A Mini Review of Samsung Galaxy S4

This is a small review of the Galaxy S4, as I experience it coming from the S3 with a custom rom, CyanogenMod 10.1.

I will update this post as I encounter more positive or negative things.


  • Great great 1080p screen! Very clear, bright and high pixel density makes it easy to read text and look at the screen.
  • Snappy processor makes task switching and app launching immediate!
  • Battery life is good. One charge got me through two days of light to medium usage.
  • You get 50GB extra space on your Dropbox account, for free, if you just log on with the  account. Which is nice to have, even though I already had 70GB and Im just using a small fraction of that.
    (If you need even more free space on your Dropbox account, you can take a look at this post)
  • Built in tracking of your phone, with the Samsung account


  • Only 8-9 GB free space on the device. But I can always just insert a 32GB microsd card to make ut for that.
  • I hate bundled apps that cannot be uninstalled. And there are a few of them (for example, see the images on the right. And thats not all of them). included-apps included-app-blurb
    I really wish most of them were installed through the market, so I could remove them without rooting the device.
  • TouchWiz. Having Samsungs custom gui on top of Android will create a delay of upcoming Android updates to the Galaxy S4, compared to the Nexus devices which get updates straight away.
  • Coming from the Galaxy S3, Im used to the plastic body, which is almost the same as on the SGS4, but I would like to see a better build quality.
  • Too much syncing as a default. Browser bookmarks, settings, messages, notes etc is set up to sync as default with the samsung account.

I must admit I don’t use all of the extra gimmicky features, like eye-scrolling, pausing movie playback while looking away, air gestures and fingerhovering for selection.

Edit: There are lots of included apps, not just Samsungs own apps, which are quite a few, but also games (Com2uSPoker, Match3VS + others), travel apps (TripAdvisor + others), checkout app (Blurb for ordering stuff, HP Printing Service, finance apps (from Yaahoo) and more. Most apps can be disabled in the application manager, but are still stealing storage space.

What am I missing from Galaxy S3 with CyanogenMod 10.1?

There are some small details, that I used almost every day, that I am immediately missing, coming to Galaxy S4 from the S3 running a custom rom.

  • The ability to automatically connect to 3G while sending an MMS, before disconnecting again.
  • No bundled apps
  • Clean standard Android gui and standard Android apps (dialer, contacts, etc)
  • Open camera from lockscreen (when using pin security)
  • Slide your thumb across the top taskbar to adjust screen brightness
  • Ability to set a different notification light for different apps, for example green light for sms, red for GMail, blue for Facebook notifications. I found this quite handy when I got used to it.

What am I NOT missing from Galaxy S3 with CyanogenMod 10.1?

  • All the bugs and non-working features of the early versions

What’s your experience with the Galaxy S4? And what do you like or dislike with the device?

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