Samsung Galaxy S4 Review
0. phoneArena 23 Mar 2013, 11:12 posted on
Another year, another Galaxy S phone! Since the very first Galaxy S, which came out in 2010, Samsung has been regularly refining and improving its formula for success in the mobile industry. It is mainly thanks to this series of handsets that the manufacturer is now enjoying lush revenue streams and having a profound influence over the whole Android ecosystem...
This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here
507. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)
Washed out phone? Washing the phone with actual detergent will not wash out the screen. The screen is perfect, colors are realistic and great. Lag? GS4 FREEZES.
212. downphoenix (Posts: 1987; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
I am inclined to agree. I generally prefer Samsung's stuff to HTC's, but HTC really did a great job with the One. Not to say the S4 isnt great, it sure is, but the improvement is more incremental than One's was to the previous one, plus a lot of the improvements the S4 enjoys over the S3 outside of better hardware is a bunch of software tweaks that Samsung will probably hold back on for previous owners to encourage them to upgrade... kinda like Apple did with Siri on the 4S to justify the 4S to people. The One on the other hand... has fantastic design, the camera seems to be much better, and I like the idea of dual speaker design.
283. slaggyb (Posts: 160; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
@downphoenix that my friend is innovation not all this usesless tweaks samsung put up...what is airbeam? what is smart scroll? i be tilting my phone for what reason? every other thing is just a gimmick no actual use..
217. slaggyb (Posts: 160; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Lagging phone and Ray says it's smooth even running 4.2.2 and he gave it a 9.3 while a by far better HTC ONE got 9.1...Samsung been favoured here just like Apple... Iphonearena has just upgraded to samsungarena.. Samsung Galaxy S4 a reharsed S3 with big screen.. Why not call it an S3s..
256. MrJerry (Posts: 366; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Objectively GS4 is way better than HTC one and Xperia Z
That's why it is given better scores not only in PA but also in others
You are saying is that "You prefer those to GS4"
This is fine.
But if you say those are much better than GS4 ignoring all the reviews every tech sites, that actually sounds like "Oranges are much better and Apples"
That doesn't mean those are better objectively.
So please just STFU and accept the things from PA or others unless you can make a better thing.
Otherwise don't come here and comment stupid thing
282. slaggyb (Posts: 160; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
you my friend is BLIND....Those who buy phones based on biased tech site reviews or number of phones sold by that company are completely dillusional....HTC ONE with all due respect to HTC is far better than this crap samsung put up here....They didn't wanna get sued by Apple that is why the called it the S4 instead of S3s...Samsung for the past years have grown their sheeps so anything the put out their followers will be gravitating...Am not a fanboi of any OS or tied to any mobile phone manufacturer...i currently own the galaxy note ii and it doesn't live up to all the hype on tech sites..i use the lumia 800 for my navigation the bb9900 for my business and i be replacing it when Q10 launches....The only phone and os i dont own is Apple and its iphone i dont hate it either but never been into it from day one....
292. MrJerry (Posts: 366; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
If you don't trust or don't wanna trust any reviews on tech sites including here PA, then my question is:
Why the f**k do you even dare to come here and even post?
So f**king paradox, isnt it?
You just pretend you are somebody but the truth is you are just tiny part of here or there.
So there are basically two choices for you.
Live in your own cave or be part of society.
Still you can have your own opinion on matters but if you don't trust entire society or communiity, well boy the life will be so difficult for you
326. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Oh yeah of course because if he goes against the general opinion of a tech site community it's blasphemy and he'll be sentenced to a cave for stating his opinion. The hell is your problem? Even if he doesn't like phones or tech and he comments for no reason who the hell do you think you are to tell people if they can or cannot post on a site. I've been noticing your posts on quite a few articles and you're pretty Damn narrow minded.
342. MrJerry (Posts: 366; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Are you serious?
First i did not say that he should not post here.
I just asked him if someone doesnt trust entire community then why he comes here and reads reviews and post comments saying that these are all craps and paid s**t??
Isnt that kinda rude?? Get some respect for people who provide you with this place where you can get some info and debate for free!!
Secondly you, who the f**k do you think you are to tell if someone is damm narrow minded based on your narrow minded??
You exactly did the same thing that you said people should not do :-(
And you think i have narrow minded cause i have some opinions which are not in favor of your way...
Go get some broad minded and grow up
354. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
*go broaden your mind. He never said it's Crap and neither did I. Yes MANY people say it's undoubted the best (you) while some think it's a crappy piece of plastic (others). And swearing for no Damn reason shows your narrow mindedness. I don't want to offend you but in my book people who plainly say that a company or its product is the best is a fanboy in my book and in my book die hard fanboy are narrow minded. You might think I'm an HTC fanboy defending it and all, and yes I am using an HTC product but I'm really a Nokia fan. I used to be like that too. I'd tell people Symbian belle is better than gingerbread when I knew about the lack of apps and other things. But we should be fair. Unless a phone is utter Crap then I believe it's Ok to bash on the company/phone. I even got my uncle to buy an S3 Mini instead of a Lumia, although One s now seems like it would have been a better choice...
355. MrJerry (Posts: 366; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
"yes I am using an HTC product but I'm really a Nokia fan"
Thanks for the giving me the clear reason why you think i am narrow-minded.
Please next time you should mention those things first so that I cannot waste my time
365. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
lol showing your narrow mindedness again
"I even got my uncle to buy an S3 Mini instead of a Lumia, although One s now seems like it would have been a better choice..."
I believe your mind blocked that out for you so you could believe i'm a fanboy/ narrow-minded person etc.
281. 007akshay (Posts: 35; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)
thank u pa for making such a fast rewiew .....................ur d best.............
297. MrKoles (Posts: 186; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)
Sorry. Either you buy HTC One or Xperia Z you stay stupid.
357. illiad (Posts: 97; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
so you would rather get an ugly one with a bad camera, (go check the reviews!!), and keep tapping the middle button (logo) and wondering why it does not get you 'home' ???
or one with washed-out tones and greyish blacks...
or your eyes are too sensitve for the S4's bright colors??
399. sawan2 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
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408. WirelessCon (Posts: 307; Member since: 11 May 2010)
How does "Mediocre call quality" earn any score above a 7 on Phone Arena?
They should change the name of the site to "little packet sized tablet Arena," if they're going to ignore the entire "PHONE" concept.
411. donfem (Posts: 386; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
Your choice. I guess you would still write crap irrespective of the review.
434. chocolaking (Posts: 411; Member since: 22 May 2012)
Same to you. HTC One of xperia Z.
S4 is a fail this year.
470. Anonymous.Samsung.Employee (Posts: 4; Member since: 06 May 2013)
HTC sucks! Samsung best!
534. Samsungadroidrules (Posts: 104; Member since: 28 Jul 2013)
No one from samsung is asking you to buy the GS4. There are millions of people who have bought the GS4 worldwide.
2. Gomdory (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)
...where did phonearena get a production model of a gs4 and howd they review it so fast..
Just shows how impatient and false phonearena is with their reviews..."sigh"
7. Ray.S (Posts: 235; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
We usually get our review units directly from the manufacturers. We don't wait until they are available in stores.
46. _Bone_ (Posts: 1740; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Can you shoot a few photos and video in HDR or say which one is in it? Is it possible to make the raw untouched video sample downloadable, cause youtube re-compresses it quite heavily. A Russian tech site's sample, especially compared to the HTC One showed that video quality is stunningly sharp and detailed, but I'd like to see Mr. Ray. S's video captures as well hehe.
78. _Bone_ (Posts: 1740; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Also, I see some apps like S Memo came over from the Note.
Can you test the SIV with the phablet's or other sylus if they works, and if so, how accurately? Also, did AirView make tapping on small links etc. easier?
176. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4717; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
Ray - is the GS IV really 2 points (9.1 vs 9.3) better than the HTC One? It seems the principal difference between the two is the software bundle on the GS IV. Design seems to be a win for HTC. Hardware (CPU, RAM, Storage, etc.) seems pretty much a tossup, although maybe one point to Sammy for removable battery and SD card. Browser, multimedia, Internet seems to be a tossup, although HTC has the superior audio experience. Camera is likewise a tossup, although HTC does better in low light. Call quality goes to HTC.
It really seems that the HTC One should have received a 9.2 or 9.3 if the GS IV received a 9.3. IMO the software bundle isn't worth the extra 2 points. A lot of the software bundle will turn out to be more of a gimmick than a real benefit.
216. downphoenix (Posts: 1987; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
a .2 isnt worth nagging about. Also, you have to factor in, may have have different reviewers involved.
288. taz89 (Posts: 1766; Member since: 03 May 2011)
Hey ray is this final retail version with final software or is this still all pre production stuff..asking cause final version could improve certain things especially considering we are 5 weeks off launch.
19. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
You should know that by now, they: GsmArena, Verge, Engadget, Pocketknow, Anandtech will have them befor the public.
PA do you not have the "Devolopers Edition, or the S4 reference version available"?
3. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Nice article Ray S
9.3 I agree
What about the Exynos version when will you do a review on that!
62. LonghornTech (Posts: 50; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)
The one thing I do not like about this review is that it simply lists all the software features and doesn't really say which ones are useful and which ones are gimmicks. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
4. imkyle (Posts: 911; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
I think Samsung should have used a different screen technology. Something to combat the outside brightness.
25. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
RGB with IPS SLCD3 with SAMOLED+500PPI
6. _Bone_ (Posts: 1740; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Come on, what kind of jive review is this? I doubt final SW is out therefore "preview" would fit the article better.
In any case, the Galaxy SIV is visually the same, but substantially a tremendous step forward, and the new standard for the mobile industry.
It just improved the phone of 2012 in EVERY SINGLE AREA POSSIBLE. And that is quite incredible.
16. Taters (Posts: 1756; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Final software should be out since it is coming out in a month. Although I agree that the review is too soon since the GS4 is pretty intricate and it should take awhile to test everything. This isn't simple like sense 5 or stock.
Samsung usually releases a small update right after shipping though so in that sense it isn't final software but close.
29. _Bone_ (Posts: 1740; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
There is no mention of SwiftKey which is included in the final SW or TravelMate among other exclusive features, eye-tracking and more AirView content (special version of FlipBoard) included, plus add that Samsung usually pushes SW update out on first week of release considering manufacturing and packaging in millions takes weeks. This means first week update is about 6 weeks fresher than whatever is available right now, affecting overall performance, snappiness, battery life etc, and that should be considered a "final SW" if there is such a thing.
I'm just saying, as someone considering the SIV and appreciate this article, IMO it's best to wait for the release version with fresh SW before making a full review, especially a short review since so many SIV functions are missing from the article. It just feels rushed out by PA, if you know what I mean.
This phone deserves a little more depth, do you agree?
39. Taters (Posts: 1756; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Yeah I agree. Everyone should take their time like GSMARENA and pocket now. Although pocket now is pretty biased and just take their time to justify their biases so it is a double edge sword.
194. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5425; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
excuse me HTC One was what again?
maybe you made a typo because in Phone Arena's review of the One the only con is that the brand new camera technology never before used on a smartphone that HTC decided to think out of the box with only turned out to be "good" and "not great" whereas their review of the S4 politely shows us that they're sick of the plastic (like most of the rest of us) and they felt the need to mention the call quality in the cons for it. all of Samsung's greatest competition is well beyond having call quality issues. there's no excuse for Samsung having this kind of issue on their 2013 flagship so i don't see at all just how you think the One was owned at all by this review except with your hopeless fanboy vision.
9. SleepingOz (Posts: 2009; Member since: 22 Oct 2011)
Damn! 9.3 like the GSIII back then..
And here come the butthurt haters with their butthurt comments about PA paid by Samsung.
43. Taters (Posts: 1756; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
I can't pretend to know I have behind the scenes knowledge, but judging by all the HTC One ads on phone arena and how polished the GS4 seems, I doubt it.
Besides, Samsung would definitely splurge for the 9.5 or 9.6 and wouldn't skimp out on the 9.3. ;)
370. GTR722 (Posts: 193; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)
HTC One and Xperia Z are in the same level...but you dont have to see only scores...go and read the reviews of the Z and One....and later the S4...its obvious that PA is a Samsung love site.
12. Galen20K (Posts: 491; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)
Just wondering, how many days did you spend with the handset before writing this review?
40. _Bone_ (Posts: 1740; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Considering that Russian and other articles pop up deeply testing the whatever versions they test, I'd say they either got the review unit in New York a little more than a week ago, or back home in... Bulgaria I think, a couple of days back.
17. istitch (Posts: 118; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)
Well the specs are good and features are strong, but all these are not visible until I really get one. The design is just... doesn't attract me getting one.
26. amats69 (Posts: 730; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
oh ok i respect PA review on this phone.but it doesnt mean im getting one of this cheap looking device! LMAO! thumbs downer attack!
32. amansingal14 (Posts: 260; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)
S3 like feel, nah I am better off waiting for the next Lumia flagship/Xperia flagship/HTC flagship/Moto X, and comparing them before buying, or even maybe LG optimus G2...
But that's just me...
33. amats69 (Posts: 730; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
but seriously...is it too quick to have a review on this phone? maybe because HTC One will be arriving next week?hmmmm
118. voxmarc (Posts: 296; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)
nobody beats S4 besides PA are done with HTC One review gave it 9.1 and a so so camera results.
37. techsavvy.jaz (Posts: 91; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
Why are the sites rushing to post their pre matrure reviews these days? The entire article feels like, someone was holding back from writing honest opinion. Just my thoughts
55. Taters (Posts: 1756; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
The S2 was a legend. One in a generation phone where HTC, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Omap were all caught napping. The Exynos was leaps better than the Qualcomm S3 and Tegra 2. The only 5 star phone from Techradar in ages.
Don't expect another GS2 anytime soon since Qualcomm is in its prime.
Maybe if Intel can make an Atom processor that absolutely destroys ARM while keeping battery life great.
47. jaycordero05 (Posts: 6; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)
I just want to say, this is probably the fairest score in like 15 reviews. It's true that GS4 doesn't have incredible design language, but a 9.3 is an appropriate score for a phone that actually tries to REVOLUTIONIZE the way we USE our smartphone, rather than simply stuffing it full of specs like quite literally EVERY other phone maker --from Apple and HTC to Nokia (potentially the best of the remaining makers for its use of windows and camera tech) and Huawei--. There is a lot to be said for what Samsung is doing, not to mention the steady efforts to consolidate their phone lines (which is something android phone makers tend to have problems with).