The Samsung Galaxy S4. Looks a lot like your Galaxy S III, doesn't it? (Photo : Reuters)
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally been unveiled. But is it worth an upgrade of you already have a Galaxy S III? Let's take a look.
The Galaxy S III has an impressive screen, a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display with 1280x720, 306 ppi resolution. But Samsung has increased the screen size on the Galaxy S4, to a 5-inch 1920x1280, 441 ppi display. Pretty much every high-end smartphone coming out this year has a better, higher-resolution screen than the S III, but the older phone still boasts a screen larger than most of the new offerings. The S4's display is getting close to the limit of detail that human eyes can detect, so if you can notice a difference, you might want to upgrade.
Like Us on Facebook
The Galaxy S4 will come in two different versions, each with a different processor, just as the S III did.
The S4 will have an impressive eight-core Exynos 5 Octa processor, while American versions will run a more standard 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600.
That means between the two phones, there will be four different processors floating around. If you have the faster quad-core Exynos 4 version of the S III sold internationally, you might not see much of a difference if you upgrade to the American version of the S4. Alternatively, if you have the American version of the S III, running a Snapdragon S4, you'll likely see big gains if you can get your hands on the international version of the S4.
The Galaxy S4 has up to 64 GB on internal memory and an SD card slot that can accommodate up to another 64 GB. The S III only comes with internal memory up 32 GB but has the dame SD card capacity. It's a wash.
Samsung uses TouchWiz, it's own in-house Android overlay. It's full-featured, but not particularly user-friendly, and isn't particularly pretty. The S4 doesn't make huge improvements, but it does add some cool hands-free features. There's a good chance those will work their way into an update for the S III soon, though.
The Galaxy S4 will come with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest current build. But Key Lime Pie is due out soon, so fans are hoping the S4 will be fast-tracked for an upgrade. S III users have access to 4.1.2, but they'll be at the back of the queue for Key Lime Pie.
Honestly, the two phones look pretty much the same. The S4 is less oblong, and it has some metal strips down the side. In a TPU case, they'll look exactly the same.
In keeping with the Galaxy S4's "make everything bigger and faster" aesthetic, it boasts a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, and the ability to take photos and video with both cameras at the same time.
Let's face it, that's better than the 8 megapixel camera on the S III.
But that's the story with just about everything on the Galaxy S4. It's more, but is it better? Okay, it's technically better, but is it a big enough improvement that it warrants a switch?
It's reminiscent of the iPhone 4S, an upgrade many users found too lackluster to consider. It looked the same, and, day-to-day, you were unlikely to notice a huge change between the two.
As a Galaxy S III owner, that's how I feel about the S4. While an S4 would give me slightly better performance, I'd need to buy one, backup my apps and contacts, reload my accounts, settings and profiles onto the S4, download my apps, set up the wallpaper and ringtones, buy a new case and apply another screen protector.
Full disclosure: I'm in the middle of a two-year contract. If I wasn't I'd take a serious look at the S4. And then I'd look at the HTC One and the Xperia Z. And then I'd wait until the iPhone 6 is announced, just so I know what's out there and can pick between all the options. In the meantime, I have a perfectly serviceable, still impressive S III. Poor me.