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A Review Of The Samsung Galaxy S4

Last updated: April 1, 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Specs

Samsung has packed a lot of new features into the Samsung Galaxy S4, so many that it’s a bit difficult to keep track of them all. Samsung made a rather risky bet by opting to keep the design of the S4 in-line with the previous year’s Galaxy S3. This means that the Galaxy S4 continues to be made of plastic while other flagships have already begun to use materials that are much more luxurious, such as aluminium or glass.

Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a bit more of an evolutionary leap and not a radical break from its predecessors. It has many rich software features but lacks the premium design and feel of other new flagships.
In this review, we take a closer look at both the hardware and software of the Galaxy S4 to see just what it offers.

Design

Samsung has still kept the same design features that they already had with the S3. You might actually confuse the two devices.
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• There has been a slight tweak done to the contours of the Samsung Galaxy S4 so that it’s a bit more rectangular. There has also been a chromed band added to the side.
• The display of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a bit bigger than that of the Galaxy S3. In order to do that without increasing the size of the phone, Samsung shrunk the surrounding bezels width.
• The home button placed in the center. While this is a change from the Galaxy S3, it’s actually a placement that was seen in the Galaxy Note 2.
• The back cover is still made of plastic and is removable. This covers a removable battery and a microSD slot.
• For the Galaxy S4, Samsung had changed the glazed finish it used in 2012. The Galaxy S4 has mesh pattern instead.
• The Galaxy S4 is lighter and also more compact then the S3. The flatter sides also make it feel better in the user’s hand and its quite easy to use one-handed.
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Bottom line: If you liked the build and design of the Galaxy S3, you’ll like the familiar but refined feel of the Galaxy S4.

Display

• Samsung continues to use AMOLED technology with the Galaxy S4.
• The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a five inch screen with a full HD panel for a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch.
• The colors are vibrant and crisp.
• Visibility and viewing angles are excellent.
• The cheerful and colourful TouchWiz user interface makes good use of the AMOLED capabilities of the display
Bottom line: Samsung continues to produce one of the best displays around with the Galaxy S4.

Good hardware

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• It uses a Snapdragon 600 processor backed by an Adreno 320 GPU
• We tested the Galaxy S4 and it got an AnTuTu score of 25,000 it also got good scores on Epic Citadel.
• The speaker of the Galaxy S4 is still found on the rear. It does get nicely loud and it avoids becoming overly tinny. You should be able to share listening to music or viewing YouTube videos.

Lots of Sensors

• Samsung packed the Galaxy S4 with the usual range of sensors and connectivity options and more.
• The Samsung Galaxy S4 also has a barometer, temperature gauge, RGB light sensor, IR blaster, an infrared sensor that is used with air gestures, a magnetic sensor for smart covers, and digital compass.

Battery life

• The Galaxy S4 uses a removable 2,600 mAh removable battery.
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• Samsung increased the battery size by 500 mAh more from the Galaxy S3.
• However, as the display is now bigger and the processor more powerful, in the end the difference in battery life between the S4 and S3 is practically non-existent.
• We tested the battery life of the Galaxy S4 with a movie streaming test. We had a little under four hours of viewing time on Nextflix using Wi-Fi.
• When we tested the device by browsing and watching local videos with sync enabled, we got eight hours of use.
• All in all, we found that the battery life offered by the Galaxy S4 was satisfactory. For those who think they might need more, the option to replace the battery as needed may answer that need.

Camera

• Hardware-wise the cameras of the Galaxy S4 are not the impressive.
• Samsung attempted to improve the Galaxy S4’s camera experience by improving the camera software.
• The camera app on the Galaxy S4 has the standard options, such as HDR and panorama, and a few new ones. Some great new options are Best Face mode, which allows you to pick the best face from burst shots; Animated Photo which helps you make GIFs or cinemagraphs; Sound and Shot, which allows you to attach a sound clip with your photo; Eraser mode, which prevents photobombers by erasing moving objects in the shot; and Drama Shot where you can combine several shots of moving objects into one photo.
• The quality of images taken with the cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is quite good. Details and color saturation levels are captured nicely and well balanced.

Software: Many new features

• Samsung Galaxy S4 uses Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean.
• The Galaxy S4 uses Samsung’s TouchWiz interface.
• The TouchWiz interface’s colourful theme looks really nice in the Galaxy S4’s AMOLED display.
• It has infrared sensors and these are put to good use with their new air gestures features. The Galaxy S4 is capable of “feeling” your fingers on the screen and many areas of the interface. Merely hovering a finger over a folder will give you a preview of its contents.
• Other air gesture features that you might find interesting are the ability to move to the next music track with a flick of your hand and waving your hand to trigger a quick info screen with notifications and phone status info.
• It also has Smart Pause as well as Smart Scroll.
• There is S Translator, which basically does what Google Translate does
• Group Play will allow users to share tracks with up to 5 different phones.
• With the help of the S4’s sensors, you can calculate calorie intake, log your weight, count your steps and other things.
• While the S Health app already does a lot of health tracking functions, Samsung has made it a point to make the S4 compatible with heart rate monitors, digitals scales and wrist pedometers.

Conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy S4 set to available over the next few weeks from major US carriers. The price will range from $150 to $249 on contract. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is definitely one of the best smartphones of all time. While there’s nothing too revolutionary about it, there are more than enough new improvements and features for it to be a device worth upgrading to and it is definitely an upgrade over the Galaxy S3.

What do you think about the Samsung Galaxy S3?

JR

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