Samsung Galaxy S4 + Tested

Samsung has updated their top model for this autumn’s standard, but still manages to fumble for it.

You can discuss about Samsung Galaxy S4 Plus even a new phone. When Galaxy S4 was launched last spring came in two different versions, one with Samsung’s eight-core Exynos chipset with Snapdragon 600 that chipset, which was sold in different markets. Both were called Galaxy S4 and differed mainly on numerical designation I9500 against I9505. S4 Plus has a third chipset, Snapdragon 800, and call themselves the Galaxy S4 I9506 when you turn it on.

A very modest update, but at least an update to the standard for this fall’s top models like the Sony Xperia Z1, LG G2 and Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 3. Or almost in all cases, for Note 3 has 3 GB of RAM while the Galaxy S4 Plus, sticking with the 2 GB of the original S4 had. Maybe it took the new larger memory space. Less understandable is that Galaxy S4 Plus comes with version 4.2.2 of Android. Not so much to Note 3, which went on sale earlier had 4.3 from start, but because the older Galaxy S4 has already received an update to 4.3. Any such update is available at the time of writing not to Galaxy S4 Plus, which in an odd way, makes the phone more outdated than the model it replaces. Now, you might think that this is not a huge difference between these two Android version, but the system update to the S4 also includes a lot of other nice news such as security software Samsung Knox. There is a reason why Samsung chose to update the S4 and S4 Plus did not receive this update is not very confidence-inspiring.

The main point of the Galaxy S4 Plus is to get a faster processor in the phone. We do not know what it depends on, but in our performance tests is S4 only marginally faster than the old S4, and Note 3 surpasses S4 Plus in most tests we run. Now, in and of itself, Galaxy S4 and Note 3 known to “cheat” in performance tests by turning on the maximum processing power in a way that does not correspond to what normal apps have access to, but in this case we assume that the S4 Plus cheat the same way.

Phone name on the box is more correct Samsung Galaxy S4 with 4 g +. It gives the impression that the phone should have faster 4 g than the previous version. It is also true, even if it is not about the upcoming technology LTE Advanced without LTE category 4, which in somewhat less technical terms means that it has a top speed of 150 Mbit/s, but there is no Swedish operator who can promise this speed today.

If you choose not to consider Galaxy S4 Plus as a new phone, you can also see this review as a long-term test of Galaxy S4; How is it six months later? The market has spoken and Galaxy S4 is the most popular Android phone in Sweden right now. It’s basically a well deserved popularity, the phone offers an excellent screen (with exaggerated colors you can change in the settings), nice format, a decently good camera with some fun special features, and with a Samsung typically plastic shells. But Galaxy S4 had at launch some unfulfilled potential, which we hoped would be realized over time. Now it does not look as if this is the case.

For example, we have the smart control functions. Already the Galaxy S3 had a couple of really nice features such as the phone with front camera knew whether he looked at it and did not go down to sleep, and that one could call a contact you have developed in the phone book, just by putting the phone to your ear. Samsung noticed that these were estimated and scooped on with lots of similar functionality in S4. Most of them brought at best, nothing compared to control the phone with fingers on the screen, and in the worst case they worked miserably and did you just get frustrated.

For example, we have the capability to swipe across the screen when the phone is off to see the clock and missed calls, which works out once in three. Much easier to press on and off button. Or function to detect when you come to the bottom of a Web page and scroll on, it works almost only when you do not want it to be. Sure, you can turn off all these features, but we had hoped that the updates would have made them useful half a year later.

Same thing with Samsung Life Companion, a rather rudimentary software package with a proficient pedometer and the opportunity to sign basic fitness and diet information. According to Samsung, this app would be the hub of the mapping of your health, but it was assumed that it came to the cell phone accessories that supported software package. These have not appeared.

The shop keeps the Galaxy S4 + to replace the previous S4 at the same price, so you should buy a new phone you will probably not to choose between the two, but you would still get the chance, it is not obvious that the election is to the newer variation advantage. It has that said at present older software, and has really no appreciable benefits. At the same time, it is a sin to complain. Samsung Galaxy S4 + is still one of the best Android mobile on the market right now, with space for memory cards that rival HTC One today lack, lighter and smoother than the Sony Xperia Z1, more conventional placement of buttons than on LG G2 and more special features than Nexus 5. I just wish that Samsung had been more carefully with the details.

On the other hand

Erik M: Samsung Galaxy S4 Plus makes me very interested in what Galaxy S5 will add new features. Eye recognition brought smart features in S3, but yet, as Elias writes, it is difficult to see any use for the added in S4. I notice above all that the phone lights the screen some of the times I take coffee cup standing next to the phone. I hope the Samsung S5 sharpens itself.

Questions and answers

What had been required for you to give your phone a higher grade?
The same version of Android available to the older S4 and Note 3, as well as smaller plastic shell.

What has improved compared with the previous Galaxy S4?
The phone has a faster Snapdragon chipset and 800 support for LTE in 150 Mbps instead of “only” 100 Mbit/s.

The phone will get an update of the system?
Samsung has no official information on the issue. It is uncertain if they think it is worth giving your phone Android 4.3, but surely will get the 4.4 sometime next year.

An option for those who …

In many ways a safe alternative. As Samsung’s top model is guaranteed to get support and software updates for a long time. You also get a good screen, good camera and light and flexible phone for the screen size.

Test chart

In indoor lighting, we have trouble getting pictures sharp