10 reasons to upgrade: a beginner’s guide to the Samsung GALAXY S4

Samsung finally unveiled its latest mobile at a high-profile launch event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall in March, with the new GALAXY S4 set to seriously shake-up the smartphone world in 2013.

You can read all about our first impressions of the new Samsung GALAXY S4 and learn more from our 10 things you need to know about the S4, though for many smartphone users, there really is only one question that they need answering now that Samsung’s latest smartphone is finally available: “Do I want to upgrade to the new GALAXY S4?”

To help you answer this question in the affirmative, Your Mobile Life has rounded up our top 10 reasons for upgrading to the S4, for the casual user through to the most demanding power user.

Samsung GALAXY S4

1. Speed is of the essence

The Samsung GALAXY S4 features a true world-first: a blisteringly fast processor that will cut through the latest 3D graphics-intensive Android games like a sharp knife through room-warmed butter.

Samsung’s latest processor will handle the most demanding web browsing and processor-intensive video rendering needs, while also ensuring you get maximum battery life, no matter what you are using your S4 to do.

Plus, an impressive 2GB of RAM helps to ensure multitasking is quick, completely painless and highly efficient, with no tedious slowdown when flicking between tasks on your phone.

Your Mobile Life with the Samsung GALAXY S4

2. Full HD graphics and a beautiful display

For many it will be the Full HD Super AMOLED 5-inch screen on the GALAXY S4 that really grabs the attention. If you are used to a smaller-screened smartphone, then the jump-up to a sparklingly clear 5-inch Full HD display is a truly pleasant shock to the eye.

In terms of tech specs, Samsung is offering 441 pixels-per-square-inch (ppi), which, for the average user, means one major thing: the S4 is going to be even better than its predecessor, the GALAXY S III, when it comes to watching high def content on your smartphone. It is, essentially, going to be the best mobile screen on the market for some time to come.

Finally, the clever Samsung Adapt Display and sound technology that’s built into the S4 will ensure that you are always getting the ultimate settings for what you require from your smartphone, whether watching a HD movie or simply reading the day’s news on the web.

Skyfall on the Samsung GALAXY S4

3. A master-class in mobile movies

If you combine the aforementioned super-speedy processor and the 441-ppi Full HD Super AMOLED display on the S4, there really is one glaringly-obvious application that many of us will be using our new S4’s for when we finally get hold of them later next month: watching movies on the go.

Whether you download movies from Samsung’s Media Hub, stream the latest catch-up TV content or subscribe to your local cable provider’s tailored Android mobile service, the GALAXY S4 has your back.

Plus, in addition to looking fantastic, Samsung has also thought about other ways of improving your mobile movie-watching experience with the S4, adding in a particularly clever little feature called Samsung Smart Pause, which essentially stops any video you are watching when you look away from the phone. Clever, eh?

S Translator on the Samsung GALAXY S4

4. Driving and travelling just got better

With the stunning S Translator and the S4’s voice-commands designed to make driving an easier and more pleasurable experience, Samsung has seen a huge gap in the smartphone market – and clearly plans to fill it with its latest handset.

The GALAXY S4’s S Voice Drive voice command feature connects to your car via Bluetooth, using the phone’s built-in satnav to ensure you know where you are going (and what the weather is like when you get there) and that you can safely make all your calls and deal with all your messages and emails on the journey.

S Translator is even more impressive, a real-time text and voice translator for nine different languages. It’s basically Douglas Adams’ dream of the “Babel fish” that could help you talk to almost anybody else around the world with ease made real! (Note: you will need an active connection to a 3G or 4G data network or local Wi-Fi network to use S Translator.)

HomeSync on the Samsung GALAXY S4

5. Home entertainment plays nice with the S4

For many smartphone users to date there has been an unfulfilling disconnect between the entertainment they watch or play on their mobiles and the tunes, movies or games that they want to enjoy while sitting on the couch at home in front of the telly.

The S4 is the first smartphone to fulfil tech’s long-standing promise to bridge this gap, featuring the handy WatchON TV viewer and remote control app. This works seamlessly with Samsung’s HomeSync system to allow you to share the content on your mobile screen with your TV screen at home.

Also, more excitingly, a few choice members of the tech media were treated to a sneak-peek of a console-style controller at last month’s “Unpacked” S4 launch event in New York, a prototype of a thumb-stick-based gaming controller that is bound to appeal to the legions of hardcore gaming fans out there keen to buy into Android as their mobile gaming operating system of choice. Expect lots more news on this exciting-looking mobile gaming peripheral very soon!

Dual Shot on the Samsung GALAXY S4

6. A camera for all seasons, and all men

A 13-megapixel camera on a smartphone, you say? Yes, says Samsung. And not only that, the S4’s hugely powerful 13-megapixel rear-facing camera features full HD 1080p video recording capabilities.

Combine all of this with Samsung’s new Dual Shot mode, which lets you combine photos from the front-facing camera and rear camera into one frame (with a choice of wacky frames to choose from), plus a decent 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting, and it is pretty easy to see how the S4 is going to appeal both to amateur snappers and pro photographers alike.

Animated Photo on the Samsung GALAXY S4

7. Animated Photo killed the camcorder star

Don’t worry about taking a dedicated video camera on your hols this year, because if you are packing a GALAXY S4 in your pocket, you are easily going to be able to take some of the best holiday videos you’ve ever shot, all from your smartphone.

Animated Photo mode is a particularly cool feature, which lets you create fun, hilarious and quirky animated GIFs, with part of your image frozen while other areas move. An animated photo is a still image that contains some moving objects, so when you tap the S4’s camera button, moving objects will be detected by the device and you can then select which objects to animate and which to freeze.

From dancing cats and bopping babies through to artistic and entertaining animations of your vacation to instantly share with your mates and family back home on Facebook or Twitter, Animated Photo is a surefire hit on the GALAXY S4. 

Air View on the Samsung GALAXY S4

8. Enhanced Air features for touch-free control

Samsung has developed the touch-free Air View tech that has been so popular on the GALAXY Note II and cleverly ported it over to the S4, so that you can control the phone by simply hovering your digits over the screen.

This soon proves to be incredibly handy, for a myriad of reasons you might not yet have foreseen. For example, it’s particularly useful if you happen to be on holiday, sat on a beach, with your hands covered in all manner of holiday muck such as sand, ketchup and sun oil. After all, would you really want to grease up that beautiful 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen with all of that gunk?!

Samsung GALAXY S4

9. Packing the latest version of Android

Unlike many other Android smartphones on the market, the Samsung GALAXY S4 packs the latest version of Android - Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

Featuring all the latest updates to the operating system, users will also benefit from some of the best features of the latest OS, including gems such as Daydream, which lets your S4 show off your photo albums to their fullest when sitting idle or docked on your desk.

Samsung GALAXY S4 with black case

10. Accessorising your S4

The tech specs are hugely impressive, of course. But if there’s one thing that we all love about getting a great new smartphone it is the opportunity to personalise it and to accessorise it to fit with our own style.

Samsung is not missing this trick with the S4, with a superb range of official GALAXY S4 accessories and add-ons now available alongside its new, top-of-range Android smartphone.

By now, you’ll most likely already have made the decision to upgrade to the S4 as soon as you possibly can, based on the evidence outlined above. Though if all of that didn’t yet convince you, these beautifully crafted cases and flip-covers for Samsung’s latest surely will!

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