Five of the Most Disappointing Aspects of the New Galaxy S4

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Now that I have played around some more with the new Android flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S4, I am convinced that this is yet another classic case of great marketing for an ok product. Like I said before I even had held the S4 for the first time, I would choose the HTC One over it any day.

Now don’t get me wrong. The S4 is not a bad device. It is still a top-of-the-line Android phone, but taking into account all the technological advancements we have made in this space, the S4 can be a whole lot better.

Here are five of the most disappointing aspects of the S4, as confirmed by myself as well as a few different sources that have been using the phone regularly:

5 If You Are Going to Include Everything, at Least Make Sure It Works!

Fact: All that head tracking and air swiping functionality everyone talks about in the noise about the S4 does not work as well as it should. I get it. Samsung needs to differentiate itself with all this crazy futuristic stuff, but if you are advertising that your phone knows how to track my eyes/head, then please deliver on that promise. In my tests, the whole “Look away from a video to pause it” worked 50% of the time and I am being nice. The same goes for all the new features added to the S4. They just don’t work well enough, which proves my point that this phone is pure marketing and less innovation.

4 Time to Simplify:

Perhaps this is a personal thing, but what makes Apple great is that its products are super simple to use, while not compromising on sophistication. Samsung’s Touchwiz seems like it’s overcompensating for something. It’s as if someone woke up one morning and declared, “If there is something we can add to our phones, we will. Doesn’t matter if not a soul on the planet will use this feature, we want it.” But why? It is overkill to have 400 options in the camera. The whole Touchwiz experience, besides slowing down the phone, is just too heavy and overwhelming.

3 Reboots. What is this? Windows?

The S4 is buggy. Again, it is not just mine, it is buggy for several people I have spoken to. It reboots itself a few times a day, and for no apparent reason. Not sure what to add here, besides “Samsung, get on this please.”

2 Sloo-ooo-ooo-w:

Blame Google, blame Samsung, blame whoever you want; this thing can be a whole lot faster. As I mentioned in my previous post about the S4, when comparing the speed at which the camera launches and closes to that of the iPhone 5, well, how should I say this? There is no comparison whatsoever. The iPhone 5 literally moves three times faster. The S4 has more processing power than almost any other smartphone, heck, it has more processing power than some computers. Yet, if I am taking a picture of a person jumping with an attempt to catch him in the air, by the time I launch the camera and take the picture, they landed, had a bite to eat and took a nice hot shower. What’s going on, Samsung?

1 Battery Life. Really? In 2013?

I know—people complaining about the poor battery life of modern smartphones is getting kinda old. True, but still, how is it that in 2013, the top smartphone on the market can’t even make it through the day? Not even close. I agree that this is a global problem across the whole industry, but for now, there is one possible, albeit temporary solution. When you have a big phone, include a big battery. The Note 2 did it and the battery life is fantastic. The S4, which is by all standards a large phone, could have easily delivered better battery life. Huge disappointment.