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What's right (and wrong) with the Samsung Galaxy S4

Does this new Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone have what it takes to stand out in a sea of other handsets? Yes it does, but there are some downsides potential buyers should be aware of.

(Source: Samsung)

Samsung has recently updated its flagship Android-powered Galaxy 3S handset with the updated with the Galaxy S4. But does this new premium smartphone have what it takes to stand out in a sea of other handsets?

Does it have what it takes to be the king of the Android handsets?

What's right with the Galaxy S4?

  • Solid device – The Galaxy S4 is a solid, well-made handset.
  • Great performance – Thanks to the 1.9GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor.
  • Awesome screen – The 5-inch Super AMOLED display with 441 pixels-per-inch is incredible.
  • Customization – TouchWiz offers a way to heavily customize the Android UI.
  • User-replaceable battery – Just pop the back off, pop the battery out, pop a new one in, and you're ready to rock.
  • Great storage space – 32GB is the storage starting point.
  • More storage – If the built-in storage isn't enough, there's a microSD card slot.
  • Excellent camera – The camera on the Galaxy S4 is incredible, and there are a myriad of awesome features.
  • Flip covers – You're either going to love or hate the screen-protecting flip covers.
  • Gimmicks – Control your TV with a handset? No problem with the Galaxy S4!

What's wrong with the Galaxy S4?

  • Too much Android skinning – If this isn't for you, then you might prefer the Nexus 4 or the Google Play-edition of the Galaxy S4.
  • Swimming through treacle – The UI can be slow in places, such as when displaying photos.
  • Mediocre call quality – Who calls anyone on a smartphone these days?
  • Flip covers – You're either going to love or hate the screen-protecting flip covers.
  • Price – The Galaxy S4 is not a cheap handset even with a contract, and if you want the unlocked Google Play-edition, that's going to cost you a lot more.

Bottom line

The Galaxy S4 is a solid upgrade compared to the Galaxy S3, and it is certainly a handset that those who like bells and whistles should look at. However, for those looking for an unadulterated Android experience, then the more expensive Google Play-edition of the Galaxy S4 might be worth a look at.

Personally, I still prefer the Nexus 4. It's a simpler handset, but it's also a more rounded, balanced handset.