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Joey Hall
Apr 13
Joey Hall
Overall
4.8
Joey Hall

"The cure for the common phone..."

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.

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