In less than 48 hours the Samsung Galaxy S 4 climbed all the way up the charts to the number three spot on the Official Smartphone Rankings. Currently trending in second, does this smartphone have what it takes to defeat the HTC One?
"The cure for the common phone..." By JOEY HALL on 4/30/13
I was one of the people who blew off the S4 as an unimaginative incremental upgrade that would sell like hotcakes to fanboys. Words I find ironic now holding the S4 in my hand. I think the turning point for me came when I was watching a Netflix movie on my HTC one. It was a dark room and the light from my One was entirely too bright so I tapped the screen and pulled down the notification bar to quickly change the brightness...No brightness adjustment. Just a check-box to activate Power Save Mode. So to adjust the brightness I hit the setting button, went into display, and made the change. Reopening the Netflix app, I re-clicked on the movie, it buffered and continued where I left off. Now it was a little too dark...Rinse and repeat. This was about as unintuitive as it gets. I realized at this point I was missing some pretty fundamental options I had grown accustomed to coming from the Galaxy S3. Quick settings aside, the lack of a menu button was becoming more and more of an issue as well. With larger screens it is an annoyance to continually have to reach to the top of a screen to pull down the notification shade and then tap settings in the far upper right, or when in an app to have a quarter inch of my nice 1080p HD display go missing so I can see three small dots indicating click here for Menu. I did my best to enjoy the time I had left with my trophy wife of a phone. But, upon receiving the S4 I was pleasantly surprised, I actually loved the design. It just feels good in the hand. I can honestly say at the end of the day I prefer Samsung's understated design over that of the HTC One. The build feels seamless and is light and thin. The S4 for all it's cheapness in material was a solidly built uniform device. Armed with Quick access to all of of my settings AND a Menu button I finally feel at home. I love the S4. For me it's like not having to give up the S3 I loved while gaining a boost in performance and screen.
In the end this is more of a comparative review between the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4, but since that is the question most android buyers will be facing until the next great phone is announced - Here's my $.02 worth.
Battery Life 4/5
Apps & Media Support 5/5
Reception & Call Quality 5/5
Design/Form Factor 5/5