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Samsung Galaxy S4 could be iPhone competitor

March 15, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Much like Apple products of the past, Samsung unveiled its new Galaxy S 4 smartphone with much fanfare Friday in New York.

But unlike Apple's phones, the new Samsung has features its competitor doesn't have. For example, this phone offers "air gesture" that can sense when the user's finger is hovering over the screen, so you don't even need to touch the screen to interact with it. It has an infra-red sensor that looks for hand movements up to about 4 inches away from the phone, and it uses a front-side camera to figure out if it's in front of the user's face.

Front- and back-mounted cameras also allow you to simultaneously record yourself and your surroundings.

There's also smart pause, which uses facial recognition to determine if you're looking at the phone, so if you turn away, the video will stop and resume when you bring your eyes back to the phone.

At 5 inches, the S 4 also has a bigger screen than the S III, which has a 4.8-inch screen, and the iPhone 5, which has a 4-inch screen. The S 4 also has a faster processor.

The larger screen also means the phone is actually slightly narrower and thinner than the S III. The slimmer body meant there was more room for a larger battery -- 20 percent larger than the III's. But this may or may not translate into a longer battery life.

Now that eight out of 10 mobile phones purchased are smartphones, Apple and Samsung are duking it out for your dollars.

"I think this new phone is definitely going to fuel up the war between Apple and Samsung," said tech editor Joanna Stern.

When the Samsung Galaxy III was released last year, Samsung made sure to attack Apple's latest iPhone with critical TV ads.

"We don't know if that works, but it's definitely got people talking about Samsung," said Stern.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 will go on sale sometime between late April and the end of June, from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, US Cellular and Cricket. The phone companies will set the prices, but expect this phone to start at $200 with a two-year contract.

In the meantime, it is rumored that Apple is going to be coming out with a new iPhone -- or possibly two -- in the coming months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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