Wednesday, 1 May 2013

[Review] Samsung Galaxy S4


The eagle has landed, and it's called "The life companion".
We are talking about the newly arrived Samsung Galaxy S4.

I had the opportunity to check out Samsungs latest member in the Galaxy family together with a Samsung representative the other day and found some intriguing details .


Keep reading for my findings.

The first thing that strikes me is the lightness of weight in hand.
130 grams is really light and the S4  feels extremely light in the palm of my hand.
Manageable is the word.
The metallic-coloured edge is made out of metal or aluminium as well as the power and volume buttons.
The display is a true HD five inch in size and with a 441 ppi presenting stunning visuals.
Gorilla glass 3 is the name of the glass and it's said to be even more resilient against scratches and impact than the previous gorilla glass displays.
This was demonstrated by the Samsung rep by scratching a key against the display , leaving no marks whatsover on the S4 display.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with a 13 megapixel back camera and 2 mbpix front facing camera with an arsenal of features build into the Android 4.2.2 installed on the device.

One of the impressive features is the Story Album one.
Pictures taken withing the same GPS coordinates are collected by the camera software into Story Albums.
It automatically sorts pictures taken for you.
The Story Album can then be freely edited by you by adding or removing pictures before you push it to be printed and delivered within 7 days.
The result will be a printed album of the photos you chose from your Story Album.
Very convenient .
Other features are Drama Shot, Sound & Shot, Dual Shot (Both cameras taking a shot simultaneously), to mention a few.
The S4 camera packs some serious punch with it's features.

Having fun so far ?

We have just started, as the feature list is quite extensive rest assured.
We have group play for instance, enabling you to share music or pictures with other Samsung S4 owners .
(Maybe other models support this aswell ?).
When demoing this, we had one S4 playing a tune, and four other S4's getting the same tune shared to them via "Group Play" and after a short while we had five Samsiung Galaxy S4's playing the same tune simultaneously.

Quite cool i have to say.

Another updated app is Samsungs own ChatOn.
The eye-catching feature here is the possibility to show your phone screen with the one you are chatting with.
This feature could be quite useful when showing your parents how to find the Facebook app for instance.

The Android version installed on the S4 is 4.2.2 with Samsung’s Touchwiz UI,build date was as late as 28th of march on the phone this review was made on.

Not only does the Samsung Galaxy S4 come in eleven different variants, it also comes with in three storage flavours, 16, 32 and a 64 GB one.

The eleven different variants come with either Octa-Core or Quad-Core SoC.
As for Europe there will be the Quad-Core version due to the capability of 4G networks not being able to support Octa-Core delivered 4G traffic.

Simple as that.

The hardware on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is quite impressive with 2 GB of ram, Micro SD Card slot, Pedometer Sensors and a whaffle of other built-in functions, Samsung have even dusted off the old IR-Port aswell, to be able to use the S4 as a universal remote control for your TV.
The title "Life Companion" starts to make more and more sense the more you dig into the capabilities of the S4 , and there's more .

Within three weeks the accessories are said to be available.
Flip covers and other cases are already out there as you might have noticed.

The S-band , measuring your activity in a fitness tracker manner and checking your sleep aswell.
This one stores steps taken and then syncs the info right into your S4 and stores the data there for later use.
It also monitors your sleep habits and adjusts the alarm clock accordingly to wake you up at a optimal time of sleep based on your personal sleep cycles.

There will also be a Heart-rate monitor band called the HRM, monitoring your heart rate .
You will also be able to check your weight with the "Body Scale", syncing your and up to four peoples weight to your Samsung Galaxy S4 via bluetooth.

All this is tied up with the S-Health app, gathering all vital statistics regarding your  health and fitness statistics.

Besides from the mentioned accessorier you will be able to get the Samsung Home Sync and a Gaming console addon.

Samsung homesync will let you have a 1 terabyte storage unit at home, connected to your tv set and sync being enabled by Wifi Direct.
This means you only need to put your Samsung Galaxy S4 next to the Homesync device to pair it and start syncing your photos and files .
These will then be accessible for you anywhere in the world via an internet connection.
Folder accesses can be set and you can connect USB storage aswell as the ports will be there on the Homesync device.

Now , this is a lot you might think.

There's more.
Samsung Galaxy S4 will have wireless charging option aswell accordingly via the QI standard.
This will need you to replace the back cover with a slightly thicker one and no more cables needed to charge your precious S4 !
About the  a gaming console addon, not much detail is know yet but in short it's a dock with the gaming console joystick and buttons connected to your S4, making it a HD enabled handheld gaming console.



Conclusion:

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has deceiving looks, appearing just slightly larger than the S3 at a glance, thinner,lighter in weight  and with a larger display.
Once you start looking into what the S4 offers inside you might start loosing your breath for a while.

The "Aaaa"s and "Ooos" will be many over this one, no doubt.

This is a feature packed phone, lots of it enabled by new or improved functions within the software packed into the S4 ,the camera options being a big deal here.
The features are rich on the accessories side aswell, with the S-band , HRM and Body Scale to begin with.
I am convinced the 10 million preordered Samsung Galaxy S4 phones will drop numerous jaws and raise eyebrows an masse all around the world.

When i asked the Samsung representative to answer on the rumours for the Samsung Galaxy S4 being released with a different backpiece the coming summer the answer i got was:
-I am not allowed to answer that.
Intriguing or not , the Samsung Galaxy S4 is here and it has left it's mark .