will run the latest version of that. No, it won't be built on the ultra-latest Android version, but neither is an Apple device. It's not reasonable to expect Samsung to build their OS and test it the moment a new Android update is released to the public (we don't get Windows PCs the moment MS release the RTM, even though they're not changing the OS). Are you also going to criticise that Android isn't already running on the latest Linux kernel a few days ago?

      Samsung have had their best quarter several quarters running. But I don't see why anyone interested in a new Samsung release cares about the profits made by one company or another.

      No, Android won't kill Apple. And Apple won't kill Android or Samsung either (or Nokia, come to that).

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds good spec wise, about as expected... but really, a few hours before the launch, that is a bit disrespectful...

    I am not watching the review until after the launch as they put a lot of effort into it!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Come here trusty Psion 5MX daddy got you a new play thing

    IRDA back, yay and with the phone can always double as a retro modem or TV remote for the man cave CRT come room heater. Least save it from the sock draw if it lasts until the next upgrade past next and is no longer deemed the backup spare. Though as a TV remote it could end up down the sofa.

    I like the addition of the environmental sensors and can rejoice one day that my phone will sense when it goes into my pocket and chirps, "ew it's dark in ere", though the fun to have a app which detected when it was in your pocket and a temperature reached a limit going off "aye, me pants are on fire". Two week, it is a tight window until the 1st of next month. Still don't know anybody who has one or has firm a firm plan to get one. Next year maybe.

    Still nice phone, few new party tricks to impress everybody apart from that special lady and yet it it is more important to pause a movie if you over blink or squint instead of say detecting a smoke alarm and offering a visual alarm as well as adding to the alert. Perhaps even detect somebody entering the room or somebody speaking or perish the thought the sound of a...land line ringing away. Be nice if it could detect those sounds and pause the movie when that happens. Still nice bit of geek porn and I'd play with it and take it to bed until its battery run dry, who wouldn't if you got as far as reading comments about a new phone, you want it, just some will pay more than others. How much compared to the Nexus 4, well that is the real question. Some nice bits but value for money extra over Nexus 4 price wise. That could be the question for many, for those who it is no problem, then why would you not.

  31. rward
    Angel

    theregister@rward.net

    I believe that with this new Galaxy 4 we are entering a new era in which we will not be allowed to proceed to content until our open eyes have fixated an advertisement for some period of 6-30 seconds.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019