Read the full Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Samsung Galaxy S4 Video

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a lot to live up to. Follow-on to the Samsung Galaxy S3, the most successful Android handset to date, the Galaxy S4 has to pit itself against renewed efforts from old rivals as well as the ever present threat of Apple. Off the bat, however, and it appeals that Samsung might just have pulled it off with the Samsung Galaxy S4 entering the fray as a truly impressive powerhouse of the smartphone scene.

Undeniably Samsung’s most specs-impressive handset to date, the S4 has made a notable jump in screen size without the negative effect of added bulk or an increased form factor. Lining up at just 7.9mm thick, the S4, is no larger than the S3 in terms of overall dimensions despite featuring a new 5-inch Super AMOLED display that boasts a stunning 1080p Full HD resolution and 441 PPI image density, arguably the most impressive screen ever seen on a phone.

Competing with the likes of the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z, the Samsung Galaxy S4, in the UK at least, boasts a zippy 1.9GHz quad-core processor which provides more than enough grunt to tackling all the heavy duty tasks, power hungry apps, games and multimedia content we could throw at it. On the receiving end of hardware updates across the board, the Samsung Galaxy S4 follows recent Android trends rather than setting its own path.

Featuring a 13-megapixel rear-mounted camera akin to that of the Sony Xperia Z, 1080p Full HD video recording capabilities and an integrated flash further enhance the handset’s photographic capabilities. With a second, 2-megapixel snapper up front, the S4 camera collection is a strong one with users now able to make use of both image capturing options simultaneously thanks to the handset’s Dual Shot capabilities that allow for picture-in-picture shooting. Running Google’s latest operating system at its core, Samsung, with the S4, has paired Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with the most recent iteration of its TouchWiz UI, creating a user experience that is both simplistically intuitive and brimmed with high-end features and cutting-edge software options.

From the likes of the business and travel enhancing S Translator to the fitness focused S Health, all via the eye monitoring Smart Pause and Smart Scroll, the S4’s software collection is where the true innovation over the S3 has taken place and is how the handset is distinguishing itself from the competition. Further ensuring that consumers are rewarded with all the latest technologies, the S4 plays host to a raft of premium add-ons with NFC connectivity options further enhanced by 4G LTE connectivity and even IR remote control functionality.

Landing in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage forms, all with additional microSD card expansion, the Samsung Galaxy S4, which features a 2600mAh battery and will cost almost £600 on a SIM free basis, is available in the evocatively named White Frost and Black Mist colour options from launch.

There is no getting away from the fact that this handset has more hype surrounding it than any Android device that has preceded it. Fortunately, Samsung has backed up much of this anticipation with action, offering a well-rounded, extremely powerful device that, although lacking something on the aesthetical front, is sure to impress the masses. Given the Samsung Galaxy S4’s near identical looks to the S3 and the somewhat run of the mill hardware updates, some will argue that the handset is more of a Samsung Galaxy S3S in the vein of Apple’s incremental updates than a true S3 successor. In truth and practice, however, the handset is a whole new beast and one which far outstrips what has been, until now at least, the world’s most successful Android smartphone.

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