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General Got my S4 GPE, here's my thoughts

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Blackout720, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Blackout720

    Blackout720 Well-Known Member
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  2. Rockinfigs

    Rockinfigs Android Enthusiast
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  3. Blackout720

    Blackout720 Well-Known Member
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    Everything seems to be working as for Google wallet I don't use it so I have not tried it. But from what I've been though everything works , LTE, DATA, MMS, voice calls and the IR blaster as well. I have not ran into any problems with it.


    EDIT: I went into Google wallet and it goes though but says my device is not supported but that's because I'm rooted. So I guess it works.
     
  4. Blackout720

    Blackout720 Well-Known Member
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    Wrong title. Fixed it.
     
  5. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    More reviews on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Special Edition plus a video review of the leaked Android 4.3 firmware for it which shows the latest features. See, here...

    Galaxy S4 Google Special Edition
     
  6. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    Warning about this - original poster is a scammer. He's trolling for hits/likes to his various social media accounts. Video is not of a Google Edition S4 (as he states in his AF and Youtube posts). It's a carrier-branded model with a GPE ROM, and yes, there are differences. The key difference is that of storage. A real GPE has 12.65GB visible to the user. A GPE ROM on a carrier-branded model has 9.72GB visible to the user. Author wasn't wise enough to catch this (in his video, he wonders why it's different). When I first notified the author of this discrepancy, he had the opportunity to come clean about this being a fake review (it's a ROM review, not a phone review, has he has the wrong phone). His response was to block me on Youtube.

    In the author's post on XDA he at least admits that this is a custom ROM.
     
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  7. Blackout720

    Blackout720 Well-Known Member
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    Hater gonna Hate Potatoes Gonna Potate?
     
  8. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    I can't call this an outright review, but here are my thoughts on the device. I'm coming from a Galaxy S II GT-i9100 (international, factory unlocked) running Android 4.1.2 with Touchwiz. While I have done ROM development, in the roughly two years I've had the S2, I've never even rooted it. Never had to as it did all that I needed and came with no carrier bloatware or restrictions.

    But I wanted something more this time. I wanted a Nexus, but didn't like the restrictions on recent Nexus devices, namely; limited storage with no expandable option (I'm ok with internal only if there's enough); no removable battery; no LTE support (yet). The recently announced Google Play Editions (GPE) hit the nail on the head for me. While no device is perfect, and the S4 certainly has its flaws (build materials, OLED burn-in), it's the ideal device for a nerd like me.

    First things first, there are a lot of people out there who state that stock Android is good enough and that manufacturer overlays are outdated and unnecessary. The majority of these people who state this have never used a vanilla Android device, and many of them think that Cyanogemod = vanilla Android. CM is a custom overlay, just like Sense and Touchwiz. It's merely made to stay consistent with Google's UI design guidelines. But, CM has MANY enhancements not found in pure Android.

    Going from the S2 to the S4 GPE, the first thing that I noticed was how barren and clutter-free the S4 was. It's like the iPhone with an application/widget drawer. It's not bursting at the seams with frivolous UI elements like the Touchwiz S4 is. I immediately missed the lockscreen shortcuts of my S2, the ability to have the phone's front camera track your face to prevent the screen from turning off, and some of Touchwiz's other minor elements. Also, the device lacks Touchwiz's developer options (CM has this), which are a Godsend in some cases. The developer options allow you to force hardware accelerated UI rendering, a necessity to eliminate lag in outdated, poorly designed apps (like Redbox). My S2 on 4.1.2 runs the Redbox app like my wife's iPhone. The S4? Runs it like a web browser on Gingerbread, with a poor framerate. However, these apps are quickly becoming the exception, not the norm, and Redbox is the only app that I run that has this issue.

    However, the tradeoff for these minor benefits is huge. First, the device is snappy throughout. Every element of the interface is MUCH smoother than the S2 I'm accustomed to, and the Touchwiz S4 I compared it to. Areas of lag are rare (though Chrome is a culprit). Even minor touches, like rotating a video, have that iPhone-ish smooth transition that lacks in most Android devices. And the storage? Out of the box, the phone comes with 12.65gb storage visible to the user and nearly 12GB available. The Touchwiz S4, by comparison, has 9.72GB visible and just over 8GB available. It's a roughly 3.5GB difference in available storage between the two 16GB models.

    Conclusion: Compared to the Touchwiz Galaxy S4, the S4 GPE is a more streamlined, more efficient version. If you you're the kind of person who would prefer to not alter a device through rooting and ROMing, it comes down to performance and stability (S4 GPE) versus features (S4 Touchwiz). There is no wrong answer, just a right answer based on your individual needs.
     
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  9. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'
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    Nice review. It was detailed yet to the point.
     
  10. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    Excellent review Medion!

    On the subject of storage, is there an option in camera to store photos and videos to the external SD card?
     
  11. algs26

    algs26 Member
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    There is not, according to reviews I've read.
     
  12. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    There is no option to do so on the device itself, but I would investigate symlinks and options like that.

    Please note, however, that SD cards are not ideal for this. I have a Class 2 32GB in my device (swapping to a UHS-1 64GB this week). When recording 1080p video on my S2, I learned that using internal storage will cause fewer dropped frames. I didn't notice any difference with photos. There's nothing preventing you from using a file manager (MY PREFERENCE) and simply moving the contents to your SD Card.

    If it's any consolation, I currently have 40 apps installed and have over 11GB remaining. One of those apps, Final Fantasy 3, uses 177MB, and there are other games using 50-150MB as well. This isn't like the Touchwiz model where space is at a huge premium :)
     
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  13. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    Thanks for the detailed reply Medion :thumb:

    I could not find the option on my 4.3 firmware but what you say makes sense and not just me being terminally stupid. ;)
     
  14. kyoo

    kyoo Newbie
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    Thought I'd briefly chime in - girlfriend got the S4 at the same time I got the S4GPE - saves about 3gb in useless at&t and samsung bloat (though I did install the watchon app) and the phone is snappier overall. I prefer more basic/clean, so the phone is really a match for me. The only oddity I've really noticed is that the camera is way slower on the S4GPE than the standard S4 as far as taking pics, and that you can't turn off the sound unless you're in vibrate/silent. I have a Nexus7 at home too, and this feels way quicker/better in every way.
     
  15. Medion

    Medion Android Expert
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    Make sure that HDR is off. HDR on means a VERY slow shutter.
     
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  16. kyoo

    kyoo Newbie
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    ^ thanks - no work around for saving pictures to an external sd without using a third party app though huh?

    edit: saw your other post.
     
  17. CrimsonPride

    CrimsonPride Android Expert
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    I've used both the TW and GE versions of the phone, well I run a GE ROM sometimes so its 98% the same. Both are very nice, and I switch between them quite often. If there was a TW ROM I liked enough I would probably stick with it over GE. I dont know what it is but there are a lot of features I end up missing when I am on GE. But both are very nice, and I really like having the option to switch between them.
     
  18. Petrah

    Petrah Psychotic Female
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    I don't have the GPE S4 yet, but will be getting it soon. Thought Id chime in about 3rd party apps I use to move things off of my G-Nex internal SD;

    I already use DropBox and wanted something I could install, set, and forget for automatically moving things off of the internal SD and over to my PC hard drive where DropBox resides. I found DropSync (paid version) which is perfect because after I set it up I don't have to do anything. It detects changes to whatever folder I have it pointed at, and uploads whatever is in there over to my computer. I have a few folders set up this way, but the big hoggies are the camera folder and the snapshot folder. I have those set to upload and delete (there are other settings). Which means it moves the pictures from my phone over to my computer, and then deletes them from my phone (huge space saver!). I can still view the pictures (right from my phone) from within the DropBox app even though they're not on my phone.

    Two apps (one paid) required to do this, but it sure does save me a lot of space on the tiny internal SD. Also if you don't want DropSync eating up your data, you can set it to use WiFi only.


    My 2 cents... hope someone finds it useful! :)
     
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