It is official! Samsung is going to make a ‘big announcement’ in New York in two weeks on March 14th, and all indications point at a new Samsung Galaxy device, maybe with other goodies, but the highlight of the moment will probably be the company’s next flagship device. Rumors of the SIV surfaced even before the dust of their current flagship smartphone the SIII died down last year. Since then, rumors of the specs of the SIV have been doing rounds and some fans of Android and Samsung have portrayed the much anticipated smartphone as some kind of god-device, a super phone that amalgamates all the features of the next generation of communication devices. But is this true?
One thing we know now is that Samsung has chosen to ditch their much publicized Exynos Octa processor and instead went for a quad core Snapdragon from Qualcomm. We also read of rumors that AMOLED display that got so much applause for clarity and performance in the Note II and SIII is no more, Samsung is choosing a different technology this time. Before we get to this though, what is the SIV?
A rumor carried in the Sam Mobile site carried the news of the specs of the SIV from a ‘reliable source’. The news site stated that the most anticipated smartphone is a major improvement from the SIII and will feature:
- 4.99 inch Full HD SoLux display
- A 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Choice of 26, 32 and 64 GB onboard memory
- 13 megapixels camera
- Home button with touch buttons on the face of the phone
- Removable battery
- To come in black and white colors initially
- Measures 140.1 x 71.8 x 7.7 mm, weighs 138 grams
However, just like many other rumors before, we have to take the news with a pinch of salt, not every rumor always turns out true.
Here is a picture of the SIV, apparently leaked by a ‘reliable source’. Notice that unlike the SIII which had a more rounded top and bottom, the SIV has a more square-ish shape showing that Samsung is letting go the organic shape that it build the Galaxy name upon and is adopting a whole new shape. Although the image is not clear, the rumor according to Sam Mobile says that the phone has aluminum sides but the back cover is plastic. If this is true, it is an indication that the battery of the phone is most likely removable and there will be a memory card slot somewhere.
Display: SoLux Technology
The Samsung Galaxy SIV comes with a 4.99 inch Full HD screen, but it is not Super AMOLED this time, it is said to be a SoLux screen. SoLux is a new display technology which surfaced in rumors in blogs awhile back. This LCD display technology was rumored to debut with the HTC One and is said to greatly improve the viewing angles, color accuracy and outdoor visibility compared to other LCDs including Super AMOLED. What we cannot be sure now though is whether this is over hyped or rebranded technology or it is what is touted to be.
No one would have expected Samsung to give up on Super AMOLED, especially since it is one of the most notable developments in mobile device technologies. However, with HD displays comes a new demand for better technology that can pack all those pixels densely together without compromising other great features of a mobile display. I know that it sounds crazy that Samsung would switch display technologies for something entirely new on a flagship smartphone but then it needs more pixels in an inch and a screen that uses less power.
A few months ago, there were rumors that Samsung was having problems with their production of Full HD Super AMOLED screens and were considering a switch to LCD. Not too long after this, a new rumor surfaced that Samsung had managed to come up with a new breakthrough display technology that utilizes diamond-shaped or hexagonal sub-pixels and not the more traditional rectangular shaped subpixels. This new development may be just what will change Full HD displays on mobile devices.
The SIV will be Samsung’s first smartphone to feature a Full HD display. Other companies such as HTC and LG have already debuted a full HD screen smartphone. Samsung cannot afford not to.
Processor: Snapdragon Replaces Exynos
That Samsung is ditching its own Exynos processor, which powers the international version of the Galaxy SIII for a processor from another company, is big news. It is almost credible now that the much publicized Samsung Exynos Octa processor, which was supposed to be the most advanced microprocessor technology designed for mobile phones and tablets. The main reason Samsung will not equip the SIV with an octa core processor is that the processor just cannot get enough power – and it is said to have heating issues. Rumor is that the excessive heat generation and the massive power consumption makes this processor unsuitable for use on devices relying on battery power. Samsung’s engineers have not been able to control these two major issues and have instead opted to go for Qualcomm’s quad-core chips.
If indeed SIV’s processing power is 1.9 GHz, then it will be 200 MHz faster than the processor that comes with its direct competitor HTC One. Samsung’s decision to go with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon may be a good thing for the company, considering that the SIII, which sold in excess of 100 million units, was powered by a processor from the same company. Consumers may not notice this much though, save for the quad-core factor and processor speed, but as long as the processor does not overheat and does not drain battery power, then it is a good decision.
The fight for the first spot of the most powerful smartphone is on, and HTC and LG seem to be the companies to have had a head start for the most powerful smartphone in the market 2013. Motorola is said to be developing a super phone, now just called Phone X and may be the one phone that will take on the market leaders at the moment. Samsung is prepping to launch the Galaxy SIV in two weeks and so far we haven’t heard an official word whether the company is even developing the device in the first place. For now though, it seems that we are in for many surprises this time.