By Russell Piffer
Samsung introduced its Galaxy S4 smartphone Thursday evening at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, unveiling a feature-laden device with a larger screen and higher pixel count than the iPhone 5.
“Samsung has to this point been the only company that can compete with apple in terms of market share,” said David Peirce, a writer for Theverge.com technology site. “It’s going to be a great phone and I think it’s doing to do some damage between now and whenever Apple comes out with their new iPhone.”
“They’ve already eaten into Apple’s market share with the Samsung S3,” Piece said.
The S4 is slightly longer and narrower than the S3 with a 5-inch screen and 1920 x 1080 ppi resolution, while the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen and 1136 x 640 ppi resolution.
The S4also includes a number a feature called SmartPause that uses facial recognition software to stop videos when the user looks away. The same eye tracking technology lets the user scroll up and down the screen without touching it.“They have a lot of these small interactive features that add up to a more fun, intuitive phone,” Peirce said.
The S4 can connect wirelessly to heart monitors and weigh scales.
The digital camera’s pixel count has improved from 8 megapixels on the S3 to 13. The camera’s “Drama Shot” takes 100 photos in 4 seconds and combines them all into a composite image, eliminating closed eyes and awkward expressions.
“These are all cute features,” said Humber ‘s computer programming program coordinator Rob Robson. “Eye control has been tried in various technologies over the years. Some people like it but it’s never really caught on. Do you really want to be controlling things with your eyeballs?”
The features are an effort to one-up the iPhone in an ongoing battle for smart phone supremacy, Robson said.
“This is the rise of the so-called phablet, kind of a cross between a phone and a tablet,” Robson said. “I look at these things and say they’re almost too big to carry in your pocket and to small to read on.”
Financial Post technology writer Matthew Braga said that although some might scoff at the screen size there is a very real trend of people buying larger devices.
“This is a screen that fits more pixels than any other device,” he said
One of the iPhone 5’s big selling points was its pixel count, Braga said. “Samsung’s saying – now look at us, we have even more pixels than you guys,” he said. “It’s just an arms race.”
Despite the added features, iPhone users still have an advantage in terms of how compatible their phone is with other products, he said.
“You don’t really get the same sort of seamless transition from one device to the next that you do with Apple’s products.”
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