Bloatware eats into internal memory
The main version of the Galaxy S4 sold in the UK is the 16GB edition. And thanks to all the extra software Samsung has packed into the phone, the actual figure left on is significantly cut down – just over 9GB.
Update: This issue has caused the Samsung Galaxy S4 a serious PR problem. It was flagged for investigation by Watchdog, the consumer interest TV show.
Knowing it could no longer just coast on by, Samsung responded to the criticisms suggesting it may be able to free-up some extra memory with software optimisation.
What this will entail in reality is a software update that will make some of the Galaxy S4's extras optional, rather than installing the lot from the off.
All smartphones have less user-accessible memory than the figure stated on the specs list, but this is a particularly bad ratio for an Android phone. As the Galaxy S4 has a microSD memory card slot, it’s hardly a deal-breaker for most people, but remains an annoyance as the phone treats memory card storage slightly differently to native internal storage.
However, some other platforms suffer just as bad as the Galaxy S4. All Windows 8 tablets have a similar chunk bitten out of their internal memory, thanks to the storage needs of the OS.
Wi-Fi connection woes
If you use a D-Link router, there's a good chance your Galaxy S4 may experience Wi-Fi issues. Samsung has publicly admitted that the phone has a problem connecting with some models from the popular router manufacturer.
A Samsung spokesperson said, "This is a problem caused by firmware stored on a specific access point in D-Link routers. Customers should update their firmware to the latest version or reboot the access point."
The specific routers that are most commonly cited as troublesome are the D-Link DIR-655 and DIR-855. If you've experienced Wi-Fi connectivity problems with the Galaxy S4, drop us a comment below. Supply issues
The launch of the Galaxy S4 has been set back by supply issues, as is common with super-hyped tech gadgets these days. Samsung went as far as a release an official statement on the issue pre-launch – an exercise in damage control.
It said, “due to overwhelming global demand for Galaxy S4, the initial supply may be limited. We expect to fulfil inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks.” It’s a bit early to judge whether the supply issues will be irritating or catastrophic, but we doubt they’ll be anywhere near as severe as those that afflicted the Nexus 4, whose stock batches sold out in minutes for months.
No FM radio
A feature that most people don't care about too much, yet some hate to see missed out of a phone is an FM radio. The Samsung Galaxy S4 does not have one. Following criticism from some fans about the move, Samsung actually commented on its decision shortly after the phone's releae. It said that it had seen a trend toward digital consumption of content and that this is what the Samsung Galaxy S4 is all about.
So if you want an FM radio, you're behind the times according to Samsung. Your best option is to use te BBC iPlayer radio app, although this will use up some of your mobile data allowance.
Its plastic rear is flimsy
By far the most common complaint about the Galaxy S4 is that it doesn’t feel all that high-end – in this respect it’s just like the Samsung Galaxy S3. It uses a thin plastic battery cover, rather than a closed unibody design like the HTC One or Xperia Z.
Most of the phone’s reviews – including ours – highlight how much more swanky an HTC One feels than the Galaxy S4. And Samsung finally seems to be taking notice. There are rumours that the Galaxy Note 3 will have a metal body, and even whispers that Samsung will make a metal version of the Galaxy S4.
Its camera is slow – and not a big improvement
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has an impressive-sounding camera, and it offers masses of features. However, we found that in use it can be slow to respond when changing modes, and occasionally glitched out in the heat of the moment.
It’s also not much of an improvement over the Galaxy S3’s camera. Its increase in sensor megapixels makes it sound like a huge step up over the 8-megapixel S3, but as they use the same size of sensor, performance is roughly comparable. As we saw in our comparison of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, low-light performance is not good.
In the UK we don’t get the best version
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the first eight-core phone. But in the UK, we don’t get the eight-core version.
Here, you can only get hold of the Snapdragon 600 quad-core version. And benchmarks show that the eight-core edition is significantly faster.
It’s also possible that the octo-core edition would offer superior battery life. The whole premise of the octo-core edition is that four cores are there to offer great performance, and the other four to keep power use low for everyday tasks.
Software glitches causing battery life issues
Although we haven’t experienced this problem ourselves, some Galaxy S4 owners have reported that the battery drains down quickly, even when the phone’s not being used. This is due to rogue background processes forcing the phone to work when it should be sleeping.
It’s a software issue, and one that’s fairly common in Android devices.
There are ways to combat this yourself, such as turning off Wi-Fi and 3G connections when you go to bed. However, what’s really required is a software update that puts these glitches to rest. During our review time with the Galaxy S4 we received an update – so Samsung is clearly working more-or-less constantly on S4 fixes.
Its display comes with niggles
The Samsung Galaxy S4 display is much, much better than the Galaxy S3’s. Its predecessor looks seriously sub-Retina in resolution despite having a 720p screen, top brightness isn’t that great and colours are oversaturated.
Samsung’s Galaxy S4 solves most of these issues, but it’s not perfect. The screen goes blue-ish when the phone is tilted, colours look oversaturated unless you change the colour settings and there have been some reports of the screen blurring with fast motion. This not something we noticed in our review sample, though
Shared personally By :
Letting the battery drop to zero harm the cells
donot need advice, 06 Jul 2013battery life is good , but about android os, it can't be butter smooth even at octa core and ... moreu can read my old posts in wave forums,don't remind of bada please.
bada was fast in opening native apps but it was annoyingly fast in rebooting by itself when out of memory.
by the way i can't remember when i did give u an advice.
advice, 06 Jul 2013the gs4 is one of the best phones in battery performance,if your phone drains battery by 1-2% ... morebattery life is good , but about android os, it can't be butter smooth even at octa core and 2gb ram,
its slow at launching even at basic app
apple ios always best,
even my s8530 with crapy abandoned bada can launch basic apps like call keyboard,contact,setting,logs, message much more quickly compared to s4
inbetween i use badadroid now
Keithy Mac, 06 Jul 2013htc one hands downs. (battery on samsung sucks)
no u r wrong
sunny, 05 Jul 2013buddy ... thats the major drawback with samsung only... try htc or sony smart phones ... they ... morebuddy.... samsung phones are famous for excellent battery performance,with my normal use my previous samsung phone needs to be charged every other day,but my current sony phone needs to charged daily.
Matador73, 05 Jul 2013I am using 9500 for almost a month now , everything is perfect except one thing : battery life... morethe gs4 is one of the best phones in battery performance,if your phone drains battery by 1-2% in seconds that means wither u have a malfunctioning phone or you have a fake gs4.
if u have a friend with some knowledge about smart phones let him check your phone.
All those people who keep on comparing this phone with the crappy HTC One go to hills...........run 4 ur life trolls. HTC is still running in huge losses while samsung is breaking records. I have the i9500 for 3 weeks now.........even the battery is outstanding compared to de lowlife HTC One.
excellent device, the duration of the battery is even better than the Samsung Galaxy S3, I think it depends on the firmware version,
only bad thing is that mine came with an IR LED problem of rest is fine
it true or not about the battery drain quickly i really love this phone and want to buy it PLEASE somebody TELL me about this phone :)
Anonymous, 05 Jul 2013Since samsung wanted the s4 super slim they made the plastic thinner so it heats up all the ti... moreUsing a metal battery cover will block the NFC signal, an update is coming to S4, that update fixed the overheating issue. Some country has recieved the update, and I've read the new review, they said it fixed well
Anonymous, 05 Jul 2013Since samsung wanted the s4 super slim they made the plastic thinner so it heats up all the ti... moreThanks, however i have used a Note 1 and 2...never faced this issue even though it uses a bigger battery.
Heating problems - some apps are poorly written and threads run/drain down your battery. If having heating problems, close down apps or restart phone to close down apps
Anonymous, 05 Jul 2013Since samsung wanted the s4 super slim they made the plastic thinner so it heats up all the ti... moreThanks, will look it up.
Thats really strange i have used note one and two that has bigger batteries with same 2 amp charger..never faced the issue with it.
Matador73, 05 Jul 2013I am using 9500 for almost a month now , everything is perfect except one thing : battery life... morebuddy ... thats the major drawback with samsung only... try htc or sony smart phones ... they are much better... i bought note almost an year back and if i charge it to 100% in the morning and do net surfing only plus calls and messages i have to recharge it in the evening ...
CD, 05 Jul 2013Hi Anyone facing issues with handset really heating up while charging? any fixes to this? CheersSince samsung wanted the s4 super slim they made the plastic thinner so it heats up all the time i got an aluminum back instead of plastic it is so much better u can get it from amazon