Samsung Galaxy S4: A smart phone from Samsung!
Samsung introduced the Galaxy S4 phone in March 2013. The device costs approximately Rs. 24,000*/-
The Samsung Galaxy S4 features an Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chipset with Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 CPU. It also has a PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU unit for graphics. The device is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB variants that come coupled with 2GB of RAM. The device also has Micro SD card slot that accepts up to 64 GB cards.
The device has the Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), v4.3, upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat), there is also a planned upgrade to v5.0 (Lollipop). The device has Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, and gesture sensors. The HTML5 browser on the device has Java support (with MIDP emulator).
The device has a 5 inch super AMOLED capacitive touch screen with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution and 441 ppi pixel density. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and TouchWiz UI.
Battery and Connectivity:
The device has a Li-ion 2600 mAh battery with wireless charging facility. The battery has standby time of Up to 370 h and talk time of Up to 17 h. Additionally, the device has Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot, Bluetooth (v4.0, A2DP, EDR, LE, apt-X) GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS) NFC, as well as Infrared Port. There is a MicroUSB (v2.0) MHL2 TV-out USB host provision too.
The device has a 13 MP primary camera with 4128 x 3096 pixels resolution. It also has AF and LED flash. The camera features Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection and HDR. Videos can be shot at 1080P. The device has a 2 MP secondary camera too.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Detailed Review:
Samsung has the changed the flagship competition quite well with the S series smartphones and both the S2 and S3 managed to beat most of the competitors quite well. So yet again, Samsung launched another device in the series, the S4 with a 5 inch screen and an octa core processor. Sure the specs look decent and quite promising to take the challenge in the competition, but let us see how the device performs in the real world and where it fares up in the segment.
Design & Display:
There is nothing much to brag about the design. It’s the same design we have seen in the traditional Samsung phones. The S4 looks almost similar to the S3, but with slimmed down bezels. The material is once again plastic but atleast feels somewhat better than its predecessor. The S4’s size is almost the same as S3 but comes with a bigger screen and also the phone is lighter and a bit thinner than its predecessor. The build quality feels okay and more improved and it feels good to hold in hand with its thinner and lighter weight. The device packs a 5 inch 1080p display with 441 ppi. The display quality is pretty refined and improved over S3. Viewing angles are wide enough and colors look very rich. The contrast ratio is also decent and there is a good amount of brightness for outdoor viewing.
The device comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI on top of it. Users can upgrade the phone to 4.4.2 KitKat via software update. Samsung has been improving the TouchWiz for every release and it seems optimised well in the case of S4. Samsung has loaded quite new features, tweaks and various options similarly like its predecessor. The widgets and icons seem pretty much like the ones we have seen in Samsung phones so far. The notification panel contains a whole lot of options to enable/disable and you can customise the order they are placed. There is a feature for multi-tasking called Multi Window, where you can run two apps at the same time, like the first app on upper half of the screen and second one on lower half. The settings menu comes in tabs based on the category instead of all options sittings at the same screen. Overall, with a bunch of features and tweaks, the device runs smoother considering the fact that it packs quite a powerful hardware.
The device comes with a 13MP Auto Focus camera with LED flash at the back and a 2MP cam at the front. Both the cams are capable of recording 1080p video at 30fps. The camera interface is neat and there are a bunch of scene modes, options and various tweaks you can do to get the best picture. One of the notable scene modes include the dual shot mode, where both the cameras can be used to take a pic, meaning the front cam takes a stamp like picture from its view and the rest of the image space occupies the rear camera view. The image quality is impressive; there is good amount of detailing and colors look richer. However, though the images come quite well, there is still a bit of noise which is of course minimal. When it comes to low light images, the similar performance is not observed and the images contains a bit of noise. Overall the image quality is decent. There is only one speaker and not the dual ones like HTC One. But anyway, audio output is clean and loud enough and the clarity with headphones is a top notch.
Connectivity & Additional features:
The device comes in single sim version, along with Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, IR blaster and A-GPS. Network reception is good and call clarity is very clean. Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB based on the version and the device also supports microSD cards upto 64GB. There are a bunch of new features in S4 like its predecessor. Direct call is one of the features utilised from S3. There is smart stay feature, where in when you’re playing a video and suddenly once you look away from the phone, the video is paused. Quick glance feature lets you view some important info on date and time, notifications for calls or mails etc. when you hover your finger near the sensor without even having to turn on the display. Smart Scroll is a gimmicky feature where it automatically scrolls webpages when you move your head up or down, but you will have a hard time giving some pain to the neck. There are also air gestures, where you move your hand to move or flip the gallery images.
Performance & Battery:
The device runs on Exynos 5 Octa core processor at 1.6/1.2 GHz along with 2GB RAM and PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU. As said earlier, the device packs quite a powerful processor, hence running heavy apps and games won’t cause any noticeable lags. The device scored well enough in benchmark tests, with 28k in Antutu and around 12k in Quadrant. Some of the heavy games like Asphalt 8 and MC4 played quite well, and frame rate drops are very rare and lag is very minimal. Even while running the multi window feature, both the apps ran smoother and there is no sluggishness observed. The battery is of 2600mAh capacity which easily stays one full day. Samsung has optimised battery consumption well, and there is no surprise even if the phone stays for one and half day for a single charge under normal usage. There is also power saving mode to squeeze out the best out of the battery.
Whole lot of features
Good camera performance
Same old design feels uninspired and unattractive
Some gimmicky features which doesn’t work as expected
Plastic body may not appeal to all and doesn’t give a premium look
So far, if there is anything wrong with the S4, it is just the design. Other than that, the phone packs quite a surprising package and you will love it once you get used to it. Of course there is much competition from HTC One and Xperia Z. All the 3 are decent phones but each have its own limitations. HTC One might have an impressive aluminium build, premium feel and an improved Sense UI, but the camera performance is a mixed bag. Xperia Z ofcourse boasts some water resistant capabilities and a stylish look, but the display and loudspeaker are not as good as expected. Inspite of all these, all the 3 phones perform well in the real world and the choice depends on your preference. If you’re okay with the limitations of S4 and don’t care about aluminium build or water resistant capabilities, the S4 makes up for a powerful performer with a whole lot of unique features and it will never disappoint you.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Rivals: