Now that I’ve had 48 hours to think things over, here’s how I feel about Samsung’s Galaxy S4

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 17 Mar 2013

You’re probably expecting me to say something about how boring the Samsung Galaxy S4 is. How the phone looks exactly like the GS3, thus making it a complete joke. Sorry to disappoint, but that’s just not how I feel. Not at all.

Starting with the tech specs, try and take a moment to think about the phone you were using just a handful of years ago. If you were lucky, it had a WVGA (800 x 480 pixel) screen, one of those newfangled “Snapdragon” processors that no one really knew about at the time, and it ran a version of Android that looked utilitarian, but you didn’t care because that was part of the device’s appeal.

What does the GS4 bring to the table? It has a 5 inch screen that has the same number of pixels as the television in your living room. It has the same amount of RAM that most people’s computers have inside. And it has a processor with more cores than you have gadgets on your desk.

Some perspective is appreciated.

And as for the design, at first I was surprised by the leaks, then offended when the official press shots came out, but now I’m comfortable with what’s been decided upon. Apple gets a lot of shit for refreshing the iPhone’s design every two years instead of every 12 months, but just look at how the market responds. Every new iPhone smashes sales records.

Speaking about sales, I sincerely hope that you realize that regardless of what anyone says on the internet, Samsung is going to move a ton of boxes. They have a marketing budget that exceeds the revenues of other Android competitors such as HTC. You’re not going to be able to buy a loaf of bread and a carton of milk from your local grocery store without seeing at least three GS4 ads come June.

But back to the device itself, what Samsung really wanted to focus on during their keynote this year was software. They talked endlessly about the ability to capture video from both the front facing and rear facing camera. They talked about the new translator feature that’s obviously a Google Translate clone. They showed off health applications. They showed how the device could be used with gestures.

They demoed so many damn new things that I can’t even remember what they demoed anymore.

So the phone will do a lot, that’s a given, but whether people be able to discover all the features of the GS4 is another question altogether. My mom has a top of the line laptop that she uses for Facebook and paying her bills online. Does that make the laptop a terrible product because it can do so much yet only a fraction of its potential is being utilized? No. And that’s pretty much how I feel about the GS4 as well.

I’ll have more to say once the phone starts shipping and I’ve had a chance to play with one, but right now I’m content with what was announced. For those of you that aren’t, the problem isn’t Samsung, the problem is you.

What were you honestly expecting this company to announce? That they’ve found life on Mars?