• Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 in highly produced event


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- Technology gurus descended upon YouTube Thursday night in hopes of learning more about the much anticipated Samsung Galaxy S4.

    The unveiling featured a very humorous narrated explanation of the phone's features.

    The Galaxy S 4, which crams a 5-inch screen into body slightly smaller than the S III's, will go sale globally in the April to June period.

    In the U.S., it will be sold by all four national carriers — Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile USA — as well as by smaller ones US Cellular and Cricket.

    Samsung didn't say what the phone will cost, but it can be expected to start at $200 with a two-year contract in the U.S.

    JK Shin, the executive in charge of Samsung's mobile communications division, promised the money would be well spent for a "life companion" that will "improve the way most people live every day."

    That bold promise set the tone for the kind of flashy presentation associated with the showmanship of Apple, the company that Samsung has been trying to upstage. Apple contends Samsung has been trying to do it by stealing its ideas — an allegation has triggered bitter courtroom battles around the world.

    In the last two years, Samsung has emerged as Apple's main competitor in the high-end smartphone market. At the same time, it has sold enough inexpensive low-end phones to edge out Nokia Corp. as the world's largest maker of phones.

    Here are some of the features that users will likely find appealing:

    - Smart Scroll - This wasn't quite what it was rumored to be, but is still an interesting feature. The phone will automatically pause videos when the user turns away from the scene and begins again when they look back at it. Rather than manually scrolling through articles, users can tilt the screen to scroll up or down text. Another feature will allow users to answer their phone by simply waving their hand past the screen.

    - HomeSync- A cloud system that allows up to eight people to share photographs and other data across their devices.

    - Adapt Display - The phone's screen will adjust its brightness and other visual elements based upon what the user is doing on the phone.

    - Story Album feature - Users can package photos alongside text. They can then create hard copies of the album.

    - S Translator - Headed to a foreign country? Galaxy S4 owners can leave their pocket dictionary behind. The traveler can speak English into their phone and the phone will translate and ask the question in country's native language. If you can't connect to wi-fi while abroad, the phone already has 3,000 pre-embedded sentences.

    - Eraser feature - Erase unwanted parts of the photo, no PhotoShop needed.

    - Group Play - Among the more entertaining features, Group Play allows users to share music and play them simultaneously on up to eight phone. Users can share the music by simply tapping the phones together, a feature made famous in Samsung's television ads.

    - S Voice Drive - Similar to Apple's Siri, users can dictate e-mails to their phone, respond to text messages, and even answer phone calls.

    - Samsung Knox - Want to keep your work and play separate? The Galaxy S4 comes with a feature that keeps work items, such as e-mails, separate from personal data.

    Next Up: