PDA

View Full Version : Just brought my new Galaxy S4 home...




Krimsonmyst
Apr 26, 2013, 08:55 PM
And I have to say that reviews are not doing this thing justice.

First and foremost, I'd like to address the 'build quality' comments. This thing feels sturdy and well built as any other top end handset. Don't let the polycarbonate casing fool you - it is perfectly engineered to the millimetre. There is no creaking or bending, the lines are clean and sharp, and it just feels insanely good in the hand. The square edges are easy to grip, and the phone doesn't feel slippery at all.

The display is another point of praise - as a previous S3 owner, I was unimpressed with the weird checkerboard pattern that the PenTile display rendered over everything.
I can confidently say that the combination of a 1080p display crossed with the diamond sub-pixel arrangement makes this display freaking **GORGEOUS**.

It's one of those things you need to see in person, but the vibrancy of the AMOLED on this display is a beauty to behold.

I've only just gotten it home so I haven't had a chance to play with too many of the features yet, but the camera is pretty outstanding as well. Obviously it's not too strong in the low-light category, but the photos you get from well lit areas and outdoors are outstanding.

I was tossing up whether to go for the S4 or the HTC One. I went into the store and had one in each hand. I played around with both for about 30 mins each and decided to go the S4, and I do not regret my decision at all.

I still think the One has a SLIGHT edge in the display, and I would have liked those great front facing speakers, but the camera was a big drawback for me. While it's nice to have great low-light pictures, I can't get past a 4MP sensor :(

Feel free to ask me any questions about the handset if you like, I'll do my best to answer them.



adder7712
Apr 27, 2013, 01:07 AM
Does the rear shell feel like the first generation Galaxy S?

Zwhaler
Apr 27, 2013, 01:19 AM
I'm going to check this thing out tomorrow in my area. YouTube plays back 720p over the 1080p screen so do videos actually looks worse than on a 720p display phone like the Note 2? This was the case with the Droid DNA and HTC One from my comparison. How much has video quality improved over the S3?

MacRumorUser
Apr 27, 2013, 01:22 AM
I'll be turning vibrancy down in my GS4 when it gets here. I assume we still have the option to choose natural in settings for vibrancy. I find the over saturation of colours too much for me personally.

Questions..... As you have time with Touchwiz.

1) Other than S-Apps has Touchwiz improved much since my Galaxy S2? Looking at videos it seems awfully similar, and I wasn't biggest fan to start with.

2) please tell me I can turn off the cube like spinning on home screen and opt for simple slide animation between home screens?

3) is it true I can't make a folder by just dragging one app icon onto another, that I must drag the icon the top ofthe screen to create folder and then drag other icons into it?

4) widget wise is there more than just one weather widget, perhaps one with a more clear background that doesn't hide / cover your desktop wallpaper so much?

5) calendar. Does it come with one or two calendar applications. I've seen shots of Samsung's and with a lot if entry's it looks like a cluttered in your face mess, does the stock calendar app come with it too?

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 04:19 AM
Does the rear shell feel like the first generation Galaxy S?

It has a SLIGHTLY more matte feel to it. Doesn't attract fingerprints NEARLY as much, and doesn't feel as slippery.

----------

I'm going to check this thing out tomorrow in my area. YouTube plays back 720p over the 1080p screen so do videos actually looks worse than on a 720p display phone like the Note 2? This was the case with the Droid DNA and HTC One from my comparison. How much has video quality improved over the S3?

I had to do a few tests before I figured this one out.

Videos that were uploaded with a 1080p resolution WILL play at 1080p, but if you play a video that only goes up to 720p it will scale it, which makes it lose a bit of sharpness.

----------

I'll be turning vibrancy down in my GS4 when it gets here. I assume we still have the option to choose natural in settings for vibrancy. I find the over saturation of colours too much for me personally.

Questions..... As you have time with Touchwiz.

1) Other than S-Apps has Touchwiz improved much since my Galaxy S2? Looking at videos it seems awfully similar, and I wasn't biggest fan to start with.

2) please tell me I can turn off the cube like spinning on home screen and opt for simple slide animation between home screens?

3) is it true I can't make a folder by just dragging one app icon onto another, that I must drag the icon the top ofthe screen to create folder and then drag other icons into it?

4) widget wise is there more than just one weather widget, perhaps one with a more clear background that doesn't hide / cover your desktop wallpaper so much?

5) calendar. Does it come with one or two calendar applications. I've seen shots of Samsung's and with a lot if entry's it looks like a cluttered in your face mess, does the stock calendar app come with it too?


1) The first thing I did was replace the TW Launcher with Nova. I've never disliked TW as such, but I've always felt like it wasn't as good as it could be. For what it's worth though, the TW launcher was incredibly smooth - didn't skip a beat.

2) Not sure what you're referring to here - my animations were more like a nexus tablet, the slight panning like you're on the inside of an octagon. If that's what you're referring to, then no, I don't think you can change it. Again, not too sure because I changed launcher.

3) Sadly yes, pain in the ass to create a folder in TW - again, custom launcher.

4) There is a 4x2 widget that has the clock and weather, and there is one that is just the weather. I wasn't particularly fond of either.

5) It only comes with the S Planner app as default, however I did notice that you can now download the Google calendar from the Play Store, which I was never able to do on my S3 - compatibility issues or something.

Hope that helps guys :)

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 05:34 AM
Are there any HD moving wallpapers that come with the S4?

MacRumorUser
Apr 27, 2013, 05:47 AM
1) The first thing I did was replace the TW Launcher with Nova. I've never disliked TW as such, but I've always felt like it wasn't as good as it could be. For what it's worth though, the TW launcher was incredibly smooth - didn't skip a beat.

2) Not sure what you're referring to here - my animations were more like a nexus tablet, the slight panning like you're on the inside of an octagon. If that's what you're referring to, then no, I don't think you can change it. Again, not too sure because I changed launcher.

3) Sadly yes, pain in the ass to create a folder in TW - again, custom launcher.

4) There is a 4x2 widget that has the clock and weather, and there is one that is just the weather. I wasn't particularly fond of either.

5) It only comes with the S Planner app as default, however I did notice that you can now download the Google calendar from the Play Store, which I was never able to do on my S3 - compatibility issues or something.

Hope that helps guys :)


Thanks for that - it's appreciated.

As I suspect I too will be loading Nova Prime onto mine too. I have already purchased beautiful and factory HD widgets so I'll have to use one of them for the weather, and I'll just re-download the stock google apps to replace the samsung apps.

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 05:55 AM
what is nova? very new to android...

ugahairydawgs
Apr 27, 2013, 06:10 AM
what is nova? very new to android...

A custom launcher tool. You can find it in Google Play.

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 06:19 AM
A custom launcher tool. You can find it in Google Play.

how does it work exactly?

MacRumorUser
Apr 27, 2013, 06:30 AM
how does it work exactly?

It replaces touchwiz (for the most part, custom diallers, messenger application and applications are still touchwiz)

It means you can get rid of Samsung's touchwiz looking interface and replace it with a stock android kind of interface.

It's just an app essentially that you can default to replace samsungs own interface. Should you wish to go back to samsungs you can do that too.

There are LOTS of launchers available for android.

I actually like the one on modaco which is essentially 'THE STOCK' launcher for android JB as it's very light memory wise.




________


Krimsonmyst

Another question. I was watching a video review of the S4 and he went into application management and showed memory usage / available and he was nearly compeltey used up memory wise.

1.6gb or the 1.7gb available !!! That shcoked me as it might explain some of the lag if Samsungs features are all zapping the available memory.

So could you check as you have installed another launcher and see what free memory is available for you.

With the HTC one I just sent back - I always used around 500-600mb of the 1.5gb user accessible memory (the other 500 is system reserved) so I was comfortable in the knowledge that I had lots of memory left.

I'm just wondering if Samsung's S4 features are sucking all the available memory from the handset, I really do not want to have to micromanage a phones memory in 2013.

Thanks.

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 06:35 AM
It replaces touchwiz (for the most part, custom diallers, messenger application and applications are still touchwiz)

It means you can get rid of Samsung's touchwiz looking interface and replace it with a stock android kind of interface.

Will have to try it...S4 will be my first android phone.

fredaroony
Apr 27, 2013, 06:40 AM
Will have to try it...S4 will be my first android phone.

Couple apps you might want to check out then!

Airdroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid

Swype (i think your device may come with it)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nuance.swype.dtc

A good Google Reader app
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noinnion.android.greader.readerpro

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 06:43 AM
Couple apps you might want to check out then!

Airdroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid

Swype (i think your device may come with it)
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nuance.swype.dtc

A good Google Reader app
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.noinnion.android.greader.readerpro

Many thanks

I'm so new to this...so expect many questions guys.

MacRumorUser
Apr 27, 2013, 06:50 AM
Many thanks

I'm so new to this...so expect many questions guys.

There is a reasonable learning curve with moving to android at first so don't be afraid to ask, we are all here to help :)

Though of course there are sum who are just here to moan & whinge too ;):D:)

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 06:53 AM
There is a reasonable learning curve with moving to android at first so don't be afraid to ask, we are all here to help :)

Though of course there are sum who are just here to moan & whinge too ;):D:)

Indeed, maybe I should create a questions thread instead of all the topics I could make ha

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 07:26 AM
Many thanks

I'm so new to this...so expect many questions guys.

Android is an interesting beast. As someone who came from an iPhone 4 about 2.5 years ago, I can say that it isn't as easy and fluid out of the box as iOS is, but with a bit of work and a bit of effort at understanding the learning curve, it can look and do things that iOS can only dream of.

----------


Krimsonmyst

Another question. I was watching a video review of the S4 and he went into application management and showed memory usage / available and he was nearly compeltey used up memory wise.

1.6gb or the 1.7gb available !!! That shcoked me as it might explain some of the lag if Samsungs features are all zapping the available memory.

So could you check as you have installed another launcher and see what free memory is available for you.

With the HTC one I just sent back - I always used around 500-600mb of the 1.5gb user accessible memory (the other 500 is system reserved) so I was comfortable in the knowledge that I had lots of memory left.

I'm just wondering if Samsung's S4 features are sucking all the available memory from the handset, I really do not want to have to micromanage a phones memory in 2013.

Thanks.

I just did 3 checks of the ram usage over a 1 hour period of usage including Play Music, playing a few games and doing some web browsing, and my RAM usage sat at around 1.38gb being used, and topped out at 1.47. The maximum amount that the system has access to is 1.87gb.

Now that might sound like a lot of usage, but try though I have, I haven't been able to cause it to lag, not significantly anyway. I have had a dropped frame here and there, but I have a feeling that it might be more of an app optimisation issue, as it happened only in graphics intensive games (Dungeon Hunter 4 and The Room, both of which look STUNNING on this display btw). I didn't get any lag whatsoever in the general launcher/menu environments.

----------

Samsung has put all their efforts in creating the galaxy s4...:)

I was a little bit hesitant to get the S4 seeing as a lot of reviews have that it was good - BUT not as good as the HTC One, but after playing with it first hand, I think the reviewers are just looking for a reason to complain about Samsung/praise HTC, because there isn't a whole lot about this phone that disappoints.

Not IMO, anyway.

The biggest thing (and I really can't stress this enough) is how solidly this phone is built. Everyone thinks that to have build quality you need more 'premium' materials - but Samsung has really made this plastic build work for them, and it shows as soon as you pick an S4 up.

mattopotamus
Apr 27, 2013, 08:07 AM
Many thanks

I'm so new to this...so expect many questions guys.

Just download nova and play with it. At first it will seem weird as hell. Think of it as a new home screen with more options. You can change the size of icons, add gestures, and many other options. When you first download it your home screens will look empty because it basically sits on top of the old one if that makes sense. You can always delete it and go back.

The Game 161
Apr 27, 2013, 08:09 AM
Just download nova and play with it. At first it will seem weird as hell. Think of it as a new home screen with more options. You can change the size of icons, add gestures, and many other options. When you first download it your home screens will look empty because it basically sits on top of the old one if that makes sense. You can always delete it and go back.

great stuff thanks for your help

btw on the google maps on android does it give you turn by turn like it does on the iphone?

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 08:19 AM
No, Google maps on Android is just the mapping software.

If you're on a Samsung device, look for an app called navigon. It'll give you a fully fledged GPS experience with spoken turn by turn.

ugahairydawgs
Apr 27, 2013, 08:23 AM
No, Google maps on Android is just the mapping software.

If you're on a Samsung device, look for an app called navigon. It'll give you a fully fledged GPS experience with spoken turn by turn.

Google Maps doesn't do turn by turn on Android?

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 08:32 AM
Google Maps doesn't do turn by turn on Android?

Turn by turn written directions yes, but not spoken turn by turn.

Tsuchiya
Apr 27, 2013, 08:37 AM
Turn by turn written directions yes, but not spoken turn by turn.

It does kinda. You enter a destination and go to "navigate" along the bottom and it'll open up a new window. I've not tried it out but in the options there is a "turn voice off" one so I assume it does proper turn by turn.

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 08:44 AM
It does kinda. You enter a destination and go to "navigate" along the bottom and it'll open up a new window. I've not tried it out but in the options there is a "turn voice off" one so I assume it does proper turn by turn.

Yeah it's difficult to explain. It does turn by turn but not in the same way that it does on ios. Like I said, check out navigon for a full GPS experience.

playtillyadrop
Apr 27, 2013, 08:45 AM
Turn by turn written directions yes, but not spoken turn by turn.

Google maps does do turn by turn navigation with voice. Also you can download certain size of maps for offline navigation or use.

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 08:49 AM
Google maps does do turn by turn navigation with voice. Also you can download certain size of maps for offline navigation or use.

Clearly I need to try and use Gmaps to its potential a bit more :P

KentuckyHouse
Apr 27, 2013, 08:59 AM
great stuff thanks for your help

btw on the google maps on android does it give you turn by turn like it does on the iphone?

If you're gonna try Nova, just go ahead and pay for Nova Prime (the paid version of the launcher). It's got tons more options and is completely worth the couple of dollars.

Also, if you want to be able to switch back and forth easily between launchers, grab Home Switcher off the Play Store. It allows you to switch back and forth between launchers with a tap.

Another popular launcher is Apex. I used to use it until I tried Nova but I've been using Nova ever since. It's much more fluid than TouchWiz and you can change just about anything on it. If you've ever been jailbroken on iOS, think of Springtomize. That's what Nova can do for your Android phone.

BTW, yes you can do turn-by-turn with voice right out of the box. You actually have two maps apps..."Maps" and "Navigation". I typically just use Navigation but you can switch to Maps without ever leaving the app. Just tap the drop down at the top left of the screen and you can go to a whole host of other maps related functions or apps (including straight to Maps).

tbayrgs
Apr 27, 2013, 09:32 AM
No, Google maps on Android is just the mapping software.

If you're on a Samsung device, look for an app called navigon. It'll give you a fully fledged GPS experience with spoken turn by turn.

Not exactly true. Yes, Google Maps itself doesn't handle turn-by-turn real-time navigation but Google Maps Navigation does, at least on my Galaxy Note 2. It's an add-on to Google Maps, came preinstalled on my Note (pop-up note says it's in Beta) and works just fine. Considering it'll open up the navigation directly from Google Maps, that fact that it's a separate app really is not relevant.

Dr McKay
Apr 27, 2013, 10:00 AM
1.4GB of RAM usage? Wow. My Nexus 4 has 2GB as well and even with several apps doing things mine normally sits around 600-800MB. The highest Ive seen it go was 1.1GB and was when I forgot to clear apps for 2 weeks.

MacRumorUser
Apr 27, 2013, 10:11 AM
1.4GB of RAM usage? Wow. My Nexus 4 has 2GB as well and even with several apps doing things mine normally sits around 600-800MB. The highest Ive seen it go was 1.1GB and was when I forgot to clear apps for 2 weeks.

Yeah it's now my biggest concern.

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 10:16 AM
Yeah it's now my biggest concern.

It's no secret that oem skins do chew up memory, but again I have to stress that the amount of memory being used is not obvious at all in performance.

johnjefferson
Apr 27, 2013, 10:58 AM
Just the fact that you guys need to keep checking your RAM worried about your phone slowing down and thinking of ways to baby it if it does should tell you Android is still problematic. Have fun with that though. This thread is making me seriously re-think going back to Android.

sentinelsx
Apr 27, 2013, 11:12 AM
Yeah it's difficult to explain. It does turn by turn but not in the same way that it does on ios. Like I said, check out navigon for a full GPS experience.

The iOS app contains both navigation and maps. The android one is only maps and direction. Google has a separate app called "navigation" that does the navigating for you.

And it has been doing turn by turn with voice for ages in my experience.

----------

Does touchwizz stutter here and there? I found the GS3 to be "fast" but i hated some of the stuttering which was gone when i loaded AOKP. Also when i bought the N4 on 4.2.2 it was blazing fast, it was hard to believe i was using an android phone lol.

I have a feeling all the samsung bloat features (this is my opinion about them being bloat, lets leave it at that) and the skin is going to hinder the performance. I have seen a note 2 lag despite monster specs and the nexus 4 completely outpaces them all unless they are rooted and running custom AOSP ROMs. I almost feel like buying a nexus again lol.

AppleRobert
Apr 27, 2013, 11:28 AM
I will try to help.

I have very slow wifi in my home per se. I had broswer sessions opened, Candy Crush, a few other things and I was still able to stream nexflix movie perfectly with no lag. And I did not notice any lag at all doing other things as well when I had lots of apps opened either.

Dontazemebro
Apr 27, 2013, 11:28 AM
1.4GB of RAM usage? Wow. My Nexus 4 has 2GB as well and even with several apps doing things mine normally sits around 600-800MB. The highest Ive seen it go was 1.1GB and was when I forgot to clear apps for 2 weeks.

RAM in android unusused is Ram wasted.

mattopotamus
Apr 27, 2013, 11:37 AM
great stuff thanks for your help

btw on the google maps on android does it give you turn by turn like it does on the iphone?

There is maps and navigation. The maps app is just maps and directions. For turn my turn you use the navigation app or within the map app choose navigation.

Dr McKay
Apr 27, 2013, 02:16 PM
RAM in android unusused is Ram wasted.

Its normally close to the 1GB mark, however my Nexus 7 with 1GB of RAM occassionally gives me the out of memory error if I don't close apps from the background ritualistically. My friends GNex at work does it too.

DesertEagle
Apr 27, 2013, 02:19 PM
Congrats and enjoy!

jeffe
Apr 27, 2013, 02:33 PM
Its normally close to the 1GB mark, however my Nexus 7 with 1GB of RAM occassionally gives me the out of memory error if I don't close apps from the background ritualistically. My friends GNex at work does it too.

I doubt you have ever seen an out of memory error...seems more likely your running out of actual storage space on your device. Android manages memory automatically..there is no need for you to manually close apps from the background as Android will take care of that for you as it is needed.

fredaroony
Apr 27, 2013, 02:42 PM
I doubt you have ever seen an out of memory error...seems more likely your running out of actual storage space on your device. Android manages memory automatically..there is no need for you to manually close apps from the background as Android will take care of that for you as it is needed.

Me too, I have never seen a out of memory message in the 15 or so Android devices I owned.

supahsain
Apr 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
Its normally close to the 1GB mark, however my Nexus 7 with 1GB of RAM occassionally gives me the out of memory error if I don't close apps from the background ritualistically. My friends GNex at work does it too.

That's running out of space message. Android will not ask you to close apps. It will do that for you automatically. As the other guy said RAM in android unusused is Ram wasted.

Krimsonmyst
Apr 27, 2013, 03:54 PM
Just the fact that you guys need to keep checking your RAM worried about your phone slowing down and thinking of ways to baby it if it does should tell you Android is still problematic. Have fun with that though. This thread is making me seriously re-think going back to Android.

I only think that this is the case because Android actually has a memory monitor. I don't want to get into a whole ios v Android thing here, but I think you'd find people worrying about the same sort of thing if ios had a memory usage monitor. I'm sure people would be wondering why their ram usage was high :-)

Like I said though, the ram usage, while relatively high, doesn't seem to slow the phone down at all.

----------


[/COLOR]Does touchwizz stutter here and there? I found the GS3 to be "fast" but i hated some of the stuttering which was gone when i loaded AOKP. Also when i bought the N4 on 4.2.2 it was blazing fast, it was hard to believe i was using an android phone lol.

I have a feeling all the samsung bloat features (this is my opinion about them being bloat, lets leave it at that) and the skin is going to hinder the performance. I have seen a note 2 lag despite monster specs and the nexus 4 completely outpaces them all unless they are rooted and running custom AOSP ROMs. I almost feel like buying a nexus again lol.


The biggest complaint I had about the gs3 was that while it was still fast, the 1 gb of ram held it back (I live in Australia, so we had the quad core with 3g model initially before getting the 4g).
It was still fast, but I would semi regularly have issues with launcher redraws and dropped frames. The extra ram in the s4 seems to have fixed that though...so far this is a really nice smooth experience.