Following the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4 in New York on the 14th of March 2013 that streamed live across the world, this past Thursday evening I counted myself very, very lucky to have been invited to the Samsung Galaxy S4 World Tour at the Sandton Convention Centre. It was a pretty slick affair from the moment I walked in…
After a quick & painless online registration I made my way to the press event which was very intimate and mostly male (we really need more women in tech ladies!). Various people from Samsung took the stage and we started with a bit of market background (I had no idea the S3 was the #1 smartphone in SA!) and then we moved into a brief overview of the S4 where they played this video. I’m pretty sure everyone in the room like me couldn’t help themselves & had been reading articles, reviews etc. truth be told anything that could give us even the slightest glimpse into this much anticipated launch.
The press session ended with a Q&A which was really interesting with discussions around stock availability (they have lots but still want to sell out), battery life (it is better than the S3) & LTE (that device will come later, at a R300-R400 premium).
Then it was time for the main event, with Dr Michael Mol as the MC (he’s dashing but I’m just not a fan of his sense of humour!). We got a lot more details in this session on the S4′s features & as the presentation continued, there was an audible gasp of delight & buzz in the room each time another of the S4′s features was demoed on-screen.
There’s a lot I can tell you about this device. It does stuff we’ve never seen before. I live tweeted through the launch & one of my followers on Twitter said it well when responded to one of my tweets saying “Its like you’re talking magic, I’ve got to see it for myself!”.
After the launch presentation we were able to browse the “experience zones”.
As I was making my way to finally get my hands on this S4, a journo from IT-Web asked to film me responding to a couple of impromptu questions, so I’ll tell you what I told him. At a glance you may think that they look quite alike but from the 1st 60 seconds that I held the device in my hands, my initial impressions (vs. my current S3) are that:
I couldn’t wait to get the S4 in my hands!
I could write a book, honestly but part of the market positioning of the device is that its designed to be your “Life Companion” (or at least until the S5 is out). So while it does a lot and I can only get into a fraction of that here, its really about choosing the features that work for you in your lifestyle & you’re definitely spoilt for choice. As such, some of the features that called my name were:
- Accidental damage from handling – not really a feature per se but a massive value ad that Samsung has thrown into the deal. Basically what it means is that if you throw your phone against the wall in rage or jump into the pool with it in your pocket, you will be covered for 2 such events (no questions asked) as part of the 24 month warranty. This will apply to all devices upwards of the S4. The crowd went mad!
- Imagine scrolling through pics, surfing the net or answering a call without needed to even touch the phone. I’m sure its not what they had in mind when they made air gesture but this is right up alley because hate touching my phone right after I’ve applied hand cream..
We move into the experiences zones to up close to the S4
- The camera was really of importance to me because I shoot all the pics for Wiscellaneous with it & this camera doesn’t leave you wanting for anything.
- The main (back) camera has been upgraded to 13MP (from 8) and the front camera is 2MP.
- Dual Camera lets you use the front & back camera at the same time. So imagine, you’re no longer just taking that shot of Table Mountain, now you can put your self in it!
- Similarly Dual Video lets you show your caller what you’re looking at while you’re on the video call.
- Eraser – you can literally remove that photo bomber (or maybe just your mother in law) from any picture you’ve taken.
- Perfect for travelling the S Translator will translate 10 languages from speech to text or vice versa. I so needed this in Portugal!
Here’s some of the feedback to my live tweets:
DJ Fresh & Euphonik took hit the decks, it was quite the party & still going strong when I left…
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available in 2 colours: black mist or white frost at a cash price of R8499. Various contracts will also be available across the network provider. The device goes on sale worldwide today Saturday 27th April 2013 10am SA time.
The last question the IT-Web journalist asked me was if I was getting one. I’d love to say yes but my S3 is just 4 months old so its not really justifiable but that doesn’t make me want one any less.
If you’re getting one, I really don’t want to hear about it, total & utter #FOMO overload.