Thursday, May 9, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 - a short review it too much phone?

     The Samsung Galaxy S4 became available late last month and I don't know about you but I would love to have one of these as my daily device. Why? Well why the heck not!? I could get into all the great features but that would take forever so lets go through a short list of specs, or not so short.

Design and Size

     The S4 is thin, very thin for a phone of its strength and only 0.3mm thicker the the ever so slender iPhone 5. It is very light by design due to its plastic, no wait, polycarbonate shell and its only 1.1mm taller and 1.9mm wider than the once popular Samsung Galaxy Nexus, despite its larger screen.
It has a good feel in the hands mostly because it is about the size of most phones these days and weighs in roughly average at 130grams. Buttons for power, volume and home are located in typical locations as with most Samsung phones and they feel, well, like buttons. The most impressive thing about the design of the S4 is how they managed to get that screen on what could be considered in comparison to some devices, a mid sized phone.


     The technology is no doubt top of the line here. Sure there is a better this, or a better that, but with the S4 Samsung has mannaged to pack all the goodies right here in one device and then placed it in the palm of your hand. The S4 has a full HD screen at 1920x1080 with 441 pixels per inch made up of the new Corning Gorilla Glass3.The display is a Super AMOLED lcd
boasting 16million colors and its large enough for any and all of your needs at a 5 full inches. To put that into perspective, there are some netbooks out there that have a 7 inch screen and they are considered a laptop of sorts.

     Along with and incredible display the S4 has all the hardware needed to be considered a super computer just a decade ago. The quad core Snapdragon at 1.9ghz would have made a single threaded 1.6ghz Pentium 4 cry like a little girl having her hair pulled. Pack 2GB of dedicated ram into this picture and we know just how this fight would turn out. There is no doubt that the S4 is like having a computer in your pocket all the time. Benchmarks are off the charts, with the exception of the HTC One which has some how managed to squeak ahead but, like I was saying, sure there is a better this-n-that but not all in one place.


     Way too much to say here so I'll keep it short. There are more options and do-dads and do-hickeys in this camera than anyone would know what to do with. It is fun once you figure a few things out but that alone can take quite a while. All the extras aside and this camera is amazing!
At 13mp this camera takes awesome quality photos with little saturation and noise but it will suffer a little in low light condition which is common on most cell phone cameras. Even the front camera has a 2mp sensor which just a few years ago would have been the average for a main camera on a cell phone. All the features you would expect like flash and auto focus are on the S4 too. In fact almost, if not everything you would expect is on this device.


A camera we expect and a processor is needed but what about some of the other things that manufactures are steering away form like a removable micro sd card? Yup, the S4 has that too and a removable battery which are two of my favorite features. Samsung has also given us a minimum of 16GB of storage space all the way up to 64GB to ensure we never run out of space for all those apps we must have.

Sum it up

     So I know i haven't really done the Galaxy S4 justice here by providing a short review like this but to be frank, there is just too much to mention. The Touch Wiz UI is what we would expect from Samsung but all the extra extras are more then we need. There are apps that wont get used but features like eye-tracking that will. Eye-tracking is an intuitive feature that will scroll web pages based on your eye movement or pause a video if you look away. Features like that are outstanding but a dashboard drop down that takes up better than half a 5inch screen providing quick buttons to virtually every button in the settings menu is a little much.

     The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a wonderful phone and it even makes phone calls! But, do we really need an almost 2.0ghz quad core computer with 2GB of ram and a 64GB hard drive with constant connectivity, a 13mp camera and eye-tracking software stuffed into our little pockets? Hells yeah we do! Is the S4 too much phone? That's easy. The Galaxy is no longer a phone but a personal pocket computer that is designed to compliment your everyday needs and than some.

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