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Samsung Announces the Galaxy S4: 'A Companion For Life'

On Thursday Samsung took the stage at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall to officially unveil its new flagship smartphone: the Galaxy S4. The phone will launch during the second quarter of 2013 and comes with a host of new features focusing on health and photography as well as new gesture support.

MORE: Samsung Galaxy S4 Hands-on Video

"Wouldn't it be great if the technology in our hands could replace the person taking the photo?" JK Shin, president of Samsung's mobile division, said on stage. "Wouldn't it be convenient if the smartphone could understand when you want to scroll up and down? We imagine that great things can come from this."

The Galaxy S4 will sport a 5-inch touch screen Super AMOLED display, a powerful 2,600mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and 2-megapixel front-facing camera and Android 4.2.2 right out of the box. The U.S. variant will run on a 1.9-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core CPU, while the international model will be getting Samsung’s octa-core Exynos 1.6-GHz processor.  It will be available in either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB configurations with White Frost or Black Mist color options.

Samsung flaunts its S4 as more than just a smartphone -- according to Shin the new flagship is a "companion for life." Samsung showcased the S4’s Dual Shot feature, which enables recording using both the front- and rear-facing cameras at the same time. Users can also capture up to 9 seconds of audio to go along with their photos using the Sound and Shot feature. Drama Shot takes photos in consecutive bursts and then combines each image into one. The Eraser Shot function allows users to tap on someone’s face to erase the person from the shot.

Samsung welcomed its Galaxy S4 into the world by enacting real-life scenarios on stage in the theater. The company recruited New York's Upper West Side Elementary School to dance on stage, using the staged performance to show off the S4's new camera features.

Samsung's S Translator tool is embedded in the S4’s communication apps, which includes both email and ChatOn. The S4 will also come with improved social features such as Group Play, which allows users to connect with up to four other S4 devices at the same time. All shared devices can play the same music at the same time.

Samsung is bringing the Galaxy Note 2’s Air View feature to its newest flagship — but without the need for a stylus. Hovering your finger over the display will bring up a preview mode of photos and emails. The phone also comes with gesture support that allows you to wave your hand in front of the device to rotate between images. 

Galaxy S4 buyers will also be able to scroll by titling the device up and down to scan through content. The smartphone will also be able to sense when you look away from the screen while watching a video through its Smart Pause function. 

The fitness-focused S Health tracks your level of activity by monitoring your steps and how many calories you've burned. It also tracks your dietary habits based on what you'r consuming. 

Samsung has yet to announce pricing or availability for the handset, but it will launch sometime during Q2 2013.