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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Two questions:

    1) Battery life: Has anybody confirmed Engadget's battery life reports that indicated that the battery life of the regular S4 is significantly better than that of the S4 Active?

    2) Camera: Has anybody confirmed Anandtech's suspicion that the pixel pitch of the 8 Mpx camera on the S4 Active is the same as that on the regular S4, meaning that the sensor on the regular S4 is significantly larger (in turn entailing better low light capability on the regular S4, despite the higher resolution)? Also, what generation of Exmor tech these sensors are? Finally, any image comparisons between the two?
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    I have an S4. Also had a S4A for a week before retuning it and in my opinion as a regular guy taking photos, the S4 was superior to the S4A. Especially in less than outside brightness. I did not really have it long enough to comment on battery life.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    I have both. In my opinion the battery, screen and feel are better on the active. Camera, no flap on the charger port and 32gb option are better on the GS4.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    That's very interesting that you find the battery on the S4A longer lasting. Also interesting that you find the screen better -- can you say more about this? Are you referring mainly to brightness or also other properties?

    Quote Originally Posted by robertopod1968 View Post
    I have both. In my opinion the battery, screen and feel are better on the active. Camera, no flap on the charger port and 32gb option are better on the GS4.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Oh and can you say more about the camera? Did you compare the two side by side? I've been wondering if they have the same sensor size which could give the S4A an edge in low light...
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    No problem at all. For me with the same exact setup the battery does give me about 45 minutes to an hour more on screen time. The screen is brighter on auto mode and is much easier to see in sunlight. The regular S4 on auto brightness always seemed to dim for me. Side by side the active is brighter at equal settings. Which is easier for me to see. I'm sure it's totally a personal preference. I just know that I can see the screen on the active even with sunglasses on in my car. I can't with the GS4. I'm no expert on trueness of color though. Just taking about using them in my daily life. Hope this helps you. Feel free to ask me anything you'd like.
  7. #7  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by robertopod1968 View Post
    No problem at all. For me with the same exact setup the battery does give me about 45 minutes to an hour more on screen time. The screen is brighter on auto mode and is much easier to see in sunlight. The regular S4 on auto brightness always seemed to dim for me. Side by side the active is brighter at equal settings. Which is easier for me to see. I'm sure it's totally a personal preference. I just know that I can see the screen on the active even with sunglasses on in my car. I can't with the GS4. I'm no expert on trueness of color though. Just taking about using them in my daily life. Hope this helps you. Feel free to ask me anything you'd like.
    Robertopod you make valid points. However, I went to the ATT store and noticed immediately noticed that the screen on the Active was inferior to the regular S4, theOne, and the optimus sitting right next to it. It was the equivalent of my old Bionic. The colors dont pop like they do on most of today's flagship phones. That being said, I still want an active.
    Uselessbass likes this.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Can I ask you for a favor? I just found out that the S4's camera has camera specs of focal length 4.2 mm and f/2.2 and the S4A has a focal length of 3.7 mm and f/2.6. The longer focal length on the S4 would indicate that it indeed has a bigger sensor (i.e., not just more Megapixels) than the S4A, *if* the field of view of both cameras is similar. So I wanted to ask you, since you have both phones at hand, to take two pictures of the same object (distance doesn't matter) to see which one has larger FOV. Perhaps you can even post them here for comparison? Even if you can't post, letting us know if they have the same FOV would be useful. The best way to do this would be to shoot in horizontal orientation, align the left sides of both with a vertical line of some sort, to see how much one of the two captures more on the right side of the picture. Does that explanation make sense? Also, if you can switch to 4:3 format (I noticed that the sensor is 4:3, i.e. the regular S4 only captures 13 Mpix if at that setting) beforehand that would be great. Thanks in advance! That will really help clear things up!

    Quote Originally Posted by robertopod1968 View Post
    No problem at all. For me with the same exact setup the battery does give me about 45 minutes to an hour more on screen time. The screen is brighter on auto mode and is much easier to see in sunlight. The regular S4 on auto brightness always seemed to dim for me. Side by side the active is brighter at equal settings. Which is easier for me to see. I'm sure it's totally a personal preference. I just know that I can see the screen on the active even with sunglasses on in my car. I can't with the GS4. I'm no expert on trueness of color though. Just taking about using them in my daily life. Hope this helps you. Feel free to ask me anything you'd like.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    No problem. I'll see what I can do when I find a little time
    TheyStoleMyName likes this.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Imo s4 camera is better. The screen has the more saturated colors but its not my cup if tea. The battery life might be better because of the screen differences. I like the feel of the active better and the physical buttons too.

    from what ever phone I feel like using today
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    This ^ The active feels sturdier. I like the design better and the buttons.

    As a side note I was out in the rain last night wishing that I had the Active. Bring this thing to VZW please!
  12. #12  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    How about data connection? I read some reviews claiming that the S4A has significantly worse signal strength. Any real world experiences support this contention?

    Thanks

    Will


    Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by WilburNJ View Post
    How about data connection? I read some reviews claiming that the S4A has significantly worse signal strength. Any real world experiences support this contention?

    Thanks

    Will


    Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app
    Both phones experience WiFi issues with some routers. I did not notice an issue with the signal strength at any point in time with mobile and WiFi signal.

    from what ever phone I feel like using today
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyStoleMyName View Post
    Both phones experience WiFi issues with some routers. I did not notice an issue with the signal strength at any point in time with mobile and WiFi signal.

    from what ever phone I feel like using today
    Thank you. I have the S3 right now and debating on my upgrade. The comments in a couple of "reviews" about signal strength on S4A worried me a bit...


    Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by WilburNJ View Post
    Thank you. I have the S3 right now and debating on my upgrade. The comments in a couple of "reviews" about signal strength on S4A worried me a bit...


    Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app
    I own the S4 and the S4 Active, at work and at home they have the same signal strength

    Also have the S3

    i will say that one is louder then the other while at the same volume level, but the active it water proof so that will make a difference
  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by ghostshell View Post
    I own the S4 and the S4 Active, at work and at home they have the same signal strength

    Also have the S3

    i will say that one is louder then the other while at the same volume level, but the active it water proof so that will make a difference
    Can you do the camera test requested above, where you compare how wide an angle both phones cameras capture? This would allow us to estimate the size of each sensor, given that we know the focal lengths.
  17. #17  
    TheSprings's Avatar

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    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    This might be a good place to ask a question. I've tried both the S4 and S4Active. We ended up getting two Actives. We don't take many images with the device, preferring a camera, so the extra toughness of the Active was best.. BUT:

    When Display Brightness is set to Auto the display dims to the point it is almost unreadable, especially in dim light. The S4 we tested didn't seem to do that.

    Is there a real difference between the two models? Or, is it just a problem with both? Or, do we still have to learn more about the devices?
  18. #18  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSprings View Post
    This might be a good place to ask a question. I've tried both the S4 and S4Active. We ended up getting two Actives. We don't take many images with the device, preferring a camera, so the extra toughness of the Active was best.. BUT:

    When Display Brightness is set to Auto the display dims to the point it is almost unreadable, especially in dim light. The S4 we tested didn't seem to do that.

    Is there a real difference between the two models? Or, is it just a problem with both? Or, do we still have to learn more about the devices?
    I have the exact opposite. The active on auto is much brighter than the s4 I have
  19. #19  
    troshs's Avatar

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    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    I was considering the same thing with the screen brightness when deciding whether or not I am going to get the s4 or not. It was a tough decision, because with the better screen, I wouldn't have water-proof, dust-proof, whatever-proof. The thing that made the decision final about getting the Active is the fact that it's not like I am going to have both phones to compare the difference to for the whole two years, and the screens are both better than any phone I have ever had. Sooner or later, I won't notice and get used to it. (And also, though this might sound stupid, the S4 doesn't come in that brilliant blue color I fell in love with when I first saw the Active )
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Could anybody who currently has both phones do this test? Summarizing: Take a photo of a subject with a significant amount of structure (i.e. e.g., a city panorama or landscape would be perfect) with both the S4Active and regular S4. Post both pictures here. It will allow us to tell exactly the size of the two cameras sensors (since we have the focal length from EXIF data). Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    Can I ask you for a favor? I just found out that the S4's camera has camera specs of focal length 4.2 mm and f/2.2 and the S4A has a focal length of 3.7 mm and f/2.6. The longer focal length on the S4 would indicate that it indeed has a bigger sensor (i.e., not just more Megapixels) than the S4A, *if* the field of view of both cameras is similar. So I wanted to ask you, since you have both phones at hand, to take two pictures of the same object (distance doesn't matter) to see which one has larger FOV. Perhaps you can even post them here for comparison? Even if you can't post, letting us know if they have the same FOV would be useful. The best way to do this would be to shoot in horizontal orientation, align the left sides of both with a vertical line of some sort, to see how much one of the two captures more on the right side of the picture. Does that explanation make sense? Also, if you can switch to 4:3 format (I noticed that the sensor is 4:3, i.e. the regular S4 only captures 13 Mpix if at that setting) beforehand that would be great. Thanks in advance! That will really help clear things up!
  21. Thread Author  Thread Author    #21  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    I finally gave up on you guys. Had posted a simple request for somebody to shot comparison shots with the S4 and S4A so we could tell if Anandtech was right or wrong in claiming the Active had a smaller sensor than the regular S4.

    Turns out the sensors are the same size. To find out I took the same image with both phones and compared the field of view (the simple test I had repeatedly asked for above). I had to go to the store for this. The field of view of the S4A is 10% bigger than that of the S4 (the Active is more wide angle). The focal length is 10% smaller. So the sensor has the same size. It's just 8 Mpix but should have the same low light capabilities.
  22. #22  
    robstunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by quietlybrilliant View Post
    I finally gave up on you guys. Had posted a simple request for somebody to shot comparison shots with the S4 and S4A so we could tell if Anandtech was right or wrong in claiming the Active had a smaller sensor than the regular S4.

    Turns out the sensors are the same size. To find out I took the same image with both phones and compared the field of view (the simple test I had repeatedly asked for above). I had to go to the store for this. The field of view of the S4A is 10% bigger than that of the S4 (the Active is more wide angle). The focal length is 10% smaller. So the sensor has the same size. It's just 8 Mpix but should have the same low light capabilities.
    Good thing you didnt have to pay anyone......
  23. #23  
    robstunner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by skipatrol View Post
    Robertopod you make valid points. However, I went to the ATT store and noticed immediately noticed that the screen on the Active was inferior to the regular S4, theOne, and the optimus sitting right next to it. It was the equivalent of my old Bionic. The colors dont pop like they do on most of today's flagship phones. That being said, I still want an active.
    Thats a matter of opinion. I prefer the screen on the S4A. Why?

    LCD
    More muted colors (Doesnt look like a Cartoon drawing on my phone)
    Non-Pentile
    Brighter Outdoors (which the S4A is more marketed for)

    The only negative thing I can think of is the fact that the screen cant get as DARK as the S4. That being said, 'night time "dock mode" for clock apps are noticably brighter thanks the LCD lighting up the whole screen vs the AMOLED lighting up just the time.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    i bought the S4 from virgin mobile in canada,so what one do i have?
    just wondering what the difference is!
    thanks
  25. Thread Author  Thread Author    #25  

    Default Re: Comparison tests between S4 Active and regular S4?

    Quote Originally Posted by mohawk apple View Post
    i bought the S4 from virgin mobile in canada,so what one do i have?
    just wondering what the difference is!
    thanks
    Let me google that for you

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