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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hands on: Samsung Galaxy S4 review


The Samsung Galaxy S4 brings a huge Full HD screen, an improved camera and faster innards, and fits it all in a chassis the same size as the Galaxy S3.


The Samsung Galaxy S4 launch saw the Korean brand claiming the phone is built on four foundations: an improved camera, better connections with others, health and wellbeing improvements and simply making life easier.
 Samsung Galaxy S4 review
While this is all a little hyperbolic, the S4 at least brings an integrated feel to things while improving nearly every spec on offer. The outside is still plastic, but harks back to the mesh design, if not feel of the Galaxy S2.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review Colour wise you've got a choice of 'White Frost' and 'Black Mist', which adorn the large device, which runs in with dimensions of 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm, despite still having to pack in a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen.

That means it will have a larger screen, but smaller chassis than the Galaxy S3, which is a superbly impressive feat of engineering, especially when you consider the specs.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review But like its predecessor, the plastic feeling of the Galaxy S3 won't appeal to all. It feels very lightweight (tipping the scales at 130g) in the hand, and while people have been conditioned against this feeling cheap, compare it to the HTC One and you'll see that it's a long way from premium feeling.

However, it's exactly the same sensation as we found on the Galaxy S3, and given the record numbers of sales that had Samsung is sticking with a winning formula, plus there's more than a market for a phone that you'll barely notice in your pocket most of the time.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review Compared to rest of the Galaxy line, the S4 continues in the same vein as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the S3, (as well as myriad other devices) showing the Koreans are keen on creating a design heritage here.

The home button is roughly the same size and the same menu and back buttons remain from the prequel. Samsung Galaxy S4 review Overall, the effect is a much more well put together Galaxy S3 – so this means that when you take it out down the pub people won't notice you've got the latest phone, which is a bit of a shame.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 feels like much more of an iterative update than new design, and while it will probably sell well there's very little to wow you when it comes to the overall shape.

Specs are important, but if there was such as thing as a Samsung Galaxy S3S, this would be it. Samsung Galaxy S4 review But away from all that negativity! We have a new phone to check over, so let's take a minute and talk about the screen: it's even more beautiful than before.


We almost feel sad that this isn't the first Full HD screen we've seen on a mobile phone, as it's kind of lost its lustre since the likes of the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z have all managed the same trick – but it improves the sharpness a lot, even though you're not getting that much different from the S3.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review Side by side you can see the difference close up, and the brightness and efficiency have been tweaked to make this a more compelling screen in a phone.

Talk all you want about the benefits and colour saturation of LCD – the Samsung Galaxy S4 is leagues ahead when it comes to jaw-dropping screens. The 441ppi pixel density doesn't match the HTC One, but is more than good enough for the average user.
 Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Samsung Galaxy S4 review We'll be mightily surprised if the combined popularity of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 don't prompt Apple into a re-tooling of the screen with the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6, as the sharpness will definitely wow users on the shelves.

Aside from the initial impression of the design, in the hand the Samsung Galaxy S3 feels just dandy. The design contours well against the palm, and while the screen size may be a little big for some (you'll need a bit of shuffling to reach the upper section of the screen) it's definitely useable in the hand.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review So in short: if you don't mind plastic and you like cutting-edge HD screens in your pocket, this is a phone definitely worth checking out.

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