When Galaxy S4 was all set to get unpacked officially it was Samsung's "secret messenger," Jeremy Maxwell, whose teaser video went viral all over the internet. The video boasted that upcoming S3 successor will be "The Next Big Thing" in the mobile space.
Well, the Android monster will be introduced in more than 150 countries by the end of April. Also, it has already made a debut in India. And in the next few days S4 will surely turn out to be a success for the South Korean giant. Thanks to all the hypes and fanfare surrounding the Galaxy super smartphone.
But, forget the hype! What about innovation? Is it really the phone which has all the features to be called the "The Next Big Thing" in the market? Can it compete to the likes of iPhone 5, HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920 and LG Optimus G Pro? Is it the best smartphone your hard earned money can buy right now?
All these questions were left unanswered for GizBot till today. Until, we got a chance to meet the new Galaxy S4 at the Bangalore Consumer launch event. Here is our first impression on the almighty successor.
Galaxy S4 - Specification
First the specs! Galaxy S4 has been launched at an asking price of Rs 41,500 packed with Exynos 5 Octa 5410 processor, running on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS and is now availble for purchase in India. Galaxy S4 flaunts a 4.99 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display with a stunning resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 441 ppi approximately along with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. It is equipped with a powerful Exynos 5 Octa 5410 processor housing a 1.6GHz quad core Cortex A15 processor and a 1.2GHz quad core Cortex A7 processor alongside a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU.
Right now in India, Galaxy S4 has 16GB internal storage, a micro SD card slot supporting up to 64GB expandable storage and a 2GB RAM. In terms of Internet connectivity, Galaxy S4 comes with super fast 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Infrared port and micro USB 2.0 with USB Host features. All of it is powered by a 2,600 mAh battery claimed to offer better battery life than Galaxy S3.
Galaxy S4 - First Impression
Substantially, Galaxy S4 has surpassed S3 in terms of design, looks, build and dimensions, which means the overall form factor. The S4 with 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm dimension and 130 grams is definitely lighter than S3. The smartphone has comes with more firm and handy squarish grip enhancing edges and Samsung has slandered the new Galaxy in such a way, that it is totally beautiful, at the first look and highly responsive.
The back panel of the smartphone is made out of polycarbonate plastic, has an attractive faux metal border and a unique diamond shaped sparkles under the spotlight. When you would touch the smooth back panel, it would be difficult to feel that texture, but it would definitely not let the phone slip out of your palms.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Group Play Feature
Samsung Galaxy S4 HD Video
Manu Sharma, Director, Samsung Mobile with S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 13MP Camera
Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Shoots Genelia D'Souza and Manu Sharma, Director, Samsung Mobile at the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch in Bangalore
Samsung Galaxy S4 UI
Samsung Galaxy S4 Notification Panel
Samsung Galaxy S4 Air Gesture
Samsung Galaxy S4 Dual Camera
Samsung Galaxy S4 Volume Rocker
Samsung Galaxy S4 Jack
Samsung Galaxy S4 Power Button and Camera Shooter
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Back Panel
Samsung Galaxy S4 Group Play Sharing
Samsung Galaxy S4 Games Shared
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 Smart Cover
Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3
Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 Build
Galaxy S4 vs Galaxy S3 Back Panel
Samsung Galaxy S4 Polycarbonate Plastic Panel
S Travel and Flipboard
Samsung Galaxy S4 with Cases
Moving on to the screen, you will completely fall in love with it and the much flaunted and talked about 'S' apps and features would catch your attention in the notification panel. Also S Travel and Flipboard are pre-installed on Galaxy S4 along with Samsung Hub, which is the center of Samsung's media experience.
Below the screen there is a home button, in between the touch sensitive back and edit sensors. Then comes the side edges, which have a volume rocker, power/sleep button, with a 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB power/sync port. Substantially, everything is placed in good order if we go by the user experience.
Well, after the hardware experience, it was time for us to take a quick look at some of the features of the phone. Going by Indian user's common perspectives, we tried the camera of Samsung Galaxy S4 first.
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After testing, we didn't find much difference in the normal camera pictures of the 13MP S4 camera, when compared to the S3 8MP camera. However, the S4 shooter is several steps ahead from S3, when it comes to additional features. It includes Dual Shot, Sound and Shot, Drama Shot, Eraser and Animated GIF Photo. You can take a detailed look at these features in our Galaxy S4top 15 features article. We did try few of the features in the brief review time, and they worked smoothly.
Further, we tried to use the S Translator features, which worked well, however; while testing the Samsung Optical Reader (which also does translation) it showed some errors. On the other hand, when tried exploring the Samsung WatchON it showed no support for India right now.
One of the key features which we found useful on the new Samsung Galaxy S4 was Air View - to hover through the content of email, S Planner, image gallery or video without having to open it. Plus, the Air Gesture feature is quite an innovation, where we were able to browse through the images and music tracks with the wave of our palm against the phone at a particular angle.
Right now, it was just a quick impression of S4, GizBot will come out with a detailed review in the coming days. But till that time, it can be said that the new Galaxy S4 is a terrific phone and has lot of software features.
It could be a positive thing for the manufacturer, if after first phase of sales, consumers do not face any problems while using these new visually appealing features. But Samsung might also be in danger, if they wont release quick updates for S features.
Also it would be important for them to promote these feature aggressively, especially in a market like India, where the major part of the consumer is unaware of these gimmick features' usage and functionality. As then, they wont find a big difference between the predecessor and the new Galaxy S4.