Samsung Galaxy S4 coming in May, could ditch home button

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S4 -- and has Samsung ditched the home button? An official source says we won't know until May.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Is this the Samsung Galaxy S4 -- and has Samsung ditched the home button? We may have to wait until May to find out, as Samsung apparently confirms a release date for the next generation of Android powerhouse.

That's if we believe Samsung Lebanon, which told a Facebook fan that the S4 "won't be released before May 2013".

Meanwhile a purported "insider at Samsung" sent the above snap to SamMobile, claiming it's the follow-up to the Galaxy S3. It does look similar to the S3 design-wise, and seeing as that's shifted a phone or two I can see Samsung sticking with the formula -- with one massive change.

Unlike the S3 and the rest of the Galaxy range, there's no home button at the bottom. Could this mean the S4 will be completely touchscreen, with on-screen buttons only? That would certainly distinguish the S4 from its bitterest rival, the iPhone 5.

The bezel also looks thinner than that on the S3, hinting it'll either take up less space in your pocket -- or that's a bigger screen. Standing 4.8-inches across, the S3 wasn't exactly dinky, but rumours peg the S4 at closer to the 5-inch mark. The trend is for bigger phones right now, and I imagine that from Samsung's point of view the smaller it makes the iPhone look, the better.

The alleged S4 also looks quite a lot like the Samsung Galaxy Premier, which hasn't reached us Brits yet.

There's no word on specs, but word on the street predicts a cutting-edge 2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a Super AMOLED display with 1080p resolution. It'll run Android 4.2.1, according to the rumours. And on the imaging front, we're hoping for a 13-megapixel camera with a 2-megapixel front-facer.

Samsung has already said it won't reveal the S4 at Mobile World Congress in February, where the rest of the industry unveils the year's new phones. The S4, like the S3, is almost guaranteed its own event. And if Samsung's Beirut branch is to be believed, it seems we'll have to wait until late spring until we get our hands on the new phone, perhaps even longer than a year after the S3 made its debut.

What do you think of the alleged S4? Should the S4 ditch the home button? And what would you like to see from the Galaxy S4? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Additional reporting by Richard Trenholm.