Pros Camera is very nice
Screen is awesome
Very smooth OS, fast processor
Interface is very thoughtfully designed
Little bit of a learning curve on this phone
Cons None. As much as I want to think of something bad to say, there's simply nothing negative about this phone.
Summary Some background on me: I bought into the Android hype from the beginning, buying a Droid Milestone (the OG Motorola Droid slider.) It was a neat device, but riddled with SO many software bugs and hardware that just could not run such a hefty operating system. I gave up on Android, and switched to an iPhone 4S in 2011. In late 2012 after a series of iTunes fails, I switched to a Droid Razr M. A great device and epic battery life in a small package, but a crummy camera and Android definitely needs the 2GB of ram. OK, enough about me, the phone:Edit:
Design: Thin, light, plastic. The thinness is lost on me - I am 6'5 with proportionally gigantic hands, so I don't need a tiny phone per se. That being said its almost too thin, and while we're on it its almost too light for its size. Fortunately if you are part of the 98% that buys a case then this is quickly offset. The case adds the requisite weight so it feels solid, the requisite thickness so holding it doesn't feel like its cutting into your hands. Plastic is almost like a four letter word nowadays, but as is the case with the thinness and lightness, you will not see plastic if you use a case. That being said if you go case free, its all glass front and a metal trim. A beautiful device through and through (5 of 5)
Hardware: Coming from a dual core S4/1 GB of ram I can say this is a huge performance boost. I still close down apps from time to time, though thats mostly for battery saving purposes. I have yet to have this device hang up on me. (Note: Chrome occasionally hangs up, though thats a function of Chrome I suspect. No other apps have hung.) The antennas in this device are great as well. I'm a crazy ground dweller (AKA I live in a basement.) I was getting 1-2 bars on my Razr M, 2-4 bars on this phone. For all I know they have the cell receiver, but I can tell you theres a marked improvement in the S4. Data rates remain constant though, around 7 up/7 down on New York City's oversaturated LTE network. Middling speakers, though quality headphones solve (the OEM headphones are dreadful.) (5 out of 5)
Display: Ill let a little Apple bias shine now - the Iphone 4S and 5 have half the resolution but are sharper and brighter than this phone could dream to be. "But MJ 1080 > iSheep!" you say. Well, yes, more pixels is grand, but the iPhone display is simply better. That being said this is still an amazing display. I actually prefer AMOLEDs more vibrant colors. I have slight color blindness, so the popping colors really jive well with my broken ass eyeballs. Much like a TV you have some good control over the display settings. I go with the "Vibrant" preset cause, well, I love those poppy AMOLED colors. Theres a setting for every type though. (4 out of 5)
Software: This section both validates and invalidates this review. I dont know stock vs Touchwiz Android, so I wont win many Fandroids by admitting that but it also shows im not a Fandroid. I'd like to think I just like good phones. That said, the software on this phone is wunderbar. First off the missing software option: software buttons. Purists love having buttons taking up the bottom 10% of their screen, I hate it. Its why I got this phone. Your menu buttons should not be on the !@#$ing screen! Ahem, anyway. Beyond that its as if Samsung said "to hell with minimalist Android" and fancied it up. I was able to familiarize myself with it pretty quickly based on previous experience. Verizon offers free classes on how to use Android if you're new to the system, at least they do here in NY, so that should help with the learning curve.
As for most of the new additions: I havent had much luck with them. Frankly they are pretty weaksauce - I am not going to flail crazily at my phone to answer it or have it pop popcorn, etc. One really awesome addition though is the Universal Remote Control app included WatchOn. Cant find your remote? Got your S4. At a sports bar where your waitress is taking 20 minutes to switch to the Mets? Got your S4. At your girlfriends place, entering hour 4 of an Americas Next Top Model marathon? Got your S4 (well, at least you can suggest the TV gods are insisting on a new show...) Android is developed enough that its smooth a babies behind. And widgets are why I can never go back to iOS. (Also, being able to drag and drop your music folder instead of librarying and syncing and dancing to the rain gods to get your library on your phone is much, much better.) (5 out of 5)
Battery: Battery is where this place REALLY shines. My brother has an S3, and maybe gets 12-14 hours of serious usage. I want a phone I can use all day, syncing with personal email, syncing with a battery gobbling proprietary work email app, at 70% brightness. Well, I got it. Sadly I cant paste in images here, but right now I am looking at 18 hours on battery, 4 hours of display usage, wifi+GPS on all day, and still at 20% battery. What else can I say? Well, if youre a road weary business traveler like me you have the option of second batteries and extended life batteries, though I find it rather unnecessary. This was my biggest area of concern going into this phone, and this is my favorite aspect of it right now. (5 out of 5)
Camera: This section is pending, as I have taken fewer than 100 pictures at this point. I will address to hot points of discussion though: the HDR on this phone so far seems fairly mediocre. That being said the "Night" mode on this phone is the best I have experienced ever. This phones weakness was supposed to be low lighting and I can say without question that the low light setting on the S4 renders these concerns moot. Been out a few times with this guy, and the night mode captures dimly lit bar pictures fast and clearly, flash free. (Pending, inclined to say 4 of 5.)
Deals: I suggest check for best deal at -> Androidphonesbuying.blogspot.com/p/samsung-galaxy-s4.html
I highly recommend this phone!!! Best cell phone ever!
Updated on Nov 30, 2013
I suggest check for best deal at: Androidphonestome.blogspot.com/p/samsung-galaxy-s4.html
Pros Bleeding edge features, slick interface, smooth functioning with plenty of processing power for complex tasks
Cons Minimal: slight learning curve, some promised hardware elements not available (U.S.)
Summary My review applies to the Verizon model, in black. Verizon bumped their delivery date a week earlier than originally announced, which is welcome for me, since it puts the phone in my hands in time for A-Kon, an Anime convention with some 20,000 fellow geeks and techies in attendance. Choice of carriers admittedly impacts experience, not only in terms of quality of connections but also some bundled features. In my case, Verizon's proprietary backup assistant significantly streamlined the transition process, and I soon found my new phone downloading automatically all my apps and information, thus rendering unnecessary a significant portion of my handwritten transition process checklist--it's nice to be reminded that it's 2013, and Windows 98 is dead and buried.
I was impressed. I expected to be, given all the attention this phone has gotten. But I also had read about some of the gripes: allegations of a cheap outer casing, steep learning curve, and bloatware hogging a significant portion of the internal memory. One gripe was accurate: only a 16GB model was available, and the Octa-core processor was replaced with a less exotic four core CPU--though I learned that this was less a loss than I originally thought, since the eight core CPU was really more a battery-saving feature that only uses four cores at a time, and my own phone's four core unit was actually marginally faster. I found many of the other criticisms reaching and exaggerated. The phone feels sturdy, and the outer casing pretty solid. The patterned black trim and metallic frame does not look or feel cheap to me. I also found the learning curve less steep than expected; granted, I was going from Android 2.3 to 4.2. Some of the preinstalled widgets hogged a lot of screen real estate, but they could all be taken down and replaced with the icons and widgets the phone channeled through the cloud aether from my old phone's backups.
The bundled software including bloatware takes up about half the internal memory, leaving 8GB free. I added a 32GB SD card, though I'll probably swap it out for a 64. I was pleased how accessible the back panel was; my last phone buried the SD card in a way that the battery had to come out first. I'm well aware that other phones including the iPhone aren't upgradable. I do wish phones with 32 or 64 GB were available in the U.S.; the time is right for 128 GB mobile devices, though cloud storage and improving bandwidth may soon render the issue moot.
Camera and camcorder functions were streamlined, and I found it easy to point-and-shoot, with all of the legendary photo modes quietly tucked away when just wanting to grab a moment. I'm still early in trying out camera and video. I did test film a fireworks show last night and found night vision limited, with colors faded, particularly green and red. But, filming fireworks from a phone in default automatic mode (rather than the night mode I found shortly afterwards) is possible.
I'll avoid rehashing the specs or general features, as there's already been plenty of general talk about this phone. But, I felt it important to say that so far, it's living up to the high expectations, and that most of the drawbacks described are a bit reaching. It's not hard to use for someone already familiar with Android phones, once one gets past the first few minutes of learning the changes.
Pros Removable or Changeable battery
Cons Requires Root to get rid of bloatware
Summary I have read a lot about HTC one and Galaxy S4 comparison and they are only natural as these represent 2 best smartphones of 2013.
Yes, I take that HTC One has great looks, beats audio and fresh design... but what you need to give away for that is ability to change or upgrade the battery.
Any battery however good is it charges for 500 cycles if all the connections remain proper.. For a smartphone, its easy to achieve these cycles in 18 months or so..
Do I want to replace a 700 USD phone in such a short time.. sorry, I don't.
Moreover, if you look at some suppliers they give fatter batteries with replaceable covers. SO if you are on the move then it makes sense to change the 2600 mAH battery with 5000 mAH and still retaining reasonable looks, thanks to super slim structure of S4.
Come to the other difference, HTC One has LCD screen and it is common to have dead pixels in LCD after some time. AMOLED screens have no recorded problems like this.
Yes, the audio requires improvement but the included ear-phones house woofer and speaker to get a much rounded sound. Who listens to music or takes calls with speakerphone generally?
Now the plastic, well its much more likely that your phone will survive a drop if its plastic rather than polished metal design.
At the end it will come to personal preference, I have some bad exp. with HTC and their is a huge developer community doing things for Samsung, I fear being left out of exciting customizations like I did with my Dell Streak..
GS4 is for me..
Pros Software,Camera, Screen, Speed, Storage, Battery, and oh yeah the build is just fine on this phone way better than you think. Yes htc one feels better but thats about it and yes if your smart they will both be in a case anyway.
Cons Just 1, i wish it was aluminum so all the haters would stop complaining.
Summary The S5 be Aluminum and people will still complain, people just hate when others are doing well, come on guys there just phones plus its good for comp. If iphone had air gestures all air air view everyone would be going nuts, instead iphone still has the same look form 2009, and HTC one is not even running the latest software and wont for a few months im not trying to hate but whats true is true. I had the htc one, the reasons i took s4 over the 1 was, the battery was not that good starting using at 8am by 1 it was dying come on guys u know its true, also pics a are good but u must be close if not the pics get all messed up cause of 4mp. thats my thoughts good luck.
Pros Everything about this phone.
Cons Nothing about this phone
Summary A lot of people are complaining that it is plastic. Plastic does not break as easy. People get cases for high end exterior phones that are plastic so what is the big deal. This phones specs are incredible and at the best of any phone on the market. Whether this phone is an iphone killer, probably not. The iphone 5s is due out some time this year and no matter if it has anything new, people are going to buy it. Every argument any apple fan has against androids is flawed. However a lot of fandroids have no idea what they are talking about. Overall the Samsung Galaxy S4 will come out as the best phone with the HTC One close behind. Although HTC One looks amazing, HTC phones usually have some flaws especially with battery. Whether some software is useless or not it is always easy to turn off and the battery on the S4 will meet expectations.