With the runaway success of Samsung Galaxy S III, iPhone’s biggest competitor, it was expected that the release of Samsung Galaxy S IV would take the competition to a new level. The hype and expectations surrounding the features and capabilities of the new Galaxy S4 was evident across the globe. The awe-inspiring Galaxy S4 was launched by major mobile carriers around the world on the 27th April and the handsets will come at a starting price of $150-200 (depending on the mobile carrier)
As the new model hits stores around the globe, only time will tell if Galaxy S4 will live up to its expectations and be a game changer in the extremely smartphone market.
OS and interface
The Galaxy S4 runs on the Android 4.2.2 that supports a highly customized Touch Wiz interface. The new interface clearly shows Samsung has been keen to bulk the one-touch system icons (under the notifications shade). That’s not all, the Galaxy S4 has a simple settings menu that opens up separate screens for gestures, connections, keyboard settings, and accounts pane.
The Galaxy S4 takes the top spot for being the fastest and most powerful smartphone on the market at the moment. The 1.9 GHz Snapdragon processor and a remarkable 2 GB of RAM makes it outperform most smartphones in the market. Galaxy S4 scored a combined score of 3232 for two standard benchmark suites tested on the cross platform Geekbench 2, which makes it faster than the new HTC One and iPhone 5 which managed 2712 and 1660 respectively.
On the AnTuTu Benchmark 3.3 for measuring graphics processing unit, Galaxy S4 outscored HTC one 24,995 to 22,512 while Galaxy Note 2 managed a paltry 12, 676. Though the S 4 comes with a bigger battery, it doesn’t seem to translate into longer battery life. You should expect up to 2 days battery life for moderate usage and certainly nothing longer than a week for light usage.
There is an uncanny resemblance in the hardware of S3 and S4 (that makes it difficult to differentiate) until you turn them on. The 5 inch screen on S4 is bigger slightly than S 3’s 4.8 inch. Surprisingly, even with its large screen, Galaxy S4 frame comes out as slightly smaller and lighter than S3. Compared to HTC One, Galaxy S4’s 1080 super AMOLED screen is much brighter and more beautiful. It comes with a better color saturation and contrast.
Moving away from the screen, S4’s design is equally remarkable. Samsung seems keen to stick with a plastic back design and the single home key at the bottom that illuminates menu that fades when in standby mode. The executives argue that the plastic back offers greater flexibility to users (when removing/replacing battery and the memory) and the same argument goes for the S-View cover that acts as the replacement for back panel that comes with an integrated screen protector. The interesting part is you swipe and receive calls on the see through panel without opening your phone.
Galaxy S4 also strongly suggests that Samsung has not given up its quest for more megapixels. The S 4’s (built-in) back camera features a 13-megapixel sensor that takes some stunning shots and the magic behind this is a nifty software addition. Besides that, S4 also comes with a 2-megapixel front camera, intuitive sensors, and infrared blaster that doubles up as a remote control for your TV and AV gear. The camera also allows you to shoot multiple speeds (fast and slow motion) and merge the feed from rear and front cameras into a single composed shot.
Samsung took a bold step to clean and reorganize the TouchWiz UI that overlays Android Jelly Bean. Samsung has also expanded the Group Play in S4 to support collaboration on PDF, Word Docs, PowerPoint, and games and also the set of instant icons in the notifications panel. Without much ado, let’s look at some of the nifty features that puts S4 Galaxy in a class of its own.
Air Gesture Function is one nifty feature that gives Galaxy S4 an edge over other smartphones. It uses infrared sensors that detect sweeping motions a few inches away from the screen. The ultrasensitive feature allows you to answer a call, scroll your photo gallery, and move up/down a page without touching the screen. Samsung has also been keen to replicate the Air view feature (incorporated in the Galaxy Note Series) to allows users to to peek at e-mails and calendar items by hovering their fingers on specific entries.
Another remarkable feature is the UI trifecta eye-tracking technology that captures your vision as you look at the screen. If you are a watching a video and you turn away you gaze, the video will pause. Similarly, you can scroll a page by tilting your head. The gee-whiz features will take your breath away momentarily, no doubt about that, but then again, the smart screen tech may also turn out to be a menace as it is more jumpy.
The ingenious music share feature is yet another remarkable and timely inclusion. You can use I to assign different phones within a group the role of playing the right and left channel speakers. But, this is only limited to other S4 devices. Fortunately, Samsung is keen to update the Galaxy devices notably S3 and Note 2 to increase the sharing and participation capacities.
Though the Galaxy S4 is not entirely breath taking like the gorgeous HTC One or the elegant iPhone 5, it sharper edges gives it a more premium look than the S3. Nonetheless, it has a comfortable, sleek, and attractive frame. Though the new smartphone carries some unmistakable features of the SIII (notably wide screen & slim package), it is slowly proving itself to a different breed in its own right.
Samsung has left nothing to chance by creating a highly functional smartphone that provides users with apps that guarantee comfort and convenience on the go. Samsung Galaxy S 4 cuts an image of a smart and powerful phone. It comes with a host of refreshing and remarkable features, apps, and functionalities that makes it a satisfying device. S4 scores highly in terms of performance, size, and screen clarity.
Galaxy S IV Specs
- 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
- 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
- 4G Network LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600
- SIM Micro-SIM
- Body Dimensions –
- Weight –
- Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
- Internal 16/32/64 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
- OS Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean)
- Chipset Exynos 5 Octa 5410
- CPU Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
- GPU PowerVR SGX 544MP
- Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
- Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
- Talk time
- GPRS/Edge Yes
- Speed HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
- WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, EDR
- NFC Yes
- USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go
- GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS