Tag Archives: Galaxy S4

Official Samsung Galaxy S4 Android 4.3 Update (Download Guide)

Samsung have launched the Jelly Bean 4.3 update for the Snapdragon 600 quad core and the Exynos 5 Octa core version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that comes with the model number GT-i9500. The official build is said to make the handset faster and it comes with several improvements along with optimisations.

The base firmware is I9500XXUEMJ5, and the Jelly Bean 4.3 update is now rolling out in Russia. Owners of the device are able to get the firmware through Kies along with OTA.

Firmware details
Model: GT-I9500
Country: Russia
Version: Android 4.3
Changelist: 1875800
Build date: 14 October
Product code: SER

If you are not in Russia you can follow the step by step guide to installing the update manually with the Odin tool.

As the I9500XXUEMJ5 build is an unbranded version of firmware, it can be installed on any unlocked GT-I9500 unit, irrespective of region and country.


1) Install USB Drivers for Samsung Galaxy S4 to connect the Android device with computer.

2) Enable USB Debugging Mode on phone to connect it with the computer and use Android SDK with it. [Press Menu>> Settings>> Applications. From there navigate and click on Development option then check USB Debugging Mode.]

3) As the tutorial is likely to wipe out all data of the phone, create a backup. If the device is having any custom recoveries such as CWM/TWRP installed then backup data using the recovery.

4) The Galaxy S4 should have battery charge above 80%.

5) The device should be factory unlocked and not locked to a particular carrier.

6) The phone will lose custom ROM with the installation of official firmware. Also, the custom recovery will be replaced by the stock recovery.

7) The device will no longer belong to a rooted version once official firmware is installed.

8) XXUEMJ5 Android 4.3 official firmware works only with Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9500. As flashing this on any incorrect variant might brick the device, verify the model number of Galaxy S4 by navigating to Settings>> About phone>> Model number.

Steps to install XXUEMJ5 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean on Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500

Step-1: Download I9500XXUEMJ5 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Alternative link ) official firmware for Galaxy S4 to computer. Extract the downloaded firmware file to get


Step-2: Download Odin3.09 . Extract Odin zip to get Odin v3.09.exe in it

Step-3: Double-click to open the Odin3 v3.09.exe file to start Odin

Step-4: Boot the Galaxy S4 in to Download Mode. To do so, first power off the phone and wait for five to six seconds after the display is off. Press and hold Volume Down, Power and Home buttons together until a warning screen appears. Then press the Volume Up button to continue to enter into Download Mode

Step-5: Connect the phone to computer using USB cable while it is in Download Mode. The successful connection will be indicated by an Added message in Odin

Note: If the Added message does not appear then follow these troubleshooting issues.

Verify USB driver is installed properly.

If the driver is installed, try to uninstall and then reinstall it again.

Try different USB port on the computer.

Reboot the phone and computer and then try again.

Step-6: Load the file, extracted from I9500XXUEMJ5, in Odin

Click the AP button in Odin and select I9500XXUEMJ5_I9500SEREMJ5_I9500XXUEMJ5_HOME.tar.md5 file

The Odin window might freeze and show ‘Not responding’ alert because of the large size of the AP file. There is nothing to worry, it will get back to normal.

Step-7: Under the Option section in Odin, verify Auto Reboot and F.Reset Time checkboxes are selected. All other boxes should be unchecked

Step-8: Double check everything and click the Start button in Odin to begin the installation

Step-9: A PASS message will appear when the flashing is completed and the phone will restart automatically. Once the home screen appear, unplug the USB cable form the phone

Note: Instead of a PASS message if FAIL message comes, disconnect the Galaxy S4 from the computer, close Odin, remove the battery of the phone and reinsert the battery in three to four seconds, open Odin and then repeat from step-3.

Samsung Galaxy S4 will automatically reboot and boot into I9500XXUEMJ5 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean official firmware.

Troubleshoot issue after flashing

After installation if the phone comes across issues such as Boot animation, bootloop, phone running slow or app force closing then perform a factory reset of the device using recovery to resolve the issues. To do so, first switch off the phone. Press and hold Home, Volume Up and Power buttons together until the phone turns on then release all three buttons. In recovery mode, use Volume keys to scroll between options and Power button to select the desired option. Navigate to Wipe data/Factory Reset and select it. Then select Yes to confirm the action on the next screen. Select Reboot system now to boot the phone. This should fix the bootloop issue of the Galaxy S4. It should be noted that performing data wiping will erase the internal data of the phone, therefore, backup data before proceeding.


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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung


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Some International Samsung Galaxy S4 Models Now Receiving Android 4.3 update

Builds of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 first began to leak out way back in June, well before Google had even had the chance to properly announce the new version of its mobile operating system. Fast-forward to this week and there’s some good news for Galaxy S 4 owners that prefer to stick to the official side of the update tracks, as it appears that Samsung has started pushing Android 4.3 to some international versions of its flagship smartphone.

As noted by SamMobile, both the LTE Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505) and the HSPA+ Galaxy S 4 (GT-9500) are now receiving their updates to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The LTE Galaxy S 4 update process is currently underway in Germany, while the HSPA+ model’s update is said to be going out in Russia. As with most software updates, Samsung is pushing Android 4.3 out in phases, so Galaxy S 4 owners not located in one of the two aforementioned countries will need to continue to wait for their own taste of 4.3.

Samsung hasn’t published an official changelog for its Android 4.3 bump, but those folks that’ve already received the new software have spent some time digging through it and discovered several notable enhancements. The update is said to contain improvements to the TouchWiz launcher, Samsung keyboard and browser and the Galaxy S 4’s RAM management, as well as Samsung’s Knox security feature and the company’s Wallet app. Other goodies include support for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch and a handful of small UI tweaks.

Even though it’s only rolling out to a couple of countries right now, it’s still good to see that the latest version of Jelly Bean has started to make its way to the TouchWiz-ified Galaxy S 4. It’s not yet clear when S 4 owners in other parts of the globe will receive their own updates to Android 4.3, especially when you remember that carrier testing can have a major effect on an update’s rollout in some countries, but at least now we’ve got an idea of the the types of goodies that Samsung has packed into the Galaxy S 4’s Android 4.3 upgrade.


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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung


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Android 4.3 Update for Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II due by Q4: Report

The Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II will be upgraded to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by year-end, if a report is to be believed.

Sammobile has revealed that Samsung is planning to roll out Android 4.3 update for its top of the line smartphones soon. The site mentions that the company has plans to roll out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for its 2013 flagship, the Galaxy S4 in October while the 2012 flagship device, the Galaxy S III can be expected to get the new Android update by October end or even November.

The site further states that the Galaxy Note 3 predecessor would also be getting the taste of the new Jelly Bean iteration, but that would only be by the end of November, or early December. All three smartphones are also likely to receive a revamped TouchWiz interface with some added functions, claims the report.

Further the report affirms that Samsung is also testing the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for Galaxy Mega phablets. However, Sammobile has not revealed details on what new exclusive features to expect in the rumoured Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for the three devices, the Galaxy SIII, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note II. But given that Galaxy Note3 runs Android 4.3 with new features, we are hopeful that the three devices will be receiving some features of the latest phablet.

Samsung has made no secret of its plans to launch Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for its leading Galaxy smartphones, but so far the South Korean major has offered nothing in the way of release dates as well. But now it looks like the company is getting closer to having its latest software update finalized for its three smartphones. As of now, we would take this with a pinch of salt until the company confirms updates rolling out to the Galaxy smartphones.


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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Android, Galaxy, Phones, Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom Review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is an unusual beast. In some ways it seems like a great idea, smartphone cameras have always paled in comparison to their compact counterparts, so why not stick a compact quality snapper on a phone, rather than forcing photo fans to lug both around?

Of course on the other hand sticking a massive lens on the back of a smartphone isn’t the most ergonomic of design decisions.

Samsung has also muddied the waters a little as the S4 Zoom has very little in common with the Galaxy S4 and rather more in common with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, albeit it with a camera stuck to the back.

Likewise that camera isn’t a high end compact – it certainly can’t compete with something like the Fuji X20 for example – but because the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is both a phone and a camera it commands a premium price tag of roughly £440 (around $660, AU$720) SIM free, despite not being a premium example of either.

That said it’s far from bad. Its 1.5GHz dual-core processor ensures that it’s reasonably snappy, though some way short of the 1.9GHz quad-core Galaxy S4 and a little worse off than the 1.7GHz dual-core Galaxy S4 Mini. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom also has 1.5GB of RAM- which is a match for the S4 Mini.

There’s a disappointingly small 8GB of built in storage, but there’s also a micro SD card slot, so you can boost that by up to 64GB more if you invest in a card.

At first sight the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is a rather off-putting device as it looks more camera than phone. It’s hard to imagine using it to text or browse the net, let alone putting it up to your ear to use for calls. But in reality it’s not actually too bad.

Yes you might get a few stares when you start talking into what looks for all the world like a camera, but it’s not uncomfortable to hold either in landscape or portrait as your fingers can comfortably wrap around the camera lens and the protruding edge at the other side, so it’s no more awkward to use than any other phone.

Carrying it around in your pocket is slightly more of a problem, as thanks to the camera lens on the back it’s pretty bulky, coming in at 125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4mm.

The length and width aren’t much greater than the similarly specced Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, but the Mini is only 8.9mm thick. If you’ve got big pockets it’s not a problem, but skinny jeans might be a no-go.

Similarly the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is quite weighty at 208g (around 7oz). That’s nearly double the weight of the Galaxy S4 Mini and quite a bit more than even the monstrous Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – which comes in at 183g.

It’s a noticeable weight too and not totally balanced as the side of the phone with the camera lens is disproportionately heavy, though not by much as the other side holds the battery. It’s not uncomfortable and nor is it heavy enough to weigh you down, but it is more than we’ve come to expect smartphones to weigh.

Aside from the fact that the Galaxy S4 Zoom doesn’t look much like a phone it’s a reasonably good looking device. The back of the phone is mostly glossy white plastic, with a large metallic 16 megapixel camera lens at one side featuring 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilisation. It can also shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

There’s a protruding edge at the other side adorned with Samsung’s logo and jutting out as it does gives you something to grip, making it easy to get a firm hold of the handset. Between the lens and the edge there’s the Xenon flash, while at the far side of the lens there’s a speaker.

One issue with having the raised lens and grip on the back is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is slightly unstable when screen up on a surface.

It’s not going to go anywhere but it does sit at an angle and will rock up and down if you try and use it. On the plus side that sloped angle does give you a better view of the screen than if it were totally horizontal.

The front of the phone looks an awful lot like the front of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. It has a 4.3 inch 540 x 960 Super AMOLED display with a pixel density of 256 pixels per inch, which is identical to the display on the S4 Mini. Unfortunately it’s also not all that impressive, coming in at a sub full-HD resolution.

The screen is encircled by a white border. Above the screen there’s a Samsung logo, while above that you’ll find the earpiece alongside a proximity and light sensor and the 1.9MP front facing camera.

Below the screen there’s a home button as well as a soft touch, light up button at either side of it- menu to the left and back to the right, but these can only be seen or used when the screen is on.

The top of the handset (when held in portrait) has a 3.5mm headphone port at the right, a tiny microphone near the middle and an infrared port to the left.

There’s also a metallic rim that runs around the edge of the handset, making each edge half metallic and half glossy white plastic. It’s a nice contrast and gives the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom a premium look.

The bottom edge has a micro USB port in the centre – used for charging the phone or connecting it to a computer. It also has another little microphone to the right.

You can also peel away a cover on the bottom edge to reveal the 2330mAh battery, which is removable, and the micro SIM card slot. It’s a neat and discreet location for both of those things, as it negates the need to remove the whole back cover while still making the battery accessible. The cover is easy to open too, but feels securely locked in place when closed.

The left edge of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom features a little plastic cover at the bottom edge, which can be opened to reveal a microSD card slot with support for cards of up to 64GB. That’s something which is much needed given the paltry 8GB of built in storage.

The right edge of the handset features a dedicated camera button at the bottom. Having a dedicated camera button is no surprise given how much of a focus the camera is on this handset but it’s still much appreciated given that most Android handsets don’t have one.

It’s in the optimal position too, as it’s where you’d expect to find one on a camera and doesn’t get in the way of either the screen or the lens when in use.

There’s a volume rocker near the middle and a power button- which also sleeps and wakes the handset, near the top. These buttons are all done up in the same silvery metallic style as the rim that runs around the phone, leaving them looking high quality.

All in all it’s a well built, solid handset that isn’t as awkward or uncomfortable to use as we’d expected. We’d go so far as to say that it actually looks pretty good – though we’d still take a conventional smartphone design over it from an aesthetic perspective.

By smartphone standards the camera is in a whole other league, but it still can’t match up to most decent compacts and the other specs aren’t much to write home about either, leaving the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom slightly compromised for a device with a £440 (around $660, AU$720) price tag.


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Posted by on July 26, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Review

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is closest of the S4 family of devices to the original model. It offers similar points on the spec sheet when it comes to the display size, the hardware that powers it, and the overall experience that it offers: the same can’t be said of the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini or the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, which are distinctly different.

The SGS4 Active also joins a growing collection of devices offering protection from the elements. Moving away from the “rugged” phone, with chunky rubberised coatings and industrial looks, the latest wave is very much “life proof” as per the expression coined by Motorola with the launch of the Defy, giving you a device that’s still slim, but happy with a splash of water.

The SGS4 Active now goes up against phones like the Sony Xperia Z at the top end, but we feel that the Active is a little more sporty when compared to Sony’s slick design.

* Design

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sticks to Samsung’s preferred plastics and unlike the Sony Xperia Z approach, you get a removable back cover. While the prospect of a sealed unit might appeal more when it comes to keeping water and dust out, that means that the SGS4 Active brings you the advantage of being able to change the battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is solidly built despite the plastic construction; it looks and feels like a great device in the hand. It measures 139.7 x 71.3 x 9.1mm and weighs 153g, which is towards the top end, but given the waterproofing, the 5-inch display and everything else, it’s not too bad.

There’s a slight throwback to yesteryear with the inclusion of three physical buttons on the front for navigation, with Samsung dropping the normal menu and back capacitive touch buttons for something that will work better in all conditions.

Flip the GSG4 Active over and you have a real nod to protected design, with rubberised ends secured with exposed bolts. Pull the back off and you’ll see how Samsung protects some of the components thanks to an “O” ring around the inside of the cover. Of course this depends on having it properly in place, so after pulling the rear off the phone, it’s important to make sure it’s clicked in place all over, and that includes around the LED flash, to make sure it’s properly seated at the top.

There’s an additional flap on the bottom of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active that protects the Micro-USB charging port. Unlike the Sony Xperia Z however, the 3.5mm headphone socket is waterproofed, so you don’t need a flap to cover it. That’s again a practical move, so pairing the phone with water-resistant sports headphones, means you can head out running in the rain without fear, and without the fuss of additional flaps.

The back of the phone is perhaps a little slippery considering you might be using it with wet hands: we’d prefer something a bit more tactile, but overall, the SGS4 Active is a nicely designed and built device.

* The hardware performance

One of the big selling points of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is that it’s powerful. There’s a 1.9GHz quad-core CPU packed into it, along with 2GB of RAM. That matches the regular Samsung Galaxy S4, with plenty of power for typical tasks. It also means that despite being a tough nut, this phone will keep up with the best out there – well, almost.

There are some points where things feel a little slower than they perhaps should, although it seems to us that this is down to software rather than hardware. Opening a folder on the home page, for example, is nicely animated, but seems rather languid. Tapping the home button is the same, it seems to take its time deliberately, rather than snapping to task.

The same applies to galleries, as there just seems to be too much of a delay at times, despite there being plenty of power on offer. But this seems to be limited to these highlighted areas. Fire up your favourite apps and you’ll find the experience is first class as you’d expect from a device at this level. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active can get rather hot when you get it going. There’s a noticeable warming around the back of the handset, just beneath the camera. At least you can dunk it in bowl of water to cool it down…

As we mentioned previously, with a removable back, you can use a microSD card to expand the internal storage over the 16GB of internal memory. Of that 16GB, only about 11GB is available to the user. Once this is expanded by 64GB it’s not such a problem, but we’re sure there will be those calling for a 32GB version, especially those who make use of large games, which can take up as much as 1GB.

* Display

One of the highlights of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is the 5-inch display. It’s an impressive size and resolution, giving you 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is a sharp 440ppi. It also sees a move from AMOLED to TFT LCD, which might make the colours a little more natural and less saturated, and it’s perhaps a little more power hungry.

The display itself is good. Samsung uses a lot of colour in its user interface, which helps to emphasise the vibrancy of things, even if things aren’t as visually engaging as they are on the SGS4. It’s capable of nice clean whites, perhaps a little on the cool blue side, and the blacks aren’t as inky as those from the AMOLED display. Viewing angles are great and, as we we’ve said, it’s capable of plenty of detail.

It’s a nice bright display, although the power-saving mode can make the automatic brightness a little irregular: sometimes you’ll wake up the phone and you can barely see it, others, it’s no problem at all. You can easily tweak the auto-brightness levels if you feel you need to nudge it up a notch, but we have found ourselves constantly tinkering with the brightness as we’ve been using the phone.

The display offers ultra sensitivity, meaning that you can use it with gloves. That’s great for cold winter mornings, but throw on a pair of ski gloves and it’s still nigh on impossible to control. One thing to bear in mind is that the touch display doesn’t work when it’s underwater. It will sort of work when wet, but water on the display can confuse it. If you’re checking Google Maps during a downpour then you’ll be fine, but if it’s soaked, you’ll need to give it a wipe.

So, although there is a change in display technology for this device, we can’t say it’s hugely detrimental: it’s still a great 5-inch display.

* Software and media

We’ll not spend too long on the software, as, in many cases, it’s the same experience as the original Samsung Galaxy S4 when it comes to features. However, if you’re not familiar with Samsung’s skin over Android, we’ll cover the main points here, as well as look at the handling of media and entertainment.

TouchWiz sits over Android 4.2.2 on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. That’s the latest version of Android (at the time of writing) although Samsung’s phones are now the furthest removed from the pure Android experience, with the likes of Sony and HTC now rolling closer to the raw Google experience.

Everything has been tweaked, menus rearranged, control options added that mean it’s possible to make this device your own in many ways. Some, we have to say, could be deemed superfluous: we love the flexibility, but sometimes too much choice can be baffling. Still, it’s safe to leave things be in many cases, and we suspect the vast majority of Samsung owners do just that.

There’s a selection of innovative features, including an array of gesture controls, options to scroll the device when you’re looking at it and so on, but in general, we don’t find that they really add to the experience. The swipe of a thumb is incredibly natural, and in many cases, Samsung’s energies feel like they could be slightly misplaced: we’d rather have the folders snap open than be able to use many of the Smart Screen functions.

But there’s a lot to like about Samsung’s phones and the user interface is engaging, there’s plenty of explanation, warnings about what you’re doing and so on. We also like things like S Health: it’s a convenient suite of health monitoring features and although you could use any of a number of apps, we like the visual design that Samsung has applied.

Samsung’s keyboard makes great use of the display size, giving you numbers and letters easily, although we quickly found that it wasn’t as adept as some of the third-party keyboards you can download, and we’d still recommend SwiftKey as a great choice.

In some places, there’s a throwback to the skeuomorphic design that companies, like Apple, have said they are moving away from. Take the calendar, for example. It’s incredibly cluttered, with detailing that’s simply unnecessary. Fortunately, the stock Jelly Bean calendar is just a free download away.

When it comes to the handling of things like video, music and photos, there are plenty of options and great sharing through AllShare. We like the design of the Gallery visually, but we found it rather slow to open, and slow when it came to attaching images to messages and so on. The result was that on many occasions we cancelled the action and started again, thinking that the phone had crashed. If you’ve got a large capacity card, make sure it’s the fastest you can get to make sure that’s not contibuting to any sluggishness in the gallery. It’s worth noting though, that the more images you amass, the slower the gallery gets which is bad.

On the music front, we’re impressed by how good the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sounds. With a decent set of headphones attached, the music performance is great. The external speaker supplies plenty of volume, but lacks the excellent performance of the BoomSound speakers of the HTC One.

Video is a strength of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. It plays smoothly and looks fantastic on the 5-inch display, you get those clever options like the pop-out player and the USB supports MHL if you want to feed it into your TV’s HDMI. We also like the live previews in the video hub, so you have an idea of what it contains.

Overall, we feel that there’s a lot in TouchWiz that’s superfluous, features that simply won’t get used. Visually, it perhaps now lacks the sophistication of HTC’s Sense 5, while it suffers the same problems as Sony in wanting to offer you different routes to content you could just as easily source from Google Play. But there’s no lack of innovation from Samsung and crucially, it’s easy enough to get to what you want and ignore, or turn off, everything else.

* Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active sees a drop in megapixels from the regular S4, with an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 2-megapixel camera on the front. Aside from the obvious waterproofing, it’s in the camera that Samsung has made a few tweaks to accommodate your active lifestyle. As such, there’s an “aqua” mode thrown into the mix that is designed to make the most of your shots underwater. This will allow for the natural change of colours underwater, but be careful not to use it out of water, as everything will look wrong.

Engaging aqua mode also lets you select your control option. Obviously the touch buttons then don’t work, so you can assign capture to the volume controls, with a choice of stills or video. That makes it really easy to get shots in water, as you just hit the volume button. We used the SGS4 Active underwater with no problems, capture was easy and the phone survived. We’re going to try and find something more interesting to shoot and bring you more on this when we get the chance. It’s worth noting that the IP67 rating refers to 1m depth, so don’t go diving with the phone, as it won’t survive.

Aside from aqua, there are plenty of other shooting modes, covering things like beauty shot, continuous shooting, sound and shot. There’s lots of fun to be had, as well as a range of filters you can apply. In regular auto shooting, which we suspect will be how most people use the phone, the Samsung produces average results. The autofocus isn’t as fast as you get from rivals like the HTC One, but it also supports touch focusing, which works well. Colours could perhaps be a little richer, but overall we’re happy with the results.

One gripe is that the camera shutter sound can’t be switched off on its own, although you can stop it by putting the phone in silent. With your notifications set at a level you can hear them in a busy street, the shutter sound is so loud it’s offensive, while also making the back casing vibrate. The low light performance isn’t so good, with shots being blighted by plenty of noise, but that’s typical of smartphones so isn’t a surprise.

When it comes to video, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active produces nice Full HD video. You can pause while recording which we always like as it means you can move around to make a video more interesting. The continuous autofocus is average, perhaps a little slow when you deliberately switch focus, but you can always touch to refocus, which it nice and smooth, without the seeking that blights some video focusing systems. Audio capture will be affected by wind noise, but there’s nothing unusual about that.

* Battery and calling

Sitting under the hood is a large 2600mAh battery. With a large display you’ll need this battery to stand the chance of making it though the day. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active almost makes it, but we found that by mid-afternoon, the levels were looking a little low and in desperate need of a top-up, but that’s with very little regard for preserving battery, so it can be eked out for longer. At least you can carry a spare if you’re looking at a day at the beach, taking photos, pinging them to Facebook, listening to music and so on.

We found the call quality to be reasonable on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active. There is noise cancellation in place – which can be switched off – and callers reported no problems. However, the ear speaker isn’t as rich and clear as some.



Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Confirmed

A Mini version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been confirmed by the Korean manufacturer.

Building on the success of the S4, which recently passed the 10 million sales mark, the S4 Mini is billed as “a powerful, compact version of Samsung’s bestselling smartphone”.

Featuring a 4.3” qHD Super Amoled display, the Galaxy S4 Mini weighs 107g and the manufacturers emphasise that “the lightweight and compact design enables you to carry and use the device easily with one hand”. It measures 124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm.

A 1.7Ghz dual core processor offers similar features to the S4, but the Mini version will not offer the eye-tracking that removes the need to scroll on the full-size version. It features an 8MP camera and a 1.9MP front-facing version, offering similar camera features and automatic ‘story album’ building, as well as the S Translator, “for instant translation using text or voice on applications including email, text message”.

The Mini also includes the S4’s remote control for TVs and the S Health features that include calorie counting and activity and sleep monitoring. It will be available in two colours, black and white, and in £G, 3G dual sim and 4G versions. Release dates and prices have yet to be announced.

Simon Stanford, Vice President of IT & Mobile Division for Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland said “Demand for the Galaxy S4 has been phenomenal since it launched in April and we hope to build on this success with the Galaxy S4 Mini.” He claimed “This new handset is the ideal smartphone companion for anyone who wants a compact device packed with innovation.”


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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Samsung


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Samsung Galaxy S4 Update Release Date: Android 4.3 Firmware Available for Download

Interested Samsung Galaxy S4 owners can now have one more thing to hold over rival HTC One fans: Android 4.3.

SamMobile has a reputable history when it comes to Samsung firmwares, and the Samsung-centric website has managed to get its hands on a test build of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4. While the build was originally for the Galaxy S4 Google edition (a variant of the Galaxy S4 sold through Google Play and running stock Android – the idea behind it being that those who want timely updates from Google but the tech specs of the Galaxy S4 now have an option), SamMobile managed to port it over to a Snapdragon Galaxy S4 model GT-I9505.

“We wanted to test out Android 4.3 but didn’t had the Google variant of the Galaxy S4 with us, so we ported it to our standard Snapdragon-powered Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505) and got some outstanding results,” write SamMobile. “We haven’t made any changes to the port, so it’s 100% original with zero changes.”

As usual, the build is not an official piece of software, so the usual tales of caution apply. Remember that flashing your handset to Android softwares such as this can void the warranty on the smartphone. Those who still wish to get an early peek at Android 4.3 can get instructions and the files here.

Little is known about Android 4.3, except that it has been mysteriously sighted on devices worldwide and is expected to tide the public over until Google unleashes a bigger refresh with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie later this year.

Let us know if you flash your Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3 and what you think of the new experience in the comments section below.


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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Samsung


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