In what could be called "the funniest release of all time" , Samsung unveiled its flagship , the much hyped and much awaited phone of the year - the Samsung Galaxy S4. Disclaimer - This is a specs review and not a consumer review. The device will be released in April 2013 First impressions - It looks like an advanced version of the S3 - its thinner, lighter (marginally), fasters and looks at lot like its predecessor - the last point due to which I felt disappointed. It is definitely a mighty device and is backed up by the Brand Samsung and the success of its predecessor, but it is not as uninspiring as its rival the Iphone 5. Enough said...let me dissect this device for you.
Dimensions, design and build - Whatever was mentioned in the leaks and rumors were true, the phone measures 7.9 mm in thickness matching that of the Sony Xperia Z which is the thinnest phone in its class. It is definitely lighter than most other devices at 130 gms .
Samsung as I have stated earlier has gone for a build similar to that of the s3 , its plasticky , but with a slightly more premium of our reviewers recommend us feel to it. Though plasticky, it feels sturdier and more compact while held in the hand. The design of the galaxy series needs a serious revamp or it will surely become a butt of jokes as in case with the Iphone. Samsung seems to have adopted a safe strategy here with not changing much of the design which people are used to. But I expected them to be a little more aggressive in this regard.
Processor and chipset - As rumors suggested the phone does come in variations of two different processors aimed at different markets.
One version comes with an octa core Exynos 5410 processor which is internally made up of four 1.6 ghz ARM cortex A15 cores and four 1.2 ghz ARM cortex A7 cores. What this means is that , when you do less CPU intensive activities A7 processors would be used and for CPU intensive ones the a15 processors will be used. This is a very smart move by samsung to conserve the battery.
The other version comes with a quadcore Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.9 ghz, which is an Industry standard.
The octa core version does not support 4G Lte and we will be getting it in the India release but the Snapdragon will
The device also has two versions of GPUs 1. A powerGVR SGX 544MP3 and 2. Adrena 320
In terms of raw computing power this device is a beast and combined with Samsungs efficient software additions it can surely beat other phones in its class.
Display - The device has gone with what has become an industry standard - a full HD 5 inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 441 ppi.
Not that its anything different from what others are offering at the moment but Samsungs display technology feels superior to all others . The viewing angles are brilliant and playing games and videos would be like a dream.
Camera - The device sports a 13 Mp rear camera with LED flash and a front camera with 2 MP camera. Lately the camera has become the highlight of releases and it is the same with the S4 as well.
There are many software additions and exciting features in the camera. It is capable of taking more than 100 shots in 4 seconds and then selects the best out of them to composite it into a single image.
There is a vine like feature called “Sound and shoot” that lets you second 5 seconds of video. It has a dual camera mode which is used to take shots and video using both the camera at the same time and integrate it into one
I haven’t found a resource on the camera’s low light performance yet, but I can assure you that it will perform well in that regard. The camera is also capable of full HD Video recording. You can also erase whatever you don’t want in photographs thus eliminating photo bombs.
Overall it is an impressive camera with which Samsung carries on its tradition in providing impressive cameras and allied features
Softwares - This makes the S4 a sure shot winner. The device comes with Android Jellybean 4.2.2 out of the box, the only device to come with the flavor other than the Nexus 4. Add to this an impressive array of add-ons , some of which I have described below.
S translate – Provides instant translation in 9 languages , currently no Indian languages available.
Air Gesture - The same feature that is present in the note series which allows users to preview, video or emails without having to open it
Smart Scroll/ Smart Pause - Scroll through anything with text by a slight tilt and with the smart scroll and the smart pause is a feature where if you are watching a video in the screen it will pause if you are not looking at it
Samsung Watchon - The device comes with an IR blaster which allows it to work like a full fledged TV remote control
S health of our reviewers recommend us - This app is capable of monitoring not just your health but also provides reports on the environment and track your sleep patterns
Group play - Now share music/video with 8 devices using NFC. It allows you to control the volume levels on the shared device as well
Samsung Knox - Allows you to separate the Business and personal of our reviewers recommend us profiles
Samsung Homesync - Sync all your personal data on a cloud which comes with 1 TB of free storage
Battery - The device comes with an impressive 2600 mah battery capable of lasting at least 14 hours of continuous usage. As I had mentioned earlier, having different set of cores for different functionalities helps its cause.
Memory- The device comes in variations of 16, 32 and 64 gb variations which is expandable upto 64 gb using a micro sd card of our reviewers recommend us. And given that we have 1 TB of cloud storage in home of our reviewers recommend us sync. It is more that what you would have asked for. In fact it is more than what I have on my desktop right now
Price and availability – The device will be available in 150 counties initially by the end of April. But expect it to come to India sooner as we are on of Samsung’s largest and most important markets. No details on the pricing as yet
Verdict - Design wise Samsung has gone for an age ols formula and it needs an urgent revamp but specs wise its is slightly ahead of its opponents . The Android leader is sure to keep its market share if not increase it
Thanks and Regards,