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Galaxy S4: Release Date, Specs, Floating Touch Capabilities, Other Rumors About Samsung's Next-Gen Smartphone

By iDigital Times Staff Reporter on February 7, 2013 3:54 PM EST 0

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is likely to occur in March or April. The next-gen smartphone will be packed with lots of great specs, features and more. (Photo: flickr.com / Stereopoly Blog)

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most highly anticipated electronic devices of the year, and the surmounting hype is being built long before anyone has confirmed the device. Yet, it's safe to say that the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is happening in March or April.

In addition to the Galaxy S4 release date, rumors about the Galaxy S4 screen size, specs, features and other capabilities of the device are circulating the web. The latest Galaxy S4 rumor is that the next-generation Galaxy-branded device will include floating gesture controls. DDaily reports that Samsung will be using Atmel's MaXTouch S controllers, which will allow users to navigate the smartphone without needing to touch the screen at all.

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The Galaxy S4 feature that will allow users to hover over the screen and interact with the device is extremely similar to some of the technology used in the Galaxy Note 2. On the Note 2, using the proprietary Samsung stylus known as the "S Pen," users were able to hold the stylus lightly over the top of the display and interact with elements on the screen. For example, if a user wanted to preview a YouTube video, the user could just hold the S Pen over the screen, and the video would launch in a smaller window and begin playing. The hovering feature, known as Air View, was one of the most popular features on the Galaxy Note 2. That's why it should be no surprise that Samsung will find a way to include a similar feature on the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy S4 won't be the first smartphone to include hovering touchscreen functions. On the Sony Xperia Sola, users can also interact with various element s on the screen by simply hovering over them. It's still unclear whether the technology would be compatible with existing versions of the Android operating system, such as the latest build, Android 4.2.2. The most likely answer is that the technology will not be standardized, and therefore, Samsung will be forced to build its own version of Android with special software that will allow hovering functions to work on the smartphone.

The Galaxy S4 specs are much more impressive than the new hovering technology that's rumored to be included in the device. What seems to be almost inarguable, albeit still a rumor, is the fact that Samsung will include its  newest processor, the Samsung Exynos.

Samsung's popular high-end Chromebook is one of the first mobile implementations of the Cortex-A15 processor in the form of the Samsung Exynos 5 dual-core chip. At CES, Samsung announced an even newer model that was dubbed the "Samsung Exynos 5 Octa" processor that's based on ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. Not much is known about the chip, but the name (and history of development) suggests that the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa will be a system-on-chip (SoC) that is essentially an 8-core ARM Cortex-A15 processor that will pair four high-powered CPU cores with four lower-powered CPU cores.

"Essentially, the two sets of cores act as load balancers, allowing the chip to seamlessly switch between higher performance requirements and low-power tasks, thereby significantly extending battery life," reports TG Daily. In essence, the newer processor will be faster and allow any devices running on it to have better battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is likely to be one of the most refined Android smartphones ever created. Samsung is well-aware that its long-term success depends on the follow-up to the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is still the most popular Android phone ever sold. The Galaxy S3 was popularized because of its reasonable price, excellent hardware, sleek design and the rate at which Samsung continues to update and serve its owners. If the South Korea-based company can do the same with the Galaxy S4, it will have another incredibly successful product on its hands.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is rumored to have a 4.99-inch Super AMOLED full HD Display, but the size of the screen is one of the few rumors that's hard to believe. Samsung is rumored to be pursuing smartphones and tablets in a long spectrum of sizes -- including the rumored Galaxy Note 8 -- so it would be no surprise if the Galaxy S4 screen is anywhere between 4.5- and 6-inches. No matter what size they choose, it's safe to say the Galaxy S4 will be significantly smaller than the Galaxy Note 2.

The Galaxy S4 is also rumored to have a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, which would make it one of the best on the market, but this is another rumor that's far-from verified. Most experts believe that the phone will have 2GB of RAM, which has basically become the standard among high-end phones at this point. The Galaxy S4 release date is anticipated in March or April.

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