Unfortunately, the "air gesture" features that let you engage the phone in a variety of ways without touching it were a mixed bag. When the screen was dark and the phone lay flat on a surface, I was able to wave my hands above it to make it wake up and reveal notifications or to see the name of a song that was playing. I could answer a call that way, too.
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And I could also wave over pictures in the photo gallery to advance from one photo to another. In each case, though, I found it just as simple to do it the old-fashioned way. Samsung says there may be situations — in the car, for example — where some of the touch-less gestures come in handy. By hovering over the screen with my finger, I could make certain other things happen, features borrowed from Samsung's Galaxy Note "phablet. For instance, if you're on the Web you can magnify text on the page by hovering over the screen.
I found it a bit more useful to hover over the phone's calendar to be able to bring up more details about an event. By hovering inside the Samsung Hub store, I was able to glance at pricing on books, music or videos that were available to buy or rent.
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I also had an erratic experience with the "smart pause" feature that is supposed to pause a video when you are no longer facing the screen. It worked at times but not consistently.
Same goes for the "smart scroll" feature that is meant to scroll the screen according to the way you tilt your head. It's another of those parlor tricks that I can't see regularly relying on. I wasn't able to test every last feature on the phone, including Group Play, which lets you play games or share files with other people nearby who also have the device.
Then again, I can't imagine using every last feature anyway. For all the fancy tricks, the real magic comes from sticking to the basics on what is a very appealing phone.
Samsung Galaxy S4 deep-dive review: A real-world evaluation | Computerworld
Thin phone has beautiful screen, quad-core processor, removable battery, excellent camera, memory expansion capabilities and some fun features. Follow edbaig on Twitter. Share This Story! Samsung Galaxy S4 is loaded with gee whiz features With its Galaxy smartphone franchise, Samsung has emerged as Apple's chief rival in the smartphone space. Post to Facebook. Cancel Send. Edward C.
ET April 24, Updated 9: Leading the pact is the S-View cover, a replacement jacket with a small plastic window that allows users to view phone info battery life, messages, etc. Certain features like Air View and Multi-Window are limited to certain apps. Qualcomm's Snapdragon BatteryGuru app. Final Say: Yes and no.
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Most of the hi-tech features do feel like novelties and need to be touched up for accuracy purposes. Making Culture Pop. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. Samsung Galaxy S4 Carrier: Hide Comments. No Articles Found. Try Our Search Here: The mAh battery is expected to comfortably drive the phone all day, but like the GS3 the battery is removable and exchangeable.
Where Samsung may have been forced to rely on Qualcomm for their processors, the display itself remains Samsung made.
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Not only will the GS4 follow in its predecessors footsteps by offering the first of the new top of the line display tech, but it will also include software that adjusts the contrast and brightness on the phone contextually as well as environmentally. As with the Galaxy S3, hardware alone is not going to sell this phone. The unification of software tools across the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 was a great decision for Samsung, allowing their phones to offer a level of multitasking not available on any other smartphone right now.
Coupled with their dedication to NFC-reliant activities and their Smart Share features, Samsung quickly gone to the head of the pack in competing with the other Android variants. The Galaxy S4 offers a whole new bundle of features, continuing the integration of Galaxy Note tools and adding in all new features alongside Android 4. The new flagship includes an IR sensor on the front to help in tracking face and hand movements.