First Reviews of Samsung Galaxy S4: Great Screen, Gimmick Features, Bad Plastic Design

Wednesday April 24, 2013 7:11 AM PDT by Husain Sumra
The reviews for the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung's next flagship Android smartphone, are out. The company announced the device at an event in mid-March and boasts a 5" screen, a 1080p display that Samsung calls "Full HD Super AMOLED" and more.

The overall consensus is that the Galaxy S4 is a solid upgrade over the previous S3 but that its plastic casing and minimal upgrades keep it from being great.

galaxys4Image via Engadget

Here is a collection of some of the early reviews:

AllThingsD

- "I found Samsung’s software often gimmicky, duplicative of standard Android apps, or, in some cases, only intermittently functional."
- "Its screen and camera resolution beat the iPhone 5’s and I found its pictures to be slightly better than those from the Apple phone, which is nearly a year old."
- "Still, compared with the iPhone 5, with its 4-inch screen, the S 4 is 30 percent larger and 17 percent heavier."

Gizmodo

- "It retains the same rounded-rectangle look, with metal edges and a slippery, finger-print-trapping plastic back that looks like it belongs on a far more downmarket phone."
- "Battery performance on the S4 is among the best we've seen from smartphones this year, though it's still not anywhere near as everlasting as the RAZR MAXX HD."
- "Sound on the S4 is another problem. It still has just one tiny, tin-can-sounding speaker on the bottom back of the phone."


Engadget


- Smart Scroll, which tracks the movement of your head to scroll through pages, is a "great idea" in theory but is "frustrating for several reasons" including limited compatibility with apps and bad tracking in badly lit areas.
- "Many of [the new camera modes] are great for showing off at parties with little usefulness elsewhere, but we found ourselves using a few of them on a more regular basis."
- "In general, the GS 4 performs amazingly well, but there's a catch: when Air View and Air Gestures were enabled, we noticed the phone acting a little sluggish even in the most basic of tasks."

The Verge

- "The GS4's 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is big, beautiful, and seriously eye-catching."
- "Samsung’s Galaxy S lineup has never wanted for power, and neither does the Galaxy S4 — it’s an impressively fast and powerful phone, capable of handling anything I threw at it."
- "For some reason, Samsung has always had trouble with screen brightness settings — the GS4 can never seem to decide how bright its screen should be, changing suddenly and drastically often and without warning."

The Samsung Galaxy S4 launches on April 26 for AT&T and a couple of days later for T-Mobile. The 16 GB base model will retail for $200 with a two-year contract for AT&T and $149.99 down with monthly payments on T-Mobile's unsubsidized smartphone pricing. The device is also set to launch on Verizon and Sprint, but launch details for those carriers have yet to be announced.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 21 months ago

The overall consensus is that the Galaxy S4 is a solid upgrade over the previous S3 but that its plastic casing and minimal upgrades keep it from being great.


What?
Rating: 40 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
oh look, here comes the Android bandwagon. Looks full and they're all angry!!
Rating: 33 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Leave it to Samsung to make a high end smartphone feel cheap and gimmicky.
Rating: 20 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

And here come the paid Samsung shills to try and defend this pathetic device.


Who are these paid shills you speak of? And what makes the S4 a "pathetic" device?
Rating: 12 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
It has just occurred to me that on the current release schedule, by late 2015 Apple and Samsung's flagship phones will be the 6S and S6.

No scope for consumer confusion there.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
And here come the paid Samsung shills to try and defend this pathetic device.
Rating: 10 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
Bigger isn't always better.
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

Bigger isn't always better.


Daz wut she said!! *ahem*
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago
I never get the hate for plastic.
Rating: 9 Votes
Posted: 21 months ago

How much you paid to say that?


As one who knows a lot about the paid posting industry I say three cents. That would be okay for an English as their second language worker in a third world country but if you live in the first or second world and speak English natively you really should be doing a better job.

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This , l

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This , like using AMOLED screens, is another factor that is not properly mentioned. Because Samsung only makes hardware there is zero software relevancy to a new hardware release (well it might be able to run the latest sweet tooth version of android in the next six months). To me the synchronization between os and hardware is important and all android vendors who don't get the nexus scepter suffer greatly from this

I have no doubt Samsung is working on their own android fork, their own os, and seeing what they can do with windows as the days of google android will likely be winding down in the next 24 months. Any primary android vendor not well on their way with an android escape plan is going to have huge problems.

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Except the phone part in the name obviously/

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I don't get this thought process. It would make sense if these bigger android phones were as durable as the iPhone in an otterbox defender. Having a smaller base product means the ultra protected product is smaller so it still remains extremely important.

By your thought process, an iPhone with defender case is the same size as an android phone but indestructible. Why would anyone ever buy an android phone in thst case.

The whole irony of using a case on an iPhone is lost when most android devices are less sturdy to begin with...

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This seems to be a common refrain and is one of the few benefits of being an android user. You don't have to get stuck with the next generation of Samsung phone. If htc makes a better phone it is easy to switch because the os is the same.

So from that standpoint it seems the s4 is failing in that regard and that really should be a bigger issue than how it stacks up against the iPhone.

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The problem with anyone using a

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The problem with anyone using apple's stock price as a sign of their health is their stock is seriously undervalued.

In a proper valuation it is 50%-100% below what it shouid be. The problem is when a lot of people try to use stock price to argue about specific products they don't understand what effects the stock price especially in the long term.

Congrats on having the most headache-inducing post in this thread.



Michael
Rating: 7 Votes

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