Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 still a worthwhile buy?

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The HTC One beats the S4 when it comes to design

Like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One has prolonged its career by becoming a second-tier offering for those who can't quite afford the newer flagship models (the HTC One M8 and now the HTC One M9).

It can be picked up for a similar price to the S4 - a little under £300 on Amazon - but for our money the HTC One is the better all-round phone. Performance is similar, but I prefer the One's UI tweaks and its general feel.

Unlike the S4 it feels every inch the premium phone, with an all-in one aluminium chassis that's only been matched (on Android) by its successors.

Having said that, the S4 has a better camera and is lighter in the pocket, which means it'll be the better bet for some.

Google Nexus 5

Google Nexus 5
The Nexus 5 has a better CPU

Google's ageing flagship remains one of the best-value smartphones out there, though Google has just stopped selling it direct.

The Nexus 5 may have a marginally inferior 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display (though some may beg to differ) but it outstrips the Galaxy S4 on performance with a superior Snapdragon 800 CPU.

The Nexus 5's 8-megapixel camera is inferior to the Galaxy S4's 13-megapixel example, but it is competitive on price at £250-300, and the recent upgrade to Android 5.0 is a massive plus.

OnePlus One

OnePlus One

We're a little conflicted about putting the OnePlus One on here as a viable alternative. It's better than the Samsung Galaxy S4 in virtually every way, barring possibly its camera and lack of expandable storage, and a case could be made for the Galaxy S4's Super AMOLED screen technology (though the OnePlus display is half an inch bigger).

Meanwhile the OnePlus One's Snapdragon 801 CPU, backed by 3GB of RAM, makes it a performance match for the Samsung Galaxy S5, let alone the Galaxy S4. It also runs an OS that's even more flexible than TouchWiz, but with a better stock Android style.

And all that for just £230 brand new for the 8GB version, and £270 for the 64GB model. The trouble is it's still very difficult to acquire one, thanks to limited production numbers and a torturous invite system.

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