Samsung Galaxy S4 accessories unveiled
S Health, S View Cover and Game Pad all available for the Samsung Galaxy S4
With the Galaxy S4, Samsung wants it to be part of your life. To that end it has created a ton of new accessories to extend the phone's capabilities.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 HEALTH ACCESSORIES
One key expansion area for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is through its health accessories. With fitness tech a big market, it's clear why Samsung's keen to move into this area. Holding it all together is the S-Health 2.0 app, which is designed to monitor and report on your body, talking to all of the available kit.
S Band fits onto your wrist and is designed to be worn at all times, monitoring your daily activity. It will record the number of steps you've taken, calories burned and distance travelled, so you can find out how active you are and adjust your daily routine if you don't think that you're getting enough exercise.
S Band is designed to worn all of the time, monitoring your body
It's also active while you're asleep, monitoring how much you move during the night. This could be useful if you never wake refreshed, as you'll be able to tell how restful your night's sleep really was.
S Band is available in four different colours (pink, blue, brown and black) and is waterproof to 10m, so you can wear it pretty much everywhere. UK pricing has not been announced.
The HRM is a hear rate monitor, which works with the Running Mate app. It checks your heart rate in real time, so you can see at a glance if your exercise regime is giving you a proper workout.
HRM keeps track of your heart rate, so you can find out if you're really getting a thorough work-out
HRM is a black band that straps across your chest. It connects to the Samsung Galaxy S4 via Bluetooth. UK availability and price have not yet been announced.
With the popularity of hi-tech scales, such as the Withings Body Scale, it's no surprise that Samsung's looking to get in on the act with its Body Scale.
Keep track of your weight on your phone using these Bluetooth scales
This supports up to seven users via the S-Health 2.0 app, keeping track of your weight over time. While Withings' scale uploads your data via Wi-Fi to the cloud, Samsung's requires a Bluetooth connection to the phone to store weight data. To our mind that makes it quite a bit less flexible. Again, no UK price or availability has been announced.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 CHARGING AND BATTERY ACCESSORIES
It's not all about health and Samsung has a range of accessories to help you make the most of battery life and make the phone easier to charge. Here's what's been announced.
WIRELESS CHARGING PAD/COVER
One of the surprising things about the announcement was that wireless charging wasn't built into the phone. However, that will be fixed when the Wireless Charging Pad / Cover is released. This kit comes in two parts.
The official Samsung kit lets you charge your phone wirelessly
The charging pad is, as you'd expect, a flat block that you lay our phone on. To get wireless charging, you have to replace the back of the phone with the new cover. We don't have a UK price or launch date.
EXTRA BATTERY KIT
Convenient charging is no use if you're nowhere near a power socket. For those situations, Samsung has the Extra Battery Kit. This ships with a spare battery housed in a carry case that doubles as a battery charger.
No power socket, no problem: carry a spare battery with you
As the Galaxy S4 has a removable back and battery, it means you can carry around a charged battery with you and swap when you need it. UK pricing and availability haven't been announced, although the similar kit for the Samsung Galaxy S3 currently costs around £25.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 CASES
Smartphones are expensive bits of kit, so protecting them from knocks and scratches is important to improve their longevity. As recognition of the phone's likely success, a range of third-party and official cases have been launched.
S VIEW COVER
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Flip Cover was a great way to protect your phone's screen, without ruining the look of the phone. For the Samsung Galaxy S4, the company has gone one further with the S View Cover.
Peek-a-book: keep an eye on updates without opening your cover
This clips onto the side of the phone, opening like a book when you need to access the screen. However, it also has a window in it, so you can see notifications on the phone without having to expose the screen.
The standard Flip Cover will also be available for the Galaxy S4, in addition to a pouch and the Protective Cover+, which wraps the phone in a rubber bumper to give it more protection.
UK pricing and availability of the cases hasn't been announced yet, although we'd expect the new Flip Cover to cost the same as the old model (£30), with a premium for the S View Cover.
Griffin Technology has announced its range of Samsung Galaxy S4 cases. Top-of-the-line for protection is the £35 Survivor Military-Duty Case. Designed to meet the US Department of Defense Standard 810G, the case has a shatter-resistent polycarbonate frame and shock-absorbing silicone. It's designed to protect against dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and other environmental threat. It will be available in black, pink and blue.
Survivor Skin is a silicone case designed to absorb impact and protection. It's slimmer than the Survivor Military-Duty, and is available in black, pink, and blue for £15.
The Reveal case is a hard shell with rubber edges to cushion and grip. It's just 1.6mm thin, so you can still see the design of the phone .It will be available in black, purple, and blue for £20.
Griffin has a range of cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4, offering a range of different protection options
TECH21 IMPACTOLOGY CASES
Tech21 is bringing its Impactology cases to the Samsung Galaxy S3. These use D30 material embedded in the case to send shocks and impacts away from the phone to protect it and its screen. You can see how the material works in the video below.
From 26th April, there'll be the Impact Snap and Impact Snap with Cover, available in white or black. Both cases let you clip the phone into the case, providing all-round protection, while the Cover version adds a fold-over front to protect the screen. They'll cost £20 and £25 respectively.
Impactology sends impacts away from the phone, keeping it protected
The Impact Mesh cases have D30 material running round the sides and back, but there's no cover version available. It will cost £25.
SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 OTHER ACCESSORIES
While most of the other accessories serve a practical or useful purpose, Samsung also announced some new fun accessories.
Mobile gaming's big, so Samsung has announced the Game Pad, which turns your phone into a portable games console. The phone holder slides out the top of the Xbox-alike controller, letting you slide your phone into it in landscape mode.
Who needs a touchscreen, when you can have a full-on game controller?
The Game Pad connects via Bluetooth, so it will be compatible with any handset. Samsung states that the holder will take phones with screen sizes between 4in and 6.3in. No UK price has been announced yet.
We've never been impressed by manufacturer's own-brand earphones, but Samsung's hoping to prove us wrong with its Headset. These in-ear set contains two speakers in each headphone (woofer and tweeter), plus an inline remote with volume controls and a control button to answer and hang-up calls. A UK price has not been announced.
It's the inevitable own-brand headset. We'll save judgement until we've had chance to have a listen to a pair