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Holding the Samsung Galaxy S4 in hand for the first time, there's very little difference to the Galaxy S III. Sure, the slimmer waistline adds to the techy feel, but overall the new flagship is nearly identical to the old one.
It even uses the same Hyperglaze coating, which while not as bad as many make it look, is hardly the most premium finish to have. There's a change to the texture though, the faux metal brush replaced by a dotted pattern. We still cannot quite make up our mind as to whether this is a positive change or not. The color options available at launch are also different. The Galaxy S4 will be available in White Frost or Black Mist, so no more Pebble Blue - at least for now.
The somewhat underwhelming first impression however all but changed when we switched on that gorgeous 5" FullHD AMOLED display. The thing is absolutely stunning - every AMOLED fan will love it and even those who aren't too fond of the oversaturated colors will have to admit that it's a brilliant piece of engineering. And don't worry - as usual, Samsung has included a setting to tune the saturation down for a more natural look.
And the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen's strengths do not end with the unrivaled contrast and super punchy colors. It also offers viewing angles so wide that combined with the 441ppi pixel density, they make the screen look as if printed on paper. The impressively low-reflectivity also contributes to that effect and bodes well for the display's outdoor performance.
We managed to shoot a quick video of the Samsung Galaxy S 4, demonstrating its hardware and the updated TouchWiz UI.
Needless to say, the smartphone feels extremely snappy, even though the units we had at our disposal were all pre-release samples and their software wasn't finalized. The presence of Android 4.2 is felt with the lockscreen shortcuts, while Samsung's custom launcher has also been significantly improved.