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The Galaxy S4 Black Editions look awesome, but may not be around for long

Samsung has launched new versions of the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini smartphones: Black Editions. As you can probably guess, they both come in a deep black color, broken up by a brushed metal-look edge. What makes the pair most notable is the addition of a fake leather rear cover, which made its debut on the Galaxy Note 3 last year, but has never been added to either of these models before.

The Galaxy S4’s design may not be the most eye-catching around, but the dark black body looks really great here, and even the stitched leather-look panel on the back looks more classy than usual. Samsung has been adding color options to many of its smartphones recently, including a surprisingly attractive gold Note 3.

When Mercedes Benz releases a new Black Series car, it comes with a more than healthy increase in horsepower, and enough torque to shift your house a bit to the left. Has Samsung followed in Merc’s tire tracks? Sadly, the answer is no, for the Galaxy S4 and S4 Mini Black Editions have only been cosmetically enhanced. Inside, things are the same as usual. This means a 5-inch 1080p screen, a quad-core processor, and a 13-megapixel camera on the S4, while the S4 Mini has a 4.3-inch, 960 x 540 pixel screen and a dual-core processor. The camera has 8-megapixels.

At the moment, the Black Edition Galaxy models have only shown up on Samsung’s Russian website, but we wouldn’t rule out an international launch. Samsung’s a prime sponsor of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which begins next month, so it’ll be keen to have a few new(ish) handsets available. Previously, the Rose Gold Note 3 looked like a limited run, before turning up in the U.S. through Verizon, so perhaps the same will happen with the Black Editions. Samsung may not want to wait long though, as many potential customers may hold out for the Galaxy S5.