Samsung developing yet another version of the Galaxy SIV
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Samsung developing yet another version of the Galaxy SIV

Don’t panic, the company may well be preparing a sixth variant of its flagship phone but it won’t make existing versions obsolete or any less useful.

gadgets Updated: Jun 18, 2013 18:28 IST
Galaxy SIV,Samsung,Apple

Don’t panic, the company may well be preparing a sixth variant of its flagship phone but it won’t make existing versions obsolete or any less useful.

The handset in question will quite possibly be named the Galaxy SIV Advance and will offer the fastest up-and-down-stream mobile internet connection of any phone ever made. But, to do so, it will need to connect to a 4G LTE-Advanced network. Currently, according to All Things D such networks are pretty much still in their conceptual stages.

However, this hasn’t in any way prevented Samsung’s co-CEO, JK Shin, from talking up the product. “We’ll be the first with the commercial launch of the advanced 4G version of the smartphone,” Shin told Reuters. “The new LTE-Advanced (4G) phone will be another addition to our high-end segment offerings that ensure healthy profit margins.”

That high-end already includes the Samsung Galaxy SIV, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Mini, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Google Edition, the Samsung Galaxy SIV Active and the Samsung Galaxy SIV Zoom.

Compare that with Apple’s current flagship range, which runs to a single device, the iPhone 5.

So which version of the SIV is the right for you?

Galaxy SIV
A no-nonsense device that pairs a remarkably fast processor with a full HD 4.99-inch AMOLED display and a 13-megapixel camera. It also runs the latest version of Android and is packed with a number of Samsung features, such as smart pause (videos stop when the user isn’t looking at the screen) and a host of apps and features developed by Samsung and housed within the device’s custom user interface skin. That’s also a potential downside for some. Samsung’s extra features are not to everyone’s taste and many of them will probably never be used by the majority of owners.

The standard Galaxy SIV offers serious internal specifications and a 5-inch full-HD display. Photo: AFP

Google Edition
If Samsung’s additions put you off, this is the perfect device. It only runs stock Android so there are no software-based bells or whistles, just the operating system itself plus whichever apps the user chooses to install.

Easier to handle thanks to its smaller size – it has a 4.3-inch screen making it roughly the same size as the latest iPhone. However, by making the device smaller, Samsung has had to strip out some of its internals. So memory goes down to 8GB and the processor from quad- to a dual-core.

The Mini boasts a 4.3-inch display, 8GB of RAM, the latest version of Android and a dual-core processor making it a mid-range phone by the full-size SIV's own lofty standards. Photo: AFP

Slightly heavier than the standard SIV but much more rugged. This is the handset for people who like the great outdoors and want a reliable smartphone to take on their adventures. It is water- and dust-resistant and features a number of special apps such as a barometer and compass. On the inside it keeps the power and processing speed of the standard SIV.

The standard SIV in a toughened shell that can survive being underwater up to a depth of 1 meter for as long as 30 minutes. Photo: AFP

From the front it looks identical to the Mini but from the rear, it looks like a standalone digital camera, and that’s because it is. Aimed at users who want to take stunning photos and want a reliable smartphone at the same time, the Zoom offers reasonable internal specifications plus a 10x optical zoom lens for insane 16-megapixel stills photography. Like the Active, it also features a number of tailor-made apps and settings to make the most of its photo-taking capabilities.

The Zoom is essentially a mid-range smartphone glued to a very good digital camera with a massive optical zoom lens. For those that put photography above all other forms of communication. Photo: AFP

First Published: Jun 18, 2013 17:44 IST