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Saturday, May 11

Samsung S4 review.

I was surprised to read that Malaysia had pretty grand launching of Samsung S4 with circus performers, marching bands etc. Not many people even knew about the release in Melbourne. There weren't even many posters around the city. 

Switching from Apple to Android is like the greatest decision of my life (Excludes the time I had to choose which course to study in University) and therefore this review would be my personal experience on the change.

Why would I switch ? First of all, I was extremely frustrated with my iPhone 4 of two years. (Technically not mine, because I broke the lock and home button on my iPhone 4 so I used my friend's phone for half a year). But no, I have decided not to bitch about my ex-boyfriend so here is my Samsung S4 experience.

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Everything in the box. When I first picked up my new phone, I was shocked, because it was so light compared to my previous iPhone. It was like a toy and till now I can't decide whether that's a good thing or not. If I have a really heavy handbag, a light phone would be a good thing but a plastic phone really isn't the classiest thing to carry around. Also didn't really like the earphones that came with it because I hate earbud earphones, which explains why I'm still using the iPhone earphones.

Size
In comparison to iPhone 4
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Significantly wider screen. 

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Comparing with Samsung S3

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Wider screen

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Flatter edges

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Different position for speaker and camera flash.
Looking at the size and shape of the phone, I was not satisfied. First of all, the Samsung is wider compared to the iPhone. This makes typing with one hand EXTREMELY HARD. I am so used to carrying books on one hand and texting on the other. Apart from that, the speaker's position is also pretty annoying. For Samsung S4, the speakers are at the bottom back of the phone, differing from S3 which is next to the camera. This also means holding my phone while playing music would mute the sound.

Accessibility and convenience

This is one of the aspects that drove me into getting this phone.
Everything is at hand 

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This is the 4 pages of my phone. The one with the time is the homepage.

Pulling the screen down gives me my notifications and settings,
Sliding the screen to the right gives me my calendar and my todo list.
Slide right twice and I get my weather and notes.
Slide to the left I get S health and instant settings.
Can also close all my applications with one tap.

I cannot stress how important the calendar and todo notes (that are instantly accessible) is to me. When I was using the iPhone, I had a calendar, but I had to tap on the app to open my calendar. I had a reminder list on my iPhone, but I had to set a reminder to remind me to check my reminder list and that just defeats the purpose but on the Samsung its different ! It's just a swipe and I have every reminder I need. No more double booking people, no more missing appointments, so much of organization !

Apart from that, I love that I get to customize almost everything ! I am using Go Launcher and I get to change the themes of my phone, FOR FREE. No need jail break, even tech noob like me know how to do !!!! I get to have a bigger app that says "ADD EXPENSE" that constantly keeps track of what I spend on. I even get to customize the opacity of my calendar !! Geng or not ??

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Can also write notes on your lock screen. Important to me cos I always forget things.
(Not that fact that I'm pretty though hehehehe)

S Health

A new feature on the S4 is the S Health.
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Health board with summary, walking mate, food tracker and exercise mate.
Didn't use the exercise mate because I just terminated my gym account *ashamed* and I didn't use the food tracker much because they didn't have a really wide range of food in the database but I love love love walking mate !!!
So technically walking mate counts your steps, calculate an approximate distance you've walked all day and the calories burnt. My goal is 10,000 steps a day and ever since I bought the phone, I've been trying to walk EVERYWHERE! It also makes me feel damn happy cos every time I hit 10,000 steps the phone will automatically play a victory tone and I feel like a champion.

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Also can count comfort level, blood glucose, blood pressure, weight and sleep efficiency.

Camera 
I believe this is the most important function on a phone.

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First picture with my new phone !

and to my absolute joy, Samsung S4 has so many functions on its camera !!

Dual shot
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Which I am not sure who would use, but still a pretty cool innovation lol.

Sound and Shot 
Sadly you can't hear it even if I upload it. Technically it records 10 seconds of the background sound so that you can revive the mood when you look back on your pictures.

Drama shot
Haven't tried this out yet but I will. Soon ! Apparently it takes moving objects and combine all of them into one picture.

Background eraser
Removes moving objects behind you when you take a picture. Don't really find it functional because it requires the background object to be moving at a fast rate for it to be detected and erased.

Beauty Camera
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Technically blurs your skin and makes it look like you have really smooth skin. #cheatone

Filters
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Samsung has their own filters. Save time when I lazy edit !!
Front camera for Samsung S4 is also less noisy than my last iPhone, colours are also more accurate.

One more thing I love about the Samsung camera is the voice command. No more stretching my fingers trying to touch the capture button. Now I can say "Shoot" "Smile" "Capture" or "Cheese"  and the phone will take the picture for me !!! You will look a little retarded to do that in public though because it doesn't work around noise.

Apart from that, love Android also because of all the free photo apps I can get !! When I was using iPhone, Pixlr-o-matic was free but only one set of their filters was free. If you wanted the vintage/subtle/blackandwhite filters, you would need to pay 99cents for EACH set but to my amazement its all FREE on Android !!!!

Detects movements

Smart Pause
Samsung is really pushing the hands-free idea.
Smart Pause detects your movement and when you look away from the screen, it pauses your videos for you. Tried that out for almost half an hour cos its so magical. Just look away and your video pauses !

Smart Scroll
Tilt your head and let the phone scroll through your emails / documents for you. Not very sensitive and when I first tried it out I got a headache for moving my head around too much. Scrolling with a finger is much easier.

Smart Stay
Screen detects your eyes and won't auto-lock as long as you don't move your eyes away from it !

Air View / Air Gesture

One of the functions I believe is also on the Note 2 is the  function where you simply wave your hand above the sensor and notifications appear on your lock screen. One of my favourite functions as well !

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Apart from that, a swipe of my hand and I can navigate through pictures and music. Wave my hand to answer calls immediately. Hover my finger above my emails and preview them. Hover my finger above texts and enlarge them. Some people find these pretty useless but I use them pretty often cos my hands are always sweating / dirty.

WatchON 

This, I just found out few days ago. 

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TV remote control.
I can turn on the TV without hunting for the remote control.

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Best thing also I can browse through what shows are on TV at the moment.
As you can see Australia has pretty lousy TV programmes, which is why this built in function is so useful ! No more missed episodes of The Simpsons/Family Guy because can record also !!!!

Battery Life
Another extremely aspect that I look into.
My iPhone 4's battery usually won't last me past 3PM. That was how bad it was. Charging twice a day would still mean my battery will die by 9PM. Not entirely the phone's fault because I'm on social networking sites almost every second of the day and I have more than 10 whatsapp group chats.
Which is why I was really waiting for a long battery life phone that is able to keep up to my usage. The Samsung S4's battery life isn't extremely impressive to me but it was better than the iPhone.

If my day starts at 7AM, my battery usually can last me till 6PM. Almost 12 hours and I think that is pretty good considering the fact that I turn on S Beam, Air View, Air Scroll, Air Gestures and everything even when I'm not using them. There is also a power saving mode to save my phone from dying when battery is low. Normal humans usage probably can last the whole day.


Phone Cases
Lastly I just want to say that I am really sad that all the pretty brands only manufacture iPhone cases. From cheap brands like Cotton On to luxury brands like Prada, they only manufacture iPhone cases and I think that is just extremely unfair.

That is all I have to say about my new phone. There are alot of functions on the phone but I doubt users would incorporate it into daily lives. I agree with the sites that say Samsung is overbearing their phones. I mean who on earth would use dual shot ? And smart scroll ????? Nevertheless I like the phone. It is a good change from iPhone to Android. Now with an Android, I feel like I've grown up, because it seems like the more you can do with a phone = the more responsibility you have (like accidentally downloading virus). Also it is really nostalgic because it brought back memories of my old Nokia (customizations etc) yet still have so many new and fresh innovations !

If you're looking to find a new phone, I would recommend the Samsung S4. So far I have not regretted changing from Apple to Android. 

5 comments:

HenRy LeE said...

I feel that somehow Apple phones are more exclusive in terms of phone casing, accessories and even apps. S4 i a good phone but I think S3 or Note 2 is still ok to have. Packed with fancy features but not for daily use :)

Henry Tan said...

wow u bought!! i wan to buy but out of stock ad. TT

Ken Wooi said...

Haha "Shuwen you're so pretty!" - must be analyzed through the photos you've taken? :)

The S Health feature seems cool, I wonder how they count the steps - must have wifi/gps to track the distance traveled?

Shuwen said...

@Henry Lee : I kinda agree eh, too many functions that you're probably not gonna use every day
@Henry Tan : haha its not as crazy here compared to Malaysia. Malaysia really had like a big launch etc
@Kenwooi : They count that by vibration. That means if I stand on a spot and shake my phone, its considered steps as well haha.

iSkino said...

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