Samsung Galaxy S4

The Good
The Bad
  • Plastic design looks and feels cheap
  • Software features are numerous enough to be confusing
  • Dim screen, “funny” power button
The Verdict
★★★★★

This is a large-screen smartphone that can do everything, but will take some time and effort to master operation if you’re new to

Android. We’re also not 100% sold on the plastic exterior….

R8499.95
Buy Now

Samsung Galaxy S4 [Review]

The Samsung Galaxy S4 with its blazing fast and powerful quad-core processor puts Samsung in the position of dominating the global smartphone market, and while it may not be as pretty or have as much visual gravitas as the iPhone 5 or HTC One, it certainly gives a lot more bang for the buck.

This value for money comes from the astounding 13 MP camera, 5 inch HD screen, and mega-stack of software extras, making the Galaxy S4 a truly super smartphone compared to its competitors.


Design: A Sleek Form Factor for Samsung’s Flagship

One of the major complaints about Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone is that it looks cheap and “plasticky” compared to other premium smartphones. Its industrial design looks flimsy at best, and while excess weight is never a good thing with phones, the S4

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simply feels too light when held in the hand, almost like a toy rather

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than the powerful communication device it really is. However, the S4 does have some design upgrades which make it a more sophisticated looking phone than its predecessor.

The S4 has some metallic accents, and features

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less rounded corners and spines which make it resemble the more expensive HTC and iPhone offerings. The S4 is slightly thinner and weighs less

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than the S3, but overall, the two phones are quite similar.

The great thing about the S4’s design: the fantastic screen. The screen is a full five inches, and with its 1080p HD display, it’s a fantastic device for reading articles, looking at photos, watching videos and playing games. The pixel density of the S4’s screen is higher than its direct competitors, and colour saturation is simply magnificent. The only problem is that outdoor readability is tough in bright sunlight.

The power button is a bit “fiddly”. This means that the power/lock button can light up fairly easily, which is not a good situation when the phone is accidentally turned on while in a purse or backpack. A person who thinks they’ve turned the phone off might find the battery has gone dead because of this.

Multimedia and Calling Features

The 13 MP camera on this phone is what really sets it apart from its competitors. Photos taken with this phone are crisp, clear, and due to the high resolution, can be enlarged to a good extent. Photos taken in the automatic mode are very high quality, meaning that you’ll never miss that great shot by trying to adjust settings. Another great camera feature is the front-facing 2 MP shooter which takes more than adequate self portraits.

For photography enthusiasts, there’s a terrific burst mode where 20 shots can be taken in rapid succession, and the video mode is also very good; sounds get picked up nicely

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and videos are crisp and sharp.

The camera has got onscreen menu options such as flash and night modes, and there’s also a handy dual-shot mode. Further making this camera great are the creative filters and modes, but it takes a little bit of time to find them. In the long run, though, it’s worth it to take the time to discover them, and you’ll find that with this phone, you’ll be able to leave your digital camera at home.

As far as calling features are concerned, this smartphone is loaded with them. Audio correction can be customized,

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and the speakerphone sounds much less tinny than the speakerphone on other devices. There’s also an HD voice feature, which is enabled when there is communication between two HD capable phones, resulting in a very natural sound.

Battery Life and Memory

As mentioned earlier, this is one blazing fast phone and is probably the fastest on the market. Videos are immersive, games are nimble and responsive, and everything is quick, quick, quick. However, this will take a bit of a toll on the battery. Although the battery is 20 percent bigger than that of the S3, the extra heft of the processor and the camera will use up its juice faster. In talking time tests, the S4 lasted well over 19 hours. When the phone was tested using a video loop program that’s proprietary, the phone ran out of power after about 10 hours and thirty minutes. Therefore, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will need to be charged at least once a day if it is used heavily, just like all other smartphones.

The S4 comes in 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB versions, and the phone also has a microSD expansion slot that can hold up to an additional 64 GB.

Overall, a Great Android-Based Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one heck of a smartphone; it’s fast, it’s powerful, it’s got all kinds of software and it’s got a simply amazing camera. While it might feel a bit light and look a little cheap, it’s a super device for those who want more out of their phones.

The Good
  • A large, beautiful display
  • Great new features, including S Voice
  • Thin and light, easy to hold
The Bad
The Verdict
★★★★★
R8499.95
Check Price

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