Samsung Galaxy S 4 Review: Bigger, Faster, Stronger

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As we noted previously, the Galaxy S 4 sports a 5” (technically 4.99”) screen with a full 1080p resolution (1080x1920, 440PPI), a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC running at a swift 1.9GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, and a number of other additional sensors and updates that allow for some interesting features.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4, Front and Back. A Black Version Is Also Available.

Although the Galaxy S 4 has a larger screen than the Galaxy S III, the S 4 is roughly the same height and width, thanks to thinner bezels all around. The S 4, however, is thinner and lighter than the S III. The Galaxy S 4’s dimensions measure 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm and it weighs in at 130g. According to Samsung, though the device is thinner and lighter, it is more ridged and stronger than the S III, due to tweaks in materials and design. The phone definitely feels good in the hand, and it is clearly more rigid than the Galaxy S III. Torqueing / twisting the device doesn’t result in the same type of squeaks and creaks that the S III had.

In addition to better build quality, the phone’s full HD Super AMOLED 5” screen looks great. Couple those densely packed pixels and high resolution with excellent brightness and vivid colors and the S 4’s screen is sure to impress. When placed side by side against a Note II and a Droid RAZR MAXX, and the superior clarity of the S 4’s screen was obvious and it appeared to display white backgrounds more accurately too. There were not “off color” whites—things looked simply just "white."

The Galaxy S 4 Is Only 7.9mm Thick

The Galaxy S 4 is nice and thin at 7.9mm, and like the S III, it has a metallic band that runs along its edge. Button placement and configuration is the same as the S III as well, though the tolerances are noticeably tighter on the S 4. We should also mention that the band on the S 4 is reportedly stronger than the one used on the S III, though we’re not clear on what material is used to produce it.

The Galaxy S 4 is going to be offered in black or white initially, and like the S III, it has a removable back cover so users can access the battery, SIM slot, and micro-SD expansion slot. The finish on the back cover seemed to be of a better quality than the S III, though it is still made of a flexible composite material. We should point out that under that cover lies a beefy 2,600mAh battery, which offers surprisingly good battery life, despite the phone’s high-end specs. It’s not quite as beefy as the 3,100mAh unit in the Note II, but it is much larger than the 2,100mAh of the similarly-sized S III.

The Galaxy S 4's 13mp Rear-Facing Camera With LED Flash

The 13mp rear facing camera, which compliments the front-facing 2mp camera, is also a nice upgrade over previous models. In addition, the S 4’s camera software offers a number of new features that allow both the front and rear facing cameras to be used simultaneously, so the person taking pics or video can be inserted into any shots being taken / recorded. The S4 also gives users the ability to embed audio into stills, should you want to send a message off to someone along with the picture, without having to send a much larger video file. We'll cover more of the camera's features a little later...

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MayhemMatthew one year ago

Ugh, so ugly. Honestly, things like the HTC One is what I want to see more of. Better design than just cramming in hw.

Clixxer one year ago

Well I would have to completely disagree since I think the HTC One with the mesh for the speakers and the fact it doesn't have a uniform bezel is ugly as sin but hey whatever floats your boat!

KOwen one year ago

Good, fair review. It makes sense to include the look and feel of the phone in the review but honestly I think it's pointless. I don't know anyone that owns an S III that doesn't have an Otterbox case, and I would assume things will be be similar with the S IV.

ChristopherT. one year ago

There's an article/survey idea for you: Do you use a case? What phone do you use, and would recommend it? Would you buy it again?

ajm531 one year ago

Is it just me or does the SGS 4 look like an early prototype of EVA from wall-e with that flip cover on? lol

ajm531 one year ago

wow fantastic review. I appreciated how you gave some of the features a chance and praised them instead of shrugging them off as just gimmicks. yes some of them are but some of them are really neat and maybe useful.

SvennaCirclet one year ago

Good review. I've never owned a smart phone before so I'm not sure what to get. People are telling me it's either this one or the iPhone. I'm leaning towards the Samsung Galaxy S 4 because I'm not an Apple person.

layhyungs one year ago

One thing i would want is that they change the look of the phone for something more amazing.

Clixxer one year ago

[quote user="Layhyungs"]

One thing i would want is that they change the look of the phone for something more amazing.


Well I think it looks good and I would bet if they changed the design then Apple would try and sue them again.

SergiyMelnychuk one year ago

Can't wait for this phone to come out. My brother has the S3 and it's an awesome phone, it feels so much better than an Iphone 5. I'm planning on getting this baby as my first phone or maybe the mozzila firefox phone if verzion gets it.

rychu79 one year ago

Wont be able to get mine until October when my upgrade is available. :(

eunoia one year ago

Whereas my PC from a few years ago is still pretty solid, it may be time to change phones. This makes my current phone look like two tin cans on a string. Heck, the camera may be even better than my actual camera!

A co-worker just picked up the new HTC One and had everyone crowding around it, is this going to steal their thunder?

lilmedo one year ago

Amazing but i just got my S3

ChrisLawler one year ago

might pick one up to replace my aging galaxy nexus on verizon, but i've heard rumors there not releasing a 32gb version on verizon. seeing how i store all my music on my phone to connect to bluetooth audio in my car that might kill that idea :(

Deap1 one year ago

Just found your site. Very interesting and enlightening.

My wife has the S3 which is quite a device. Hard to describe these machines as phones anymore since talking on them is seemingly becoming a thing of the past as far as their usage.

The one huge and glaring shortfall of the S3 is not being able to use the the thing in full sunlight do to the nearly total blackout of the screen. Have yet to meet anyone that isn't having the same issue with the S3. We spend our winters on the gulf so when we are on the beach on a picture perfect day taking a picture with this marvelous camera is pretty much point to where you guess the best picture is or I reach down for my X2, far from the best phone in the world, so I can see what the picture is going to contain. The full sun screen of the X2 is very easy to see even in full sun.

So unless this has been solved it too will be shackled for those of us that enjoy daylight and the outdoors.

Will have to wait until I meet someone carrying one of these to find out since getting one outside of the stores for a test isn't always that easy. Actually have yet to get a display outside for a look.

seuli one year ago

It is a good and fair review. I think that this phone is best and faster. It also stronger. We shall use the Mozilla Firefox of this phone.

rajoan one year ago

my favorite phone is sgs4 thats getup is very nice and very simple.any want to buy it.thank u

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