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Samsung Galaxy S4 : Features, Review & More

Samsung has officially launched the much awaited Galaxy S4 at a glamorous event in New York City, sometime back, and here we are with in-depth review of this marvelous device.

Samsung has already been up from mark for delivering a good quality hardware. Now with the launch of S4 we can see Samsung is also applying its energies into providing inbuilt features for which you could have downloaded app. For me, it has enhanced the looks, seems prettier than S4. Let’s see what makes S4 better than any other smart phone till date.

Also, you can try your luck and get a chance to win a brand new Samsung Galaxy S4, by participating in our giveaway.

OS – Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz on top

It is officially the first phone after 'Nexus 4' to be launched bundled with latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It comes with Touch Wiz which comes with a number of themes, bight, peppy, calm, cartoonish etc; The UI seems pretty awesome. There are some attractive additions to interface which is claimed by Samsung to be improved.

The home screens seems much groomed. The notification bar has a high transparency now the battery, signal, notifications look as if they are floating on the screen. The UI seems pretty light and will freshen up your mood. Touch Wiz seems pretty same as of S3 but there are some enhancements of features of core apps. For instance, the settings page has now tabs which saves you from scrolling and searching, it quickly allows you to spot what you want to access. Samsung has now taken Air View and Smart Stay to the next level with much enhanced functionality. The features are pretty huge in number but they are not creating confusion due to a two finger notification bar.

The latest additions include S translator, it supports as many as 10 languages and is bundled with apps like email, SMS, ChatOn. The S health app is pretty awesome which is somewhat tracks your lifestyle with S Band, Body Scale and Heart Rate monitor using handset as pedometer and calorie counter. The main targets of this feature seemed to be athletes. And choosing LeBron James for advertising is a pretty awesome move. Samsung likes to advertise its product in a number of unique ways, it has come up with Group Play which connects with a network of S4’s and share music , games with two built in games, Asphalt 7 and Gun Bros 2. The Air gesture lets to scroll and navigate the phone without even touching it. The scrolling of gallery is now a much easier way. Air view is similarly to Galaxy Note 2 Pen feature without actually using a Pen a preview of emails, calendar, videos galleries and open tabs when your finger is just over the screen.

Cellular connectivity – LTE and 3G (HSPA+)

As you know it is Samsung’s thing to be always ahead of the time. It comes with 4G infrastructure. Even if your region doesn’t support 4G it will still work nicely with 850/900/1900/2100 bands for HSPA. The phone also support with Cat 3 LTE. This means you will get download speeds up to 100Mbps and 50Mbps upload speed.

Display – 4.99-inch Super AMOLED display

You might think that S3 is somewhat similar to S4 but that whole misconception will be cleared when the screen is switched on. There will definitely be no doubt that it is a high end phone. S4 has 1080p resolution and a Super AMOLED screen display.

The screen is lively with vibrant colours and super saturated image. The viewing angles are planetary

Form factor – Only slightly refreshed chrome

There are not major changes from S3 when you look at it for the first time , but when you experience it you will feel the slight changes in Chrome a and back panel and the software enhancements are actually really major changes. It is a lot less curvey and hence a less of a rhombus. Along the perimeter of the device is a faux aluminium plastic trim, which does give it a high-end look. It gives the handset a weight of just 130 g. It is slim with dimensions of 7.9mm. A fine Hatch like pattern is at both front and back which is visible only if observed closely. Avoiding the plastic Samsung seems to have used all forms of material on the device.

Wi-Fi – Packed to the gills

In this department, Samsung has thrown in everything but the kitchen sink. The S4 supports Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n bands along with support for dual-band Wi-Fi. With the help of DLNA multimedia content could be seen on your TV screen. Files could be shared with other phones on the same network via Wi Fi Direct.

SoC – Exynos 5 Octa 5410 or Snapdragon 600

The now famous Exynos 5410 processor will be launched in other regions apart from US. We expect the CPU to come to the India-bound handset. It has a dual quad-core setup with four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 1.2GHz and four Cortex-A15 cores ticking at 1.6 GHz. 2GB RAM is available in both versions of handset, which is enough for any usage scenario. The Exynos CPU is coupled with the PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU, while the Snapdragon 600 version of the phone will use an Adreno 320 GPU.

Internal storage – Three options with microSD card slot

Two versions of phone are available 16 and 32 GB with a microSD card slot too which can further increase it to 64 GB.

Primary camera – 13 megapixels and a bag of tricks

This time it comes with a 3 megapixel camera so to boost the GS4's imaging credentials, Samsung has looked to the Galaxy Camera and its wheel interface, thus allowing the users choose the modes they want easily. Using the front and back cameras Galaxy S4 can do dual still and video capture. The camera comes bundled with themes and templates for picture stills.

A number of modes are available to rectify photo bombed shots and blurred backgrounds. Adding more to camera features comes, photo capturing still images with moving backgrounds, Sound & Shot records up to nine seconds of audio to accompany a picture and Drama Shot leverages the burst mode to create animated GIFs just like Nokia’s Cinemagraph app. Burst mode has been improved due to introduction of faster lens with an f/2.2 aperture.

Front-facing camera – More than just for video calls

Front facing camera has never been more utilized than what Samsung does.

We don’t know of anyone who puts the front-facing camera to better use than Samsung. It always brings something new to it with hardware or software. Along with Smart Stay and Smart Rotate, Samsung has included Smart Scroll and Smart Pause features. Smart Scroll works with just movement of your eyes while Smart Pause automatically pauses the video when you look away from it and resumes when you look back.

Another feature, Air Gestures, allows the 2 megapixel camera to cycle through images, webpages and emails by registering your flick-like gestures done above the screen. The one drawback is only these features cannot work in dark as camera won’t be able to track eyes or hands, but I guess we can accept it.

Sensors – The usual suspects

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has the usual accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass and ambient light sensors. The company has also thrown in a barometer, which we presume has a role to play in the S Health app.

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Galaxy S4 comes with first of Smart phones technology “Light Based Communication” It will be used to engage transactions at several locations where the retailers can use their existing point of sale systems. This technology allows, the Galaxy S4 to beam traditional 1-D barcode data to any regular laser scanner.

Battery – Li-ion 2600 mAh battery

Now comes my favourite part, the battery. It is hassle free and the best with the 2600mAh unit. It has been incremented from S3 as it had 2100 mAh. Samsung comes with a removable back which allows you to remove the battery at your expense. A battery carrier has also been provided so that you can carry an extra pack of batteries. So if you are a rigorous user your battery won’t last long, maybe only 9 to 5.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has Android 4.2.2, a fantastic camera, a powerful quad-core processor, and software solutions for just about every scenario -- including working as a TV/DVR remote. It's also comfortable in hand and has NFC, a user-replaceable battery, and a microSD storage slot.

There is no doubt regarding Samsung’s creativity. Its fans always want to get hands on latest Phones. The 8 core processor is the one catching everyone’s eye. For now Galaxy S4 is definitely an improvement over the other phones.