Monday, 27 May 2013


Monday, 27 May 2013
It might not be moments after the phone is announced, but I finally have a review unit of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 is undoubtedly the most lusted after Android smartphone to date. In fact, we'd say that interest in the phone before launch was at least as high as for upcoming Apple phones. The packaging (at least here in the UK) gives the handset a natural feel, looking like a wooden box, with false wood grain.
    Inside the wood/natural colouring continues in the internal tray and introductory booklets. Inside, the Galaxy S4 itself, sitting on top of the box with its five inch 1080p screen. I think this is the biggest initial selling point.
Samsung Galaxy S4

At first glance you'd have to err towards an evolution.

The new handset appears to retain the same white plastic finish, but look closer and you'll see a fine diamond pattern beneath the gloss surface. It's a nice touch, and one subtle enough to avoid accusations of unnecessary bling.

--> Samsung Galaxy S4 

 The Galaxy S4 doesn't look dramatically different from the S3, though it feels like a more solid, premium creation. Its silver sides are almost indistinguishable from metal, the polycarbonate shell fits more snugly and the bezel beside the screen is thinner than ever.

Samsung has also added tools such as Dual Shot, Eraser, Drama Shot and Sound & Shot to its 13-megapixel camera.


This is the first smartphone to use an AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution. Measuring 4.99in across this gives it an on-paper pixels-per-inch figure of 441, up from 306PPI on the Galaxy S3.

there's an S4 (the GT-I9500) with a Samsung designed and produced Xynos eight-core CPU, but that actually consists of a four-core main CPU and a four-core low-power CPU, which the handset switches between in realtime to maximise performance and battery life. It's an idea that's been around a while, ARM calls it big.LITTLE, but it's good to see it finally implement on a quad-core flagship device.
But, and it's a big one, that eight-core Galaxy S4 isn't the one you'll be buying in the UK. Instead when you turn on your shiny new S4 the first thing you'll see is that it's a GT-I9505 handset, which uses a Qualcomm designed quad-core chipset instead. This is because the other model doesn't include 4G/LTE support unless you import one yourself and pay full price for it plus a hefty import duty, there's little point in comparing the two in detail. We haven't been sent an I9500 for testing, but looking at reputable sources online it appears to be a little quicker with slightly improved battery life.


Also behind the cover is the Micro SD slot, which can take a card with a capacity of up to 64GB.


Samsung has done well in releasing the Samsung Galaxy S4 with the latest version of the operating system - Android 4.2.2. There are many advantages to this, but we particularly like the highly customisable list of shortcuts buttons you can add to the notifications dropdown.

Samsung has packed a lot of extras into the Samsung Galaxy S4. So many in fact that it's unlikely that anyone but a smartphone reviewer or the most ardent Samsung smartphone fan will ever realise they're all there, let alone use them. It does mean though that there's bound to be something that you find useful, or even indispensable.

The storage is measly and the mono speaker and lack of FM radio may be a downer for some, but despite these it's still a lot of phone for your money.

NB: Samsung Galaxy S4 User Guide /  Manual

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