Samsung Galaxy S4 is a phone that’s tough to put down
As a phone, the new Samsung Galaxy S4 doesn’t seem to ever drop phone calls. I can dial a number and hear someone on the other end, clearly and crisply.
They don’t seem to think I sound under water, and I can hear what they’re saying without having to ask them to repeat anything or speak up louder.
The phone even seems to work well in loud areas with lots of background noise.
Evaluating this Android-based smartphone as someone living in 2013, who hardly makes a phone call anymore, the S4 can do a whole lot of cool and sometimes gimmicky stuff – often better than competitors.
The smartphone, however, does feel a little plasticky compared to the iPhone 5 and the rock-solid build quality of the HTC One.
It packs a 1.9 Ghz quad-core processor that seems to respond the fastest for a smartphone on the market. The S4 can also come with either 16/32/64 GB of on-board storage space.
Media hounds will appreciate the available microSD card slot, which means you can expand to an additional 64 GB of space, potentially lugging around 128 GB of flash storage.
The storage space will be particularly appreciated by those who take lots of photos, since the S4 has several photo modes to be explored.
The camera with a 13-megapixel image sensor snaps photos with practically no lag, and you have the option to take a photo using both front (2 MP) and rear cameras at the same time. Framing up both shots is harder than it sounds, however.
Other photo features like Beauty Face, Best Face and Panorama work as advertised, and they really give shooters the potential to take more creative photos on their phones.
Some of the other features unique to this phone, such as Smart Scroll, Smart Pause and Air Gesture, are finicky but work great when they work.
I could never get Smart Scroll to work, and Air Gesture worked when I didn’t intend it to. It could just be a matter of getting comfortable with the nuances of those features.
Other S4 features, such as S Voice Drive and S Health worked quite well. The phone told me I needed to walk more to burn off my dinner, so I went for a run. Sure, other apps can do this. But it’s nice to have health-minded features work out of the box.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a good phone with a nice screen that sits well in the palm of your hand. A smart camera and hefty storage capacity helps the phone stand out in the smartphone wars, but it’s up there with the HTC One.- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets