Live blog: Samsung Unpacked 2013

Alex Walls
March 14, 2013

7.58pm Well that’s about it folks. A broadway ending with the actors lining up to reveal the phones for a play, and that’s my cue to head off and test some.  Check back for more stories and photos from the event

7.53pm S Health – can take in data for exercise like calories etc, and turns it into reports for you. Accessories-wise there’s the  S View Cover is based on design of Flip cover from S3; when the cover closes, the phone sleeps.

7.51pm Air wave – accept a call by waving your hand over the phone. Smart Scroll and Smart Pause – the device will stop scrolling on a page when it senses you’re not looking at the phone any longer. Same with Smart Pause – look away, and the vid stops. Weird and interesting.

7.50pm Dual camera view available for Chat On, as well as annotations capabilities – so take a viewo of you and your mates while talking to someone else via vid chat, and make notes to make them laugh at the same time.

7.47pm Apparently the gloves were a costume differentiator. Group Play, fun, up to eight devices can sync and play as an adjustable sound system, choosing one device to play from a particular speaker etc.  Two phones = set up a two channel system, multi player games supported, oooh. Photos also shared, not just music  Chat On updated to include video chat for three people, also.

7.46pm Samsung Knox, the security feature, built on security enhanced Android, apparently, and more interestingly, separates device into two sections – work and play, so work data can be kept safe. Files, emails, photos are kept separate and safe, Samsung says.

7.42pm Voice Drive allows access to messages, calls, music via voice commands, Samsung says. Voice recognition feature means S4 can respond to messages for you,  And apparently the phone works with gloves…handy in winter, random in this presentation, really, since they demo’d it with opera gloves (?!)

7.40pm S Voice Drive has more text to speech services and larger text font. Also apparently can transfer from almost any phone and OS to the S4, with Smart Switch – must like S3 and the Easy Phone Sync app at the mo

7.39pm Home sync has 1TB of storage with up to 8 users on one device, can connect with S4 via NFC (That old thing) or ‘lmost’ any smartphone, TV etc. Can show content on TV and device.

7.37pm Story album – allows printing of entire albums

7.33pm S Translator understands nine languages, as well as speech to text and text to speech. Could be good for travellers – languages include German, Chinese, Japanese and French.  Can translate written words, with more than 3000 useful sentences embedded, allowing communication even without Wifi connection, Samsung says.

7.32pm Air View – like the Galaxy Note 2’s S Pen hover, but with your digits now.


7.31pm Obligatory mother-in-law joke. Eraser, interesting feature which removes people walking or moving in the background automatically – no more photobombing guys

7.30pm You can also add sound to your photos, for, I guess, a fairly haunting effect? But also, a sort of mini-Vine/Qwiki, really. And now Jeremy is tap dancing. And blimey, he’s good.

7.27pm Dual camera – person taking the video can appear in the video as well as their subject. Watch ducks waddle while trying it yourself!  You can flip between being in the vid and not on replay.  Dual camera works with photos also, and can move the front camera to where he wants in the shot (so various filter options available)

7.25pm 2600 mAh battery which is removable, Bidan says. That’s a lot of power.  Will support 4G LTE with Cat 3 100/50 Mbps, usual Wifi standards, Bluetooth 4.0, IR LED – hence the TV control as mentioned preivously.  It’s pretty much what the Internet has been saying but it’s a lot of hardware for one phone.

7.23pm Can control Samsung TVs with the device and watch videos from Samsung device on the TV. Camera rear facing is 13MP and front facing is 2MP – matches Xperia Z again. 2GB RAM on board with microSD expansion options

7.22pm Upgraded user interface for home screen, Mr Bidan says.  Transluecent effect intro’d

7.20pm Ryan Bidan director of product marketing Samsung America: slimmer yet stronger, he says. 136.6mm long by 69.8mm wide, which is very thin, he says. Five inch screen with 130g weight. Full HD AMOLED screen, 441 ppi, boom – matches the Xperia Z

7.19pm Launching in 125 countries with 4G and 3G versions, Shin says.

7.17pm A device which is a life companion, he syas. And there it is – the Galaxy S4 has been announced.

7.16pm Improved security for work and leisure with Knox, he says, and cloud abilities, syncing music etc with Home Sync; Apple iCloud or Amazon anyone?

7.14pm Dual shot, Sound and Shot and Smart Scroll onscreen so far – there are those Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features we’ve been hearing about on the rumour mill.  Group Play is also on the projector – connecting multiple devices, Shin says.

7. 12pm JK Shin is on stage. Queue hoots. Saying much speculation over past few weeks about what he will unveil tonight. Samsung is listening and learning from people around the world about progress they want, he said.  The company has taken technology forward to help people live a richer and simpler life, he says.

7.10pm A welcome from Samsung’s Jeremy and his box-entrusting friend. Orchestra on stage, awaiting.  See our Twitter account for photos

7.08pm Ooh drums and blue light on stage. Hall is packed with journos and others…and here comes Jeremy, le sigh

7pm Some issues with Wifi sorry folks, main event about to start

6.35pm What Mobile reporting live from New York City’s Radio City here. Some Mask-type music playing and the stage is set…literally.


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