THE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 FEATURES: GIMMICKS OR OF PRACTICAL VALUE

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Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Amid pomp and pageantry,the much awaited Samsung Galaxy S4 was launched on March 14th in New York and a lot of stuff has been said about it since then. There were rumors as to the features it will be sporting and how they can beat the competition.Lets jump in and see the features the Samsung Galaxy S4(SGS4) rocks to determine whether they are gimmicky or of real world value.

 

LOOKS

It was a bit of a disappointment in the look and design department of the SGS4.It still had some of the industrial design about it and looked identical to the Samsung Galaxy S3 but that’s how far i think the identity between them in looks goes. The SGS4 boasts a 5m Full HD Super AMOLED 1920 x 1080 display, with a pixel density of 441 ppi. It measures a 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm making it thinner than the SGS3 but bigger and it weighs 130g.The SGS4 looks like the SGS3 in design but the SGS4 is a bit more refined around the edges and some other fine-tuned details.It’s pretty solid here with no gimmicks whatsoever.

 

INTERNALS

This is where it gets interesting and got tongues wagging for a good while.The SGS4 rocks the Exynos 5, 1.6GHz octa-core (8 cores) and a 1.9GHz quad-core (4 cores) processors for some selected markets, a 2GB RAM, 13- megapixel rear-facing camera with a 2- megapixel front-facing camera which takes some pretty good pictures.the internal storage of the SGS4 can either be 16/32/64 GB depending on your choice and a microSD slot which supports up to 64GB SDcard. It also uses the Li-ion 2,600mAH battery which makes it a bit beefier,3G and 4G capable (LTE Cat 3 100Mbits/secdownload and 50Mbits/secupload), GPS , NFC and Bluetooth 4. Android doesn’t take full of advantage quad-core processors let alone an octa-core processor and having a quad-core SGS4 doesn’t put you at a disadvantage this particular hardware is a bit of a gimmick. Apart from that all the others are becoming the standard now.

SOFTWARE AND FEATURES

The SGS4 will come with Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean). TouchWiz has been given a bit more consistency with the upgrade and it’s been lightened up a bit which brings about a clean flat feel.It also comes with certain features you might find handy or     not as you wish.

Music Hub: 7digital is powering the SGS4′s Music Hub and will make available a catalog of 23 milli0n songs which can be accessed either by streaming ( for a monthly subscription fee) or purchased and stored on cloud.

ONB Opinion: It will come in handy for music lovers.

Dual-camera: While shooting a footage of family/friends, this allows users to put themselves in it as well using the front-facing camera. Also allows video-callers to see the call placer and who/what they are with.

ONB Opinion: Useful for the times when you want to put yourself in a great family/friends photo or video.

Smart Pause: Stops playing a video when the user averts their gaze from the screen.

ONB Opinion: Handy, no need to be tapping the screen cos you’ve got it covered when you turn your face.

Air View: Hover fingers over screen to get a preview of emails, images, videos on the home-screen without opening them

ONB Opinion: Will serve as a filter.

Group Play: Same song can be played simultaneously through different SGS4 handsets in near proximity.

ONB Opinion: Seriously, who needs another handset to play  songs on his/her handset.Not especially useful but for the conduction of an SGS4 mini-party. Maybe that”s what they  had in mind.

Air Gesture: Scrolls through web-pages, changes music tracks with a wave of a hand.

ONB Opinion: Can make one look silly in public with all the waving in the air but will protect the screen from unnecessary touches and scratches.

Samsung Knox: Reminiscent of BlackBerry Balance where there is a work partition and a personal one.

ONB Opinion: Let’s see if it work great like Balance.

S Health: Monitors your health status.

ONB Opinion: We all need regular check-ups and this will be cost effective.

Samsung Hub: Functions like the Google Play Store offering music, video , ebooks and other content.

ONB Opinion: I asked myself, is the Music Hub integrated into the Samsung Hub or it’s different? Will offer variety on Android.

S Voice Drive: A driving mode that includes satnav, dictation of messages and other voice controls.

S Translator: Built-in speech-to-text or text-to-speech in nine languages. Doesn’t require a network connection.

ONB Opinion: Google Translate’s direct competition. Let’s see if it can survive?

Smart Scroll: Scrolls based on face detection+tilt.

ONB Opinion: Useless considering there is Air Gesture.


Samsung has taken a huge risk in their Samsung Galaxy S4 phone by taking out some of Google’s services and replacing them with their own e.g Samsung Hub, S Voice Drive and the S Translator. But with reports ccoming in of the Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders tripling that of the previous Samsung Glalxy S3 pre-orders, we will see the outcome of Samsung’s gamble.

Some consider the Samsung Galaxy S4′s features as gimmicks while others don’t and here i will echo +Steve Kondik’s advice from Google+ which goes ” It’s a solid device (Samsung Galaxy S4) and a clear choice if you are upgrading from the Samsung Galaxy S2.You’ll feel right at home if you have a Samsung Galaxy S3 currently, but upgrading is probably less urgent(especially if you are on a contract).”

  So whether the Samsung Galaxy S4′s features are a gimmick or are of practical use, the buyers will decide.

The Samsung Galaxy S 4 would have a worldwide release in April.

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