Years ago, people either bought an iPhone or “a Droid." Verizon’s marketing power, those insane robot ads, and maybe that just-close-enough naming convention made the carrier's Android phones virtually synonymous with their operating system.

But now I hear people every day saying "Oh, is that the new Galaxy?" or "I don't really want an iPhone. I think I'm going to get a Galaxy." Thanks to its high quality and wide availability, not to mention Samsung's sheer brute-forcing marketing effort, the Galaxy S III became the face of the Android universe. It has sold tens of millions of units, and helped Android take huge marketshare away from the iPhone. Now Samsung's back with that device’s successor, the Galaxy S4. The new handset changes little from the GS III, but it adds a lot — a bigger screen, and a laundry list of software tweaks and features. It's a variation on a theme, a safe tweak to a strategy that’s worked impossibly well for Samsung.

But the landscape has changed since the Galaxy S III came out, and good cameras, big and beautiful screens, and fast performance now come virtually standard. The Galaxy S4 comes into a fiercely competitive market, with great phones on all sides and a particularly strong showing from the HTC One — is it enough of an improvement to keep Samsung atop the Android heap? I've had one for a week or so, and I have a few thoughts on the subject.