Samsung Galaxy S4 exclusive hands-on and first look [video]

March 15, 2013
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samsung galaxy S4 logo aa 600

Another grand Unpacked event is behind us, another “next big thing” is official, so it’s time for the real show to begin. Meaning it’s time to look for answers to the age-old question – did Samsung deliver (again)? And is the Galaxy S4 built for greatness or will it struggle against HTC, LG or Sony’s stronger than ever competition?

But how can you answer that without holding the S4 in your hands? You can’t, which is why we ask you to let us walk you through a short GS4 tour. We have an exclusive six-minute video hands-on and first look, which Joshua Vergara, our correspondent in New York, shot less than an hour after the big unveiling.

It all starts with a love-or-hate design, very similar and yet different from that of the “old” GS3. Similar, if you only look at the plastic body and rounded corners, but different, given the S4 boasts a larger display and is at the same time narrower and thinner than its predecessor.

The S4 will be initially made available in “White Frost” and “Black Mist”, unlike the S3, which was first out in white and blue. The model that our guy in NY handled was the white one, which we’re sad to report has the same cheap-looking back plate as the last “next big thing”. Bummer, we know.

Moving on from design to less shallow things, Josh’s first interaction with the Full HD Super AMOLED panel of the S4 went a-okay. The colors are vibrant and the viewing angles impressive, but that was all to be expected at an outstanding 441 ppi pixel density.

As for performance, we got really quick glimpses of a couple of benchmark test results, namely AnTuTu and Geekbench. The S4 got a nice 25,900 score in the former and a 3,157 in the latter. That AnTuTu result is roughly 3,500 points above the one of the alleged early dual-SIM prototype tested in China yesterday, which is really good news.

Our correspondent didn’t know this at the time of the hands-on, but the version he was handling was the US-bound one packing a 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 CPU and an Adreno 320 GPU. Will the Exynos-powered model perform equally as impressive in benchmarks? Your guess is as good as ours.

And finally, the software. Samsung focused most of the GS4 presentation on this, so a big chunk of our hands-on video is also dedicated to stuff like Dual Camera, Air Gesture, S Health, Drama Shot, Eraser and so on and so forth.

You already heard a lot about all these new software features, so I’m going to let you enjoy the clip in peace.

Don’t ignore all of our other GS4 coverage either, including the full specs, the availability and pricing details known at this time for the US and Canada, and the details on the big guy’s accessories. Also, how cool is that giveaway?

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