Review Performance Samsung Galaxy S4

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Review Specs +  Performance Samsung Galaxy S4 + Price - The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED display, a very good 13 megapixel rear camera with HDR, LTE 4G, NFC, GPS with GLONASS, an IR AV Remote, a removable 2600 mAh battery and a microSD card slot. It's the follow up to the very popular Samsung Galaxy S III, and though the display is a bit larger, the S4 itself isn't larger and it's a tad lighter. It will be available on all major US carriers, several smaller US carriers and on many carriers overseas. The phone is available now on AT&T in the US and Sprint, T-Mobile will follow soon after and the Verizon Wireless version will be available by the end of May.

Review Performance Samsung Galaxy S4 Price

Design and Ergonomics

For a 5" smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is remarkably compact and light at just 4.6 ounces. It's a hair smaller than the 4.7" HTC One, smaller than the 5" Sony Xperia Z and just a hair taller than the 5" Sony Xperia ZL that's currently the smallest 5" phone on the market. Though it looks like a near clone, the GS4 is significantly smaller than the 5.5" Samsung Galaxy Note 2. At 0.31", it's extremely thin, and that makes it easier to hold than you might expect for a large smartphone.

Display

Full HD, 1920 x 1080 is the new gold standard for Android flagship smartphones. It's here and it's gorgeous. Yes, this is still a Super AMOLED display with a PenTile matrix, but at 441ppi, pixel density is higher than the human eye can resolve even at a close 7" away from the display. Samsung has tweaked and evolved the PenTile display's uneven RGB stripe, and we can no longer see staircasing on letters or any halo effect on text.

Performance and Horsepower

The Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and upcoming LG Optimus Pro are the first three US phones with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600 CPU. While the other two phones run at 1.7GHz, the S4 runs at 1.9GHz, though the 200MHz didn't make for significant differences in benchmarks vs. the HTC One.

Camera

In daylight, the rear 13MP camera is superb, and Samsung's many modes and features make it a lot of fun to use. We wish it had quicker focus for photos and optical image stabilization like the Lumia 920 and HTC One when shooting video, but it takes extremely detailed and colorful photos. Low light? Not so much, though it's still better than most camera phones on the market except the HTC One. The camera has a BSI sensor, HDR mode for photos and 1080p video recording, just as you'd expect from a high end camera phone. The LED flash is quite bright and it effectively illuminates small spaces. In fact, we took a photo of a person sitting in near darkness and from looking at the photo, you'd think the room's lights were on. The front 2 megapixel camera worked well for fairly clear and bright video chats.

Review Performance Samsung Galaxy S4

Battery Life

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a removable 2600 mAh Lithium Ion battery, and that's at the high end of standard battery capacity for "normal" size phones that are 5" and under. For those of you who hate external battery packs, the swappable battery is a priceless feature. And I'm sure we'll see extended batteries that both thicken the slim phone and extend runtimes further. The Galaxy S4 made it through the day (9am to 11pm) with moderate use that included 30 minutes of calls, streaming video for 45 minutes, taking 30 photos, browsing the web, checking email and using Google Now and the bundled Flipboard app for info updates throughout the day.

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Price: $199 for 16 gig with 2 year contract, $639 without contract. Pricing varies with other carriers.
Websites: www.samsung.com, wireless.att.com, www.sprint.com. www.t-mobile.com, www.verizonwireless.com
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Specs:

  • Display: 5" Super AMOLED display (441 ppi). Resolution: 1920 x 1080. Has ambient light sensor, accelerometer and proximity sensor.
  • Battery: Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is user replaceable. 2600 mAh.
  • Performance:1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad core CPU with Adreno 320 graphics. 2 gigs DDR2 RAM. 16 or 32 gigs internal storage.
  • Size: 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches. Weight: 4.6 ounces.
  • Phone: GSM quad band world phone with LTE 4G and HSPA+. Sprint and Verizon have CDMA dual band digital with EV-DO Rev. A 3G and 4G LTE.
  • Camera: 2 megapixel front video chat camera and 13 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, BSI and HDR for photos. Digital image stabilization, can use front and back camera simultaneously.
  • Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.
  • Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. Not compatible with first generation Samsung TecTile NFC tags, must use the new TecTiles.
  • Software: Android OS 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung TouchWiz UI. Samsung apps and features including Air Gesture, Smart Scroll, Smart Stay, Watch On (AV remote with IR control), S Beam, Multi Windows, Air View, S Voice, S Translator and Buddy Share. Polaris Office (MS Office compatible suite that can view, edit and create Office docs), carrier applications and standard suite of Google apps.
  • Expansion: 1 SDXC microSD card slot, compatible with cards up to 64 gigs.

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