Samsung Galaxy S4 Review - Rubbish
Thu, 07/04/2013 - 15:43
I've had my Samsung Galaxy S4 for a few weeks now, and after all the excitement of getting what was supposed to be a game-changer phone I wanted to share some of my thoughts for anyone else looking to get one.
In a nutshell, it's a lot of useless high-tech features in a terrible, terrible user experience. I'm very disappointed, and somewhat shocked with how bad it is to use.
First off, you can't hold it.
This is absolutely my biggest gripe. The design looks "slick", but there is almost no place on the front of the phone that is not a button, or screen. That means you can't wrap your fingers around it at all. Think about it, you're trying to type something out or make a call, but even just getting a good grip on the phone means your fingers are constantly hitting the back button, or settings button, or some other area of the touch screen you didn't mean to hit. You can ONLY grip the phone by the back, and the fraction of an inch of side it has. I can't even begin to express how frustrating it is to constantly hit things you don't mean to, simply because you need to grip the device. And if you can somehow get a hold of it without touching any of the screen or buttons on the front, the side buttons are exactly where your fingers are. I mean, it's as if the developer said "well if they are going to hold it, let's at least make sure every finger is on some very sensitive input device." You can’t get around it. Just pick the phone up and you'll press the volume, or power button. It's terrible. Fail
Second, this phone is packed with amazingly useless technology.
For example, they made a feature which allows a user to input commands by just waving your hand over the screen. The thing is, you need to get so close to the screen in order to use this feature that it's almost a pain NOT to touch the screen. You end up waving multiple times until your figure out the correct distance. Why would anyone think this feature is handy? It's one of those "hey, I think we can do this" features and definitely not a "hey, I think we SHOULD do this" feature. It’s useless, unreliable, and difficult to use correctly. Fail.
Another ridicules feature is the "look away and the video will pause" feature. Are you kidding? Basically if you hold your arm out straight to watch a video (which of course you can't because your fingers will hit the back button), you can look away or turn your head and it will pause. Am I the only one that thinks this is the dumbest feature ever? Why the hell would I want to keep my arm outstretched, with paused video on my phone, so I can turn my head and chat with someone? The feature is unreliable, and more work than just pausing the video. Again, this is a "I think we can" feature, and not a "I think we SHOULD" feature. Fail.
Third, keyboard accuracy.
Assuming I manage to somehow hold it without pressing the screen or a button, or if I place it on my desk, I can't hit 85% of the keys I'm trying to. No matter how hard I focus on finger placement, I'm constantly going back to fix errors in words. What should be a quick "hey, I'm running late" text becomes a long drawn out process of changing each word because of bad input. Maybe I just have clunky fingers, but after playing guitar for 20+ years I'd like to think that’s not the case.
Fourth, networking issues... and Samsung knows about them!?
The wi-fi issues speak for themselves. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just google "samsung galaxy s4 networking issues." Seems Samsung knows about these problems, but still markets the "network capabilities" of the phone. Isn't that like a car manufacturer marketing an "amazing car" even though they know in some conditions the brakes don't work? Fail.
My $0.02 - Save your money, or wait for the iPhone 6
I'm not impressed at all. It's big, hard to use, and full of useless features. I acknowledge that the S4 has incredible hardware. It's fast and powerful. If I could hold it in a way that allows me to actually interact with it, maybe I could use that hardware.