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Review: Samsung Galaxy S 4 for AT&T

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Hardware???

Zpike

May 10, 2013, 11:49 AM
Why is it that Phonescoop's notion of hardware always seems to be limited to the construction materials of the enclosure/case? And while this is one form of hardware, it is usually a menial aspect of hardware for the rest of the technological community. Usually when we talk about hardware we mean the processor, memory, screen, camera, memory card slot, and other elements that comprise the main physical architecture of the device. But the aesthetic elements, enclosure/case, buttons, paint job, etc., although technically hardware themselves, usually take a back seat to the functional ones.

For instance, if I said that Asus uses better hardware than Dell, I wouldn't mean that I think the case is really slick and that I like the keyboard and...
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KOL4420

May 10, 2013, 12:17 PM
Although you make a good point and it does make sense when reviewing a electronic device it is kinda pointless to do so when you are reviewing cell phones such as the Galaxy S4 when they are offered across all networks. The hardware is virtually the same with all Galaxy S4 models. So I dont see a point for him to go over the specifics of said device. If you search Galaxy S4 on Phonescoop it will bring up the hardware specifications for the specific model and explain what radios and chips are included with the specific device. What this means for a consumer is nothing since network performance and or aesthetics of a mobile device are more important to a consumer then what kind of hardware comes with the Galaxy S4.
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 1:50 PM
But you've missed the point entirely.

1. Phonescoop said they preferred the hardware on the One to the hardware on the Galaxy S4. They weren't comparing S4's across carriers. They were comparing the hardware on two entirely different handsets by two different manufacturers. So, yea they should justify why the hardware is better on one than the other.

2. Your statement of what is important to consumers is both entirely objective and ill founded. Certainly network performance is important to any consumer, but many users of high-end smartphones spend more time on a Wifi network than they do on the actual carrier's network. Besides, network performance is exactly the sort of "functional" thing I was referring to as opposed to aesthetic ha...
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KOL4420

May 10, 2013, 2:06 PM
I see my apologize. I was not clear on comment. I get it now.

That would entirely be a different in depth review to compare features and even then that is still subjective. haha.

Personally I really like the HTC One's Boom Sound, that gorgeous screen, and the BlinkFeed feature. But it just doesnt compare to the software features on the Galaxy S4... I have a Note 2 for that reason. I would have the S4 if I didnt already have this Note 2 Razz
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 2:13 PM
I kind of feel the same way you do. I think the software on the S4 wins out in the end. But I also like the memory card slot and removable battery, which are missing on the One. It's a hard call to make, but I've heard rumor that Samsung has some stuff up their sleeve. So I'm waiting to see what pops up on the Note III before I upgrade.
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KOL4420

May 10, 2013, 2:30 PM
lol I hear that all the time. I like to think of it this way when it comes to electronics just buy the one you want and dont come back until your next upgrade or else you will regret every electronic device purchase you make since they are virtually pumping out phones every 6 months now a days. sigh...

Exactly what happened when I bought my Note 2 and the S4 came out. Its all good though I am extremely satisfied with my device although I do wish I had those news software features. Soon though. It wouldnt make any sense for this phone not to get those eventually.
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 2:36 PM
Yea, Samsung is good about keeping things up to date. They're just slow. My GSII did eventually get Jelly Bean. But battery consumption has consistently been terrible since going to ICS. I really enjoy all the new features and find them hard to give up, but I think the Gingerbread experience was the most solid on this device. I don't want a similar experience on my next device so I'm waiting for something I'm sure will upgrade without a performance (battery life) hit. The next major version of Android is just around the corner after all.
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mike87

May 10, 2013, 12:18 PM
100% agree...

Too many people caught up on this... Not to mention the difference in exterior build quality is much less significant than before. Weight and feel of the One and S4 are not as far off as usual, and if you drop either phone, you are probably going to break it...

Hardware overall is better on the S4, in my opinion, beacuse the hardware category includes camera, processor, potential for more memory, and removable battery... and LED...
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Rich Brome

May 10, 2013, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the feedback. It's always appreciated.

We've put a lot of thought into what we cover and in what detail.

Phones are devices you hold in your hand and manipulated frequently throughout the day. That's just one of the factors that makes the outer physical aspects crucial to pretty much everyone.

We do pay a whole lot of attention to the screen and camera quality.

But for the processor, we feel that most people care that it provides good performance in day-to-day tasks. Does it feel slow? Does it keep you waiting?

If you want benchmarks up the wazoo, there are plenty of sites offering that. We try to focus on real-world use cases.

That's our thinking, anyway.
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KOL4420

May 10, 2013, 1:05 PM
I prefer that approach over specification statistics that mean absolutely nothing to the average American. Also the fact that these phones are already more powerful than most consumers home computers makes it pointless to compare which processor is better over the other specially since the phones are not advanced enough to take advantage of these new quad core processors. On my Note 2 I run 2 applications all day while playing music in the background and my phone still has no sign of slowing down. Runs the most advanced apps with no issues.

The Phonescoop website has a compare feature if you search for phones you can compare them that way as well. The reviews I think are solid the way they are for real world use.
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 2:05 PM
You're comparing apples to oranges. Just because some processor has more GHz and cores than a processor on some other architecture (which they really don't anyway if you're really paying attention) doesn't mean it's more powerful. I have a first generation bottom of the line Core 2 processor at home that will eat any of these Arm processors for lunch. High-end cell phone processors "might" (and that's a big might) be more powerful than average desktop processors from 10 years ago, but any $400 desktop you can buy from Best Buy today would smoke them. Are they terribly powerful for how small of a box they come in? Yes. But are they more powerful than the average desktop, no. If they were, companies like Oracle would be releasing enterprise so...
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 1:53 PM
I understand where you are coming from, it's just that I always have to do a double take when I read any comments about hardware on this site. You guys typically place your emphasis on different things than must hardware junkies.
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SupremeSound

May 10, 2013, 3:09 PM
Well, exactly. Thats what makes PS a different place. They're not reviews for phone junkies. Which is cool and relatively refreshing. Its very easy to get buried in specs that don't really mean anything.
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techalum99

May 10, 2013, 2:15 PM
Dear Mr. Brome,

I appreciate you think that your reviews are real-world however I think your comments most of the time are kind of ignorant. When I read you state the back cover is flimsy and I could see how to most people that it might be but bottom line is just because it is flexible does not make it "flimsy". Did you try to break it? Did you take a hammer to it?

Take a battery cover off any Samsung device try to break it. I have and you can fold it in two and it will snap back and you never knew it!!! If you would accompany your "comments" with actual examples to back up your descriptions it would make your reviews more legitimate. If you had said something like the "back cover is flimsy" I took it off and bent it back and fo...
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 2:24 PM
Sorry I didn't mean to open a can of worms. I was more musing about the distinction in terminology as opposed to trying to bash the article. I do find the articles informative though I don't always agree with them (but who does). I also agree with techalum99 that some elements of lab testing where you actually try to see what the phones will stand up to would be nice. But I also assume that you have to return a lot of the review units you receive, and that you can't try to break them all.
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KOL4420

May 10, 2013, 2:42 PM
Right, because we all take a hammer to the back of our phones in the real world...

You know I like your idea of the hammer test. I am thinking I am going home try and break the battery case with a hammer just to see if it breaks in the real world.

All reviews are subjective they are there to help you make a decision. Most people are extremely indecisive these reviews help, it is better than going on Cnet and looking at their lame reviews and comparison to iPhones... or another websites reviews where they just compare specifications which to a regular consumer means nothing.

This happens to be one of the only phone review websites geared towards regular consumers who care about the look and feel of a phone along with reviewing the ...
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techalum99

May 10, 2013, 9:27 PM
It is called a rhetorical question. Point is he could have done something more than just say it looks flimsy. That is not a review that is just an opinion. Bend any Samsung battery cover and it will snap back with not breakage. Try taking an Apple or HTC One battery cover off and bend it and see what happens. Oh yeah. You can't. I would rather have a "flimsy" battery cover than one I can't take off. I think most people with a brain would.

He could have dropped it, bang it on a desk or something to make to back up his opinion. I personally don't care what it feels like to Rich. Yes all reviews are subjective, but not completely subjective. It is hard to argue with facts!

Just one guys opinion.
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Haggard

May 12, 2013, 9:30 AM
techalum99 said:
You are better than Eric Semen , but not by much.

Shocked
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techalum99

May 13, 2013, 10:15 AM
I was wondering if anyone caught that one. :-)
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Slammer

May 10, 2013, 8:07 PM
---" Phones are devices you hold in your hand and manipulated frequently throughout the day. That's just one of the factors that makes the outer physical aspects crucial to pretty much everyone."---

I don't remember such an emphasis on this until Apple said we should.

52% percent of over a thousand people recently polled, said they have no problem sticking to polycarbonate if it meant retaining removable batteries and SD Slots. I think this reflects the great sales of the Galaxy. My recent trip to a Sprint store had 6 people around the Galaxy 4 and not one around the HTC ONE. I asked my friend that works there and she said "While a few people showed great interest in the ONE and purchased it, Most are put off by lack of removable bat...
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DarkStar

May 11, 2013, 3:07 PM
You say that but yet more people buy the iPhone over the galaxy phones. How do you explain that?
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Slammer

May 12, 2013, 7:46 AM
http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/features/item/14377_S ... »

In this article, Mr. Litchfield explains it on an engineer's level why sealed batteries are an oxymoron.

IPhone users get a better return on their investment which means they upgrade more frequently and don't generally experience the issues. Those that have bought used iphones, generally don't notice an issue until months down the road. Same with editors of these sites. They have access to new handsets far more frequently greatly decreasing the experience of failed batteries.

I happen to live near an Ultrabattery plant. I have a friend that works there. Batteries are big business as is oil. We have the technology to get far more gas mileage out of...
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Slammer

May 12, 2013, 12:14 PM
http://m.androidauthority.com/germany-sealed-battery ... »

Here's something you may find interesting as well.


It is said that consumers don't always know what's good for them. They can easily be impressed with a design that is not actually in the best interest of themselves.

I agree.

John B.
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Cpt. Obvious

May 12, 2013, 3:04 PM
This phone is garbage
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Riot_Act

May 12, 2013, 6:05 PM
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KOL4420

May 13, 2013, 12:44 PM
Actually more people have purchased Galaxy phones over the last couple years. iPhone sales have declined since the Galaxy S3 came out. The Galaxy S4 and virtually all new Android phones destroy the iPhones capability and hardware features.

Consumers who still buy iPhones are mainly ones who dont want to switch and are OK with using slower phones with limited features. Eh?
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Rusty Shackleford

May 15, 2013, 1:20 AM
I don't know about the others, but my problem with this aspect of your reviews is that virtually every smartphone looks exactly like every other smartphone yet the review will go on and on and on about some mundane detail of its exterior as if it is some great work of art. The fact is an iPhone 5 looks like a Galaxy S3, a GS3 looks like a Lumia 920, and a 920 looks like the new Blackberry. Yea, the corners might be rounder on this phone as opposed to that phone and this one has a black back instead of a brushed aluminum back but the most obnoxious of phone fanboys would notice or care. Once the phone is put into a case, and they should all be put into a case, the already-irrelevant differences are going to be even less noticeable.

My...
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Eric M. Zeman

May 10, 2013, 2:54 PM
Zpike - The big thing you're missing here is that Phone Scoop doesn't write reviews for the technological community. We write reviews that average Janes and Joes can understand. Most of the people I know in the real world don't give a rat's a&& about the processor, the memory, and other, under-the-hood hardware considerations such as that. We're talking about people with graduate degrees. They want to know if the screen looks good, if the camera works well, if the battery life is OK, and, maybe, if their favorite apps are available for that particular device.

In terms of aesthetic hardware elements taking a backseat to functional ones, I'd say you're only half right. The aesthetic element is more forward-facing to most people, so we writ...
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MrGuder

May 10, 2013, 4:05 PM
Eric M. Zeman said:


I've used the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 side-by-side every day for the last month. There's no doubt the GS4 is a technological marvel. It is the best phone to come from Samsung, period. I have no hesitation in saying that. At the end of the day, however, I prefer the complete experience that the One gives me more than the experience that the GS4 gives me.


Oh I said I wouldn't be going with the GS4 this time around but when I had the chance to use both the GS4 and One, I realized the GS4 was a no-brainer. Why? Simple. The One has too many shortcomings even the average Joe couldn't ignore. Smaller screen, non-removable battery, no microSD slot and Sense is still intrusive. Lo...
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Sl1CK65

May 11, 2013, 4:07 PM
MrGuder said:


The One has too many shortcomings even the average Joe couldn't ignore. Smaller screen, non-removable battery, no microSD slot

did, IMO.


is one of the worst statements I have ever heard, Every iPhone has all those features yet there still hasnt been a phone to out sell any iPhone, the average Joe doesnt need more then 16gb of storage, the screen size of the One is barely smaller then the S4 the ones 4.7inch screen is the perfect size, plus no-removable battery allows for a bigger battery in a more compact phone, and most people who have phones with no-removable battery usaully dont have battery problems
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Slammer

May 12, 2013, 7:56 AM
---" most people who have phones with no-removable battery usaully dont have battery problems"---

So the marketing tactics have successfully sold you on this.


Batteries are batteries. There is no difference in design other than shapes to make them fit into a more compact package. Batteries are only good for so many cycles, then the percentage of capacity decreases. Sealing the battery doesn't change the cycle count.

John B.
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dadayk12

May 13, 2013, 8:59 AM
another iFan Surprised
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Sl1CK65

May 16, 2013, 1:31 PM
actualy i use the Lumia 920 and before that GS3 then the iPhone 4S and i have liked all of them, to say one is better then the other is ignorance, it all depends what you are looking for
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Zpike

May 10, 2013, 4:09 PM
>>The big thing you're missing here is that Phone Scoop doesn't write reviews for the technological community. We write reviews that average Janes and Joes can understand.

You know your readers better than I do (or maybe you don't- I'm one of them :p ), but you're writing reviews of technology. And I get that you're presenting those reviews to people who maybe aren't that tech-savvy.

But that doesn't mean you have to skew technical terminology. When you say something like "hardware," most people I know think of the guts of a thing (even the most tech illiterate), as opposed to the outer shell. And when you're talking about electronics, that's what that usually means. I don't have any study to cite, but I think most people interested i...
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worldwatcher

May 14, 2013, 8:17 AM
Zpike. Just because you are the smartest student in a class does not mean that they have to change the whole methodology because of that. I understand your point however, me personnaly, i deal with customers on a daily basis and MOST, i repeat MOST of them do not know anything about the phones they have and the new one they want to upgrade to. whenever i run into one of them that's smart enough to check the difference between the one they are coming from and the one the think they might need before they make a final decision i always refer them to PS because the reviews are written in a way that "the avarage Jane" would understand. If the reviews were written in a way that only a "Technology literate" would understand, it would do any good t...
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Zpike

May 14, 2013, 3:04 PM
I think you're making a very unreliable generalization, and insulting the rest of humanity as well. Have you ever considered that your customer support experience is based on a population of people who are comfortable calling customer support? Of course most of your callers don't understand technology. But that doesn't mean that there's only some tiny sector of people who do. Technology is hands down the fastest growing sector of our society, and if it's not the largest it will be soon. You underestimate your customers, just like how Phonescoop has underestimated the demand for phones with large screens for several years now. You base your assumptions entirely on your own experiences.

But I would argue that you would be utterly dismayed ...
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