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126 of 139 people found the following review helpful.
Awesome phone, incremental upgrade from SIII
UPDATE: 10/8/2013:An updated NFC Tag from Whiztags is just awesome, has 450 bytes of memory and I use several of those in office and home with my Samsung Galaxy S4 NFC tags – Topaz 512 Chip – 10 Pack + Keychain + Free Bonus Tag – Android Writeable & Programmable – Adhesive Sticker Back – Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 3 – HTC One First One X Droid DNA – Sony Xperia – Nexus – Smart Tags – Best Money-Back Guarantee!I have been using TechMatteTM Qi-compatible Wireless Charger for the Nexus 4, HTC 8X, HTC Droid DNA, Nokia Lumia 920, LG Optimus Vu2 (With AC Adapter and Micro USB Cable). and TechMatteTM Qi-standard Wireless Charger Receiver Coil for SAMSUNG Galaxy S4 SIV for wireless charging and they are very convenient for charging by placing on the mat.UPDATE 9/15/2013:I thought I will update since it’s been a while. We have two Galaxy S4 in the family. One black and one white both unlocked. There has been few firmware updates to the 9500 International series. I have been asked about the heat issue. Other than normal electronic heating feeling, it does NOT get super hot etc. In the initial days some people had issues, but apparently firmware has patched it. Version 4.2.2, BUILD: JDQ39.I9500XXUAMDX. Kernel 3.4.5-526212. I use Battery Widget Pro and has been watching battery usage. Easily for a day with normal usage. If I use video streaming and use NAVIGON indiscriminately, of course battery usage will shot down. Camera app does crash with latest updates. If I don’t use camera for a day and use it, sometimes it crashes and phone reboots. After that no issue in subsequent sessions. I have been using NFC a lot. I got the WhizTags NFC tags – NTAG203 Chip – 10 Pack + Keychain + Free Bonus Tag – Android Writable & Programmable – Adhesive Sticker Back – Samsung Galaxy S4 S3 Note 2 – HTC One First One X Droid DNA – Sony Xperia – Nexus – Smart Tags – Best Money-Back Guarantee! which is awesome. I use in conjunction with NFC Task Launcher App. Samsung also has TecTiles App. When I go to office I tap a NFC Tag to get the settings I desire – eg vibrate, wifi on etc. At CAR different instructions and so on.Get a spare battery if you are using phone in an intense manner or if you are on long road trips or for just peace of mind. Timetec 2*2600mAh High Capacity Li-ion Battery for Samsung Galaxy S4 S IV SIV, I9500. Samsung Galaxy GT-I9500, Verizon SCH-I545, AT&T SGH-I337, Sprint SPH-L720+Free Bonus TimeTecTM Multi-purpose USB Travel Charger is a great choice.Another great gadget to have in your backpack while traveling or at home is an excellen remote for this phone. Yes a remote for media and camera. I have reviewed it at Satechi BT MediaRemote Bluetooth Multi-Media Remote Control (White) for Samsung Galaxy S2, S3, S4 / Note, Note II / Galaxy Tab / Galaxy NexusORIGINAL REVIEWGalaxy S4 is an incredible phone. I have been using this unlocked S4 for past 2 days helping a friend to migrate from iPhone 4S. My friend has been on iPhone and it also gave me a unique perspective. I used iPhone for couple of years and been using Android for past 3+ years.I have used Galaxy S3, Note II and for me S4 is more like a S3s If you have a Galaxy S3, it is perfect and there is no need to move to S4. The new features are more like minor upgrades for me. Just like Detroit rolls out new cars every year, phone manufacturers have found excellent way to make yearly upgrades.Battery came for almost a day. The video playback was crisp and my friend was amazed at the customization options. It is heaven for a iphone user to come out of shackles and explores the wonderful world of Android. It sure sounds like it is for geeks, but Samsung has created lot of ways to simplify and make it less intimidating. The EASY mode is for one such reason. Samsung’s addition of all those apps (commonly referred as crapware) is not as bad as HTC or LG. Android experience is classified as pure vanilla in phones like Nexus. Vendors like Samsung have added a whole lot of extra programs.5″ HD Super AMOLED 1920 x 1080 display (441 ppi) is just plain gorgeous. 13 MP camera takes ginormous image sizes. I put a 64 GB microSDXC card SanDisk 64GB Mobile Ultra MicroSDXC Class 6 Memory Card with SD Adapter – Retail Packaging as my friend wants to take lot of movies (built-in 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM). No stuttering, and very smooth playback of videos captured in varying light conditions (HD Playback; HD Recording). Compatible video types are AVI/DIVX, WMV/ASF, FLV, MKV, MP4/3GP, WEBM. HDR and Panaromic photos were incredibly sharp. Compatible audio types are: AAC, AMR, MP3, OGG, WMA/ASF, 3GA/M4A, FLAC, WAV. Google Music, PlayerPro Music player are producing excellent music. Audio/Video is one section where S4 has nudged S3. For a normal user, if you are not into lot of video processing this does not matter.S4′s infrared sensor is the same technology as TV remote control, so with WatchON you can change the TV channel from your phone. My friend was shocked to see this feature. Having used Android for a long time, I explored all new features one by one. My friend is still getting used to and feels this is too complicated. I broke down into lot of sub features and told my friend he may not use 50% of features, but told him to explore one feature at a time and focus on that.Games were very buttery, this phones runs ARM®-based octa-core mobile CPU. This is apparently world’s first! Inside this chip is Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX544MP3 GPU. I tried several car racing games and performance was phenomenal. People on the XDA-Developers forum report seeing smearing and ghosting when scrolling on the phone. This especially occurs to people when scrolling among darker colors, which begin showing up as purple. I tried hard to see if I could on the S4 I was testing with my friend and I could not see it. I am sure these can be upgraded with software over due course.Air View and Air Gestures – are they worth it? Air view is similar to how the S-pen on the Galaxy Note 8 works. Simply hover finger a few millimeters above the screen and in supported apps, you’ll see a preview of content. This works with many of Samsung’s built-in apps, including the photo gallery, the dialer, Samsung’s browser and email client. It also works with Flipboard. Air View works by cranking up the capacitive sensor on the screen. Another new feature is Air Gestures. This uses the IR sensor on the top of the phone to detect movement by your palm or finger. One can flip between open tabs in Samsung’s browser app, skip to a new song in the music player and do many other things. I say these are still in works and sometimes not very efficient.GPS was spot on and I tried multiple GPS apps. It was bright outdoors (had to crank the brightness all the way up). I tried multiple apps to demonstrate to my friend. In the end, my friend was impressed with what all Android and in particular S4 had to offer. Smooth and Stunning display!I tried following apps and they just worked awesome.Amazon MobileAndroid StatusAndroidifyAngry Birds (Space/Seasons)Asphalt 7Amazon App StoreBoxCar Maintenance Reminder ProChromeCNET TVNAVIGON (from Garmin – offline maps)Google Navigation/Earth/MapsGoogle Currents (nice way to read News)Draw SomethingGoogle DriveEbayLinkedinGoogle MusicTapatalk (awesome forum browsing app)OverDrive Media Console: Library eBooks & Audiobooks (public library consumption of media)Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good)Subsonic Music StreamerTerminal Emulator (still need to use vi, yes this is it)TweetCaster Pro for Android (excellent twitter client)Twit.TvTriggerGoogle VoicePlenty of WidgetsAsk questions, the review cannot do justice to Galaxy S4. I will be glad to answer any questions.
71 of 79 people found the following review helpful.
Galaxy 4S Continues to amaze me
I bought a Galaxy S4 last week and I’m really impressed. One of the first things that amazed me was that after 1 day, 6 hours and 56 minutes of use the phone said I still had 17% left on my battery. This was after heavy use setting up the screens, adding apps, texting, talking, browsing and more. Our power went out for a while and I even used the flashlight and an app to read a book for 25 minutes. Hands down, the S4 is the winner over the iPhone.Phone was easy to set up for email and apps. Changing screen layouts was also a breeze. It was also great that I could just pull the memory chip out of my last phone, slide it in to the S4 and had all my contacts, music, photos and everything else in seconds. Didn’t have to worry about uploading from the old phone and than downloading to the new.Used the 13mp camera and pictures were sharp and clear. Also liked the panorama function. Took some video and was equally impressed.I use this phone a lot for business and the clarity of the phone was great. Others even mentioned without asking how clear my voice was.I was showing the phone to a friend who is a big supporter of the main competitor and he tried to challenge the navigation. He spoke his address really fast from a distance and was surprised when it showed up perfectly in a millisecond. Good luck with that one Seri.Last, but not least, it’s fast. Scrolling through screens, apps, on the browser and everything else this phone is fast. Perhaps the quad core processor and 2 GB of ram compared to a dual core and 1 GB for the iPhone made the difference.I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this phone on all accounts. I did have one concern prior to purchasing. I thought the phone my just be too big. It isn’t. I checked, put the phone in a belt clip, put it on and couldn’t tell the difference from my Droid. The larger higher resolution screen is great. I also like the fact that you’re not stuck buying only Apple products for the phone. My car charger from my Droid worked find and the same charger charges my Kindle. Three different, products, three different companies and they all work together. Not with Apple. Sorry iPhone, but the hype has got tiring. It doesn’t seem to do anything as well as the S4 and you’re still stuck with the short battery life with an iPhone.Final ScoreGalaxy S4 10iPhone 0Buy it!
67 of 78 people found the following review helpful.
Amazing Phone! Super responsive, reliable, quality. Cosmetically poor.
By Heavy Reader
I’ve done a *ton* of reading on phones and had narrowed it down to the S4, the HTC One, and the iPhone 5.I wanted to comment on a few things you don’t read in reviews. My two big worries about the device after pre-purchase research were: the ugly exterior and TouchWiz.Regarding the exterior, personally, I think the HTC One looks the most attractive, but after you put a case on it, they all look roughly the same. Secondly, I actually prefer the feather light weight of the plastic S4 over the prettier but heavier premium metal finishes.Regarding TouchWiz: I was worried it would slow the phone down, and that definitely is not a problem. This phone is *extremely* responsive and fast. Obviously, the speed is due to the internal hardware not the skin, but the TouchWiz skin isn’t getting in the way. Also, TouchWiz has a variety of minor additions that are more practical than the stock Android counterparts. I didn’t expect that. For example, I like the TouchWiz keyboard and dialer and incoming call GUI better the alternatives. They let me do what I want to do more easily. The one big downside of TouchWiz is that much of it is cosmetically ugly. Stock Android and iOS both have a much cleaner/elegant look to them.Two other plusses: the LTE reception seems to work *way* better than my last Evo 4G LTE phone did. And, while on my home WiFi, my S4 streams YouTube with much less buffering than my Nexus 7 tablet, which surprised me because I would have thought that was strictly a network issue.Also, the camera, and specs, and feature list is quite amazing, and you can read about that stuff everywhere.Bottom line: this is the happiest I’ve been with a new phone.
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