The Galaxy S4 Family: what you need to know

June 13, 2013
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    Samsung Galaxy Logo aa 600px

    What started off as a single flagship device has quickly expanded into one happy family full of Galaxy S4 branded devices.

    Now there there are five different members to the S4 family, how do you know which one is right for you? In the end, it all comes down to the features you want or need. Some folks love stock Android, some don’t. Others need a waterproof device, or maybe they are looking for a phone with a killer camera.

    To get a better understanding of how each of the S4 siblings differ, let’s start by comparing the basic specs offered by each device:

    s4-family-chart-fxd

    Now that we have taken a closer look at the hardware, let’s talk a bit about each handset to help you figure out which one is right for you.

    samsung-galaxy-s4-photo

    Samsung Galaxy S4

    If you are looking for a high-end flagship device that does a little bit of everything, look no further than the Galaxy S4. The phone has a stunning design, impressive build quality, and beefy specs.

    In short, the S4 represents the best of what Galaxy S4 family has to offer.

    While it might not have special features like a waterproof design, it has an excellent camera, a stunning super AMOLED display, and tons of special software tricks and features. Best of all, the Galaxy S4 is available right now, from just about every major carrier.

    s4-nexus-ed

    Samsung Galaxy S4 with Nexus Experience

     If you are in love with the Samsung GS4’s high-end specs and design, but not so crazy about TouchWiz, this is the phone you are looking for.

    Intended for those that love to mod their devices, the Galaxy S4 NE runs on stock Android, which means you’ll get timely updates and more workable storage space, since all Samsung’s software (bloat) won’t be present here.

    When is it coming? The Galaxy S4 NE will be available Google Play starting June 26th (U.S. only), with an outright price of $649.

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Press (8) 1600

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

    The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an impressive handset, but unlike the Xperia Z, it isn’t exactly intended for use in the water, or for dusty conditions. That’s where the Galaxy S4 Active comes in.

    Essentially the Active is the same device as the original S4, save for a slightly bulkier design, physical buttons and the ability to withstand water up to 1m in depth for up to 30 minutes.

    The Active has the same processor, same amount of RAM and many of the same special software tricks as the original S4. There are some changes outside of the waterproof casing, however, such as its 8MP camera that can take pictures underwater. The Active also utilizes a TFT LCD, as opposed to a Super AMOLED display.

    For those in the United States, the active is confirmed to arrive to AT&T on June 21st for $199.99 with new contract. For the rest of the globe, no official date has been confirmed just yet, though reports exist claiming it could arrive July 1st in the UK.

    Galaxy-S4-mini-profile-1

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

    Not everyone likes the idea of a 5-inch smartphone, and not everyone cares about having the highest specs around. That’s why Samsung released the Galaxy S4 Mini, a lower-end handset with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor and 4.3-inch display.

    Just a word of caution, if you really care about the quality of your display, you should know that Samsung ditched the 1080p display found in the original S4 for a much less impressive 960×540 resolution.

    Still, the slim package could certainly appeal to folks that don’t like massive handsets. The S4 Mini is just  124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm and weighs in at only 107g.

    Currently we have no word on exactly when the Galaxy S4 Mini will touch down, or what markets will end up carrying the device.

    Galaxy S4 Zoom

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

    The most recently announced member of the Galaxy S4 family is the Zoom. When looking at the spec sheet, the S4 Zoom seems to have a lot in common with S4 Mini.

    Like the Mini, the S4 Zoom has a dual-core processor and just 1.5GB of RAM. It isn’t meant to be a high-end device, and instead is more focused on taking great pics. Not only does the Z4 Zoom offer a 16MP camera, it also has 10x optical zoom, enhanced SMART modes, OIS 24-240, F3.1-F6.3, and Xenon Flash.

    Another interesting feature for the S4 Zoom is an in-call photo share feature, which lets you capture photos and instantly send them to the person you are talking to.

    As for when this one is coming, or when it is arriving – there are currently no solid details. More than likely we will learn more at Samsung’s London-based event on the 20th of June.

    Conclusion

    Samsung clearly isn’t afraid to expand its flagship line, and really we are glad they did! With the Galaxy S4 family, you don’t necessarily have to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach, instead you can find the phone that best works with your lifestyle.

    Not all of these phones are out just yet, and it’s still unclear what markets they will or won’t show up to. In the meantime, you can always grab the Galaxy S4 now, or at least check out our review to get a closer look at what to expect:

    What do you think of Samsung’s S4 line-up, which S4 handset are you most interested in?

    Comments

    • Tomáš Mundil

      S4 mini does have 1900 mah battery, not 2330 as you have mentioned in chart

      • Andrew Grush

        Sorry about that, the 2330 mAh entry was meant for the Zoom. The chart has been fixed. Thanks!

    • Suhail Al-Tayea

      Used to have the s4 LTE version,and was completely disappointed to be honest. There was too much lag on the device (maybe the stock android will be quicker) and the camera wasn’t that good indoors cuz too much noise. Taking pics outdoors on a sunny day was fantastic though. Also, 4g was not working with several mobile providers in Kuwait. Replaced it with the new HTC one.

    • simpleas

      “you don’t necessarily have to settle for a one-size-fits-all approach, instead you can find the phone that best works with your lifestyle.” Awesome!

      • On a Clear Day

        Choice and the ability to mix and match features is one of the integral advantages Android has over the iPhone as we all know – not to mention varying price points.

        So, from that standpoint I think Samsung’s decision to offer these various iterations of the S4 is a wise and prudent one; they are giving all of us more options as well as broadening their potential prospect base by allowing those who want stock Android to have it if they wish, etc.

        I must say that the S4 Active sounds exceedingly underwhelming; an 8 Megapixel camera compared to the 13 on the regular version; no Amoled screen – but you can stick it underwater for half an hour. I was hoping for all that the original had plus tougher construction that actually went beyond water resistance. This is the one version that from the review sounds to me like it is not worth considering too seriously – especially since it makes you trade off desirable features. Someone on the design team wasn’t doing their job too well.

    • Jaun Lombard

      “The phone has a stunning design, impressive build quality, and beefy specs.”

      I agree..it is not a HTC one design but it is still a nice looking phone.

    • Rahulits01

      You did not mention the S4 with exynos octa core version!

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