Samsung S4: First Impressions

Rumours around the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 have been rife since development of the handset was first announced, and now for the first time we have a full list of specs and even a first look at the device. The S4 was revealed at a dedicated event last week, confirming many of the predictions within the industry. Here we take a quick look at what users can expect from the Korean company’s new flagship handset.
Much of the S4’s specifications were predicted well in advance, but there are still a few surprises. The device boasts a 4.99 inch display in full HD, with an eye-popping 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. It has Samsung’s exclusive Exynosocta-core processor, comprising eight cores split into two parts, meaning the handset itself benefits from one large, high-power four-core processor and one smaller four-core to handle more easy-going tasks. This should help with Android’s multitasking abilities. The battery is around 500mAh bigger than that of the S3, which simply put means that it can keep the handset running for much longer – you shouldn’t have any trouble getting it to last all day, even with the large display. As expected, it will also come with 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage, and a 4G-enabled version. It’ll also carry the latest version of Android, which the processor can run with ease.
The S4’s design is essentially a larger version of the S3, with the same rounded edges, but the whole handset is lighter and a little thinner. It’s 136.6mm tall and 68.9mm wide, making it just slightly smaller than the Galaxy Note phablet, but still comfortable to use with one hand. A small bezel gives the impression of a display that almost stretches from edge to edge, with the classic narrow Home button at the bottom, flanked by Menu and Back touch buttons. The display is beautifully crisp at its highest brightness setting, and clever design by Samsung has allowed for a highly-sensitive touch screen that can be used even with gloves on. Underneath the cover, there’s a microSD card for up to 64GB extra memory.
A 13-megapixel camera can be found on the back of the handset, with an LED flash and capacity for 1080p HD video. There’s also a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, which works well with the phone’s video chat capability. Samsung’s photo software offers Dual-Shot, which takes a photograph with both the front and back at the same time, as well as Cinema Photo, which allows you to turn a photo into an animated gif file. The front camera can also be used for some fairly interesting secondary functions – eye-tracking allows it to see whether you’re still looking at your phone, so it won’t turn the display off while you’re reading. You can also use Air View to operate the phone with gestures.