It was exactly one week ago that we first caught a glimpse of Samsung's "Black Edition" Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S 4 mini handsets on the company's Russian website. While the machine translation was a little rough, we learned that the two handsets had traded in the plastic backsides of the original S 4 and S 4 mini for faux leather, similar to what's found on the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung has now decided to shed a bit more light on these Black Edition phones by giving them a proper announcement.
Just as we originally suspected, the Black Edition Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S 4 mini are fairly similar to their non-Black Edition counterparts, though there are a few extra goodies included to help make them a little special. The most notable change is the "leather-like" rear cover, which Samsung says gives the phones a "distinct and refined design" that will help owners of these phones to better express their style.
Along with their new faux leather backsides, the Black Edition Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S 4 mini come in special black packaging and include black accessories like a charger, USB cable and headphones. The Black Edition add-ons even extend to the devices' software, as Samsung has loaded the phones with 8 special wallpapers as well as some new ringtones.
These Black Edition phones may not be radically different from the regular Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S 4 mini, but their leathery backsides do make them look a bit classier and probably help them to feel better in the hand than the plasticky back panels found on the original units. Most hardcore smartphone fans will likely pass on them since we're so close to the unveiling of the Galaxy S5, but these Black Edition Galaxy S 4 phones could be worth consideration for shoppers that don't always need the latest and greatest, especially since the Galaxy S 4's spec list is still fairly respectable at this point.
Samsung says that the Black Edition Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S 4 mini will launch in "select markets" starting in February. No pricing details were given.
Via Samsung Tomorrow