Samsung has become that one friend you've got who suddenly decides he wears a fedora. No matter how many times you tell him that he looks less like a debonair time traveler than a guy who raided his grandfather's closet, he just won't take it off. Russian blog Hi-Tech Mail spotted the new Galaxy S4 'Black Edition' on Samsung's Russian page this morning, and a similar variant of the S4 Mini was later found. Both of them use the faux leather back from the Galaxy Note 3 and later Samsung designs.

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Both phones are essentially identical to the original models aside from the new fashionable affectations, and they'll sell for 22,990 rubles and 15,990 rubles respectively (about $650 and $450) starting in February. At the moment Samsung hasn't shown any indication that either phone will be sold outside of Russia, or that the stitched back model will be available in any other colors, but it wouldn't surprise me if both of those options are exercised in the near future.

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A visual refresh of the Galaxy S4 makes sense - after all, the Galaxy S3 was still selling strong well into the S4's initial run, and a "new" model could help the company secure budget sales once the upcoming Galaxy S5 lands. It's a possibility that the Galaxy S5 may also take its visual cues from the Note line, unifying Samsung's biggest device families under a single industrial design. Try to contain your enthusiasm.

Note: Samsung Russia's page for the Galaxy S4 Black Edition has been taken down. The page for the Galaxy S4 Mini Black Edition is still up.

Source: Hi-Tech Mail via GSM Arena

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • jonathan3579

    I don't even...

  • namesib

    I wish they released the black version originally; AMOLED blacks with a black bezel look amazing.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Hi-Tech Mail.ru is not a blog

  • Krzysztof Bryk

    both sites are up

  • Stanley Chan

    If the back cover will be Like note 3... Leather Like. Ill pass... Keep with mine s4, thank you very much.

  • folkrav

    Nice black color, but damn that faux-leather looks cheap... I understand some people like it, but I think it doesn't suit a cellphone...

    • Matthew Merrick

      It's approximately 1375 times more premium feeling than the glossy plastic - especially the glossy white plastic - Samsung was so fond of previously

      • folkrav

        So with Samsung, you get the choice between cheap looking glossy-plastic and cheap looking faux-leather? I'll pass...

        • mcnegro

          and no choice about touchwiz.

  • flosserelli

    Someone needs to sell a *real* leather battery cover for the Note and S4/S5. Not this fake plastic crap.

    • Big_Grams

      Thought i was the only who hates faux leather.

    • redkan

      But think of all the cows it saves!

  • Impheatus

    This new black version seems to change the front facing plate too.
    It gets rid of the aweful mesh from the original version. Take a look at this pic for comparison: