- Peter Nowak , CBC
The S4 is very much an incremental step over the S3 – it’s evolutionary, not revolutionary.
- Joshua Vergara , Android Authority
We can say that it’s one of the best smartphones of all time, which, while not revolutionary, brings more than enough new stuff to the table to be worth an upgrade.
- Beautiful display
- Enhanced touch inputs
- Great camera
- Removable battery
- Great performance
- Plasticky feel
- Slippery case
- Questionable TouchWiz interface
- Boring hardware design
As the flagship in Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone lineup, the S4 is a leader in its bracket. With a 5-inch 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera and a powerful Snapdragon chipset, the phone has the features and power to handle most anything mobile device users might ask for. However, case design and the TouchWiz interface could pose an issue for some.
Engadget’s Brad Molen sums up the device well when he says “In drawing our conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy S4, we find ourselves at an interesting junction: while our geek senses keep tingling at the thought of so many market-topping specs contained within the same chassis, we also aren't overjoyed, per se, with excitement.”
One aspect of the S4 that truly shines is the display. The 5-inch AMOLED display features excellent contrast, great outdoor visibility and wide viewing angles. Gareth Beavis of TechRadar said “The screen is out of this world. Even at a lower PPI the 5-inch display dominates the competition. It's clear, bright and vivid, and there's very little it isn't great for.” The Synaptics powered enhanced touch inputs allow users to take advantage of the Air Controls features on the Note series or use the device while wearing gloves. Support for MicroSXHD cards provides massive storage upgrade potential while the 13-megapixel camera and 4G LTE support provide plenty of ways to use the storage space.
The device runs Android Jelly Bean with the TouchWiz interface. This is where things get questionable for the S4. The TouchWiz interface is something that many users either love or hate. It offers enhanced features over the stock interface. Unfortunately, they are sometimes less than intuitive. Another concern is the materials used for the phone. Samsung has always been a fan of plastic cases. The S4 is no exception.
While the phone does not feel frail or flimsy, it certainly has a cheaper feel than many of the polycarbonate or aluminum devices available from competitors. David Pierce of The Verge says “I don't like holding this phone, and I can't overstate how much that informs the experience of using it. It makes an awful first impression, slippery and slimy and simply unpleasant in your hand.”
Reviews (8.3/10 Avg. rating)
So many cool, useful, and sometimes scarily clever tools
Yet again, Samsung have produced a market leading smartphone. It may seem to some to be more like the Galaxy S3.1 than a full update, but for those who give it the time, learn what it can do and take advantage of the advanced features, it really is hard to beat. The 5in screen is fantastic, the camera is both powerful and great fun, and the whole package feels well thought out. The slightly cheap feel does let the phone down somewhat, but the choice of materials almost certainly reflects in the price (as well as the weight) of the S4. Available from all major carriers for around $199 on a n... Full review
Still a good buy
Packs a lot of good extras in a handheld package
It's hard to find chinks the S4's general excellence. The storage is measly and the mono speaker and lack of FM radio may be a downer for some, but despite these it's still a lot of phone for your money.
The S4 is a lot of smartphone for your money today. The lack of a big.LITTLE processor is a shame, as it looks to be a great idea, but even without it the S4 embodies that phrase rather nicely. The screen is bigger than that on the HTC One, the battery is bigger than the HTC One's or the one in the Sony Xperia Z, yet the phone itself is slightly smaller than either. Simply put, Sams... Full review
A solid choice for your next Android smartphone
The Galaxy S4 does everything well: It contended for the top spot on nearly every test we threw at it. The S4 offers great battery life; in our Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests, it streamed video for 10 hours on its beautiful 5” HD display. The S4 is no slouch in processing power as well, scoring highly on graphics performance benchmarks and giving you fast navigation and reliable video playback.
Our consumer testers loved the phone as well, giving it high marks on ease of use including reading, navigating, and typing. The iPhone users especially appreciated the p... Full review
One of the best options available
Exquisite phone if you need a huge number of features
Blazing fast but a little bloated
It's a very solid device that belies that exterior and shouldn't be discounted for it
Stock Android experience, snappier performance, improved battery life
Samsung’s great hardware with Google’s clean, fast Android OS
Good phone bad battery life
Manuals / User Guides
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Manual (PDF)
Visit the Samsung Galaxy S4 Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.Share / Embed