Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review

The next pilot phone from the South Korean company – Samsung Galaxy S4 – has appeared. It offers the chance to establish itself even more firmly in the smartphone market, confirming its dominance among Android devices.

Samsung's new flagship enhances almost every aspect of the previous model, linking more powerful hardware with a number of new software features. The gadget received a lot of new sensors, trying to get an all-in-one tool.

Immediately, we notice the main disadvantages that the device has in our opinion:

  • the design began to gradually become obsolete;
  • externally, the smartphone looks worse than the HTC One or Sony Xperia Z glass aluminum;
  • no FM radio;
  • video recording is slightly worse than in Galaxy S3;
  • the common interface of the camera makes the trimming quite complicated.

Now let's take a closer look at the main features, advantages and disadvantages of the new smartphone.


  • 1 Appearance and management
  • 2 Performance and software
  • 3 display
  • 4 camera
  • 5 battery
  • 6 the cost

Appearance and management

Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with the standard set of accessories you can expect in a box. This is an A / C adapter that you must use with the supplied microUSB cable, which are incomparably better than those included in the Galaxy S3. This time all the accessories are painted white.

The new HS330 is equipped with dual speakers that allow you to better reproduce the high and low frequencies of the sound.

Accessories for Samsung Galaxy S4

The headphones have also changed the shape, material and size of the nozzle, which makes them more convenient. The headphone control buttons are also improved for the Galaxy S3.

Now we call directly to the emergence. The size of the Galaxy S4 is probably one of the achievements, because the smartphone is the same height as its predecessor, but has become 0.8 mm narrower, 0.7 mm thinner and 3 grams lighter. And despite this, the screen increased by 0.2 inches, a more capable battery, which remained detachable. So, the dimensions of the phone are 136.6×69.8×7.9 mm, and the weight is 130 g.

The gadget's screen is covered with the new Gorilla Glass 3. This glass has a new composition and offers increased scratch resistance. In fact, early tests have shown that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is more difficult to scratch than the Galaxy S3.

The design has not changed much when comparing the new product with its predecessor. The phone uses the same Hyperglazed finish, which, in our opinion, is a minus for the gadget, since you have a smartphone in your hands, you don't feel like an iconic device, but a plastic toy. In this regard, he loses HTC One and Sony Xperia Z.

However, this does not mean that the Galaxy S4 looks worse than its predecessor. The new texture gives it a more serious and elegant look, and the rear panel now looks different depending on the viewing angle.

The slim wheels left more room for a bright screen, but more about that later. The thin body has a higher vibration level. Also, keep in mind that black will now be available right from the beginning of sales.

Compare phones with Samsung Galaxy S4

Note that the new handling is simpler than the Samsung Galaxy S3. It's also more comfortable to hold in your hand than the HTC One.

The Samsung smartphone has many sensors that are scattered throughout the case, but the basic controls and their location have remained largely unchanged.

Below the display you will find the same three buttons as in the Galaxy S3 – touch "Menu" and "Back" as well as mechanically "Home".

Samsung Display S4 Screen

There are additional features: long press, the "Menu" button processes Google Now, while "Home" calls the task switch, there are other features that are described in more detail in the instructions.

Above the display is a speaker, a bunch of sensors and a 2.1 megapixel front camera. There is an LED indicator, a traditional ambient light sensor, an IR management sensor that lets you control some applications, such as a web browser and a music player.

On the left side of the Samsung Galaxy S4 there is a paired volume control key, and the power button is on the right. Unfortunately, although the camera received a significant upgrade, the control button is still missing. You can use the volume key to take a picture, but you will not be able to completely replace the button in two steps (remove and release).

Samsung Galaxy S4: side view

Volume control key on Samsung Galaxy S4

Power button on Samsung Galaxy S4

At the top end you can see a 3.5mm headphone jack and an IR sensor, which allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control for home appliances. There is a pre-installed application that will allow you to control some devices.

The microUSB port at the bottom is used for data transfer and upload. It not only supports the USB host, but also MHL 2.0, which offers the ability to stream 3D Full HD video to a TV without an external power source. Previously, it was necessary to connect a charger, but they got rid of it here.

Also at the bottom is the main microphone.

The bottom end of the Samsung Galaxy S4

Behind the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a 13 megapixel Full HD camera. Like the Galaxy S3, the LED flash is nearby, but the speaker grille has been moved to the lower left edge of the device.

Back cover for Samsung Galaxy S4

Performance and software

The Samsung Galaxy S4, which was in our hands, is equipped with the Snapdragon 600 chipset. Of course, we know that there will be a modification with the Exynos 5 Octa with 8 cores, but for now we will test the available version of the smartphone.

The Krait 4-core gadget with a 1.9 GHz clock frequency, 2 GB RAM and Adreno 320 GPU should show excellent performance, in our opinion. Internal memory – from 16 to 64 GB, depending on the version, there is a microSD card slot. Operating System – Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

The South Korean company's device outperformed HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro in single-threaded performance tests (Benchmark Pi) and multiple threads (LinPack). Both phones use the same chipset, but only with a frequency of 1.7 GHz.

Geekbench 2 is a multi-platform benchmark that allows you to compare Galaxy S4 with iPhone 5, which has shown the result twice as bad. The HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro also lagged behind the tested device, though we should note that they are using an older version of Android 4.1.2. Recall that in the new flagship Samsung, the operating system is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Now let's move on to compound tests. In AnTuTu, our gadget was again at the top, and in Quadrant the difference between it and Optimus G Pro is very small. Although the HTC One has lagged significantly behind here.

AnTuTu for Samsung Galaxy S4

Now let's test the graph. In GLBenchmark 2.5 mode in 1080p off-screen mode, our smartphone has won with confidence. Also, Galaxy S4 conducted the Epic Citadel test, although here it had a certain limitation of 60 frames per second. Without that, maybe with HTC One there was a big difference. However, this benchmark uses Unreal Engine, which is sometimes present in the latest 3D games for mobile phones and shows real performance.

Finally, testing the performance of JavaScript and HTML 5. In these milestones, the smartphone performed well, but lagged behind with Galaxy Note II. I used Android Browser for the test, not Google Chrome, which is also pre-installed.

Vellamo for Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 with Snapdragon 600 chipset has shown excellent performance even in places like heavy animated galleries and video players.

There is support for Wi-Fi, GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS, 3G and LTE (optional), Bluetooth 4.0.


One of the most important updates Samsung Galaxy S4 brought was the new 5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels. The gadget has a PenTile array with a pixel density of 441 ppi.

Also, the PenTile design has been changed, so now there are twice as many green sub-pixels than blue and red, and their location has changed as well. However, this, of course, is not observed without a microscope.

Image quality is top. The smartphone has an impressive contrast and near perfect viewing angles. The vivid colors turn anything, even the most boring, into a surprisingly vivid image and are out of the reach of any LCD display. If you're not a fan of oversaturated AMOLED displays, Samsung gives you the ability to change saturation to a more natural level.

The brightness levels of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are about the same as the rest of the company's AMOLED arrays, which is not very high. However, due to the low reflectivity, it does not affect the image in the sunlight. Keep in mind that including automatic settings on the screen option limits the maximum brightness to 300 nits, so if it's important to you, it's best to save it.

Of course, Nokia has proven to be brighter than the Galaxy S4's AMOLED display, but the difference is not that dramatic. The South Korean smartphone showed good image quality in sunlight, although it is surprising that it did not outperform Galaxy S3 in this indicator, despite the higher brightness. Perhaps the new Gorilla glass has brought additional reflections and thus offset the benefits.


Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 13 megapixel camera that can take pictures of 4128×3096 pixels. There is also a 2 megapixel front camera, which is capable of shooting and recording videos simultaneously with the main one.

You may include various effects. These can be previewed in advance, so you can see what a particular scene will look like when the effect is applied.

Let's look at the different ways. There are standard ones, such as Rich Tone (HDR), Panorama, Night and Sports. The panoramic photos are pretty impressive, can be 360 ​​degrees or more and can exceed 60 MP (note that if you hold the phone upright, the panoramic image will have almost twice the resolution). Here's an example of a panorama.

The gadget has many shooting modes, which are described in the instructions. All are good and useful, but we have to answer the question, does the Galaxy S4 camera shoot well? The answer is yes, yes, very good. The South Korean company has done an excellent job of maintaining good image quality while increasing the resolution.

In the photo you can distinguish a lot of small details, but there is little noise. The colors are correct, maybe slightly oversaturated, and the white balance is somewhere between neutral and cool (typical for Samsung mobile phones). The smartphone keeps the image details in the dark area, sometimes due to the light details. To fix this, you can use HDR mode.

Samsung galaxy S4 records video in format MP4 Bitrates 17 Mbps on average. Stereo sound is stored at a bit rate of 128 Kbps and a sample rate of 48 kHz.

The camcorder does not give users so many shooting modes, but there are some effects. For example, you can make slow movements, double shooting. The slow motion video can slow down to 8 times, but the resolution drops to 800×450 pixels and the frame rate to 15 per second. The usual video parameters are a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels and a frequency of 30 frames per second.

Focal Focus is available before and during video recording; you can return to continuous autofocus if you wish. You can take 9.6 MP (16: 9) photos during recording.

In the video shot by the phone, you can see a lot of small details and a little noise. The colors and white balance are similar to those obtained in the photos, they are generally accurate, but slightly oversaturated and with a cold change of white balance. One thing that can be attributed to the minus is a small field of view. It is smaller than the Galaxy S III and HTC One. The difference is quite visible, the Galaxy S4 captures the frame much less than the competitors.

The video quality itself is not much better than the Galaxy S III. You can check this yourself by comparing the records. An example captured on the Galaxy S4 is shown below.

When I enabled digital video stabilization, it became more detailed, and the contrast improved. Below is an example where stabilization is enabled.


If you remove the lid that closes the battery compartment, you can see the microSIM slot, an updated 2600 mAh removable battery and a microSD card slot. The memory card slot accepts hot switching.

As it has been proven during our battery testing, an additional 500mAh is easily consumed by a high-resolution screen and several high-energy chipsets. As a result, no significant superiority is observed over the predecessor. Resistance during video playback and web browser was only slightly improved, but in standby mode a huge step forward was taken. Of course, this is understandable: in the end, the chipset does not process any application, and the screen is off.

The gadget can operate autonomously 13 hours 53 minutes when we talk using 3G networks, 8 hours 42 minutes when surfing the Internet and 10 hours 16 minutes when playing high-definition videos.

Testing has shown that a smartphone can run for an average of 63 hours, if you use it an hour a day to browse the web, video and telephony.

the cost

The cost of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Russian market will depend on the changes:

– 16 GB / 3G – 29990 rubles;

– 64 GB / 3G – 36,990 rubles;

– 16 GB / LTE – 29990 rubles;

– 64 GB / LTE – 36,990 rubles.

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