Samsung Galaxy S 4 Up Close and Hands-On Video

We spent some time with Samsung at their launch event for the brand new Galaxy S 4 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last night and were able to snap a few pictures and get some hands-on time with the new device. If you missed the original announcement, we’ve got the full scoop posted here.

Just to recap, the Galaxy S 4 sports a 5” (technically 4.99”) screen with a full 1080p resolution, a quad or octal-core SoC depending on the market, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, and a number of other tweaks and updates that allow for some interesting features. If you haven’t read our post covering the initial announcement, you really should check it out.

Although the device has a larger screen than the Galaxy S III, the S 4 is roughly the same height and width, thanks to thinner bezels all around. The S 4, however, is thinner and lighter than the S III. The S 4’s dimensions measure 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and it weighs in at 130g. According to Samsung, though the device is thinner and lighter, it is more ridged and stronger than the S III, due to tweaks in materials and design. The phone definitely felt good in the hand, but the security devices attached to them and the throng of people constantly jockeying to check out the phones made it impossible to really judge.

It was, however, easy to see how great the screen looked. At 5” with a resolution of 1920x1080, the pixel density on the Galaxy S 4’s screen works out to 441PPI. Couple those densely packed pixels with excellent brightness and vivid colors and the S 4’s screen is sure to impress. When placed side by side against a Note II and a Droid RAZR MAXX, and the superior clarity of the S 4’s screen was obvious and it appeared to display white backgrounds more accurately too.

The Galaxy S 4 is nice and thin at 7.9mm, and like the S III, it has a metallic band that runs along its edge. Button placement and configuration is the same as the S III as well. The band on the S 4 is reportedly stronger than the one used on the S III, though we’re not clear on what material is used to produce it. We should know more specifics soon as we get closer to the device’s U.S. launch.

The Galaxy S 4 is going to be offered in black or white initially, and like the S III, has a removable back cover so users can access the battery, SIM slot, and micro-SD expansion slot. We weren’t able to pull the device apart, but the finish on the cover seemed to be of a better quality than the S III. We should point out that under that cover lies a beefy 2,600mAh battery, which should offer decent life. It’s not quite as beefy as the 3,100mAh unit in the Note II, but it is much larger than the 2,100mAh of the similarly-sized S III.

The 13mp rear facing camera is also a nice upgrade, though there wasn’t much technical data shared at the event. The S 4’s camera software, however, offers a number of new features that allow both the front and rear facing cameras to be used simultaneously, so the person taking pics or video can be inserted into any shots being taken / recorded. The S4 also gives users the ability to embed audio into stills, should you want to send a message off to someone along with the picture.

We also shot some quick video during the brief time we got to actually hold the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and explore the device. Unfortunately, my camera’s mic apparently thought the foreign gentleman standing next to me had a nicer voice than mine as I’m completely drowned out by all of the noise going on around me. Regardless, you can still see just how the Galaxy S 4 fits in the hand and get a taste for its design aesthetic and thinness.