Samsung Galaxy S4 review roundup: Wow, but YUCK

U.S. release date: next week.

Galaxy S4 reviews

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will hit these shores any day now, so reviewers have been working overtime to bring you their considered thoughts. And, wow, they've been prolific in presenting their opinions.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers give the new Samsung flagship BYOD-toy some decidedly mixed reviews.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

He's Walt Mossberg... shutup:

Samsung has been on a roll. [It's] by far the leading maker of devices running on Google’s Android. ...the Galaxy S 4, will roll out over the next week at AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, and likely sometime in May at Verizon. ...while I admire some of its features, overall, it isn’t a game-changer.

...

On many key hardware specs, the Galaxy S 4 shines. Its screen...beat[s] the iPhone 5. [Camera] pictures [are] slightly better. ... Its removable battery gave me a full day of use. ... I also compared it with the...HTC One, which...has a handsome, sturdier, aluminum body, dual stereo speakers, an excellent camera, better screen resolution...and twice the base memory for the same price.  MORE

Sic, Florence Ion drives us forward, ad astra:

The name "Galaxy" could conceivably become synonymous with the word "Android." ... It's been a crazy 12 months for Samsung. ... Now the company is launching the Galaxy S 4 with the tagline of "life companion." ... There are some newer exciting features...including interface tweaks and applications with TouchWiz.

...

The Galaxy S 4 has a 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen with 441 pixels-per-inch...PenTile (RBGB) pixel layout. This is a major upgrade for Samsung...which is behind the 1080p craze by about half a year. ... The Galaxy S 4’s color palette appears much more true-to-nature than the Galaxy S III's. ... Samsung definitely has another hit on its hands.  MORE

And Jordan Crook shepherds our thoughts:

The Galaxy S4 has an easy mode, and more importantly, [it] needs an easy mode. ... Amazing software features like Air View and Dual-shot [but some] are novelties, not everyday utilities.

...

It’s thin and light, just as it should be, and looks pretty meh. It’s made almost entirely of plastic. [But] the company managed to fit a bigger 5-inch display on a phone that actually got thinner and lighter. [It's] almost exactly the same size as the Galaxy S III. ... Bravo.

...

[The] U.S. variant doesn’t sport the...Exynos Octa-5 eight-core chip. It does, however, run on the Snapdragon 600, which is the...most powerful quad-core chip out there...[and] 2GB of RAM. ... [It's] as power-efficient as it is powerful [with] the added bonus of a swappable battery. Win win.  MORE

But David Pierce pops the bubble:

I don’t like holding this phone. [It's] slippery and slimy and simply unpleasant in your hand. ... Even the silver band around the sides...is plastic. Everyone I showed the GS4 to frowned and wrinkled their nose...before rubbing their fingers on the back of the phone and then handing it back to me.

...

I think design matters. Polish matters. The Galaxy S4 is...noisy and complex. ... That's why, when my contract is up in June, I'll probably be casting my lot with HTC.  MORE

Meanwhile, MG Siegler drives his usual theme home: [In a cloud of Castrol R? -Ed.]

I’ll just repeat what I wrote a month ago:

...on top of the good, smaller iterations, Samsung added a bunch of stupid **** that no one will use. ... Air View? Air Gesture? Smart Scroll? Smart Pause? I’m reminded of the...line from Jurassic Park, “But your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”  MORE

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