A Closer Look at The Nine Sensors inside Samsung’s Galaxy S IV

| April 10, 2013 | 12 Replies

galaxy s4

Samsung have been delivering quality Android handsets ever since the original Galaxy S and regardless of what you think about their build quality and their software, there’s no denying that Samsung know how to pack a smartphone full of features. The Galaxy S IV has been one of the most anticipated smartphone releases in recent memory and of course, there was a lot of disappointment when Samsung announced a phone so similar to last year’s Galaxy S III. This isn’t to say that the Galaxy S IV is a bad phone, far from it, in fact I think Samsung did the right thing in keeping things much the same. We all know that the latest and greatest from Samsung is packed full of sensors, chips and fun-loving features but, what the hell are these sensors, and what do they do?

The Galaxy S IV comes with a total of nine sensors and they each serve a different purpose, and the data from each is used for a different function. We’ll let Samsung show off the sensors for you, with this good-looking poster:



There are obviously a lot of sensors inside this latest phone from Samsung and I’m not going to bore you with all of them – we all know our proximity sensors from our accelerometers by now anyway, right? – so let’s take a look at some of the more unusual sensors.

We don’t often see Barometers or Temperature/Humidity Sensors on smartphones so it’s good to see Samsung embracing these. The Barometer is used in the S Health app, and it can ascertain the altitude that you’re walking at, which in turn allows S Health: Walking Mate to tell you how many calories are burnt as you continue on your mountain hike. The Temperature/Humidity Sensor also filters data back to the S Health suite, through a small hole on the bottom of the phone, Samsung are claiming that this – and I quote – ” visually displays what the optimal comfort levels are for the user on the S Health screen”. Now, I’d consider myself fairly intelligent but, I’m no physician, I have no idea what Samsung are getting here, do you?

At the top of the device, things are beginning to get a little crowded with the RGB Sensor, Proximity Sensor and the Gesture Sensor all at the top of the smartphone. The RGB Sensor is more of the same when it comes to automatic brightness but, it now adjusts the display – using Samsung Adapt Display – by measuring intensity of red, green and blue light. The gesture sensor is of course, in place to make sure you’re not waving your hand at your phone for no good reason, it’s this little guy that allows for page scrolling and other gesture-based uses.

While Air View doesn’t require a fancy new sensor, it’s an interesting technology that users of the Galaxy Note II will be familiar with. Air View measures electrical currents  to tell when the user’s finger is close to the screen, something Samsung have aptly dubbed “Finger Hovering Technology”. Air View is a neat little addition to the S IV that can display the content of messages, e-mails and more with just a hover of your finger over the screen. It’s another nice little touch from Samsung.

Samsung might have kept the aesthetics of the Galaxy S IV much the same but, under the hood things are quite a bit different and while it seems like the South Korean giant is just packing the phone with features for the sake of it, some of them do have decent uses, such as Air View and the ability to calculate altitude and temperature. Does all of this make you want the Galaxy S IV even more, or are you still skipping this generation?

[Source: Samsung Tomorrow]

Category: Android News

About Tom Dawson ()

For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, I grew up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles and have been using Linux for years now. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I've loved every minute of it. As a big reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android and technology as a whole.
  • dewadg

    Does the Nexus 4′s light sensor is RGB too?

    • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel Minário

      Galaxy Nexus have it, so…

      • paul croasdale

        so…. what? your answer here is based on the assumption that things with the same word in their name implies that they have the same features? My Gillette razor can shave my face, oddly my motorola razr can’t…

        the nexus 4 isn’t even made by samsung (which is good in my book), and no its light sensor is not RGB.

  • counterpoint

    Only four of them are essential: proximity, gyro, compass and rgb light sensor. It’s the build quality which annoys me with Samsung though.

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  • aerokid240

    Perhaps, maybe its the build quality/materials that allow for so many sensors (plastic results in less magnetic/signal interference vs aluminum) and features, including removable battery and expandable memory?

    • http://androidheadlines.com/ Tom Dawson

      Yeah, more than likely. But HTC had made phones in the past with microSD and removable battery that were built better than the S IV.

      I guess it’s a catch 22, have everything in it and people will complain, build it like a brick with compromise – like the One – and people will complain ha ha

  • Alexander Ramos

    That’s interesting what could be done with those sensors.
    An app putting a bunch of S4 working together could use those sensors to have a more accurate weather measurement along a city or difderent cities.

    • http://androidheadlines.com/ Tom Dawson

      I think crowdsourcing of weather forecasts could get a little bit more interesting for sure!

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