I was a little slow to get on the smartphone bandwagon, but after getting a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone at the end of 2012, I was hooked. I am an Android girl through-and-through and proud of it, though after over a year with my S3, I couldn’t help but think about upgrading. So when Telus gave me the chance to review the new Samsung Galaxy S4, I was eager to it a try.
In all honesty, I didn’t expect much of a difference. I had seen the S4 and aside from being slightly larger and thinner, the basic layout and features seemed to be pretty similar to my current phone. So essentially, I expected I would be reviewing a slightly larger version of the same phone I already used with maybe a few minor tweaks to the interface and features.
I was wrong. The Samsung Galaxy S4 actually had quite a few significant improvements over its predecessor and I had a blast testing them out. From an upgraded camera to a more vibrant display to an upgraded version of Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, it was easier to use, sleeker and more intuitive.
As a social media lover, my personal favourite feature was the voice activation that was added to the camera. If there is one thing that drives me absolutely nuts about the reverse camera on the Galaxy S3, it’s fumbling around trying to hit the shutter button as I’m holding the camera away from myself and posing. Add in a few friends and it’s even more awkward! Now all I have to do is hold out the camera, say, “Shoot!” and the camera takes a picture! I’ve even used a phone stand to set the camera up and take group photos from afar.
I also loved the upgrade from a 720p screen to a full, high-definition 1080p screen. It may seem strange that the higher resolution can create such a noticeable difference when the screen is so small, but it really does. The text is crisp and clear, the colours are vibrant and the high-definition display is perfect for watching movies or playing games.
The camera itself was upgraded on the S4, boasting a 13MP main camera and a 2MP front-facing camera, but I have to be honest and say that I really didn’t notice an improvement in picture quality with the upgrade. The low-light performance is pretty weak and the daytime pictures were nice, but not noticeably better than the ones I took with my S3.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was a significant upgrade from the S3 in a few noticeable ways. I still love the features on my S3, but there are a few changes such as the improved display, the extra GB of RAM and the upgraded TouchWiz interface that just make this phone easier and more fun to use. The phone is available from Telus for $99 on a two-year term or $700 with no term, so give it a try and see if you’re ready for an upgrade!