At this point, most readers probably fall into one of two camps: either you can’t get enough of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or you are absolutely sick of hearing about it. By now, you might have made up your mind when it comes to whether or not you want one.
But hang on, what if you haven’t made up your mind? Maybe you’re not sure you can afford it. Maybe you aren’t sure about locking yourself into a contract. Maybe you just bought your current phone and you’re kicking yourself for not holding out.
Yes, the hardware is probably faster than your current phone, but that isn’t necessarily everything. A few days ago, I compared the Galaxy S4 to the Galaxy Note 2. Yeah, for the most part the S4 bested the Note 2 when it came to hard data and sheer power, but you know what? It didn’t feel a whole lot faster in the end.
The design isn’t much of an update to pre-existing Samsung hardware either. Samsung seems to be taking a cue from Apple lately, adopting the “if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” approach when it comes to their designs. Yes, it’s thinner and it’s lighter, but when was the last time you were really bothered by the thickness or weight of your phone?
These aren’t just empty words, either: our own Darcy LaCouvée returned the Galaxy S4 and went back to his Note 2.
If you’re looking for a new phone, there are others that may suit you better, depending on what you’re looking for. Some options could include the HTC One, the Sony Xperia Z or the much-loved Samsung Galaxy Note 2. These are all good phones, and they all offer certain things that the Samsung Galaxy S4 might not.
That’s assuming you’re even looking for a new phone in the first place. Maybe you just bought one of the phones mentioned above. It’s even possible that (gasp), you don’t need to buy a new phone right now. Before you sign a contract or lay out a large amount of cash, it’s worth thinking for a while about what you really want out of a new phone. Try not to be blinded by all the new shiny features.
That’s assuming, of course, that you’ll actually use any of those new shiny features. As cool as they might be, I’ve got to say that a lot of them just feel like gimmicks.
Smart Scroll is cool, yes, but even on the occasions where it worked smoothly for me (which wasn’t all the time), I noticed that my eyes would start to hurt fairly quickly. Smart Pause might have sounded like a good idea on paper, but having the phone pause a video every time you look away for a little too long can get annoying pretty quickly.
Even the features that are useful don’t really require an upgrade. Take S Health, for example. It’s a really cool feature, but not one that really needs to be build into the phone. That’s not to mention that its behavior can be easily replicated by installing a few apps from the Play Store.
But that doesn’t matter: you’ve made up your mind. You want S Health or the new, improved ChatON, or Group Play. Guess what? There’s a pretty good chance that those features are coming to the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2 as well. Samsung isn’t stupid, though. They want the Galaxy S4 to sell well, so for a while, they’ll be exclusive to the new flagship.
You want proof? Look no further than Multi Window. At first, it was exclusive to the Galaxy Note 2. Then, a while after the initial fanfare died down, it was made available for the Galaxy S3. It’s happened once, and it will more than likely happen again.
It’s rare that a week goes by without some new rumor about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 3 being discussed, and for a very good reason. Think about the differences between the S3 and the Note 2. While there are a few holdouts who prefer the S3, a lot of power users (like, for example, a lot of the people who visit this site) vastly prefer the Note 2.
Yeah, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is cool and all, but from what we’re seeing, it looks like the Note 3 will blow it out of the water. It’s bigger, it’s more powerful and when it comes out, it’s going to be the Samsung phone to beat. Who doesn’t want more/better/cooler stuff?
That, of course, is just one phone. There are plenty of interesting hardware developments on the horizon from the other big manufacturers as well, and as interesting as the first third of 2013 was, we’ve got a lot of time left for it to get even more interesting.
If you’re too busy to read the whole thing or check out the video directly above, here’s the breakdown:
So what do you think of upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S4? Yea or nay? Let us know in the comments down below!