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Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon: Unboxing, Overview and Quick Comparison

verizon galaxy s4

Yeah we know, we already unboxed the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, but we couldn’t help ourselves. This is the Verizon version! Finally in hand! Available today! We also wanted to show it up against the AT&T and Sprint versions, though they are identical other than color and branding (or lack thereof). Really, this was just an excuse to show off a new toy and join in on the fun that early adopters have been experiencing for two days thanks to early arriving pre-order shipments.

Who jumped on this phone? 

Unboxing and Overview

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  • Flooded Texas

    ADB Sideloading 4.2.2 or 4.3? I jumped on the VZ Galaxy S4 because I realized this was effectively (S4) the Nexus 5. I stayed with VZ as I was able to keep unlimited data.
    I came from a Nexus 3 running vanilla Android, so yes I do hate VZ bloatware and TouchWiz. i’ve seen the latest rooting method is somewhat limited; because one must reflash the stock kernel effectively putting it back in VZ locked bootloader?

    This is what I am thinking. Wait for Google to post the Galaxy S4 factory image; pull that down and use ADB to sideload pure golden Android (4.22 or 4.3). At least that way I wil be able to use Google Wallet! I really hate VZ for being like Microsoft! Does anyone else think this will be possible? Thanks DL folks!

    • tommariner

      Interesting on the “unlimited data plan”. I have it too, one of the reasons I stay with Verizon, but strangely never come close to using even the smallest plan’s data. Just to say I can, I guess is worth the bucks.

      They keep trying to trick me into “saving a few bucks a month” by getting a limited plan.

  • kblm53

    Verizon is a joke with there family share plan. This phone should be free if your on that plan they screw you with that plan

  • Hoffman

    For Kellen, if the phone ain’t white, the phone ain’t right!

  • Zach Armstrong

    The only phone Verizon will getting this year lol

  • Alfredo Puerta

    where is the nfc? i dont see any on my battery cover,

    • Zach Armstrong

      The NFC is in the battery

  • Frankly Jive

    has anyone figured out google wallet for vzw s4? :(

  • Kels Gz

    white 16 GB with white flip cover. looking forward to root(1st timer).

    droid x> gnexus> s4

  • mule0331

    Anybody had it long enough to give an honest opinion about battery life? And how is the signal strength compared to your old phone?

  • jim

    So whats the wifi toggle deal everyone is talking about?

  • http://twitter.com/jkc120 Josh Carroll

    For those hoping to ROM this thing, you’ll probably get some unofficial CM/AOKP builds, but you can probably forget official support. The bootloader isn’t unlocked, it’s basically a tool that modifies the boot image and that would have to be done every time someone flashes. This kind of hack is almost certainly going to mean no CM/AOKP support. And it’s just a matter of time before Verizon/AT&T/Samsung patch Dan’s vulnerability anyway. Steer clear of this device if you want AOSP IMHO.

  • Justin Latham

    can anyone honestly give me a reason why all of the android phones on verizon get this big ass gaudy logo on it but iphones don’t have anything but the apple logo on the back? I really dont get it!

    • jim

      So what, do you spend all day looking at the back of your phone?

    • LionStone

      The HTC ones don’t, the DNA has a very subtle HTC logo :-)

  • Justin Larmay

    3 weeks till my upgrade. Tried to get one early. Best buy would let me do a week early so the two weeks I wait! :(

  • Caleb Martin

    Got my pre-order yesterday. This phone is awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/Grizzly53 David McNally

    I upgraded from a Droid 3 so I’m loving it so far. I’m having intermittent wifi disconnects/reconnects though. Anyone else?

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

    Really want to know if Verizon removed the WiFi toggle again lol

    • http://twitter.com/ChrisJBatson Chris Batson

      Yes they did.

  • duke69111

    How loud is the sound output and the quality from the back speaker?

    • Caleb Martin

      It’s definitely much higher volume and quality than my Rezound. Good enough to be heard across a room.

  • Bionic

    Got some news on motorola today, not reassuring to say the least. I am buying a Galaxy S4 as soon as I have money.

    • EC8CH

      WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW?!?

      • Bionic

        Apparently he moved to Samsung, lmao

    • David Marzluf

      what new did you get please tell

      • Bionic

        I cant go into detail. Lets just say Motorola isnt doing any better than HTC. Same types of problems.

        • hkklife

          Android is going to hell on a skateboard. I thought 2012 was a disappointing year for Android compared to the explosive advances and rapid-fire releases in ’09-’11 but 2013 is really turning into a horrorshow. Moto & HTC are doomed, worst I/O ever last week, lousy CTIA this week, gimped phones galore on VZW…I’m really bummed.

    • nvitone23

      Yea, after hearing that I don’t know what my next phone is going to be, probably gonna wait for something with the Snapdragon 800 in it, since I have to wait until at least August if I’m gonna stay with VZW and December if I’m moving to T-Mobile.

      • Bionic

        Cant say I blame you, I dont wanna wait any longer and thats why im going with the S4. After playing with it at best buy and after you and I both heard what sarge had to say today, im done with this game.

        • nvitone23

          Yea, just saw what you said and you’re right, if you buy a Motorola phone right now, you aren’t guaranteed any future support with the way things are going for them right now. It’s just not worth it unless they REALLY turn things around IMMEDIATELY.

          • Bionic

            yep, after what sarge said, i wouldnt touch a motorola phone with a 10 foot pole. They have A LOT to prove.

            And it really hurts to say that because as you know, i was the biggest moto fanboy there was.

  • NAM37

    I guess it’s just me, but I HATE the big physical button.

    • Nadora

      Nope, you’re definitely not alone. Hate physical & capacitive buttons with a passion. After having my Galaxy Nexus since Dec 2011 there is no going back to any kind of buttons!

    • KleenDroid

      I also preferred the buttons on my Nexus but I am getting used to it.

      I do like the phone so far.

    • steve30x

      I played with one, eventually just like any new device you will get used to it..back with the OG Droid capacitve buttons where awkward for me coming from blackberry and flip phones and I got used to them.

  • Trevor

    Verizon: “Our logo is bigger than yours.”

  • BRIM

    Can I use my S3 battery in the S4? I know it’s lower capacity but I have two and getting the S4 I could have 4 batteries to carry.

  • Tim242

    Got my white S4 today on Verizon. Very nice. Just a bit concerned about the heating. Hopefully, it is just because I’m charging and using.

    • OreoMan

      It usually gets hot the first time, as it needs to port over all of your contacts, apps and such from the Google servers. You should be fine by tonight once everything has been updated and stable.

      • Bionic

        this

    • Bionic

      thats why i dont activate in the store, i buy the phone but dont let the employee touch it because i want it to sync over wifi when i get home

      • Tim242

        I don’t let them touch mine either. I did it when I got home, but had not signed into wifi yet. It’s a nice phone. Feels so tiny compared to my Note 2…much better for my small hands haha

        • Bionic

          gotcha, maybe it was just doing too much at once, i remember my bionic got super hot when first activated but then it was fine, i did a battery pull.

    • Caleb Martin

      You might want to look into that, because mine has no heating problems whatsoever…

    • Bionic

      did you get the black one? thats the one i plan to get

      • Tim242

        I got the white one for two reasons. I’ve always had black phones, wanted a change. The black one is the same color as my titanium gray Note 2. I thought I’d feel better about the $700 purchase if it looked different haha

    • steve30x

      I would like to see what the memory looks like after the usual 4.5 gigs I store with spotify (cant move them to SD) and after two big games that are close to one gig or more looks like with a handful of other apps we usually download again on to a new device looks like. SD cards can only do video and your own mp3’s, pictures.

  • jpippo4

    Well it was a toss up between getting this or keeping my HTC Thunderbolt. Tough decision but I went with the S4.

    • CapnShiner

      I think you made the right choice.

    • coolsilver

      I been kicking around the idea. Drove there to buy one during lunch, had waited too long and had to leave. I’ll opt for developer editon if it is listed soon.

    • coolsilver

      I been kicking around the idea. Drove there to buy one during lunch, had waited too long and had to leave. I’ll opt for developer editon if it is listed soon.

    • wizteknet

      Thundercrap you mean can’t believe they tried to talk me into buying that phone that is battery dead in 3hrs from just one app iheart, thank god i was able to switch to S3.

  • Faber

    Give up unlimited? Buy out right? Nope. Keep my s3. Blow me Verizon.

    • Bartheli

      lmaoooo

  • Nw_adventure

    Is the audio quality when recording video any better than on the S3 which was horrible ?

  • timsim38

    Picked mine up an hour ago. So far nice phone. Havent even gotten into all the new features quite yet.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Thinking about picking up a used S3 actually.

    • Guest

      I keep mentioning Sam’s Club:
      You can get a NEW S3 for $39.

      • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

        With a new contract or upgrade I assume?

        Not ready to let go of unlimited data just yet :(

        • ChrisDG74

          Correct.(Don’t know why my comment showed up as GUEST)
          I went back and looked. I average 350MB a month. For me, personally, I just couldn’t justify spending $700 to keep unlimited data. I know I’ll get flamed for stating that, but in my case it’s true.

          • Chris

            why would you get flamed for that? If you don’t need it then it makes sense $$-wise to take the phone subsidy and get with shared data. Personally, I have exceeded 24GB in a month before… which would cost me a fortune w/o unlimited data. Everybody’s situation is different.

          • CapnShiner

            24Gb?? Are you serious? Are you on a shared plan? Are you tethering a lot?

          • tomn1ce

            24GB is my monthly average. I have hit 30Gb+ before and some people around here have chewed on a lot more than that…..

          • Chris

            I work in a large datacenter and we are very restrictive about personal equipment on our networks. Because of this, I tether my laptop to stream music / Netflix / general internet usage / etc. Additionally, I have to drive a fair amount and I stream music / Audible / etc. It is very easy for me to chew up data in a hurry

          • S2556

            HOW? lol my best is like 6 gigs

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

            it all depends on the user. If I could get a shared plan of 10 gigabytes per month between me and my wife, I would renew my contract.

          • Fozzybare

            but you can do that.

          • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

            Not for a price I want to pay…

          • Fozzybare

            well say that next time.

          • ChrisDG74

            The Shared plans are a joke. We’d be paying more on the shared plan than we do with separate data.

          • KleenDroid

            In my situation the share plan with 4 gig of data would have cost $70 per month more than my unlimited plan on my five lines. My salesperson said she’s never seen anyone with as many discounts as I had which is hard to believe.

  • Chris

    Holy crap… i CANT WAIT to put Facebook Home on this bad boy

    • http://www.facebook.com/tylerjehills Tyler James Edward Hills

      What you did there? I see it

  • Zach

    I just can’t seem to get excited about this phone with only 9.6gb of available storage. SD slot or not, it’s not the same post 4.0. The phone looks great overall, but the storage issue irks me. I wish Verizon would’ve offered the 32gb version. I might be in the minority with this thinking though.

    • ChrisDG74

      I bought a 32GB (Class 10) card from MicroCenter. $20.

      • Zach

        Again, not an option for app storage unless you are rooted. Past Android 4.0, SD cards just aren’t the same. Yes, they are great for pictures and music, but without root, not much else. Seems like a good deal you got on the SD card though. :)

      • BRIM

        I do too but it’s really not helping besides music and pictures/videos. Apps are getting bigger in size and you can no longer put that on SD cards.

      • CapnShiner

        Fry’s Electronics was selling a Samsung class 10 64GB microSD for $50 during their anniversary sale. I’m not sure if that’s still going on.

        • KleenDroid

          I just purchased a class 10 Sandisk 64 gig card on Amazon for 49.

    • zepfloyd

      or you just wipe it, run a ROM and get all your space back, plus an SD card means you’re fine.

      • Zach

        An option, yes, but I don’t root or ROM my phones. I KNOW I’m in the minority here with that though. Ha. And without rooting, SD cards are useless for apps, which is the most important issue with me.

        • http://www.twitter.com/brennokbob Brennok

          Not necessarily unless something changed I am unaware of which is entirely possible since I have been stuck on the Droid Charge. There is an app out there called AppMgr Pro III which used to be called App 2 SD. It tells you after an app installs if it can be safely moved and run from the SD card. I got it free during one of the Amazon daily free apps.

      • misterE33

        except the most stable roms will probably still be TW based, at least for a while, so you may not be able to gain much. also, as noted above, an SD card on 4.0+ is a pain to use as a replacement for internal memory

        • zepfloyd

          I doubt that. We had AOSP ROMs for the GS3 in pretty darn short order last year. Not to mention there’s an actual stock version coming on the same hardware or nightlies for TMO CM10.1 already. HTC is far more of a pain de-Sense’d.

          • misterE33

            Yes, the roms came, but the last time I checked there were still little bugs, like with bluetooth audio, etc. I’m not saying it’s not usable, but it may not be for everyone.

  • DanWazz

    No home button branding? Pass.

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      But the huge branding on the back makes up for it! And to think, AT&T’s version only has a small globe logo on the back of theirs… what were they thinking? How are people going to know what carrier they’re using, and what technology?

      • KleenDroid

        It’s strange how my Otter Box commuter covers it right up.

        • BulletTooth_Tony

          But then you’re left with an ugly ass otter box. I’d rather have the branding.

          • KleenDroid

            They actually don’t look bad on this phone. Have you seen one?

          • BulletTooth_Tony

            I mean… There’s several models they sell for each phone, so I don’t know? Possibly no, equally possible yes. Ha.

  • nick

    got white frost with a Spigen Neo-Hybrid case, privacy screen, and also a black lambo case :D just waiting for a good guide to unlock the bootloader

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    But will it be available on Viva Movil?!?!?! If not, it’s a total dealbreaker for me.

    • Warwick

      Its gonna be on the soon announced Haaayyyy!!! Mobile lol

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        The Gay carrier? I hear at the last minute they decided to rebrand it as Twink Mobile.

        • Mort

          They were going to, but they couldn’t find the right fonts.

          • jadezakozyl

            мy co-worĸer’ѕ мoм мαĸeѕ $79 every нoυr oɴ тнe coмpυтer. ѕнe нαѕ вeeɴ ғιred ғroм worĸ ғor ғιve мoɴтнѕ вυт lαѕт мoɴтн нer ιɴcoмe wαѕ $20952 jυѕт worĸιɴɢ oɴ тнe coмpυтer ғor α ғew нoυrѕ. reαd мore oɴ тнιѕ ѕιтe Zap2­2­.c­o&shym&shy

        • Tim242

          I’d be all over that!

          • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

            That’s what he said. Oh, wait…

          • http://www.facebook.com/SunroofBandit Richard Flores

            LMAO

        • Averix

          Isn’t that what T-Mobile stands for anyway????

    • http://androidforums.com/members/kwest12.html kwest12

      Alright, let’s take bets on how many “best” comment spots ‘Viva Movil’ remarks will grab in the next 3 days.

    • Mort
      • EC8CH

        What happens if I buy it from there and I’m not Hispanic?

        • EvanTheGamer

          Then they’ll take you out back…and…give you a taco?

        • Mort

          You BECOME HISPANIC!!!

        • Michael33704

          Verizon sends you a notice that you lost your unlimited data plan in Spanish….

        • cancerous_it

          the correct nomenclature is “Latteeenoe”

      • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

        Oh fantastic! Now if only I can get a pink diamond studded case for it, designed by Jennifer Lopez, I’ll die a happy man.

      • Elliot

        Yes, but do they have a version with a huge Viva Movil logo on the home button?

        • Mort

          You bet JLo’s ass, they do!

          • EC8CH

            sorry… can’t cover that bet.

    • imns

      Viva Movil is the fackwors

    • pedro4prez

      VAMOOOOS

  • ChrisDG74

    Got mine today, at Sam’s Club. Even cheaper in-store, than online. $167.88.

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    How long before someone jumps on here and lambastes everyone who renewed a 2 year contract with Verizon for this phone rather than doing what the cool kids do and dump Verizon for a sacred GSM carrier and no contracts?

    • EC8CH

      …or holding onto unlimited data on VZW with a white knuckled grip while buying phones at full retail or used.

      • matt pitzo

        I bought at full retail im not giving up my unlimited 4g

  • moew

    I jumped….. Holy incredible screen! This thing is thin and imho tiny… but I came from a note 2.

    • Tim242

      I came from a Note 2 as well. It does feel tiny in comparison!

      • CapnShiner

        The Note 2 may be considered a sexy device by some but I think you might have some issues. You need a girlfriend/boyfriend.

        • Tim242

          I have no idea what you mean by that. But, I have a boyfriend/fiance, 4 years and counting.

          • CapnShiner

            It was a joke. A dirty joke.

  • bogy25

    either carrier….. it’s a gorgeous, amazing kick ass device .