Samsung Galaxy S4 Review and Best Plans1

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the state of the art for Android phones in 2014. It has an awe inspiring screen, incredible processing speed and the best of Android features. See the latest pricing as well as Samsung Galaxy S4 specifications and reviews, below.

Compare Samsung Galaxy S4 deals in Australia

Here's a list of all the top Samsung Galaxy S4 deals we recommend in Australia. These are handpicked based on quality of the network, what you get in with the plan, and of course, value for money.

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Carrier & Plan What you get What you pay
Samsung Galaxy S4

$5 a month

Vodafone

$ 30 Vodafone Plan

$300 value

300 MB

24 months

Extra data for students

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$35 / month
$5 handset + $30 plan

Min. Total Cost $840
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 40 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

$400 value

500 MB

24 months

Save $120

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$40 / month
$0 handset + $40 plan

Min. Total Cost $960
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 50 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

$500 value

1 GB

24 months

Extra data for students

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$50 / month
$0 handset + $50 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,200
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 60 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

Infinite

2 GB

24 months

Extra data for students

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$60 / month
$0 handset + $60 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,440
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 70 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

Infinite

3 GB

24 months

1 month free access fees

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$70 / month
$0 handset + $70 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,680
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 80 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

Infinite

4 GB

24 months

Bonus 1GB of extra data

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$80 / month
$0 handset + $80 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,920
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Vodafone

$ 100 Vodafone Plan

Infinite calls Vodafone to Vodafone and infinite TXT

Infinite

6 GB

24 months

Bonus 2GB of extra data

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.10

$100 / month
$0 handset + $100 plan

Min. Total Cost $2,400
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month after your
$5 handset credit+

Optus

$ 35 Optus My Plan

Unlimited standard text and MMS to Australian Mobiles. Optus Mobile Fair GoTM Policy applies.

300 min

500 MB

24 months

Free delivery for online orders

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.03

$35 / month
$0 handset + $35 plan

Min. Total Cost $840
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month after your
$10 handset credit+

Optus

$ 50 Optus My Plan

Unlimited standard text and MMS to Australian Mobiles. Optus Mobile Fair GoTM Policy applies.

600 min

1 GB

24 months

Free delivery for online orders

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.02

$50 / month
$0 handset + $50 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,200
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month after your
$10 handset credit+

Optus

$ 60 Optus My Plan

Unlimited standard text and MMS to Australian Mobiles. Optus Mobile Fair GoTM Policy applies.

Unlimited

2 GB

24 months

Free delivery for online orders

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.01

$60 / month
$0 handset + $60 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,440
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month after your
$20 handset credit+

Optus

$ 80 Optus My Plan

Unlimited standard text and MMS to Australian Mobiles. Optus Mobile Fair GoTM Policy applies.

Unlimited

5 GB

24 months

Bonus 2GB data

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.01

$80 / month
$0 handset + $80 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,920
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month after your
$20 handset credit+

Optus

$ 100 Optus My Plan

Unlimited standard text and MMS to Australian Mobiles. Optus Mobile Fair GoTM Policy applies.

Unlimited

8 GB

24 months

Bonus 3GB data

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.01

$100 / month
$0 handset + $100 plan

Min. Total Cost $2,400
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$3 a month

Virgin

$ 30 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

$300 value

300 MB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$33 / month
$3 handset + $30 plan

Min. Total Cost $792
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Virgin

$ 40 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

$450 value

500 MB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$40 / month
$0 handset + $40 plan

Min. Total Cost $960
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Virgin

$ 50 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

$500 value

1 GB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$50 / month
$0 handset + $50 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,200
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Virgin

$ 60 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

$700 value

2 GB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$60 / month
$0 handset + $60 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,440
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Virgin

$ 80 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

UNLIMITED CALLS & TEXT WITHIN OZ

4 GB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$80 / month
$0 handset + $80 plan

Min. Total Cost $1,920
over 24 months

Samsung Galaxy S4

$0 a month

Virgin

$ 100 Virgin Mobile Plan

Unlimited mobile calls & text Virgin to Virgin within Oz

UNLIMITED CALLS & TEXT WITHIN OZ

6 GB

24 months

Free delivery

All for use within Australia. Cost of 1MB included data is $0.21

$100 / month
$0 handset + $100 plan

Min. Total Cost $2,400
over 24 months

Where to find Samsung Galaxy S4 deals

There are many plans for the Samsung Galaxy S4 out there, but below are the ones and a good place to start your search. Good luck!

Why get the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Samsung have upgraded almost everything on the Samsung Galaxy S4It’s got a faster Quad Core chipset, a bigger battery, a stronger camera, a larger screen, more memory options, a raft of new sensors including a barometer. 

What's good
5 inch full High Definition AMOLED screen
1.9 GHz Quad Core Processor
Android Jellybean
13 MP Main Camera
What's not so good
Plastiky 'polycarbonate' chassis
Not as innovative as the S3
Higher end - expensive - phone
ProcessorQuad Core 1.6 GHz
Memory16 GB / 32 GB
Camera13 MP
Video1080 30 FPS
OSAndroid Jellybean
Dimensions136.6 mm x 69.8 mm x 7.9 mm
Weight130 g
Network Support2G / 3G / 4G
Screen Size5.0 inches
Screen Resolution1080 x 1920 pixels
SIM TypeMicro SIM

Review – Impressive Upgraded

Quick Summary

 

Pros of the Samsung Galaxy S4

  • Fastest Samsung Galaxy phone ever
  • Improved battery alleviating the worst feature of the Galaxy S3
  • Best in class screen – size and colours
  • Expandable memory, swappable battery

 

Cons

  • Plasticky feel for the money
  • Price / performance, the Samsung Galaxy S3 might be a better bet


Introduction

In my view, the Samsung Galaxy S3 was the most impressive Android phone of 2012. And Samsung have upgraded almost everything on the Samsung Galaxy S4. It’s got a faster Quad Core chipset, a bigger battery, a stronger camera, a larger screen, more memory options, a raft of new sensors including a barometer. It’s even for a thermometer.

As if that wasn’t enough, Samsung have augmented the Nature UX TouchWiz interface, built on the latest publically available version of Android, 4.2.2 – Jellybean ( ‘ouch’ says HTC who could only manage the previous Ice Cream Sandwich version. ) And keep in mind, the next version of Android, continuing the sweet foods alphabetic progression – Key Lime Pie, will be available in less than a couple of months.

As an Apple fan and an iPhone 5 user, I’m interested to see whether Samsung have improved the S4 to the point I’d be prepared to consider a move.

 

How Does It Look ?

Ever smaller components mean that Samsung have crammed all those new features in to a body which is 0.8mm thinner than the Samsung Galaxy S3. Other than some new colour variants, and a slightly new texture, the shape and appeal of the S4 hasn’t changed at all. And why would you ? Plastic is more durable and cheaper to mould than the alternatives. If you doubt Samsung’s practical approach, consider their sales and profit relative to HTC over the last 3 years.

For a handset which represents best in class capability, it just about gets its feet under the high quality table. I do feel it’s left lacking in comparison to the aluminium / glass of the iPhone 5 and some more recently released Android alternatives.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 looks fine now. If I was taking out a 2 year contract to cover the price of my new Samsung Galaxy S4, I think I’d have a lingering doubt as to whether, in 24 months, it’s looks would still be modern and up to scratch.

 

Screen Is Incredible

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not the only phone these days with a 1920 x 1080 true high definition screen. However, Samsung’s Super AMOLED display has to be seen to be believed. It’s almost mesmerising. It has better viewing angles, colour saturation and blacker blacks than anything else on the market. The compromise is that it’s harder to see in sunlight than LCD based alternatives but a quick stroll to the shade when you’re outside is worth it.Every day uses are a pleasure – menus, maps, playlists and emails look beautiful. It’s a staggering and engaging face that you’re going to spend a long time looking at.

Camera – a rediculous 13 MegxPixels

Taking at least some inspiration from their handheld camera release, if not the core software, the interface on the camera has been upgraded and the 8MP camera upgraded to a 13 MP behemoth.

Open the camera ‘app’ up and you’ll see a carousel interface to scroll through, offering advanced features, some of which go beyond what you’d get on an SLR. Some of the unusual ones include :

  • Panorama ( which works in landscape and portrait views ) and a long list of other capabilities, as well as the usual ‘Instagram’ effects makes the camera even more fun to play with.
  • Sound and Shot which takes up to 9 second video and let’s you choose a frame from it to act as the ‘picture’ which now has the accompanying real life sound track.Imagine a picture of a friend showing off and a soundtrack of everyone laughing in the background and you’ve got it.
  • Drama which ties together several images of something moving in to a single picture.For example, several images of someone jumping off a highboard shown against just one background of a swimming pool.

There’s even a picture in picture capability to use both the front and back cameras to take pictures at the same time so you can insert yourself ( inside a postage stamp or oval design – there are a collection of options ) on to the picture you take.

Potentially anticipating the HTC One’s Ultrapixel improved low light performance, Samsung have installed a backside illuminated BSI sensor to improve low light performance too.

As with the S3, the volume rocker on the side can be set to act as an external button to take pictures.

If I had a complaint, it would be that the scope the camera takes is too small. I could never get back far enough to take my image. I always felt too ‘zoomed in.’ File sizes produced by a 13 MegaPixel are also very large ( they can be shrunk of course before sharing. )

 

Operating System and Performance

Samsung have really focussed on the basics of the S4, we well as driving improvements in other areas.The Samsung Galaxy S4 is fast. Really fast. Improved Quad Core Speeds ( now 4 x 1.9 GHz )  and 2 GB of memory mean it can keep up with the most demanding finger swiper.

Previous Samsung keyboards have been sub par, especially compared to Apple equivalents.It’s always been necessary, in my experience, to upgrade them in the Google Play store. On the S4, Samsung have opted for an upgraded keyboard and it’s a notable improvement.

Notifications are dealt with better. Instead of just seeing a scrolling bar to turn GPS / Wireless / etc off and on, you can now see all of them on a single screen without scrolling. The Settings interface has also been redesigned with the inclusion of tabs to make it more intuitive to navigate. They’re all small things but together, they’re examples of a well thought through, structured improvement which will make a material difference to how quickly you can operate your phone.

Again, drawing on the Galaxy Note 2’s experience, many of the Samsung Apps installed when you buy it can be placed side by side on the screen using the ‘Multiview’ capability. Want to play with your email while you’re watching a film ? No worries, me too.

 

Summing Up

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is not going to redefine the market for mobile phones in Australia. It does push the boundaries of what you can expect from Android phones. Next to key competitors, it’s looks are plain. The software is great but none of the features are must have. One note here, the S4, like the HTC One can be turned in to a TV remote control which, to me, is now a must have feature. I can never find the remote but my phone is always in reach. )

All that said, however, it’s reliable, quick to use, it has a better battery than the S3 and a camera which is not only an upgrade but useful but fun to play with.

I prefer the iPhone 5s’s more refined and familiar style and manageable size. But I must admit that the ongoing improvements to Android and the manufacturer’s overlay software are increasingly causing my eye to rove.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Customer reviews

1
By chiveitlititshot

"Nice phone but does not appeal to the blue tint of Samsung AMOLED dis..."

Nice phone but does not appeal to the blue tint of Samsung AMOLED displays. Reading text becomes a pain if the white does not look as white and will look blue on screen.
1
By androidFan

"The Samsung Galaxy S4 brings a huge Full HD screen, an improved camera and faster innards, and fits .."

in the same size of the Galaxy S3
1
By sandra.g

"At this point, the Galaxy S4 is a runaway train, something Samsung couldn’t stop even if it tried. The rest of the industry better watch out. "

> See more reviews

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Questions about the Samsung Galaxy S4

What are some of the features?

We would probably advise you to check out the other information on this page. We have detailed specification information, a full review of both the hardware and the software and some summary stuff at the top in case you’re in a hurry. However, we always answer the questions you ask so : The SGS4 comes equipped with Wi-Fi, a 13 megapixel camera, a 2 megapixel front camera, 2GB RAM storage, NFC, 1080p video capabilities, up to 128 GBs worth of internal storage, Bluetooth and 4G support. And a bunch of other stuff you’ll never use.

In what ways does the Galaxy S4 differ to the S3?

The S4 is a thinner, more lightweight phone. It looks similar to the S3, but has different software that is more specialized – for example the SHealth application. The display is larger than the S3's and the S4's battery capabilities are stronger which is a good thing because the battery on my S3 was shit. The S4 also has a faster internal processor, and the S3 camera was 8 megapixels, as opposed to the S4's 13. Don’t write the S3 off though. It’s a cracking phone ( despite my experience with the battery ) and it might be one of the best value Android handsets on the market. We’ve got tonnes and tonnes of comparison information on the Galaxy S4. We’ve put it side by side with most other phones on the market. You can find out about that, here : Samsung Galaxy S4 Vs Top Selling Phones

Are there ways to improve the life of my battery?

Sure. The first thing I’d recommend, if you’re worried about it, is to do what I did when I got an S4. I bought a second battery. One of the great things about the Galaxy range of phones is you can swap batteries over. You won’t get that facility with an iPhone.More tactical changes to preserve your battery include an awareness of the reality : When you’re operating your phone, you’re making a choice between having a long lasting battery and the number of functions you choose to use. If you're constantly using the Wi-Fi or sync functions, you’re going to drain the battery on your phone relatively quickly.Some options to help preserve your battery power are using less brightness for your screen, do not leave networks running, and receiving less updates from your social media sites.And remember, Samsung have figured this out. If you buy a Samsung Galaxy S5, it has 2 different battery saving modes. The most severe of these turns everything off on your phone, including the colour of your screen and gives you days – I am not kidding – days – of charge from the last 20% of battery life.

What is being rooted and what does it mean to me?

This is an interesting question from an Australian. I’m from the UK originally and it’s possible that this sort of enquiry could be misunderstood. From a technical point of view within the context we’re discussing, rooting occurs when users unlock their phones and gain access to functions on their phone that the manufacturer did not plan for. We don’t recommend rooting ( within this context ) and you should be prepared for the consequences that come with it like losing all your data and having to throw your phone away because it won’t work any more.

Which OS does this Android use?

Upon release, the S4 was using the Jelly Bean 4.2.2 OS. Since then, the S4 has been updated to the Android 4.4 KitKat.

How does the S4 compare to the iPhone 4S?

The S4 bests the 4S in almost every spec. category. The S4 offers 17 hours of talk time versus 8 for the 4S. The S4 is easier to operate with one hand. With the larger screen, users who enjoy gaming, browsing the web and watching videos will prefer the S4. The S4 also offers more options for users who wish to customize their phone – personalization is a real strength of Android. We have much, much more on comparing the Galaxy S4 with other phones on the market, including the iPhone 4S – here.

What is eye tracking on the S4 and how does it work?

Eye tracking technology allows the phone to follow your eye movements and adjust accordingly. When web browsing on the S4, you can tilt the screen up or down and have the page scroll in time with your movements. The S4 is also equipped with SmartPause, which will pause a video you're watching as soon as your eyes look away from it. When you turn back to the screen, the video resumes. Clever stuff but the truth is that this does not work perfectly and my view is it’s mostly a gimmick at this stage.
> See more questions

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More info about the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Compared
Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Top Sellers
Oz Coverage Comparison
Australian Coverage
Phone Company Comparisons
Optus or Telstra
Optus or Vodafone