Samsung Galaxy S4

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Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 logo.svg
Samsung Galaxy S4.svg
Galaxy S4 in White Frost
Manufacturer Samsung Electronics
Slogan Life Companion[1]
Series Galaxy S
Model

GT-I9500 (Chipset - Exynos 5 Octa 5410 CPU - Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 GPU - PowerVR SGX 544MP3)[2]
GT-I9505 (Quad-core Snapdragon 600, LTE)
GT-I9506 (Quad-core Snapdragon 800, LTE-A)

SHV-E300K/S/L (Korean; Exynos 5 Octa-core, LTE)
Compatible networks

2.5G GSM/GPRS/EDGE – 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
2.5G CDMA 1xRTT/1x-Advanced - 800, 1900 MHz
3G UMTS/HSPA+ – 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
3G CDMA Ev-DO Rev. A - 800, 1900 MHz (select carrier models also support the AWS 1700/2100 MHz band)
4G LTE Rel. 8 (UE Cat 3) – 700, 800, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2600 MHz or up to 6 different band sets (dependent on market) FDD, TDD (dual mode version)

LTE-A (Cat 4) Only available on I9506 and SHV-E330
First released 26 April 2013;
14 months ago
 (2013-04-26)
Units sold 40 Million units sold in the first 6 months
Predecessor Samsung Galaxy S III
Successor Samsung Galaxy S5
Related Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Type Touchscreen smartphone
Form factor Slate
Dimensions 136.6 mm (5.38 in) H
69.8 mm (2.75 in) W
7.9 mm (0.31 in) D
Weight 130 g (4.6 oz)
Operating system Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean"
Upgradable to Android 4.4.2 "KitKat"
System on chip Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5410
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 (LTE versions)
CPU

1.6 GHz quad-core Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 (big.LITTLE)

1.9 GHz quad-core Krait 300 (LTE versions)
GPU

IT tri-core PowerVR SGX 544 GPU

Adreno 320 (LTE versions)
Memory 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
Storage 16 or 32 GB (8 GB used by the system)[3]
Removable storage Up to 64 GB microSDXC
Battery 2600 mAh Li-ion
User replaceable
Qi wireless charging (optional)
Data inputs
Display 5 in (130 mm) 1920x1080 px (441 ppi) Full HD Super AMOLED
(PenTile RGBG)
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Rear camera

13 megapixels

Front camera 2 megapixels (1080p) HD Video Recording @ 30 frames/s Back-illuminated sensor
Sound Mono speaker on back side with Qualcomm DAC or Wolfson Micro WM5102 audio chip[5] depending on version
Connectivity
Other
Development status In production
SAR
Website Website
References [7][8][9]

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is an Android smartphone produced by Samsung Electronics. First unveiled on March 14, 2013 at Samsung Mobile Unpacked in New York City, it is a successor to the Galaxy S III which maintains a similar design, but with upgraded hardware and an increased focus on software features that take advantage of its hardware capabilities—such as the ability to detect when a finger is hovered over the screen, and expanded eye tracking functionality (which includes scrolling).[7][8] A hardware variant of the S4 also became the first smartphone to support the emerging LTE Advanced mobile network standard.[10]

The S4 was made available in late April 2013 on 327 carriers in 155 countries.[11] Upon its release, it became the fastest selling smartphone in Samsung's history; the company sold 20 million S4 units worldwide in the two months following the device's launch.[12] Samsung has since sold more than 40 million units.[13]

Specifications[edit]

Hardware[edit]

The S4 uses a refined version of the hardware design introduced by the S III, with a rounded, polycarbonate chassis and a removable rear cover. It is slightly lighter and narrower than the S III, with a length of 136.6 mm (5.38 in), a width of 69.8 mm (2.75 in), and a thickness of 7.9 mm (0.31 in). At the bottom of the device is a microphone and a microUSB port for data connections and charging; it also supports USB-OTG and MHL 2.0. Near the top of the device are a front-facing camera, infrared, proximity, and ambient light sensors, and a notification LED. In particular, the infrared sensor is used for the device's "Air View" features. A headphone jack, secondary microphone, and infrared blaster are located at the top.[14] The S4 is widely available in black and white color finishes; in selected regions, Samsung also introduced versions in red, purple, pink, brown with gold trim, and light pink with gold trim.[15][16][17][18] In late-January 2014, Samsung's Russian website briefly listed a new black model with a plastic leather backing, similar to the Galaxy Note 3.[19] The S4's display is larger than its predecessor, with a 5-inch (130 mm), 1080p PenTile RGBG Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 441 PPI, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3.[14] Unlike previous models, the S4 does not contain FM radio support, citing the increased use of online media outlets for content consumption on mobile devices.[20]

Galaxy S4 models use of one of two processors, depending on the region and network compatibility. The S4 version for North America, most of Europe, parts of Asia, and other countries contains Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 system-on-chip, containing a quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 CPU and an Adreno 320 GPU. The chip also contains a modem which supports LTE.[21][22] Other models include Samsung's Exynos 5 Octa system-on-chip with a heterogeneous CPU. The octa-core CPU comprises a 1.6 GHz quad-core Cortex-A15 cluster and a 1.2 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 cluster.[11][23] The chip can dynamically switch between the two clusters of cores based on CPU usage; the chip switches to the A15 cores when more processing power is needed, and stays on the A7 cores to conserve energy on lighter loads. Only one of the clusters is used at any particular moment, and software sees the processor as a single quad-core CPU.[21][23][24] The SoC also contains an IT tri-core PowerVR SGX 544 graphics processing unit (GPU). Regional models of the S4 vary in support for LTE; for Exynos 5-based models, while the E300K/L/S versions support LTE, with the Cortex-A15 also clocked at 1.6 GHz.[25][26][27] the GT-I9500 model does not.[28] The S4 GT-I9505 includes a multiband LTE transceiver.[7]

On 24 June 2013, a variant supporting LTE Advanced, the first commercially-available device to do so, was announced for South Korea.[10]

The S4 comes with either 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, which can be supplemented with up to an additional 64 GB with a microSD card slot.[29] The S4 contains a 2600 mAh, NFC-enabled battery.[14]

Software[edit]

Further information: Android (operating system), TouchWiz and S Voice
S4 using TouchWiz

The S4 ships with Android 4.2.2 and Samsung's TouchWiz Nature user experience. Head tracking features have been extended on the S4; the new "Smart Scroll" feature can be used to scroll while looking at the screen by slightly tilting head or phone forward or backward,[30] and "Smart Pause" allows the video player to pause videos if the user is not looking at the screen. "Air View" and "Air Gestures" implement gestures and other functionality (such as previewing images or messages) by holding or swiping a hand or finger slightly above the screen, similarly to Samsung's Galaxy Note series, and adds a feature known as "Quick Glance", which uses the proximity sensor to wake the phone so it can display notifications. The "Group Play" feature allows ad hoc sharing of files between Galaxy phones, along with multiplayer games and music streaming between S4 phones. The S4 also introduces Knox in the Android 4.3 update, a suite of features which implements a sandbox for enterprise environments that can co-exist with a user's "personal" data. Knox incorporates use of the ARM TrustZone extensions and security enhancements to the Android platform.[31]

The camera app implements numerous new features (some of which were first seen on the Galaxy Camera), including an updated interface, and new modes such as "Drama" (which composes a moving element from multiple shots into a single photo), "Eraser" (which takes multiple shots and allows the user to remove unnecessary elements from a picture), "Dual Shot" (which uses the front-facing camera for a picture-in-picture effect), "Sound and Shot" (which allows the user to record a voice clip alongside a photo), "Animated Photo", and "Story Album" among others. The S4 also supports High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), a next-generation video codec.[7][8][32] Other new pre-loaded apps include WatchOn (an electronic program guide that can utilize the S4's infrared transmitter to be a remote control), S Translator, the workout tracker S Health, S Voice Drive, S Memo, TripAdvisor, and an optical character recognition app.[33] The previous "Hub" apps from past Samsung devices were replaced by a single Samsung Hub app, with access to music, e-books, and games that can be purchased by users.[14]

Updates[edit]

A minor update was released in June 2013, restoring the ability to move apps to the SD card, and adding HDR video support among other tweaks.[34]

In November 2013, Samsung began rolling out an update to Android 4.3 for the S4, notably adding the Bluetooth low energy support needed for compatibility with the Galaxy Gear smartwatch. However, Samsung halted the rollout following reports from users that on the Galaxy S III, Samsung's version of 4.3 had caused instability and increased battery usage.[35] The rollout was resumed in December 2013.[36]

In February 2014, Samsung began rolling out an update to Android 4.4 "KitKat" for the S4; the update adds user interface tweaks such as a camera shortcut on the corner of the lock screen, options for setting default launcher and text messaging applications, support for printing, and a new location settings menu for tracking and controlling the use of location tracking by apps.[37][38][39] 4.4 also makes significant changes to the handling of secondary storage on the device for security reasons; applications' access to the SD card is now restricted to designated, app-specific directories only, while full access to internal primary storage is still allowed. Although this behavior has existed by default since Android 3.0 "Honeycomb", OEMs such as Samsung previously modified their distributions of Android to retain the previous behavior, allowing applications to have unlimited access to SD card contents.[40]

Model variants[edit]

Several different model variants of the S4 are sold, with most variants differing only in support for regional network types and bands. To prevent grey market reselling, models of the S4 manufactured after July 2013 implement a regional lockout system in certain regions, requiring that the first SIM card used on a European and North American model be from a carrier in that region. Samsung stated that the lock would be removed once a local SIM card is used.[41]

SIM format for all variants is Micro-SIM, which can have one or two depending on model.

Model GT-I9500[42] SHV-E300K/L/S[2][25][26][27][43] SHV-E330K/L/S[44] GT-I9505[45][46] GT-I9506[47]

[48]

GT-I9505G[49] SGH-I337[49][50][51] SGH-M919[49][52] SCH-I545[49][53][54] SPH-L720[49][55] SCH-R970[49][56] GT-I9508[57] SCH-I959[58] GT-I9502[59] SGH-N045[60][61]
(SC-04E)
SGH-I337M[62][63][64] SGH-M919V[65][66] SCH-R970X[67] SCH-R970C[68]
Countries International South Korea International United States China Japan Canada/Mexico Canada United States
Carriers International KT, LG U+, SK Telecom International (LTE) AT&T, Cricket Wireless (GSM) T-Mobile, MetroPCS Verizon Sprint U.S. Cellular China Mobile China Telecom China Unicom NTT docomo Telcel, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Koodo Videotron, Wind, EastLink, Mobilicity C Spire Wireless Cricket Wireless (CDMA)
2G 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
CDMA
850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
CDMA 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz
GSM / GPRS / EDGE
3G 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
850, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
800, 1900 MHz
EVDO Rev. A
850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
800, 1700, 1900 MHz
EVDO Rev. A
1880, 2010 MHz
TD-SCDMA
900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
800, 1900 MHz
EVDO Rev. A
850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
800, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz
HSPA+
850, 1700, 1900, 2100 MHz
UMTS / HSPA+
800, 1900 MHz
EVDO Rev. A
4G
LTE
No[2] K: 900, 1800
L: 850, 2100 MHz
S: 850, 1800
800, 850, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz 700 (Band 17), 850, 1700, 1900, 2100, 2600 MHz [69] 750 (Band 13), 1700 MHz Extended PCS 700 (Band 12), 850, 1700, 1900 MHz No 800, 1500, 2100 MHz 700, 800, 850, 900, 1700, 2100, 2600 MHz No
Max
network
speed
DC-HSPA+: 42 Mbit/s LTE: 100 Mbit/s LTE-A: 150 Mbit/s LTE: 100 Mbit/s LTE: 150 Mbit/s LTE: 100 Mbit/s DC-HSPA+: 42 Mbit/s EVDO Rev. A: 3.1 Mbit/s DC-HSPA+: 42 Mbit/s LTE: 100 Mbit/s DC-HSPA+: 42 Mbit/s
Broadcast
receiver
T-DMB 1seg
ISDB-Tmm
No
Dimensions 136.6 × 69.8 × 7.9 mm (5.38 × 2.75 × 0.31 in)
Weight 130 g (4.6 oz) 133 g (4.7 oz) 131 g (4.6 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz) 132 g (4.7 oz) 134 g (4.7 oz) 130 g (4.6 oz)
Operating
system
Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 (OTA upgrade to 4.4.2 available) Stock Android 4.2.2 (OTA upgrade to 4.4.2 available) Android 4.2.2 with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 (OTA upgrade to 4.4.2 available)
Wi-Fi
Broadcom BCM4335 a/b/g/n/ac + Bluetooth + FM
GPS
Broadcom BCM47521  ? Qualcomm
NFC
Broadcom BCM2079x  ? Broadcom BCM2079x Yes
SoC Samsung Exynos 5 Octa Exynos 5410 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064AB[45] Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064AB Samsung Exynos 5 Octa Exynos 5410 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064AB
CPU 1.6 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 &
1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7
2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 400 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 400 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 1.6 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 &
1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7
1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300
GPU IT SGX544MP3 Qualcomm Adreno 330 Qualcomm Adreno 320 Qualcomm Adreno 330 Qualcomm Adreno 320 IT SGX544MP3 Qualcomm Adreno 320
RAM 2 GB
Internal storage 16/32/64 GB 32 GB 16/32 GB 16 GB 16/32 GB 16 GB 16/32 GB 16 GB 32 GB 16/32/64 GB 16 GB
SAR US[6] Head: 0.85 W/kg
Body: 1.55 W/kg
Head: 0.77 W/kg
Body: 1.17 W/kg
Head: 0.926 W/kg
Body: 1.389 W/kg
Head: 0.84 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Head: 1.03 W/kg
Body: 1.31 W/kg
Head: 0.75 W/kg
Body: 1.43 W/kg
Head: 0.98 W/kg
Body: 1.58 W/kg
Head: 0.96 W/kg
Body: 1.23 W/kg
Head: 0.84 W/kg
Body: 1.18 W/kg
Head: 0.88 W/kg
Body: 1.43 W/kg

Google Play Edition[edit]

At the Google I/O 2013 keynote, Samsung and Google revealed that an edition of the U.S. S4 would be released on June 26, 2013 through Google Play, initially featuring stock Android 4.2.2, later updated to 4.4.2, with Samsung provided updates;[70] it has an unlockable bootloader (similar to Nexus devices) and supports LTE on AT&T and T-Mobile's networks.[71] The model number is GT-I9505G.[72]

Accessories[edit]

The "S-View Cover" accessory contains a window that can be used to display notifications and a clock

At retail, the S4 is bundled with a USB cable, AC adapter, and in-ear headphones.[14] The "S-View Cover" accessory, utilizes a hall effect sensor in the phone which detects when the cover is closed and displays battery status, time, and other phone statuses in an area of the screen visible through a window on the cover.[73]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The S4 received mostly positive reviews. GigaOM's Tofel says he would recommend the S4 "without hesitation" and says that it's "Samsung's defining phone".[74] ReadWrite's Rowinski described the phone as a "solid smartphone," but criticised Samsung's use of "bloatware, pre-loaded apps and features that you will likely never use," but called the S4 "a first-rate smartphone."[75] Time's McCraken says the S4 is a smartphone with everything, it has the biggest screen and the most built-in features. He wishes the S4 marks the end of Samsung's plan to add too many new features with its flagship smartphones.[76]

Technology journalist Walt Mossberg described the S4 as "a good phone, just not a great one". Mossberg wrote "while I admire some of its features, overall, it isn’t a game-changer." Mossberg criticized the software as "especially weak" and "often gimmicky, duplicative of standard Android apps, or, in some cases, only intermittently functional." He urged readers to "consider the more polished-looking, and quite capable, HTC One, rather than defaulting to the latest Samsung."[77]

Consumer Reports named the S4 as the top smartphone as of May 2013 due to its screen quality, multitasking support, and built-in IR blaster.[78]

Despite only using about 1 GB more than the S III, critics noted that about half of the internal storage on the S4's 16 GB model was taken up by its system software; leaving only 8.5 to 9.15 GB for the storage of downloaded apps (some of which cannot be moved to the SD card) and other data. Samsung initially stated that the space was required for the S4's new features, but following a report regarding the issue on the BBC series Watchdog, Samsung stated that it would review the possibility of optimising the S4's operating system to use less local drive space in a future update.[79][80][81] Storage optimizations were brought in an update first released in June 2013, which frees 80 MB of internal storage, and restores the ability to move apps to the device's SD card.[82]

Commercial reception[edit]

The S4 reached 10 million pre-orders from retailers in the first two weeks after its announcement.[83] In the United States, this prompted Samsung to announce that due to larger than expected demand, the roll out of devices on U.S. carriers Sprint and T-Mobile would be slower than expected.[84]

The S4 sold 4 million in 4 days and 10 million in 27 days making it the then fastest selling smartphone in Samsung's history (this has been eclipsed by the Galaxy S5).[85][86] The Galaxy S III sold 4 million units in 21 days, the Galaxy S II took 55 days and the Galaxy S took 85 days.[87]

Samsung shipped more than 20 million S4 smartphones by June 30, which is around 1.7 times faster than the Galaxy S III.[88] As of October 23, 2013, Samsung has sold over 40 million S4 units six months after release.[89]

Battery problems and safety issues[edit]

A house in Hong Kong is alleged to have been set on fire by an S4 in July 2013,[90] followed by a minor burnt S4 in Pakistan.[91] A minor fire was also reported in Newbury, United Kingdom in October 2013.[92][93] Some users of the phone have also reported swelling batteries and overheating;[94] Samsung has offered affected customers new batteries free of charge.[95]

On December 2, 2013, Canadian Richard Wygand uploaded a YouTube video describing his phone combusting.[96] The phone was plugged into AC power overnight; he woke up to the smell of smoke and burning matter. In the video, the power cord was shown to be severely burnt and showed warped damage to the power plug. Later in the video, Wygand describes how he attempted to get a replacement:

We have a service provider; it’s Rogers here in Canada. Rogers [has] seen it, and they freaked out. They even said, ‘You could send it in through us — it’ll take three weeks — or just go see Samsung.' The Samsung reps just said that they need video proof, and now we have to call it in. So we’re gonna upload this, send it to Samsung. We’ll let you know how it goes.

In his second video, uploaded a few days after the first one, Wygand states that in order to receive a replacement phone, Samsung allegedly asked him to sign a legal document requiring him to remove the video, remain silent about the agreement, and surrender any future claims against the company.[97][98] It is unknown whether or not he signed the document, but his frustrations has been expressed in his video. In an interview with Mashable, Wygand said that since he posted the second video, no further response from Samsung was received. However, an official spokesman from Samsung told Mashable, "Samsung takes the safety and security of our customers very seriously. Our Samsung Canada team is in touch with the customer, and is investigating the issue."[99]

In the UK companies which sold the S4 have varied in their reactions to claims by worried customers for replacement batteries under the Sale of Goods Act. Amazon, for example, have simply refunded part of the purchase price to allow for the cost of a replacement battery. O2 however insist that the complete phone, with the faulty battery, be returned to them so that they in turn can send it to Samsung to consider the claim.

Demo[edit]

An interactive simulation which presents some functionalities of the Samsung Galaxy S4 can be found here. Among the simulated functions you will find Messaging, Keypad, Alarm, Trip Advisor - Samsung Edition, Google Earth and many more.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Samsung defends 16GB S4's mere 8GB of usable storage | CNET UK
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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Samsung Galaxy S III
Samsung Galaxy S4
2013
Succeeded by
Samsung Galaxy S5