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Samsung Galaxy S4 – The Pros and Cons Smartphone

Samsung Galaxy S4 – The Pros and Cons Smartphone

�The battery life of the Galaxy S4 is good. The smartphone will last a day even with a bit more usage. With mediocre use can jump out 1.5 days.

�However, there are also negative things to report and that to the camera that I praised: the autofocus is very unstable and keeps adjusting itself, which often ends in blurry or suboptimal photos.

�I am busy testing Samsung’s new flagship smartphone for 2013, the Galaxy S4. Having held the S3 in my hands a long time ago, but I did not like it much, I was all the more excited about the new experience. Interestingly, for me, the Galaxy S4 is one of the best and worst smartphones I’ve ever used. Why? The answer is now in the Galaxy S4 Review.

The device

As you probably know, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 5 inch smartphone with a Full HD 1080p display and Samsung’s AMOLED technology. This results in a really nice, albeit more than natural colored picture. A small catch is the brightness in the sunlight. Against IPS or LCD displays as in the HTC One, the Galaxy S4 is a bit weaker, but acceptable.

�Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 at 1.9 Ghz, a new-generation quad-core processor that achieves incredible benchmark results on paper. The same processor but with 1.7 Ghz is in the HTC One.

�2 GB of RAM are installed in the smartphone, plus an internal memory from 16GB. As always with Samsung the internal memory is expandable by a microSD card.

�On the back is the center of the 13 megapixel camera and a LED flash, in front there are 2 megapixels for video chats, etc.

�Samsung continues to stick to its button layout. In the lower center of the screen is the hardware home button, on the left a menu button, on the right the back button. The menu key can be accessed by tapping and holding Go to Google Now, tap and hold the Home button to open the Multitasking view. At the bottom of the Galaxy S4 is the micro-USB port, top the headphone jack, the speaker is located on the back.

So much for the externals and hardware features that most certainly know.

By the way: The case gets very hot on the back at the level of the camera and even on the front and only with mediocre use, ie without 3D games or HD videos.

The outer design

As successful as Samsung may be, one thing remains: the plastic housing. The Galaxy S4 is completely based on polycarbonate. Unlike the predecessor, the edge of the smartphone surrounds a silver bar, the rest is left in a patterned black or white. The edge has its reason. Through him, the smartphone is a little firmer and safer in the hand than the extremely slippery predecessor, the S3. Nevertheless, the new flagship remains a greasy affair. After some time, the fingers are getting smoother and the device almost seems to slip out of the hands.

�Incidentally, this is not only due to the plastic, because other manufacturers such as Nokia with the Lumia 920 also rely on polycarbonate, but this smartphone is much less slippery. It’s more down to Samsung’s penchant for super shiny, coated plastic.

�If you like it or do not mind it, you will enjoy the S4. However, I find the feeling in the hands after some time already almost terrible.

�The smartphone looks a bit different than its predecessor. It’s not bigger, though it has a bigger 5 inch screen. It is very thin and light. The metallic-looking edge around the device makes it look a little bit higher quality than the S3. The camera on the back is positioned differently than its predecessor.

�But the big difference can only be seen inside. As is typical for Samsung, the S4 can also be removed from the rear panel to access the 2600mAh battery, the MicroSD slot and the Micro Sim slot. The arrangement of these components is fundamentally different than in S3. It’s much more like the Galaxy Note 2. The Galaxy S4 seems to be a shrunken version of the 5.5-inch Note 2. Also, the curves and arrangement of the cameras more reminiscent of the Note 2. Since Samsung has probably inspired by itself.


�The Galaxy S4 comes with the current Android version 4.2.2 therefore. That’s great, if it were not Samsung’s own Touchwiz surface. I still think it’s a bad joke. I’ve rarely seen a nastier design. There is absolutely no comparison with iOS, HTC’s new Sense 5 or Stock Android. The comic-style Ions and the completely over-saturated colors and color combinations, as well as shades, gradients, etc. are just awful. Here would be less definitely more.

On the other hand, there are many easy ways to quickly change the design.

�Samsung has introduced a lot of new software features in its 2013 flagship. There are many smart features like Smart Scroll, Smart Stay, Smart Pause. Smart Scroll allows the smartphone to automatically scroll when the eyes are moving. The whole works well only in theory. When using it is rather annoying. Smart Stay is nice. The screen stays on as long as the eyes are pointed at him. Smart Pause should automatically pause videos if you look away. That does not work too well. So switch off quickly.

Air View offers a kind of hover preview in some apps. This works reasonably well, e.g. you can preview photos, articles on Flipboard (pre-installed), videos, etc. What bothers me: If this feature is to be used, then it must work in all (at least all preinstalled) apps. Otherwise you have to learn which apps can and which are not. The operation should be intuitive.
�Air Gestures offers the ability to execute gestures without touching the smartphone. You can swipe between photos by moving to the left or right in front of the sensor on the top of the S4. It works quite well, but raises the question: how often do I really use it? Is it easier than touching the screen? No, because the gesture has to be executed very obviously, so that it works at all, to stroke a finger goes faster. Also, Air Gesture like AirView does not work system-wide, which is simply not thought-through.

There are many other software features that, for the most part, all have the same problems: they either only partially work, which is rather sad for an expensive flagship smartphone, unless it’s in the test phase, or they only work in certain ways Applications, which makes the operation not very intuitive.

�It seems like Samsung has just quickly integrated all the software features that have ever been tested into the device without first perfecting them.

Now to a point that stands out: Despite the strong Snapdragon 600 and 2 GB of RAM, the Galaxy S4 has some small dropouts. Whether this is due to my device, I do not know. However, I’ve heard about it in other reviews. In general, the smartphone reacts very fluently, but sometimes it hooks. For example, the message bar at the top does not exit right away while wiping, but hooks briefly. In Samsung’s own Touchwiz this is still limited, but I have adapted the look with the Nova Launcher and icon packs. Now more and more dropouts occur. My Nexus 4, on the other hand, runs perfectly smoothly with the same adjustment. This should not happen with a high-end smartphone for 600 euros or more.

Adaptation with Nova Launcher


What Samsung did well is the camera. 13 megapixels are neat, but the camera app is well laid out and not overloaded. There are a lot of modes that you can use to shoot pictures better, such as a night mode, portrait, panorama, drama, etc. I would like to highlight the Sport mode, which allows you to quickly capture fast events with multiple images can capture. Sound & Shot lets the photo capture a few surrounding sounds, which is more of a gimmick but can be funny.

Samsung also offers a new feature called Dual Shot. This makes it possible to simultaneously use the front and rear camera and emerge as a photographer himself in the picture. That’s an interesting idea and it works well too. With the camera in the Galaxy S4 so you can try a lot of things, play around and discover new. For a plus.

The photo quality is very good, better than the Sony Xperia Z, which also has a 13 megapixel camera. Samsung manages to use the pixels better and to improve with software. Even in low light conditions, the device takes good pictures. With the night mode, even pictures in the dark are okay, although other smartphones like the Lumia 920 or HTC One are slightly better. All in all, the Galaxy S4 is one of the best camera smartphones you can buy right now. If photos are very important, they are well served.

Picture with the Galaxy S4 in natural proportions
Other features

The speakers of the S4 are on the back and mono, so not particularly worth mentioning, but sufficient for a smartphone. The sound through the included headphones is very good. The sound quality of the phone is wonderful, even if the voice sounds a bit different. But you hear everything very well, both on the speaker side and on the listener side.

Dropbox comes preinstalled on the Galaxy S4, and interestingly, I’ve gotten a cloud storage bonus of 48GB by setting up my Dropbox account on the device! That’s a nice agreement. Although the additional storage is “only” 24 months long, but at least.

Of course, the S4 offers all important connections such as LTE, WLAN, Bluetooth, NFC. It has an infrared operator to control the TV. In addition to the typical sensors such as light, proximity, gyroscope, accelerometer, it also has a temperature and humidity sensor, a barometer, a gesture sensor, a geomagnet, a Hall sensor, which is for the SView cover, ie the device when opening the Covers wakes up, and last but not least an RGB sensor, which should automatically adjust the colors in the display, for example to relax the eyes while reading.

The internal memory

You may already have heard that: The Galaxy S4 consumes half of its 16 GB of its own. For various applications, the preinstalled Samsung, for Touchwiz, etc. That’s a lot, very much, especially considering that apps can be stored from Android 4 only on the internal memory. Thus, there is not much room for applications, especially if they are big like newest games or similar. At least you can put his media on a MicroSD card. However, I always come back to the point: less is more and that is what Samsung should think about. Pre-installed apps like Dropbox may be okay, Flipboard does not have to be and all the Samsung apps cost storage space. Basically, I find Stock Android completely sufficient, especially since the version 4.2.2., Which runs on the S4 yes, but unfortunately, hardly anything to remember.


�Why is the Galaxy S4 a pro smartphone?


�1. The case fits better in the hand than its predecessor, but is still extremely slick due to the shiny plastic.

�2. The internal memory can be expanded, but is already half full by Samsung Touchwiz and Apps.

�3. The Snapdragon 600 delivers immense performance, but is heavily used by Touchwiz and its many features such as smart features, gestures, etc., resulting in small dropouts.

�4. The S4 feels more stable than the S3 but is reportedly less stable.

�5. The software features sound good in theory, but in practice only partially or not at all, or only in certain applications.

�6. The camera shoots great photos, but the screen is hard to see outside in the sunlight.

�7. The display is sharp and stylish, but the auto brightness is usually too dark.

�8. The latest Android version is installed, but is completely destroyed by Touchwiz. Besides, Touchwiz is and remains ugly.

�10. The case gets very hot on the back at camera height, but even on the front side with mediocre use.

These are some of the pros and cons that I noticed. Some of it is certainly subjective, but there are still some issues that I can not ignore. But I’m sure the Galaxy S4, like the S3 and more, will be a success and sell very well. Whether the smartphone deserves it? What do you all mean? I’m torn like the pros and cons list and tend to be more HTC One.
�In my opinion, Samsung has rested a little too much on its laurels and too little new developed, except for the immature software features.

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