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Samsung Galaxy S4 hands-on, first impressions




We had an early preview of the Samsung Galaxy S4 ahead of the public launch this evening but was under NDA so we couldn’t publish it ahead of the announcement. Here’s what we got from the 30-minute or so hands-on of the Galaxy S4.

It’s pretty clear the leaks were accurate about the design of the S4. The look somewhat reminds us of the Galaxy S1 or something in between the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2. The physical size of the device is almost similar to the Galaxy S3. However, because they were able to trim down the bezel on all sides, the display size of the screen was increased to 4.99 inches.

The body is a bit glossy and has some patterns below the finish. Despite being thinner (7.9mm), the device feels more solid and has a bit of heft.

We took some sample videos from the 13MP camera and got these. Not that this was under low-light conditions.

The number of sensors has increased to even include even temperature and humidity sensor. The IR blaster is already present in the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and is now included in the Galaxy S4.

Here’s a quick video demo we got earlier:

The Samsung PM told us it will support up to 6 LTE bands so there’s high probability it will support both Smart and Globe when it is released in the Philippines.

Samsung heavily focused on customizing and adding more features into the Galaxy S4 like gesture functions and the native camera app.


The camera can do dual-shot front and rear camera (overlay photo in the shot) as well as dual-video recording (split-screen video recording), 3-way video calls and dual-camera video calls.

The Sound & Shot functions shoots a photo and add 9 a second audio. the Drama Shot combines multiple photos into one image while retaining the moving subject. The Cinema Photo is like a GIF maker which animates background from multiple photo while keeping the subject static; and the Razor Shot which removse moving subjects in photos (anti-photo bombing).

The Galaxy S4 comes with S-Translator which can auto translate text to voice and vice-versa (Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese etc.)

The NFC can pair up to 8 devices to share and stream music on all of them to form a band. It can also be used for group playing (Asphalt 7, GunBros 2) via direct WiFi connection.

Air View is a “Hover with Finger” to preview email, calendar and FlipBoard (this was copied from the hover on the Note 2 but this time using the fingers instead of the stylus).

Air Gesture: Air Browse, Air Jump, Air Call Accept (wave of the hand). While Smart Pause is basically eye tracking by pausing video when you look away and resuming when you look back. Smart Scroll works when you tilt the device to scroll content on a page.

There’s also a Samsung Optical Reader to digitize calling cards and Save to Contacts (witj S-Translator enabled).


Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3. The Galaxy S4 is less curvy.

There are also a number of accessories for the handset S Band, Body Scale, Heart Rate Monitor – syncs to S4 via Bluetooth. S View Cover – small viewing window that gives specialized view – time, battery, SMS, playlist, caller ID, accept or reject calls.

You can read more about the specs and hardware here as well as the Quadrant Benchmarks here.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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60 Responses

  1. effy says:

    Can you confirm if those rim edges are metal or plastic?

  2. xzxzxz says:

    FIRST impression malaking TAE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • ecaps24 says:

      Bitter ka tsong? Huwag kang bumili.

    • Jojo says:

      ano ang unit mo pala? tiganan natin capability niyan… :)

      BTW, be civil pala, your words speaks to yourself

    • parker says:

      anu ba ang unit mo “xzxzxz”?

      baka naman mumurahing brand? BITTERRRR… nyahahaha….

      kung makaTAE ka naman… wala ka naman palang pambili….

      hanggang tingin ka nalang…. hahaha…

      pag dumating na yan dito sa Pinas

      for sure… pupunta yan dun sa Globe or Smart… or sa mga mobile stores para lang makahipo ng S4…. hahaha….

      magngitngit ka sa inggit…… mainggiting palaka…

    • blaze says:

      i agree … pagdating niyan sa pinas makikisiksik din yan sa mga samsung stores para makahawak niyan . tuwing pupunta yan sa mall pustahan hindi niya makakalimutan dumaan sa mga samsung ,globe at smart stores para tumingin at maka try ulit ng s4 :)

    • xzxzxz says:

      kawawa naman tong mga nagcomment sa post ko. FYI im here in US lol. mga pinaglumaan pa mga unit nyo dyan sa pinas akala mo sino mag comment lol

    • knives809 says:

      Anu kamo? Pinaglumaan ng us ang phone sa pinas? Baka nakakalimutan mo ung galaxy note 2 sa us huling lumabas. Nauna ang asian countries. Epal mo!

    • xzxzxz_lover says:

      Totally Awesome Electronics (TAE)

    • xzxzxz says:

      mga ungas. makapag yabang kung anong unit mo.. magkano ba pera nyo sa banko? puro kayo porma.. akala nyo pag naka galaxy or iphone kayo, bigtime na kayo? mga ungas. puro porma walang pera

    • Anonimi says:

      kaya ang sarap magbasa ng review eh. dahil sa mga ganitong pagtatalo..haha

    • Epal says:

      Nasa US daw si xzxzxz pero kung makapagsalita…parang taga-payatas. Gulo mo chong.

    • hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm says:

      US daw? IP address mo located sa PH..lol :D

    • hahahaha says:

      nasaktan si xzxzxz hahahhaaha kung maka tae kasi wagas. Hindi naman kasi issue dito kung bibili o hindi o kung puporma o hindi. Yung style mong bulok kasi ang nagpapababa sayo Pwede naman sabihin ng mahinahon. Kahit di ka namin kilala alam mo sarili mo ikaw ang may problema.

    • xzxzxzxz3rdclassciti says:

      “FIRST IMPRESSION malaking tae!!!!!!!!!!” —- xzxzxz

      By the way you speak, you are a 4th class citizen in the US of America trying to assimillate everything american! Not everything in america is good, see what it did to you! sus mahiya ka sa sarili mo, 5th class pinoy blood ka na xzxzxz!

      anyway, back to topic: google may have second thoughts on samsung’s profit from android more than ever :)

    • ronald says:

      So what if you live in the USA? Did anybody ask you? Anyway, saaasa below and you should get married and make lots of shit*y babies.

    • Pangkama says:

      Hay, karamihan dito wala naman comments tungkol sa topic puro pang ookray lang sa comment ng iba. lol

  3. someone says:

    I think Samsung did a great job on the s4.

    Not only did they improve the hardware specs found on their previous s3, they also added new software not found on other Android smartphones.

    The use of plastic might be a turn off to some, but i think it’s better for them to concentrate on the smartphone’s capabilities rather than the aesthetics.

    I’m just curious, what will happen with their upcomming Note lineup since the s4 already has a 5″ screen and can already be considered as a phablet.

  4. WOOHOO says:

    Looks impressive (aside from the design. lol). Too bad I don’t have the money to buy it :p

  5. saasa says:

    baho baho baho ng design parang purorot na ebak panget!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Lmffffaoo says:

    Asdfghjkl :)) aint interesting.

  7. Pangkama says:

    Paano ko mapagyayabang yan sa madlang pipol kung paghawak ko yan akala nila S3 o galaxy grand lang yan dahil magkamukha?

  8. I don’t like the case but I love the hardware :-) octa-core!!!

  9. Nikkosaurus says:

    IMO there’s nothing special about it, just beefed up specs, full of bloatware and a lil bit of remodeling on the aesthetics. Typical Samsung.

    Don’t bash me Sammy fanboys, but this phone sucks. Better yet wait for Nexus 5 or a Tegra 4 device.

    Oh btw, I own a suckish CM Flame if you’d ask :)

    • hMastr says:

      “IMO there’s nothing special about it, just beefed up specs, full of bloatware and a lil bit of remodeling on the aesthetics.”

      -That’s what makes new models/phones special because it has something which you won’t see with the previous or other models. you’re comment already mentioned what is “special” with this s4.
      But I agree with most of the people saying this looks like the s3, s4 looks like s3 (front) +galaxy grand (sides and back) mixed.

      – I agree, we’ll have to wait and see for the next nexus and tegra devices, we’ll see the “XPhone” soon.

      And btw I salute you for being honest with the phone u are using,and not being an internet millionaire like “xzxzxz “.. cheers :D

    • ronald says:

      Why wait? If you can afford it and you think it is the best of the bunch. Im getting it for i might die on the day i get to use it.

    • Paquito says:

      I believe the hardware is not really an octo-core. I think it’s more like a dual quad-core cpu. I’ll wait for a native octa-core instead since I’m still satisfied with my Optimus G.

    • Pangkama says:

      @ronald, yan pala gawa mo dito, ang okraying ang mga comments. Wala akong nakitang comment mo tungkol sa S4. Hahaha…

    • Nikkosaurus says:

      @Ronald I’d rather choose Nexus 4. I don’t like mainstream phones like samsung and apple

  10. Hayatte says:

    HTC One ftw!!!

  11. Anon says:

    I like the battery and the supposedly power efficient chipset. Can’t wait to see endurance tests.

  12. defunct says:

    Mr yuga,

    Kaya po ba octa core ang ginamit nila sa S4 ay dahil po ba ang mga future na apps ay mas mabigat na i process? Ano po kaya dahilan?

  13. zaffron says:

    HTC One wins one hundred times. I like Samsung as a appliance manufacturer. But as far as producing phones is concerned, they kinda suck. Aesthetics and build quality are the main issues. Same reason why they are easily counterfeited by chinese and korean replica phones. Wether, people a lot of people admit it or not, the main reason why most here buy a smartphone is not because of its features and benefits. It is mainly for the owner to look current and in the loop. How could u be proud if your handset looks like the same old chinese looking and plasticky phone? If only samsung would use the same materials they used with their Wave series, the S series would have been more marketable.

    • idunhavegalaxy says:

      you ignorance is not enough of a reason that a Phone Manufacturer sucks.

      http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/13/samsung-galaxy-s-series-over-100-million-served/

      samsung sucks and sold 100million phones. wheres the logic in that? how does that make sense? how many units did your favorite phone manufacturer sell in 2012? do you really think those 100million people who bought the samsung galaxy are stupid? maybe … but you are definitely worse.

    • zaffron says:

      Samsung samsung ang pangit.. lol. Hahaha! Hayyy… I used to love samsung’s phone build and materials back when the only ones competing in the market were them and nokia. The hell with the octa core when most of the consumers only use it for browsing and gaming. HTC still wins for me. Oh i like the LG optimus G, too. Ung mga nagcocomment sa kin dian. Magbasa kau. Ung aesthetics and phone build ang tinitira ko sa samsung. Technology wise they’re good Magbasa kau kung ayaw niong palunok ko senio S4 nio! Bwahahahaha!

  14. Sanctuarian06 says:

    How do other people would find out if you’re using a new Galaxy S4? You tell of course. The design basically is not remarkable. Other people might say “Oh really? It looks like you’re ‘still using’ a Galaxy S3”. Haha.

  15. ecaps24 says:

    Why is everyone keep on worrying what others might say about their phone? Isn’t it more important if your pretty satisfied on what it can give you. I am a proud owner of Galaxy Note 2 but will not switch to another phone in the next 1-2 years. However, I wanted to see how this piece performs since it has the most updated motor under the hood.

  16. c says:

    I want you so bad, I can taste it.

  17. johnonline says:

    HTC One and Xperia Z looks sleek and sexy… i have yet to see S4 in flesh before i judge it.

    but software wise and the octa-core, it is pure awesome.. sana ganun din masabi ko pag nahawakan ko na siya..

  18. Kardingpuke says:

    Gusto ko nyan! gusto ko yan!! Pero wala akong pera pangbili Putangina!

  19. mitch says:

    Plastic pa rin as usual. Dapat tinawag na lang ito na Samsung Galaxy 3S. Of course marami pa rin bibili nito. Sobrang laki ng marketing budget ng Samsung.

  20. winwin says:

    IMO I was not that excited when I saw the design of the new S4. It looks almost the same as S3/Note 2 and Samsung should really make their designs more innovative and thrilling. I am rooting more for LG’s flagship this year and even it they say it looks like the Note 2, it’s obvious that LG’s design team still exerted more effort to come up with something different. I’m not trying to bash Samsung and it’s just my opinion. :)

    Bring on the comments Sammy boys.

  21. Lurker Here! says:

    Minsan talaga mas nakakaexcite basahin yung comment section kaysa sa mismong article. Keep the drama coming guys! :)

  22. fat internet guy says:

    Oh man oh man..I think I wanna sell my iphone 5.. D:

  23. zaffron says:

    Samsung samsung ang pangit.. lol. Hahaha! Hayyy… I used to love samsung’s phone build and materials back when the only ones competing in the market were them and nokia. The hell with the octa core when most of the consumers only use it for browsing and gaming. HTC still wins for me. Oh i like the LG optimus G, too. Ung mga nagcocomment sa kin dian. Magbasa kau. Ung aesthetics and phone build ang tinitira ko sa samsung. Technology wise they’re good Magbasa kau kung ayaw niong palunok ko senio S4 nio! Bwahahahaha!

  24. Ey says:

    I’m not satisfied with my S3 anymore when I saw the S4. T_T

    Well for me the look is ok as they seem to standardize how galaxy s phones look because it looks very similar to s3 but for the specs and some other features added to s4 I would say its really awesome.

  25. john says:

    Sir abe,
    Just read that Kim Lato of Kimstore personally confirmed that her online store will be offering the recently announced stellar flagship smartphone, Samsung Galaxy S4, before April ends!

  26. Renz says:

    Wow octa core! Pero ang inaantay ko talaga lumabas lahat ng smartphones by end of 2013, then i will decide which handset i’ll buy. It is also rumored that the NEXUS 5 will come out sometime in October and there’s another one, Motorola X. 2013 will be a battle for these phone manufacturers and companies!

  27. gamaguchi S says:

    It’s pretty clear the leaks were accurate about the design of the S4. The look somewhat reminds us of the Galaxy S1 or something in between the Galaxy S3 and the Note 2. The physical size of the device is almost similar to the Galaxy S3. However, because they were able to trim down the bezel on all sides, the display size of the screen was increased to 4.99 inches.

  28. hp terbaru says:

    in the market were them and nokia. The hell with the octa core when most of the consumers only use it for browsing and gaming. HTC still wins for me. Oh i like the LG optimus G, too. Ung mga nagcocomment sa kin dian. Magbasa kau. Ung aesthetics and phone build ang tinitira ko sa samsung. Technology wise they’re good Magbasa kau kung ayaw niong palunok ko senio S4 nio! Bwahahahaha! teknomaniaku.blogdetik.com

    Reply

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