Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 a quick first-hand experience.

A shot of the S4 from my recent review / launch write-up

If you've come around my blog a couple of times, you would have remembered a post where I have written an in-depth review of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and pitted them against it's predecessors, the Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3. Which garnered a lot of hits from people who were checking out whether or not to purchase the Samsung Galaxy S4 (Also known as the i9500).

Well as luck would have had it, I've been chosen to be a Samsung Evangelist and one of the perks of being an evangelist is that I've gotten my hands on the i9500. This blogpost serves as a quick run-down on my experience with the Samsung Galaxy S4 so far

Really love the wood effect on the box, so environmentally friendly

Firstly the un-boxing process, a sacred ritual that most reviewers never EVER fail to deliver, I mean how else are we suppose to know what to expect when it comes to un-boxing our own gadgets?

Removing the box will reveals the main feature of the un-boxing. The S4 itself. 

What it comes with :

1) The smartphone itself
2) Micro USB cable for transfer & charge
3) USB charger port for the phone
4) Hands-free headset with volume and track control
5) Battery (2600mAh)
6) Quick Start Guides / Warranty papers etc

The Samsung Galaxy S4 packaging is farily standard when it comes to packaging contents, though I would really appreciate if they gave another Micro USB cable for data transfer, though with the way Android works now, I rarely use the cables for transferring data when I could use Dropbox to sync all my photos on my phone to my computer.

OH DID I MENTION that upon signing in to your Dropbox account thru the Samsung Galaxy S4 your dropbox will automatically get upgraded with 50 GB extra space? Pretty great deal if you ask me, considering that a new account only grants you about 1gb or so space.

Another extra bit Samsung has thrown into the packaging is the hands-free headset, instead of just having a shortcut button on the headset to answer calls, it comes with a volume rocker and track changing button as well! 

So far I've used the Samsung Galaxy S4 for around 2 weeks or so and I've noticed that the charging speed from critical (2%) to full only takes about 1 and a half hours to fully complete, as compared to 3 hours or so to fully charge on my Samsung Galaxy S2 , though the drawback is that the charging cable is somewhat noticeably shorter than the S2. 


Now let's talk about the battery performance. The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is wonderful, i'll let the screenshots speak for itself. 

I've installed GSam battery Monitor as the app to monitor my battery usage :

This was taken on the first day when I've gotten the S4, at 1:16pm roughly after lunch, the battery sits at 66%, pretty standard battery performance for an android don't you say?

Well not really, keep in mind that this is the first day of usage. This means that most of the morning was spent fiddling on the phone checking out every one of the phone's feature as well as whoring it out to jealous colleague who was still holding on to last gen phones.

So suffice to say the shot above shows the S4 after a heavy morning session.

But let's take a look at the next screencap which was taken 3 and a half hours later :

This screenshot above shows the battery consumption of the S4 when idling, which sat in my pocket for 3 and a half hours as it was time for me to finally stop procrastinating and actually start working before I get fired.

So from 66% the S4 consumed only 8% battery in a span of 3.5 hours, which roughly translate to 2.3% battery drain per hour (For the record really old HD2 takes about 10% per hour)


Check out the next screenshot, which was taken at the end of the day after a night out of taking photos,posting to instagram and other social networks. As well as tethering my connection to the girlfriend who did not have a data plan. 

So that's roughly 7 hours from the last screenshot with intermittent heavy usage during a typical night out. Which roughly traslate to a 7% hourly battery usage. As you can see in the parenthesis the phone has been running unplugged for 16 hours and 43 minutes.

On top of it all, I did not do a full charge/discharge cycle on the phone yet as I was too anxious of playing with the phone, here's another screen cap of the battery life after a long day of usage and after doing the first charge/discharge cycle :

The phone consumed 95% in a span of 25 hours and 41 minutes. Which turns out to be around 3.6% battery consumption per hour. 

I'll let the evidence above speak for itself on the Samsung Galaxy S4's battery life.

Camera performance

Here's a few pictures I've taken with the S4 :

I've picked the pictures above due to the focus needed to capture the Iguana's very detailed scales. The focus and capturing speed of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is great! The S4 has never failed to focus into the subjects I wanted it to. But with an accurate camera focus most of the time the quality of the picture largely depended on how steady I could hold the camera when pushing the button.

Here's a shot taken using the front camera :

With sufficient lighting, the front camera can almost be mistaken as taking with the main rear camera

What about when the lighting is too bright?

The S4 handles it with stride as well. Picture was taken when the sun came up after a light drizzle. Thus making the road really really bright and reflective :

 A random shot taken with Instagram's app and no filter applied :

Even at lower resolution, the quality of picture the S4 produces is stunning. 

I liked the picture quality so much I've even started using it to take pictures during my events (and abandoning my main Fujifilm F200EXR Camera in the process)  :

Pictures taken during the night with harsh lighting on the subject from a distance using the zoom feature

The phone also captures decent video footage at night from a distant :

Another feature I really like is the phone's ability to capture moments in animated GIF formats :

No additional programs needed to make animated photos anymore!

And finally another feature I'd like to highlight is the Drama mode, which is easily selected from the camera modes in the native camera application. You'd be able to take pictures like this :

I've been using the S4 for 2 weeks so far and I cannot imagine my life without it right now. The Samsung Galaxy S4 does live up to it's tagline : The Life Companion

I do agree with the tagline, Samsung Galaxy S4 will be one of the main gadgets that I will be using to capture every interesting moment of my life and share it with the rest of the world. In hopes that future generation may learn a thing or two from my experiences.


Henry Lee said...

eh i thought u don't want samsung phone anymore? hahaha

Ryan Mo said...

mana ada?