5 Reasons To Upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S4

by: Kristofer WoukMay 21, 2013


A little while back, we played devil’s advocate and took a look a 5 reasons why you might not want to upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy S4. Now, in the interest of fairness, and because it is a pretty cool phone, we’re going to do the opposite and look at 5 reasons why you might want to pick it up after all.

You’ve seen our review, you’ve seen all the versus pieces we did comparing the Galaxy S4 to other phones, you’ve seen some tips and tricks to get the most out of it. Now, here are five of what we think are the best reasons that you might want to take home a shiny new S4.

In a hurry? Check out the video or just get the gist at the end of the article.

1.) It’s Pretty Fast

There’s no way around it: at least for now, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is quite simply one of the fastest phones on the market. How fast? Well let’s take a look at benchmarks. In our benchmark chart, the Snapdragon 600 version of the Galaxy S4 scored 25,900 while the Exynos 5 version scored even higher at 27,417.

HTC One vs Galaxy S4 benchmarks

When it comes to easily available mass-market devices, that’s as fast as they come. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s going to feel that much faster than other high end devices, but that’s because we’re beginning to reach a point where specs matter less and less. Still, if you want the fastest option on your carrier, the Galaxy S4 is a pretty safe bet.

2.) The Size Is Nearly Perfect

As part of my duties here at Android Authority, I end up handling a fairly large amount of devices. The strange thing is that, while they come in all shapes and sizes, it can be more difficult than you’d think to find one that just feels right. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of those devices.

Samsung Galaxy S4

The balance between screen size and overall device size can be a tricky one. Take the much-beloved Galaxy Note 2 for example: it’s huge screen is nice, but you definitely trade ease of use to get that massive screen. The Samsung Galaxy S4 on the other hand still has a screen that is large enough to comfortably watch videos while remaining small enough that one handed operation is not only possible, but easy.

3.) The Camera Is Awesome

A little over a week ago, we decided to pit the camera in the Samsung Galaxy S4 against the HTC One’s Ultrapixel camera. Both cameras put in a strong showing, but in the end, we gave the edge to the S4. Now this isn’t going to matter to everyone, but if you take a lot of photos with your phone, this is another reason you might want to take a close look at the S4.


Ignoring the more gimmicky features like Drama Shot or Sound and Shot–you probably won’t use them even half as much as you might think–and just focusing on image quality alone, the S4 has some impressive optics. A quick web search for “best smartphone camera 2013” will reveal quite a few people calling the Galaxy S4’s camera the best currently available. Note: we didn’t search for the best Android camera, these results were for the best phone camera. Not bad, Samsung. Not bad at all.

4.) There Will Always Be Something on the Horizon

In the last article, regarding the point that you might want to hold off on buying the S4 because of the upcoming Galaxy Note 3, many of you commented with the same response: there is always going to be a newer, better phone just around the corner. And you know what? You were right.


While plenty of us are still very excited about the Note 3 (and other phones), there is always going to have to be a point where you stop, pick a phone and live with your choice. With that in mind, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a great choice. With all its specs and features, there isn’t much of a chance that you’ll be telling yourself that you made a huge mistake a year from now.

5.) TouchWiz or Stock? The Choice Is Yours

Last week at Google I/O, we saw an announcement that we weren’t expecting: a “Google Edition” of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that runs stock Android. If you’re reading this site, we probably don’t need to tell you that this isn’t something you see everyday. Take that super fast hardware and combine it with stock Android, and that is (for many of us, at least) a match made in heaven.


Now, we understand. There are plenty of you who would rather have Samsung’s TouchWiz UI than stock Android. That’s why this is a perfect situation: no matter which happens to be your preference, there is a version of the S4 for you. While we’d like to see this option for every phone released, right now, the S4 has a lock on it, and that alone might make it worth a buy.



If you just want the bare bones 5 reasons to buy the S4, here they are:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. The size is just about perfect for most people.
  3. It’s got one of the best smartphone cameras around.
  4. There are always better phones coming out. Don’t let that paralyze you with indecision.
  5. It’s available with either the TouchWiz UI or stock Android. Pick your poison.

So what do you think? Is the Samsung Galaxy S4 a great buy or are you waiting for something else until you upgrade? Let us know in the comments down below!

  • Damian Salvatto

    I’m quite sure its a great phone with many gimmicks, not hating but its not for me. Just my opinion. I used my upgrade on HTC, I’m pleased with the HTC One for now.

    • Kristofer Wouk

      I’d be pleased too. The HTC One is a great phone.

      • Ruben

        The HTC One feels like a $700 phone unlike the plastic Samsung Galaxy S4… HTC knows how to make good looking phones.

        • Anonymousfella

          Looks are all that matter, eh?

        • RedSun

          90% ppl who think $700 phone feels good are using cheap rubber or cheap plastic phone cover. Where as Samsung owners at-least 60% people doesn’t use any covers. Premium sports car brands like Aston Marin, Ferrari, Lamborghini etc are using carbon fiber parts which are more durable and which are as good as metal parts.
          It’s only the marketing trap to have metal parts to feel premium.

  • 윌 스튜어트

    6. SD Slot
    7. Removable Battery

    • uu

      8. Amoled Dislay
      9 Dev Support
      10. Guaranteed OS Updates
      11. For exynos, Wolfson-the best audio.chip

      • uu

        12. For health enthusiasts and concerned people-SHealth
        13. For business, Knox and SideSync
        14. Many accessories

        • coby boyd

          15.Features: Air View,Air Gesture,Smart Scroll,Smart Pause
          17.Group Play

          • nishantsirohi123

            18. Being a flagship high chances of getting choices of cases, covers, accessories like battery packs and screen guards
            19. High sales numbers means that spare parts for repairs shall be easily available and for a long time (true in markets where phones are sold unlocked, hence treated like any other electronic item.)

    • Roddisq

      SD slot and removable battery are awesome and plastic body. Screws all around. If I get my hands on a dual sim version would be the best.

  • Adam Outler

    I own a GS4. The software is buggy. The battery life sucks. Hover touch is not supported by anything yet.

    • simpleas

      says you

      • Adam Outler

        Try using optical reader for anything.

    • That is normal for Samsung as their software is always buggy and laggy, if Samsung phones do not lag then that is surprising!

  • No One

    In this post I will give you my overview of what I have done in past 6 months. Some of you might say I am a fanboy but I can you that I am not. I am buying a product that meet most of my demand. So here is the thing, for past 6 months I have been used 5 iPhone 5; 4 Galaxy Note 2; 1 Galaxy S4 and 2 HTC One. I had been always iOS user but I decided to switched over to android 4 months ago because I find iOS is getting bored, nothing new.

    Android does bring a lot to the table and I find myself enjoying it but for how long? Lets see, I bought Note 2 4 times because I keep changing mind. Each time I have the device I find something that not actually meet my demand. The note 2 is very nice device but the size is too big for me, screen is not Full HD or retina, only 16GB variant which is not good for app. Then I got my 1st HTC phone, the One. It is nearly perfect on any angle. It has the build of iPhone 5 that I want and the android. But I sold it because of the camera, yes it does bring a good low light performance but without ability to zoom in to view more, it is simply suck.

    HTC One got sold and time for the GS4. Boy, I must say the device is very nice. I don’t like Samsung smartphone build but this one does change my mind. I got the phone for about few day and have to sell it because again 16GB. With only 5 Gameloft titles, my phone is full, what a joke. A very nice and powerful device but only can install few app. So this is the time for me to give HTC One another try. I kind of miss the nice boom sound. The phone just so good, why they have to try something new for (“Ultra Pixel”)?

    I have had experience with 3 difference android devices and I must say the widget is very good, the quick setting is the must. I am not tech geek so those are 2 things that I love about Android. Don’t really care much about other customization that it can do. However, there some problem with android phone that will take awhile to be address. Some of you might say get a nexus device but there is 1 problem with it: only 8/16GB variants with no SD card and the device doesn’t have many cool and gimmick features like GS or HTC.
    – Bloatware.
    – Roll out of new OS is a night mare.
    – Samsung always fail to commit to what they said during the launch which is release 16/32/64GB variants of the device.
    – Sometime release 3G then 1 year later release the 4G and by that time, the device is already old.

    – Exclusive release to some carrier. e.g: HTC One in Australia only release Black to Telstra, the rest is white only.
    – Many difference type of model and build for every country. There is no standard.
    – No international warranty.
    – Apps quality

    Because of all that I have decided to switch back to iPhone 5. The phone certainly doesn’t have widget, quick setting or nice and cool features and the big screen that android or Galaxy line can provide but as normal user it does give me the satisfaction of:
    – OS update in timely manner.
    – The build quality.
    – Customer support and warranty.
    – And basically it does everything I need during the day: playing game, surf web, listen to music and watching movie.
    – Always release 16/32/64GB variants with both advertised colors at the same time.
    – Apps quality

    I might have miss some but yeah that is what I got for past 6 months. Hate it or like it is your choice but at lease it will help people who is thinking to buy Android or iOS.

    • Ruben

      You’re the most stupid guy I’ve met so far in my entire life… Not just because you’ve bought the same phone several times but also because there is a Galaxy S4 Google Edition with expandable memory, no bloatware, fast updates, a big screen and all other Android features however you chose to buy a iFail 5!

      • No One

        How rude of you? I have money so yes I can do whatever I want, buy as many phones as I want to see what is the best for me. GS4 poor android only in US and why the hell I buy GS4 poor android to lost all features from normal GS4?

        • Tbm2

          Maybe you have money:)
          But do you know other “normal” people that buy 12 phones in 6 months?

          • No One

            And do you even have ability to read the whole post before making the comment? As i am sure the post is not about how many phone I have bought.

          • Tbm2

            Of course I have read the whole post before commenting:)

            And my comment wasn’t to your post but to this sentence:”I have money so yes I can do whatever I want, buy as many phones as I want to see what is the best for me”

          • No One

            Fair enough, but yeah that is my personal choice and I have found it very difficult to make the decision. Each phone has something I need but each of them also has something that keep bugging me. And ofc there is no “normal” ppl would buy that much of phone in 6 months. However, I made profit from selling them so I really don’t care tho.

        • Rooney-

          Oh god! after all using top lin android’s, you still chose to go back to apple? Its like you have a super bike and still you chose to cycle!
          Antyways,good luck!

          • No One

            I can tell you it is very hard decision to make since I really enjoy the bigger screen and cool feature that GS4 can do. But it is too bad that they decided to release 16GB version only.

          • Rooney-

            I dont know why samsung announce 16/32/64gb models and release only 16 gb!

          • No One

            Question that no one would know but Samsung. For me that is fraud advertising. Or they just want to release the 16GB now so ppl has no choice to buy it, then 6 months or 1 year later release the 32GB and 64GB to make ppl who need more than 16GB sell their current one and buy a new one.

          • Rooney-

            Yeah! Probably thats their strategy. By then sammy will be ready with SGS5! :-D

          • No One

            Exactly my point.

          • No One

            Question that no one would know but Samsung. For me that is fraud advertising. Or they just want to release the 16GB now so ppl has no choice to buy it, then 6 months or 1 year later release the 32GB and 64GB to make ppl who need more than 16GB sell their current one and buy a new one.

        • John A

          I’m sorry, but you’re either talking rubbish to us or you are crazy. Good luck with things. :-)

    • SeraZR™

      all that stuff for 7 “dislikes” xD
      nobody asked u abt what u bought :P

      • NARESH R

        and u r already 6 down…just 1 short. don’t worry, u will beat him.

  • simpleas

    Hand’s down the most feature packed phone. Easily recommended!

  • RaptorOO7

    The size is nice, but I returned mine. I just needed a 5.5″ phone and got the LG OG Pro since the GN3 is not out yet and the GN2 has too little internal storage and a 720p display.

    While I did have mine though I felt the software was nice, UI was fluid and battery life was, well on par but not exceptional. YET, you can swap out the battery something you CAN’T do on the HTC One OR iPhone :0

  • nishantsirohi123

    i gave a thought for a new phone(currently use the s2 with stock ICS, no rooting)

    i am deciding between nexus 4 and galaxy s3 or the optimus G

    while the nexus 4 will surely give me latest updates and is more or less future proof device(which is strange because the recent single core jelly bean devices perform rather well in terms of performance)

    I still am worried about a few things

    document editor, polaris office of my phone has saved my life a few times,

    i absolutely love clicking pictures

    90% of my internet access is through my phone only

    am confused
    the s3 will surely see further price reduction, while currently being priced the same as the optimus G in india
    while nexus 4 is cheaper by 5000 rupees

  • David Brymer

    the only reason not to buy the s4……………………..HTC ONE. ………….end of story

  • stefannx

    Reasons for not buying:
    – is made from plastic and it looks the same as the S3
    -the 16GB version only offers 7.87GB free space available
    -SD slot is useless because you can only store music and videos on it, you cannot install apps (google search)
    -too many bloatware
    -the commercials are misleading — they brag about 8 cores but actually they deliver 4 cores.

    • Rooney-

      It does consist of 8 cores. Its built on ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture,where Quadcores of A7 & Quadcores of A15 work. Normally the phone uses A7(for calling,camera,msgs etc). Once you start heavy apps,games then it switches to A15. No where all the 8 cores works simultaneously. For more you can just google.

      • peter

        This basically means no 8 cores mate… They dont work as a main cpu thing,therefore are useless most of the time.

        • Rooney-

          Actually its not what you think mate. Each has to do its task. When its light task one set wiil take care. And when its heavy,the other comes into act.

      • stefannx

        mate, if you do not have your facts straight then do not bother … there are 2 versions of S4: an octa core and a quad core version. The first shipment of S4 in europe is the quad core version although they brag about releasing the octa core version for everyone.

        • Rooney-

          Sorry bro,i forgot Snapdragon version :)

    • Kirin

      but if I were you, I would choose a phone with SD slot. better then nothing. and removable battery is also good. I don’t care about plastic, because I will use rubber or plastic cover for protection anyway.

    • pbretones

      you sound like an isheep lol

  • The device has overheating problem and battery drainage problems. Can watch the Youtube review on S4 overheating and the problems. My S4 heat goes up to 48ºC when Im using google earth app.

  • Jillxz

    Too bad I’m on Verizon and can only get the 16 gb and after all the junk , it has about 6gb of storage. No way will I buy this. Even with an SD card. I want 32 GB on board when i buy a phone.

  • Ashkid

    Samsung’s ploy to flood the market with their galaxy line is getting old. If it ain’t the S4, then it’s the S4 mini, or Mega, or Tab, or Ativ. Typical greedy ass company trying to rule the world like Apple. Their marketing campaign is genius with all the commercial advertisements, and it’s obviously working as you can see with the Samsung trolls. I’m not buying it though, eff that. Buggy phone with unecessary bloatware and unusable gimmicks.

  • chris

    im waiting for the moto x to be announced and hopefully they show the specs and also a picture of it and if I like it I am definitely going to get it :)