The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the most hotly anticipated smartphone ever from the Korean brand, and with a glut of top end features, it’s the most powerful and desirable device Samsung has created yet.
One of the most impressive things about the phone is the fact the size hasn’t changed from its predecessor – the Galaxy S4 comes in at 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches), meaning there’s no extra heft to try to work with in your palm.
However, despite this fact, the screen on the S4 has been increased once more, to a whopping 5-inch display with Full HD resolution. This means the same amount of pixels you’d have seen on a TV that cost well over £1,000 four years ago is now riding around in your pocket.
Let’s not pretend that Samsung is a pioneer in this area though: like a great many features of the Galaxy S4, the phone borrows a lot from the other top smartphones of the moment. Both the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC One have screens that rock the same resolution, but neither of them have the jaw-dropping clout of the Super AMOLED HD screen on offer here.
On top of that, there’s a much faster processor packed under the hood, ample storage space for media thanks to an expandable memory card slot, and the likes of 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and pretty much any other connection you care to mention on board.
Samsung has tried to supplement this with a tranche of software upgrades too, meaning a more powerful camera, a better way to communicate with your friends and consume media, and interestingly a big push into health through dedicated apps too.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 costs the same as the HTC One, give or take a pound or two, on contract. This will still put it around £35 per month, which isn’t too bad for such a high design.
But before we dissect all the possibilities the phone has to offer, let’s look at the design. As we mentioned, it’s impressive in its form factor, thanks to the sub-8mm thickness, and at 130g it manages to still be light without shaving off so much heft that you feel like you’ve got a flimsy piece of plastic.
That’s probably the biggest compliment we can pay the Samsung Galaxy S4 – where its predecessor felt a little bit cheap in the hand, the S4 manages to bring a much more solid build and better construction to boot.
So while the “faux metal” band makes a comeback on this model, it looks a lot more premium. And there’s very little flex in the chassis when you hold it tightly, which was another problem with the Galaxy S3 at times.
It might look very similar to the S3, but when you take the Samsung Galaxy S4 up close, you really start to appreciate the nuances.