04-23-2013 12:42 PM
50 12
tools
  1. toujours_frais's Avatar
    After last nights presentation, members of the press were allowed to spend a little time with the new device. My general impression was that this is a solid upgrade but also a missed opportunity for Samsung.
    If you follow Apples upgrade cycles, 2013 is slated to be the year of slight upgrade. Apple has been known to release a major upgrade every couple of years and do minor updates in the in-between ones. 2013 is slated to be one of those minor upgrades year, giving competitors a chance to come out with something mind-blowing.
    When one considers the 12 to 24 months cycle of mobile phone releases and updates (12 months for a new phone to be upgraded, 24 months for the user base to fully move to the more recent models), the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be competing with its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and with the iPhone 5 and its modest update, slated for the fall.
    So this was Samsungs year to come out with a phone that would place it far ahead of what the competition offers, and dominate the news cycle for months to come with all new devices being compared to the S4.
    The Galaxy 4 is a powerful package when it comes to hardware: a faster processor, larger screen, better camera, and bigger battery. But hardware tells only part of the story. The success of companies like Apple and Samsung has not been predicated on their hardware. There are, after all, many Android phones with better hardware specs than the Galaxy S3 already in the market and that did not seem to stop Samsungs progress in the Android world. Success hinges on the tight integration of software and hardware.
    Much of the S4 unveiling, in fact, focused on the software features that launched with the device. Photo manipulation, automatic translation, health sensor integration, even face-tracking were all presented as top innovations for the new device. And in the presentation, they looked fantastic.
    The challenge will be when those devices are put in the hands of consumers. Testing out the device, the hardware felt quite responsive and the phone was light while appearing to be all screen. The software, however, was a disappointing bundle of half-baked features that will need to be upgraded if they are to succeed.
    Translation trouble
    Take translation, for example. The basic idea here is that you can pick a language, have a speaker speak into the phone and the phone will perform some magic allowing you to read or listen to the translation in your own language. For people who travel a fair amount, this sounds like a wonderful thing, the kind of software leap that would make companies like Apple jealous. In practice, however, the software is wanting.
    I have the advantage of being fluent in French but I can tell you that most of the translations for everyday tasks like asking for directions, requesting a restaurant menu or asking for the check failed in my own testing. Wondering if this was only an issue with the French version of the software, I asked a German journalist who was standing next to me to try the same with the German to English version of the software. Much hilarity ensued as we tried combinations of French to English, French to German, German to French, and German to English.
    Photo software far from picture-perfect
    Photo and video manipulation were other areas the company touted as important improvements on the device. Such features as Eraser, which is supposed to allow you to remove people who walked into a picture you were trying to create. In testing, the feature had a hard time focusing on what you were trying to erase. The user interface for it was relatively easy to use once you had been trained with it, but it was far from intuitive.
    The same interface problem came up when using the camera feature that includes the photographer in the picture being taken. Once again, the feature worked well after some training but the interface to get it launch was not something that was easy to guess. A number of testers failed to figure it out until a Samsung representative showed how it worked.
    The devil is in the details
    Smartphones are at a lifestage where incremental changes are the tools of disruption. With things like NFC, wireless charging, large camera sensors, and speedy processors becoming more common, modest tweaks to existing features can present great improvements over competitive offerings.
    Samsungs Air Gestures feature is an example. The S4 lets you manipulate whats on the screen without making physical contact with it (some of the use cases Samsung presented included women with an unfinished manicure, sticky fingers, or someone wearing gloves). While it seems like a small thing, its the kind of improvement that makes you wonder why this isnt standard on every phone. In testing, this worked quite well when it came to interacting with apps, though the lack of sensory input was a bit bewildering at first.
    Other software integrations feel like upsells to Samsung services. HomeSync lets you synchronize pictures and videos with a server back at home. An app called S Health uses the phones sensors to share steps walked or stairs climbed or climate data with Samsung provided scales and other health monitors, but fails to integrate with more popular devices like the Fitbit or Nike Fuel Band. HomeSync only works with the Samsung server and not with any other form of storage a user may have at home.
    A decent upgrade, not a revolutionary product
    All in all, the Galaxy S4 is a decent upgrade. It feels relatively solid and the software will probably be improved over several releases. The sad part, though, is that could have been the year Samsung owned the cool factor. The company will still sell millions of those phones (the S3 recently passed the 50 million mark) but one cant help but feel that the release of the S4 represents some missed opportunities. We may have to wait for the inevitable release of the Samsung S5 for those hopes to be fanned again.
    Hands on with the Galaxy S4: Failing the cool factor - Forbes
    04-15-2013 07:00 PM
  2. lostmyphone's Avatar
    I'm dyslexic.
    04-15-2013 07:16 PM
  3. smooth4lyfe's Avatar
    Who cares! The phone is awesome! If u don't like them don't use them
    mouseglider, satannik and crester like this.
    04-15-2013 07:17 PM
  4. DroidXcon's Avatar
    I was a little worried about the cool factor then i remembered i was 32 and nothing i do will ever be cool again.

    Anyway, im really excited about getting a Galaxy S4 Case Slim Armor and throwing a flygrip on that thing
    04-15-2013 07:19 PM
  5. ddot196's Avatar
    Too long of a quote. Should have just linked the article first lol. But based on your thread title, I will say yes i do believe some of them are a bit gimmicky and most people wont use them. But it's Samsung. What do you expect. I for one will be turning off most of the gesture based features and whatnot to try and conserve what little amount of battery I can. Eye tracking, no thanks. Air scroll or whatever, nope. The screen is already .01 cm away from my finger I'll just touch the dang screen thank you very much.
    04-15-2013 07:23 PM
  6. smooth3006's Avatar
    Well theres always cm10 in a month or two.
    04-15-2013 07:24 PM
  7. Jerry Hildenbrand's Avatar
    OP is trolling. Don't fall for it
    Source: Me.
    04-15-2013 07:55 PM
  8. Phil Nickinson's Avatar
    Source: Me.
    What gave it away? The Forbes link?
    Patrick Schroedl likes this.
    04-15-2013 07:56 PM
  9. Podunks's Avatar
    Haha obvious troll is obvious.

    Anyways, if the software added work as intended, then they are not gimmicks. Samsung puts millions in R&D into the software additions because people asked for it/wanted it.

    They have real world applications, especially S translator!

    Not only that but the nearly edge to edge screen is revolutionary within the phone world.

    But people will keep looking down their noses at the floor in order to slander something they have not even used, rather than look at it for what it is.
    04-15-2013 09:01 PM
  10. toujours_frais's Avatar
    Haha obvious troll is obvious.

    Anyways, if the software added work as intended, then they are not gimmicks. Samsung puts millions in R&D into the software additions because people asked for it/wanted it.

    They have real world applications, especially S translator!

    Not only that but the nearly edge to edge screen is revolutionary within the phone world.

    But people will keep looking down their noses at the floor in order to slander something they have not even used, rather than look at it for what it is.
    Dude, you gotta read before posting non-sense. The article clearly mentions that those features don't work as advertised. Samsung is no Google, only Google Translator is good... S-Translator? Not so much
    04-15-2013 09:33 PM
  11. crester's Avatar
    toujours... why do you waste your time trolling all the threads in here? If you don't like the S4 then fine... but why are you wasting your time trying to convince the rest of the world that your views are the right views?

    And I've seen trolling before... but I've never seen somebody spend all day writing an essay to do it! Don't you have better things to do?
    04-15-2013 11:44 PM
  12. Shawn Magm's Avatar
    Two things on the S4 that I would use are the infrared port (as remote control) and the FM radio (with headphones). The FM radio feature was something I missed from my old dumb phone (Sony Ericsson w300i).
    04-15-2013 11:53 PM
  13. Podunks's Avatar
    Dude, you gotta read before posting non-sense. The article clearly mentions that those features don't work as advertised. Samsung is no Google, only Google Translator is good... S-Translator? Not so much
    Because you have used it right.... Seriously though. Good try.
    fkpalm and crester like this.
    04-16-2013 12:11 AM
  14. JasW's Avatar
    We get it, Toujours Troll Boy. You hate Samsung with a most irrational passion, as you repeatedly and expressly demonstrate over on CrackBerry.

    So we give up, we're all going to trade in our Samsung phones and get a Z10, OK? After all, it's a much better phone, right? And except for "maybe their refrigerators," "all of Samsung products are crap."
    04-16-2013 06:58 AM
  15. toujours_frais's Avatar
    We get it, Toujours Troll Boy. You hate Samsung with a most irrational passion, as you repeatedly and expressly demonstrate over on CrackBerry.

    So we give up, we're all going to trade in our Samsung phones and get a Z10, OK? After all, it's a much better phone, right? And except for "maybe their refrigerators," "all of Samsung products are crap."
    I used to have a GS3 before getting the Z10... Z10 isn't perfect, but definitely better than the SGS3
    04-16-2013 12:08 PM
  16. GS4Bob's Avatar
    All in all, the Galaxy S4 is a decent upgrade. It feels relatively solid and the software will probably be improved over several releases.

    That's all I needed to hear.... I'm all in on the SGS4!
    Thanks for the article.
    smooth4lyfe likes this.
    04-16-2013 12:30 PM
  17. Suda's Avatar
    We get it, Toujours Troll Boy. You hate Samsung with a most irrational passion, as you repeatedly and expressly demonstrate over on CrackBerry.

    So we give up, we're all going to trade in our Samsung phones and get a Z10, OK? After all, it's a much better phone, right? And except for "maybe their refrigerators," "all of Samsung products are crap."
    Yeah. He was also on Mac Rumors under the name "iPad5" posting anti-Samsung rhetoric until they banned him last week.
    satannik and smooth4lyfe like this.
    04-16-2013 01:21 PM
  18. JasW's Avatar
    I used to have a GS3 before getting the Z10... Z10 isn't perfect, but definitely better than the SGS3
    Interesting. Must be all those apps the Z10 has. Or maybe its larger screen.
    04-16-2013 03:18 PM
  19. j510's Avatar
    Just saw the white z10 live at bestbuy. Thought it was an htc one until i saw blackberry logo.
    04-16-2013 06:36 PM
  20. 318sugarhill's Avatar
    I used to have a GS3 before getting the Z10... Z10 isn't perfect, but definitely better than the SGS3
    Hahahahahahaha. I was laughing as your credibility just blew out the window! I'm sure the iPhone 5 is even worse compared to the Z-10!

    I'm amazed at the blackberry purists clinging to the last remnants of the past as the future blows past them.
    crester likes this.
    04-17-2013 06:00 PM
  21. toujours_frais's Avatar
    Adding features just for the sake of having new features to brag about... LOL@Samsung
    04-21-2013 04:46 PM
  22. FrostyGTA's Avatar
    People still use Blackberry's? That's like people clinging onto to their '72 Pinto's swearing they're still great cars....
    04-22-2013 12:01 AM
  23. satannik's Avatar
    Adding features just for the sake of having new features to brag about... LOL@Samsung
    Making the phone screen barely larger so they can release a "new" phone... LOL @Apple
    04-22-2013 12:36 AM
  24. Podunks's Avatar
    Adding features just for the sake of having new features to brag about... LOL@Samsung
    Increasing screen size in the same form factor as the last phone by .2in = innovation.
    04-22-2013 01:31 AM
  25. HOLLYWOODANT215's Avatar
    Increasing screen size in the same form factor as the last phone by .2in = innovation.
    Swag

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
    04-22-2013 03:34 AM
50 12

Similar Threads

  1. What S4 features are heading to the Note 2??
    By kilofoxtrot in forum Samsung Galaxy Note 2
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-24-2013, 06:00 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-19-2013, 11:11 AM
  3. What are you going to upgrade to the Galaxy S4 from?
    By Kevin Michaluk in forum Samsung Galaxy S4
    Replies: 160
    Last Post: 03-14-2013, 02:53 PM
  4. Galaxy S4 to Feature a 3D Camera ...
    By deesugar in forum Samsung Galaxy S4
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-14-2013, 04:51 AM
  5. Samsung Galaxy S4 to feature 5G WiFi
    By deesugar in forum Samsung Galaxy S4
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-21-2013, 09:20 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD