Mar 14 AT 7:44 PM Dustin Earley 37 Comments

Samsung Galaxy S 4 hands-on roundup


Samsung has just announced the highly anticipated Galaxy S 4, and already a lucky select few are posting their first hands-on impressions of the device. Does it stand up to the Galaxy S III, quite possibly the most popular Android device ever released? Here’s what people are saying.

The Verge

At first blush, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t feel revolutionary, but given the continued success of its predecessor maybe a revolution wasn’t called for. It’s a faster phone with a better screen, a better camera, and some cool new software features, and for the company that’s nearly synonymous with the word “Android,” that may be enough to ensure another huge success.


“…bells and whistles aside, what will sell the Samsung Galaxy S4 more than any other aspect – more even than sheer brand loyalty – is the display. It is as vibrant as ever before seen on a Super AMOLED display, but with full HD (1920 x 1080) crispness to boot.


So, what’s the real game-changer, then? For Samsung, it’s all about the TouchWiz software suite layered atop Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. And there’s no shortage of it either.

Slash Gear

If HTC has focused its software efforts on BlinkFeed and Zoe, Samsung has cast its net wide, basically throwing everything at the wall in the expectation that at least something will stick for most users.

GSM Arena

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 may look pretty similar to its predecessor on the outside, but the truth is it’s a huge upgrade.

Android Central

“It’s too early to call the Galaxy S4 an unmitigated success. But between what we’ve seen today and the Samsung marketing blitz we all know is coming, we can say this in full confidence: It’s going to sell millions, and rightfully so. It’s easily the best all-around smartphone money can buy.”


“Samsung’s consumer focused strategy is one that has done very well and I see the Galaxy S 4 continuing that. The real question is how well all of these features will perform/work in final software. Conceptually the Galaxy S 4’s software suite makes a lot of sense, the proof as always will be in the execution and how long it takes Samsung to get to the appropriate level of polish.”


“Although the handset’s hardware isn’t exceptionally beautiful and software isn’t particularly inspiring, it has every essential feature and then some. Right now, the best way I can describe it is as the Gap clothing of smartphones. While you may not use or even like every item on display, it’s long on basics, represents a certain high standard, and you’ll be able to get it anywhere.”

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • redraider133

    I like how they eliminated some of the bezel to keep it same size as s3 and thinner. Hopefully others will continue this trend

    • 787 – the fireball in the sky

      Gonna pass on this cheap plastics junk phone from asia!

      • stenzor

        name me a phone not made in asia

    • scubabum

      Agree. Samsung did a good job with the physical aspects of the S4.
      Bigger screen but the dimensions are reduced and lighter as well.

      Model S4 S3
      Display 5″ Full HD Super AMOLED 4.8″ Super AMOLED
      Resolution 1920x1080p 1280×720 pixels
      Dimensions (WxDxH) 5.46″ x 2.75″ x 0.31″ 5.38″ x 2.78″ x 0.34″
      Weight 4.60 oz 4.69 oz

    • Richard Yarrell

      No doubt the Galaxy S4 shits on any iphone 5, Nexus 4, Htc One, or Lg Optimus G, or Optimus G pro. Software and implementation of features alone the Galaxy S4 is industry leading. Oh yeah it has 4.2.2 while the brand new Htc One has 4.1 2 how is that possible with the great Htc and it’s quietly brilliant campaign. Guess they forgot that 4.2.2 existed….MAJOR FAIL. Galaxy S4 bitch slaps that Htc One silly.

  • supremekizzle

    Whew, you smell that? I think Richard Yarrell just shit himself.

    • Ichigo


    • Sargon

      He did. Then he rolled around in it while applauding really hard, unable to help himself from laughing, then ate it while playing with the little cardboard box that he drew a Galaxy Note 2 screen on with the Samsung logo and the home button and back and menu buttons that he thinks it’s real and some kind of status symbol.ctfu What a dipshit.

  • jamal adam

    I really like the fact that this has Android 4.2.2. Much props to Samsung for that.

    • Luv_android

      The question is for how long..huh? Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is coming out in Mid-May (around Google I/O)….then it will be obsolete and it will take Samsung 7 to 8 months to update to 5.0, considering all the bloatware that S4 has….

      • redraider133

        Obsolete? No it will still work fine. How about htc or moto devices that take even longer to get updated?

      • Paulieg

        Erm, Unless you run a Nexus device every vendor is in that situation anyway? That’s one of the criticisms of Android in general..

        To be fair to Samsung, compared to most other Android vendors they history have a far better reputation for delivering more updates more timely and a longer support chain. Even the Galaxy S2 got an update to 4.1.2 in December.

        Once again it’s horses for courses. If it’s the cutting edge version of Android you want, then you’d obviously get a Nexus. But then you wouldn’t get all the cool sensors and stuff.

        The other option is to wait later in the year for the Galaxy Note 3, which is usually just a bigger Galaxy S with an Spen and also running the latest cutting edge Android OS..

      • Paul

        Won’t take them that long anymore. They’ve been fast with updates lately, ever since they hired cyanogen himself.

  • Deon Davis

    This a nice phone, but the HTC One does it for me more (Fits my taste, plus I hate Touchwiz). I only been a one phone type person. But this will be my first time rocking 2 phones. I will be getting the HTC One to supplement my Nexus 4.

  • Nate B.

    It’ll grow on me but I wish the design was very different.

  • Ben

    Maybe the hover feature will be useful in practice but when I watch these videos it just looks like a pain in the ass. You have to hold your finger just above and when I watch these reviews their hands are shaking as they do it…. maybe better in practice.

    The gesture thing looks a little useless but maybe would be more useful on a tablet?

  • John Smith

    Get ROM downloads for your android.

  • Nik

    What a letdown on design. They had the opportunity to have the full package. Great specs but horrible design and build quality. Instead they pulled an Apple and a came out with essentially the equivalent to a Galaxy 3s. Been a huge supporter of Samsung since the S1, but probably time to switch. With Android and the competition essentially copying/coming out with similar features it better to wait for the competitors to put out or upgrade a phone with the same features. HTC One with stock android or S4 software would be awesome. Also, wait to see what Google X and the next Nexus has to offer.

  • aholland1

    Meh. Looks nice but I’ll wait and see what Google and Motorola cook up. Give me Nexus or give me death!

    • Da sticky bun come soon

      Dont be no cloud on a sunny day

    • raichleb

      I kinda feel the same way. Maybe not quite as strong. More like: Give me Nexus or give me a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Either way, I’m probably going to wait.

      On the other hand, I think there’s a very good chance that this will be my wife’s next phone.

      • aholland1

        Yeah, I feel the same way about this being my wife’s next probably, lol. Those ladies really do just want them to work and thankfully she doesn’t want to become an iSheep but doesn’t like to tinker nearly to the extent I do. Thanks for the comment!

  • PaulieG

    Love the addition of IR, finally it seems this is becoming standard with vendors. And no, for those who think the addition IR is just a hail back to your Nokia IR of 10 years ago, that was IRDA. The IR leds in IRDA were barely capable of sending signals to a device 3 meters aways and were implemented as a trasmit/receive technology. Basically a way of transferring data wirelessly before WIFI and Bluetooth existed. This IR is transmit only, with stronger powered LED’s designed to control your electronic equipment just like a universal remote. Back in the day, we tried to use IRDA for that as well, but it was barely usable due to the weak power. I bet Logitech are now re-assessing their Harmony branded remote market..

    Temp and Humidity sensors are also a big plus. Is my air con working properly? Why yes, my phone tells me it’s 25 degrees!

    I think I’m just a sucker for anything convergence.. Keep squeezing sensors in Samsung and you’ll have me every day!!

    • Paul

      I like more sensors in general as well. One step closer to becoming a tricorder

  • Luv_android

    Looks like S4 is no go for me… I mean seriously it has still S3′s chubby looking design and same plastic crap, even the shinny looking side is made of plastic…here is the proof

    I hope the Motorola X phone is for real…or I’m getting sexy looking HTC One

    • Luv_android

      and also here is another picture..that shows how cheaply made S4 is…

      • donger

        I agreed with you. Samsung phones is just a shiny looking, cheap plastic, That’s how they are made, cheaper to manufacturer equals more money in their pockets.

    • Paulieg

      Each to their own I guess, but the phone’s ascetics rates a very very low importance to me compared to it’s usability and core feature set. That probably explains why I was an early adopter of the Galaxy Note while everyone else was claiming ‘it would never take off’…

      As for build quality, I’ve dropped my Note more times than I care to consider myself clumbsy and it hasn’t missed a beat. My partner ran over her Galaxy S3 not once, but twice after it fell out of her handbag, and it only suffered a slightly cracked screen! This was in an SUV!!

      So just because it’s made of plastic don’t assume the ‘build quality’ is any less your HTC. Maybe it’s the flexible plastic that makes these devices MORE robust.

      But at the end of the day, if its pretty you want, then that’s what makes Android such a great platform.. Consumer choice!

  • PaulieG

    Was there any mention of Wireless charging?

  • CTown

    I definitely am starting to like TouchWiz more than I used becuase I hated TouchWiz during the Android 2.1 days but now I just dislike it a lot. Also, the Exynos platform doesn’t have great community support which is the worst thing I could think of for an Android device…

  • Tico4674

    I always root and AOSP (cm) my phones as soon as I get them. If I decide on getting the S4 I might have to run touchwiz and test out these new features. This phone looks amazing.

  • Nathan D.

    Plastic it’s still plastic, over all the phone is awesome over the gs3

  • amit kumar

    Even I believe you Samsung Galaxy S4 is awesome phone… I checked specification on this website.

  • Bob Smith
  • Bob Smith