The Samsung S 4 was released amid the hoopla that is normally reserved for a Paris Hilton underwear product launch; skits and Radio City Music Hall.  So does it live up to the hype?  Maybe. 
It’s a little lighter and thinner than the SIII, but at this point as with all the phones, how much lighter and thinner can they get?  So what are the really new features?

The screen and the camera lens quality have been updated.  That brings it even with Apple.

A dual camera is not new, but a feature of it is.  The camera that faces you can track your head movements and is used for the Air Gesture feature which allows you to control the phone without holding it.  It follows your head but does not yet have a vast array of functions.  You can answer the phone, flip pages and other rudimentary functions, but the exciting part is probably where the technology will end up; not necessarily where it is now.

S Translate is an interesting feature that allows you to translate signs and menus, which is great when you’re traveling in another country.  It will also translate text/copy that is typed or copy/pasted into it.  Currently nine languages are available.  This is playing a bit of catch up with Google Goggles.

Other apps include one that allows you to use your phone as your TV remote.  It works for most new TV’s and it provided enhanced information about the programming.  The phone also contains an optical reader which turns printed data into digital.  For example, a business card can be read and uploaded into a digital rolodex.

There are also upgrades to the voice command system.

All in all this is a strong phone that looks good and appeals to those who want a phone the size of a small television.  Apparently a lot of people want that.

The prevailing opinions on the new phone were that it is certainly an upgrade but not necessarily a game changer.  Most analysts felt they would hold, and maybe even increase their market share slightly, but that is not a game changing phone.

Thank you to and for providing the background for this article.