A mobile phone where telephony is secondary, if not third-party, with a rich selection of functions and an excellent display, this is actually the standard today, as much of the communication already takes place via the Internet and social networks. Despite avoiding our editorial office with a better quality touch phone, we still got to the Samsung Galaxy S4, which with a clear conscience can be considered a decent alternative to the overpriced iPhone. If you have received an opinion on this type of phone due to the imperfection of brands and models used so far, correct this opinion with the Samsung Galasy S4. Its speed, responsiveness and exceptional display are perhaps the basic pluses for which you decide to keep it. We must have been impressed.
A 4-core 1.9 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragom 600 processor, 2 GB RAM and a 5-inch AMOLED display are sure to catch the eye of its technical specifications. Also of interest is a 13 Megapixel camera and a Full HD camera. The glass has the type designation Corning Gorilla Glass 3, connectivity via WIFI, Bluetooth and of course with modes like HSDPA, HSUPA, and more. When looking at the hardware, there can be no doubt about the speed and “obedience” of the device. Versions with 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB space available.
White or black version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, both have the same design and 8 mm thin body. At the bottom edge is a charging port, which is a universal port for today’s commonly used chargers Samsung, as well as data cables for connection to the USB port of a computer or television. The power button s is located on the right edge above. When held in the right hand, it is accessible for the thumb, when turned off, it activates the display and, when held down again, offers a choice of shutdown, restart, transmissions, or flight mode. If the device is active, it presses the display and turns off (does not turn off) when pressed. On the opposite side, and therefore on the left edge, there is a button with two active points for volume control and in some cases other functions. The top forms a headphone port and on the back at the top is a camera, one of the high pros of the device. Lighting and lightning just below it. The metal edging of the inner skeleton is visible all around. The front and active part of the Samsung Galaxy S4 consists of a dominant display, 11.1 centimeters high and 6.3 cm wide. At the height below the display, you will find a single physical button to close applications or minimize activities, etc. There are two more buttons on its sides that light up when touched. The first offers menus and options with applications, or other features in specific applications. The latter returns to the previous page while surfing. The top of the device is a narrow speaker during calls… yes, we finally get to the phone and you will also find a small camera that is designed for either video calls, Skype, or for capturing, photographing the face and merging the image in front of and behind the device into one photo.
The back cover is very thin, so it doesn’t take much force to open it, but rather caution. It hides a thin 3.8V Li-on 9.88 Wh battery. After selecting it, it is possible to insert the sim card. In this case, be careful. In our case, the tested device did not accept a regular SIM CARD, but it is necessary to obtain a new version of a smaller sim card from the operator. In the immediate vicinity of the SIM insertion port, there is a port for a microSD card, depending on the technical parameters, up to 64 GB. Furthermore, there are several points under the cover that are more useful for experts working with the device software.
Display and interface
Before buying a mobile phone, many people look at the reviews today or just don’t buy a cat in their bag. In any case, it will surprise you for the first time. Perfect colors on the up to 5-inch display, which refers to technical descriptions such as FULL HD Super AMOLED, excel in perfect sharpness and black display, as we are only slowly getting used to on LED TVs and computer screens. Without exaggeration, it is even possible to say that the photos normally visible on a computer monitor stand out much more and more vividly than when opened via a classic computer. It happened not only to me, but also to others when watching, for example, profile photos on a social network, that these were either different photos or better photos. Pleasant display brightness is one of the attractions that motivate further exploration.
Samsung Galaxy S4 offers a resolution of 1920 × 1080 with up to 16 million colors
Samsung Galaxy S4 has the Android 4.2.2 operating system, which does not limit it at the same time, and the device thus has a rich world of applications and options that allow it to present today’s most widespread systems on mobile devices. There is a self-evident adjustment compared to other brands of devices where Android 4.2.2 is used. Controlling, moving icons, placing them and managing folders is a bit easier than with previous Androids. For more or less, holding your finger on the icons will display a hint of the locations of other places where you can place a particular icon, but when the widget control is active, the option to create folders will also appear. These can then form the role of groups, in which a group of specific applications can be more clear. Any movement or movement of windows, widgets is nicely animated. In the case of S4, without any problems, snags, everything looks smooth and efficient.
A light touch on the icon is enough to open any application. The ability of the display to evaluate even a fleeting but still real intentional touch or movement of the finger on the display is very well evaluable, even if the finger touches the surface of the display only very weakly. The reactions to the Android 4.2 tablet we use are really at a different level. It will amuse you that the device can recognize a finger even in a glove or from under a T-shirt. You can control the elements without having to remove the glove from your hand. However, the part certainly does not work with all types of gloves. T-shirt control is more of a trick and a solution for those who for some reason do not want to touch the screen and it still responds.
Due to the performance of the device itself, we were unable to experience situations where the application refused to run or work. In particular, the rating of the Samsung S4 from the point of view of the average user consists of the rating of the Android system itself.
Its own non-software advantage is the equipment of sensors with which several applications continue to cooperate. This is not a completely standard equipment, as the S4 does not lack, for example:
- Geomagnetic sensor
- gyroscopic sensor
- acceleration sensor
- Proximity sensor
- sensor of various gestures
- light sensor
- Humidity and temperature sensor
With all, it is possible to obtain more information from the environment, but also use it at work and in control. For some of them, it is possible to use GPS applications, which makes the mobile phone also play a role in navigation. Let’s not forget the games, which, thanks to the named sensors, open up a full range of possibilities.
Surf the web
Galaxy S4 is a mobile phone that definitely has a good internet connection. Services that will not limit you in data transfer and volume. You can take full advantage of the unlimited internet with this phone. Surfing works relatively fast. We tried to test and play videos on Youtube on a commonly available fast internet and launched on the mobile at the same speed. And that’s all there is to it. Especially if you are one of me, who after a crazy experience with a terrible WAP have a long-term negative opinion on the Internet on mobile. But this was due to an rather exaggerated invoice from the operator, who charged a never-started and unused service arbitrarily. However, after such experience, my opinion is corrected in this case. The internet can also be available, even fast, and without costing hundreds of euros due to the inability of the device. For the full functioning of the necessary parts of the website, I recommend the Youtube, Facebook or Google Chrome applications. It can be said that a Google.com account is a must, which is also an account in the Play.google.com mobile software database. This is where you will find a selection of paid and free software. The applications are downloaded after the button is pressed and the download is confirmed. It runs in the background, the icon at the top indicates the progress of the download, and it is possible to download multiple files at once.
Surfing websites offers touch controls. If you are interested in enlarging the text, just move two moving or merging fingers on the screen on the page. Both the built-in browser, as well as installable browsers like Google Chrome and others, allow bookmarks and so on to have multiple sites turned on at once. The benefit is address completion, which saves time.
For frequent typing and the need to use words, a keyboard always appears when text is necessary. It can be replaced by another using applications, but it can easily remain standard. It offers me unproblematic typing for me personally, as it always works by some miracle, and in addition, the keyboard also highlights each button, which immediately makes it clear to the user whether he was heading well or cut it next door. Turning the phone turns the keyboard to a width that is much more acceptable when typing more often. Perhaps the downside is the slight fluctuation of the camera as you type when you place it on a hard surface. This may be due to a slight bend in the back cover and a raised camera.
Photography and video
The S4 has a surprisingly high-quality camera with up to 13 Mpx at the back and another camera at the front for video calling, Skype calling or entertainment. This front camera has only 2 Mpx, which, however, is quite sufficient for its purposes and still surpasses many common webcams on a regular computer. The camera handles several conditions, it can handle in dimly lit rooms, even in direct sunlight. It can overexpose photos in harsh environments, but they are still very sharp and high quality. The camera does not include optical zoom, so the zoom is only digital. The photos from the front camera are smaller, of lower quality, and especially right from the camera application, you can control the switching of these two cameras, or combine them to combine them into one image from both at once.
For photos, the device has several modes, including sounded photos, and it is worth mentioning Full HD video 1080p, which is very easy to work with. It records immediately after activating the camera, so be prepared to switch the modes so that the camera will shoot immediately. It can be stopped or paused. When paused, it is possible to continue what the cut will do in the resulting video, but it is a smooth combination of two videos without crackling or any other error. The video from the Samsung Galaxy S4 can also be rated as excellent, especially due to the fact that it is a video quality comparable to cameras ranging in price from EUR 200 upwards.
On the tested white Samsung Galaxy S4 i9505, we repeatedly used a cable from a USB charger or a USB charger from other Samsung models to connect to Windows XP. For the universal port, charging can also be provided using other similar smartphones. XP and Win 7 PC systems immediately detect a new device which, if turned on, will create a new device in the computer management. The DCIM folder then contains all the pictures and videos. On our specific model, for unclear reasons, Windows did not display videos actually located in folders visible through S4, but not through Windows Explorer. But photos do.
The Samsung Galaxy is currently a concept in itself. Although it is not a bad device or an imperfect act of a well-known technology giant, it is always possible to talk about pros and cons.
- Perfect display with quality graphics display
- perfect display control (minimal but real touch or finger movement is enough)
- rich sensor equipment
- Android system, which does not limit the user to a specific platform and system
- Great camera and quality video
- WIFI, GPS and the speed of these options on the device
- Fairly decent interface, settings, sizes, widget content
- 16GB is considered decent in the base version as well
- If you’re working on the web and with WIFI, your battery is running low
- His extremely thin body is partly a plus but also a minus. It adds a feeling of fragility and fear of holding and using. At the same time, there may be an insecure feeling and fear of falling. The back cover is slippery when wet or sweaty.
- The back cover is made of very thin plastic, where you can doubt the high resistance to falls and impacts. We can also talk about the need for packaging, for example to protect against breakage and cobwebs on the display.
- Still higher price
- Despite the rich equipment, the absence of the radio and, to some extent, Android itself can be considered a minus.
- Reserved for new smaller SIM cards only
With a 5-inch display, it almost serves as a smaller tablet. Although S4 has Android and has such a wide range of options, at the same time, opponents of this system have a lot of criticism about it. In the case of the S4, however, it surprised me rather positively, especially after the rich experience with Androids on tablets in various versions. In the version for S4 it has a few differences, but especially visual and effective. It will please the demanding with its performance and its own equipment. A plus is the camera with which you can immediately send photos to Facebook, or further edit, store, etc. The display is a chapter in itself, as it makes the photos look a little better than they really are.
Price and packaging
Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the big names in the world of today’s mobile phones. Everyone who knows even a little bit about news and trends responds to it. In my case, too, it is a reaction mostly associated with the idea of a quality, albeit less affordable device. Although it can be found in regular sales as early as 470 EUR, it is also more available thanks to the offers of mobile operators and bundled packages, when it is as low as 80 EUR. It is produced in two versions, in the snow white and black versions. In addition to the charger with a detachable terminal formed by the USB port, the package also includes headphones.