The New Samsung Galaxy S4: Review

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 is basically a beefed up version of the S3 with some cool new software features. The new specs include a faster processor, better camera, RF, bigger battery,  and a bigger screen. Also, it is thinner, lighter, and more square than the S3 which is always a nice touch. First, I’ll discuss the processor.

SGS4-specs-vs-Galaxy

The process is, in my opinion, the biggest step up from the Galaxy S3. It will either be a 1.9Ghz Quad-core or a 1.6Ghz Octa-core processor. Of course, the Octa-core will be substantially better, but it will be decided upon regional availability and markets. Let’s hope we get the Octa-core version. The Galaxy S3 included the 1.5Ghz snapdragon dual-core processor which is quite fast but nowhere near the Octa.

Secondly, the improved 13MP rear camera is a nice, but expected, jump compared to the 8MP rear camera on the S3. The front camera also got some love but barely enough to notice. The S4 now sports a 2.0MP front camera vs the 1.9MP on the S3.

The battery gets a much needed 24% increase to a now 2,600mAh. However with the new software features, faster specs, etc., the 24% increase might actually give you less actual run time.

The bigger screen is something I am a bit skeptical of. I think the Galaxy S3 displays a beautiful and perfect sized 4.8inch screen. Some say it is slightly too big and some say it is just right. I can’t imagine having something any larger. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a lot but that extra .2 inches makes the Galaxy S4 tablet-like in size.

As far as the actual shell, the S4 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. If it wasn’t for the huge 5″ display, it would look strangely similar to the white iPhone. This makes me even more curious to what the iPhone 6 will look like supposedly being bigger and plastic.

The software is where the fun comes in. After getting your hands on this you can right away tell that Samsung is starting to think outside of the box and for their own…finally. Some cool features include eye detection/facial recognition, finger hovering, hand swipes, and more.

The eye detection/facial recognition isn’t quite what you’re thinking. It wont scan your eye for security purposes, but it can detect if you are looking at the screen or elsewhere. This comes in handy if you are watching a movie or slide-show and then your attention strays away from the screen to your dog chewing up the carpet. The Galaxy S4 can actually stop what it’s doing or “insert ideas here” while your looking away. Also it will scroll up or down the page if you tilt the phone in that direction.

Finger hovering is a new feature that is a “sink or swim” idea. Basically when hovering your finger over a link or picture, a thumbnail and/or excerpt (some kind of preview) will pop up and not actually navigate you away from the current screen you are on.

Hand swipes/gesture controls are also being used in a smarter way. You can now pass your whole hand in any direction across the S4 display to scroll through articles or different opened pages.

Some of the other hardware/software features include:

  • possibly an RF mod so you can use the S4 as a universal remote
  • wireless charging (not yet confirmed)
  • OS built in fitness app that acts as a pedometer, GPS, scale, etc.
  • full HD 1080 Super AMOLED display
  • cool video/picture modes and editing features
  • dual front-face and rear-face running video recording in 1080p
  • burst mode to create an animated .jif, and
  • “sound and shot” which is a still pic with up to 9sec of audio