Samsung Galaxy S4 – the hardcore geek’s best bits

The Samsung Galaxy S4 launch focused largely on the lifestyle

elements of the phone. Those who care more about what’s really going under the

hood were more or less left out in the cold.

That’s why we’ve gathered together all the geeky best bits

about the phone for all you real tech fans out there. Let’s get started…

4G Cat 3 100Mbps download
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 4G-capable phone, certified to

CAT3. This means that it can handle theoretical maximum transfer speeds of

100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload. 4G is still in such early stages in the UK

that the categorisations don’t matter too much to us. It’s pretty nippy, and

the only phone we’ve seen that’s faster in this regard is the Huawei Ascend P2,

which is a CAT4 phone, with 150Mbps download.

IR LED
Universal controllers were once considered the height of

tech sophistication. They’re now dying a death, in part because smartphone

interfaces have shown them to be a bit remedial in user interface terms. The Samsung

Galaxy S4 can replace your universal remote, or even your standard remotes if you

were never suckered into buying a universal one.

802.11ac
Here’s one that should get a few hardcore tech geeks a little hot

under the collar. The Samsung Galaxy S4 features 802.11ac, the nascent Wi-Fi

standard that’s set to take over from 802.11n, the current “top dog” for most

people. Its speed has earned it the nickname “5G Wi-Fi”, capable of running at

up to three times the speed of 802.11n. Routers that use 802.11ac aren’t the

de-facto standard yet, but they are available if you look hard enough.

MHL compliant
Like any high-end phone worth a distinguished techie’s

attention, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is MHL-compliant. This means that, when used

with the right adapter/cable, the phone will be capable of sending

high-definition video and surround audio to your TV. As its powerful processor

should easily be capable of trotting out 1080p video, the phone should make a

fantastic little portable media player.

Still removable battery
Samsung hasn’t left its S-series roots. The Samsung Galaxy S4

uses a plastic battery cover, much like its predecessor the Samsung Galaxy S3.

That means you have quick and easy access to the battery, so if you fancy you

can snag a few spare batteries from eBay, or a more reliable outlet if you

must, and keep on trucking through the week without having to charge every day.

Still microSD slot
The other bonus of the removable rear is that it makes it dead

easy for Samsung to incorporate a microSD memory card slot. We’re ridiculously

pleased the feature has made it into this fourth-generation model, as it’s

something that differentiates it from its hardcore HTC rival the HTC One. This

also means there’s very little reason to get any version of the phone aside

from the lowest-end 16GB edition, as a memory card will be much cheaper than

the difference in price between the various storage versions of the Samsung

Galaxy S4.

Octa-core CPU
Although it wasn’t something that Samsung shouted about a

great deal during the launch, the Samsung Galaxy S4 uses an eight-core CPU, the

Exynos 5 Octa-core chipset unveiled at CES 2013. This is really like two

quad-core processors jammed together. One is a high efficiency type that’s

there for day-to-day use, and the other is an advanced 1.6GHz Cortex-A15 set of

cores for high-performance tasks. This team-up should result in the perfect

storm of performance and battery life.

People Eraser
Here’s the most gimmicky of the Galaxy S4’s camera features, but it is

kinda cool. The People Eraser mode is a form of burst mode that lets you erase

people in the background by effectively creating a composite of multiple

exposures. For example, if someone was walking past as you took a photo of a

few friends you should, in theory, be able to simply erase them. Creepy, eh?

Knox
One of the most robust features of the Samsung Galaxy

S4 is one that many of us may never even consider using. It’s called Knox and

it’s a secure area within the phone that means those of you who work in

companies that have fairly strict security policies may still be able to use

the phone for you work email, calendars and so on. It’s an enterprise feature,

but one that may reduce the pain of working in a security-obsessed company.

 

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