Samsung Galaxy S4 rumor roundup

In anticipation for Samsung's next flagship handset, the rumor mill has been churning out one speculation after another about the Galaxy S4. CNET gathers the latest (and craziest) rumors about the device.

Lynn La Senior Editor / Reviews - Phones
Lynn La covers mobile reviews and news. She previously wrote for The Sacramento Bee, Macworld and The Global Post.
Lynn La
7 min read
Rumor Has It
Watch this: What we will (and won't) get in the Galaxy S4

Editors' note: This piece was originally posted on January 24, 2013. We'll continuously update the roundup until the device's official launch. Until then, be sure to join us live on March 14 during Samsung's Global Unpacked Event, and please let us know if we missed any rumors ourselves.

Considering the popularity and success of the Samsung Galaxy S3, it's understandable that whispers of its successor (presumably called the Galaxy S4) are circulating. From iffy launch dates to spec upgrades, CNET tracks all the talk and rounds up the latest GS4 rumors here.

March 13, 2013
Bloomberg thinks eye-scrolling's a no-go
If you're about ready to throw a parade about the rumored eye-scrolling technology in the GS4, Bloomberg's just as ready to rain on it. According to sources "familiar with the device," the handset will have no such thing. At best, it'll have some simple eye-tracking technology, like pausing a video when your eyes move away from the display. At worst it'll show up in future devices. Talk about being a negative Ninny, Bloomberg.

March 12, 2013
Perhaps it'll get a 3D camera
According to Patently Apple, Samsung filed a trademark for "2D 3D Movie & Still," as well as a patent for a panoramic camera feature and imaging system. While both sound interesting, we doubt a 3D camera will be featured in the GS4 given how lukewarm the reception to 3D camera phones have been in the past.

Forget leaked photos, now there's video
52Samsung wasn't satisfied with leaking only pictures, so now it's released a hands-on video of the alleged GS4. The 3-minute video, which comically and ironically includes audio in the background of some iPad Mini promo, shows a user casually going through the handset's feature. The video's authenticity can be summed up by its current top two YouTube comments: one being, "...this is fake," and the other being, "This isn't fake guys."

March 11, 2013
Samsung teases most disappointing picture ever
After launching its second video ad, Samsung tweeted an ominous shadowy image of a Samsung handset, followed by the caption: "The countdown for #TheNextBigThing has begun. Who's ready for the Global Unpacked Event on March 14?" While little can be gleaned from the photo, let's just hope that the actual handset won't be obscured by so much dim lighting at the New York event.

Another S4 video ad from Samsung rolls out
While it's no Unicorn Apocalypse, Samsung's second S4 promo debuted. It continues the story of Jeremy Maxwell -- an affluent kid (with his own driver) who is presumably hoarding his own S4 very obviously in an oversize white box. So far, we see him complimenting it ("Totally amazing!"), eat cookies in front of it, and we can gather that it'll be available in more than one color because the one that Jeremy has is in his "favorite color." What remains unknown, however, is Jeremy's favorite color. What is it, Jeremy? Is it pebble blue like the previous Galaxy or something unexpected like pink? The people have a right to know.

Photos leak, and it looks like a Note 2
There are only three days left to go before its official unveiling, but 52Samsung apparently got its hands on leaked pictures of the Galaxy S4. The device looks very similar to the Galaxy Note 2, so we're taking these shots with a little grain of salt. CNET's Rich Trenholm expects the S4 to have a more squared design and a slim bezel.

March 6, 2013
Screenshots hint at eye tracking
Screenshots posted on the Samsung-focused blog Sammobile, suggest that eye tracking technology will indeed be in the Galaxy S4. The images show a settings screen for Smart Scroll, a feature that allows users to scroll through the screen and perform certain tasks merely by moving their eyes up and down. The screenshots also suggest that users will be able to adjust the speed and acceleration of the scrolling based on how their eyes and head move up and down, select which applications can tap into Smart Scroll, and choose to pause a video when they look away from the screen.

Countdown begins for Galaxy S4 reveal
Watch this: Countdown begins for Galaxy S4 reveal

March 5, 2013
Don't expect a metal body
Y.H. Lee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, told CNET that when his company looks at what materials to use in a phone, it isn't just taking into consideration the aesthetic quality of the device. Rather, he said, Samsung also assesses how quickly and efficiently it can manufacture the product, knowing that it will have to ship a high volume. Also, he said that a plastic back cover, which feels light, is more durable than those of other smartphones because it's bendable and can better absorb physical impact.

March 4, 2013
We get a tease
Samsung posted a short video teasing its upcoming Unpacked event in New York City. The video, which is rather weird, features Jeremy, a boy who Samsung says will be the "secret messenger." We watch Jeremy as he peeks inside a box that ostensibly houses the Galaxy S4, and promises not to tell anyone about it. He then takes it home and the video ends with a "to be continued."

The eyes have it
Citing a person who has used the phone, the New York Times reports that the Galaxy S4 will use unspecified technology to monitor users' eyes and translate that motion into action. As the newspaper describes it, when a user reads an online article and their eyes reach the bottom of the page, the software will automatically scroll down to reveal the next paragraphs of text. Also, Samsung has filed for a trademark in the United States on both "Samsung Eye Scroll" and "Eye Pause," reports the Times.

February 25, 2013
The invitations are out
Samsung issued the formal invitations for a New York Galaxy S4 reveal. As expected, it will take place March 14 at 7 p.m. ET. It also will be live-streamed on Samsung Mobile's YouTube page.

S4 invitatopm
Samsung is expected to put the Galaxy S4 rumors to bed on March 14. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Visa on the Galaxy S4
Samsung said it would use Visa's PayWave mobile payment applet in its future devices and partner with Visa to make it easier for customers to tie their Samsung handsets to a financial institution and Visa account. While not referenced specifically, the Galaxy S4 will be the flagship product for Visa's program, according to a person familiar with the partnership.

February 24, 2013
March 14 will be the big day
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Samsung confirmed that it would host a "Samsung Unpacked" event in New York on March 14 where it would unveil the Galaxy S4. Samsung told CNET that it was also considering embedding its new security software, Knox, into the handset.

February 18, 2013
Or maybe it's March 14
Russian analyst and rumor-meister Eldar Murtazin told Sammobile that the Galaxy S4 will come on March 14, which is one day earlier than a previous rumor suggested. Sammobile also speculated that Galaxy S4's specs would include an Exynos 5 Octa (8-Core) CPU, Mali-T678 (8-Core) GPU, 4.99-inch SuperAMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear camera with 1080p video capability, 2-megapixel front facing camera, and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

February 6, 2013
March 15 presser in the works
Doubling down with its April sale date prediction, SamMobile is reporting that Samsung will hold a March 15 press event to unveil the handset. Citing a "trusted insider," the site said it should expect a presser invitation after MWC finishes. Here's hoping -- because there's nothing sadder than waiting for an invite to the coolest party of the year and staring down an empty mailbox instead.

Watch this: Is Samsung releasing a new Galaxy phone? Experts suspect it will.

Maybe we'll see it in March
Throwing his hat into the "March debut" ring is an analyst from Canaccord Genuity named T. Michael Walkley. He predicts that Samsung will launch the handset during that month to extand its market share lead during that quarter.

February 1, 2013
Scratch that September rumor; you won't see it at MWC after all
According to a source who spoke to CNET, it looks like the Galaxy S4 will be absent at Mobile World Congress this year. Instead, the company will probably put on its own event just for the device, similar to what it did last year with the S3 in May.

Samsung Youm flex display
Samsung's Youm flex display at CES 2013. Will it be featured in the GS4? James Martin/CNET

January 23, 2013
You may get your hands on the GS4 in April
It's always interesting when rumors start ball-parking a release date, but SamMobile does one better and gives an exact date: Tax Day. Not only did the outlet report its launch day will be on April 15, it also said the phone will have a larger 2,600mAh battery.

December 6, 2012
Superstrong, bendy display?
Reuters reported that the new Galaxy phone may be equipped with a flexible, ultra-tough touch screen. Although this sounds far out, we've seen firsthand what Samsung can do with its flexible Youm display. That's not to say it'll definitely come to the market any time soon, but it is evident that the company is working with such technology.

December 4, 2012
It will get plenty of spec bumps
A 5-inch 1080p HD display, Android 5.0, and a 13-megapixel camera? Several S4 rumors from news outlets like Asiae.kr are popping up, reporting that the new handset is going to get several upgrades in hardware and software. With these rumors, a lot of cryptic code names are being associated with the handset as well, including the stale model number "Samsung GT-I9525" and the mysterious "Project J" label.

September 17, 2012
You'll see it in February, at MWC 2013
According to a "company official" cited by the Korea Times, Samsung plans to unveil the Galaxy S4 at this year's Mobile World Congress. MWC is a popular and global tech conference where many mobile companies debut their latest devices.