Samsung Galaxy S4 review

The Galaxy SIV is here - but does it pack enough of a punch?

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 has an all-new screen, and we'll state it now: the Samsung Galaxy S4 has the best display you can find on a smartphone.

It's the same Super AMOLED technology used in other Galaxy smartphones, but this time it's been cranked up to Full HD resolution, which is 1920 x 1080 pixels, if you're asking.

This uses the same PenTile matrix that's drawn so much criticism for Samsung over the years, as some state that Samsung is using too many of one colour of pixel, or sub-pixel (the colours within each pixel) is too basic – all of this has meant that older Galaxy smartphones have had something of a blue or green tint, or been a little low-resolution when viewed (admittedly really) close up.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review
The Samsung Galaxy S

Well, and you'll forgive us for saying the same thing that we did last year with the Galaxy S3, close up now there's no way you can see any jagged edges or elements within the icons. It's simply superb, and makes everything from web pages to video look brilliant.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review
The Samsung Galaxy S2

And there's no worry about the tints of old, nor the criticisms levied at Samsung for making over-saturated screens, as often people have claimed that the colours look too strong on these devices thanks to the OLED technology used.

It is a feature of the technology, and not just because of the high contrast ratios on offer, but with the Galaxy S4 Samsung has added in a mode to make the colours look more natural, should the user so with to have it that way.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review
The Samsung Galaxy S3

This method does drop the brightness somewhat, and that's already lower than you might find on the HTC One but that extra brightness isn't needed thanks to the contrast ratio we mentioned earlier. One of the strengths of OLED technology is that when a pixel is displaying a black image, it's completely off, and therefore draws less power and looks darker. Compared to LCD screens, which have a backlight to light the colours in front, this means that the blacks will never be as black as found on an OLED.

So, as we said, there's nothing to want for with the Super AMOLED Full HD screen found on the Samsung Galaxy S4. It might not be as high resolution as the HTC One, simply because it's larger with the same amount of pixels, but viewed up close you'll struggle to find a flaw with it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review
The Samsung Galaxy S4

You can change the brightness from the notification bar by sliding your finger up and down the screen - but if you want to make things easier you can just tag the Auto button and have the Galaxy S4 working away at deciding the optimum brightness for you.

What's new here is the ability to customise the auto level - so if you like things a little lighter or darker, then you can choose such a thing. It's a good way to manage your battery even easier.

Another feature, which is both good and bad, is the improved capacitive technology used in the screen. This is designed to ape a feature brought by Nokia on the Lumia 920, which allows the user to wear gloves and still use the phone - which will be a key feature to those in colder climes, or like to wear gloves for sport or similar.

However, while this works well for gloves, it does over-power the screen somewhat, in that when you're holding your finger over the screen looking to scroll up and down when you're read a certain paragraph, it will sometimes register a press when you've no intention of doing so. It's irritating to say the least, and something that we hope Samsung irons out with future software updates.

Aside from that, there's not a thing that we can criticise the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen for in any way, as it's as close to perfect as you can get on a smartphone - making it a great device for so many more functions as a result.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS, HSPA+
SAR Value0.28 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy S4
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100, LTE 800, LTE 850, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution13 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Product ModelGT-I9505
Screen Size12.7 cm (5")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density441 ppi
Front Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Height136.6 mm
Width69.8 mm
Depth7.9 mm
Radio TunerNo
Product NameGalaxy S4 GT-I9505 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.90 kHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineGalaxy S4
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Barometer, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Temperature Sensor, Humidity Sensor, Health Sensor, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-19505ZWABTU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

captures all the fun

The Samsung GALAXY S4 captures all the action wherever you are. Don't just look at your photos, hear what they have to say and relive those exciting memories. Take multiple exposure pictures and edit them together to add a special dramatic touch. Once done, spread the fun and instantly share your albums with friends and family.

brings everyone closer together

The Samsung GALAXY S4 is all about 'togetherness'. It brings people together when they're apart. You and your friends can share screens as well as explore each other's favorite music, files and games. The Samsung GALAXY S4 not only overcomes barriers of distance but also breaks down language barriers.

Limited Warranty2 Year