الاثنين، 14 أكتوبر 2013

RunKeeper - GPS Track Run Walk

Cover art

RunKeeper - GPS Track Run Walk

Join the more than 20 million people who are using RunKeeper to turn their phone into a personal trainer in their pocket! Track your running, walking, cycling, hiking, biking and more using the GPS in your Android phone.
Track your fitness activities and have fun doing it
- See detailed stats around your pace, distance, time, and calories burned.
- Get stats, progress, and coaching through your headphones with built-in audio cues.
- Listen and control your music during your workout.
- Measure your heart rate with many available sensors (appropriate heart rate zones depend on your weight).
- Take pictures along the way to share and save while you go.
- Update your weight to keep calories burned accurate.

Measure your performance over time 
- View a detailed history of your activities (runs, walks, bikes, etc.) to see how you are doing.
- Get notified when you hit new personal bests and milestones.
- Measure your progress against your goals and targets.
- Follow detailed plans to help you achieve specific fitness objectives, like run for weight loss or run a 5K.
- Turn any activity into a route to do again later.

it is free on google play

الأحد، 13 أكتوبر 2013

review samsung galaxy s4 zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

The Samsung Galaxy Camera was amongst the first Android-powered point and shoot cameras, however, in the age of smartphones that take good quality pictures, it didn't gain much popularity, primarily because the user still had to carry an additional device to make calls, though it did address the issue of connectivity and sharing, at least partially, by offering support for 3G and Wi-Fi. 

This year, after launching its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, Samsung has tried to leverage the same umbrella brand with variants, some with much inferior hardware specifications, to address different niche market segments. With the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung has tried to merge its point and shoot camera with a full featured Android smartphone. 

Is the Galaxy S4 Zoom as good a smartphone as it's a camera or vice-versa? We attempt to answer this question in our review.

Build/ Design
The Galaxy S4 Zoom looks just like any other touchscreen phone from the front, but the big 10x zoom lens and a grip that protrudes out give it the appearance of a point and shoot camera at the rear.

We won't hesitate in saying that the Galaxy S4 Zoom is a bulky device and we felt that it's difficult to carry it around and use it as one's primary phone. The biggest reason for this is the same bulky lens and grip that make it difficult for users to keep the phone in their pockets. The phone's increased thickness at 154mm and weight (208 grams) make it a bulky device. 

Also, anyone using the device as a phone would look really odd, as the device looks like a camera from the back. So, you should be aware that it's essentially a point and shoot camera with telephony and data features and not really a camera phone, if you're thinking of buying the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

The S4 Zoom's front panel is surrounded by a chrome frame that runs across the entire body and takes the shape of the grip towards the bottom, where you'll also spot a big camera shutter key. The front of the phone is clearly based on the same design that we've seen on other Galaxy smartphones. The phone's front panel sports a 4.3-inch display and features a physical Home button and two capacitive touch buttons for Menu and Back controls. The different sensors, front camera, and earpiece grille sit above the display.

Unlike other Galaxy phones, the S4 Zoom's Power/ Screen-lock button and the volume rocker are both located on the right hand side. The left side of the phone features a hole for mounting a tripod which is plugged by a small round piece of plastic. The same side also features a slot for the microSD card, protected by a plastic flap.

The 3.5mm headset jack and the InfraRed Blaster sit at the top edge of the S4 Zoom, while the micro-USB port is located at the bottom. The port is surrounded by a big plastic flap which hides the battery compartment and the micro-SIM slot. The battery is removed through a mechanism mostly seen in point and shoot cameras, involving an open and close slider.

The back of the Galaxy S4 Zoom is made of high quality plastic that sports a glazed finish. A major part of the back is occupied by Samsung's 24mm lens that's placed inside a movable ring. The back curves out towards the bottom to become the grip for one hand operation. You'll also see a big Xenon flash and an autofocus assist light reassuring you that it's a complete point and shoot setup integrated with a smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom features a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen that features a resolution of 540x960 pixels and a pixel density of 256ppi. Samsung has cut corners when it comes to the phone's display, and it clearly shows. While the low resolution of the display is somewhat offset by its smaller size, we still feel that Samsung should have included at least a 720p display on this imaging-focused phone. Images and videos don't look as sharp as they do on some phones in the same price range that offer a 720p display.

However, the S4 Zoom's display was not very reflective and under sun visibility was good. The viewing angles on the phone are also decent.

AMOLED displays are known to offer oversaturated colours and the images taken on the phone at times look different when you transfer them to another device, due to this reason. Samsung has tried to mitigate the issue by offering an Adapt display setting that optimises the S4 Zoom's display for different situations.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is primarily a point and shoot camera. The device sports a 16-megapixel BSI sensor with a 10x optical zoom, great for taking pictures in low light conditions. It also has optical image stabilisation for preventing blur caused by shaky hands.

As we mentioned earlier in the review, the S4 Zoom features a zoom-ring control that surrounds the lens and it allows users to share a photo even during phone calls, control the optical zoom, and launch the camera. Rotating the ring triggers a menu that allows you to quickly select a photo mode across auto, 'Beauty Face', landscape, macro, 'Animated Photo' and night modes in addition to quickly launch the photo gallery app. You still need to use the screen to select a mode. 

Rotating the same ring during an ongoing phone call also offers an In-call photo share option through which you can shoot a photo and send it to the same person you're talking to via multimedia messaging. In our use, this feature worked as promised on the S4 Zoom.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom offers a plethora of camera features including a choice of a number of shooting modes such as 'Beauty face' for portraits, 'Best photo' to take a series of photos and select the best one, 'Continuous shot' to shoot four pictures per second, 'Best face' selects the best picture of each person from five consecutive group photos, 'Kids shot' that plays a sound to attract the kid's attention, in addition to take pictures in Landscape mode, Macro mode, at Dawn, in Snow conditions, in Night conditions, a mode for shooting food, parties, and even Waterfalls, among others.

It also features the new tricks we first noticed in the Galaxy S4 including a Cinemagram-like 'Animated photo' mode, an 'Eraser' mode to delete moving objects from five consecutive photos, and 'Drama shot' that takes multiple photos of a moving object and merges them all to denote action. Besides these, there's a Smart mode suggest option that chooses the best shooting mode for you.

For pro users, the Galaxy S4 Zoom's camera also offers a manual shooting mode, a program shooting mode and a custom mode, in which they can choose manual settings for EV (brightness), ISO, white balance, metering, shutter speed, and aperture.

The S4 Zoom's camera can also record 1080p video at 30 frames per second and 720p video at 60 frames per second. 

As expected, the camera on the Galaxy S4 Zoom doesn't disappoint. The benefits of optical zoom over digital zoom are clearly visible with photos taken from a distance also coming out clear and crisp. Colour reproduction was pretty accurate and pictures did not miss out any details.

Even images captured with the S4 Zoom in low-light conditions came out well, without the use of a flash, although we did notice some noise.

The S4 Zoom's Xenon flash is not very bright but makes objects appear more natural compared to the LED flash.

Videos shot with the S4 Zoom were also good in quality, and can be compared to the ones shot with the Galaxy S4 except that you can zoom-in much closer to the subject. Videos shot in 720p at 60fps offered some really fluid motion. The S4 Zoom is one of the very few devices that offer this video setting.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom's 1.9-megapixel camera does a decent job when it comes to self-clicks or for video chats on Skype and other similar apps.

Software/ User Interface
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest iteration of the OS and TouchWiz Nature UX, Samsung's own UI that includes custom apps in addition to a skinned interface. 

Some people prefer stock Android to any kind of skinning, and Samsung's TouchWiz UI has been panned for employing big, glossy and cartoon-like icons and menus. The intent might be to make the UI more user-friendly, but it ends up looking anything but pleasant.

With Android 4.2, the S Zoom gets lockscreen widgets. Although these are not enabled by default, users can place select third party widgets, in addition to a choice between access to their favourite apps and camera. Users can also enable lock screen shortcuts that allow them to unlock directly into their respective apps. The phone offers a choice between the familiar Ripple effect and the new Light effect for the unlock animation.

The S4 Zoom offers up to seven home screens that can be populated with widgets and app shortcuts or folders. The pinch-in gesture lets you add or remove home screens. The app plus widgets drawer lets you arrange app shortcuts as per your own preference or alphabetically. 

The drop down notification tray on the S4 Zoom features a settings shortcut and a clear all notifications button, along with expandable notifications (expanded with the two-finger pull gesture). Toggles for 10 settings are also located on the tray and you can choose to scroll through them horizontally or expand to get a grid of all the settings on one screen.

One can navigate the S4 Zoom through the Back and Menu capacitive touch buttons and the Home physical key. The Home button on long press takes you to the app switcher and you can fire up the task manager, kill all apps or access Google Now through the shortcuts offered with the task switcher. Double pressing the Home key launches S Voice, Samsung's voice assistant. Long pressing the Menu key also launches Search. 

Samsung also offers some of its pre-loaded apps on the S4 Zoom, including S Planner, Voice Recorder, ChatOn messaging app, Paper Artist, Samsung Apps app store, Samsung Hub content store, Samsung Link for transferring and syncing content to other devices via cloud services like Dropbox, WatchON - a universal remote control software that also offers program guide functionality, S Translator, S Memo, Story Album, Video editor and Group Play.

The S Translator supports speech to text and text-to-text translation for English, French, German, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Korean.

In our usage we found that Samsung's voice assistant app on the S4 Zoom, S Voice, works well with Indian accents and offers good functionality.

The Group Play feature allows you to create groups and share and instantly view or play documents, music files, photos, and other content to other compatible handsets through Wi-Fi Direct. All phones need to be connected to a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot which is created on the device where the group is created. The service also works with NFC.

The Galaxy S4 Zoom brings a large number of software features seen on the Samsung Galaxy S4. However, it misses on some 'smart' (and gimmicky) features including motion and hand gesture driven controls such as Air gestures that allow users to browse content and control the phone without touching it. It only offers the Smart Stay smart screen feature which keeps the screen on as long as you're looking at it, dropping Smart Pause and Smart Scroll. It does include Motion gestures including the one that allows you to tilt your phone to zoom in while looking at an image or turn over the phone to mute while receiving a call. 

The Galaxy S4 Zoom does include voice commands which were also present in the Galaxy S4. You can trigger the camera shutter, answer or reject calls or control alarms and music through these voice commands.

The S4 Zoom doesn't offer multi-window and pop-up play modes for switching between apps and using more than one app at the same time, perhaps due to the smaller screen size. 

Performance/ Battery Life
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Exynos processor. It has 1.5GB RAM, and a Mali 400 chip for processing graphics. Our review unit had 8GB of built-in storage (expandable 64GB) out of which 5.4GB was available for our use.

With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the overall experience of navigation through the S4 Zoom's interface was decent. However, we did experience occasional lag. For instance, launching the camera app and getting back to the home screen was a bit jerky. Similarly, if you're using some graphics heavy widgets, you'll find that they'll reload once you exit an app. At times, we also noticed minor lag in the form of dropped frames while playing some graphics heavy games like Asphalt 7, when we were running a few apps in the background. However, most casual games including Temple Run 2 and Subway Surfers run fine.

Other than that, we did not face issues while scrolling web pages or switching between apps. The Galaxy S4 Zoom offers Chrome in addition to the default browser. The default browser does not offer Adobe flash. It also offers a reader mode for reading text heavy web pages. 

We were able to play full-HD clips, though some formats including .MOV, were not supported natively (this was easily fixed by the use of third party apps). The native video player also supports sub-title files and even lets you set a timer to turn off video, in case you like to fall asleep while watching a movie.

The speaker outlet on the S4 Zoom delivers good quality sound at average volume levels. Call quality was great and the phone is able to latch on to cellular networks even in weak signal areas. 

Just like the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy S4 Zoom also doesn't offer FM radio functionality, which is a downer.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom comes with a 2330mAh battery, and in our usage, it lasted us a full workday. We charged the phone in the morning (at around 9am), and with medium to heavy usage, including 1-1.5 hours of phone calls, two email accounts with push notifications, playing some music, taking some photographs, Twitter notifications and WhatsApp chats, the phone lasted a good 9-10 hours. 

It's worth mentioning that the use of the Xenon flash also impacts the battery and using the camera for taking pictures at night with the flash on drains the battery faster. For testing, we had turned off Wi-Fi and auto-brightness, and the phone was hooked to a 3G network with the screen brightness at the highest level. Altering these settings might help in running the phone for a longer duration, depending on your usage pattern. 

The Galaxy S4 Zoom is anything but a mainstream device. It's clearly targeted at the shutterbugs, people who like taking pictures all the time and want their pictures to stand out above the rest and don't mind the extra bulk that comes with the device. 

Having said that, if you just click and share pictures casually, we will not recommend this device. Most flagship phones and even mid-rangers take decent quality pictures, without the awkward form factor being involved. Priced at nearly Rs. 29,000, the Galaxy S4 Zoom offers average performance and a low-resolution display. 

The only reason for buying the S4 Zoom is its camera, which offers optical zoom which is not seen on smartphones. But then, a number of point and shoot cameras also offer Wi-Fi connectivity, including the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Camera. So, we'd advise you to take a look at them, as well.

In the same price range, you could perhaps also look at the Nokia Lumia 925, which is great camera phone, with none of the form factor and performance drawbacks. 

Price: Rs.29,000

  • Great camera with optical zoom
  • Decent battery backup

  • Chunky
  • Underwhelming performance
  • Low resolution screen

Ratings (Out of 5)
  • Design: 2.5
  • Display: 3
  • Performance: 3
  • Software: 3.5
  • Battery Life: 3
  • Value for Money: 3
  • Camera: 4
  • Overall: 3

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 review
Samsung confounded us last year when it released the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 as a virtual reissue of the original, bumping up the Android version, removing the LED rear camera flash and rearranging the dual speaker placement. So what's new in theGalaxy Tab 3? Nothing much, it turns out. You've got the same 1,280 x 800 display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and IR blaster as on the last-gen model, although the processor has been swapped for a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Z2560 running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. So where do we go from here? How do we judge a tablet refresh that's merely pretending at being an update? We live with it for a bit, use it as a stand-in for our TV remote, e-reader and primary source of streaming media consumption, that's how. Read on as we dissect the $399 Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 to find out if it's worth the fuss.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 review

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 101 review
Is it laziness that prompted Samsung to copy and paste the Galaxy Tab 2's spec sheet? Or is this a case of settling for "good enough" on a mid-range product? We'd hazard it's a little bit of both. With the Galaxy Notes taking over as flagships in Samsung's tablet lineup, the Tab series has become more middle-of-the-road. The Tab 3 10.1 has a 1,280 x 800 TFT LCD display that's not going to knock anyone's socks off, but it's not entirely lackluster either. If there's any immediate knock to the GTab 3 10.1's overall performance, we'd say it's that paltry memory allotment, but more on that later.
The overall design of the GTab 3 10.1 lends itself better to prolonged usage. At 1.12 pounds (510g), it's significantly lighter than its 1.29-pound predecessor and it's about 2mm slimmer, too, measuring just 7.95mm thick. There are no hard edges or sharp right angles to dig into your palms while you watch TV, sip your coffee or stare slack-jawed at video on your morning commute. Even the faux-chrome edges bordering the display have been minimized, which means the bezels are narrower as well, especially on the shorter ends. If you're like us, you'll need to get used to keeping your thumbs hovering just above the display or blocking a tiny portion of the screen; it used to be easy to rest your fingers on that ring of plastic.
The front face is little changed from the GTab 2 10.1: Samsung's moved its logo to the top border of the screen, placing it next to the 1.2-megapixel camera. Down below, the company's imported the home button oft-seen on its Galaxy S smartphones. That's flanked by capacitive keys for menu access and backward navigation. The ports and physical hardware keys -- power, volume rocker, microSD and IR blaster -- are mostly relegated to the top edge, with the sole exception being the micro-USB port at the base. The speakers, much like on the 2012 Tab, are positioned on the top side, but in this case they've been shifted to the edges, so sound won't be aimed directly at your face.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 101 review
Around back, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is mostly a sea of unblemished brown plastic. And yes, it features that subtle cross-hatching we've seen spread across Samsung'slatest Galaxy flagships. The only adornments here are the Samsung logo, FCC certification at the bottom and a 3-megapixel module sans LED flash at the top. The back cover, as you might've guessed, is non-removable. Neat freaks and the otherwise OCD-inclined will want to keep a cotton cloth nearby to wipe down the device; this glossy backplate serves as a great reminder that we humans are an oily bunch.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 101 review
It's a pity the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 doesn't sport a full HD display: its 1,280 x 800 resolution is better suited to its 8-inch sibling, if only for the increase in pixel density you'd get on a screen that size. Here, its TFT LCD is mediocre, giving way to fuzzier-looking icons and a reduced crispness. Viewing angles are okay, but outdoor use could pose a problem given how glare-prone the screen is. That said, we happily sat through an episode of Orange is the New Black on Netflix and found no faults with the display's color reproduction. But if you're going to depend on the dual speaker setup, you'll want to max out the volume and situate yourself in a relatively quiet space. They're just not that powerful.


The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1's high sticker price should mean it packs in loads of bells and whistles, including, perhaps, a better camera, but it doesn't. The 3-megapixel main shooter is serviceable: colors are balanced and images are sufficiently detailed, though you won't be able to set focus. It's adequate enough to capture action shots from the sidelines (sorry, no burst mode), but it's not something we'd recommend relying on for your next round of vacation photos. The UI is straightforward too and doesn't confuse users with an abundance of settings options. You have the ability to add a filter, toggle exposure / white balance and swap to different scene modes. But for the most part, auto mode is good enough. Video recording is much the same and maxes out at 720p. Again, the GTab 3 10.1 shouldn't be your go-to for any memories in the making. It's a decent fallback option, but nothing more.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 sample shots

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 101 review
Samsung's bag of tricks are mostly absent on the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 -- only Smart Stay and Smart Orientation make the cut. This feature load's a little lighter than we've seen in the past, owing to the fact that most TouchWiz innovations now belong to the Note line. This time around, the company's giving us its typical skinned take on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, but mercifully the bloat is minor. Somehow, the company managed to avoid homescreen overcrowding on the GTab 3 10.1; it only opted to only fill one primary screen with widgets and select apps, while leaving the remaining two free.
From Samsung, you're getting ChatON, Game Hub, Group Play, Memo, Music Hub, Music Player, Paper Artist, S Planner, S Voice, Samsung Apps, Screen Saver, Story Album and WatchON. Third-party apps comprise a much smaller amount of the pre-installed bloat, among which you'll find helpful additions like Dropbox, Flipboard, Polaris Office and Peel Smart Remote. Everything else is the standard suite of Google apps that come bundled with Android Jelly Bean.
A deeper dive into the UX reveals some subtle tweaks on Samsung's part, like the ability to access the Play store simply by tapping the menu capacitive key within the app drawer. There's also an option in settings to enable what's called Blocking Mode, which allows users to mute notifications and even set specific parameters for when this can occur (for example, disable alerts at nighttime). And for those of you who have a need to handle your tablet while you drive, Samsung's included a Driving Mode to give you robo-voiced alarm and schedule alerts so you can keep both hands on the wheel.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1Sony Xperia Tablet ZLenovo IdeaTab S2110
Quadrant (v2)6,5642,6027,4345,037
Vellamo (v2.0 HTML5)1,694N/A2,2422,222
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms)1,3992,2221,3821,675
GLBenchmark 2.5 Egypt 1080p Offscreen (fps)N/A (wouldn't run)N/A3256
Battery life (rundown test)6:558:568:408:07
SunSpider: lower scores are better
Samsung might want to rethink the chipset inside this Galaxy Tab. As you'll note from the above comparison chart, the GTab 3 10.1 delivers a mixed bag of results when stacked against the competition (both old and new). To be fair, it trounced last year's model in nearly every benchmark, but when we pit it against Lenovo's IdeaTab S2110 (another 10-incher with similar resolution) it just couldn't compete.
Meanwhile, we're not sure whether we should chalk this up to that Intel CPU or the decrease in RAM, but everyday performance on the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is also inconsistent. There were more than a few occasions when typing proved frustrating; when the flow of text would freeze and then stutter out. The same uneven experience also bleeds into the tablet's poor touch recognition, which had us jabbing at the screen repeatedly until our finger presses registered.
TabletBattery Life
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.16:55
Apple iPad mini12:43 (WiFi)
Apple iPad (late 2012)11:08 (WiFi)
Apple iPad 210:26
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime10:17
Apple iPad (2012)9:52 (HSPA) / 9:37 (LTE)
Nexus 7 (2012)9:49
Microsoft Surface for Windows RT9:36
Apple iPad9:33
ASUS Transformer Prime Infinity TF7009:25
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.18:56
Sony Xperia Tablet Z8:40
Hisense Sero 7 Pro8:28
Lenovo IdeaTab S21108:07
Galaxy Tab 2 7.07:38
HP Slate 77:36
Nexus 107:26
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.07:18
Nexus 7 (2013)7:15
RIM BlackBerry PlayBook7:01
With a 6,800mAh battery sealed beneath its ugly brown shell, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 is designed to last and last. In all of our time with the tablet, battery life was never a concern. Left to idle with slight to moderate usage, the GTab 3 10.1 can easily last about a week. We still had a charge on our unit that was just below half capacity at four days in and that's without the battery-saving mode turned on. Still, on our more rigorous battery rundown test, the tablet yielded a result of six hours and 55 minutes. That's a big drop from last year's model, which made it almost to the nine-hour-mark -- unsurprising, we suppose, since the GTab 2 had a bigger 7,000mAh battery.


Four hundred dollars is a tough asking price for a tablet that hasn't changed much from its last generation. For about $70 less, you can take home 2012's Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and enjoy the same 1,280 x 800 resolution, dual-core experience, camera setup and 16GB internal storage allotment. If your search for a mid-range Android tablet has you looking outside of Samsung's Galaxy lineup, there's Lenovo's IdeaTab S6000 to consider. It matches up with a similar resolution, storage configuration and adds in a quad-core CPU for nearly $100 less at $319. Or you can go the Toshiba route with the 10-inch Pure. It skimps on overall specs -- there's no rear camera and uses the now-dated Tegra 3 -- but it otherwise matches the GTab 3 10.1 with a lower price of $299. For something more current, you might want to shift attention to Sony's stunner, the Xperia Tablet Z. At $499, it's definitely a higher-end option, but for the money you're getting a water- and dust-proof device, quad-core CPU, 2GB RAM and a full HD 1,920 x 1,200 display.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 101 review
Nothing ever really changes when it comes to Samsung's 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab. The Tab 3 10.1 is proof positive of that. This 2013 iteration is a parallel move for the line that attempts to mix up the package of mid-range specs with a terrible brown plastic coat. In a pinch, it'll do what you need it to adequately: stream video, serve as a widescreen browser and e-reader and hub for all your social communication needs. It just won't look pretty doing it, nor will it dazzle with brisk performance -- in fact, you should expect some stuttering. The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 excels in mediocrity, but for the money you can take a step back in time (and dollars) for the same-y GTab 2 10.1 or resign yourself to paying a little more for something better.

review samsung galaxy s4

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the most hotly anticipated smartphone ever from the Korean brand, and with a glut of top end features, it's the most powerful and desirable device Samsung has created yet.
One of the most impressive things about the phone is the fact the size hasn't changed from its predecessor - the Galaxy S4 comes in at 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches), meaning there's no extra heft to try to work with in your palm.
However, despite this fact, the screen on the S4 has been increased once more, to a whopping 5-inch display with Full HD resolution. This means the same amount of pixels you'd have seen on a TV that cost well over £1,000 four years ago is now riding around in your pocket.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
Let's not pretend that Samsung is a pioneer in this area though: like a great many features of the Galaxy S4, the phone borrows a lot from the other top smartphones of the moment. Both the Sony Xperia Z and the HTC Onehave screens that rock the same resolution, but neither of them have the jaw-dropping clout of the Super AMOLED HD screen on offer here.
On top of that, there's a much faster processor packed under the hood, ample storage space for media thanks to an expandable memory card slot, and the likes of 4G, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and pretty much any other connection you care to mention on board.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
Samsung has tried to supplement this with a tranche of software upgrades too, meaning a more powerful camera, a better way to communicate with your friends and consume media, and interestingly a big push into health through dedicated apps too.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 costs the same as the HTC One, give or take a pound or two, on contract. This now puts it down around £33 per month, which isn't too bad for such a high-end model.
It can now also be had for under £500 (£20 under, if you're interested) which makes it a much betterproposition... and cheaper than the equivalentiPhone 5C too.
Galaxy S4 review
But before we dissect all the possibilities the phone has to offer, let's look at the design. As we mentioned, it's impressive in its form factor, thanks to the sub-8mm thickness, and at 130g it manages to still be light without shaving off so much heft that you feel like you've got a flimsy piece of plastic.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
That's probably the biggest compliment we can pay the Samsung Galaxy S4 - where its predecessor felt a little bit cheap in the hand, the S4 manages to bring a much more solid build and better construction to boot.
So while the "faux metal" band makes a comeback on this model, it looks a lot more premium. And there's very little flex in the chassis when you hold it tightly, which was another problem with the Galaxy S3 at times. It can get dented very easily though, and be careful not to crack your screen if you do so - we've heard of a few instances where this has happened to S4 users, although that can be said of many other polycabonate smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
That doesn't mean that the phone is completely remodelled from the S3 - it's very similar in appearance, so much so that a number of people asking to see it during our review thought we were palming them off with our old S3. The polycarbonate chassis remains, but that brings with it the faithful battery cover, which conceals a removable battery and microSD slot.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
We're not so fussed about the battery being able to drop out of the phone - so few people carry around a spare battery, and nowadays portable charging blocks are becoming so cheap and light that they make much more sense too.
We'd almost prefer something like the Sony Xperia Z, which has a refined and packaged chassis but doesn't need a removable battery: it makes use of a slot instead for the memory card. This integrated nature would make for a slightly more premium feel to the phone.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
However, it's a small gripe with the S4, as while the cover feels flimsy, it's better than it was on the S2 and the S3, and they both sold like hot cakes.
In the hand, the Samsung Galaxy S4 feels much better than any other Samsung phone we've held (apart from the gargantuan smartphones the brand used to make - the i8910 Omnia HD might have been built like a brick, but it felt wonderful to hold). The screen's spread towards the sides of the phone means a much narrower bezel, and the effect is certainly impressive.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
It might look very similar to the S3, but when you take the Samsung Galaxy S4 up close, you really start to appreciate the nuances.
We'd say it feels a lot more like the LG Optimus G range now - when we first picked it up, we were struck with how similar it felt in terms of sturdiness and the polycarbonate construction to the LG Optimus G Pro.
That's no criticism, as the device was well built too, but it has a similar rounded feel. This is intriguing given the history of the two companies, and shows more of a leaning towards the plastic shell from the Asian brands in general.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
Buttonry has barely changed from before - the power button has been shifted slightly on the right-hand side, and is now much easier to hit. Samsung has clearly taken some lessons from the Galaxy Note 2, which has a really well positioned power/lock button.
The volume key is less easy to hit, and could be lower down in our eyes, but the travel on both of these buttons is satisfying, and you'll always know when you've hit them.
The plastic used on the home key has been upgraded too, with a more solid feel under the thumb when you press down to get back to the main home screen. The two buttons flanking it give you access to menus or take you back from whence you came, and while both are easily hidden, they light up nicely with an even glow when called into action.
There are loads of sensors on the front of the phone above the screen, including cameras to track your eyes, a 2MP camera for HD video calling and a proximity sensor for knowing where the phone is in relation to your ear. On the white review unit we had, their presence looks rather ugly either side of the generous earpiece, but on the darker models this is less of an issue.
Samsung Galaxy S4 review
The other notable addition to the design of the Galaxy S4 is the infra red blaster on the top of the phone. This enables you to control your TV, satellite box, DVD player, amp and even air conditioner. Again, this isn't a new feature, but it works well in practice, and despite being small is powerful enough indeed.
Other than that, there's not a lot more to say about the design of the phone, as it's just a little underwhelming. We know it's unfair to lambast a brand for not overhauling the design every year, but in the One X and the One, HTC has proven that it is possible to offer up a new design each time around and still keep things attractive.
Looking so similar to the Galaxy S3, you can't help but feel Samsung has gone a little too Apple and created something more in keeping with the Samsung Galaxy S3S - a minor update to a great phone to keep those coming out of contract happy that they have a premium phone to upgrade to.
We do implore you to get the phone in your hand before making a judgement though - while it's not got the best design on the market when it comes to materials, it's a big step forward compared to the Galaxy S3 and allows for a grippy and easy-to-hold phone, with a whopping screen inside.
It still feels cheap as chips compared to the iPhone 5 and HTC One though.
But to just dismiss it for being plastic would be doing the S4 a disservice as it has so much more going for it than that, but it's worth remembering that to a lot of people, the way a phone looks is as important as how much RAM it's got on board and how fast the CPU is - if not more so.