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Old April 23rd, 2013, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default [Official] S4 users reviews

See my other thread for additional pictures



This is a quick review Iíve made of the S4. This is a live demo unit norwegian cellphone dealerships get. The phone is identical to the device beeing sold, except it cant make calls, and have demo software on it (on sleep, the screen starts playing demo-videos).

First off I'll start with the exterior of the phone. The moment I picked up the phone I recognized the plastic-y feeling I got when I first picked up the S3. Then I picked up an actual S3, and found that the S4 has a much bigger quality-feel to it than the S3 (I guess I expected it to feel like an iPhone). What I really don't like are the corners of the phone. On each corner there is a visible plastic seam (see picture below). You cannot feel the seam with your fingers, but itís quite visible when you look at the phone. Making one contiuous plastic frame was appearently not possible.


Plastic seams. These are on all the corners of the phone.

The backplate and front of the phone is the same hyper-glaze finish as the S3, with small silver squares on it - very similar to LG Nexus 4. The cameralens is a bit bigger than the S3, and the flash is now beneath the camera. The speaker has been moved to the lower left of the phone, in a similar fashion as the Note II.
The volume and power buttons are now metal (at least they feel like metal), and has a much better feel when pressing than the S3.


Speaker

Backside of the phone compared to the S3

Power-button comparement

Volume button comparement

Using the phone:
The first thing i notice when turning on the phone is that the screen is just magnificent! I donít know what HTC Oneís 468 ppi will look like, because I canít even imagine a screen beeing sharper than this.

The first feature Iíll be going over is ďAir MoveĒ. While holding an icon on the home screen, move your hand sideways in front of the gesture-sensor to move the icon between pages. This all works pretty good, if youíre moving an icon the the page directly next to it. Waving the hand horizontally past the sensor moves the icon only one screen. To move an additional screen you have to move your hand back to the other side without dragging it in front of the sensor, and then do another wave (Imagine making big circles with your hand in front of the phone). If you donít do this youíve just made one gesture to the right, and the to the left, and youíre back to the page you started on. This proves to be more of a hassle than it is convenience. Even more so with the fact that when you now move an icon, where the dots representing the different screens were, there are now a set of preview-screens (look at the picture below). Not only is this helpful in identifying which screen is which, but when you hover an icon over a preview-screen, you are taken automatically to that screen. Air move is as useless as it was before.


These are really handy, both in identifying what screen you want, and for quick access.

Next comes Air View! Now, beeing a Note II owner, this was the feature I was most excited about! And to say the least, it works flawlessly! I am so baffled with how good this feature is that Iím not even mad they didnít implement it in the Note II. The most practical use I found for this was in the calendar. Hovering the finger over a day in the S Planner gives you a simple preview of the appointments for that day. This saves you only one touch on the screen, but if youíre checking appointments for 5 different days, this is a viable feature. Also real handy when watching a video, and gives you the ability to pinpoint exactly where you want to go on the timeline. I have not been able to get this to work in the internet browser.

Now, Air Jump and Smart Scroll are 2 different ways to do the same thing. Air Jump is where you move your hand vertically past the screen and whatever you are looking at scrolls in the direction you waved your hand. Smart Scroll is a continuation of the Smart Stay function of the S3. The front-camera detects your eyes, and if you tilt your head/device up or down, whatever youíre looking at scrolls in that direction. Iíd say that Air Jump works just as well as youíd expect it to. The phone detects the gesture most of the times, but not every time! When it detects the gesture, it scrolls one page down (this meaning, that the last sentence before the scroll appears on top after the scroll). But if you want to scroll more than one page you run into the problem I described before, with Air Move. You have to make big circles above the sensor with your hand here aswell, but thereís another problem. Making a horizontal gesture while in for example the internet browser moves between the different browser windows you have. You can imagine I changed the internet window when I wanted to scroll more than once.

Smart Scroll is a bit of a curiosity. When you open the internet browser, a green eye appears, notifying you that your eyes have been detected. You are now able to use your head to scroll the page. Tilting your head down scrolls down, tilting your head up... well, you guessed it. Whenever you blink or your eyes cannot be detected a shut eye appears on the screen letting you know. This gesture works really good, as I am sitting here dead still with the phone right in front of me. But no one ever sits perfectly still with both their head and their phone at the same time. I experienced more than often that the phone readjusted my ďstandardĒ head postition. For example, when I tilt my head to scroll up, and then back to normal the phone starts scrolling down, and vica versa. To get it to stop scrolling I have to tilt my head back or forth to the postition the phone thinks is normal - which of course is a very awkward head positioning for me. I can imagine sitting on the bus reading the news, looking out the window for a second and back at your phone, and be on a completely different place on the site than you were before. This in combination with beeing able to scroll by tilting the device itself makes for a total failure, and the phone seems as confused as I am. Most times the phone just started scrolling all by itself, me not beeing able to make it stop without touching the screen. As with many other of these functions, this is just another gimmick, which no other practical use than showing off to your friends.

All of these Air Gestures work up to 7 cm away from the phone, which is quite nice. I never had a problem with my hand accidentally bumping into the phone while using any of the features. But my conclusion is that these are all just gimmicks, an argument for Samsung to sell a new model.

Next is S Healt! This is a quite large app, with a lot of features, so I obviously havenít tested them all out. I went to the gym after work today, and activated the step-monitor. After the workout, S4 could tell me that I had walked 6000 steps on the treadmill, and burnt 450 calories. The treadmill had about the same calorie-count, so seems that the S4 is accurate. The Calorie intake-counter has an extensive library of different foods, but I havenít played around with this yet.

Voice commands actually work really great on the S4. I believe this is because you dont have to activate anything for the voice commands to work. When in the camera-app, simply say ďCapture, smile, shoot or cheeseĒ, and the camera takes a picture. Not once did it fail when I said any of the words, and saying for example ďcaptiveĒ, ďventureĒ and other similar words did not activate the voice commands. Another neat voice command is for the alarm. Iíve just tried this briefly, but I can imagine the relief to just yell out ďSTOP!Ē in the morning without having to even open your eyes (and then be late for work). For some reason voice commands didnít work while playing music.

Smart Pause is perhaps the coolest feature with the S4. If you look away while playing a video, the video will pause. Then play once youíre looking at the screen again. I expected this to be just another unusable feature, but turns out that Samsung really has gotten the take on facial recognition. With any video, I look away, and after about 2 seconds, the video pauses. There is a 2 second delay, but this is probably for the better (canít have the video pause each time you blink). The instant i look back, the video resumes playing. This is actually proof that the 2 second delay when pausing is intentional, and not a limitation.

All in all, I am happy with the S4. When I heard about the phone, and all itís groundbreaking ďsmart-featuresĒ, I exptected them to be useless show-off gimmicks that the S3 had. Some are useless, but some are actually useful. Even if you look away from the fact that Smart Pause, Air View and Voice Commands are features that I would find myself using, the quality of the screen and the overall quality-feel the phone has to it is enough for me to give it 9 out of 10. Iím not giving it a full score, since I wanted Samsung to do something with the form factor of the phone.

This is all I have for you now, Iím still trying out the phone, and if I find something worth mentioning, Iíll update the thread. Please donít flame me for the iPhone-remark in the first section - I am completely neutral in the iPhone/Droid-war, and like both operating systems/devices. If there are other features youíd like me to test out, leave a reply and Iíll try to write something about it.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 02:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great write-up, thank you!

Soon others will be wanting to join in the fun and I'm sure you understand that we couldn't survive a zillion other review threads, so I've renamed yours. Drop me a line if that's a concern.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 02:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EarlyMon View Post
Great write-up, thank you!

Soon others will be wanting to join in the fun and I'm sure you understand that we couldn't survive a zillion other review threads, so I've renamed yours. Drop me a line if that's a concern.
Thanks for the feedback! No problem at all!

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OP, I'd really like to see some photos taken with the phone.

edit - Any word when you may be getting the 32 or 64 GB versions?
Just saw this in the other thread now. Coming right up!

Norway only got 16GB models of the S3, so i'd be surprised if we got anything else with the S4.
EDIT: Demo software drained the entire battery. Give me an hour to charge it.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 02:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cheers for the update mate, i will be checking back on a regular basis to see if you have found anything else. I get mine on Friday and I is very excited to say the least.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 05:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the write-up!
I'm just now getting through the "professional" reviews but it's always good to see what an enthusiast like yourself has to say.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Time for a little update. I've taken some pictures with the phone now, and I can honestly say that I've never seen better pictures taken with a phone.


Random car


Toy Store


Buildings in Oslo


Flowers


Cake

Playing around with the camera I found a cool function called "Dual-camera mode". This is a mode where both cameras are active at one time, and the picture from the front-camera is inset in a stamp-frame on the picture. This way, everyone can be in the family photo!



Another thing I noticed was that the settings menu has gotten an overhaul. The settings are now divided into 4 categories, "Connections", "My device", "Accounts" and "More".







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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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First of all, nice post! The catch is without the telephony function as well and all the demo weight, it is more a review of a media device / mini tablet. Please do a follow-up with the actual phone version

Added:

This post in spite of being a store demo-only unit is much better than the Gizmodo review.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rushmore View Post
First of all, nice post! The catch is without the telephony function as well and all the demo weight, it is more a review of a media device / mini tablet. Please do a follow-up with the actual phone version

Added:

This post in spite of being a store demo-only unit is much better than the Gizmodo review.
Well, I though Gizmodo was way to quick to write off all the smart functions. It seemed to me that he had already made up his mind about the phone before he had even used it...

Again, the only difference between the demo and the real phone is that the demo isn't able to make calls. It's got a simcard slot, and phone app. There is a program on it called "Samsung DCT Retail Mode", which disables the call function. So I won't be doing a follow-up, as the only difference would have been call quality... which is the least important part about a phone today.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quick question.... Does the MMS messages finally strip the attachment or do we still get that annoying slide show view?
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I think a common corrective action for most users will be to turn most of the sensors off. This should result in a much smoother experience and significant battery life improvement.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Quick question.... Does the MMS messages finally strip the attachment or do we still get that annoying slide show view?
I don't understand the question.. be a little more specific please?
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thanks for the breakdown!

I have to disagree though, I believe call quality is a valid feature worthy of review!

I understand you can't go over that topic though because it's a demo so it's all good!

Cheers
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kexmonster View Post
I don't understand the question.. be a little more specific please?

I believe they're talking about when you receive a text with a picture attached, and view the image, and it plays it as a slide-show. The photo shows up, then fades after 2-3 seconds, which is annoying. I usually pause the slide-show and then press and hold to save the image to the SD card (assuming I want to save it). This is an extra step but allows you to view the photo without worrying about going to the next "slide"


I think it has to do with the format of the pic when it is sent. It's different than sending/receiving an image/photo in an email.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 11:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Kexmonster, quick question - would you be so kind as to follow what I did in this post and give us a screenshot in that thread?

http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s4/712741-can-someone-tell-me-why-we-cant-get-32-64-gig-phone-post5767926.html

Would love to see the internal storage layout - many thanks!
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Old April 24th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookSir,Droids View Post
I believe they're talking about when you receive a text with a picture attached, and view the image, and it plays it as a slide-show. The photo shows up, then fades after 2-3 seconds, which is annoying. I usually pause the slide-show and then press and hold to save the image to the SD card (assuming I want to save it). This is an extra step but allows you to view the photo without worrying about going to the next "slide"


I think it has to do with the format of the pic when it is sent. It's different than sending/receiving an image/photo in an email.
Ah, I see. I have never noticed this before. Anyway, as I can't get cellular on the phone I'm unable to test this. None of the pre-made demo-messages include pictures either.

EarlyMon: Picture uploaded!
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Old April 24th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LookSir,Droids View Post
I believe they're talking about when you receive a text with a picture attached, and view the image, and it plays it as a slide-show. The photo shows up, then fades after 2-3 seconds, which is annoying. I usually pause the slide-show and then press and hold to save the image to the SD card (assuming I want to save it). This is an extra step but allows you to view the photo without worrying about going to the next "slide"


I think it has to do with the format of the pic when it is sent. It's different than sending/receiving an image/photo in an email.
This
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Old April 25th, 2013, 12:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Nice write up review, though I like to see cell voice/data testing as well.

Could you tell if it's Exynos 5 or snapdragon 600 version?
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Old April 27th, 2013, 07:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default My first thoughts on S4 vs iPhone 5 handson.

I can only give my initial first impressions as I have only had the S4 about a day. Please remember these are only MY thoughts, not saying you will agree or not.

If anyone is switching from an iPhone, Samsung has made it super easy with their smartswitch website. In minutes my contacts, calender, memos, sms, pics, music and videos were copied to the S4. The only bad thing was everything was copied to the internal memory not the SD card. So the music and pictures I ended up deleting and readding myself to the SD card.



The iPhone 5 is a very solid and well made phone and even though smaller than the S4 it feels a lot heavier as its so dense and hard. This does not make the S4 feel cheap like I see in some reviews as the S4 is amazingly light for its size and not as hard so I think that's why some think its cheap feeling.

Both have really nice screens but I give the edge to the S4 as it seems more colorful and of course the huge screen.

I have the OS split. I give the edge to the iPhone 5 as its just so smooth and the keyboard seems more accurate for me at least. The S4 wins hands down on the sheer number of features and tweaks you can do.

Now to the 16gb storage talks. My S4 has 16gb internal with a 64gb sd card and my iPhone 5 has 64gb internal. Once all my music, pics and videos were copied to the S4 sd card and I added most of the same apps (93 apps are on my S4) I had on my iPhone 5, I have 5.5gb internal free. Approx the same music and apps are on my iPhone 5 and I have 7gb free.

I do not think the 16gb internal limit will effect the majority of us. I have every app (93 of them) I use a lot and pics/vids/music on the sd card and still have room to spare. I admit only about 10 games like Angry Birds, Blood/Guts, few flying ones and no really massive ones but I can still easily fit some if I wanted.


My final thoughts are still out on which I will prefer for day to day activities, so I need to give it some time.



Update:

I need to say that when outside, the S4 is way more washed out and harder to see than the iPhone 5 screen. I could not imagine trying to read a book on it but general use was fine.

The camera on the S4 is also much better. Besides many more features and settings the pictures come out stunning. The iPhone 5 takes nice pictures too but not quite as good.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:36 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Nice, balanced, honest review/comparison of two great devices, rkkeller.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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There is a keyboard you can get on the Play Store called SwiftKey. You do have to pay for it but it's the best keyboard, IMO of course.

I am the worst typist on a touchscreen but I can make mistakes all over the place and 95% of the time SwiftKey knows what I meant and fixes, well, close to 95% of my dumb errors.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Anyone interested in posting their own reviews of this phone? Or are we going to stick to reviews by big name tech review sites.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 10:04 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Got my 4S yesterday

Sprint shipped my 4S a day early and I have to say I like it. But the book is crap and doesn't cover all the features.

Switched from HTC to Samsung. Very happy. But life companion needs changed on lock screen
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Old April 27th, 2013, 10:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Sprint shipped my 4S a day early and I have to say I like it. But the book is crap and doesn't cover all the features.

Anyone know how to change the "life companion" one the lock screen
1. Settings
2. My device
3. lockscreen
4. lockscreen widgets
5. Edit personal information
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Old April 27th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Anyone interested in posting their own reviews of this phone? Or are we going to stick to reviews by big name tech review sites.
Great idea.

We'll be flooded in no time if everyone makes their own review thread, so let's put them in one convenient place.

I've started by merging some existing reviews here - cheers!
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Old April 27th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The Screen
This phone features one of the best looking screens that I’ve ever seen in a mobile device. This is a full 1080p and the pixels in the screen are so close and tiny that when you look at it the image you could swear that you’re not looking at a screen. And the colors just pop right out at you, they’re vivid bright colors. And the screen adjusts itself to current light conditions like nothing I’ve ever seen. Text is crisp, like you’re reading text on paper. It really is a breath taking experience to see this phone’s screen.

Battery Life
The battery life is superb. I can honestly say that this may be the smart phone that I can have charged in the morning and be able to go the entire day without even looking at the charger to give it a fill-up. In years past, smart phones have been battery hogs but it seems that things have changed with the Galaxy S4. The battery life in this phone may very well be a smart phone miracle.

Camera
Samsung touted the camera in this phone as being able to take a picture and have it look so good that you’d swear it wasn’t taken by a smart phone. After taking a picture and seeing what this camera can do, I’d have to agree with that statement.

Visibility in Daylight
One of the biggest issues that some people have with smartphones in general is that most if not all are useless in daylight. That’s true of a lot of them but the Galaxy S4 may very well be the first smart phone that can easily be used in daylight.

The Build
Yes, it’s plastic. I know that a lot of people complain about the fact that the phone is made out of nearly all plastic except for the screen and because of that it’s not “premium” enough. Honestly, the people who are saying this kind of stuff simply haven’t seen, held, touched, and overall experienced this phone like I have. If you were to take this phone and hold it in your hand and actually use this phone, then your idea of this phone not being “premium” enough is going to go right out the window. This is a premium phone in every way I can imagine. To hold and use this phone is a glorious experience.

The Size
This is thin, real thin. I’m serious, this is a few millimeters thinner than even the thinnest phone out there; the iPhone 5. Though, sometimes I do think it may be a bit too small. Admittedly, I do like devices that have a bit of bulk to the device simply because it gives the idea that you are actually holding something in your hand. This phone is so feather light that it sometimes feels like you have nothing in your hand. Am I complaining? No, I don’t think so. All I’m saying is that the phone is very small but could use a bit more bulk to make it feel like you are holding something in your hand but I guess that I’ll get that feeling when I get my case for the phone.

Speed
This phone is fast, wicked fast. Enough said.

RAM
The phone comes with 2 GBs of LPDDR3 RAM. What’s that mean? It’s Low Power DDR3 RAM, the same kind of RAM that today’s high-end desktops use because DDR3 provides a lot of bandwidth to push a lot of data. 300 MB of RAM seems to be reserved by the system so in the end you get to play with 1.7 GB of RAM for your apps to run in. What does this mean to the everyday user? This means smooth multitasking with little to no glitches, just what you’d expect from a high-end flagship phone.

Storage
I have the 16 GB model of the phone. With about 800 MB of my apps and associated app data loaded I still have 8.07 GBs of the internal storage space available. Not bad if you ask me. I do have a 32 GB MicroSD card in it though, that’s where media like music, pictures, and other things will live in the phone.

The User Interface (TouchWiz)
As a person who’s seen and used AOSP-based ROMs such as AOKP and CyanogenMOD, having TouchWiz is a welcome sight to me. To those who actually like AOSP-based ROMs, no offense but AOSP is rather bland; there’s nothing to it, stripped of features, and as barebones as you can get. I know that those people like it that way but for me, when I have to add app after app just to get some of the more basic features that traditional devices that have add-ons like TouchWiz have, I don’t see what’s so great about AOSP. Those ROMs that do add something to AOSP such as AOKP and CyanogenMOD are a welcome thing but some of the features that they do add are either still bland, buggy as all get out, don’t work the way you expect them to, or still missing a lot of features. TouchWiz brings a lot to the table for this phone. It really does add a lot to the user experience of Android and smooth’s out some of Android’s rough edges and adds some good value-added features. Does this mean that TouchWiz is for everyone? No, I’m just saying that for me TouchWiz is great for a person like me that was annoyed with issues that AOSP-based ROMs had.

No Need for Tweaks
This phone simply works. There I said it, it simply works. I don’t need to worry about tweaking this, that, and the other thing; it simply works. As a person who’s coming from an AOSP-based ROM on a Galaxy Nexus and had to fight with his device to make it run right, this phone is a welcome device for me. I know, the Nexus series of phones are for developers but the thing is, I’m not a developer; I don’t know all of the things that go on inside of Android and for some reasons, I don’t care to. I simply want my device to work and work well. Is that so much to ask for? The Galaxy S4 delivers just that, a device that simply works and works well. I’m happy.

Added Software Features
Some of the things that Samsung included like AirView, AirGestures, and whatnot are things that quite simply are things that are neat but may not work with all apps. Myself, I use Dolphin Browser HD as my browser on Android and those AirGestures don’t work with it. Am I disappointed? No, I didn’t at all expect those gestures to work with third-party apps. Do I wish that those third-party apps start working with those gestures? Yes.

Conclusion
The Galaxy S4 definitely lives up to the standards set forth by Samsung for the Galaxy S series of phones. It truly is a step in the right direction. For owners of the Galaxy S3, it may not be enough of an upgrade but for a person who’s had an older phone this phone is a major upgrade in features and hardware. Overall, this device is a great device. It’s sleek, beautiful, and dare I say… sexy. This is the phone that Apple should be very afraid of.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 11:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Is the mobile hot spot unlocked / free to use on the s4 by sprint?
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Old April 28th, 2013, 03:19 PM   #27 (permalink)
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As with any user comparison, the views and thoughts are purely subjective. I don't pass this off as fact. This comparison is based off of MY own experiences with both. Both devices are with AT&T. I owned the One and currently own the S4.

HARDWARE
Well, the forums are alive with the debate over who has the better hardware. I must say that I was truly enamored with the aesthetics of the One. It is narrow enough to fit in the hand well. The curved back also adds to this feeling. The phone still feels light even with the aluminum build. BoomSound is phenomenal. Sound is nice and full. Button placement was horrible for me. The power button is too recessed and I didn't like the capacitive buttons. This doesn't mean they're not functional; I just didn't like it. The S4 is sexy for what it brings to the table. I prefer not using a case and the soft rounded edges of the plastic feels better in my hand. The button placement works better for me as I don't have to adjust my hand once I turn on the screen or to use it. The sound cannot compete with the One. If I had my choice, I would prefer all manufacturers utilized the software buttons of the Nexus. Having said that, I'll take the S4 button placement over the One. Overall, I prefer the look of the One but the S4 is a close enough second to not make a difference for ME.

FEATURES
I will not regurgitate the plethora of features from both devices as it has been discussed ad nauseam. Personally, I prefer having the options available than not. In my opinion, they are not gimmicks. They're options that you don't have to use if you choose not to. Whether the S4's features are as functional as some would like is another discussion. They can be used in some capacity for a particular situation. I give the edge to the S4 for this reason alone. Specifically, here is what I missed: Blocking mode- can you find an alternative in the play store, yes. But it is nice knowing it is built into the software. S Beam- many of my family members own S3's or Notes and it is nice being able to share music when the situation arises. The gallery of the S4 is more appealing and familiarity makes it easier to use for ME.

CAMERA
Hmm... I am not technical enough to articulate the specifics of imagery. As an average camera operator, I didn't see enough of a difference in the pictures or videos that would have tilted my decision to one phone or the other. I do enjoy the available of options for the camera on the S4. I have already dabbled with the dual camera function and it is great. My daughter gets tickled recording and watching herself already.

USER INTERACTION
This was big for me. I use my device about 50/50 for business and personal and I utilize the Google ecosystem. Pardon the hodge podge of thoughts as I speak on this topic. I enjoy the using both skins. I found the One to be a little more mature or adult as opposed to the S4. I dislike the colorful icons of the S4 (I am aware of the different launchers as well- just speaking of stock as I have Nova).

Lock Screen- Definitely the One. I used the productivity lock screen and really enjoyed how the incoming calls, messages and calendar entries are done.
Messaging- The One. I don't necessarily care for bubbles in messages. The straight forward approach of the One was perfect. I specifically like the black background with blue lettering.
Dialer- Push. Prefer the Sense version but it wouldn't tilt my decision.
Browser- Push. I use Chrome 90% of the time and didn't see a difference in speed or rendering

SCREEN
This is purely subjective. It really depends on what the end user enjoys. I don't think the majority of buyers will see the more accurate color of the One. I worked at Best Buy many, many years ago (for that lovely discount) in the TV area. The average buyer cared only for the pop of color than accuracy. No matter how much you educate or inform, they're viewing the screen and they want to be happy with what they have. I don't want this to be a discussion on PPI and what technical experts say. When I look at the screens of both, the text clarity is superb. I don't see a difference. Also, the AMOLED display is not as saturated as previous iterations. Looking at videos and pictures was equally impressive. This made it a push for me because I could live with both. The single item of difference in the screens is the overall brightness of the One over the S4. Images look painted on both screens.

MISC
Removable vs. Non Removable battery and storage is subjective as well. There is no right or wrong answer. I prefer the insurance of the removable battery. For me, it is much easier to swap a battery and go than carry a portable charging device.

In conclusion, you really can't go wrong with these devices. I hope everyone goes out and uses each phone to make a choice instead of listening to the One or S4 partisan arguments. Buy what fits you and be happy. The S4 is like those comfortable jeans you enjoy wearing. Although there are options just as good, it fits perfect when you put them on. What I've learned is if HTC softens the corners of the One, changes the button placement and provides a removable battery, I may just own one for longer than a week.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 09:44 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Battery Life
The battery life is superb. I can honestly say that this may be the smart phone that I can have charged in the morning and be able to go the entire day without even looking at the charger to give it a fill-up. In years past, smart phones have been battery hogs but it seems that things have changed with the Galaxy S4. The battery life in this phone may very well be a smart phone miracle.
Excellent! I have an S2, considered upgrading to the S3, but the S3 I got my GF for Christmas has horrible battery life. Was hoping the S4 would do better. Your review especially appreciated due to you being on ATT. One reason some think for bad battery life on S3s is the way ATT manages radio when LTE signal is weak.

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This comparison is based off of MY own experiences with both. Both devices are with AT&T. I owned the One and currently own the S4.
I'm considering both, was leaning towards the S4 due to removable battery & memory slot. Only concern is battery life. Hoping you can post good news on this like trparky...
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Old May 1st, 2013, 01:33 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Just have to say that this is one of the nicest handsets I've ever used. Butter smooth and super fast. Used the HTC ONE, iPhone 5, Optimus G and the S4. This gets my vote. Obviously a huge step up from an EVO 3D which was my prior handset. Haven't really dove into the new software yet but TW is pretty nice.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 01:44 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Completely agree, it's an absolute joy to use this phone and feels like a huge step up from my Galaxy S2.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 04:05 PM   #31 (permalink)
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I concur.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 04:49 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I agree too. I've just moved from the S2 to the S4 and am loving it.
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 02:24 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I played with one today that one of friends was using on at&t...So were not talking demo, live model about 2 days old.

Ok it's plastic I know, but it does feel pretty solid in the hand. No creaks or anything like that, and it just feels right honestly. Very good dimensions all in all.

The screen is super amoled and over saturated but not to the point were your like omg this is blown way out of proportion. It's a very nice screen but a little colorful for my liking.

The camera was very good and the phone itself felt way faster then the demo I used the other day. The demo to me felt a little sloppy and sluggish...my friends was of course night and day compared to the demo.

Now would I trade my new HTC one in for the S4? Probably not, but I'm also a realist and have to honestly say it's a lot nicer then I previously thought.

Hope you new owners are enjoying it!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 02:39 PM   #34 (permalink)
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HTC to Samsung

I had a rooted/Fresh ROM’d HTC Evo 4G, Evo3d, and Evo 4G LTE. Now I have the GS4, already rooted, custom recovery, and a few tweaks, so that is the background and I will be mostly comparing from what I am used to on my HTC. Of course you’ve all read lots of reviews on all the air/gesture/eye/great display stuff so I won’t repeat itunless asked. This will be more the little stuff that gets annoying over time.
The gs4 has options/menu’s and settings galore compared to the HTC. Want the bottom keys to stay lit 1.5 secs or 6 secs, there’s a setting for that. Want those silly ATT(GSM) texts to not break up when going to a Sprint(CDMA) phone, there’s a setting for that! Every standard app had more settings/options on the Samsung vs the HTC.

In stock form the JB GS4 had lag where my ICS Evo didn’t. Obviously this is not a hardware issue so I started freezing up and removing bloatware. If you aren’t going to root though you may notice this, although you can still disable stuff unrooted so maybe not.
Little things I miss. You can’t beat the HTC 4G lte camera with an F2.0 aperture and I imagine the new One is only better. The one thing I really don’t like in the GS4 camera is the panoramic mode. Where the HTC let you take set pics and stitched them together very well, the Sammy lets you pan like a video for a panoramic.This creates a very choppy pic. The Sammy camera has a smaller field of view so this is one feature wish was improved. The GS4 voice command to takes pics seems to work well with the ‘shoot’ keyword but not as consistent with ‘cheese’ which is the one you want to work unless you like the duckface look.

Another Ironic thing is the voice commands on the musicplayer like to pause it if you sing along because they must interpret certainlyrics as voice commands. I wonder if Vanilla Ice would stop playing before the first line.
That said the voice commands to play a certain song or pause it during playing are neat when that’s your intent.

The combined inbox is similar to HTC. One change I wish for is if you click on an email notification, then delete that email you’re back in only that emails single inbox instead of the combined inbox.
Having both the HTC and GS4 in the direct sun makes them both hard to see something I thought maybe would be gone with the Supercalifragilisticamoled display

The photo gallery imports Picasa pics by default which tooka second to search on how to undo and then clear cache. The photo gallery iconsaren’t uniform size like the HTC. Just takes a little getting used to. Again the gallery like everything else has way more settings then my ROM’d HTC.
Because of the resolution and I imagine it has to be thesame on the HTC One, some apps may not wrap text right. VNC viewer seems to stop working right after connecting which I hope developers fix.
If you get a text message sent to a group of people the GS4 actually tells you that and lists all the recipients, my HTC never did and thenI’d get random texts from other people I didn’t know replying to that person’s original text, so that’s a nice change.

I wish the power button was on top and not across from the volume because if you squeeze one your opposing fingers press the other side’sbuttons. I do like the USB port is back at the bottom vs my HTC.
The Evo3d had a nice non slip rubber backing. The Evo 4g lte was so slick it would slide out of my pocket lots of times when I was sitting down driving etc. I’m amazed I never lost it. I am SO glad the GS4 has a stickier plastic backing compared to the Evo 4g lte. Those that want a heavier phone that conducts heat go buy an iSomething. I’ll take this plastic over my ‘solidbuilt’ Evo 4g lte thank you.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 02:28 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Here is my quick review after 4 days with my GS4...

First, I really love the new phone. I upgraded from the GS2 and glad I waited and did not get the S3. Now it really feels like a legit upgrade.

The screen is just so beautiful. The Apple retina display is great, but the SGS4 finally overcomes it with the 1080p Super AMOLED display. The images just seem to pop, and watching videos in HD is a real treat. Finally, a phone that I dont mind watching videos on besides youtube.

Camera is fast (like shutter speed is redic fast), which is a nice to not have to wait to take multiple photos. The quality of the pics is awesome, and really I really enjoy looking at them on the phones screen.

Call quality has been great and I have had no issues up to this point.

Thats all for now, more to follow...

MM
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Old May 9th, 2013, 06:50 AM   #36 (permalink)
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I have the SIII mini and I'm always waking the infernal device by accidentally hitting the on button while it's in my pocket. I have two questions; 1) Is it comfortable in a regular jeans pocket, because it looks huge? 2) Have Samsung addressed the issue of a short press of the on button waking the device?

3) (Ok, I have 3 questions ). The Galaxy note phones still haven't lost their value at least in the UK, with still high contract prices but lower than the S4, is the S4 just another cash cow?
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Old May 12th, 2013, 10:39 PM   #37 (permalink)
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There is a keyboard you can get on the Play Store called SwiftKey. You do have to pay for it but it's the best keyboard, IMO of course.
Was going to say the same. I can't imagine life without SwiftKey. Yes, the stock Android keyboard has gotten better but SwiftKey is far better for word prediction.

I was planning a trip to San Antonio. When I text someone and typed "San", the suggestions did not include 'Antonio'. Typed it in manually once and that suggestion is there every time I type 'san'.
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Old May 12th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #38 (permalink)
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MISC
Removable vs. Non Removable battery and storage is subjective as well. There is no right or wrong answer. I prefer the insurance of the removable battery. For me, it is much easier to swap a battery and go than carry a portable charging device.
I can't imagine life without a removable battery. I am a phone addict and check it several hundred times a day. It's my personal computer that stays with me at all times.

When I'm getting low, I pop in a new battery and am back to 100% - and continue carrying my phone and checking it like an addict. Without that option, I would have to tether myself to a charging cable or leave my phone behind (unthinkable). My spare batteries charge in an external charger that changes colors when fully charged ($10 on ebay).

I look around at the airport and laugh at all the 'white' charging cables plugged into any outlet that can be found. I rest in peace knowing my 100% charge is in the thumb pocket of my jeans ready for action.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I saw the S4 at BB store last night. I did not like it. Its the same thickness as the S3. The plastic feel all over and shiny/finger print magnet slippery back.

Put the speakers in the front and get rid of the plastic please!
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Old May 18th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I saw the S4 at BB store last night. I did not like it. Its the same thickness as the S3. The plastic feel all over and shiny/finger print magnet slippery back.

Put the speakers in the front and get rid of the plastic please!
Are smoking something or high? the s4 if lighter then the s3 and looks great. Don't base it all on feel man. it's performance will blow away the s3. and maybe the display ones are fake ?
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Old May 19th, 2013, 12:06 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Maybe I missed it, but how is the speaker volume? And is the vibration noticeable when in your pocket?
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 04:44 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Chong if the plastic bothers you there are aluminum covers that can replace the backs. Also the s4 is not the same thickness as the gs3.
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Old May 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Maybe I missed it, but how is the speaker volume? And is the vibration noticeable when in your pocket?
GREAT questions. Virtually unnoticeable vibrating and low volume rings in phones has been a sore point for me forever.

Also, where are all the other reviews???
Surely there are more folks who could post something in this thread.
WE NEED TO KNOW!

HTC One or S4???
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Old June 1st, 2013, 01:10 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I thought I might give a quick first impression review:

I have changed from a 2 year old HTC Desire HD to this I9505 16GB S4
The change has been a smaller jump than from my previous Nokia N85 which was a non-android and non-touchscreen smartphone.
Really the Desire HD could have served my needs OK for a couple more years.

So why change, was it really worth it?
Well, the S4 does have a bunch of extra features and higher performance.
The quad core 1.9GHz processor does enable it to do things quicker and easier.
The camera is better and my old Desire HD did not have a front facing camera.
The S4 has a noticeably better speaker than my old HTC had, something I had noticed with one friend's S2 and another friends S3 - better sound than my HTC.
The screen - just wow!
The battery with the higher capacity is much better too - I'll charge every night and most likely never have an issue with it.

So yes, both are touch screen pocket computers running Android and my new phone is being used for mostly the same apps that I ran on my old phone. Sure, changing phones isn't strictly necessary and if I didn't have the money I would have been OK on the old phone.
But I am happy with my new phone with better sound, better camera, better screen and more powerful processor - it is a nicer experience using the S4.
I also plan on using the NFC for paying for stuff once it is available on my phone in this country.
Overall I'd say that if you can afford it you wont regret updating the phone to the S4.
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Samsung Galaxy S4
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The all-new Samsung Galaxy S4 is all but guaranteed to be the next top-selling device. The new device is dubbed the "Life Companion" due to its intuitive features. The Galaxy S4 sports a 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display, an awesome 13 MP... Read More

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