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Is Upgrading To The Samsung Galaxy S4 From The Galaxy S3 Worth It?

Last updated: October 2, 2018.

Samsung Galaxy S4 VS Galaxy S3 Review

Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S4 and this smartphone has a lot to live up to.  It is the first generalise high-end smartphone released by Samsung after the Galaxy S3 and many are expecting a lot of new improvements in the Galaxy S4.

Galaxy S3

In this review, we look at both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3 to try and figure out if Galaxy S3 users will have enough good reasons to upgrade to the Galaxy S4.  We look at how the two compare in four areas: display, the design and build quality, hardware and software.

Display

  • The display of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 4.99-inch screen that uses Super AMOLED technology.
  • The screen of the Galaxy S4 has a full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and a pixel density of 441 ppm.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S4 is currently the only phone on the market with a full HD AMOLED display.
  • While AMOLED display technology gives you very crisp images, there are some complaints that the colors are oversaturated and inaccurately reproduced.
  • The display of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a 4.8-inch screen that uses Super AMOLED (PenTile) technology.
  • The screen of the Galaxy S3 has a resolution of 1280 x 720 for a pixel density of 306 ppm.
  • The PenTile subpixel arrangement is a weak point of the Galaxy S3. It results in some fuzz around a few graphic elements, including text.
  • In general, the Galaxy S3’s display has been noted to be of a weaker quality than those found in some other Android flagships.

 

Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S4’s full HD display is superior to the display found on the Samsung Galaxy S3.

Design and build quality

  • The Samsung Galaxy S4 measures 6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm and weighs 130g
  • The Samsung Galaxy S3 measures 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm and weighs 133g
  • Placed next to each other, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S3 are easily mistaken for each other.
  • The S4 is the same height as that of the S3, but it is narrower and thinner.
  • The S4 has a narrower bezel in front. But other than that, there is not much difference between the S4 and the S3.
  • The plastic case used in the S4 uses the same glaze as the S3.

Verdict: Samsung has chosen to use the exact same design language and materials in the S4 that they did with the S3.  However, the S3 is a little more compact.

Hardware

CPU, GPU, and RAM

A2

  • There are two versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that have been released. These have different CPUs and GPUs
    • International version: A Samsung Exynos 5 Octa with a quad-core A15 and quad-core A7. The quad-core A15 clocks at 1.6 GHz.  The quad-core A7 clocks at 1.2 GHz.  It also has a PowerVR SGX544MP3
    • US version: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064AT with a quad-core Krait 300 that clocks at 1.9 GHz. It also has an Adreno 320.
  • Both the international and US version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 have 2 GB of RAM.
  • The Samsung Galaxy S3 also came in two versions with different CPUs and GPUs.
    • LTE: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC with a dual-core Krait CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz.  Includes an Adreno 220 GPU with 2 GB RAM
    • 3G: Exynos 4 Quad SoC with a quad-core A9 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz. Includes a Mali 400 MP and 1 GB RAM.
  • There should be a noticeable improvement in performance in the Galaxy S4 from the Galaxy S3

Internal Storage

  • The Galaxy S4 offers three options for onboard storage: 16/32/64 GB.
  • Whereas, the Galaxy S3 offers two options for onboard storage: 16/32 GB
  • Both the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 have microSD slots so they offer you the opportunity to expand your storage up to 64 GB.

Camera

  • The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13 MP rear camera and a 2 MP front camera.
  • While the Samsung Galaxy S3 has an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.9 MP front camera.
  • There is more functionality in the camera software of the Galaxy S4. This includes a function that allows you to record a sound snippet to attach to an image and dual record mode.

Battery

  • The battery of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a 2,100 mAh
  • However, the battery of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 2,600 mAh unit.
  • While the Galaxy S3 was able to provide a decent battery life, we hope that the Galaxy S4 will be able to do the same.
  • The bigger display of the S4 could prove to be a greater drain then that found in the G3.

Verdict: Though the S4 is the faster device, only people who really need to have the highest, most cutting edge specs would really find it important to upgrade from the S3.

Software

A3

  • The Samsung Galaxy S3 originally ran on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It has since received and update and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
  • While, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will run Android 4.2
  • Moreover, the Galaxy S4 will improve on the software available with the Galaxy S3.
  • New functions will include Air View, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, S Translator and S drive.

Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S4 will include a lot of welcome new software.

The Galaxy S4 is really only an incremental update to the S series, however, the S3 wasn’t exactly a revolutionary device either.

Should you upgrade from the S3 to the S4 then? If you need the extra processing power or really want the best display, yes.

If however, you don’t really need all the extra processing power, it’s not that necessary.  The upgrade will just mean you paid a lot of money for a display upgrade and a few extra software features and maybe more battery life.

Finally, what do you think?  Are you planning to upgrade?

JR

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