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Review: Samsung Galaxy S4 – The Fastest Android On The Market

Over the past three years, Samsung’s Galaxy S series has been making giant leaps in the smart phone market, selling 74.3 million units in the past year versus main competitor Apple’s 133.7 million.

The Basics

In a bid to cement popularity, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S4 this year – giving a serious power up in design and software features to its predecessor the S3. An ounce lighter than the S3, the phone sports a 5 inch display with 1080 pixels.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

When it comes to the driving power behind the phone, it will depend on where you buy it. Some markets will sell the Galaxy S4 with an incredible 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor and 2 GB of RAM while consumers in the UK and a handful of other markets will buy an S4 with a 1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor. The octa-core processor makes S4 the fastest Android phone on the market, providing the phone with a processor that matches a desktop computer.

The Neat Stuff

Samsung have decked out the S4’s camera features in a valiant effort to impress photo snapping enthusiasts with some cool features.

The rear camera is packed with 13 megapixels and contains with a high speed shutter allowing features like “Drama Shot” to combine a collage of sequential photos into a single frame.

The 2 megapixel front-facing camera allows “Dual Shot” to insert yourself into the picture in an offset frame. “Dual Video Call” combines with the rear camera with a split-screen display for video calls mimicking Apple’s Facetime.

Samsung is trying vigilantly to capture smart screen technology in their phones, but without much success. The S4’s Eye Scroll is meant to astonishingly track your eye movement to scroll down while reading; however reviewers argue that the phone is actually responding to the tilting of the phone more than eye-tracking technology.

The messaging system has been replaced by the popular Swiftkey, and there is a new feature called Air Gestures which allows you to swipe the phone without even touching the screen – really useful for those times when your hands are messy or wearing gloves!

S4 comes equipped with a 2600mAh battery, providing up to a day’s worth life for a heavy user and possibly up to two days worth for a low to moderate user.

The Drawbacks

Although the camera boasts an impressive 13 megapixels, it reportedly does not take amazing quality photos and performs so-so in low light situations like a dim lit bar. Also, Samsung promised a more sensitive touch screen to help glove wearers unlock and dial, but has not delivered.

The plastic case is a far cry from the likes of Apple iPhone and HTC but is durable, while some reports of lackluster sound quality on call seem troubling. However, it is still early days to make a definitive full report on the drawbacks.

Ready to buy?

Sales should be in full swing by April 2013 with a delayed release of May 2013 in some markets. There are three different models of the Galaxy S4 – 16, 32, and 64 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot that supports up to 64 GB of additional storage. The Galaxy S4’s suggested retail price will start at $650 off-contract. Of course, signing with a carrier and committing to a two-year contract can lighten the load by a few hundred bucks.

[box]About the author:

Kate Simmons is a smartphone aficionado and tech freak who’s always plugged in. If you’re also a smartphone owner or planning on purchasing one of these babies, make sure you check out for the best 4G deals out there.[/box]