SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 Review

The next flagship phone of the South Korean company appeared - Samsung Galaxy S4. It gives a chance to establish itself even more firmly in the smartphone market, confirming its dominance among Android devices.

New flagship Samsung improves on almost every aspect of the previous model, pairing more powerful hardware with a suite of new software features. The gadget received a bunch of new sensors, aiming for an all-in-one tool.

Let's immediately note the main shortcomings that the device has in our opinion:

  • the design began to gradually become obsolete;
  • outwardly the smartphone looks worse than aluminum HTC One or glass Sony Xperia Z;
  • no FM radio;
  • Video recording is slightly worse than Galaxy S3;
  • The common camera interface makes framing quite difficult.

Now let's move on to a more detailed review of the main characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of the new smartphone.

Appearance and control

The Samsung Galaxy S4 comes with the standard set of accessories you'd expect in the box. This is an A/C adapter that must be used with the included microUSB cable, headphones that are incomparably better than those supplied with the Galaxy S3. This time all the accessories are painted white.

The new HS330 headphones are equipped with dual drivers for better reproduction of high and low frequencies.

The shape, material and size of the earcups have also been changed to make them more comfortable. Also improved compared to the Galaxy S3, the control buttons on the headset.

Now let's go directly to the appearance. The dimensions of the Galaxy S4 are likely to be one of the achievements, as the smartphone is the same height as its predecessor, but it is 0.8mm narrower, 0.7mm thinner and 3 grams lighter. And all this despite the screen increased by 0.2 inches, a more capacious battery, which remained still removable. So, the dimensions of the phone are 136.6x69.8x7.9 mm, and the weight is 130 grams.

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

The design has changed little compared to its predecessor. The phone uses the same Hyperglazed finish, which, in our opinion, is a minus for the gadget, since holding a smartphone in your hands, you feel not a flagship device, but a plastic toy. In this it loses HTC One and Sony Xperia Z.

This, however, does not mean that the Galaxy S4 looks worse than its predecessor. The new texture gives it a more serious and stylish look, and the back panel now looks different depending on the viewing angle.

Thin bezels left more space for a shiny screen, but more on that later. The thin body has a higher level of vibration. Also note that now the black color will be available from the very beginning of sales.

Note that the novelty is easier to handle than the Samsung Galaxy S3. It is also more comfortable to hold than the HTC One.

The Samsung smartphone has many sensors scattered throughout the body, but the main controls and their layout have remained largely unchanged.

Below the display, you'll find the same three buttons as on the Galaxy S3 - touch-sensitive Menu and Back buttons, and a mechanical Home button.

There is additional functionality: when long pressed, the Menu button handles Google Now, while the Home button brings up the task switcher, there is also 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, and a gesture IR sensor that allows you to control some applications such as a web browser and a music player.

The left side of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has a twin volume rocker, while the power/lock button is on the right. Unfortunately, although the camera has received a major upgrade, the control button is still missing. You can use the volume key to take a photo, but it cannot completely replace the two-stage (point and release) button.

3.5mm headphone jack and IR sensor that 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 on the lower end is used to transfer data and charging. It not only supports USB-Host, but also MHL 2.0, which provides the ability to output 3D Full HD video on TV without an external power source. Previously, it was necessary to connect Charger, but here it got rid of it.

Also below is the main microphone.

On the rear panel of Samsung Galaxy S4 there is a 13 megapixel Full HD camera. As in Galaxy S3, the LED flash is located near, but the loudspeaker grille was moved to the left lower edge of the device.

Productivity and Software

Samsung Galaxy S4, which turned out to be in our hands, Equipped with Snapdragon 600 chipset. We, of course, know that there will be a modification with an 8-core exynos 5 Octa, but while testing the available version of the smartphone.

Krait gadget with a clock frequency of 1.9 GHz, with 2 GB of RAM and GPU Adreno 320 should show excellent performance, in our opinion. Built-in 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 device of the South Korean company bypassed HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro in one-threaded (Benchmark PI) and multithreaded (LINPACK) performance tests. Both of these phones use the same chipset, but only with a frequency of 1.7 GHz.

GEEKBENCH 2 is a cross-platform benchmark, which allows you to compare Galaxy S4 C iPhone 5, which showed the result twice worse. HTC One and LG Optimus G Pro are also behind the test device, although we should notice that they use the older version of Android OS 4.1.2. Recall that in the new flagship Samsung operating system - Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

We now turn to the component tests. In Antutu, our gadget was again on top, and in Quadrant the difference between him and Optimus G Pro is very small. Although HTC ONE lagged there significantly.

Now let's test the graphics. In Glbenchmark 2.5 in 1080p Off-Screen mode, our smartphone has confidently won. Also Galaxy S4 headed the Epic Citadel test, although a certain role was played by 60 frames per second. Without this, it may have a big difference from HTC One. However, this Benchmark uses Unreal Engine, which is sometimes present in High-End 3D games for mobile phones and shows real performance.

Finally, testing JavaScript and HTML 5 performance. In these benchmarks, the smartphone showed itself well, but lagging behind Galaxy Note II. We used Android Browser for the test, and not Google Chrome, which is also pre-installed in advance.

Samsung Galaxy S4 with the Snapdragon 600 chipset showed excellent performance even in places such as heavy animated galleries and video players.

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

Screen

One of the most important updates that Samsung Galaxy S4 brought, has become a new 5-inch Super AMOLED Screen with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The gadget has a pentile matrix with pixel density 441 PPI.

Pentile design was also changed, so now green subpixels are twice as bigger than blue and red, their location has also changed. However, this is naturally not noticeable without a microscope.

The image quality is at the height. The smartphone has an impressive contrast and almost ideal viewing angles. Saturated colors turn any, even the most boring, in a surprisingly bright image and are out of reach of any LCD display. If you are not a fan of oversaturated amoled displays, Samsung makes it possible to change saturation to a more natural level.

The brightness levels of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are approximately one level with the remaining amoled matrices of the company, that is, it is not very high. However, due to low reflective ability, it does not affect the image with sunlight. Keep in mind that turning on the auto settings on the Option screen limits the maximum brightness value of 300 yars, the one that is important for you, then it is better to save it.

Of course, Nokia turned out to be brighter AMOLED-display in Galaxy S4, but the difference is not so dramatic. South Korean smartphone showed good quality image on the sunlight, although it's surprising that I did not overtake in this indicator of Galaxy S3, despite the higher brightness. Perhaps the new Gorilla glass brought additional reflections and, thus, compensated for the advantages.

Camera

In Samsung Galaxy S4, a 13 megapixel camera is installed, capable of making pictures 4128x3096 pixels. There is also a 2 megapixel front camera, which is capable of photographing and recorded video simultaneously with the main one.

It is possible to include various effects. They can be viewed before, so you can see how the specific scene will look like an effect.

Let's look at different modes. There are standard, such as Rich Tone ( HDR ), Panorama, Night and Sports. Panoramic pictures are quite impressive, they can be 360 ​​degrees and more, and can be more than 60 MP (note that if you hold the phone vertically, the panoramic image will have almost two times more permission). Here is an example of panorama.

The gadget has many shooting modes that are described in the instructions. All of them are good and helpful, but we need to answer the question, is it good for the Galaxy S4 camera? The answer is yes, yes, very good. The South Korean company has done a great job to maintain good image quality while increasing permission.

In the photo you can distinguish a lot of small parts, and there are few noise. Colors are transmitted accurate, maybe slightly oversaturated and white balance is somewhere between neutral and cold (typical for Samsung phones chambers). The smartphone retains the details of the image in the darkened zone, however, sometimes due to the detail in the light. To correct this, you can use the HDR mode.

SamsungGalaxyS4 writes video in formatMP4 with a bit rate of 17MBPs on average. The stereo sound is maintained with a bit rate of 128Kbps and a 48 kHz discretization frequency.

The camcorder does not provide users with such a number of shooting modes, but there are some effects. For example, you can do slow movements, double shooting. The slow motion video can reach the 8-fold deceleration, but the resolution drops to 800x450 pixels, A frame frequency to 15 per second. Common parameters for video - resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and frequency of 30 frames per second.

Sensory focus is available before and during video recording, you can return to the continuous autofocus mode if you want. You can make 9.6 MP (16: 9) photos during recording.

On the video taken by the phone, you can see a lot of small details and little noise. The colors and the white balance are similar to those obtained in photographs, in general, accurate, but slightly oversaturated and with a cold shift of white balance. One thing that can be attributed to minuses is a narrowed field of view. It is less than the Galaxy S III and HTC One. The difference is quite noticeable, Galaxy S4 captures a lot less in the frame than competitors.

Video quality is not much better than that of Galaxy S III. This can be checked by comparing the record. The example filmed on Galaxy S4 is shown below.

When we included digital video stabilization, it has become more detailed, contrast improved. Below an example in which stabilization is included.

Battery

If you remove the cover that closes the battery compartment, you can see a microSIM slot, an updated removable battery with a capacity of 2600 mAh and a microSD card slot. Slot for memory cards supports "hot" replacement.

As it turned out during our battery testing, additional 500 mAh are easily eaten by high screen resolution and more energy-intensive chipsets. As a result, significant superiority over the predecessor is not observed. Endurance while playing video and web browser was improved only a bit, but in standby mode was made a huge step forward. This, of course, is explained: after all, the chipset does not handle any applications, and the screen is turned off.

The gadget can autonomously worked for 13 hours 53 minutes when talking using 3G networks, 8 hours 42 minutes when surfing on the Internet and 10 hours 16 minutes when playing high-resolution video.

Testing has shown that the smartphone can work on an average of 63 hours if you use it per hour to watch web pages, video and telephony.

Cost

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

- 16 GB / 3G - 29990 rubles;

- 64 GB / 3G - 36990 rubles;

- 16 GB / LTE - 29990 rubles;

- 64 GB / LTE - 36990 rubles.