Samsung Galaxy S4 software features: Ahead of the game or gimmicky?
0. phoneArena 08 May 2013, 11:54 posted on
Being a successive device, it wasn’t totally surprising to see Samsung build upon its preexisting functions with its TouchWiz experience on the Galaxy S4. For starters, they totally revamped the camera experience, as it boasts an insane amount of neat tricks – even to the point of...
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8. PermanentHiatus (Posts: 267; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)
On the Galaxy they're gimmicks.
Now put the same features on the iPhone and they're magical!
11. XperiaUser (unregistered)
no they are still a gimmicks
29. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1163; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
its like the magical panorama mode on iphone5
30. saket.shrivastava (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
u cant make sh.it magical, no matter what u put into it
56. torr310 (Posts: 491; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
I think what he meant is iFans will think whatever puts on the iOS is magical. Do people still use Siri a lot nowadays?
75. SellPhones82 (Posts: 567; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
They have Google Now so no need! If I want snarky replies to questions I'll just get on here or the ESPN message boards instead of asking Siri. I think PA did an article a year or so ago about Siri and people only using it to so their friends or see what she will reply with when you ask weird questions. Just Google "Siri Usage" and look at some of the info graphs they have. Basically most users have stopped using it or use it once a month, but that wouldn't be considered a gimmick feature now would it?
130. Trex95 (Posts: 572; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)
Iphone doesn't need these gimmick to be famous lol.
14. bittertruth247 (Posts: 31; Member since: 03 May 2013)
As someone who sells phones for a living and have had at least 6 different Samsung's in the past 5 years, all technology is a gimmick yet we still pay for it and use it! The bottome line is that we pay the same amount per month for cellphone contracts regardless of the manufacturer or the amount of "gimmicks" so if a company like Samsung loads it up with stuff that can make things more convenient, why not? Apple lovers pay hundreds of dollars for computers just to surf the web, type a paper, and make a dvd yet they could save money by getting Windows but they think their stuff is better and it's not!! So I say, give me gimmicks, I'm paying for it!!
19. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1060; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
I agree as long as they can be turned off.
74. SellPhones82 (Posts: 567; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
Well said, not everyone is going to care about or use every single feature/gimmick they add but people will still find a use for most of them. I guess people would rather Samsung not add new features to their phones and just launch the same things every year with a few hardware bumps. I'll take new features any day for the simple fact that they are fun to play with. If you want the same thing over and over again get an i-device. Plus what do you add to a device that already has everything? The remote feature is actually really neat though I think they will end up having to update since you can change the channel on any TV so long as the IR port is not block...no more asking the bartender to change the channel since you can do it yourself or mess with people when they wonder who is changing the channel. The air view to answer calls is another useful feature. Who hasn't had there phone go off and they can't or don't want to answer it due to wet or dirty hands? I know I have so having the ability to answer a call and have to go directly to speaker phone is in no way a gimmick. Part of me would love to see how the reaction to some of the feature would be if a company other than Samsung was the one to launch them but I guess we will never know...
101. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
yet haters cant understand,,
15. EspHack (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Sep 2012)
doesn't matter what comes preinstalled with android phones, you can do whatever you want with them as long it is software and your hardware supports it, that applies to all samsung efforts, gimmick or not
also the most important for me is the hardware, almost all software problems can be sorted out sometime, the S4 sports a hell of computing power but their run of the mill design and build quality makes it umbalanced, i say the HTC one is the best right now, even when im a nokia fan
33. saket.shrivastava (Posts: 55; Member since: 02 Apr 2012)
only the hardware matters. if the hardware is right software can be taken care of on android any day.
that is why i love it!!!
17. KashAli (Posts: 105; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)
I think everyone is going to turn these features off :-s (well I am).
20. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 867; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
There's nothing wrong with putting a crazy amount of features on a phone. It gives the user the ability to pick and choose what he likes and then offer the best feature this phone has to offer, the ability to turn them on and off as you choose.
21. FlushGordon (unregistered)
I am a Samsung fan
Would've prefered features that you'll ACTUALLY use like better sounding external speakers and more accurate color rendering....HTC has done a stellar job with the ONE so far
Air gestures are lazy features that you'll only use during the first day from acquiring the S4...that's it
24. RiseAgainst94 (Posts: 281; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)
I would take a clearner UI and better hardware over a bunch of software features that make you think "But my device doesn't have that..." and you end up not using.
34. lovesamsung9x (unregistered)
i love Samsung phones. i was excited when i got my Samsung s4 but I'm not happy about the s4 all my excitement for the new features went away. i turned all the new features off because they caused the phone to be leggy at the same time the UI freezing many times. i wish Samsung would release an update cause it still a bit leggy after all the new features turned off.
39. yadu004 (Posts: 63; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)
they already released an update for the lag. I faced the same problem, but now it's fine.
40. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)
Hmm granted they still are a bit gimmicky and new but over time they will be incorporated into the os and will be quite useful
42. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I'm not a samsung fan but yesterday i just so happened to pass by a store which had the galaxy S4 on display, for use. I was with a couple of friends and we had all already established the fact that samsung's design scheme was crap. But when I saw the S4, i just couldn't stop staring at it. Sure, the back was still hideous but that 5" SAMOLED display was unbelievable. Oh and it was the Exynos one if anyone wants to know. There was an S3 next to it so we compared both phones and found out that the S3 lagged, LAST YEAR'S FLAGSHIP LAGGED. I was in shock at that but the S4 was so damn smooth i literally wanted to steal it :P And last year i was like how damn clear the 720p screen of the S3 is, and no i don't have super-eyes that i can distinguish between 720p and 1080p, but the S4 was just mind boggling. Now all i want is to save up for it but the cheapest price i could find it for was 64K which is about 640$. I couldn't save that much up in 1.5 years :( And now i ish has a sad :(
I can't say anything about these "gimmicky" features but my opinion is that they are gimmicky :/
43. scsa852k (Posts: 310; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)
The new features could feel gimmicky at first.
Air gesture is something that could really come in handy for everyday use,
IF it was perfect.
I'm pretty sure Sammy will improve the feature and come up with a software update in the near future.
Problem is, Sammy tried to put all these new features and previous features all together and left us less than 9GB of usable storage space on a 16GB gigger.
Every new invention feels gimmicky at first.
Once you get used to it, it becomes normal.
If you throw a feature phone at a neanderthal, it will feel gimmicky to him.
48. lallolu (Posts: 259; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)
The gimmicks aside, the S4 has a very good camera compared to the other premium phones like Htc One and xperia Z.
51. kickrox (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)
gimmick s4. i can't wait to see key lime pie and the nexus 5.
52. DreOneil (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 May 2013)
Gimmicky or not, I think Samsung is the only OEM that actually utilizes the capabilities of the Android platform and the phone's hardware the most, they just need to make it more optimized to reduce the lag, cause with those specs lags shouldn't even be a reality. It's like having a 700hp Lamborghini Aventador with all that power under the hood and a 217mph top speed, but Lamborghini decided to just limit it to lets say 350hp @ 155mph top speed.
60. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Great article John V. This articles was both on a consumer and reviewer perspective!
67. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)
I dont care about those features, I care and this is more important to me:
amoled 5" display (amazing)
powerVr gpu (powerful)
13 mpx camera (woow)
the mic on it...pfff (fkn good sound on videos)
The S4 is a BEAST !!!!
97. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
the gpu in snapdragon still more powerful than the octa version(hahaha)
the greatest screen tecnology from samsung still on par with last year iphone IPS LCD screen(hahaha again)
13mpx camera wow....??? 41mpx (leave your toy camera at your pocket kid)
mic still not the best in the market
battery and sd slot nothing special with that
this is the best feature on S4
plastic toy ( not premium and not durable either )
do you want more????
100. kclgphilsbsa (Posts: 765; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)
wow what an immature comment :D
i wont argue anymore for every items uve mentioned coz you seemed to be no sense and close-minded hater
103. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
just prove it everything what i've said is wrong. please!!!
if you can
thats mean i'm just ''close minded hater''
108. Nephylim (Posts: 134; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)
Wow, The lord of the trolls
I dont feed trolls, you know it :P
Go to save some money, poor kid, and spend it in some fkn good phone (S4)
Then ...go back and ask forgiveness. we have a deal???
115. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
i'm sure i have more money than you, and just like i said before i'll replace my GS2 with the real premium smartphone (not some plastic toy)
like Sony Honami, Nokia Eos, and the last options Nexus 5
Blackberry Q10 for my old E6-00
Xperia Tablet Z for my Nexus 7
stop talking BS and prove it that i'm wrong!!!
122. SoulEater1667 (Posts: 23; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)
I will feed you yudi nemesis.
The snapdragon IS NOT more powerful than powervr sgx544mp3 , if you do some research and watch some benchmarks you will know.
41 mpx, do you f**king know that the size of the sensor is not the only thing that matters and the phone that has that camera is f**king nokia(s**ty software)?
Trust me the microphone on the s4 maybe is not the best but is better than htc one,lg g and sony z and so on.
Battery is the biggest on the market(not big deal)
Not many phone have sd slot card
Lag? you saw a video on youtube and that's it s4 is laggy(stupid mentality) , have you ever used the phone in person to see how it works?
Screen problem?Duh, you are realy a stupid guy, i saw the videos on youtube with that problem you know what i saw ? NOTHING. i couldn't possbly see the issue.
Yes it's made of plastic and I quite hate that.
It's quite durable if you put a case on it.
And yes, I want more:D
138. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
owww are you sure about that let me show you
this is the snapdragon version
this is the octa version
i know that the size of the sensor is not the only thing that matters
but 41mp + nokia sofware still better than 13mp on S4
microphone did i said something wrong??? (no because i said the microphone is not the best)
and about those s lag and screen you can say anything what you want but the truth never lie
just prove it that what i've said in comment #97 is wrong!!!
140. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
the biggest battery on the market???? you are so clueless
LG Optimus G Pro have
User-replaceable 3,140mAh Li-Po battery + sd slot
S4 2600 mAh battery
i don't how much samsung paid you just stop!!!!
127. iushnt (Posts: 808; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)
Both GPU are powerful but I prefer the exynos one because Snapdragon is in any other phone.
Screen: You say its same as iPhone 5 from last year. So I need to buy ip5.
Camera: You say 41mpx purview is the best. So I need to buy Nokia 808purview.
Battery, Sd slot: Maybe nothing is special but having option is better than restriction.
Microphone: Now i need to buy lumia 920 for best microfone as you say there are other better phones with mic. I know lumia 920 has best mic out there.'
Summing things up, I need to buy atleast 3 phones iPhone 5, Pureview 808 and lumia 920 instead of 1 gs4. I am okay with 1 phone, you go and buy 3 phones just because you hate sammy. Finally the looser(Money looser) is you not me or any other..
139. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
why samsung fanboy always off topic just prove it that what i've said is wrong
if you can't pleaseeeee..... stop talking BS okay!!!
answer my comment correctly than i'll answer yours
77. Malki (Posts: 68; Member since: 20 Feb 2013)
Too many dislikes from apple fans, and they think that the iPhone doesnt have bugs...
81. mholeydroid (Posts: 13; Member since: 02 May 2012)
doesnt group play on the s3 work with s3 and s4?
83. SoulEater1667 (Posts: 23; Member since: 18 Apr 2013)
Who hates the apple fanboys that gives those dislike give this com. a like or not.
85. darkkjedii (Posts: 13523; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
Some are gimmicky, but you have to give Samsung credit for pushing the innovation envelope. As these features get better and more popular, others will follow...kudos to Sammy for their lab work.
89. Whateverman (Posts: 3233; Member since: 17 May 2009)
WHAT!!! And NO ONE has thumbed you down yet for that perfectly sensible comment?!?
98. darkkjedii (Posts: 13523; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
I know normally I get thumbed down, just for saying hello lol.
88. roscuthiii (Posts: 1885; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)
For now they're gimmicky. At least until they've matured a bit. Then we'll realize they were ahead of the game.
There are a lot of features in mobile devices now that were once thought gimmicky, but are now standard.
Anyone that doesn't realize that is a fool, or just blinded by their own bias.
91. Whateverman (Posts: 3233; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Yeah, remember whe people thought SMS was a waste of time because it's quicker to just call? Or when RIM thought the iPhones touchscreen was a passing fad? How about a 4.3 inch screen being too big to use comfortably?
Some of things Samsung does can be a bit over the top, but innovation needs to start somewhere. And a gimmicky feature today could bring about the next industry standard.
90. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 536; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)
I played with the S4 at my friendly neighborhood Best Buy. It actually looked better in person than I anticipated but it crashed twice while the cute BB sales girl was trying to give me a demonstration. I felt bad for her but at least I got to spend more time with her during boot ups....Thank you Samsung...: )
92. Rogerlebo (Posts: 15; Member since: 08 Dec 2011)
I'm very satisfied by Galaxy S4 cause it has 2600 MHz spectrum for LTE.
So now, I get 100 mbps on Rogers LTE network in Canada.
93. moronman66 (Posts: 160; Member since: 09 Jan 2012)
All of the features are not gimmicky, nor are all of them ahead of the game. Some are nice to have, like multi-window, while others many people will probably never end up using, like S Health. They have a lot of features to attract a larger variety of audiences and if a health nut wanted a phone that had things to help them, and a person who frequently has hands that aren't free (maybe a cook of some sort? maybe even a mortician... ) will want air gestures. Both of them would probably buy this phone over the HTC One unless they really loved BlinkFeed that much. So some features are gimmicky, others are actually useful and practical
96. Hemlocke (unregistered)
After owning the One and the S4, most, if not all software features Samsung touts are gimmicks that seem like alphas and kill the battery, which is why I still prefer the One. The S4 is not bad, at all, but the front-facing stereo speakers on the One and Blinkfeed nullify any advantages Samsung has, minus the SD card. The 32GB internal on the One nullifies part of that advantage, and the durability and build quality push it ahead.
107. tiara6918 (Posts: 1702; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
Those features are all a gimmick although some of them might be helpful(s health) but the rest are just things a practical smartphone user wouldn't use his/her device for. I'm glad to see Samsung trying out new things that no one has ever done but at least I'd like to see from them making something useful and not useless features that could help you with your everyday life and make things easier and convenient for you.s voice?it doesn't even understand what I say,air view/air gesture?just touch the screen when you're just a few cm away and besides you can only do this on a few selected areas on your s4. I'd like Samsung to get rid of all this gimmicky features unless they've already done something about it
109. scorpio85 (Posts: 160; Member since: 16 Jan 2010)
Love the phone, but a lot of the featurers are gimmicky and would never use them.