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Samsung Galaxy S4 review

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

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

The Galaxy S4 is available on AT&T's 4G LTE network. Currently AT&T is only stocking the 16GB version, but it has said that the 32GB version will be available May 10. The Galaxy S4 is available in white and black from AT&T. The carrier has not yet announced plans for any additional colors.

AT&T has put a light amount of branding in its S4s, including a Globe logo on the back of the phone. There's also the AT&T name on the lock screen, and the upper left of the home screen, whenever you don't have an active notification.

Samsung Galaxy S4 review


Samsung Galaxy S4 review

The space available on the Galaxy S4 has become something of a sticking point for customers. Many have been disappointed to find that there 16GB S4 has only 8GB or so available, after the Android OS, Samsung software and carrier applications.

Samsung has responded, saying that S4's microSD slot, which lets users add an additional 64GB of space, more than makes up for this issue. However, apps cannot be installed to an SD card, so this only helps for storing media such as videos, pictures and music.

If you plan to have a lot of big apps such as games on your phone, you may want to spend a little more on the 32GB version, once its available.

Our AT&T Galaxy S4 review unit arrived with a little over 9GB of free space on it.

AT&T apps

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

AT&T devices always arrive with a selection of the carrier's own apps, most of which users will likely never touch. Most of these apps are not installed by default, and will only install once you open them and give them permission. That way they don't take up much room, but you're not able to delete their icons, and will always see them in your app drawer.

Many of these apps, such as AT&T Navigator, AT&T Family Map and Mobile TV, charge $9.99 a month. Be wary of starting their 30-day free trials, as they will start to bill you after that one-month period.

We've always been somewhat mystified by AT&T and it's expensive, wonky software. AT&T Navigator is the strangest, as it offers service that's below the quality of the free Google Maps. There's literally no reason to use it.

AT&T Messenger is the one app we'd actually like to use, since it allows you to send SMS messages from you computer's browser, soft of like Apple's iMessages. Unfortunately, it works in tandem with AT&T Address Book, and both apps are unreliable. If you're looking to message between your phone and computer, we recommend Google's Talk app, which meshes nicely with Google Plus web chat.

AT&T's call quality and 4G LTE service

AT&T caught a lot of flack back when it was the only US carrier with the iPhone, and dropped calls were rampant. Thankfully, that's hardly an issue these days. We've used AT&T for a ling time, much longer than our testing period with the S4. We've found both the connectivity and voice quality on AT&T to be very good.

We never have static on the line, and dropped calls are practically a thing of the past. We're not sure if its just competition that's driven AT&T to step up its game, or the power of 4G LTE, but we'd put AT&T among the best carriers as far as quality.

For data service, AT&T's 4G LTE network is nationwide, but there are still gaps where you'll find yourself on slower 4G service. Yes, 4G and 4G LTE are different, LTE being faster.

In the city of San Francisco, we found ourselves on 4G LTE more often than not, though there were pockets of the city where we would dip into regular 4G. However, we were never without data service, and always able to browse the web and get email.

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