Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Apr 2013 22:24 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless They're here! Whether that excites you or not remains to be seen, but the Galaxy S4, which will most likely become the best selling Android smartphone of the year by a huge margin, has been reviewed by all the major sites, and there's lots of interesting conclusions in there - although I think most of you will get the gist.
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I'm kind of digging it so far
by WorknMan on Wed 24th Apr 2013 23:04 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I need a phone for work, so I might pick this one up. Insofar as bloatware, I'll probably be okay with it, and might even use some of it. For example, I'm told that the S3 (and I assume the S4) won't dim the phone while you're looking at it. I don't know how many times I've cursed my Nexus 4 when it dims the screen while I'm reading something. I'm also interested in being able to give voice commands to my phone while I drive, which is something that stock Android fails miserably at. I don't know about the S-health stuff, but I'll definitely give it a look.

In regard to the HTC One ...
Seems about the only thing this phone has going for it is the aluminum build. From what I've been reading, the S4 destroys it in just about every other area. And to be honest, I like the feel of the S3 better, because the plastic body makes the phone lighter, which I really like. They say the S4 is even thinner and lighter than the S3. I don't see a lot of complaints about the S3's durability, so I'm not overly concerned about it. I haven't cracked the glass body of my Nexus 4 yet, so I think it'll be alright ;)
I did play with the HTC One at Best Buy. I don't know how they managed to f--k up the app drawer so bad, but that's nothing in comparison to the craptastic Blinkfeed. For anyone defending that bullshit by saying 'you can just ignore it or install a launcher', I hope you die screaming ;) Oh, and then there's the honkin' huge HTC logo and the 2-button setup. I'd have gladly given up one of the speakers on the front for an extra button. Even if I loved the feel of the phone (which I don't), I'd never be able to look past these things. If I wanted a phone with a non-removable battery to install CM on, I'd just buy a Nexus.

So what about the Nexus phones and Keyline Pie? Well, it seems that Google has nothing but contempt for people who buy a Nexus phone, as opposed to one of the fake Android phones like the S4. First, they don't stock nearly enough of them, then they wait several months before releasing a charging dock. I swear to god, it's like the Nexi are the black sheep of Android phones. Plus, if KLP is anything like the recent builds of stock Android, they'll probably require several builds to work out the bugs, so I might be content with letting Nexus 5 users be Google's beta testers. I had enough of that shit with 4.2 and its broken bluetooth stack. And I haven't installed any custom roms on my N4 anyway... guess I'm getting too old for that kind of thing. As long as I can root the S4 and install an ad blocker, that's really all I need.

Edited 2013-04-24 23:11 UTC

Reply Score: 3

MyNameIsNot4Letter Member since:
2011-01-09

The "keep the screen on while looking at it" isn't a gimmick because it's not useful. It's a gimmick because it doesn't work very well.

And saying that the Galaxy S4 destroys the HTC One is a little exaggerating. It gets points for gimmicks, which hardly work.

I'll agree, it has the edge in software (and I hate HTCs software), but the difference is not that big.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm kind of digging it so far
by WereCatf on Thu 25th Apr 2013 06:47 UTC in reply to "I'm kind of digging it so far"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm also interested in being able to give voice commands to my phone while I drive, which is something that stock Android fails miserably at.


Why not install one of the assistants on Play Store? There's more than a dozen different ones there by now.

From what I've been reading, the S4 destroys it in just about every other area.


I have no idea what kind of reviews you've been reading, but e.g. both the Anandtech-review and the Ars Technica-review say completely the opposite.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm kind of digging it so far
by Phloptical on Thu 25th Apr 2013 10:00 UTC in reply to "I'm kind of digging it so far"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

"I'm told that the S3 (and I assume the S4) won't dim the phone while you're looking at it."

That's the rumor....I saw no difference on my s3 with the option on or off.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'm kind of digging it so far
by zima on Sat 27th Apr 2013 16:00 UTC in reply to "I'm kind of digging it so far"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

In regard to the HTC One ...
Seems about the only thing this phone has going for it is the aluminum build.

And for some that's not a good thing - metal-clad devices generally feel unpleasantly cold to the touch, I'm not quite sure why so many people seem to like it...

Reply Score: 2

I do not know what to think.
by judgen on Thu 25th Apr 2013 00:38 UTC
judgen
Member since:
2006-07-12

I still believe in my approach, and it seems to be getting more prevalent each day.
People like me opt for no phone at all or a "skype phone" for our calls. I sold my last smartphone a long way back and it is just so darn liberating to not be having one.
The phones are distractions and annoyances at best... You can fill in the worst below, but you know you all had them, or atleast some of them.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I do not know what to think.
by tylerdurden on Thu 25th Apr 2013 00:52 UTC in reply to "I do not know what to think."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

That was not only fascinating but highly insightful and totally related to the topic of the article at hand.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: I do not know what to think.
by adinas on Thu 25th Apr 2013 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not know what to think."
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

hilarious

Reply Score: 3

RE: I do not know what to think.
by leos on Thu 25th Apr 2013 02:49 UTC in reply to "I do not know what to think."
leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I still believe in my approach, and it seems to be getting more prevalent each day.


Uhh.. No. The explosion of the smartphone market proves that people are going the opposite direction. Smartphones are a fantastically useful convergence device, and they're certainly not going away anytime soon.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: I do not know what to think.
by tonny on Thu 25th Apr 2013 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not know what to think."
tonny Member since:
2011-12-22

..Smartphones are a fantastically useful convergence device, and they're certainly not going away anytime soon.

..For ones that need/feel-the-need-to-have them. To one each own. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I do not know what to think.
by griffinme on Thu 25th Apr 2013 14:39 UTC in reply to "I do not know what to think."
griffinme Member since:
2005-11-09

There are two profs at the Uni I work at that were college roommates. One has taught comp sci, math, chemistry and started the IT dept here in the 80's. The other has just taught regular classes in the English dept. The science prof insists that his old Apple IIe's are just fine for tracking experiments. There is no need for these new fangled machines. The admission's tours have instructions to avoid that area of the sci building because it is embarrassing to see machines from the 80's or older.

The other prof uses an iPad, Apple TV device, and Pollycom for video conferencing. All at his request. No, actually he insisted since IT was not sure those devices would be useful yet.

Take a guess which one is up for VP of Academics and which one was quietly suggested that he retire? The new VP gave a very nice speech at the sci prof's retirement dinner.

Which one are you going to be with statements like this?

... I sold my last smartphone a long way back and it is just so darn liberating to not be having one.
The phones are distractions and annoyances at best... You can fill in the worst below, but you know you all had them, or atleast some of them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I do not know what to think.
by Fergy on Mon 29th Apr 2013 13:44 UTC in reply to "RE: I do not know what to think."
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

One has taught comp sci, math, chemistry and started the IT dept here in the 80's. He insists that his old Apple IIe's are just fine for tracking experiments. There is no need for these new fangled machines.
The other prof uses an iPad, Apple TV device, and Pollycom for video conferencing. All at his request. No, actually he insisted since IT was not sure those devices would be useful yet.

Take a guess which one is up for VP of Academics and which one was quietly suggested that he retire? The new VP gave a very nice speech at the sci prof's retirement dinner.

I would guess that the pragmatic one that saves money would become the VP. And the hipster one that keeps spending money on new stuff would retire so he has more time to play with his toys.

Edited 2013-04-29 13:46 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Usability fail
by leos on Thu 25th Apr 2013 02:51 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Samsung even had to add an easy mode to the phone

Instant giveaway that they've failed from a usability front. Different modes for different user experience levels has proven to be a bad idea in usability circles for a long time.

Reply Score: 8

Does it feel same or worse than the S3?
by Priest on Thu 25th Apr 2013 05:30 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

I've had an S1 and an S3. I always see comments about the feel of the S3 on forums and stuff but it never bothered me.So is the S4 the same as S3 in feel or worse? I can say though that I have no need to use features like eye scrolling or having a quick access button to turn it on and off. That menu should be simple for things like Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane mode etc. but not most the other things they added to it.

As for why I'm not really looking at the HTC One, I use Verizon in the US and HTC originality announced the phone would not be available on Verizon but it may come later on. Considering the number of people on the Verizon network if the One doesn't come to that network it will hurt their sales a lot in the US.

Edited 2013-04-25 05:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Not so new 'shiny-shiny'
by shotsman on Thu 25th Apr 2013 06:52 UTC
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

From the reviews and Thom's summary, Id say that Samsung has missed the ball here. Still, like other manufacturers, they seem to be able to release a model that is no great leap forward from the previous 1,2 or 3 generations before it.
Add to that all the bloatware and the need for this 'easy' mode, something is going badly wrong in the smartphone world.
I'm starting to see why Thom likes his Windows phone. If might have next to no choice of apps but compared to the mess that some strains of Android has become, it is delightfully simple. This makes me also wonder if this 'mess' and its misunderstanding is where a lot of the comments about iOS looking old comes from? I really don't know.

I do know one thing, I won't be buying one of these.
If I apply the 'law of Spock' to it(and other recent Android releases), the answer has to be,'It is not logical Jim'.

The Nexus range look more and more attractive every day. Sadly the previous comments about availability etc are only too true.

Reply Score: 3

Having a better version isn't enough
by Chrispynutt on Thu 25th Apr 2013 09:13 UTC
Chrispynutt
Member since:
2012-03-14

Why does no one ever learn?

Just having an S3/S4 but better isn't going to beat it. I don't understand how every manufacturer can basically turn out the same phone as Samsung's with occasionally better specs and expect to beat them.

This didn't work against the iPod, iPhone, Ragu (pasta sauce), Call of Duty, Coca-Cola... the list goes on.

If you like his style watch this week's Jimquisition.

You want to know how to beat the S4, don't just make a better S4, make something other. Re introduce the keyboard, make a truly desirable rugged phone (not just last years mid range spec). Try a wide variety of form factors and see what people like. Samsung did and it worked out pretty well for them.

Reply Score: 1

Samsung has momentum.
by tkeith on Thu 25th Apr 2013 09:59 UTC
tkeith
Member since:
2010-09-01

Whatever the reason, I think mainly marketing, Samsung has a hold of people right now. The S2 has good reviews and that surely started it, but even the S3 wasn't the best phone on the market. The HTC OneS and OneX were nicer in my opinion. That's why I'm nervous for HTC and others in this market.

I know someone who was looking for a Android Tablet to replace his Ipad, and he bothered to ask me what I thought of the Galaxy Tab 2. I told him that most reviews were mixed and right now it's probably the most out of date and cheapest feeling tablet right now. He'd be much better off getting an Asus or Nexus 10. He bought the Samsung anyway, I guess he had already made up his mind.

The only thing that can help HTC and others right now is marketing. The marketshare of people who really research all the details and choose based off hard facts is relatively small. Advertising and status rule.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Samsung has momentum.
by zima on Thu 25th Apr 2013 19:55 UTC in reply to "Samsung has momentum."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's more than marketing - Samsung does virtually everything (so people are exposed to its name a lot, across different products), plus all that Samsung does tends to be at least decent, and often quite good.

Reply Score: 4

Regarding looks
by adinas on Thu 25th Apr 2013 10:09 UTC
adinas
Member since:
2005-08-17

Every phone you have will slip out of your hand at some point (and more than once).

If you buy a cover then the superior looks of the HTC are meaningless.

If you don't buy a cover, The HTC will look really ugly after a few dents and scratched show up on its metal case. At least the GS4 won't look any worse since it was ugly from the start!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Regarding looks
by tkeith on Thu 25th Apr 2013 12:24 UTC in reply to "Regarding looks"
tkeith Member since:
2010-09-01

I had two HTC phones(Droid Eris and Droid Incredible) which had a rubbery coating on the plastic. I dropped them both several times, even on concrete with no damage or marks on them. I never used a case with either and they were both in great shape when I stopped using them. My Samsung Galaxy Nexus with it's shiny plastic was scratched and nicked within the first month.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Regarding looks
by adinas on Sun 28th Apr 2013 10:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Regarding looks"
adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

I agree with you that rubber would be the best solution. My current Galaxy S 1 is all scratched up and the silver band around the screen has all but flaked off showing the gray plastic underneath But it hasn't "broken" or cracked anywhere. If it were rubber I'm sure it would be in much better shape.

I hate having to use a case (mine only has a sticker over the screen) and although it looks terrible, it works perfectly even after falling many times. Every time it falls, the back cover comes out along with the battery and that is it.

Edited 2013-04-28 10:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

S3 is my last Samsung phone
by franksands on Thu 25th Apr 2013 13:48 UTC
franksands
Member since:
2009-08-18

I have an S3, and had an S2 before, and although the hardware is great, I really loathe the bloatware, starting with TouchWiz. I think that it's only getting worse, more and more bloated and more gimmicks, party tricks, half useful gestures, and the list goes on.
Even worse, on the last update I had from Samsung to 4.1.2, the OS feels slower, more sluggish and has rebooted a couple times out of the blue.
I would have bought a Nexus 4, but here in Brazil the price is prohibitive: 845 USD. I'm looking for alternatives. Anyone here know of an android phone with good hardware and hasn't messed much with the stock android os?

Reply Score: 2

two words
by crhylove on Fri 26th Apr 2013 06:31 UTC
crhylove
Member since:
2010-04-10

SD card.

Reply Score: 2

My Experience
by AndyB on Fri 26th Apr 2013 13:41 UTC
AndyB
Member since:
2013-03-22

I have an S3 which I got on day of release and love it!

My choice was simple, I refuse to use anything manufactured by Apple (cue the fanboys having a go no doubt), purely because I refuse to be a sheep and get an iPhone 'because everyone else has one so it has to be good', I don't do such crap as anyone with half a brain shouldn't.

I certainly didn't want a Blackberry as having had a Storm when they first came out (which was a good phone) I upgraded to a Torch and had nothing but trouble with effectively all 3 torches I had (it was replaced twice under warranty within 18 months), which realistically left me with Android. (don't even try and sell me Windows phone, windows is for the desktop and laptop, not in your pocket!)

The S2 had great reviews and Vodafone were offering the S3 free for upgrade, so I went for it. It's a great phone, yes it has it's moments but so do all phones which are on 24/7 and rebooted when it is absolutely necessary. I have kept it up to date with the latest firmware via Kies (Ok, as software goes Kies sucks bigtime) and OTA updates, never had any trouble with it. I'd upgrade to an S4 except my contract has another 6 months to run, the S5 will be due out by then with a bit of luck!

Reply Score: 1

HTC One camera killed it for me...
by gsyoungblood on Fri 26th Apr 2013 15:10 UTC
gsyoungblood
Member since:
2007-01-09

HTC's gimmick of the Ultra pixel 4 mp camera killed the phone as an option for me. I end up using my phone most of the time for pictures. Sad, but that's what I have with me, so it's either no shot or use the phone. The camera is a big deal.

I'm also on Verizon. I was all set to go and get the HTC One and change carriers to do so, probably TMobile or Sprint, but then comments about the camera started coming out. Seems a lot of people like the way the camera works, and the low light performance, but the common thread was soft pictures.

I wish HTC would get their act together. I like HTC. I still have my original Droid Incredible. That was a great little phone (especially once you got rid of HTC's Sense ROM). Now it's a wifi phone. ;)

I have a Galaxy Nexus (VZW), and that camera is barely adequate at 5mp, and the quality is just not that great. I'm ready to replace it, but only for something with a good camera. Otherwise, not much point in upgrading. At least not for me.

Reply Score: 1

Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

HTC's gimmick of the Ultra pixel 4 mp camera killed the phone as an option for me.

How many mp do you need? And what do you use them for?

I have read reviews that state that the lumia 920 and htc one have the best cameras.

Reply Score: 2

Features and bloat
by siraf72 on Fri 26th Apr 2013 16:06 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

It's a fine line between improving something and crappifying it through unnecessary bloat. My recent rediscovery if Civ 4 brings to mind the following quote which seems apt:

"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Reply Score: 2

Google Glass?
by willm.wade on Sat 27th Apr 2013 01:22 UTC
willm.wade
Member since:
2010-07-13

I am surprised that no one has mentioned Google Glass as a possible reason for the purchase. Who had the tech and people to make stuff that small? Motorola perhaps? Just a thought.

Reply Score: 1

S4 and HTC One
by SonicMetalMan on Sun 28th Apr 2013 02:18 UTC
SonicMetalMan
Member since:
2009-05-25

I am HOPING that latest S4 reviews indicate that tech writers are finally removing the rose-colored glasses they've been wearing since the Galaxy S2 was unleashed on an unsuspecting public. I will shamelessly admit that I prefer HTC devices given the problems that I've had with Samsung Android phones, beginning with the dreadful Behold II. Enough said of that disaster other than that phone really made me wonder WTF the Samsung marketing people were thinking. I still plodded onward and upgraded to a Galaxy S and later an S2, but each successive generation left me more baffled at what people saw in the devices. Let me quantify my disdain-

Bloatware.
Touchwiz.
More Bloatware.
FC's and random restarts.
Did I mention insane amounts of Bloatware?
Defective apps designed to replace their prefectly function stock Android equivalents.
Defective LCD in the S2 (literally melted).
Unbelievably fragile.
Moisture sensitive the point that excessive humidity kills them.
Lack of OS updates in a timely manner (or at all).

To be fair I can say that HTC has also orphaned devices without updates but to the best of my knowledge NEVER on a device with a promised update that never materialized, as in the Behold II.
My HTC hardware has been as stable as a rock from my old G1 to my more recent Sensation.

Of course, as always YMMV but this is my rant anyway.

Reply Score: 1

I agree
by roblearns on Mon 29th Apr 2013 16:08 UTC
roblearns
Member since:
2010-09-13

Whatever you all want to say about the S4 is fine with me, just don't attack me.

Reply Score: 1