With the Samsung Galaxy S4 set to launch this week with a price of Rs. 43,490, we decided to do a round up of reviews from some of the best websites around the Internet. This should give potential buyers a clearer indication of how the S4 will function in real world usage. Let’s delve in to what the world has to say about Samsung’s latest offering.
TheVerge: The GS4’s 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is big, beautiful, and seriously eye-catching. The screen is incredibly high-res, bright, and crystal clear with vivid colors. And with a ridiculous 441 pixels per inch, the PenTile display matrix causes no problems.
Engadget: The blacks are still darker on the GS 4, while the whites were brighter and viewing angles better than other 1080p displays. The new Synaptics ClearPad 3D Touch in the GS 4 is capable of detecting your finger from 2cm away.
TechRadar: The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a league ahead when it comes to jaw-dropping screens. If you don’t mind plastic and you like cutting-edge HD screens in your pocket, this is a phone definitely worth checking out.
Gizmodo: Speaking of the screen, it is easily the nicest Samsung has ever made. The colors (especially blues and greens) really pop, and the 441 pixels per inch ensure that text is super-clear. It’s also bright enough to be clearly readable on a bright, sunny day, and the Super AMOLED screen makes the blacks look like staring into the abyss.
TechCrunch: Text is crisp and clear, app icons are sharp, and it’s hard to find a reason to complain. It’s also fair to commend Samsung once again for fitting this gorgeous 5-inch display onto a relatively compact phone.
TheVerge: The GS4’s camera is the best Android camera we’ve ever used by a considerable margin, and in most cases it’s every bit as good as the iPhone 5’s camera
Engadget: The Galaxy S4 is great in daylight use, but not as good as the HTC One in low-light conditions. Most of Samsung’s new camera modes are fun to use a few times, but offer little practical use
TechRadar: From a blindingly bright flash to a backside-illuminated sensor, our quick snaps came out crisply and clearly – and when we say quick, we mean it.
Gizmodo: In decent lighting, the camera is among the best shooters out there. Images are very sharp and there’s a surprising amount of depth of field. Colors are rich, though they border on over-saturation, and video quality is excellent.
TechCrunch: If we’re just talking hardware, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t have a life-altering, amazing camera. Where things really get interesting, however, is within the camera app itself.
Design and Build Quality
TheVerge: Where Apple and HTC have both made beautiful, well-made, high-quality phones, the GS4 has Samsung back in the land of cheap, plasticky handsets. The GS4 is thin and light, and feels durable despite its cheap materials. It’s also an improvement over the GS3.
Engadget: The GS 4 uses polycarbonate and is pretty sturdy, but the HTC One still has a more premium build quality and visual appeal. The phone maker used the same visual style as the SIII, but made a few crucial tweaks along the way to improve its fit and finish.
TechRadar: The S4 has a larger screen, but smaller chassis than the Galaxy S3, which is a superbly impressive feat of engineering, especially when you consider the specs. However, the Samsung Galaxy S4 feels like much more of an iterative update than new design.
Gizmodo: The S4 retains the same rounded-rectangle look, with metal edges and a slippery, finger-print-trapping plastic back that looks like it belongs on a far more down-market phone.
TechCrunch: The Galaxy S4 represents the first iteration of what appears to be true Samsung design language. It ends up being a mesh of earlier Galaxy S iterations, with a hint of the Galaxy Note and a whole lot of Galaxy S III.
Hardware and Performance
TheVerge: The S4 is an impressively fast and powerful phone, capable of handling anything users throw at it. The 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor and 2GB of RAM inside the S4 do every bit as well as you’d expect bleeding-edge specs to do. The S4 powered by Samsung’s own Exynos processor should be even more powerful.
Engadget: The GS4 holds the record in five of our six benchmark tests. In general, the GS4 performs amazingly well, but there’s a catch: when Air View and Air Gestures were enabled, we noticed the phone acting a little sluggish even in the most basic of tasks.
TechRadar: It’s clear with the Galaxy S4 that Samsung has worked out there’s only so much it can do on the hardware side these days, and as such has tried to bring the unique flavor through the interface instead.
Gizmodo: Despite that fact that the S4 benchmarks better, the HTC One leaves the S4 in the dust in every practical way possible. The One boots up three times faster, navigates the UI quicker, scrolls smoother, opens apps speedier, and most importantly, takes photos with no shutter lag, whereas the Galaxy S4 generally takes about a second to fire off a shot.
TechCrunch: The Galaxy S4 is quick like lightning, in almost all respects. The HTC One is the real phone to beat when considering the Galaxy S4, as it’s the only phone we’ve seen that beats out the S4.
TheVerge: The Galaxy S4 lasts a full day almost no matter how it is used. Not having to worry about the GS4’s battery running out midday is pretty wonderful.
Engadget: On a full day of regular use, the GS 4 managed to last for around 14-15 hours. This means that power users should be able to make it through a full workday with a little extra to spare.
TechRadar: Samsung has managed to lower the thickness of the Galaxy S4 compared to the S3 but upgraded the battery from 2,100mAh to 2,600mAh, promising a much larger capacity and therefore longer life.
Gizmodo: Battery performance on the S4 is among the best we’ve seen from smartphones this year. The S4 made it to the end of the night without additional charging fairly often, thanks to both the larger battery (2600mAh) and the more economical AMOLED screen.
TechCrunch: Samsung beefed up the battery on the Galaxy S4, opting to use a 2600mAh battery. The GS4 is certainly just as power-efficient as it is powerful, along with having the added bonus of a swappable battery.
The world awaits what could be the best-selling mobile this year. If the Galaxy S4 even comes close to emulating the record-breaking sales of Galaxy S3, Samsung is in for another windfall, and should have no difficulty in retaining the title of best manufacturer.