Samsung Galaxy S4 – Hands On

The wraps have come off the Samsung Galaxy S4 at a very crowded launch event in New York. We were there to hear the news first-hand, and also had a chance to get our mitts on Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone. Here are our first impressions, and watch this space for a full review in the days to come.

First off, the Galaxy is visually different than the Galaxy S3, but not by too much. The big change on the outside is that the display has gone from 4.8 inches to 5 inches. While the screen is larger, the actual phone is still around the same dimensions as the GS3 but Samsung has used the space more efficiently by reducing the width of the bezels on the left and right of the display.

The Galaxy 4 is in the middle, brother Galaxy Note II to the left and sister Galaxy S3 to the right.

The GS4’s outer casing still uses the same plastic materials as the GS3, but the edges are more squared off, and it generally feels more robust. There are two colours available- white frost and black mist, so it seems that the pebble blue of the GS3 has been dropped. Both colours are attractive, and each includes a subtle pattern, lending an air of quality. The phone is also quite thin at just 6.9mm compared to the GS3’s 8.6mm.

The GS4 at the top is slightly slimmer than the GS3 shown at the bottom. Also notice the squarer edging.

In terms of the screen quality, the GS4’s is at the cutting edge, and is just great to look at. It’s another Super AMOLED screen, like the G3, but this one is Full HD, meaning a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and has an incredible 441 pixels per inch density. What this translates into is an bright, pin-sharp, highly detailed and easy to view display. Also, when compared to the Note II and Galaxy S3, the GS4’s screen was noticeably brighter and the colours seemed more vibrant.