In this Friday Debate, we look back at one of the biggest Android devices from 2013 and to its successor, due to make its debut on Monday. Although highly anticipated and predicted to break sales record, the Galaxy S4 was received with less enthusiasm that the S3 and the S2 before it. It wasn’t a failure by any means, but that lack of excitement turned into missed sales targets for Samsung. It’s safe to say that the Galaxy S4 was a disappointment.

Now Samsung wants to go back to basics for the Galaxy S5. Will it succeed in rebooting the franchise or will the S5 lack the spark again? What does the Galaxy S5 need to have in order to be a huge success?

Join us in the discussion, vote in our poll, and sound off in the comments!

Robert Triggs

My biggest complaint with the Galaxy S4 was the attention spent on more trivial details, rather than focusing on what consumers would really make use of. S Health, Smart Pause, and Group Play were all neat little touches, but most people wouldn’t take a trip to the store for them.

Don’t misunderstand me, the Galaxy S4 was a good handset for both hardware and software, the problem was all in the message.

Samsung’s previous handsets were really pushing Android hardware and software ahead, the Galaxy S2 and S3 were really great smartphones for a number of reasons. In fact, the entire operating system was playing catch-up to Apple a few years ago, but now you could certainly argue that Android is out in front.

Other manufacturers, by comparison, have had a much better time selling their wares based on features that interest a lot of consumers. Sony’s waterproofing is obviously useful, HTC’s focus on superior sound quality strikes a chord with a lot of consumers, and with LG squeezing in top of the line specs at much cheaper prices, you can begin to see where enthusiasm for Samsung started to wane.

Remedying the situation is simple, Samsung just needs to go back to basics and offer consumers something that they’ll find immediately useful. Superior camera quality (ISOCELL?), qHD screens, waterproofing, improved audio DACs and functionality, are all features that will grab the consumers attention, rather than small software additions and tweaks that people may or may not use. Android software is in a good place right now, and whilst a new Touchwiz will be nice, a superior piece of hardware is what I’d really like to see.

I’m cautiously optimistic about the Galaxy S5, Samsung made it clear that it’s going backs to basics, and that’s exactly what the company needs to do.

Andrew Grush

While there was a lot to love about the Galaxy S4, in many ways it simply felt like a minor evolution to the Galaxy S3, not a massive leap forward. Sure, it had excellent specs and some cool new software tricks, but it touted the same design and really didn’t really have the same WOW factor that the GS3 had when it debuted.

Thankfully, the rumor mill already makes it pretty clear that Samsung is getting ready to rectify some of the mistakes that some folks feel the Korean giant made when introducing the GS4.

Not only is the GS5 expected to change the look and feel of the Galaxy S (likely with aesthetics similar to the Note 3), but we’ve also heard reports that suggest Samsung is going to put a lot of focus into the camera with a 16MP shooter that may have redesigned flash and could even ISOCELL technology. There’s also the promise of a fingerprint scanner and the possibility of a QHD variant.

If Samsung can deliver on the promises that we’ve heard from the rumor mill, the Galaxy S5 could bring the excitement that the Galaxy S4 arguably lacked. Bottom-line, they need to find a way to make the GS5 really stand out, without relying on software gimmicks to do it.

Although we still can’t say with any certainty what the Galaxy S5 will bring to the table, like Robert, I’m cautiously optimistic about the S4’s successor and believe that Samsung is intent on delivering a handset truly worth of the Galaxy S name.

Adam Koueider

The Galaxy S4 was sort of a two sided story. On the one hand, almost every spec was improved, and on the other, there was the remarkably similar design. Samsung isn’t the only one to have continued a design language for two years, but unlike Apple, Sony and (possibly) HTC, the design was one of the faults against the Galaxy S3 and hence the S4. When you pick up an S3 and an S4, neither of them gripped you as a flagship smartphone. It didn’t help that every Samsung phone, from the $100 budget phones, right up to the Galaxy S4, all looked more or less identical.

There’s also the features, which most people simply didn’t use. Sure, Samsung sold a boatload of Galaxy S4s, and it’s probably the biggest selling Android smartphone, but it wasn’t the all conquering beast that the S3 was.

So how can Samsung get back on top? The Design from top to bottom needs a refresh. I’ll be a little disappointed if Samsung just uses the Note 3’s design, but one thing’s certain, Touchwiz needs a revamp. Samsung should be focusing on 4-5 features which work well (Read: perfectly) and which will actually improve the customer’s experience with the device.
Samsung knew that it couldn’t afford to become lax, and it did a little with the S4. I’m sure that Samsung has something big up its sleeve which will make all of those people at the end of their Galaxy S3 and Note 2 contracts jump at.

Jonathan Feist

I would hate to chalk it up to simple factors like economics, human bloodlust and the faults of others, but the Galaxy S2 and S3 came to market at a time of stagnation of other manufacturers. The iPhone line was, at that time, experiencing exactly what Samsung is now, a plateau in design and abilities. S2 and S3 captured many users that were simply bored with their Apple product or that recognized the need to get off of the sinking Blackberry ship.

The Galaxy S4, one might argue, did not face any competition on the ‘premium’ level, except its own predecessors. With a large part of marketing for the earlier devices focused on human bloodlust, “we’re better than …” S4 marketing was a shift to “this is what we do…” I believe that, for the most part, users don’t want to hear what they can do, they already know what they want out of a device, and are already doing it on the S3.

Shifting back to economics, Galaxy S3 users are on the tail end of the all too popular 2-3 year contracts. Matched with new inexpensive competition like the Nexus 5 and Moto X, there was a serious financial barrier to the S4. However, with S3 users’ contracts ending, I believe the S5 will see many sales strictly from the lifecycle that those contracts created, regardless what the device looks like and is capable of doing.

Samsung got what it wanted and has established itself as a household name. Household names rarely rock the boat, they just chug along trying not to screw it up. The innovation and excitement comes from new players that have nothing to lose – Samsung was there, but if they do not capture that feeling again, users will be busy looking at the other shiny new toys on the market.

What do YOU think?

Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.

[poll id=”472″]

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • Sam Del Valle

    The only reason I do not like Samsung phones. (Exception of the Galaxy Nexus) is the TouchWiz. If Samsung toned down the bloatware and made it easier to use. Maybe I would buy a Samsung phone. But until that day comes, I will not buy a Galaxy S3, 4, 5, Note, Tab, etc.

    • MadCowOnAStick

      do you know what roms are

      • Sam Del Valle

        Yes I do. But you missed the point, my point was that Samsung needs to tone down their modifications and bloatware to Samsung phones.

        • smokebomb

          All they need to keep is multi window. Dump everything else. Multi window is one of the reasons I’m actually leaving the nexus line for the note 3. I haven’t found an app that does multi window.

      • Aravind J Nampoothiry

        Many people don’t know how to root or flash ROMs,and many are afraid,so if Samsung made a clean ROM in the first place,it could be a success

    • Colby Leong

      Whereas Sony’s UI is a bit toned down, and more of a rather polished Android version. While Samsung could tone it down, Sony could “tone it up”.Plus the S4 seemed more like a refresh of the S3, like what the Z1 was to the Z, with a few design changes,upgrade in specs, but minus the camera upgrade.

    • smokebomb

      It’s funny you say you didn’t hate the galaxy nexus since that phone was pretty bad compared to other options on the market at the time. I didn’t notice until I upgraded but the galaxy nexus screen had a piss yellow hue in the screen which probably ruined my eyes after having it for over a year.

    • Heisenberg

      TouchWiz does do some justice in the Galaxy Note phone line up though.

    • krym73

      Get the Google edition.

      • Sam Del Valle

        Cause I have $649 laying around

        That was sarcasm btw if you didnt catch it

        • Obi Alfred

          Nah really???

          Dat wuz sarcassmm incaz u didunt cach ett

  • Mike Reid

    For me at least, good old fashioned FM radio is a must.

    With GS4 Samsung was telling us “Here it is; take it or leave it”. I left it. Hopefully GS5 will show they listened more to their flagship customers and potential customers.

    • Gerard

      This right here. Local radios are not necessarily available online, and FM is necessary for those using their phone as a radio-enabled media player, without requiring an internet connection.

    • meir

      Fm radio !!!! Bring the fm radio back!!!!

    • SDB1

      If I’m at the gym, all the TVs broadcast their audio by FM. FM radio is a MUST!

  • Kasem

    It’s easy, just stop the whole gimmicky jesting…i mean, O.K. we all enjoyed and ”awed” at the execution of those software features but seriously..who implemented these in his/her daily life? What we need and want it that Samsung goes back to being revolutionary, and inspire the whole market by announcing something great and new like they did with the S2, it lived up to it’s name rather than being a gimmick or the Note 2 with its pen, screen size and huge battery.

    I think i can speak up when i say: ”less software, more hardware”

  • Brenden Keene

    Camera you can’t mess with, premium feel, revamped UI, and maybe a little design tweek and you got this Samsung. I’ll get a Nexus anyways, but you got it ;)

  • TechGuy

    Locked bootloaders, regional locking on sim free phones and Knox are just some of the reasons I am unlikely to buy a Samsung again. If only some other manufacturers did removable batteries and microsd card slot………

    • ziplock9000

      Small minority

    • Gilles LeBlanc

      I enjoy the chase, lockit up Samsung bia#ches all the more satisfying upon rooting it. If they take a section of the biz sector pie which is the reason for this. We all benefit with cheaper devices due to higher production output. Also better dev community and all around OS stability.

    • Tim B.

      I agree completely. So many say well you are just a small minority, but that is ignoring the fact that the small minority can influence enough people to have an impact on bottom line sales. When someone at my office sees the capabilities of a third party ROM and then says hey I want that too just to find out they can’t because Samsung locked the boot loader it puts them off from buying the next one. Couple that with the numbers that bought the S3 and were not eligible for an upgrade, the S4 became wholly unappealing to many as they would have to pay hundreds of dollars for a device they couldn’t do all the things they wanted to.

    • kozjegyzo

      The removable battery is the number one feature that makes me lean towards a Samsung device, when my switch comes, not long from now. I’m on an HTC One X right now that has never gone through an average work day with average use. I went for looks, instead of functionality, and I hate my self ever since. What good is a smartphone which runs dead by mid day when it’s used as intended? So from now on, even if it’s ugly I’m gonna choose a device with a removable battery…

  • RichySamui

    I’ve had the original Galaxy S, the S2, then the S3. The S4 aesthetics bored me, so switched to the Nexus 4, I’m now on the Note 3. I love everything about the Galaxy S and now the Note series but for the aesthetics. They just feel so cheap and nasty. Nexus phones achieve a very premium feel, in comparison, at a fraction of the cost so it’s not a cost problem that prevents them improving this area, it’s surely laziness. I will buy the S5 if they SIGNIFICANTLY improve the look and feel, I will not buy it if they fail in this area. Plain and simple.

    • jeff

      When I buy a new phone I always get a OTTERBOX DEFENDER case to my liking. So looks and feel really are moot points for s4 has not been a disappointment but yes it should atleast spec wise compare to the s3. Have a year left on my contract so I will let the s5 launch for a few months and get all the bugs out and probably will upgrade or might go with note 4. JMO !!

    • blairh

      Can’t you purchase a different back plate elsewhere?

  • DarrenSaw

    Dump Touchwiz, all the Samsung S crap bloatware and hardware buttons and I might look at them again.

    • Obi Alfred

      Don’t be an asshole dude

      • DarrenSaw

        Very well reasoned comment thank you . I have owned the s1 and s3, both ruined by Samsung’s dreadful mutilation of Android, will the 5 be better? Maybe but I expect it will be filled with useless, weird software ‘features’ and bloatware.

        • Obi Alfred

          I know what your saying. I wish samsung would make the S5 like a high end moto x. It should have different colors and materials you can choose, also it should have a choice between stock and Touchwiz android or atleast make Touchwiz a light skin. All of the customization needs to be available for all carriers and you can go on a galaxy website to customize.

  • ichuck7

    Include a recent apps button instead of the very antiquated menu button for starters. And second, please start over with touch wiz. It looks horrible. No, I do not want a QHD screen, I want a phone that lasts all day and then some.

    • Aniruddh

      Get the Note 3. Mine lasts for 2 days on medium usage.

      • ichuck7

        I Had the note 1 and 2. Good phones. I now have the G2. The battery life on that is amazing, especially now with a custom rom.

  • Let’s face it the S4 wasn’t one of the good looking devices out there plus the sh!t load of devices that look like the S4 that Samsung offers which might suit the consumer better than splurging on the half decent S4. I made a decision to pass when choosing between upgrading my two year old S2 ( i eventually settle with the galaxy note 3 which looked just as good as my S2). Samsung needs needs to release less and less devices and define their line of devices better

    • SContrerasMer

      YES!, the SII still looks and feels great, i still use mine (it will be 2 years old in may but works great)
      one of the biggest flaws in the Galaxy Lineup is TouchWiz, so i flashed CM9 a couple of months after getting it
      Now it has CM11, ain’t getting tired of Custom ROMS, and i recomend everyone who buys a Galaxy phone to go custom

    • jeff

      Agree there r way too many android phones on the market. I bet if it was cut 50% you would see more advancements in the android market !!

  • dandroid13

    I find it funny how people from the US believe that a Nexus will always be a cheap device anywhere in the world and that you can buy an HTC in all the countries where Samsung devices are available.
    Anyway, a little design revamp will be very welcome, together with a larger battery that can hold a QHD screen on for a least a day then there’s a winner.

    • abazigal

      The Nexus isn’t even available outside of the US. For people like me in Asia who get our phones subsidised from Telcos, it usually is either the iPhone or one of Samsung’s 2 flagship phones.

      • shourya

        Bro u mad?
        Nexus not available outside US?
        Damn, they’re selling like hotcakes in India. Probably even outsold S4…

        • abazigal

          Well, in the very least, I can’t find them anywhere in Singapore. Here, everyone is either using an iPhone, S4 or Note3…

        • kg2128

          The nexus 5 is definitely better than the S4 but there is no way it outsold the S4. And why be a douche and taunt someone who can’t get the Nexus 5?

  • systemupdate

    I wish they could make phone that looked like Megan Fox ;) I would buy that and never change it forever :D

  • Jeff Steinbucker

    Everything in an S3/s4 is fine, updated specs is nice but hardly going to make me upgrade… it’s battery life that is the thing they need to sort out the MOST, what’s the point of high-end features when you have to limit your use of them to less than 2 hours a day so you still have charge in the evening…. and yes the PRIMARY reason I have an S3 now is SD Card and replacable battery, otherwise i’d have gone HTC or nexus

  • AllPurposeRadio

    I came from an excellent Motorola phone prior to the S4. Build wise they couldn’t be more different. But I don’t mean that as a negative. I thought all the complaining about build quality was way overblown…oh no plastic! If that plastic can be easily removed to give me access to my battery or be quickly and easily replaced if necessary I’ll take it. One thing that’s a negative is Samsung and and any other manufacturer using Super AMOLED need to find a way to make it easier to see in daylight. Even on very light cloudy days thing is almost impossible to see. And yes Touchwiz is so overbloated mess. One feature that is underutilized is the S-View. It’s a great concept but should be able to more than just answer calls.I can see someone being able to change music or tracks or at least see a text message.

  • M3D1T8R

    Samsung needs to ditch their obsolete circa 2010 physical home button, and go with the correct standard Android button layout of back/home/recent apps, in that order, preferably on screen but capacitive okay, in order for me to ever seriously consider one of their devices again in the future.

    I bought a GS3 at launch, and it was a great device in a lot of ways but after getting used to standard Android buttons with the Nexus 7, the GS3 was frustrating to use every single time. Eventually so much so that I sold it (and my beloved 96GB of storage – 32 onboard and 64 SD) and downgraded to a G.Nexus. Then after that broke and I went through _five_ bad insurance replacements, I finally got a “free” HTC DNA replacement, and it has surprised me with how great it is, despite a couple areas where the GS3 was clearly superior (removable battery, SD slot, and I actually prefer AMOLED).

    So the buttons is far and away the main issue I have with Samsung. Other areas for improvement are:

    Reduce Touchewiz as much as possible so the experience is like stock Android with just some of Samsung’s unique features added (more like how Moto did the X).
    Improve signal strength, still a Samsung weakness vs Motorola (and even HTC).
    Improve build quality. Not just try to make the device _look_ more solid, but actually use better materials, and a more seamless design, etc.

    Do the above and Samsung will likely get me back as a customer. Until then – and I have a feeling I will be waiting a long time what with the way Samsung is nearly Apple-like with their stubborn clinging to bad design choices – I will be sticking with HTC or Motorola.

    • ichuck7

      Couldn’t agree more.

    • SDB1

      I don’t like the onscreen buttons. I’m always bumping the home button when I’m in an app.

  • Shark Bait

    For me , it was just a boring phone. Whilst Sony, HTC, lg and moto all pushed foward with new devices, samsung stuck in an incremental update. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t feel new in the way the other did through predictable hardware and the same old software.

    The chat around this version sounds more promising, and for the first time since the s2 I think I’m interested in samsung again !!!

  • Stephen Sharp

    While I highly promoted the Galaxy phones, I really think it just feels…cheap. Having had my Moto X for a few months now, it has a superior quality to it. So does the HTC One.

    Also, they could “borrow” Moto’s X8 system more or less

  • John Hamernick-Ramseier

    Optimize software, improved battery life and timely software updates, are the three things they need to do to stay on top along with SD card and removable battery.

  • IST Student

    I’m rocking a I747 now and I must say, I use the Samsung software a little, but decided to hop on over to CM 10.2. There’s a few software tricks I did like about Samsung, but one big peeve was the shit amount of bloat on their devices. Took me no more then a day to root & remove all those useless apps. Then Samsung tries their own apps to compete with Google, but I didn’t by Android for the Samsung experience, I bought it for Google. Yeah I could get a Nexus but doesn’t have external SD, or removable battery which I like. Important features that the S5 in my opinion would make it succeed! 1. New material design, the HTC metal frame is gorgeous, hands down._ 2. Exynos Octa Core. _ 3. 16mp camera with 5mp front facing._ 4. New speaker layout, maybe round edges (Lumia edge like) so a speaker grill can face almost both sides._ 5. Work next to Google more._ 6. 3gb RAM._ 7. I personally don’t need a finger print reader, but it would be a nice topping._ 8. 2k display AMOLED or similar tech._ 9. 5″ screen remains._ 10. Bloatware gone

    • IST Student

      P.S. Battery life… All the apps my I747 stock Samsung had ate juice.. CM 10.2 gets me all day with sync on. Also waterproofing… Now I’m done haha

  • GrinigGammalGubbe

    Low price with high specs and stock android = Success.

  • Marsg

    How did the galaxy s4 falter? Might of not met our overblown expectations but it was still the best selling Android device of all time just like its predecessor. Its a game of popularity not hardware just ask anyone at Apple.

  • Gamma M

    1. Tone down TouchWiz and all the bloatware and get closer to the stock android which hopefully will make updates faster, make the phone less laggy and let the battery last longer
    2. Instead of tones of gimmicky software features, bring couple of real-life-useful features that work. (like what Moto X did with active notification and touchless controls)
    3. Better camera (maybe like Lumia 1020?) and bigger battery never hurt.
    4. Bigger screen and higher resolution game has got boring already. They just make phones harder to handle and batteries die faster

  • jimreed

    If S4 is considered a failure, what can we assume happened to HTC One, Xperia Z and all the other flagship model that can’t even achieve 20% of S4 sale volume????? Those must be really sh*t phone if we follow the writers logic? Hate Touchwiz? But your phone will look like any other China phone which normally come with Android Vanilla. I will always prefer hardware navigation/home button. It help share the load of turning up the screen (and it’s much easier too)

    • kg2128

      exactly, if the sales of the S4 were awful then absolutely they should take lessons from whoever else. But the S4 sold a ton and the other companies still need to learn from Samsung more than the other way around. And again hardware wise Samsung is always on top whenever it’s phone is released.

    • Grman Rodriguez

      Is a failure when compared with the expectations Samsung had for it, and how successful his brothers were. It’s like the kid that is above average in school while his older brothers invented the cure for cancer.

  • Ruz

    Apart from Premium feel i think Samsung also needs to focus on have a better Premium quality mics built-in and better speakers to play them with better internal DAC’s

    • Ruz

      Ohh did i forget to mention longer battery, better camera, water proofing?

  • T.J.

    Make the hardware look and feel better.
    Make the software look and feel better.
    Keep the bloatware away.
    Work on battery life.

  • Jack Parker

    They need to stop doing an apple and listen to what customers want

    You need a metal body on a premium smart phone

    You need not to make 3 other models of the same thing with slightly better specs I.E screen or waterprofness

    You need the OS to be smooth and butterly

    And they really need a different design from what all their current smart phones look like

    Speaking of S4 sales. Samsung need to remember that the people who bought the S3 90% of them got in on a 2 year contract meaning in a years time when the S4 came out they werent due an upgrade, and they weren’t going to splash out £500 for a smart phone which to tell is the same

    When the S5 comes out the majority of people who own S3’s will buy the S5 because its a Samsung and their ” used to it ”

    In a years time people who have the S4 and the S6 comes out will get that as well because it did do well and again people will wanna stick with what they know

    Rant over

  • number29

    The hardware is fine. It’s the OS and software that’s the problem.

    • deepen915

      they need to go Near Stock Android for the S5. I just used a Moto G and even with reduced specs it felt smoother than my S4!

  • Groud Frank

    Water proofing, refresh in design, refresh of Touchwiz and optimization of Touchwiz, and improved camera and video taking capabilities would do it for me. I won’t buy it but having these features means that the Note 4 likely would have them plus more and that’s a phone I intend to buy.

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    I hope they dont make it qHD LOL….

  • Heisenberg

    I think their software and design that needs improving the most. Samsung has added a lot of great features to Android but also a lot of terrible features. They should keep the multitasking features and get rid of most of the S Bloat, sspecifically the ones that compete with Google services.

    Design isn’t my huge concern but a lot of people clearly didn’t like the Galaxy S4s design. They should change their design to something that really stands out, I especially like the Galaxy S4 Active & Galaxy J design.

  • Heisenberg

    One final thing, Samsung needs to avoid all these scandals we’ve seen over the past year. Paying students, the benchmark fiasco, region lock – there was really no need for any of this nonsense. They would have been successful without this BS.

    • banyakbodoll

      Those are news/BS hyped up by Samsung hater. It doesn’t affect anyone or cause anyone any harm. Did you suffer financial loss or something big bcoz of Samsung??

  • Mystery Man

    “LG squeezing in top of the line specs at much cheaper prices”
    Can’t name one LG phone that has top of the line specs for cheap prices. Even their shitty phone like g2 mini is priced high. Google subsidizing nexus doesn’t count.

    • Murat

      He’s probably referring to the nexus 4 and 5.

  • Amine Elouakil

    qHD and QHD are not the same thing, please be carefull about this

  • Patrick Smithopolis

    “Why did the Galaxy S4 falter”?

    The answer is it didn’t. It was the top selling Android phone of 2013 by a long shot and barring some complete meltdown by Samsung, the S5 will be the top selling Android phone in 2014. What Samsung can do to further distance themselves from other Android OEMs is to change their design language. I have no problem with the materials they use but the design of the phone is boring and uninspired and it’s been diluted because so many of their phones use the same design. It’s time for a fresh new look that’s exclusive to only their top tier phones. The cartoonish and cluttered UI is also in need of a seriously makeover. The childish looks and sounds need to go and a minimalistic approach should by the goal. The need to cut down on the gimmicks.

  • blairh

    The S4 is a better version of the S3. For it to ‘falter’ in any way means things outside the phone itself affected sales, otherwise the S3 wouldn’t have been such a success.

    Competition grew much stronger in 2013, most likely affecting sales in some regard. TouchWiz also could have used a more polished look last year, so perhaps that didn’t help things. There is also a general saturation with smartphones sales in general right now. This affects all OEM’s.

    The two biggest complaints I see about the Galaxy line is TouchWiz and the plastic back cover. I’d like to see Samsung address both these areas on Monday. At this point it’s a given that TouchWiz is getting a visual overhaul. How people react to this moving forward remains to be seen. My guess is it will be positive. The back plate is another story. I see it working out 2 ways. Either the S5 adopts the faux-leather of the Note 3 or the rumored versions of the S5 bring about a faux-leather or slimy plastic for the less expensive model and the metal backing for the premium/’prime’ model.

    Lastly, and just a personal opinion here, I hear we are getting a physical home button again. I really would have liked to see on-screen buttons finally.

  • kg2128

    Definitely some exaggeration here when talking about the S4. It didn’t look as good as the HTC One (no other smartphone does) but it was superior hardware wise to the One and everything else when it came out. Removable battery with good capacity/SD card for those that wanted it, extremely thin, best cpu/gpu/screen at the time. There was so much love for the HTC One in reviews but it didn’t sell for a reason (stupid button layout, small non-removable battery, smaller screen, nothing groundbreaking in terms of the hardware). The S4 sold like crazy because the hardware underneath was great, plus it looked good (just not great like the JTC One). And Sony is a complete non-factor, it’s not even worth mentioning.

    • Amine Elouakil

      Superior hardware wise, Aside from the slightly higher clocked CPU what are the things that made it superior hardware wise? the dual audio speaker, the best in class front facing camera, the highest density screen and the best screen of it generation? the highest storage ? all those goes for the One , they had the same SoC so not it didn’t have better cpu/gpu/screen as you claim.

      Saying the One didn’t sell is stupid, it sold millions and still millions, You can check HTC sells per quarter (not like their range is composed of 2214512 Smartphones), the thing is like I explained, is the marging, HTCs marging on the One are almost non existante, the manufacturing process, materials, parts (high quality DAC, High Quality screen, Arguably high quality camera, (the camera is made on demand so it’s much more expensive than the generic 13mpx camera that everyone is using ect ect)

      make the break even point much much higher in terms of sales.

      The best Galaxy is the S2 if you ask me, I’ve tried all the Galaxy S phones for an extensive amount of time, and the S2 is the only one that convinced to own and skip an HTC or Nexus device

  • apianist16

    Where’s the “all of the above” choice in the poll? :P

  • John-Phillip Saayman

    I would say nice specs, good design and unique features. Also 4th I would like a better touchwiz that is more modern and fluent.
    Was hoping all s5’s come with QHD but now we’ll see

  • asd

    I think it failed because people have a 2 year contract and so people with s3 did not want to upgrade and also because it did not have a new design to attract new customers…also because the note 3 was going to be released in the same year. For this reason I think they should have a new ui and body design and also should release the note 4 next year spring and the S5 the year after on the summer…that way they are not releasing phones too much products which is a problem for Sammi

  • filaos

    Too big. Those phones are just way too big.

    • deepen915

      OK then stick to your NON HD 4inch 640p iPhone

      • filaos

        I don’t care about this non-HD point as any tech-savvy person should. If size is OK and screen is bright and legible why should we need a given resolution ? Video content varies a lot and is rarely strictly HD. Even when it is, resizing is INVISIBLE on a 300ppi+ screen.
        You only repeat a marketing argument that doesn’t make any sense IRL. Are you a brainless child ?

  • Murat

    qHD = quarter HD
    Needless to say it would make your eyes bleed.

    • abc

      I disagree with everything everyone is saying now. there is qHD and QHD right now, quarter HD and Quad HD. I dont feel right, if OEMs make screens less HD than the current Full HDs, it doesnt make sense. QHD is 2560×1440.

  • Old_Norm

    This is about the dumbest article I’ve seen recently. Samsung sold more Galaxy S4s than Galaxy S3s. How is that disappointing? The only people who predicted 10 million is sales were analysts, not Samsung. Then, soon after predicting (guessing) the 10 million sales the analysts revised their figures downward. One has to wonder how much those analysts made when they pushed up the stock with their faulty predictions. There isn’t an Android phone company in existence that wouldn’t kill to have the same number of Galaxy S4 sales.

  • ryq24

    Too many competitors is the chief reason especially from the Chinese manufacturers like lenovo and hwawei and alcatel who sell their phones at way cheaper price with good or passable specs!

  • flamencoguy

    Market is saturated. Trading up to new model happens less frequently. Do you buy a new car every 5 years? Calculate the total cost. It is not free and it is not subsidized. A subsidy is an outright grant. Although it is called a subsidy (like a gov’t subsidy) it is not actually. The money is clawed back from your plan that is priced at a higher rate than it would be otherwise.

  • neil

    Why amoung cussion on ruggedness? Am I the only parent on here where an otter box is just too clunky but drop ssurvivability is a factor. Coworkers have broken too many S4s which ended buying S4s amoung that group. Sony and moto are getting the durability concerned.

    Hence the need for a metal frame S5.

    When will there be a rugged pocketable flagship with a super camera for parents? The S3 was a jump in camera capability, but parents need more rugged.

  • sohaitech

    Here are what falter: whole Xperia series (ask Sony, are they making any profit last few years?), HTC One (the most overhyped 2013 phone by all tech reviewers…you guy know sh*t about consumer and market demand), Nokia Lumia series (can’t even match Galaxy S4 sales) and last but not least, all tech writers (who believe they are the high authority of everything about smartphone…you guys should all go back to school)

  • Roj Beraña

    i bought 5s this year and did not wait for s5.. made the right choice

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