After a mini-Broadway show at a very glamorous Radio City Music Hall in New York, Samsung finally released a lighter, faster, better version of its popular Galaxy S III smart phone on Thursday night, the much anticipated Samsung Galaxy S IV — an "iPhone killer" that also happens to have a ton of goofy, useless bells and whistles. The phone itself looks like a slick, fast piece of hardware. The rest of it, however, seems a bit gimmicky: How much of the photo-and-music things can one phone user actually use? We'll have to see, but a lot of the predictions we mustered from Samsung trademarks did come true at a predictably (but weirdly sexist) launch event, with features such as Group Play and S Translator. You can read all about them in our live-blog recap from on the scene below.
Original post: Just in case you didn't know, Samsung has a big deal Galaxy S IV to announce, Apple's biggest competition has put together a very lavish Unpacked event at Radio City Music Hall this evening for the gadget's unveiling. The rumorers think they've already uncovered most of what will be showcased at the event. However, history teaches us that the rumorers always think they've uncovered most of what will be showcased at events like this. Stand by for live updates.
Update (7:24 p.m.) - The specs are in and they're impressive. The 5-inch screen sports a 1920 x 1080 resolution with 441 pixels per inch, and it's thin enough with its 7.9mm body to warrant the tagline, "Less to hold, more to see." The basic look is the same and it comes in both "white frost" and "black mist," some fun names for normal phone colors. The Galaxy S4, of course, supports 4G LTE service and will be lightning fast with 2 gigabytes of RAM. The camera is also impressive with 14 megapixels. Like many smartphones, it'll come with 16, 32 or 64 gigabyte of storage.
Update (7:32 p.m.) - A few moments after the emcee proudly announced that "we're in the greatest theater in New York," Broadway performers stormed onstage. That's right. There's a ballerina and a whole show. This is weird. We're learning about the phone through a play, it's very dramatic.
Update (7:35 p.m.) - First we learn about the camera situation, which in addition to the nice 14 mega pixels has some kitschy add ons. The dual camera (which also works during phone calls) allows people to put themselves in photos they are taking:
Another feature Sound & Shot lets people add sound to photos, kind of like a sound-gram. It's something that you might want to send to grandma, our little Broadway performers remind us. Another called Drama Shot "allows you to see all the action in one continuous time-lapse" and yet another Story Album "puts photos from one place in one spot." And the last one the aptly named Eraser allows people to delete errors out of pics. See: So many features!
Update (7:42 p.m.) - Next we move onto the abroad version of our presentation. The phone translates thing, which sounds like something Google Glass is supposed to do.
Update (7:46 p.m.) - The Wall Street Journal's Spencer Ante already has a hands on and he finds it very gimmicky, which doesn't surprise considering all these cheesy features.
Update (7:47 p.m.) - For the business-people readers, Samsung introduces Knox, which keeps things "separate and safe." Honestly, there are just too many of these features to care about. But, there are also TV and music control things.
Update (7:53 p.m.) - This event has verged on offensive? Using a group of bridesmaids, Samsung has decided to show all the female oriented things. Like Air Gesutre, which is great for women who don't want to touch the phone while using a recipe. Or a video pause feature that allows a distracted lady to take photos of hot men with their shirts off, just to give an example. Also, we obviously learned about the health feature S Health here because "weight-loss" one woman literally screamed.
Update (7:54 p.m.) And to wrap it up, here are some of the other "fun" features the phone sports: It has a lot of gesture controls that may or may not prove useful. In addition to Air Gesture it has Air View, in which the phone responds with a tilting motion. "You can change the music track, scroll up and down a web page, or accept a call with a wave of your hand," explains the press release. Also Samsung Adapt Display and Samsung Adapt sound give personalized viewing windows and listening levels.