I’m a technology enthusiast and I get excited by cool tech things. The cell phone has evolved into the most important gadget you own so it’s important to be extremely picky with the phone you keep within an arms reach as 90% of people do. For me, I need to own the most advanced phone on the market. When I purchased the iPhone 3s and 4s, they were hands down the best phone on the market at the time of their release. When the iPhone 5 was released, it was no longer the undisputed king. Since my 4s, the Droid phones have come along away, specifically Samsung Galaxy. When I went on my phone hunt in May 2013 I considered the HTC One and the Samsun Galaxy S4. Impressed with the Galaxy S3, I knew the S4 would be awesome and after playing with both HTC One and S4 the At&t store, I chose the S4.
First Impression: The screen is just awesome, the colors are vibrant. It is the perfect size for a mobile phone. It’s not a mini ipad like the Note and I don’t think the iPhone 5’s screen is big enough. The phone is fast, it has a lot of memory, you can run many apps simutaonsly without noticing any lag, games like Real Racing 3 and Dead Trigger are so much fun to play. The LTE is a game changer compared to the “4G” on my iPhone 4s.
Hiccups: Switching from iOS to Android isn’t exactly easy. The Android OS is far more configurable so there definitely is a learning curve. When setting up my new phone I immediately had some major issues. 1) My wifi connection at home kept disconnecting and 2) Samsung’s Kies application (wanna be iTunes) wouldn’t recognize my phone on my mac. After a long call into Samsung’s support I learn that the phone has wifi issues to some routers and that Android phones don’t play well with the Mac. This was a big slap in the face. One thing about Apple you know everything will work. The experience of getting a new phone and setting it up is so easy and effortless. Well not so much for Samsung. The S4 is still very new so hopefully there will be a firmware update soon to fix these issues. Until then I have turned wifi off and just use LTE which is just as fast and I haven’t put much music on my phone yet. The 3) issue was Yahoo Mail. It doesn’t work with the built in mail client. You have to download Yahoo’s own email app. This was very strange to me but I guess Google doesn’t want you using the competitor’s mail program. Again these are issues you would never see on Apple.
Review: After owning the phone for 3 weeks and using it, here are my thoughts on the phone and comparisons it with my iPhone 4s.
- Size is great. The larger screen makes the web experience much better. While larger, the phone is a lot thinner than my 4s and so fits nicely in my pocket.
- Email – After setting up our company’s exchange certificate, the phone quickly synced and I had access to my email, contacts, and calendar. I think it handles exchange better than iOS. Using Swift keyboard has much better autocorrect than the iphone which makes typing much easier.
- Camera – The camera is really good. Can it be better? of course. I think the smartphones still struggle in low light situations but this camera is much better than the the camera on my iPhone.
- Cool features – this phone is packed with a ton of cool features and sensors. You’ve probably seen the commercials. While cool by design, most of them aren’t practical to always leave on.
- OS – I’m still getting used to the Android OS but I like the widgets I can put on my home screen so I can quickly google, see scores, weather, stocks, etc. For my locked screen It shows me a different city every 3 hours so I’m tempted to travel again.
- Battery Life – so far so good, it lasts about a day and half under normal use. This phone has a removable battery so I could buy extra and live forever…
- Phone – sound quality is great. can easily hear people and people can hear me loud and clear. Using the Smart to dial is the fastest way to dial since my Blackberry which you could just start typing their name. With Smart dial you go to to phone keypad and dial the letters of the name and the contacts name comes up, avoiding the long list of contacts we have due to facebook and gmail integration.
I found this link very helpful 50 tips and tricks: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2251491
Overall I’m happy with my decision. Although I have the unlimited data plan, I hope they fix the wifi issue soon. Kinda funny how I went from a 4S (iPhone) to a S4(Galaxy). There is still a lot I’m learning about this phone and I have yet to do my first S-beam.