Samsung reveals Galaxy S4 ‘Black Edition' - same phone, but with faux leather

The launch of Samsung’s next-generation flagship, the Galaxy S5, is fast approaching. While it seems that rumours of its début at the Mobile World Congress in a few weeks' time were wide of the mark, all indicators point to launch sometime in the next couple of months.

But that hasn’t stopped the Korean giant from launching yet another version of its wildly popular Galaxy S4. SamMobile spotted the excitingly named Galaxy S4 ‘Black Edition’ on the Samsung Russia site, alongside a similarly branded version of the Galaxy S4 Mini.

But, alas, the name is the most exciting thing about these latest additions to the company’s range. The two Black Edition handsets are identical to the standard versions of the S4 and S4 Mini, with the exception of a black faux-leather rear cover similar to that featured on the Galaxy Note 3.

Under the hood, there are no hardware differences at all, and you won’t even get the latest version of Android on board – while other devices are launching with Android 4.4 KitKat, these will be sold with version 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Both handsets will soon be available to purchase in Russia, although it is not yet clear if they will be sold in other markets. Buyers wanting to get their hands on the S4 Black Edition will be asked to pay the equivalent of $660 off-contract, while the S4 Mini will retail for $460.

Some might suggest that launching so many devices runs the risk of confusing customers, but Samsung’s strategy of offering a handset for virtually every conceivable niche seems to be working out pretty well for the company. The latest figures from IDC show that almost a third of the one billion smartphones shipped last year was a Samsung. 

Source: SamMobile | image via Samsung

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26 Comments

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Figure 8 Dash said,
Next time I hope it's real leather with a faux phone
Well buy your own leather back. I don't need the cost of the phone going up $50 fot some lame cosmetic detail hat you don't even need. Have you ever bought s leather case for a phone? If no, then why should Samsung? And if yes, keep buying them yourself.

Its called FAUX for a real...we all know it isn't real. Hasn't hurt the sales thought and obviously people like it. After all, Samsung sold more Galaxy Note 3 in 3 months, that Apple has sold the iPhone 5C period.

benthebear said,
Samsung seems to be diving deeper into skeuomorphisms while everyone else is moving towards digital/flat.
They do have that copycat magazine UI...

Of course you would show Windows Phone UI. Fact is Android already had facets of this UI with Widgets log before Microsoft's claim to fame.

Since Android ICS, many widgets are resizable to the size of a single icons. Many widget show far more info vs what MS tiles show. Does it look similar sure? But to claim copy? FALSE. I have had similar home screens since ICS which predates Windows Phone 7 or 8.

All you have to do is go an see the same UI on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note Pros and you will see it looks BETTER than what MS has. All they did was shrink it to fit on the screen of a smartphone. To claim copy is just lame. But that is my opinion.

I was talking about Samsung's Magazine UI rip-off skin here and not Android in general, but you want to talk about the latter? Fine.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
Fact is Android already had facets of this UI with Widgets log before Microsoft's claim to fame.

I have had similar home screens since ICS which predates Windows Phone 7 or 8.

Is that a fact according to you? Really? because Metro as a design language pre-dates WP7 and can be traced back to Zune, Media Center and even older products. Still, for argument's sake since you mentioned WP7 let's take that as the date of introduction, for the design language acquired the name "Metro" formally when WP7 was launched. WP7 was introduced in October 2010. You're talking about ICS widgets? WP7 was launched more than 20 versions before ICS, and pre-dates multiple versions of 3.x Honeycomb, 2.3.x Gingerbread and 2.2.x Froyo. I've seen you mention this ICS thing many times now but it's amazing how anyone can claim that ICS pre-dates Metro in WP7, forget Metro being used long, long before that. Now that is a fact, not just my opinion. You can try to lamely defend Android's UI copying all you want but it doesn't really hold up to scrutiny.

I don't know. The product has not even been released yet. Going by the pic, looks like that is real stitching. But cannot say for sure unless someone has real world usage.

Shadowzz said,
Faux means fake....

Its not even fake leather people...

Last I checked, if I made a leather looking texture on hard plastic, it was not called faux leather.

adrynalyne said,
Its not even faux leather. It is hard, flimsy plastic with a bumpy texture on it.
Really? Can you please look up Poly-Carbonate and explain why you are wrong. Yes it is a "plastic", but it is better than metal for lots of reason.

More durable, less cost. It is a "premium" material. I am sadden by the fact the GS5 will likely be metal which means the Note 4 will too, which means I likely wont be selling my Note 3 to get it.

That coating Apple and HTC uses on their phones, I forgot how it is spell but it starts with an "O". Its so thin that it doesnt even work You dont need this on polycarbonate. What is great about this material s it is the same color all the way through. SO even if you damage it, the dame is hard to see. In cases where I have damaged the plastic, I simply take clear nail polish and fill it in. Then I take a microfiber close and buff the brush strokes away. Looks 100% new when I am done. Try this with a metal phone.

Most products we buy are made of some type of plastic. I have yet to see one person here complain about it. A $100,000+ luxury/sports car uses plastic bumpers. Why? Because the bumper is a common impact zone and it is cheaper to replace/repair.

At $650 which si the cost of the Galaxy Note 3, the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S4 off-contract, if I placed all 3 phone on my head and then looked down so they fall, the will sure have the most impact damage vs the 2 other phones combined. THAT IS FACT!!! Not fiction!!!

The key word here is "faux". We all know it isnt real leather. We all know it isnt even pleather. Just like we know Faux Pearls are not real pearls. It is used bacause it has a simialr quality of look and feel without all the added cost. Or in this case, added cost, added weight and especially added cost.

Also why do you even care. if you own a metal phone, arent you going to slap some ugly plastic/rubber case on it? Look mor cost. With the Galaxy phone, I dont have to buy a case for protection, I but one for looks. I bought the Galaxy Note 3 flipcover with the window because I like the added functional I get with it. It offers no real protection whatsoever. It is a decorative item.

Hi_XPecTa_Chens said,
Really? Can you please look up Poly-Carbonate and explain why you are wrong. Yes it is a "plastic", but it is better than metal for lots of reason.

More durable, less cost. It is a "premium" material. I am sadden by the fact the GS5 will likely be metal which means the Note 4 will too, which means I likely wont be selling my Note 3 to get it.

That coating Apple and HTC uses on their phones, I forgot how it is spell but it starts with an "O". Its so thin that it doesnt even work You dont need this on polycarbonate. What is great about this material s it is the same color all the way through. SO even if you damage it, the dame is hard to see. In cases where I have damaged the plastic, I simply take clear nail polish and fill it in. Then I take a microfiber close and buff the brush strokes away. Looks 100% new when I am done. Try this with a metal phone.

Most products we buy are made of some type of plastic. I have yet to see one person here complain about it. A $100,000+ luxury/sports car uses plastic bumpers. Why? Because the bumper is a common impact zone and it is cheaper to replace/repair.

At $650 which si the cost of the Galaxy Note 3, the iPhone 5S and the Galaxy S4 off-contract, if I placed all 3 phone on my head and then looked down so they fall, the will sure have the most impact damage vs the 2 other phones combined. THAT IS FACT!!! Not fiction!!!

The key word here is "faux". We all know it isnt real leather. We all know it isnt even pleather. Just like we know Faux Pearls are not real pearls. It is used bacause it has a simialr quality of look and feel without all the added cost. Or in this case, added cost, added weight and especially added cost.

Also why do you even care. if you own a metal phone, arent you going to slap some ugly plastic/rubber case on it? Look mor cost. With the Galaxy phone, I dont have to buy a case for protection, I but one for looks. I bought the Galaxy Note 3 flipcover with the window because I like the added functional I get with it. It offers no real protection whatsoever. It is a decorative item.

Did you hear me mention metal at all? Did you hear me knock plastic, at all? Random rant is random.

adrynalyne said,

Did you hear me mention metal at all? Did you hear me knock plastic, at all? Random rant is random.

You do realize if you mock something, it is a form of knocking it...right? You whole point is to draw attention...right? SO YES...IT was a KNOCK.

This is what you said "Last I checked, if I made a leather looking texture on hard plastic, it was not called faux leather."

The fact is, it could be made from metal and still be called "faux leather". It is FAUX, or false as it is not real leather...DUH. But it carries the look of leather with the cracks simulating leather when it is cracked, with the stitching on the sides to mimic how leather is sown together.

Obviously you don't understand the meaning that you felt reason to mock it. Whats funny when I had my Phone 4 and 4S, I bought several replacement backs, 6 in total in just 2 years. Two of the times they did have a case on them. I have yet to replace a single back on what is now my 3 Galaxy devices. The TCO of n iPhone exceeds the combined cost of every single smartphone I have ever owned and at this point that would be 15 different devices since 2003. Think of that lose in money. 2 phones cost me more to own than 13 other smartphone costs combined. That is counting accessories and application purchases.

No you didn't mention metal phones and you didn't have too. No one ever mocks metal phones. But here is what is funny, everything you say is are cons about plastic phones are actually all pros, but are sure cons with metal ones. After all, if your phone isn't made of plastic, what else is it made of?