How does one come up with a successor to the best-selling Android smartphone of all time? Samsung showed the world how it is done by unveiling the Galaxy S4. You don’t fix what ain’t broken seems to be the mantra this time as Samsung continued with the same design as its predecessor. But everything simply gets bigger and better. Read on for our first impressions of the Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 has a bigger 4.99-inch full HD 1080p display but the overall footprint doesn’t seem to have gotten much bigger. The phone fits as comfortably as the Galaxy S III, though surprisingly it feels much lighter. The back cover is no longer the thin, cheap plastic that has become associated with Samsung smartphones. Instead, Samsung has gone for polycarbonate plastic but it doesn’t feel at par with what you see on HTC or Nokia smartphones. Yet it feels much better than the Galaxy S III though a bit more prone to fingerprints.
I won’t delve into hardware specs, which you can find in our launch post. Instead the real beauty of the device is in the software additions that Samsung has added. Samsung has incorporated some of the best features from its rivals and then added many of its own.
Take for instance the HTC One. While the Galaxy S4′s camera doesn’t have any ultrapixels, it does have most of the software wizardry in terms of being able to remove unwanted elements from photographs as well as stitch multiple shots clicked in burst mode into one shot. It also does dual camera recording, just like the LG Optimus Pro. The touchscreen can now work even when the user is wearing gloves, a feature found in Nokia’s new Lumia smartphones.
But that’s not to say that the Galaxy S4 doesn’t bring anything new to the table. Instead, Samsung has innovated with features that could make a big difference. My favorite is a multiplayer feature that lets users to play the same song over multiple devices, which could convert into a 2.1 or 5.1 setup depending on the number of devices available.
The Galaxy S4 also brings the Air View feature from the Note II, the big difference being it works with fingers rather than a stylus. Smart Stay now adds Smart Pause that pauses a video if the phone detects the user is not looking at the display and resumes it when the user’s gaze returns to the display. There is also a translate feature that can provide output in both speech and text in 19 languages in real-time.
Samsung has also added a suite of sensors that can detect the temperature, humidity apart from regular stuff. Samsung is betting big on health monitoring apps and is also looking at selling accessories like monitoring bands, wireless scales and others. The phone in itself would challenge fitness device makers like Fitbit among others.
All this is powered by Samsung’s Exynos 5 Octa processor with a relatively massive 2,600 mAh battery. If the success of the Galaxy S III is any indication, the Galaxy S4 would only be an even bigger hit.
Yes, it does not have a camera with a huge sensor size to take photos in darkness and it might not have a premium metal chassis, but if that was a prerequisite, then the Galaxy S III wouldn’t have been the success that it has been. Folks, all hail the new king in Android town.