Very, very impressive: Samsung’s Galaxy S4 reviewed

The camera is also good – a fact we’ve mentioned – but some of the camera modes just aren’t as intelligently designed as they probably should be.

Modes like “eraser” – for removing unwanted cars and people in the background of shots – and “best face” – where five shots are taken and the image is blended with only the face you want replaced – don’t actually function as well as they do on what the competition offers.

On the HTC One (where we first tried this functionality), you shot the image as standard in the Zoe mode and then chose what sort of adjustment you wanted, with the options including both of these functions.

On the Samsung Galaxy S4, however, you have to pick whether you want to use it from the beginning and when you’re taking the photo. When you do, you’re not even guaranteed to make these options work, and we tried many a time to get eraser working, only to have it do nothing for us most of the time.

The camera quality is generally good, and we like that Samsung has tried to make the interface cleaner by shifting it to the look of the Galaxy Camera, but these extra modes just feel a little under-developed, especially when so much of the handset works so well.

Images look good from the camera, but we didn't have much luck with Samsung's special camera modes.


When GadgetGuy’s Valens Quinn attended the Galaxy S4 launch earlier in the year, Samsung made a promise that there would be an eight core version of this phone, something we were eager to see, as well as many of our readers.

Unfortunately, a few weeks out from the release of the S4 in our country (Australia), Samsung came out and said that the 4G model we would be receiving would not feature the eight core Samsung Exynos processor that had been talked up.

Samsung hasn’t yet come back to us with an official reason, but has said that the 3G version of the handset will feature the eight-core chip, just not the 4G one, leading us to believe that the reason eight cores works on 3G is because of battery life.

With that in mind, and with a completely different set of specs and hardware, there is no way we can even work out how fast the eight-core 3G Galaxy S3 will be.

Australians will, as of the time of writing, only be receiving the Snapdragon 600 quad-core variety, which based on our testing experience, is one of the fastest phones on the market, and should be completely suitable for anyone, but if you have to have the Exynos, realise that this review probably won’t cut it, and the experience will be different.


Even without the eight cores, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a force to be reckoned with, and anyone looking for a smartphone to take them through this year and into the next will be delighted to see just what it can do.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Very fast performer; Two days battery life possible from a 4G phone is excellent; Fast virtual keyboard; Works as a remote control;
Unique camera modes aren't easy to use; Finger-less touch modes need a lot of work; Still a very plastic phone; Can't change the bottom icon dock;