Samsung I9505G Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition review: Purified

GSMArena team, 14 July 2013.
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Tags: Samsung, Android

Basic organizing will do

The Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition doesn't come with a dedicated file browser or a document editor. However, after installing a third-party file browser we were able to open all the different document types: DOC, XLS, PPT from Office 2003 and 2007 along with PDF using Google Drive with ease..

The calendar's look hasn't changed drastically and its functionality is as good as ever. There are four views - Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Agenda. The app can easily handle several online calendars as well as the local calendar.

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Google Calendar

You can add multiple reminders for each event and search through all events. Recently Google added color-coding to events, which helps with organizing tasks.

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Creating event

Google has redone its Clock app, giving it a major overhaul. Opening it brings you to your local time giving you the ability to add as many additional world capital cities as you'd like (they will also be visible on your lockscreen widget upon expanding).

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The Clock app

The usual alarm functionality is still present, albeit the fresh new design. You can set multiple alarms, each with its own repeat pattern, ringtone and label. The app also comes with a stopwatch and a timer.

The good old calculator is here too - it has big, easily thumbable keys and you can swipe to the left to bring up the advanced functions (trigonometry, square root, brackets, etc.).

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Calculator

Stock Android isn't big on organizing but you can find pretty much anything in the Google Play store. Note apps like Google Keep or Evernote, different calendars, different office viewers, calculators, anything.

Google Maps and Google Earth will guide you through

The Google Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition comes with a GPS receiver, which took about a minute to get satellite lock upon a cold start (it supports GLONASS for faster, more accurate locks too). You can use the A-GPS functionality to get near instantaneous locks. Alternatively, network positioning will also do if you only need an estimate of your location.

Google Maps is a standard part of the Android package and we've covered it many times before. It offers voice-guided navigation in certain countries and falls back to a list of instructions elsewhere.

3D buildings are shown for some of the bigger cities and you can use two-finger camera tilt and rotate to get a better view of the area.

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Google Maps

You can also plan routes, search for nearby POI and go into the always cool Street View. The app will reroute you if you get off course, even without a data connection.

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Street View

Google Maps uses vector maps, which are very data efficient. The latest version has an easy to use interface for caching maps - you just choose "Make available offline" from the menu and pan/zoom around until the desired area is in view (there's an indicator showing how much storage caching that area will take). You can later view cached areas and delete ones you no longer need.

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Making map available offline

Note that there's a limit to the size of the area you can cache - you can't just make all of Europe available offline, not even a whole country. We managed to cache Berlin and some surrounding regions before Maps told us the area is too big. Also, there's no address search in the cached maps and you can only cache map data in supported regions of the world.

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Google Earth

Google Play store has all the apps

Running on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the Google Edition Galaxy S4 has access to the latest available apps.

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The Google Play store

The Store is organized in a few scrollable tabs - categories, featured, top paid, top free, top grossing, top new paid, top new free and trending. The in-app section is untouched though and it's very informative - a description, latest changes, number of downloads and comments with rating. There is usually a demo video and several screenshots for most apps too.

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