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Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the most eagerly awaited smartphone of this year or I dare say, EVER.  It is recently launched in India. It is the smartphone with all the top end features the Korean Giant has to offer which makes it the most desirable device by the company yet. So,now is the time of Samsung galaxy S4 review. In Samsung galaxy S4 review, we have covered all aspect that a smartphone has.

The S4 will face a tough challenge from its competitors i.e. the underdog HTC has launched the htc One, Japanese giant Sony’s Xperia Z and Xperia ZL and of course the upcoming iphone. The S4 also has to compete with its predecessor, the Galaxy S3, which sold in millions. So, how does the Samsung’s latest Flagship fare against other heavyweights. Lets find out.

Samsung Galaxy s4 Review

HARDWARE

The most striking feature of the S4 is that it measures 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm which is in fact almost similar to its predecessor the S3, despite the fact that it sports a 5 inch display. If we keep the two phones side by side, we’d have a hard time distinguishing them. Is that a bad thing??

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In spite of numerous complaints and boo-woos about using plastic for the body of the phones, Samsung has done it again. The S4 has the same polycarbonate body we found in the S3. The only thing different about the exterior of the S4 is the chrome edges on the device. The advantage of this kinda body is that it is more resistant to drops and has lower manufacturing costs.The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. This makes the screen more scratch resistant. Tests have proven that the display may also survive a fall at an angle. Samsung has once again opted for a physical home button similar to the S3. The back cover is removable which encloses the 2,600mAh battery, sim-slot and the micro-sd expansion slot.

galaxy-s4-vs-galaxy-s3-design

Samsung Galaxy S 4
Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 4.59 oz. (130g)
Screen size 5.0 inches
Screen resolution 1,920 x 1,080 (441 ppi)
Screen type Full HD Super AMOLED
Battery 2,600mAh Li-Polymer (removable)
Internal storage 16 or 32GB
External storage MicroSDXC (up to 64GB)
Rear camera 13MP, BIS
Front-facing cam 2.0MP, BIS
Video capture 1080p / 30 fps (rear); 1080p (front)
NFC Yes
Radios Varies by region and operator
Bluetooth v4.0 LE
SoC Exynos 5 Octa 5410
CPU Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU PowerVR SGX 544MP3
RAM 2GB
Entertainment MHL 2.0, IR transceiver, DLNA, WiFi Direct
WiFi Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac,
Wireless Charging No
Operating system Android 4.2.2 (TouchWiz)

DISPLAY

This year, both Sony and HTC have released phones having 5 inch 1080p displays. So, why should Samsung be left behind? The S4 boasts a 5 inch 1080p Super Amoled Display which is just mind blowing awesome. The pictures and videos just seam to pop out. The vibrancy and the crazy contrast ratios make the phones display the best we have seen in any smartphone. The bump from last years 720p to 1080p does show some improvement. The texts in webpages appear crisper and the photos have more detail.

But the display also comes with the drawbacks of amoled panels. Colors tend to over saturate and under sunlight the display suffers.

The display is also over sensitive which makes it possible to use the phone wearing gloves.

SOFTWARE

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes pre loaded with the Android 4.2.2. It is the latest iteration of android from Google. As usual, the android comes skinned with Samsung’s own Touchwiz UI. It has all the features we found in the S3 like the smart-stay, smart-rotation etc. The new addition to the smart line up is the smart-scroll. Basically what it does is that the tiny sensor at the top of the phone monitors the user’s eye and when the user reaches the bottom of the display, it automatically scrolls down. On paper this sounds awesome but in real life it may not offer a comfortable usage. Its just a feature to show off to friends.

Samsung_Galaxy_S4_UI_A

Another “smart” feature is the smart pause. While watching a video if the user looks away from the screen, the video pauses and resumes once you look back. These smart features only seem to work with the stock apps.

Samsung_Galaxy_S4_UI_B

The Galaxy S4 also has an in built IR blaster. This turns your phone into a universal remote control. A Remote control app is also pre loaded into the phone. This feature is also present in the HTC One and the Sony Xperia ZL.

PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE

The S4 is a beast. It is easily the fastest android phone ever. The smartphone has a 1.6 GHz Exynos Octa core processor backed up by 2 GB of RAM. The Graphics is handled by PowerVR SGX 544MP3. With this kind of firepower the phone is capable of handling anything we throw at it.

The US edition of the phone will come with a 1.9GHz Qualcomm Quad core processor. Here the GPU is  Adreno 320.This is because the Qualcomm chipset has LTE support. But the qualcomm processor is also quite capable of handling itself.

The below scores are based on the Quad core version of the device
Samsung Galaxy S 4 HTC One Samsung Galaxy S III
Quadrant 2.0 12,684 12,495 5,875
Vellamo 2.0 1,903 2,429 1,626
AnTuTu 3.x 26,143 25,140 10,944
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms) 772 991 1,194
GLBenchmark Egypt 2.5 HD Offscreen (fps) 39 34 15
CF-Bench 28,111 25,140 12,922

SunsSpider scores: Lower the better.

As we can see above, the S4 leads in every benchmark test.

Antutu Benchmark
Antutu Benchmark

The battery is increased from S3’s 2100mAh to 2600mAh. The higher res display, bigger screen, powerful processor, bigger camera will negate the increase in battery capacity.In video looping test with brightness 50%, the phone lasted just over 9 hours which is quite good as compared to other flagships of 2013.

CAMERA

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The Galaxy S4 has a 13mp Shooter. the GS4 rear camera lens uses an f/2.2 aperture, 4.235mm focal length and a 69-degree angular field of view; the 1/3.06-inch sensor offers a pixel size of 1.12 microns. The photos from the camera are quite detailed if taken in outdoor conditions but suffer from noise in low light conditions.

The HTC One proved that the amount of pixels doesn’t matter much but a average user is gonna see the megapixel count and is not gonna care about ultrapixels. The 13mp camera is a bump up for the company as its previous flagships sported a 8mp camera.

Various new photomodes are now included in the default camera app. The most exciting of them all is the dual shot mode. In this mode, the phone captures the photo as well as the users photo using the front cam and then “sticks” the user’s pic in the main picture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Verdict on Samsung Galaxy s4 Review

Samsung has done a very good job in the marketing department of the smartphone. The geeks in us will jump up in joy on hearing all about the market leading specs, but for a average user there is nothing extraordinary that he can justify paying a premium price for the Phone. But if one is not budget conscious and wants a good smartphone which will cover the basic needs as well as provide occasional entertainment, this is the phone for you. If a person is on the hunt for a good gaming android device, look no further, get this with out a second thought. But if one owns a decent smartphone, I cannot recommend upgrading just yet. If you are looking for a eye catching device, then you may find the HTC One more attractive option.  Also, if you are looking for a decent 1080p smartphone with decent price tag and buttery smoothe performance you may find the Sony Xperia ZL a better option.

Finally, some brief Pros and Cons for those who like to skim through texts…

PROS

  • Awesome Screen.
  • Great battery life.
  • Removable battery.
  • Mind Blowing Performance.
  • Superb Camera.

CONS

  • Cheap Build Quality.
  • Uninspiring design.
  • Over Saturated Colors.
  • Issues with internal storage.
  • The new “smart” features not so user friendly.
  • UI lag.

The Phone is available in India at a price of Rs 41,500. Its priced lower than the HTC One and Iphone 5 but higher than the Sony Xperia Z. It is available in flipkart.