The Galaxy S IV is the talk of the town lately with its reported upcoming release (or announcement) happening on March 14. As we get closer to the date, more and more “leaked” images will appear for us to speculate over, and today is no different as leaked images have surfaced of more “Smart” features that Samsung is rumored to incorporate with the Galaxy S IV, and I for one am torn between the new features being more innovative or gimmicky.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited for the Galaxy S IV. The Galaxy S III was (and still is) a fantastic and relevant device, so I can only imagine just how amazing the Galaxy S IV will be in its entirety. I mean, this commercial even shows that a blinding light is omitted from the box as you open it, and that only happens either when something really good or really shiny is inside. If I open a box for a Galaxy S IV and the blinding light doesn’t happen, I’m going to be really disappointed. But that’s a story for another day. While I’m excited for the overall release of the device, I’m becoming a little skeptical of the “key” features that I’m seeing leaked.

Assuming the images are true, the Galaxy S IV is supposed to feature something called Smart Scrolling, which follows your eyes and scrolls for you so you don’t have to lift a finger. I had to ponder this one for a little while because I really had to think where this would be that useful. I think the only time this would truly be useful is when I do most of my reading up on the news before I go to bed, but even then it probably wouldn’t work as I’m sure the device needs light in order for the camera to detect where my eyes are moving like it does with Smart Stay, a feature introduced with the Galaxy S III. Also, as addressed by many, I’m skeptical on how battery life will be affected if the camera is on at all times – not to mention any paranoia I have had in the past about a camera secretly watching me certainly won’t be settled by using this device.

In addition to Smart Scrolling you also have Smart Pause, which is said to pause a video when you turn your head away and un-pauses whenever your head faces the phone again. At first I thought, “Oh hey, that’s kind of cool.” But then I thought about the repercussions these new features could lead us to.  I know this is just Samsung being innovative, but my phone has already enabled me enough as it is. I no longer have to get up and go to my computer to check websites that I frequent, I don’t have to memorize phone numbers (which is super handy in the case of an emergency, let me tell you), and I don’t even have to do so much as hold my phone up to my face and command Siri to do something for me if I so please. Our computers, or smartphones, are the new slave, and I’d be lying through my teeth if some of this didn’t scare me just a little bit. Yeah, you have the option to turn them off, but then why pay for more than you need?

Samsung is doing a good job of making a commotion about this product. I suspect the success of the Galaxy S III plays a big part in the anticipation surrounding this device, not to mention these new features that are actually new. I’ll give Samsung a hand for being innovative and thinking outside the box. Any time I try to think of what more my phone could possibly do I always come up empty-handed, so kudos to them for paving the pathway towards the future.

I do realize that there are certain things that a company needs to do in order to stand out from the crowd, and what’s another smartphone with the same specs we’ve already seen over and over again? People would be very disappointed if Samsung released a Galaxy S IV with the same features, higher specs, and a slightly differential hardware design. Naturally coming up with new features they can call their own is necessary for piquing interest in the device, but I’m a cynical person and I can’t help but find these concepts a little gimmicky.

All skepticism aside, if Samsung can make the features work with the rest of the product (I’m talking battery life, efficiency, and accessibility) then I can easily see this device being just as successful, if not more successful than the Galaxy S III. I could very well be wrong about the functionality of these features and just not thinking about how well they work through the eyes of somebody actually using the device; it kind of goes back to my theory that, much like the increased memory in our devices, you won’t use it until you have it. 

Readers, what are your feelings on these features from the Galaxy S IV? Are all the “Smart” features too smart, or are they something you look forward to using? Share your opinions with me in the comments!  

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the Samsung Galaxy S IV (Beta)

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46 Reactions to this post

"Do you think the rumored features on the Samsung Galaxy S IV are innovative, gimmicky, or both?"

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Sameed Qureshi "People would be very disappointed if Samsung released a Galaxy S IV with the same features, higher specs, and a slightly differential hardware design." Apple's iPhone evolution in a nutshell.
Brain Roopull Someone else kinda' stole my thunder... Most of the capabilities these phones have seem like gimmicks simply because most people have no actual NEED for a smartphone. That being said, if my phone knew I was still reading and KNEW when I reached the bottom of the page so it a) wouldn't turn off the backlight and b) would scroll to the next page, that's not a gimmick. That's freakin' awesome. I don't NEED to read a lot on my smartphone, but when I do, those two issues are the most annoying. Way to go Samsung! (BTW, just switched FROM a Sammy to an HTC. HTC is better at the phone part of the smartphone in my opinion. Much better.)
Juwon Donte I'm sticking with my galaxy s3 until the note 3 comes out.. Why would I want an s4 when all they did was add a couple of new gimmicks
Anthony Evans Jr better then apple
Micah Ryan Caffey Well.. if you don't like the features.. TURN THEM OFF.. This phone will blow the iphone outta the water anyway
Josef Ruiz Gimmick or innovation. Someone's bound to make use of it regardless as long as its there. Talent Trust - Offshore with a difference
Ahnonny Nguyen i love half the people here who claim this is a "gimmick". So. . . you don't see the potential behind this smart scroll feature? You know, this crazy thing called the "touch screen" looked "gimmicky" back in 2007. Oh this "tablet" craze back in 2010 was just a gimmick too. I rather have a new feature on my phone then nothing at all*ahem iphone5sucks
Benjamin Wong It's always gimmicks for people who don't have it or it doesn't work for them. If one day Samsung decided to share the source codes for smart stay and all these "gimmicks", I'm sure you guys won't be calling it that anymore.
Joseph Alan Richardson S4 is cool but the main reason I don't/won't buy it is because it feels 'cheap'. My next phone will be another nexus if its not plasticy. Hopefully it will be made by Motorola like the rumour have been saying
Raiyan Hishamuddin Useless and gimmicky
Randy Walker Sr. Could be a little gimmicky, but hard to tell until we actually have our hands on the device to see how functional those gimmicks really are.
Mark Belkowski I want to know if the rumor of tmobile getting this first by the end of the month is true or not?
Eduardo Ordaz Sammy rules people.
David M Tadros Samsung is a gimmicky company and alway will be!
Fazeel Ahmed innovation and to all who are complaing about smart stay dont know how to use it. it works perfectly on my note 2..and only thing is that it cant be used in the dark since the camera can't see the eyes. dont ask questions simply wait and watch.
Willie Lucero So far with the rumors, I'm not impressed, it's the galaxy s3 with a couple new extra features, faster processor, same cartoon looking ui, bigger screen etc
Steve Johns Innovative for sure
Anthony Tat its all gimmick but its cool to have. how many of the things we have today are things we actually need? i think its stupid though that a korean company made a feature that relies on the eyes. can they even use it?? i probably couldnt
Matt Peters Bye bye battery life.
David Juarez The direct call and some of their core features I like. I never use smart stay or some of the motion ones. I'm definitely keeping my s3 for another year or two. No reason to blow another 600+$ on a new phone when mine is 6 months new.
Rich Field Who the he'll would use an eye scroll feature what happens if you look away?
Nathan Parks Half and half. I hate the swipe to screen shot and tap to go to the top of a list. Loved direct call and smart stay.
Ric Rush The System UI is dark/black on the S 3. I hope they keep it like that. Not keen on that grey/white UI up there
Muayyad Zohair Al Mulla They want to turn people into robots....
Ken Rowe I think the Galaxy Sx is a security risk.
Matt Penner Correct me if I'm wrong, but the S3 announcement event was around the first week of May 2012, and it was released at the very end of the May 2012, right? I wonder if we can expect that same 4 week difference with the S4? Sidenote> UI doesn't matter as much as hardware anyways. We can fix the UI with a custom UI. Can't fix cheap build quality, built in poor battery or unexpandable memory. I hope this phone ends up solid.
Tod Blauer It'll be too smart if it becomes self aware and realizes I'm giving it a raw deal.
Jose Morales I still think its far too early for a Galaxy S4. People will feel like Apple customers by thinking the S3 they got last year will be obsolete
Darrell Wax Plastic crap.
Jason Jeong first of all fix that ugly UI
Yan Zhenghao plastiky
Iliana Villalta ehh it's blahh
Alberto Garcia Flores It's innovative, some ppl just don't have the lifestyle that requires innovation. 99% of the ppl don't need a smartphone because they don't have use for it.
Lance Bell i can see some problems with a few of em. lol. People prob wont use them after first 4 days of showing their friends to wow them.
Reese Woodson I think both........
Steve Bachman It's all a bunch of gimmicky crap that 99% of the people will never use!
Eddy Ammar Nice interface!
Joe Czo Smart stay never worked on my gs3! But if Sammy gets it right this time it's innovation for sure :)
Jason Vargas Innovation.
Eric Mitchell Gimmick.
Mark J F Makinika Smart Stay in S3 is not working at ALL!!!! :((
Kenneth Maneeley Innovation!

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