I know that you’ve seen several Samsung Galaxy S4 reviews by now, but we decided to offer you something different this time. This smartphone has so many features in it, that some do not know what they are for. Most of them aren’t useful as they were first shown. While we can live without every feature included in it, we must admit that this device is a step ahead of its predecessor. Based on the user’s experience, we received some good and bad reviews about the features and the device as a whole.
Let’s start from the top. One of the most common complaints we received about is the plastic chassis. Compared with its rivals Apple and HTC, the Galaxy S4 looks more industrial and definitely falls short behind them. This problem has been present through the whole series of smartphones despite the effort for making the S4 with more refined touch. With almost the same measurements that its predecessor has, it’s hardly to note the difference between the S3 and S4. The latest smartphone is only a 0.7-ounce lighter and 0.7mm thinner.
In our first review, we said that it’s all about the screen. Well, when we were able to work on the device for a couple of months we saw that there is no big difference between the devices. On paper, the Galaxy S4 has 441ppi that is much higher than the iPhone 5’s 321ppi and a bit less than the HTC One’s 468ppi display. These numbers didn’t make a difference in reality. The eyes don’t catch ppi because it only sees that the image looks sharp and clean. If you look at the all previously mentioned smartphones you will see that all details have been covered.
The outdoor experience has proven to be tough. When you take pictures outside it is really tough for you to determine what you have taken until you go inside. If you compare this feature with the Nokia Lumia 920, you might feel a little bit disappointed to see that the Lumia performs better. However, we can give all the credit to Samsung for placing that sensitivity feature on its screen. It’s simply amazing because you can navigate even with your gloves on.
Android 4.2.2 is great fit for this Touch Wiz interface. Samsung gives much improved experience which is far ahead of the competition that uses the same interface. I love what they did with this interface. Everything is just on a tap away. Searching and toggling settings has never been easier, and I have used many different interfaces.
We are slowly coming to the apps and features. On this smartphone, there are plenty of preinstalled apps to get you started. We are not going to name them all but they feel useful at the start. After that, blend into the dark. Samsung did bring some branded versions. Many features were included in this smartphone and some of them didn’t perform well under our command. I was really excited about the eye-tracking gestures like Smart Scroll and Smart Pause. When I was trying to take the best of them, I concluded that there are simpler ways how to scroll text while reading. Smart Pause is a great addition because it showed better responsiveness than the Smart Scroll. Some analysts have said that the sensors were causing some problems during trying these features. Yes, you must wait half-second or more to notice the results.
I also like the Multi window feature which splits the screen so that you can see two different apps. I tend to lose my TV remote control few times in a day and the S4 comes in as a perfect replacement. It has really great interface makes it really easy to use. You can use your TV and DVR.
You can’t talk about the Galaxy S4 and not mention the camera features. When I saw the unveiling event, all I could think of was that Samsung has been putting their whole effort into making the camera perfect. This smartphone is equipped with a 13-mpix camera and lot of new features attached to it. When you open the camera app, you must see the dual-shot mode. I’m using it all the time because when you are shooting a portrait with the back camera, you can be in it using the front-facing camera. There is the Drama mode, Erase mode that I didn’t find it useful, Sound and Shot that is used for sending audio greetings card to someone. As I said, I’m using only the dual-shot mode because it’s awesome and the best mode a camera can have. The other is just too much.
I’m not going to write again for the performance of this smartphone because from our previous review you already know what this beast can do. Maybe in some other report where we will focus on the specs and performance.
I know that there are so many features included in it but to be honest, they are only for a one time use. I’ve heard several complaints that if you use them all simultaneously the battery will drain really fast. It’s up to you to decide if you are going to use the full advantage of this phone.