Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Review

Call Quality:

Nothing is changing when it comes to call quality, as it’s average just like last time around – we’re neither impressed or disappointed. Out of everything, it’s just the robotic tone of voices through the earpiece and speakerphone that stand out – though, its volume output is more than ample. Conversely, our callers had a better time on their end, as they mention being greeted to voices that are distinct and clear.

Battery:

Compared to a Sprint version of the Galaxy S4, we notice improved battery life with this Google Play Edition connected via AT&T. Even with our normal usage, we’re able to pull in close to two days of normal usage from its 2600 mAh battery – whereas with the Sprint model, it barely inches out over a day. Naturally, light users will get an extended amount of time, while power users will be pleased with its one-day usage.

Conclusion:

Should you go out and buy this, especially when this unlocked model is flaunting an outright price point of $649? Well, if you’re a diehard Android user, one who takes pride in getting that untouched experience, this is arguably a device that’ll appeal to you – even more when it’ll more than likely receive updates faster than its TouchWiz sibling. Indeed, the price point will scare anyone who hasn’t dabbled in anything except carrier-subsidized phones, but we’re certain that these specific people would easily fork over the money to pick it up. In addition to packing the same design and hardware as the original, the stock experience graces it with a snappier performance and improved battery life. On the flip side, some will be saddened to see all of the S4’s notable features gone with the new experience – the things that gave the S4 its classy identity in the first place. Obviously, there’s a totally different intent when you’re regarded as a ‘Google Play Edition’ device, so it shouldn’t be a shocker going forward.

Software version of the review unit:
Android Version: 4.2.2
Build Number: JDQ39
Kernel Version: 3.4.0-837695

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Video Review:


Pros

  • Stock Android experience
  • Snappier performance
  • Improved battery life

Cons

  • Expensive with no subsidy option

PhoneArena Rating:

9.3

User Rating:

9.2
114 Reviews

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20 Comments

1. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

awesome ! definitely deserved that score

2. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Freaking 9 point fudging 3?? Seriously? This must be surely better than he Touchwized S4!! With all the S features removed, i guess it has more space to churn out the best it can. By the way, John...you mixed up the Quadrant Standard and AnTuTu benchmarks of the Play edition of One.

15. jellmoo

Posts: 2654; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Yeah, this is baffling. I may not be a massive fan of the S4 in general, but removing the lag ridden crapfest that is Touchwiz should reflect a higher score overall. All you are losing are some of the gimmickiest things ever conceived, and in return you get a much more fluid device, more storage, and an interface that doesn't look like a two year old designed it.

3. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

I think the Quadrant Standard and AnTuTu scores of HTC One GPE are misplaced. S4 looks so clean with Google edition.

4. mottykels

Posts: 387; Member since: May 15, 2013

I still love touchwiz :P

14. g2a5b0e unregistered

I do, too. Many more customization options than other skins. Isn't that what Android is all about? Stock Android is just boring to me.

5. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

Hmmm...still a sexy device.

6. rodkurt

Posts: 128; Member since: Nov 29, 2012

i wish Samsung could compress those S-features and give the device a higher memory like the Google play edition.

7. shahulvm

Posts: 124; Member since: Apr 01, 2012

SAMSUNGARENA!!!!

10. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

what? U JELLY? don't be stupid

8. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Best of two worlds, a winner.

9. number29

Posts: 185; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

This would be absolutely amazing with iOS on it.

11. MrKoles

Posts: 368; Member since: Jan 20, 2013

iOS would ruin it...

12. ebubekir26

Posts: 337; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

dafuq? hell no ! Android is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY better

13. HASHTAG unregistered

Okay, so you gave the HTC One a con for "Basically 6 months old" (which is a BS con). (from announcement). So where is the con for the Samsung Galaxy S4 GE "Basically 4 months old?" (from announcement).

16. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

sooo... default android is better than all those skins i thought the point of android is customization... why mod if stock is a better option? (serious question. not trying to troll) sooo... nobody would mind forking out 600+ for this phone but a 300 subsidized lumia is too expensive sooo... it means that it is ifinitely better to buy a nexus than any other oem device why should I buy a non nexus phone? this is my ultimate question

17. oOps..

Posts: 34; Member since: Jul 26, 2013

Woohoooo add to my list "Want_________iT"

18. flynfree

Posts: 374; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

This SGS4 GE vs SGS4 LTE Advance .

19. anugakarthik

Posts: 8; Member since: Aug 05, 2013

guys i got samsung s4 from my deals 247,good service by them

20. polarmailbabe

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

I have had nothing but problems with my Samsung Galaxy S4. I'm on my 3rd replacement since purchasing it in November, and now Tech Support is going to give me any other phone of my choice when I send THIS one back. (Please note, they have ruled out user error, thanks.) Could it the 4.3, which seems to give some other people fits? Here's what this "smart" phone does as it crashes: first, it drops calls. I can hear them, but they can't hear me. Next, the speakers stop: nothing from them, no little beeps when touched, PlayMusic looks like it's going, but no sound comes out. If I don't immediatly power it off, the screen goes white. Apps and widgets that came pre-loaded, including the Weather Widget, Flipboard, and Amazon Kindle, keep popping up messages saying "Unfortunately, Weather Widget (e.g.) has stopped working." I got this phone because my 3 adult children have them, and I wanted to be able to livechat with them. Think I'll go back to iphone and Skype. Anybody else out there having anything like this? It seems to baffle Tech Support. Are they hiding something?
Galaxy S4
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2600 mAh(17h 3G talk time)

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