Why you should wait for the Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 conceptIt hasn’t been an earth-shattering show for mobile this year. CES 2013 has thrown up some interesting devices, but the big players in mobile seem to be saving their announcements for MWC (Mobile World Congress) next month. If you’re in the market for an upgrade, you’d do well to bide your time and wait just a little longer to see what else is on the horizon. There will be new releases from HTC and LG, RIM’s BlackBerry 10 will arrive, and there’s never a shortage of new iPhone rumors, but the device you can’t afford to ignore is the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Bigger and better

Check out our Best of CES 2013 in Mobile to find full details on the devices that grabbed our attention. The “phablet” space is getting competitive with releases like the 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate, and the market is predictably being flooded with new tablets, but there’s a lack of innovation in the smartphone segment. Sony’s new flagship, the Xperia Z, is a good example. It has a 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core processor, and a 13-megapixel camera, just like the newly announced ZTE Grand S and the Huawei Ascend D2.

The Xperia Z definitely compares favorably with the Android leaders right now, but it doesn’t offer much beyond the HTC Droid DNA, which came out last November. A bigger camera and an impressive level of water resistance don’t qualify as big innovations.

We don’t have details on carriers or pricing yet, but the Xperia Z is a premium product and will no doubt have a price tag to match. The ZTE Grand S and Huawei Ascend D2 are launching in China and we don’t yet know when, or if, they’ll reach the states.

The truth is that none of the smartphones announced at CES 2013 should you have you running to the stores or phoning your carrier for an upgrade. When you factor in pricing, you could build a pretty strong case for the Pantech Discover being the most noteworthy release – it’s $50 on a two-year contract at AT&T and it has a 4.8-inch 720p display, a decent 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and a 12.6-megapixel camera. A variant called the Pantech Perception will also be available on Verizon.

You’ll be sorry if you don’t wait

If you’re looking for something slightly better than the Galaxy S3 then there are definitely some options out there, but what will Samsung bring to the table with the Galaxy S4? Until we see what Samsung’s new iteration has to offer, it would be jumping the gun to upgrade your smartphone.

The brand that Samsung has built with the Galaxy S series is impressive. The Galaxy S2 really upped the ante for Android and the Galaxy S3 took it to a whole new level. The Galaxy S3 has surpassed 30 million unit sales worldwide, making it Samsung’s most successful smartphone ever. It was the number one, best-selling smartphone in the third quarter of 2012, beating the iPhone into second place. It won a number of “phone of the year” awards and it is still going strong.

The S3 set the standard for Android smartphones and other manufacturers struggled to match it in the weeks and months following its May 2012 release.

The weight of expectation

Levels of expectation for the Galaxy S brand are sky high. We are starting to see the same kind of excited anticipation and the same explosion of rumors that traditionally precedes a new iPhone launch. That’s because Samsung has consistently kicked it up a gear. The specs for the S2 and S3 were streets ahead of the competition at the time of release. Only HTC came close to keeping up but poor marketing put paid to any chance of competing.

Samsung knows what is expected of it. The S4 has to blow the competition away. If it can’t do so in terms of raw power then there has to be a new innovation. The company is gargantuan with fingers in more pies than you can count and its vast resources allow incredibly fast turnaround times on new developments. We’ve seen teasers of flexible displays and eight core processors from Samsung at CES. It seems doubtful that either is ready to roll out in the Galaxy S4, but you never know.

When will we see it?

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S2 at MWC back in February 2011, but it didn’t hit the market until May of the same year. The Galaxy S3 wasn’t unveiled until May 3rd 2012, but it was rolling out into the marketplace by the end of the same month. There are plenty of rumors about a March or April release, but why would Samsung break with the established cycle? We think a standalone Samsung event in May will be followed by the S4 release later the same month, just like the S3.

With the Galaxy S3 still selling so well and a distinct lack of pressure from rival manufacturers, Samsung can afford to wait a little longer and make sure it produces another standout device. Nothing at CES 2013 will have worried Samsung. MWC next month might be a different story. If something big from HTC or LG grabs the public’s attention then perhaps the S4 will break cover earlier, but we doubt you’ll be able to lay hands on one before the summer.

You might feel that another few months is too long to wait. That will largely depend on what you are rocking right now. If Samsung knocks it out of the ballpark for the third time in a row you’re going to lament that lack of patience – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Wearables

At least one new Galaxy Watch may upstage the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9

Samsung may introduce a sequel to the Gear S3 smartwatch in 2018, but this time it may have a different name or even multiple versions. Rumors are spreading about a Galaxy Watch coming alongside the Galaxy Note 9.
Mobile

Samsung reportedly planning to retire Plus series after Galaxy S10 Plus

It may be no more than a sparkle in Samsung's eye, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 is definitely coming. Here's everything we know about what's sure to be Samsung's most amazing creation so far.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2018

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

These smartphones offer all-day battery life with plenty of juice to spare

Finding a phone with a long-lasting battery can be a daunting task these days. We've tested all the latest devices to compile a list of the eight phones with the best battery life.
Wearables

We tested popular smartwatches to find the uncontested best

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Android Army

From Apple’s charging mat to Google’s modular phone, these gadgets went MIA

Sometimes tech companies unveil a new gadget or tease a new product but never actually deliver. Plans get changed, things go wrong, and products are canceled. It’s time to look at some of the most exciting tech that never materialized.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for July 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We've rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Mobile

Samsung patent shows 'hidden display' on Galaxy X foldable smartphone

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display technology for a few years now and a folding smartphone might finally become a reality. The Galaxy X may be the company's first example, and here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

What is Android? All your questions about the operating system answered

Despite being on more than 2 billion phones, it's still possible to be unsure about parts of Android. What is stock Android, what's Oreo, and should you know about Android Go? We've got your answers.
Mobile

Samsung mocks iPhone X download speed in new ad for Galaxy S9

Samsung’s smartphone division loves to mock Apple and its devotees at every opportunity, with its latest ad highlighting a recent test that showed the Galaxy S9 to have faster downloads speeds than the iPhone X.
Mobile

The upcoming Galaxy Note 9 may mark the end of Samsung's Note line

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will surely be big, bold, and pricey, but will it be foldable, or have an under-display fingerprint sensor? Those are just some of the rumors swirling around one of 2018's most anticipated phones.
Mobile

Huawei may use a perforated LCD display to create a bezel-less Huawei Mate 20

Huawei has apparently put in an order for massive, 6.9-inch OLED screens, which will be used on a new smartphone coming later this year. Potentially its 2018 Mate series phone, it will challenge other big-screen devices we're expecting.
Smart Home

Samsung's Bixby speaker may launch in August at a higher-than-expected price

Samsung's reportedly working on Bixby, a speaker to rival Amazon's Echo, Google Home, and Apple'sHomePod. Here's what we know, including the latest and best estimate info on design, specs, price, and launch date.
Mobile

The best Galaxy S9 cases to safeguard your Samsung smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy S9 sports the same curved design and Infinity display as the S8, so you'll want to get a case to protect it. Here are our top picks for the best Samsung Galaxy S9 cases so far.
Mobile

T-Mobile expands Simple Global plan, offers $5 international day pass for LTE

T-Mobile offers a number of plans for both you and your family, but how do you know which one is best for you and your situation? Here, we break down the specifics of each plan to help you decide.
Mobile

Some Samsung phones aren’t alerting users of app background processes

Worried that Facebook is spying on you? Some Samsung phones aren't correctly showing some apps on the App Permission Monitor, so users won't be alerted if an app tries to access certain permissions.
Mobile

Save the date: The LG V40 ThinQ may be announced in early October

The LG V30 was one of our favorite phones of 2017, and we're expecting big things from its successor in the later part of 2018. Here's absolutely everything we know about the upcoming LG V40 ThinQ.
Mobile

Huawei is gaining on Apple as it aims for 200 million smartphone sales in 2018

Huawei aims to reach 200 million sales by the end of 2018, after passing 100 million sales earlier this month. With Apple only a whisker above 200 million sales last year, could Huawei exceed Apple this year?
Mobile

It's official: Nokia 6.1 Plus gets global release starting in Hong Kong

It's shaping up to be a big year for HMD. After announcing five phones at MWC earlier this year, the handset manufacturer is reportedly bringing another budget phone, the Nokia 6.1 Plus, to the states.
Mobile

Boost your Samsung smartphone stamina with the best Galaxy S8 battery cases

It's frustrating when your smartphone runs out of power, and batteries perform worse the older they get. Maybe you should check out some of the best Samsung Galaxy S8 battery cases and secure yourself some stamina.