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Galaxy S4: The battle for the throne- is this what you were looking for?

Before the launch of S4, there were many leaks on the internet showing the possible build of the next Samsung flagship. I hoped for an innovative design and premium look from Samsung, but I was let down after watching the launch event. The Galaxy s4 looks pretty identical to the predecessor S3. 


The Galaxy S3 is the world’s most popular Android phone having sold over 50 million units to date. Did Samsung bring a product (s4) which will lure potential customers? The answer is no! I don’t believe the current S3 owners will shell out money to buy this one. A sad but true fact is that, Samsung still uses the same old plastic shell on the s4. The first thing you’ll notice is that S4 looks the same as S3, but S4 is thinner at 7.9mm. 


The screen  is 4.99-inches, protected by the next generation Gorilla Glass3 and has a resolution of 1080p full HD with an eye popping  441ppi. The screen is holding 30% more pixels than the 720p display of S3 and so, the display is much sharper. Bear in mind that the competition is with Xperia Z and HTC One, both have 5-inch screens with the same resolution. 


The advantage of S4 is that it uses a SuperAMOLED display which means that sunlight legibility is better and so it blows off any competition using LCD technology, also the blacks are deeper and nicer. Coming to the hardware, we have inside; a brutally fast Octa-core processor, the Exynos 5 Octa 5410 ie. two quad-core processors , one  a Cortex-A15 clocking 1.6GHz and another Cortex-A7 clocking  1.2GHz. 


The heavy tasks are handled by the A15-core and light tasks by the A7-core. The GPU is the same as in the Iphone 5 ; ie. PowerVR SGX 544MP3. RAM is 2GB which is a standard nowadays. A 2600mAh battery  is packed inside which is  welcome news. Connectivity features include 4G, NFC, Bluetooth 4 and WI-FI. The storage comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options with further expansion via microsd card slot. Camera has a 13-MegaPixel sensor with a revamped UI similar to the Galaxy Camera UI.


S4 comes with the latest iteration of Android, (4.2.2 Jelly Bean) overlaid with Samsung’s very own TouchWiz UI. This time many more software features are added to the catalogue namely Smart-Scroll ( comes with an update just after phone release ), Smart Pause ; which pauses a video you’re playing when you look away, S Health ; which is a standalone app that tracks your steps, stairs climbed etc , Air View ; which is a feature borrowed from the Galaxy Note 2, where you can hover with the S Pen (stylus) over the screen and it will preview information. Except with the S4 there's no pen; you just use your finger.


Verdict: After so much hype and build-up, I feel sad to say that the S4 failed to impress. The unwelcome plastic body will not be appreciated by the potential customers  after having heard so many complaints about the S3’s vulnerability to scratches.  Anyone who has seen the Xperia Z or the HTC one will have a reluctance towards the S4 design and build. The S4 design felt outdated and cold. Despite packing a fantastic hardware, I don’t feel Samsung has done enough to turn heads. I personally own the Galaxy S3 and if someone asked my opinion, I would turn down the S4 and recommend  the Xperia Z or the HTC One. Samsung’s only way of selling the product would be reducing the price so that it can compete with the Xperia Z or the HTC One, but that is not going to happen in the first few months as the phone is expected to be launched in India in April with a price tag anywhere between INR 35,000 to 40,000.

 

 

Specs :


  • Network: 4G
  • Display: 5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • Processor:  1.6GHz octa-core processor (will differ depending on market)
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Rear Camera: 13 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
  • Front Camera: 2 Mega pixel camera, Full HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BIS
  • Video: Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark, HEVC;  Recording & Playback: Full HD (1080p)
  • Audio: Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X
  • Camera Features: Dual Camera: Dual Shot / Dual Recording/ Dual Video Call
  • Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, 360 Photo, Cinema Photo, Eraser, Night, Best Photo, Best Face,
  • Beauty Face, HDR (High Dynamic Range), Panorama, Sports
  • Additional Features: Group Play: Share Music, Share Picture, Share Document, Play Games
  • Story Album, S Translator, Optical Reader
  • Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View,
  • Samsung Hub, ChatON (Voice/Video Call, Share screen, 3-way calling)
  • Samsung WatchON
  • S Travel (Trip Advisor), S Voice™ Drive, S Health
  • Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound
  • Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly)
  • Safety Assistance, Samsung Link, Screen Mirroring
  • Samsung KNOX (B2B only)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80), GPS / GLONASS, NFC,  Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Internal Storage: 16/ 32/ 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm, 130g
  • Battery: 2,600 mAh

 

 

Posted by Edwin

 

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