1. RavenSword's Avatar
    I'm trying to pick between this phone and the HTC One on att and have some questions about the S4:

    1. Are most the issues reviewers complained about regarding sluggishness, lag, and crashes been addressed and fixed?

    2. What exactly can I offload to the SD card slot? Cached music from Google play or spotify? Or would I have to download the mp3s to the card from my computer? Can I store purchased Google play movies on it?

    3. How has your phone held up so far? Is the phone durable?

    4. Does Samsung hamstring any part of googles services or conflicts with them? For example, do they make it a pain using the play store gmail app, chrome browser, Google keyboard, YouTube, and etc. I'm asking because I'm really onto googles ecosyestem and I don't want to be forced into some weird Samsung splintered off ecosystem.

    5. If I don't want to use most or all of the different gestures and functionality they crammed in the phone, can I easily disable them and does that male the phone more manageable to use?

    6. And if given the choice again whether to pick this phone up compares to a HTC ONE or something else, would you still pick the S4?
    09-11-2013 01:07 PM
  2. SpookDroid's Avatar
    1) The stock launcher is stuttery, but no big lag. If you're picky, you'll notice it. No sugar coating it, it's just too much going on inside the phone. But if you change launchers and turn off some extra stuff, you'll hardly notice it. Sure, it's no excuse, but it's how you could get around it.

    2) All media files and documents. SOME apps will let you install them completely on an SD Card, some will only let you move part of them, and some others won't let you at all (this, still, is in each app dev's hands). As far as music, I can tell you Spotify lets you use the SD Card for storage IF the free space in it is greater than the free space in your internal memory (it does so automatically). The stock camera app lets you take pictures and videos and store them in the SD card as well (except for burst shots, these are always stored in Internal Memory for efficiency and FPS optimization). Apps like the stock Google Camera or Google Music have no option to save to SD Card or use it for offline music.

    3) So far so good. It's survived a few falls, my dog always stepping on it and slobbering on the screen, still no scratches on the screen AT ALL, and only a couple of tiny dings on the plastic outer rim from the falls; can only see them if you look closely.

    4) Nothing tied to Samsung's services. Yes, you get the option to create a Samsung Account and use their Cloud services, but the first thing you'll get asked for is a Google Account. All Google Apps work just fine (unless you don't live in the US; then the Google Keyboard is not available for download through Google Play). The local calendar and e-mail apps can even sync with Google's services if you don't want to use Google's solutions and viceversa: if you don't want to use Samsung's apps but still want to use their Cloud services, they can sync with Google Calendar and even GMail.

    5) Yes, nearly everything can be toggled on and off from the notification bar and the more obscure features you can toggle on and off as well but you'll have to go into a setting's menu. Yes, the less stuff you use, the less lag you'll notice and the more the battery will last.

    6)I compared both and still went with the S4 mostly because I DO find a good use for most of the features it packs. That, and because I liked the camera on the S4 better than the One. Screenwise, the resolution PPI (thanks for the clarification, earthworm ) is higher on the One but the size is bigger on the S4 (another winning factor FOR ME; you might be different). On a side note, I don't keep my S4 on a case (just the supplied flip cover) and don't fret about it. If I had gotten the One, I'd be buying a protective case as soon as I left the store. I get that most people brag about the 'premium' materials HTC used, but in all honesty, if you're gonna cover it up, what's the point? SD card, removable battery... all pluses for the S4.
    eawortman likes this.
    09-11-2013 01:32 PM
  3. STSVA's Avatar
    To answer the original question 4, about Google apps, etc., they all work fine for me so far.
    09-11-2013 02:22 PM
  4. physioprof's Avatar
    If you are going to be using the phone outside in the sun a lot, be aware that the One screen is substantially brighter. I have the S4, and the screen is barely readable in sunlight.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using AC Forums mobile app
    09-11-2013 04:52 PM
  5. HPferoxCraft's Avatar
    If you are going to be using the phone outside in the sun a lot, be aware that the One screen is substantially brighter. I have the S4, and the screen is barely readable in sunlight.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using AC Forums mobile app
    Turn on auto brightness and then slide the brightness bar all the way up. It will turn off the auto and appear brighter. It's not perfect but it's better. I have no shade and am always outside.

    Posted via Android Central App
    09-11-2013 05:24 PM
  6. eawortman's Avatar
    Screenwise, the resolution is higher on the One but the size is bigger on the S4 (another winning factor FOR ME; you might be different). .
    I know you meant something else, but i just wanted to clarify this part. The resolution is the same for both phones, but due to the smaller size, the One has a higher pixel density.

    Otherwise this was an extremely informative post for someone considering a modern Galaxy flagship.
    09-11-2013 07:05 PM
  7. RavenSword's Avatar
    I'm considering the s4.because I thought it would be easier to get support for it and find accessories. Also, I'm sure it's battery life is pretty good. It's just Touchwiz seems super chaotic and might slow the phone down.
    jaleesag88 likes this.
    09-12-2013 03:23 AM
  8. Haalcyon's Avatar
    Look, there's no sugar coating it, so I won't attempt to do so. You've requested an opinion, so here's another....

    The S4 is an exceedingly awesome phone, and I apologize for that. The display is bright and beautiful, the colours are immersive, the screen is t-tough with its Gorilla Glass to the 3. The phone, mine at least, is stupidly fast, nastily quick, brilliantly flexible, perfectly powerful, and buttery smooth. There are a plethora of features...you get to select the ones that you'll use and the ones you'll disable. The micro SD card allows for up to 96GB of total storage using up to, and including, the premium SanDisk Extreme. Features such as OTG support are completely included, no Nexus Media Importer required...just purchase your choice of cable, starting at $2. Wanna change the system font on the fly? Oh, you can do that, rooting not required (like most other non-Sammy devices). Wanna swap out your battery? Sure, why not, eh? The camera is good and its software is incredible. Don't take my word for see for yourself.

    Does the premium HTC One have some of nice features too? Why yes...yes it does. Would you be happy with the HTC One with its beautiful display and boom-sound? Perhaps. The S4, however, is a veritable Swiss army knife of usefulness and its blades are extremely sharp.

    Now, how's that for an opinion?

    Sent from the Xperia Tablet Z
    SpookDroid and STSVA like this.
    09-12-2013 05:23 AM
  9. SpookDroid's Avatar
    I know you meant something else, but i just wanted to clarify this part. The resolution is the same for both phones, but due to the smaller size, the One has a higher pixel density.

    Otherwise this was an extremely informative post for someone considering a modern Galaxy flagship.
    My bad... I meant PPI :P
    09-12-2013 07:41 AM
  10. jhubensc's Avatar
    Get Lux Dash app and you can calibrate the dynamic brightness under varying conditions.
    09-12-2013 08:19 AM
  11. physioprof's Avatar
    Turn on auto brightness and then slide the brightness bar all the way up. It will turn off the auto and appear brighter. It's not perfect but it's better. I have no shade and am always outside.

    Posted via Android Central App
    I know that. Unfortunately, it's still too dim in bright sunlight. Quantification of screen brightness done by Anandtech demonstrates that the One is much brighter than the S4.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using AC Forums mobile app
    09-12-2013 10:33 AM
  12. HPferoxCraft's Avatar
    Oh not denying that at all. I don't know if it's a placebo effect but it does appear brighter doing it in that order than just raising the brightness up. It bugged me a lot when I first got the phone, now I only really notice it when I see someone else's phone brighter than mine in the sun.
    Just need to design a fold out umbrella case and we'll be all set.

    Posted via My Finger
    jaleesag88 likes this.
    09-12-2013 11:18 AM
  13. doohsun's Avatar
    I had the same problem I picked an matte anti glare screen I can use it outside even when it's really bright it's readable.
    09-12-2013 03:27 PM
  14. paintdrinkingpete's Avatar
    Already a few good answers here on this thread to these questions, so I'll just add what I feel relevant...

    I'm trying to pick between this phone and the HTC One on att and have some questions about the S4:

    1. Are most the issues reviewers complained about regarding sluggishness, lag, and crashes been addressed and fixed?

    2. What exactly can I offload to the SD card slot? Cached music from Google play or spotify? Or would I have to download the mp3s to the card from my computer? Can I store purchased Google play movies on it?

    3. How has your phone held up so far? Is the phone durable?

    4. Does Samsung hamstring any part of googles services or conflicts with them? For example, do they make it a pain using the play store gmail app, chrome browser, Google keyboard, YouTube, and etc. I'm asking because I'm really onto googles ecosyestem and I don't want to be forced into some weird Samsung splintered off ecosystem.

    5. If I don't want to use most or all of the different gestures and functionality they crammed in the phone, can I easily disable them and does that male the phone more manageable to use?

    6. And if given the choice again whether to pick this phone up compares to a HTC ONE or something else, would you still pick the S4?
    1. Just to add to what others posted, I highly advise using Nova launcher with this phone. Not because it's a "band aid" that helps to fix the default Touchwiz launcher, but simply because it's better. I'd run Nova even if TW was buttery smooth. None the less, I've been using Nova since the day I got the phone, I rarely notice any "lag" or "sluggishness"

    2. *IF* you are rooted, there are ways to use the SD card for Google Music and Movies cache, but otherwise the answer is no. I personally just manually added some of my more frequently listened to music to my SD card so that I'd have plenty of room for stuff I want to pin from Google Music on the fly.

    3. Mine's holding up great

    4. Nope

    5. Yup. Very easy to turn off any of the motion features you don't want.

    6. Probably the only device I'd choose over the S4 would be a Nexus phone. I've had bad experiences with HTC in the past, so I've never been that interested in the ONE, especially with no SD support or removable battery. I'll probably go with a Nexus phone next time, just because of the locked bootloader issue with this phone, but there's no current device I'd rather have than the S4. (and yes, I realize that any future Nexus phones probably won't have SD card support or removable battery either...and that's why I'm not 100% sure what I'll end up doing...but I have plenty of time to decide before it's time to get rid of the S4).
    09-12-2013 04:02 PM
  15. RavenSword's Avatar
    Already a few good answers here on this thread to these questions, so I'll just add what I feel relevant...



    1. Just to add to what others posted, I highly advise using Nova launcher with this phone. Not because it's a "band aid" that helps to fix the default Touchwiz launcher, but simply because it's better. I'd run Nova even if TW was buttery smooth. None the less, I've been using Nova since the day I got the phone, I rarely notice any "lag" or "sluggishness"

    2. *IF* you are rooted, there are ways to use the SD card for Google Music and Movies cache, but otherwise the answer is no. I personally just manually added some of my more frequently listened to music to my SD card so that I'd have plenty of room for stuff I want to pin from Google Music on the fly.

    3. Mine's holding up great

    4. Nope

    5. Yup. Very easy to turn off any of the motion features you don't want.

    6. Probably the only device I'd choose over the S4 would be a Nexus phone. I've had bad experiences with HTC in the past, so I've never been that interested in the ONE, especially with no SD support or removable battery. I'll probably go with a Nexus phone next time, just because of the locked bootloader issue with this phone, but there's no current device I'd rather have than the S4. (and yes, I realize that any future Nexus phones probably won't have SD card support or removable battery either...and that's why I'm not 100% sure what I'll end up doing...but I have plenty of time to decide before it's time to get rid of the S4).
    Well, here's the thing that I think is a potential selling point for the s4 is (although maybe it shouldn't be?) and that its popularity.

    See, because this phone is so popular, that means that there's going to be a healthy ecosystem of accessories and support. And it has a potentially better chance of receiving carrier updates than, say, the HTC ONE who is STILL on 4.1 and, from what I hear from users of past HTC phones, is notorious for not updating their phones OS.

    But I still don't know how I would adapt to touchwiz since I've been using a nexus 4 and stock android.

    And I keep hearing the phone has lag. But I also hear this has been fixed? Its just I haven't seen reviews after this was supposedly fixed.
    09-13-2013 01:49 AM
  16. STSVA's Avatar
    Well, here's the thing that I think is a potential selling point for the s4 is (although maybe it shouldn't be?) and that its popularity.

    See, because this phone is so popular, that means that there's going to be a healthy ecosystem of accessories and support. And it has a potentially better chance of receiving carrier updates than, say, the HTC ONE who is STILL on 4.1 and, from what I hear from users of past HTC phones, is notorious for not updating their phones OS.

    But I still don't know how I would adapt to touchwiz since I've been using a nexus 4 and stock android.

    And I keep hearing the phone has lag. But I also hear this has been fixed? Its just I haven't seen reviews after this was supposedly fixed.
    Good points about popularity and support. I'm still waiting for the Ice Cream Sandwich update for my dinc2 (not that I care, since I've replaced it with the S4). With regard to Touchwiz and lag, I may be very uncritical but as far as I'm concerned Touchwiz works fine and lag is not an issue. I'm on Verizon with the ME7 update, which may have made a difference; since the update occurred as soon as I activated the phone, I don't have a "before" baseline for comparison. Also, I activated the Developer section in Settings and set the screen transition times to .5X, which some people have recommended to speed up the phone's transitions.
    09-13-2013 07:26 AM
  17. RavenSword's Avatar
    Good points about popularity and support. I'm still waiting for the Ice Cream Sandwich update for my dinc2 (not that I care, since I've replaced it with the S4). With regard to Touchwiz and lag, I may be very uncritical but as far as I'm concerned Touchwiz works fine and lag is not an issue. I'm on Verizon with the ME7 update, which may have made a difference; since the update occurred as soon as I activated the phone, I don't have a "before" baseline for comparison. Also, I activated the Developer section in Settings and set the screen transition times to .5X, which some people have recommended to speed up the phone's transitions.
    Yeah, I think that update might have fixed it for the most p
    09-13-2013 12:12 PM

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