Software - Camera

Samsung spent comparatively little time talking about the Galaxy S 4 hardware and instead chose to focus mostly on software. While Android 4.2.2 is the underlying OS, Samsung’s customizations are very visible and present throughout the Galaxy S 4 experience.

The user interface and experience is distinctly Samsung. The Touchwiz icon stylings and water sounds that permeate the experience remain intact and mostly unchanged. UI performance is finally at the point on most of these modern devices where it’s just amazingly smooth throughout everything. The Galaxy S 4 is no exception here.

Samsung spent a lot of time adding functionality to its camera app, which now includes the ability to shoot stills and video out of both cameras simultaneously. This is similar in nature to an LG feature we covered last month at MWC, Samsung calls it Dual Camera.

Dual Camera is very easy to activate (there’s a dedicated button in the top left of the camera app). Once activated you can choose from various filters/effects, including a basic split screen mode.

As a way of enhancing stills, Samsung includes support for Sound & Shot - a feature that captures up to 9 seconds of audio alongside a still image.

There’s a new mode dial that allows you to switch between shooting modes, including some new ones like drama shot which lets you take multiple stills in a burst mode and combine them all together to show character progression in a still frame.

Burst shooting can also be used to erase a photo bomb with eraser mode, a feature we’ve seen before (highlight and remove a character from a scene).

On the video side, the Galaxy S 4 introduces Cinema Photo - a feature that lets you shoot a video, highlight areas that you want to continue in motion and have the rest remain static - resulting in an animated gif.

In its final new camera feature is the ability to create, group and stylize albums of your photos. You can create albums locally on the Galaxy S 4, style them with templates, and send them off to print via Blurb. There’s Trip Advisor integration to pull in highlight information about the locations you’ve taken photos at.

The camera software features are aimed at bringing as much of the photo processing/organization experience onto the smartphone as possible. Samsung clearly has the point and shoot market in its crosshairs and it is leveraging the fact that modern smartphones are sophisticated computing platforms in order to go after that market.

Introduction & The Hardware S Translator, Air View/Gesture, Smart Pause/Scroll and More
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  • leexgx - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    none removable battery's are just no good if they do not use an 3000 or higher in the first place, the HTC One X is what a phone should not be (dead in 2-3 hours of screen on time, its dead in the day, i sold that phone in less then an month), they do tend to get bit iffy after 1-3 years (1.7 years been the avg as they expect you to upgrade your phone)

    tablets idly should be 3500 or bigger, but the Note2 seems to get by with the one it has (3300 i think)
  • Mihael Keehl - Sunday, March 24, 2013 - link

    It depends on how much you charge them/over charger them. I have had the Apple iPhone 4S for a little over a year now and it's got about a solid 15% wear on it now, it'll probably be double that in another year and that's when my contract is up. Prior to that I had the Samsung and I couldn't deal with the battery issues it had, because it burned through the battery much faster. A swappable battery does have it's perks because 5%-10% wear isn't all that bad, but when it reaches over that and you're only using your phone 15%-20% less, you're essentially not getting what you paid for.

    A replaceable battery is exactly what the product needs, especially the ones whose screens are so enormous and bright. That shit will drain battery life and rather quickly.
  • kcsween - Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - link

    I agree, I've never had a battery die on me within a year, never.
  • new-paradigm - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - link

    You can't change battery mid call though. You can however plug in an emergency charger.
  • ATBTCT - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Which you can go on Galaxy s4........
  • RyuberUser - Friday, March 15, 2013 - link

    Removable batteries are a cheap and effective way to power a phone. Me and my wife have the same phone (GS2), so when we go traveling on long trips we can just switch out batteries, and ridiculous amounts of media as needed. It's super convenient. Also, the weight of 2 extra batteries is still lighter than an emergency charger. and yes, the phone is off for less than 30 seconds. less wait time than most traffic lights... best features in any phone, as stated above, is the removable battery and expandable memory.
  • Cobraflight - Saturday, March 16, 2013 - link

    For you, maybe it's "massively overstated". For others, like me, it's important. How do I know it's important? Because I use my current phone with multiple batteries, and find it to be very useful to be able to carry one or more extra batteries in my pocket, and swap them out if the phone runs low. Your mileage may vary. If one phone satisfied everyone, there wouldn't be 100s of different phones out there.
  • semo - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    It's Android. It needs regular restarting anyway! I find that Google Navigator crashes if you've used it more than once or twice between restarts.

    Whatever your use, I think a removable battery is important. I also like high quality plastics instead of metal on mobile devices and expandable memory. I hate the size though and prefer 4" to 4.5" screens instead.
  • ATBTCT - Sunday, March 17, 2013 - link

    You people are bitching about having choices....You can external charger and USB OTG on this phone too. About the size, all I can say is that this phone is the same size as HTC ONE but with bigger screen. Those bezels can still be made smaller though, so manufacturers can fit bigger and bigger screen into smaller phones.
  • ofladrt - Saturday, May 18, 2013 - link

    I put a Gorilla Gadgets 4500 mAh battery with extended battery cover on my S3 and it lasts for two days easily, including using it as a golf course gps for 18 holes with long screen times. I would never go back to an ordinary battery.

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