On the evening of March 14, the smartphone maker/Apple nemesis/James Franco employer Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S IV (commonly known as the S4). And even though Samsung claims that it's trying to keep its newest superphone a secret until next Thursday's event in New York City, details of the Galaxy S4 have been squirting out here and there like liquid from a leaky waterbed.

So, what should you expect when you're expecting a Galaxy S4? We've collected the most prominent and persistent rumors below. We'll know whether the S4 is an S-Score or an S-Bore in about a week, but until then, let's get on with the speculation.


The display on the Galaxy S III is huge, by most Americans' standards: 4.8 inches measured diagonally, with a 1280 x 720 resolution, for a pixel density of 306 pixels per inch. For the Galaxy S4, consensus seems to be that Samsung will venture even bigger, with a 5.0-inch display, a "full HD" resolution of 1920 x 1080, or 440 pixels per inch (higher ppi is better, though perhaps only to a point).

That 5-inch display would mean an enormous flagship smartphone for Samsung, whose first Galaxy Note with its 5.3-inch display, remember, was initially laughed at. (No one is laughing now.) It would mean that Samsung's superphone would once again hulk over Apple's, which features a just-enlarged 4.0-inch display.

galaxy s4 invite

Now, we don't yet know if a bigger display will necessitate a larger or heavier phone. We're assuming that, design-wise, the GS4 will look similar to the Galaxy S III, but thus far no reliable spy-shots of the device have surfaced, nor have any reliable rumors about the device's dimensions or weight.


We're pretty sure the Galaxy S4 will come with a beefier processor than the GS3; it is, at this point, a question of how much beefier. (If only I had a dollar for every time I've asked that question...).

There are dueling rumors here: The first, and more plausible, is that the GS4 will sport a 1.8GHz quad-core processor, up from the 1.4 GHz quad-core processor on the GS3. There are also whispers that the latest Galaxy will be among the first smartphones with an 8-core processor, though that breakthrough might be reserved for the forthcoming Galaxy Note III.

For now, forget processor cores and benchmarks and GPU whatnots: Just count on the Galaxy S4 being faster than the Galaxy S3.


"For Newest Samsung Phone, Eye-Tracking"? The New York Times recently reported that a new feature coming to the Galaxy S4 would allow the phone's camera to watch your eyes as you read articles on the web, and scroll down automatically when it sensed your eyeballs had reached the bottom of the page.

A screenshot of what is supposedly the Settings screen on the GS4 seemed to confirm this "eye scrolling" rumor.

galaxy s4

The supposed homescreen of the Galaxy S4, next to what is apparently its newest feature, eye scrolling.

Given the reliability of the NYT, and the screenshot from the well-regarded blog GSM Israel, this rumor is clearly nothing to scroll your eyes at.

You can view several more alleged screenshots from the GS4 here, on GSM Israel. WARNING: The page is in Hebrew, so you'll have to not understand what's being written from right to left.


A lot of Samsung watchers seem to think that the rear camera on the Galaxy S4 will be upgraded to 13 megapixels from 8 megapixels. Remember, though, that the number of megapixels in your camera does not determines its quality. (Even if the GS4 "only" has an 8 megapixel camera, I'd expect the camera to improve, since that's just something that happens from generation to generation on top-tier smartphones).

Also commonly mentioned are 2GB RAM and Android Jelly Bean 4.2 with Samsung's TouchWiz software on top. I also heavily suspect that the Galaxy S4 will include an omnipresent, expensive advertising blitz, but that's pure conjecture on my part.


Though many of the details about the Galaxy S4 appear to have slipped out, there's a good chance that Samsung still has some surprises in store for its March 14 reveal. We still haven't seen a photo, or even a mockup of the device. Samsung also likely has more new features to show off, given the way it has expanded on its software at past smartphone unveilings.

HuffPostTech will be there, of course, covering the entire thing, so make sure to check back next Thursday for all the real, actual details of what Samsung hopes will be its next big thing.

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  • Motorola Droid Razr

    NOVEMBER 2011 The beginning of Android Insanity 2012, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/motorola-droid-razr-review_n_1132830.html">original Droid Razr was released in November 2011</a>. It would be all but obsolete by February, with the release of the Droid Razr Maxx. <blockquote>Weight: 4.48 ounces Display: 4.3 inches, 256 ppi, 540 x 960 pixels Processor: dual-core, 1.2 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery 12.5 hours talk, 1,780 mAH Operating system: Android 2.3 Gingerbread (initially) </blockquote> Keep your eye on these specs: the operating system, the battery life, the processor speed, the RAM and the display size. All will increase as we move forward in time. Onward!

  • Google Galaxy Nexus by Samsung

    DECEMBER 2011 At the beginning of the year, the Galaxy Nexus was probably <em>the</em> Android smartphone to own. It was the first phone with Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich, and would remain so for several more months; it came with a large (at the time!) beautiful display and a quick processor. It was a summation of what Android could be and a preview of the direction of the OS, especially in terms of display size and quality. (Remember the number 316 pixels-per-inch on the display, or PPI; the higher the PPI, the better. You're going to see this number increase from the 200s to a mandatory 300+ number as 2012 progresses). <blockquote>Weight: 4.76 ounces Display: 4.65 inches, 720 x 1,280 pixels, 316 ppi Processor: dual-core, 1.2 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 17.66 hours talk time, 1,750 mAh Operating system: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich -- first phone with ICS)</blockquote> Yes, as we celebrated New Year's Eve 2012, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/18/galaxy-nexus-features-release-date-samsung-google-android_n_1018863.html" target="_hplink">Galaxy Nexus was the superphone of superphones</a>. Until...

  • Samsung Galaxy Note

    FEBRUARY 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: Screen size, screen size, screen size.</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 6.28 ounces Display: 5.3 inches, 800 x 1,280 pixels, 285 ppi Processor: dual-core, 1.4 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 26 hours, 2,500 mAh OS: Gingerbread, upgraded to ICS </blockquote> The 4.65-inch display on the Galaxy Nexus (previous slide) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/galaxy-note-review-samsung-smartphone-tablet-technology_n_1285219.html" target="_hplink">seemed positively gargantuan at the end of 2011</a>; today, it's something like mid-size, thanks to a revolution in large displays brought about by Samsung and its Galaxy Note. Popularly referred to as a "phablet" (half-phone, half-tablet), the Note is noteworthy (see what I did there?) mainly for its size. Its pixel density (ppi) remains relatively low, as does its weak battery life (though the Note featured a large battery, it did not prove large enough to power the first Note for a satisfactory length, per many reviewers). Mostly, you see, we're highlighting the Note for its mammoth, made-for-man-hands screen size. Though none but Samsung would match the sheer enormity of the Note (more on that to follow), competitors would follow Samsung's lead in the race to get huge. At this point, remember, Apple's iPhone had a 3.5-inch display; one way Android manufacturers differentiated themselves from that phone, certainly, was in screen size. While few were willing to top 4.3 inches before 2012, after New Year's Eve, every single Android superphone (save February's Droid Razr Maxx) would top 4.5 inches. Speaking of which...

  • Motorola Droid Razr Maxx

    FEBRUARY 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/battery-life-champions-smartphones-_n_2064599.html" target="_hplink">Battery life</a>. Also, a willingness by the manufacturer to release an entirely new smartphone just four months after its initial release, heralding an era of incredibly truncated phone release cycles. </strong> <blockquote>Weight: 5.11 ounces Display: 4.30 ounces, 540 x 960 pixels, 256 ppi Processor: dual-core, 1.2 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 21.6 hours, 3,300 mAh OS: Android 2.3 gingerbead (now ICS) </blockquote> This isn't really a tale of Motorola setting the pace for other Android makers so much as it is Motorola upgrading its own smartphone incredibly quickly, to the chagrin of early adopters. The Razr Maxx was a bit heavier and thicker than the original -- which had just come out, remember, four months before -- and the screen, processor and OS remained constant. The battery on the Maxx, however, was so much better than the battery on the original that it's really not even worth comparing the two. The battery life on the Razr Maxx remains, <a href="http://blog.gsmarena.com/nokia-lumia-920-goes-through-our-battery-tests-heres-how-it-did/" target="_hplink">by most measures</a>, the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/02/battery-life-champions-smartphones-_n_2064599.html" target="_hplink">best of any smartphone you can buy today</a>.

  • HTC One X

    MAY 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: An increase in screen size; one of the first phones with a quad-core processor, rather than a dual-core processor; shift to Android 4.0, or "Ice Cream Sandwich," rather than Android 2.3, or "Gingerbread."</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 4.55 ounces Display: 4.7 inches, 720 x 1,280 pixels, 312 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.5 GHz (international); dual-core, 1.5 GHz 1GB RAM (in America) Battery: 8.50 hours, 1,800 mAh OS: Ice Cream Sandwich</blockquote> HTC's flagship phone for the first half of 2012 was the One X, <a href="http://smartphones.findthebest.com/l/249/HTC-One-X">widely renowned for its top-notch camera</a> and excellent 4.7-inch screen. The One X <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/htc-one-x-review_n_1467562.html">was one of the first smartphones</a> to have a quad-core (as opposed to dual-core) processor, though that feature was not compatible with 4G LTE in the United States; it was also one of the earliest to ship with Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) rather some flavor of Android Gingerbread (2.3). The quad-core processor, the enlarged 4.70-inch screen and the terrific camera made the One X stand out (but only for about six months, until HTC released an even better One X phone).

  • Samsung Galaxy S III

    JUNE 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: Bigger display; speed, touchscreen responsiveness improvements; faster processor; bigger battery.</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 4.69 ounces Display: 4.8 inches, 720 x 1,280, 306 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.4 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 22.50 hours, 2,100 mAh OS: Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich </blockquote> <a href="http://bgr.com/2012/12/04/the-best-smartphones-of-2012-verizon-wireless/" target="_hplink">Heralded by many as the best smartphone of the year</a>, the Galaxy S III does not, on paper, seem too impressive. Other phones have crisper displays, faster processors, better cameras and longer battery life. The Galaxy S III, however, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/galaxy-s3-review-samsungs_n_1612487.html" target="_hplink">packaged above-average numbers for all these specs</a>, combined with what was probably the smoothest touchscreen experience on an Android phone yet. It also packed in several intriguing, innovative apps available only from Samsung (see: <a href="http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxys3/smartstay.html" target="_hplink">Smart Stay</a>, <a href="http://www.samsung.com/us/support/supportOwnersHowToGuidePopup.do?howto_guide_seq=7042&prd_ia_cd=N0000003&map_seq=48157" target="_hplink">S Beam</a>) and a 4.8-inch screen that was viewed as humongous for a flagship phone when it was unveiled.

  • Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD

    OCTOBER 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: Yet another Razr in 2012! Operating system updated; larger and better display.</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 5.54 ounces Display: 4.7 inches, 720 x 1,280, 312 ppi Processor: dual-core, 1.5 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 21.00 hours, 3,300 mAh OS: Ice Cream Sandwich </blockquote> Surprise! Three flagship Droid Razr phones in under a year? It happened in 2012. Motorola's Droid Razr Maxx HD does not achieve the marathon battery life of the non-HD version, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/19/droid-razr-hd-and-razr-maxx-hd-review/" target="_hplink">per tests</a>, though it still rates highly. The Maxx HD improves upon the Maxx in other areas, though: The screen is larger (4.7 inches vs. 4.3 inches); the display is far crisper (312 ppi vs. 256 ppi, a significant gap); and the processor is more powerful (1.5 GHz vs. 1.2 GHz). We can see the move to larger, crisper screens and bulked-up processors here; the camera on the Razr Maxx HD is also an improvement from previous generations.

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II

    OCTOBER 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: Almost everything. </strong> <blockquote>Weight: 6.42 ounces Display: 5.55 inches, 720 x 1,280 pixels, 265 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.6 GHz, 2GB RAM Battery: 35 hours, 3,100 mAh OS: Android 4.1, Jelly Bean </blockquote> The big get bigger. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/05/galaxy-note-ii-review-samsung-_n_2010911.html">Eight months after the Note came the Note II</a>, with a larger and more beautiful screen, a faster processor, a better battery, a more competitive camera and a newer operating system. <a href="http://smartphones.findthebest.com/l/356/Samsung-Galaxy-Note-II" target="_hplink">Reviewers were impressed</a> with its absence of touchscreen lag and improved browsing speed as well. An improvement in almost every way on the first Note, the Note II not only boosted the acceptable screen size even closer to six inches, it also <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/08/samsung-galaxy-note-ii-review/" target="_hplink">shifted the perception of how fast an Android smartphone</a> could run. The quad-core processor? The 2GB RAM? These were about to become standard on Android superphones. Less than a year before, they represented pipe dreams.

  • HTC One X+

    NOVEMBER 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: Updated just six months after release of original.</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 4.76 ounces Display: 4.70 inches, 720 x 1,280, 312 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.7 GHz, 1GB RAM Battery: 2,100 mAh OS: Android 4.1, Jelly Bean </blockquote> In America, the first One X came out in May. Six months later, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/02/htc-one-x-plus-tegra-3-android-jelly-bean-sense-4-plus/" target="_hplink">HTC updated it with the One X+</a>. The processor increased from dual-core to quad-core; battery life was greatly improved; and the One X+ shipped with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, rather than Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

  • HTC Droid DNA

    NOVEMBER 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: It's all about the display. </strong> <blockquote>Weight: 4.87 ounces Display: 5.0 inches, 1,080 x 1,920 pixels, 441 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.5 GHz, 2GB RAM Battery: 12.80 hours, 2,020 mAh OS: Android 4.1, Jelly Bean </blockquote> The final four great Android smartphones of 2012 measured in with displays of 5.5 inches, 4.70 inches, 5.0 inches (on this, the Droid DNA) and, again, 4.70 inches. <a href="http://www.redmondpie.com/htc-droid-dna-announced-features-a-monstrous-5-inch-1080p-display-lte-and-more/" target="_hplink">Here we can see what top-of-the-line tech specs will get you</a>: A 5.0-inch display with 441 pixels per inch, the highest ever on a smartphone; a quad-core processor, now seemingly standard on top-tier Android devices; a battery that measures above 2,000 mAh, to ensure that 4G LTE and the oversized displays don't diminish battery life too greatly; and a version of Android that is 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher.

  • LG/Google Nexus 4

    NOVEMBER 2012 <strong>WHAT CHANGED: From one year ago, almost everything.</strong> <blockquote>Weight: 4.90 ounces Display: 4.7 inches, 768 x 1280 pixels, 318 ppi Processor: quad-core, 1.5 GHz, 2GB RAM Battery: 15.30 hours, 2,100 mAh OS: Jelly Bean 4.2 </blockquote> The Nexus 4 -- the followup to the Galaxy Nexus, and the fourth installment of Google's Nexus series, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Nexus" target="_hplink">which Google produces annually to show what an Android phone can be</a> -- is notable <a href="http://thenextweb.com/google/2012/10/29/google-announces-android-4-2-for-nexus-a-new-flavor-of-jelly-bean-with-gesture-typing-multiple-users/" target="_hplink">mostly for including Android 4.2</a>, which makes it the slickest and most responsive Android device to date. Otherwise, you see a lot more of what we have come to expect from Android smartphones in the latter half of 2012: weight below 5 ounces; a display in the upper-4-inch range with a ppi above 300; a quad-core processor with 2GB RAM; a battery above 2,000 mAh. Compared to the Galaxy Nexus, probably December 2011's best Android smartphone, each of these specs has been increased, amplified or advanced in a tangible, observable way. The camera: better. The display: bigger. The processor: faster. RAM: increased. Battery: longer-lasting. Those are the smartphone qualities, I think, that have been most obviously augmented over the year (as well as a manufacturer's willingness to quickly turn around a sequel). Obviously, this can translate into other, less numerical enhancements -- phones are "faster," "smoother," "more enjoyable." But if you are looking for the concrete areas of improvement, there they are. It leaves us to ponder, once again, two questions: In what ways will Android smartphones be constantly improving in 2013? And just how many Droid Razrs will Motorola release this time around?