GSMArena: "the truth is it's a huge upgrade"
Well I'm as disappointed as anyone else with the design, but this first impression from GSM (the best and least biased reviewers in the business IMO) pretty much sums up why I'm going to find it so hard to chose my upgrade come may/june when I'm due.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4 may look pretty similar to its predecessor on the outside, but the truth is it's a huge upgrade. You get a larger screen of more than twice the resolution, a chipset that offers twice the processing power, a larger battery and better camera in a shell that's actually more compact than the Galaxy S III.
And that's not even all - Samsung also invested quite a lot of effort in the software and made sure the Galaxy S 4 ships with the latest available Android release garnished with a boatload of exclusive software features. Sure some of them are mere gimmicks, but many are genuinely cool and/or useful and we can bet a huge portion of them will catch up.
Of course, despite all the war gear it carries, the Samsung Galaxy S4 isn't invulnerable. The fact that the smartphone didn't address the main criticism about its predecessor, the design, means that competitors like the HTC One and Xperia Z still have their chance. It's not going to be easy, mind you, and the Galaxy S4 enters the battle as odds-on favorite.
And on the screen:
...The somewhat underwhelming first experience however all but changed when we switched on that oh-so-gorgeous 5" FullHD AMOLED display. The thing is absolutely stunning - every AMOLED fan will love it and even those who aren't too fond of the oversaturated colors will have to admit that it's a brilliant piece of engineering. And don't worry - as usual, Samsung has included a setting to tune the saturation down for a more natural look.
But the Samsung Galaxy S 4 screen's strengths do not end with the unrivaled contrast and extra punchy colors. It also offers viewing angles so wide that combined with the 441ppi pixel density, they make the screen look as if printed on paper. The impressively low-reflectivity also contributes to that effect and bodes very well for the outdoor performance of the display.
It's funny to read so many comments in the various GS4 stories about how much better the HTC One is, and how the sheep will buy the GS4 anyway because of the marketing Etc.
I really wish the One was better, but the GS4 is smaller the GS3 despite a 5in screen (that was my biggest wish), has removable batt, SD card and some cool features, many are stupid, but some actually look really good.
Undoubtedly the marketing gimmicks will be a success though, you know that when you see this as the main tech headline on the BBC:
"Eye-tracking Samsung Galaxy unveiled"
It's not good for the rest of the Android makers, but with eye-tracking and s-health etc, salesmen will have a field day selling this to non-techy consumers.
Overall my feeling is great internals, but damn you Samsung I wanted a better design.