Samsung Galaxy S4: Everything You Need To Know

Samsung's latest Superphone is… not quite here yet, but it's no longer any kind of secret. Here's everything you need to know to make an informed purchasing decision.

What Is It?

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's latest top of the line Galaxy smartphone, unveiled last week in a glitzy/painfully awkward (delete depending on your viewpoint) launch event in New York City. It's unlikely that Samsung will try to top the Galaxy S4 in terms of its smartphone lines in 2013, outside the release of a third Galaxy Note model, but as yet that's strictly in rumour territory. So if you're a die-hard Samsung fan, this is as good as it's likely to get this year.

How Does It Compare?

The S4 will come with some pretty impressive hardware under the hood. Specifically, it's running either a four or eight core processor (it's not yet clear which model we'll see in Australia), a 5" 1980x1080 441ppi Super AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB of storage plus microSD, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, NFC, Bluetooth, IR and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.

In terms of comparison with other smartphones, here's our guide to how the S4 stacks up against the other top contenders.

The hardware is only part of the story, however, with Samsung spending far more time on the associated software applications around the camera, smart scrolling and pausing, Knox for enterprise and personal data separation and group play features, to name but a few. If you're not a fan of phones with lots of additional apps, this might not appeal, but conversely, those who want lots of pre-installed custom built software may find it appealing.

How Much?

At this stage, that's a very open question. All three of the major local carriers have signed on to stock the Galaxy S4 (including Optus offshoot Virgin), and Kogan has an expression of interest page promising "the world's best price", but as to what that price will be, nobody's talking just yet. In official terms, you're almost certainly talking in the $700-$900 outright price zone, or a $60 and upwards contract plan price.

Is It Worth It?

A tough question to answer. We've only had limited hands-on time with the Galaxy S4 and it certainly seems like a capable enough smartphone.

It's a step above the Galaxy S III and Note II, and that should be expected. Samsung's clearly put a lot of work into its software engineering this time around, and arguably a little less on the physical hardware design, given how closely this mirrors the Galaxy S III look and feel. The start of 2013 has seen a number of premium-end smartphones emerge, from the HTC One to the Sony Xperia Z. Samsung's hoping to top them all with the Galaxy S4, but we'll reserve final judgement until we've had proper testing time.



    my next! can't wait to replace my S3 and move my half full 64gb sd card to this! i don't have to transfer again including photos/music! waiting for Kogan to release this..

    The UI still has the god awful green icons, GREEN! it's digusting. Hold a Nexus 4 next to a GSIII and see the difference in the UI. I'm talking, settings, SMS, Phonebook, Dial pad. It is the reason I sold my GSIII and bought a Nexus 4.

    Last edited 18/03/13 11:07 am

      Any real android user doesn't care about the touchwiz UI. It gets replaced straight away......

        I didn't realise I want real.... Silly me. if I think of happy thoughts can I fly too?

      The only reason I bought an s3 was because of its screen, put it next to the nexus 4 and it makes the nexus look like crap..... CM10.1 on sgs3 is not too bad though ;-) I have to admit though I am over the stock android UI and nearly every other touchwiz,sense,sony overlays. Want something new!

        Unless you have an exynos4 SGSIII which has no CM10 or 10.1 stable release.

          There are plenty of other custom ROMs for the 4G/LTE version. I'm using Ripper ROM at the moment, and while that still has a sense UI, this can be easily replaced with something totally different (including the Nexus 4 UI, if you wish)

    I'm personally waiting for the LTE version to upgrade my 3G SGS3....interesting to see if there is any delay and what CPU it is.

      What are you talking about?? The S4 will be the exynos 5 octa with LTE.

        Ah that's been confirmed? Did not know. Cheers.

        That's not actually confirmed at all.

          Pretty much every single high end late 2012/2013 phone has LTE.

            But is it LTE with the exynos Octa. That hasn't been confirmed. Samsung just aren't to crash hot at the whole LTE thing.

              I honestly doubt they'd exclude it in this day and age. That'd be ridiculous. We may as well have snap dragon.

                Hence the reason they are also using the snapdragon 600. If I were choosing I wouldn't go the exynos5, Samsung might lock it down like the exynos4.

                  Pity we can't buy the snapdragon models in Australia. From what I hear they perform better too.

    torn, so torn between this and the One

      and then Nokia/windows phones and ditching Android torn

        If a 5 inch windows phone is relased this year I will seriously consider buying it.

        The problem is the OS doesn't support 1080p screen resolutions yet (until M$ update it) and based on their previous form with Windows Phone 7.8 i'm not holding my breath,

    Does anyone know the reason why Australia only ever gets the 16Gb versions?

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