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DL Reacts: Initial Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Well, it’s finally over. The Galaxy S4 from Samsung and all of its specs are “confirmed,” which means we can give our first real impressions on the device. Before it launched, we asked everyone on the DL team what their predictions were, so now that all of us have seen Samsung’s offering, let’s get to it. 

In the comments below, feel free to weigh in with us and give us your true thoughts on the Galaxy S4.

Tim’s thoughts:

You know what, I am actually really impressed with Samsung on a hardware level. I’ll get to software later, but I want to emphasize a sort of accomplishment Samsung achieved. Samsung was able to take the Galaxy S4, make it smaller than the Galaxy S3, while also giving it a bigger display and make it thinner. Now, that sort of sounds like something Apple did with the 4S to the 5, but for some reason this seems more impressive to me, given that the S4’s display is a whopping full 5″ and not a mere 4″ like the iPhone 5’s. Why this matters, I don’t know exactly. So yes, I am actually happy with the look of the S4 and I can not wait to check one out myself.

So, about that software. Samsung, where do you get off? Who do you think you are? Part of a balanced breakfast and delicious? I appreciate that Samsung went the extra mile and delivered the Galaxy S4 running Android 4.2.2, but this just looks like every other Samsung device running TouchWiz. I didn’t even think it was possible to make the Android 4.2+ pulldown bar look any uglier. Why the heck do you have all of those ugly a** skinned tiles on the bar? That is seriously horrendous and I curse you for it.

And you know, I’m not going to sit here and be upset about your silly presentation. So you have a taste for things corny and over the top, that’s fine. I think you delivered and gave folks a good show.

Kellen’s thoughts:

To be honest, as a tech-nerd at heart, I was impressed by what Samsung did last night. The presentation may have been incredibly cheesy, but hey, at least it wasn’t director after director, VP after VP, talking about how incredible the design of their phone was or how they invented some new camera sensor. It wasn’t just another series of boring demos with breakdowns in WiFi connectivity or a bumbling mess. They stood on stage, did a little song and dance, announced more features than I can even remember, and then gave us a phone that is quite an upgrade over last year’s model.

The device itself looks quite similar to the S3 at first glance, but Samsung managed to pack a bigger display into a smaller package, better processor, bigger camera sensor, some new never-before-seen sensors, and a design that they are trying to become known for.

It’s not some radical change, which I know that we all love to see each year, but the reality is that companies are settling into identities, much like Apple has done, and the risk is too great to completely change it up. Plus, when you are killing it like Samsung, why go wild and do something crazy?

I don’t know if this phone is better than the HTC One, but it’s going to be a hell of a time reviewing each and trying to help DL readers decide. Actually, I’m so torn that I can’t wait to decide for myself.

Eric’s thoughts:

Overall, the presentation last night might have been a little over the top, but it was supposed to be a Broadway-style presentation, which are over the top anyways. All of it for a cell-phone I know, but Samsung made a big show and made sure that people were going to remember their new Galaxy S4 didn’t they? I like the new software enhancements. All their camera improvements and software like the Dual Cameras and Story Album are pretty cool. I’m still not a fan of the Nature UX TouchWiz, but I know that it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The finger-hovering tech seems pretty cool but something that I’ll probably never use, same goes for the eye-tracking software.

The hardware is what worries me the most about this phone. The screen and camera are great, no doubting that. I do however feel that Samsung is slowly going up in their phone sizes with no signs of stopping. Hopefully with the abundance of 1080p screens that come with 5″ we can stop there instead of getting larger and larger.

Last night in the comments a reader pointed out a quote from one of Samsung’s commercials making fun of Apple “How will I know it’s the new version if it looks exactly the same?” I know that Samsung has found a design that sells well and wants to stick to it, but the plasticy feel of the device and home button is really going to set a lot of people off of this phone. When people jokingly call this a GS3S, they are almost right in my opinion.

Ron’s thoughts:

I think the Galaxy S 4 is a nice iteration on the S 3. I don’t like the design of the hardware, but I do think it is an improvement over the S 3 (however slight that might be). In terms of internal hardware, I think Samsung did a great job. They have dual band WiFi (including ac, which seems like a waste at this point), Bluetooth 4, NFC, etc. The processors look great (not that a processor matters much today), the battery is huge, and the screen looks top notch (the S 3’s screen was sub par in my opinion, so I’m hoping the S 4’s screen looks a lot brighter and crisper).

The software looks largely the same. You can hardly tell that Android 4.2.2 is underneath Samsung’s heavy customizations. I don’t like the design of the lock screen, the home screen, the notification bar, etc. They look cheap and over saturated like they did on the S 3.

The one feature I was impressed with was Dual-Shot, which lets users take pictures or video with both the front-facing camera and the rear-facing camera. I can see how that would be very useful. Outside of that, features like S Health, Smart Stay/Pause/Scroll, Group Play, etc. didn’t excite or impress me. S Health is late to the game, Smart Stay/Pause/Scroll seem lazy to me, and Group Play doesn’t make sense to me. Why would I want to use my seven friend’s phones to make a really poor sounding surround sound experience?

Perhaps the strangest thing about the whole announcement was that Android was mentioned once, and that one time was only to mention that Samsung Knox is based on the government’s version of SE Android. Google and its services that make the S 4 matter to consumers were not mentioned once. Samsung talked about its media hubs instead of the Play Store and its email app instead of Gmail. Samsung didn’t even mention that Android 4.2.2 was on board, surely a sticking point for HTC’s PR (and undoubtedly disappointing to Phil Schiller who predicted it would come with Android 4.1).

Samsung’s presentation was strange, sometimes bordering on sexist, and continuously distracting as transitions and insane marketing propaganda sprinkled the event. Samsung’s insistence that the S 4 will give me a richer, simpler, fuller life deserves its own segment of “Really?!” with Seth and Amy. Smartphones are certainly transforming the way we live, but they don’t always lead to a richer, simpler, and fuller life (and the S 4 isn’t special in that regard).

I’ll have some more thoughts next week, but the big takeaway for me was that Samsung puts on a big show and gets more attention than any other OEM, but they still aren’t the OEM I want to see succeed. I don’t like their hardware, software, or message. I’m sure the S 4 will be a success thanks to Samsung’s massive marketing campaign, but I don’t think Samsung represents what I want in an Android OEM, much less in a smartphone.

  • CapnShiner

    My initial thoughts on the GS4 are that it is a significant improvement on the GS3 in most areas but it doesn’t have anything new that makes it stand out from the crowd in the way the GS3 did compared to the GS2. It is a solid evolution but not a revolution. I think the GS4 will sell very well but not as well as the GS3. I think this is because so many people bought the GS3 and will be happy enough to keep it that they won’t want to upgrade to the GS4. In many ways, the GS4 is to the GS3 what the iPhone 4s was to the iPhone 4. I think cellphones in general are starting to reach a sort of innovation plateau. I think there is getting to be less and less room for innovation. Sure, incremental increases in CPU power and increases in screen resolution are great but it’s getting to the point when we can’t tell the difference anymore. I think it’s getting harder and harder to come up with new uses for all the capabilities our phones have. The new software features in the GS4 are cool on paper but they don’t really seem necessary and I doubt people will use them any more than we are currently using NFC (I’m not saying NFC isn’t useful, it’s just underutilized).

    I think the next big revolution in mobile technology will be convergence. It’s already starting. PC sales have been on the decline for a while, tablet sales are still growing (I think), phones are getting closer and closer to being tablets (ie Galaxy Note, DNA), and TVs are getting more and more of the same features as tablets, phones, and PCs. I think Asus might have the right idea but they just haven’t been successful with it so far. I would like to see a smartphone that docks into a tablet, TV, and desktop PC. The tablet would also dock into a keyboard like the current ones do. The phone would act as the brain regardless of which device it is docked into. This would allow the user to have access to the same apps and data regardless of where they are or how they prefer to interact with it and with no need to sync multiple devices. Software would be adapted accordingly and the phone could either dual-boot between mobile and desktop operating systems or the OS would just adapt the UI based on how the device is docked. The inversely proportionate rise of tablet sales and decline of PC sales indicates that most people’s needs would be met with the capabilities of a mobile device and a mobile OS. For everything else, more traditional PCs could fill in the gaps until the power and efficiency of mobile and desktop CPUs and GPUs converge

  • joejoe5709

    This is what I will take away from this – With all the major OEM’s pumping out extremely capable flagship phones, the next Nexus is going to simply rock. Even if the next Nexus shares identical specs as this later this year I will be a very happy boy. These phones are absolutely killer. Here’s hoping KLP will have the guts to keep up with the phone’s potential!

  • cooldoods

    Thinking about it, with how Samsung is veering away from mentioning the Android platform on which this phone is built on and instead is concentrating on the services, software features, peripherals and content hubs, the underlying technology disappears from view and what is left is the experience and the use cases which the phone affords the owner. While Sony and HTC chose to concentrate on using premium materials for the chassis and improving on the camera, their phones really can’t do much more than any other Android device. But Samsung’s software features and ecosystem allows owners of Samsung devices to do a lot more.

  • Chris Clancy

    Just a matter of personal preference, as I have owned Galaxy S Fascinate, GNex (although doesn’t apply in this context), the S3 and now the Note 2….. I really enjoy Samsung HARDWARE products. Touchwiz is an abomination. I realize they are trying to be feature rich but it is really just a horribly cartoonish, cluttered, unsophisticated and above all all else aesthetically disjointed experience. Even with the Touchwiz features I find myself immediately ditching Touchwiz launcher for Nova and more often than not simply flashing AOKP / CM builds because they do a great job of showcasing native and enhanced Android functionality thanks to the hard work of the devs, while keeping the interface professional and clean. I see Samsung going the way of Apple quite honestly in their relentless releases of the next best thing, however I conceded that they seem to have actually markedly improved the hardware in every iteration. There does, however, come a point of diminishing returns as they churn out more of these.

    • Chris Clancy

      Oh, and I echo the sentiments of others … in that I think this site does a great job.

  • Alexander Garcia

    Ron speaks TRUTH! That is all. =)

  • HTC one to me just seems like a phone I would want more… Even though I have a gs3 right now I would switch to a One in a heart beat

  • spickle

    i like what Ron had to say.

  • Dain Laguna

    Ron’s thoughts over all. totally agreed.

    • I normally disagree with Ron on most things, but on this he has hit the nail on the proverbial head. Samsung seems to have copied Apple too much. Home button and TW are horrible. Wouldn’t it be awesome if a manufacturer said hey Android is awesome we are just going to worry about hardware because google has already figured out the software side. I thought the S4 would be my next phone but now I’m leaning more towards the One or seeing what Moto does. Maybe its time to leave Verizon so I can just have nexus devices every year.

  • austin

    Its not bad looking, takes a lot of energy to pull ooff a similar look twice. Still have mixed emotions on which is better s4 or the one, only way to know for sure is hands on time

    • Dain Laguna

      it takes energy to pull off a similar look twice? wouldnt it take less?

  • rdoib

    This one sucks big time good job sammy no one will be waiting for s5 because you have nothing more to copy from apple YET.

  • paul_cus

    +1 to what Ron said.

  • Kiamo

    Ron you always seem very cynical, although you raise fabulous points. I agree with you, although I still do like the device and am looking forward to checking it out hands-on.

  • etche

    Ron: EXACTLY

  • Dylan Patel

    Ron, which OEM do you want to succeed the most, which OEM do you like the most?

    • I think HTC makes the best hardware in terms of design and quality, but I really only want to see Nexus devices succeed. I’ll expand some of my thoughts about that next week.

  • Adam Wells

    I 100% agree with Ron. Well said sir.

  • j973

    To be honest im not impressed, hardware looks good on paper , software is garbage Samsung needs to make there own OS since they cover up Android so much.no one gives a S*** about there email and the stupid S-voice all the damn touchwiz bloat on the phone IS WORSE than the Carrier Bloat. Oh well Samsung wont get a penny from me have alot to prove after going through 11 gs3 thats just my line not including the replacements from my wifes line. and this phone doesn’t set the bar for me . JUST MY OPINION

  • Tyler Casilio

    Anybody else think that TouchWiz needs a design update? It’s a nice phone, just the skin….

    • LionStone

      When I first got an Android device, I looked at all the offerings and thought that TW on the Fascinate was just hideous. To this day, I still cannot stomach it…it lacks refinement as does the physical look and feel of their phones.

  • Mr ilheis

    People keep saying that sales numbers will prove how spectacular the S4 is. I look at it like get what you want and think about Apples sales numbers over the last few years and how lots of us argue that Android is better even when we didn’t have the numbers to back it up. I’m going with HTC and I never would have owned a Sumsung device hadn’t it been for the G-Nex.

  • joejoe5709

    I wouldn’t say they iPhone 4S’d us, I’d say they iPhone5’d us if you know what I mean. And I’m honestly okay with that. Samsung has a lot less to prove than Apple does/did which minimizes the disappointment. The S3 is already far more capable than 99% of consumers (and apps) will need so a little nip/tuck is perfect. If this is the pinnacle of cell phone tech in 2013, I will be satisfied. Android could use a bit of a breather anyway. Let’s focus on software improvements rather than having insane specs blowing the doors off of phones even one year old. That’s completely unnecessary.

    My only complaint is that we’ll be expecting something that much more revolutionary next year.

  • Well said guys. You all have such great input and a wide range. I would have written something similar to Tim, but Ron, you are so right.

  • Idk no phone so far has gotten me as excited as I was when the Gnex come out, maybe the gnex 2 or the x phone will get me all excited again

  • TimXer

    WOW, Ron!

    Agreed that most of the software doesn’t help you lead a less crazy life, but overall pkg is up there with the upgraded screen, battery, and camera! I don’t like the idea of them seemingly separating from android/google.

  • Inquizitor

    Amen, Ron!

  • “Why would I want to use my seven friend’s phones to make a really poor sounding surround sound experience?”

    Drunk young women will absolutely do this. No questions asked.

  • IusedtoloveDL

    These are the same dudes that were saying just a few days ago how they could believe this is the next phone…now they are OMG this thing is the BOMB…Maybe with the extra $$$ Sammie is pumping into DL KLeenix can buy a a real gold watch and stop killing us with the glare from the tacky thing on his wrist.

  • Bionic

    X phone

    • Tirionfive

      Just waiting for you to release some more info on it!

      Aw come on “Sarge”

  • Rodeojones000

    I’m sure this phone will be fantastic, will sell like hotcakes, and many will be very happy with it. Good for them. But it’s not for me. I’d rather see what comes out in a few months. Perhaps it’s the mythological X-phone, or the next Nexus device, or something else completely. I’m not loyal to one particular brand. Either way, I don’t see the S4 as a big enough step up from any device currently on the market to warrant the purchase. Add in TouchWiz, gimmicky features, and Samsung clearly trying to distance themselves from Android in general and my opinion is the S4 is an underwhelming device not worth considering.

    And thank you, Ron, for saying what many (most?) of us have been saying for the past 24 hours.

    • Joe

      If by distancing themselves, you mean doing what every other OEM is doing by skinning Android? What separates an OEM from others? All the hardware is basically the same, so one would think that the OS skin is pretty important to people since 90% of users don’t root. Plus, those of us that do root shouldn’t care what CheeseWiz looks like b/c we’re going to flash an AOSP type ROM anyways. Stop simply reiterating what everyone else on this site says. Do you have any original thoughts to share?

      • Rodeojones000

        Do ROMs completely get rid of all of TouchWiz? Every last remnant of it? Not trolling, legitimate question. I’ve never used a skinned phone, except for a brief flirtation with the RAZR Maxx that I won in a contest and subsequently sold. But I was under the impression that ROMs on skinned phones don’t rid said phone of OEM skin, just cover it up.

        And why is is such a problem for you that I dislike TouchWiz and don’t want a phone that has it?

        • Some custom ROMs use completely stock Android, some keep the skin, some have elements of both; it depends on the ROM.

        • Joe

          I don’t like TouchWiz or Sense either, I’d rather have normal Android because I think it looks better and every phone I’ve had with a skin over Android has sh!t the bed on me (thanks HTC and Moto). My point is that you can flash a lot of ROMs that do completely take away TW, Sense or Blur. So, unless you get a Nexus device, you’re most likely going to be flashing a custom ROM anyways to get rid of the idiotic crutch these OEMs put on their devices. Then, after you do that, you’re running stock Android or something like it with more features.

        • CapnShiner

          I think you might be confusing ROMs and Launchers. Launchers are apps that replace the home screen and generally just cover up the OEM skin. ROMs replace the entire OS, so if the ROM is based on AOSP there would be no trace of any OEM skin. There are ROMs based on the OEM version of Android, and that do have the skin, as well.

  • Edward

    Ron ! Man he spoke best about the matter I even had to come from the mobile droid life app into here just to comment on it. I share the same opinion about Samsung just like him, sure its nice to see them do good and everything but when you start being someone who can’t even show or say the benefits of having android and the ever expanding Google play store, its just bad at least in my opinion. Of course they deserve the right and everything on showing and talking about what they made but come on don’t leave Google behind.

  • vitriolix

    “pretty cool but something that I’ll probably never use”

    Nice summary of TouchWhiz in general

  • wm snyder

    So tell us how you really feel? By telling us what you were expecting or wanted to see. What kind of innovation do you want to see? This paint’s a better picture instead of complaining and brings more focus on what we do want.

  • JOhn

    I think this is a great phone for someone that’s due for an upgrade. At the end of the day, how many ways can you really design a phone? Its a box with a screen. The only way for manufacturers to distinguish themselves is through software. While Touchwiz may not be for everyone, I actually miss some of the features when I flash an AOSP rom and flash back to a TW rom. I find it silly that everyone is complaining about a stupid button. If that’s all you have to complain about, then its just being whiny.

    • Tay

      Agreed. This, for me, would be a great upgrade from the Razr.

  • J Dub

    I get that people don’t actually like the NatureUX. I didn’t when I first got the phone. So I turned it off. I got a new launcher. I turned the system sounds off. Then after a while the dev community got a hold of it and now the sky is the limit. The ROM’s out there based on the stock ROM are very stable and have removed all the crap that VZW put on there.

    Will I upgrade to this? No, I have the S3. If I could upgrade to this…well I would have to wait till Google I/O to say that. The devs and support are there for the Galaxy line. It started off rough, but Samsung has righted the wrongs. The Galaxy line gets pretty speedy updates now. That can not be said about other devices. Plus keeping with their one design for every carrier there are tons of accessories for the Galaxy line.

  • Honestly sometimes I wonder what kind of lives these writers have. Its like they go to events, sit down in there tight little jeans and think of all the negative things they can come up with. Do they go to disneyland and complain about uniforms and fireworks to loud? really? Distracting? Why not tell use how fun it was and how many girls numbers you got of smart girls. wait haha. Then they say it doesn’t come with many new upgraded tech. ITS A NEW PHONE. You want new software that predicts what you type or tell you when you need to take a crap. Tell us what you think should have been there. Honestly they don’t know what they want. Just stop complaining about everything negative and look at the bright side. Ugh its like going to a nike store and looking at the new shoes and say, ” uummmm they are not that upgraded”. B**CH they new and cool.

  • Joel Mathew

    Looks like Samsung going in a direction where they are dividing from Android so they can be there own.

  • Spencer

    Ron, laying it all on the table!

    I kind of agree. To me, sitting here with a Droid Bionic (yea, I know) it looks so appealing. But then the word “TouchWiz” gets mentioned, and all of those other gimmicks and I’m so turned off just like I was when I saw Sense 5 on the HTC One.

    Honestly, if you’re an Android fan, it’s Nexus or nothing.

    • JoshGroff

      Or you could just unlock the bootloader of the SIV… Assuming you’re into ROMs more than you are having the latest official straight from Google updates.

    • you get the new CM 10.1 rom yesterday with a working camera on your Bionic? Dude it’s soooo nice. Flawless.

    • Joe

      Why is it such a big deal? Most of us are going to root the phones anyways and flash an AOSP or CM ROM. So, who cares what ChessWiz or Sense looks like? Are they terrible? Yes, but just flash a ROM.

  • while it isn’t what i hoped for (really wanted to get rid of that home button and go on screen) it was actually really well done. they took the S3, one of the most popular phones on the market, and made it faster, smaller, thinner, lighter, all while adding a ton of sensors, a larger battery, and a larger higher resolution screen, and a larger camera. Whats not to like about this phone (other than touchwiz and the home button)?

  • kane

    I’ve made a previous comment on this board that it will top out in speed and other specs. It can’t get but so much thinner and lighter. Not sure how better a camera can get it camera can get with small lens. I guess everyone waiting on super watches and Google glass now.

  • Ron the man! I was wondering why no one mentioned the fact that android and google was largely ignored.

  • edawg

    Ron, you’re the man. you parralleled my thoughts perfectly!!

  • dannyWHITE

    Amen Ron!

  • DanWazz

    Did Samsung announce something last night?

    • Tirionfive

      Haha I see that subtle sarcasm 🙂

    • hashtagtroll


  • DanSan

    lol what touchwiz??

    that joint is getting rooted and flashing AOKP the second its ready lol

  • chris125

    So if samsung would have gone with a completely new design with the same specs would all those complaining be all over it?

    • Dorian Brooks


  • Tirionfive

    Great article, And I totally agree with Ron about the whole show not giving credit to whom it was due. Android deserved their fair part in this, and Samsung tried to make it out that they are the only ones in this game.

    • rikomenzies

      I, too, fully agree with Ron. I’m extremely uncomfortable with Samsung’s dominance and their smugness about it, and I’m not entirely sure that’s something I want to continue seeing in the future.

      For how big a factor Android is in Samsung’s success in the smartphone market, Samsung sure doesn’t show a lot of respect.

  • Butters619

    It’a really time for Samsung to overhaul TouchWiz. It’s old and played out. It’s not pleasing to use or pleasing to the eyes. They can keep their huge list of features, but time to clean it up and head in a different direction. Hopefully next year? Some how I doubt it though.

    • Tirionfive

      /agree. They need to not have near as many features in the pull-down.

    • Justin Barrett

      I think they’re purposely distancing themselves from stock Android to eventually merge into their new Tizen OS.

      • Austin Warren

        read the new article.

    • Richard Yarrell

      I liked last year’s unpacked event much better but events are events point proven in my eyes they got people to come. As far as the Htc One vs Galaxy S4 debate is concerned if you plan on making a fashion statement then you purchase the Htc One it looks kool i do like blinkfeed great feature. But if you need industry leading enhancements of features and software development at it’s highest level as well as sdcard expansion and appreciate that alone then you will get the Galaxy S4 easily. I also appreciate the fact that Samsung went the EXTRA MILE with android 4.2.2 jellybean while Htc sent their product to market with 4.1.2 jellybean (2) updates behind the current Nexus 4 device. Htc is quietly fools in my book.

  • jbdan

    Ron is…. spot on! 🙂

    • Drew

      I love this site and everyone who works hard to contribute to it, but some how every time I read an article by Ron I feels like he expresses my thoughts way better than I ever could. Great job man!

    • Alan Paone

      Preach. Samsung’s success frustrates me so much

      • Captain_Doug

        Yep. Exactly. I hate how it was Samsung and not HTC or Motorola.

        • kg215

          Lol don’t hate the player hate the game. HTC and Motorola completely deserve their lack of success, it wasn’t just lack of marketing. Their phones (with a few exceptions) were bad. HTC admitted themselves they made way too many mediocre phones that weren’t special in anyway, and a lot of them had poor battery life to boot. Motorola has had crappy screens, crappy cameras, mediocre internals, and questionable design for a long time. HTC has nice design, and Motorola has the best build quality but it clearly did not make up for all their other problems. Hopefully with Google making the decisions Motorola will be successful now, when it was Motorola on it’s own they did not deserve success. The HTC one is a good device, and a step in the right direction. But why does HTC have to do stupid things keep hardware buttons but take one away, have the battery be nonremovable but relatively small, have widgets that can’t be removed (blinkfeed).

          • Captain_Doug

            I don’t exactly hate Samsung, just that they’re doing so well. Moto and HTC do have their faults but to me, they’re easier to overlook than Samsungs. I agree with what you’ve said though.

  • DroidFTW

    So when the most widely sold smartphone on the planet is only changed slightly its the end of innovation and Apple is doomed. When Samsung does it then its “the risk is too great to completely change it up. Plus, when you are killing it like Samsung, why go wild and do something crazy? Haha. Guess its not smart to trash companies that pay you for advertising and give you tickets to terrible off-off-off broadway productions

    • Hah

      The hypocrisy is comical! It was only recently that people were bashing Apple for “being the same”, and now Samsung is “doing it right?”

      • Austin Warren

        Apple kept everything the same. Samsung changed small hardware, but greatly improved specs, camera, and software features.

        • dangolds

          Disagree, but I know I won’t win this argument because your posts are typically pro-Samsung (full disclosure: I have both a GS3 and an iPhone 5). From last night’s presentation, I couldn’t really see what the greatly improved software features were. Looks like they took a bunch of “meh” Samsung features from the GS3 (Smart Stay, motions, etc) and added a few more similar ones that may or may not be any good. The camera remains to be seen – yes, they added some more features and more megapixels but 13 mp is just overkill at this point. Let me know if they actually meaningfully improved the picture quality. I already thought the picture quality on the GS3 was pretty good, so unless the quality is way better, day to day the camera experience likely won’t be much different on the GS4 compared to what exists today.
          And the screen thing is comical. They took a 4.8 inch screen and turned it into a 5 inch screen without dramatically changing the size of the phone. Ok, fine – good to know, but that’s not exactly a major improvement or hallmark of innovation. Screen quality now being full 1080p is nice, but that and the larger battery are probably the only significant changes compared to the GS3 that the average user will notice. The iPhone 5 increased its screen size, added LTE and enhanced Apple’s PhotoStream software. I fail to see how these changes represent “keeping everything the same” if the GS4 changes are interpreted as being significant. My opinion is that both companies made relatively minor changes to their flagship devices – nothing major or revolutionary.
          Samsung is mimicing Apple’s behavior, only you and some other folks on this site are ok with cutting them some slack because you’re biased towards the Samsung/Android platform. That’s certainly your perogative, but just realize that when Apple fans behave in a similar fashion they’re frequently referred to on this site as “iSheep”.

          • Diablo81588

            I’m coining the term sSheep now.

          • LionStone

            Haha! I think yesterday someone else came out with “SammieSheep”, hilarious!

          • Austin Warren

            Okay Motorola Sheep.

          • Diablo81588

            Perfect candidate.

          • Austin Warren

            HTC sheep, moto sheep, etc. Cool

          • Diablo81588

            Quiet you.

          • LionStone

            Hehe, look who popped up as soon as SammieSheep got mentioned!? Hilarious 🙂

          • dangolds

            That dude is definitely S-Sheep #1. Mind you, I have nothing against Samsung phones or else I wouldn’t own a GS3 in the first place. But Austin Warren is the epitome of a Samsung shill.

    • droidify

      No company completely changes their product design unless their product is failing. Apple is hated on for their S models because they are the exact same design with an upgraded processor and camera sensor. Apple sucks because they tell everyone that 3.5 inch screens are perfect for your thumb and anything larger sucks. When they finally realize they were wrong, they don’t admit, instead they hire a hand model with longer thumbs. It comes across as arrogant instead of innovation. Like it or not, Apple is starting to look desperate. When a company spends millions to advertise a noise-cancelling sensor as if it is something new and innovative….you are officially running out of ideas. I’m not a Samsung fan at all but at least they are willing to give their customers choices.

      • DannyBoy

        -When did Apple say “anything larger sucks”?

        -Isn’t a bigger screen admitting it?

        -When did they act like noise-cancelling was new?

        -What does anything you said have to do with what the guy above you wrote?

        • Diablo81588

          Apple said it plenty of times, especially when Steve was still alive. The noise cancelling mic comment was directed at the Apple commercial. Instead of advertising a new, innovative feature, they take something that’s been around since the dawn of cell phones. I agree with him completely. Ever since Steve died, Apple has lost their innovation. I consider the iPhone 4 the last true innovative product from them.

    • dangolds

      Agree 100%. This is some of the same hypocrisy that was observed when the Nexus 4 launched without LTE, after reading all the bashing the iPhone 4S took for not including it in 2011.

    • Alan Paone

      At least Apple had a great design to recycle

  • Harry

    bla bla bla galaxy s4 bla bla bla…

    • Tirionfive

      You know, you don’t have to click that link. Titles exist for a reason.

      • J Dub

        Must be an LG owner.

    • hashtagtroll


      • Rodeojones000

        Thought you should know you’re my favorite person posting on here lately. Seriously. It’s nice to add a bit of ridiculous humor into what has, sadly, become quite the heated debate lately. Kudos to you sir (assuming you are indeed a sir, otherwise, my apologies ma’am).

  • CHRIS42060

    I actually thought the presentation, although cheesy, was kind of refreshing. Granted it felt more like an info-mercial at 3am, but at least they tried to do something out of the norm.

    • dangolds

      Much like the dump I took this morning, I thought it was a bit forced.

      • Diablo81588


      • CHRIS42060

        But I am sure your dump was still refreshing haha.

  • Tay

    I think people who would be disappointed in this phone, expects way too much. People always expect companies to reinvent the wheel and come up with a “siri” like feature. Isn’t the new release of a phone supposed to improve on last years specs? Which is what it did. Now is there a reason for people with a S3 or a Note 2 to upgrade, maybe not, but I don’t think that it the purpose. With that said, I’ll be upgrading because I like what I saw.

    • Austin Warren

      People think that innovation means having to completely rebuild hardware. They also like to complain because other people do. This is a great device and theres plenty of reasons why. Too bad another company couldn’t have done it sooner.

      • Tay

        Agreed. I’m content with what was released. I can’t wait what Motorola has in store for us.

    • A.J.

      Expect way too much? All I want is a phone that gets rid of the stupid hardware buttons and uses the software buttons like Google suggests. There is a reason they went to that on their Nexus phones. I don’t think that’s asking for too much.

      • Real Talk

        Software buttons are a waste of screen space. If we must have a bezel, it might as well get used for something.

        Not every choice by Google is a right one. They are like apple when it comes to standing by their bad decisions. Google is also wrong about destroying their devices’ media storage capabilities by doing away with SD card slots in their nexus devices.

        • Cory Larson

          Then the “home” button should simply be a softkey like the other buttons in the bezel.. There’s still no reason for a physical depressable button other than to wake it up (which the power button can do just fine, if not better). I find it easier to hit a side button with my thumb than to have to hold the phone awkwardly high up in one hand so my thumb can reach the home button, or to use both hands (one to hold the phone, one to depress the home button), IMO. Maybe I’m just too used to my GNex.

          • Rodeojones000


        • CapnShiner

          Anyone who says software buttons are a waste of screen real estate is demonstrating a lack of intelligence. Those on-screen buttons are not permanently visible. Like the Windows task bar, it can be set to auto-hide. I don’t read about people complaining about the Windows task bar wasting space. There is also the possibility of making the screen a bit larger to compensate for the space used by the software buttons. It would mean that the screen is no longer a 16:9 aspect ratio and there would be letterboxing when playing videos (or the space could be used for player controls) but it wouldn’t have to be wasted space in any case.

          If there are no hardware navigation buttons, the bottom bezel can be smaller and the overall size of the device could be smaller too.

          The only disadvantage I can think of is that it that there would be fewer ways to wake up the phone and the home button is easier to press than the power button when the phone is in a case. (I supposed Verizon would also see a disadvantage in not being able to put their logo on the home button anymore)

      • Joe

        Yes, because everything Google says, we must do. You are really starting to sound like an Apple drone.

    • Butters619

      I think the reason most of the DL writers are a bit disappointed is because none of them liked the gloss plastic or the Nature UX last year and they got more of the same this year. Samsung sold 40 million phones though. They really don’t have a reason to change.

      /side note: I’m not a fan of the gloss or nature ux as well.

      • Tony Fortunato

        Not to mention, the physical home button. In a world of on-screen buttons, they still insist on using a physical home button.

        • Austin Warren

          Because people like it, and it works.

          • A.J.

            Something tells me this guy is a Samsung apologist. Who knows, he may work for Samsung.

          • Austin Warren

            No, I don’t. I’m just saying, the button works and people like it. They wouldn’t have sold millions of phones if they didn’t like it.

          • Yes they would, there is no options on verizon.

          • Soofdawg

            i hate the physical menu button. makes the ongoing transitions from soft touch to a physical button annoying. i was hoping s4 would have rid of that.

          • Aaron

            I’m pretty sure people buy it in spite of the physical home button. Every website I frequent is full of people who would prefer it goes away. I know your like Samsung phones and that’s cool but you need to tone it down with the comments. Tons of every single post, replying to anyone with an ill word towards Sammy.

          • Aaron

            Got a couple typos in there, whoops.

          • Austin Warren

            It’s not always about samsung, I just feel the need to respond to the ignorance.

          • The thing is, most of what you respond to is not ignorance. The majority of it is opinion. If you were simply correcting untrue or ignorant statements with verifiable facts, I doubt anyone would have an issue. Its when you (or anyone else) begin to state their opinion as fact over and over again that people’s feathers get ruffled.

          • S2556

            some people like it, some people don’t. Majority won’t even take it into consideration. If you love stock you obviously are going to be weary of touchwiz and how sammy does their software. I dont think it is as black and white as you think. I would prefer if it would go away but I am not heart broken. That said I probably will be passing on the GS4

        • Dave

          Not to be a jerk, but I only know of 3 mainstream devices with on screen buttons. I like the full advertised screen size personally.

          • michael arazan

            I would of like to see them do away with the physical home button with one like the other soft buttons that would disappear that would of made the phone more ergonomic in design and also better looking

      • Tay

        Well I don’t have much to say regarding the look of the phone, you either like it or you don’t. As Samsung gets bigger and bigger, I don’t think they’ll change the look much. They may continue to get thinner, but I think the look will stay the same for a while.

        • Butters619

          Completely agree. Its a personal preference. And the more phones they sell the less compelled they are to change.

          • Tay

            Yeah. With the S3, many people know a Samsung phone when they see one now, and it won’t be a good thing to change the design now. Maybe they can experiment with some mid-range phones but not with their flagship model.

      • Dave

        Forbes Inc. listed 42 million Galaxy phones sold in q3 alone last year. So I’d bet it’s around much higher now.

    • Dave

      The GN2 is getting all the included features. So once multi-window goes full, I’d have no reason to upgrade.

    • Mark

      It certainly didn’t improve in the looks department. It looks worse now. Under light it looks like there are tiny rhinestones on the phone.That makes it look super cheap.

      • CapnShiner

        Don’t forget that they will sell the Galaxy S 4 in international markets too. People in different countries have different tastes and some people might like that sparkly look. It wouldn’t be cost-effective to make different designs for different markets. I think they learned that with the original Galaxy S.

    • nightscout13

      For the record, Apple bought Siri, they did not invent it.

      • dangolds

        Not sure that really matters – either way, it was Apple who was able to successfully implement the Siri technology into a commercialized product. If the original invention is all that matters, then I can only assume you give Google no credit for the success of Android, considering the fact that Google bought Android rather than inventing it.

        • nightscout13

          Google gets only some credit, for the delivery of the product.

        • CapnShiner

          Google gets credit for developing Android into what it is today. Android has changed and improved greatly since Google acquired it. I can’t say the same about Apple and Siri.

    • austin

      Its not so much features, it just feels like a apple approach on design