Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Design and Build

One good thing about the S4 is that it looks and feels nicer than its predecessors despite being able to carry on the traditional Galaxy S design. While it looks almost identical to the S3, the now flattened edges make it more comfortable to grip. Unfortunately, those who were hoping for a metal body will be heavily disappointed that the phone is still constructed of plastic, and as usual many will complain how it feels light and cheap. Impressively though, the S4 is a tad smaller and lighter than the S3, despite it having a larger display and battery.

Display

The 5-inch AMOLED screen offers a resolution of 1920x1080 and density of 441ppi. With the numbers alone, you can tell that it’s one special display. With full brightness turned on, it definitely does stand out. Unfortunately, this will drain your phone more quickly, and when you lower the brightness down, you’ll get quite a dull screen that gets swamped in bright sunlight. Still, setting this aside, it is one of the most gorgeous and vibrant phone screens today.

Performance and Hardware

Despite the hype of an octa-core processor, the UK release uses a 1.9GHz quad-core processor backed up by 2GB of RAM. No need to be disappointed though, because the device is works super fast and smooth. S4 comes in 16, 32, and 64GB models, and has an expandable microSD card storage of up to 64GB.

Battery Life

Unfortunately, as with previous Galaxy S models, the S4’s battery doesn’t hold up well. With all the impressive display and new features used together, your phone can barely last throughout a day. Even with moderate use, you’d most likely have to charge the phone before going to bed, something which can be quite annoying, although not unusual with today’s smartphones.

Camera

Good thing that the S4 lives well to the expectations from a 13-MP rear camera, in fact, when compared side by side with some real, compact cameras, it can produce a better output. There’s good detail and solid color, and even if it’s not the best smartphone camera currently, it’s definitely one of the best. There are also plenty of camera features that will satisfy avid and casual photographers alike, such as the ability to take five shots quickly and remove moving objects.

Pros

  • Powerful processor
  • Lots of new gestures and features
  • More enhanced design from the S3

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • Not much of an improvement from the S3

The Verdict

Indeed, while not so much has improved since the Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is definitely a better phone than its predecessor. It offers a ton more features, many are useful, and even though some are not, the conscious efforts of Samsung in working towards further improvement should be commended. While there’s a minor issue with battery life, it can last throughout a day of normal usage, which is pretty acceptable. All in all, the Galaxy S4 is one beautiful, powerful device and is definitely one of the leading smartphones in 2013.