Friday, May 31, 2013

A Week with the Galaxy S4

OK, I’ve had the phone for only a week now, but it’s given me plenty of opportunity to give it a good work-out. O2 delivered the phone in record time - it was ordered at 3pm last Thursday, and it arrived 11am, the day after. Impressive!!!
Galaxy S4
Here’s my impressions so far:

Look and Feel - Even though it doesn’t have the solid feel of the HTC One (its nearest rival), It feels very light in the hand - and for me, that’s a good thing. Some have said the S4 looks a bit ‘cheap’ and ‘plasticky’ - well, the shell is partly made of plastic, so I guess that’s understandable, but it still looks like a premium product to me. The slimness of the body is a real head-turner.

Operating System - The phone came with the latest Android operating system - Jelly Bean - and it works flawlessly - everything is soooo smooooooth and instant! Samsung have added their TouchWiz overlay, and that simply makes navigating around the phone a tad easier.

Battery Life - From my experience with my previous phone, the HTC Sensation, I know that having a truck-load of apps installed, with many of them working in the background, absolutely hammers the battery life. I’m pleased to say that with even more apps installed on the S4, the battery life so far has been around 14 hours before it needs a recharge - that’s about double the HTC Sensation. (OK, the battery is larger in the S4, but I do think it’s more efficient at handling the workload).

Screen - Absolutely gorgeous! Nothing compares to it - full HD, although it still struggles in very bright sunlight.

Camera - Great quality shots with lots of settings to fiddle with.

Niggles - Only one really! Mine is a 16Gb model and even BEFORE installing any of my apps, there’s only 9Gb available for apps. And because Google no longer allows app installation on the external card, a lot of internal memory space with my 100+ apps is now used up. I’m now left with only 3Gb free. Samsung do make a 32Gb and 64Gb version, but they’ve opted not to make these two variants available in the UK.

Best App/Worst App - Samsung insists of filing the phone with a suite of its own branded software. I haven’t found one that’s a real show stopper, but the worst thing is, you CAN’T uninstall them to free-up space. Bummer! 

The BEST app for me is a tie between FX File Explorer, which, as the name suggests gives you a really good file manager… and then some. The other app is purely cosmetic - Nova Launcher. This app allows you to tweak to look of your screens/icons to the nth degree and create a truly customised look-and-feel to your phone. Yummy!

Spec Sheet - For all the number crunchers out there, here is the official spec sheet.

Spec Sheet