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Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Review

Samsung Galaxy S4

Posted: , by John V.


Call Quality:

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Review
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.


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.


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:


  • Stock Android experience
  • Snappier performance
  • Improved battery life


  • Expensive with no subsidy option
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
9.2114 Reviews

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posted on 26 Jul 2013, 05:18 8

1. ebubekir26 (Posts: 334; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

awesome ! definitely deserved that score

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 05:29 5

2. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4319; Member since: 07 Mar 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.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 08:45 1

15. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 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.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 05:48 5

3. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

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

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 05:57 11

4. mottykels (Posts: 387; Member since: 15 May 2013)

I still love touchwiz :P

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 08:38 3

14. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3814; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

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.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 06:22 2

5. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)

Hmmm...still a sexy device.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 06:39

6. rodkurt (Posts: 128; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)

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

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 06:43 7

7. shahulvm (Posts: 124; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


posted on 26 Jul 2013, 07:13 8

10. ebubekir26 (Posts: 334; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

what? U JELLY? don't be stupid

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 06:46 7

8. _Bone_ (Posts: 2155; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

Best of two worlds, a winner.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 07:00 2

9. number29 (Posts: 185; Member since: 25 Jan 2013)

This would be absolutely amazing with iOS on it.

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 07:13 7

11. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)

iOS would ruin it...

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 07:15 7

12. ebubekir26 (Posts: 334; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

dafuq? hell no !

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 07:33 3

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).

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 10:35 1

16. gazmatic (Posts: 795; Member since: 06 Sep 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

posted on 26 Jul 2013, 14:53

17. oOps.. (Posts: 34; Member since: 26 Jul 2013)

Woohoooo add to my list "Want_________iT"

posted on 27 Jul 2013, 10:34

18. flynfree (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Jun 2013)

This SGS4 GE vs SGS4 LTE Advance .

posted on 05 Aug 2013, 07:23

19. anugakarthik (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Aug 2013)

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

posted on 05 Feb 2014, 09:51

20. polarmailbabe (Posts: 1; Member since: 05 Feb 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?

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Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

OS: Android 5.0 4.4.2 4.3 4.2.2
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600, Quad-core, 1900 MHz, Krait 300 processor
Size5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches
(136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm)
4.59 oz  (130 g)

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