This morning, noted rumor purveyor Sam Mobile dropped a bomb on Samsung Galaxy S fans, with a report that allegedly contains the official specifications of the upcoming Galaxy S4. The shocker is that Samsung will supposedly not be using an Exynos processors nor an AMOLED display on their 2013 flagship.
Before we go any further, note that Sam Mobile claims that, while the information comes from a “trusted insider”, it’s not official. It wouldn’t be the first time tech sites are served fake info, so don’t take everything in this post at face value.
These are the alleged full specs of the Galaxy S4, that Sam Mobile claims it has received from their insider:
- 4.9-inch Full-HD SoLux Display
- Snapdragon 600 1.9 Ghz
- 2 GB RAM
- 16, 32 or 64 GB
- 13MP camera
- 140,1 x 71,8 x 7.7mm
- 138 gram
- Home button with touch buttons
- Plastic back with aluminum sides
- Removable battery
- Black / White
The following image could be the Samsung Galaxy S4. Notice the square-ish form, which means that Samsung has given up on the organic design it hawked in 2012. Although it’s not visible in the image, Sam Mobile says the device has aluminum sides and a plastic back cover, meaning that the battery will likely be removable and the device will house an SD card slot.
Of course, this can easily be a fake or a different device.
This is the information about the Galaxy S4 that supposedly leaked today. Now let’s analyze it in more detail.
LCD instead of AMOLED?
Samsung is said to fit the Galaxy S4 with a 4.99-inch full HD SoLux display instead of the SAMOLED panel previous reports have suggested.
SoLux is a display technology that was rumored a while back to make an appearance on the HTC One. SoLux displays have improved viewing angles, outdoor visibility, and color accuracy, compared to regular LCDs. HTC calls the display on the One Super LCD 3, so I am not sure if it’s a different tech or just a rebranding.
At first blush, it would seem crazy for Samsung to give up on one of its marquee technologies for the flagship Galaxy S4. AMOLED displays are known and loved for their deep blacks and high contrasts, and customers have come to associated them with Samsung.
But some earlier gossip gives credence to the possibility – a few months ago, Samsung was said to have problems manufacturing a full HD AMOLED display, and to consider switching to LCD. The rumor was quashed when another report came in about Samsung making a breakthrough in display technology by using hexagonal or diamond-shaped subpixels, instead of the rectangular shaped subpixels on conventional panels. This innovation supposedly enabled the Korean giant to reach full HD resolutions on AMOLED.
Now, Sam Mobile says that AMOLED is a no go, and that the Galaxy S4 will feature an LCD. That is a huge development, that could have deep implications in the mobile industry.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 instead of Exynos
This claim is less of a shock, but just as important as the ditching of AMOLED. We’ve already heard from two sources that Samsung has been having issues with adapting the power hungry Exynos 5 Octa processor for mobile use. Rumors said that, due to excessive heat generation and power consumption, Samsung’s engineers have given up on Exynos and decided to put the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor at the heart of the Galaxy S4.
Should the Snapdragon 600 processor be clocked at 1.9Ghz, the Galaxy S4 proc will be 200Mhz faster than the implementation on the HTC One.
Again, the move to Qualcomm could have big implications for Samsung’s mobile processor business. The Galaxy S4 is expected to sell 100 million units, so losing the order to Qualcomm would be quite a blow. But consumers might not lose that much, given that the Snapdragon 600 is a very powerful chip, that has enabled the HTC One to smash previous benchmark records.
New design language
The Designed for Humans philosophy of the Galaxy S3 has been a huge success last year, so personally I thought that Samsung will keep it for this year’s line. It would just make sense for the Koreans to continue with the design elements that customers have come to associate with Samsung’s high-end technology.
On the flip side, Samsung has changed the design of the flagship Galaxy S phone every year. If the image leaked above is any indication, this could happen again this year. Also, the fact that the device will come in black and white is another indication that the nature-inspired design of the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 has been scratched.
Design is a matter of taste, so we’ll have to wait till we see how users react to the redesigned Galaxy S4 before we make more judgments.