Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on: First look

GSMArena team, 14 March 2013.


The successor of the most popular smartphone from the most widely adopted platform - it doesn't get much bigger than this in the mobile industry. After months of rumor frenzy and high-pitched hype, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 at their Unpacked event in New York.

At first glance the Samsung Galaxy S4 looks very similar to its predecessor, the S III, but tinges of disappointment, if any, should be soon put to rest. It's a completely new phone on the inside and one that seems to have all it takes to keep Samsung ahead of the Android pack.

Samsung Galaxy S 4

Squeezing a larger screen of higher resolution in a more compact and lighter body, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is also the first smartphone to feature an octa-core CPU. The Exynos 5410 chipset has a set of four Cortex-A15 cores to do the heavy lifting and another quartet of power-saving Cortex-A7 cores, which handles the less physical tasks. There will be a version of the Galaxy S4, powered by a Snapdragon 600 chipset too, but we are unsure which markets will get it.

Here are the rest of the Galaxy S4 highlights to get you started.

Samsung Galaxy S4 at a glance:

  • General: Optional 2G/3G/LTE connectivity
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phone
  • Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm, 130 g
  • Display: 4.99" 16M-color Super AMOLED HD capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (441ppi)
  • Chipset: Exynos 5410 Octa / Snapdragon 600
  • CPU: 1.6 GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 / 1.9GHz Krait 300
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX 544MP3 / Adreno 320
  • RAM: 2GB
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Memory: 16/32GB/64GB storage, microSD card slot
  • Still camera: 13 megapixel auto-focus camera, face detection, touch focus and image stabilization, Dual Shot, Cinema Photo; 2MP front facing camera, video-calls
  • Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL features (TV Out, USB host), GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS, 3.5mm audio jack, NFC, Infrared port
  • Battery: 2600 mAh
  • Misc: TouchWiz UI, Impressively rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, Smart stay and Smart rotation eye-tracking, Smart pause, Smart scroll, S Health, Air Gestures

More power, a better screen, a host of new exclusive software features and a larger battery to keep it going longer - the Samsung Galaxy S4 has all the right boxes ticked to be considered a worthy successor to what many considered the uber smartphone. It also has a key advantage over its direct rivals in running on the latest Android 4.2 platform.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 live photos

The second Jelly Bean release isn't an incredibly massive upgrade, but offers some cool new features that take the user experience up a notch. Of course, Samsung will be more than keen to direct your attention to its home-baked goodies like Eye-scroll and Auto pause, which surprisingly or not, work pretty well.

Let's cut the teasing here - join us on the next page for the rest of our first-hand impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S4, garnished with a bunch of live photos.