Samsung Galaxy S4: What we didn't get

The Galaxy S4 is here at last! But what rumoured features are notably absent from Samsung's new toy?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been given its first official airing, confirming that the company's next major mobile is a 5-inch blower with a 1080p screen, slimmer design and a 13-megapixel camera. It' also has a monsterously powerful processor and the ability to control on-screen action using your eyes, or by hovering your hands over the touchscreen.

There's a lot to like about the S4, but after months of rumours and speculation, what are the anticipated features we didn't get?

Samsung! Where is the bendy screen?!

Okay, so Samsung's effortlessly cool curved-display tech was never too likely to make it into the Galaxy S4, but that doesn't mean we're not a little disappointed to see that the S4's 5-inch HD Super AMOLED display is flat as a board.

The ' Youm ' flexible screen technology was shown off a few months ago, giving us a tempting glimpse of the shape of things to come. It's likely very expensive to build these displays though, so it's no surprise that they're not present in the Galaxy S4. Sigh.

Samsung! Where is the metal?!

Samsung split the tech world in twain when it revealed the plastic-fantastic Galaxy S3, with some loving its light, durable finish and others lusting for a classier, metal sheen on the new mobile.

With the Galaxy S4, Samsung has stuck with plastic for another year. That's good because it allows the S4 to be very thin and light despite its vast screen, but will irritate any phone fans who thinks plastic casings feels cheap or flimsy. I think plastic is a fine choice, but I'm sure there are plenty of observers out there gnashing their teeth at yet another oil-based flagship.

Samsung! Where is the no-physical-home-button?!

One early rumour concerning the Galaxy S4 was that Samsung would forego the home button that sits squarely underneath the screen, in favour of an all-virtual keyboard array, of the kind you can see on the Google Nexus 4.

The home button stays, however. That means that people used to using the Galaxy S3 and -- dare I say it -- the iPhone will feel right at home tapping this big, welcoming key to zip back to the S4's homescreen.

The bad news is that if there wasn't a honking great home button clogging up the works, there would be more room for screen, in theory at least. That would have made for a more compact mobile, but alas, it was not to be. Maybe next year, eh?

Samsung! Where is the, er...

To be honest, there's very little missing from the Galaxy S4, at least compared to what we were expecting. A bigger screen, faster chip, eye-tracking and a tonne of new camera features mean there's plenty to be excited about. My only real concern is that the sheer number of features aboard the S4 could make the phone itself overwhelming to use, especially if you're new to the world of smart phones.

Is there anything you were hoping to see on the Samsung Galaxy S4 but have been cruelly denied? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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