Samsung Galaxy S4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has Android 4.2.2, a fantastic camera, a powerful quad-core processor, and software solutions for just about every scenario -- including working as a TV/DVR remote. It's also comfortable in hand and has NFC, a user-replaceable battery, and a microSD storage slot.

Samsung's proven repeatedly that people don't care about build quality, or at least will overlook it in favor of features and performance, but the landscape's different now. The HTC One is a powerful, feature-rich device that is also beautiful and classy, while Samsung's handset feels like an overpowered children’s toy. Samsung's feature list has to be awfully long to overcome that — and it is, but I'll get there.

Samsung Galaxy S4

 

What does the Galaxy S4 have? A better question is: what doesn't it have? There's the 1080p screen, zippy processing speeds that are ideal for gaming, and an IR blaster that can control your TV. Then there's the parade of camera tricks that cram action shots into one scene, use both front and back cameras, and film a video in slow-mo. The GS4 can harness your eyeballs to pause video, and it can answer a phone call with the wave of your hand. Unlike the HTC One and the iPhone 5, it also piles on expandable storage space and a removable battery.

It's true: most of the GS4's featurettes aren't essential -- and some aren't even very useful, like the camera's Eraser mode, which I never got to work, a subpar optical reader, and a translation tool that just duplicates what Google Translate already does. While none stands out as a must-have, cannot-possibly-live-without extra, these features do add up to a compelling testament that the Galaxy S4 is more than a step ahead of the pack.

So, if you want a lovingly crafted statement phone that barely strays from Android's core offering, then buy the HTC One, which also has double the internal storage for about the same price. But if you're looking for a superphone that surpasses all other handsets on the features front, then you'll find in this deserving all-around flagship a strong mix of extremely competent hardware and aspirational software with very few major drawbacks.

 

Samsung Galaxy S4

 

Title Description
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
4G Network LTE (market dependent)
SIM Micro-SIM
Announced 2013, March
Status Available. Released 2013, April
Dimensions 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in)
Weight 130 g (4.59 oz)
Type Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.0 inches (~441 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  - TouchWiz UI
Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 16/32/64 GB storage, 2 GB RAM
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, LE
NFC Yes
Infrared port Yes
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL 2), USB On-the-go, USB Host
Primary 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features Dual Shot, Simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face and smile detection, image stabilization, HDR
Video Yes, 1080p@30fps, dual-video rec., check quality
Secondary Yes, 2 MP,1080p@30fps, dual video call
OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
Chipset Exynos 5 Octa 5410
CPU Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU PowerVR SGX 544MP3
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM, RSS
Browser HTML5, Adobe Flash
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
Colors White Frost, Black Mist
  - Wireless charging (market dependent)
- S-Voice natural language commands and dictation
- Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll
- Air gestures
- Dropbox (50 GB storage)
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- TV-out (via MHL 2 A/V link)
- SNS integration
- MP4/DivX/XviD/WMV/H.264/H.263 player
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/AC3/FLAC player
- Organizer
- Image/video editor
- Document viewer (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF)
- Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk, Picasa
- Voice memo/dial/commands
- Predictive text input (Swype)
  Li-Ion 2600 mAh battery
Stand-by (2G) / Up to 370 h (3G)
Talk time (2G) / Up to 17 h (3G)
Music play Up to 62 h
SAR US 0.85 W/kg (head)     1.55 W/kg (body)    
SAR EU 0.42 W/kg (head)     0.54 W/kg (body)    
Price group  
Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal) / 3.352:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 66dB / Ring 77dB
Audio quality Noise -95.9dB / Crosstalk -96.4dB
Camera Photo / Video

 

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