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Samsung unveils Galaxy S4 smartphone with bizarre Broadway show

March 14, 2013|By Andrea Chang
  • Samsung executive JK Shin unveils the Galaxy S4 smartphone at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Samsung executive JK Shin unveils the Galaxy S4 smartphone at Radio City… (Don Emmer / AFP/Getty Images )

Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S4 smartphone Thursday. It has eye-tracking capabilities, gesture control, a 5-inch full HD screen and a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera.

That's not all there was to see.

In one of the most head-scratching, bizarre tech product launches ever, Samsung staged an elaborate Broadway-esque show at Radio City Music Hall, where the S4 event was held, to debut the smartphone. 

There was a tap-dancing kid. A ballerina. A bored housewife. A hot gardener.

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The spectacle was so over the top that it seemed to eclipse news of the device itself on Twitter and other social media.

"What in the name of jebus are my eyes seeing at this car crash of an event. #samsung #s4" tweeted @julescoleman.

"Oh thank god it's over. I'm going to go bash my head into something hard over and over until I can feel feelings again," tweeted @SteveStreza.

And our very own Chris O'Brien tweeted: "Right now, if you are in Radio City Music Hall, there is no escape. None."

Samsung kicked off the 45-minute event with a rundown of the new phone's specs.

The phone, which comes in black and in white, is 0.31-inch thick and weighs 4.6 ounces. Wireless carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon will offer it; a total of 327 mobile operators in 155 countries will carry the phone, which becomes available starting in late April.

"We have taken technology and innovation further to help us get closer to what matters in life," Samsung executive JK Shin said on stage. "We will imagine the possibilities, explore new directions and listen to you to understand what a smartphone should provide to us in our lives."

Then things got weird. To demonstrate the phone's new features, Samsung brought out a slew of performers.

One of them, named DeeDee, represented an older, bored housewife who was watching a video on her Galaxy S4 while sipping a glass of wine. Then a sexy gardener strolls onto the stage. DeeDee stops watching to gawk at the gardener. As she lifts her eyes away from the screen, the video pauses. When she finally turns her attention back to the screen, the video automatically restarts where it left off.

The S4 also has some nifty photo-editing capabilities that enable users to record audio that's synced to an image. Users can also delete unwanted details from a picture (sorry, photo bombers). At this point in the presentation, an actor joked that he could remove his mother-in-law from a photo but not from his life. Ha. Ha.

The phone also comes with hand-waving technology, so users who want to unlock their screens can simply hover a finger over it.

Samsung live-streamed the event on YouTube, and we've included a replay below (skip to the 40-minute, 30-second mark, when the show starts). More than 423,000 viewers were tuned in when the phone was unveiled.

Which means a whole lot of people watched a whole lot of cheesy.

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