The same tech is used in conjunction with the accelerometer so that when you reach the bottom of a web page, tilting the phone scrolls the content up for you. You can also, and this is cool, tip your head to achieve the same result – handy if the phone is on the table. It works the other way if you need to scroll up the screen to read the top of the page again.
And there are other features which mean you don’t have to touch the touchscreen. Pass your hand near the phone when it’s in standby and the screen gently wakes, shows a near-dark background speckled with stars and reveals how many texts, emails or missed calls you have before turning off again. It’s a neat feature.
There are gestures which mean that when you hover your fingers near a contact in your address book it reveals more details without your having to open the contact. You can turn pages by waving your hand nearby.
At some point you have to ask why you’d want to do this, as after all it’s not difficult to touch the screen, you don’t have to press hard or anything. It could be useful if your hands are wet, or covered in sand or sun tan lotion, so beachside use of the S4 is one possibility.
Or maybe you’re following a recipe onscreen – now you can scroll the screen without your flour-and-oil covered hands smearing the display. Or it’s a gimmick. Take your pick.
There’s one more way not to touch the screen: the sensitivity can go up to 11 so you can use the phone with your gloves on. And after the spring the UK has had, you’ll know that’s important. Nokia has it on many of its Lumia handsets but it’s good to see the technology implemented here.