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The Samsung GS4 is Decadent and Depraved

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dmmarck #1

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Posted May 14 '13 @ 7:28 PM

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (“GS4”) will probably end up as one of the best selling phones, Android or otherwise, to date. In basic terms, it represents an iterative, evolutionary update of the GS3, a phone that debuted nearly a year ago and propelled Samsung to its current position of pre-eminent Android manufacturer.

Significantly, the GS4 packs significant technical prowess, added features, and improved hardware into a design that closely mimics, yet does not necessarily copy, the GS3.

But those updates are irrelevant. Samsung’s biggest features have steadily evolved since the GS2—its megalithic marketing and a patent ability to not give a shit.

Now, do not misunderstand me—the GS4 should be a fantastic phone (on paper). Its specifications rival anything presently on the market, and its design is solid and refined. However, much like Apple, Samsung could sell pre-formed cubes of feces at this point and have it be a financial success. They no longer rely on innovation, creation, and risk; rather, they cater to a built-in user base that slavishly waits to upgrade older Notes, GS2s, and GS3s with the "Next Big Thing."

Personally, part of me is happy that Android has a manufacturer that steps up and rivals Apple. But another part of me believes Samsung to be a detriment to future development. Instead of advancing Android, Samsung advances Samsung. While that makes great business sense, what does it do for the OS or innovation amongst manufacturers? Not a goddamned thing.

See, TouchWiz represents the metaphorical rape of Android and all that Google has created until now. But to some, TouchWiz is the only Android experience they have ever had. They know nothing else, so why should TouchWiz’s faults or impacts upon Android affect their usage?

Well, the answer is simple: if the most prominent and popular example of Android is a bloated, lag-riddled, and obese amalgamation of all that is unholy, then some users will get the “wrong idea” about Android. They will think that this is Android. They will think that this soulless, beastly mess of code is Apple iOS’ primary competitor, and not Google or any of the other multitudes of Android flavors.

On the other end, you have those, who like me, detest TouchWiz. Some TouchWiz detractors hate it so much that the mere mention of its name inspires an angry, primal reaction. In fact, some who loathe TouchWiz wish for nothing more than the chance to plunge a new $700 Samsung device into a fiery hell pit, hoping to forever vanquish its demonic systems for all eternity.

While the above may seem hyperbolic, it is indicative of how many have come to view Samsung’s attempts at software domination. Recently, Samsung has taken the route opposite to Google, HTC, Sony, and others. Instead of conforming the software’s design to stock Android and Holo guidelines, Samsung uses dated and cartoonish design, emphasizing a “fresh,” “creative” appeal that it so desperately wants its devices to engender in the consumer. In fact, TouchWiz’s design takes me back to simpler times—the times of Froyo and Gingerbread.

Almost to the point of insult, Samsung layers feature upon feature into TouchWiz, hoping that users find new and unique ways to justify using their devices. Samsung hopes for a world in which a traveler walks around a foreign land confidently, translating bits of conversation here and there in order to ask a local fisherman where to take a shit or how to score detergent-free narcotics. Samsung hopes for a world where people use anything but touch to control their devices, as if physical movement was an activity exclusively reserved for the poor.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s world is much more real once you cut through my bluster. Samsung has left Google and Android behind, creating mobile devices in its image and its image alone. Samsung’s position is not necessarily inexcusable—they are a wildly successful business, after all. Rather, Samsung’s position has done nothing to advance Android and everything to inhibit it, and for that reason, and that reason alone, Android enthusiasts should be worried about the GS4. If it sells as it should, we may see more manufacturers follow Samsung and not Google, much to the dismay of your humble author and legions of Android enthusiasts worldwide.

But in the end, Android is open. So long as Samsung complies with the requisite licenses, it can do whatever it damn well pleases. And believe me, it will continue its violent Android death march until someone gets the gumption and billions of dollars to stop them.

Sadly, that time is probably far, far away.


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Eric Kane #2

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Posted May 20 '13 @ 7:07 AM

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (“GS4”) will probably end up as one of the best selling phones, Android or otherwise, to date. In basic terms, it represents an iterative, evolutionary update of the GS3, a phone that debuted nearly a year ago and propelled Samsung to its current position of pre-eminent Android manufacturer.

Significantly, the GS4 packs significant technical prowess, added features, and improved hardware into a design that closely mimics, yet does not necessarily copy, the GS3.

But those updates are irrelevant. Samsung’s biggest features have steadily evolved since the GS2—its megalithic marketing and a patent ability to not give a shit.

Now, do not misunderstand me—the GS4 should be a fantastic phone (on paper). Its specifications rival anything presently on the market, and its design is solid and refined. However, much like Apple, Samsung could sell pre-formed cubes of feces at this point and have it be a financial success. They no longer rely on innovation, creation, and risk; rather, they cater to a built-in user base that slavishly waits to upgrade older Notes, GS2s, and GS3s with the "Next Big Thing."

Personally, part of me is happy that Android has a manufacturer that steps up and rivals Apple. But another part of me believes Samsung to be a detriment to future development. Instead of advancing Android, Samsung advances Samsung. While that makes great business sense, what does it do for the OS or innovation amongst manufacturers? Not a goddamned thing.

See, TouchWiz represents the metaphorical rape of Android and all that Google has created until now. But to some, TouchWiz is the only Android experience they have ever had. They know nothing else, so why should TouchWiz’s faults or impacts upon Android affect their usage?

Well, the answer is simple: if the most prominent and popular example of Android is a bloated, lag-riddled, and obese amalgamation of all that is unholy, then some users will get the “wrong idea” about Android. They will think that this is Android. They will think that this soulless, beastly mess of code is Apple iOS’ primary competitor, and not Google or any of the other multitudes of Android flavors.

On the other end, you have those, who like me, detest TouchWiz. Some TouchWiz detractors hate it so much that the mere mention of its name inspires an angry, primal reaction. In fact, some who loathe TouchWiz wish for nothing more than the chance to plunge a new $700 Samsung device into a fiery hell pit, hoping to forever vanquish its demonic systems for all eternity.

While the above may seem hyperbolic, it is indicative of how many have come to view Samsung’s attempts at software domination. Recently, Samsung has taken the route opposite to Google, HTC, Sony, and others. Instead of conforming the software’s design to stock Android and Holo guidelines, Samsung uses dated and cartoonish design, emphasizing a “fresh,” “creative” appeal that it so desperately wants its devices to engender in the consumer. In fact, TouchWiz’s design takes me back to simpler times—the times of Froyo and Gingerbread.

Almost to the point of insult, Samsung layers feature upon feature into TouchWiz, hoping that users find new and unique ways to justify using their devices. Samsung hopes for a world in which a traveler walks around a foreign land confidently, translating bits of conversation here and there in order to ask a local fisherman where to take a shit or how to score detergent-free narcotics. Samsung hopes for a world where people use anything but touch to control their devices, as if physical movement was an activity exclusively reserved for the poor.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s world is much more real once you cut through my bluster. Samsung has left Google and Android behind, creating mobile devices in its image and its image alone. Samsung’s position is not necessarily inexcusable—they are a wildly successful business, after all. Rather, Samsung’s position has done nothing to advance Android and everything to inhibit it, and for that reason, and that reason alone, Android enthusiasts should be worried about the GS4. If it sells as it should, we may see more manufacturers follow Samsung and not Google, much to the dismay of your humble author and legions of Android enthusiasts worldwide.

But in the end, Android is open. So long as Samsung complies with the requisite licenses, it can do whatever it damn well pleases. And believe me, it will continue its violent Android death march until someone gets the gumption and billions of dollars to stop them.

Sadly, that time is probably far, far away.

 

Very much in agreement here. I can understand their apprehension on changing something like Touchwiz when they've had such a great deal of success, but at the same time they have to understand that by remaining stagnant with the design of their UI, other companies are offering a smoother experience. For me, the issue is two-fold; the design is so chaotic and as a result, a phone with a quadcore A15 is actually not able to stop it from stuttering from time to time. What I propose is not a full blown change, but a few tweaks that would keep their customer base happy while appeasing those of us that look at it on a different level.

 

Part of using an AMOLED display is accentuating its strengths, and although it comes off as "cartoonish", Touchwiz does manage to do that by offering a myriad of colors in its design. Going for a black/gray design, while probably more aesthetically pleasing, wouldn't show off the display that so many people are fond of (even if blacks are blacker on AMOLED). What I'd propose is utilizing a smaller, cleaner font, redesigning their notification shade to more closely resemble stock Jelly Bean (without the green), doing the same thing with the settings menus, and redesigning their stock icons to a cleaner, more modern look. One of the things that makes Touchwiz so chaotic is that there's no real consistency to the design apart from the notification shade and the settings menus. Their stock apps should all be relatively close in their design language, but unfortunately they've missed that so far.

 

Aside from the actual look of Touchwiz, there's some serious work to be done to have it perform as well as other UIs do. The transition animations need to be toned down, and resources need to be available to avoid the constant redraws. What's frustrating about this whole thing is that they have so many positives with the S4, but Touchwiz presents them in a borderline negative way. Offering a clean UI such as stock Jelly Bean as a compromise may placate some, but it also strips the S4 of all the things that separate it from other devices.

 

What I'm afraid of is Samsung tasting even more success this time around with the S4 and refusing to change their ways. One can't argue with success, but one can argue that not progressing in key areas can hinder sustaining that success. Here's to hoping that Samsung figures this out before it's too late.


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dmmarck #3

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Posted May 20 '13 @ 7:32 PM

 

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (“GS4”) will probably end up as one of the best selling phones, Android or otherwise, to date. In basic terms, it represents an iterative, evolutionary update of the GS3, a phone that debuted nearly a year ago and propelled Samsung to its current position of pre-eminent Android manufacturer.

Significantly, the GS4 packs significant technical prowess, added features, and improved hardware into a design that closely mimics, yet does not necessarily copy, the GS3.

But those updates are irrelevant. Samsung’s biggest features have steadily evolved since the GS2—its megalithic marketing and a patent ability to not give a shit.

Now, do not misunderstand me—the GS4 should be a fantastic phone (on paper). Its specifications rival anything presently on the market, and its design is solid and refined. However, much like Apple, Samsung could sell pre-formed cubes of feces at this point and have it be a financial success. They no longer rely on innovation, creation, and risk; rather, they cater to a built-in user base that slavishly waits to upgrade older Notes, GS2s, and GS3s with the "Next Big Thing."

Personally, part of me is happy that Android has a manufacturer that steps up and rivals Apple. But another part of me believes Samsung to be a detriment to future development. Instead of advancing Android, Samsung advances Samsung. While that makes great business sense, what does it do for the OS or innovation amongst manufacturers? Not a goddamned thing.

See, TouchWiz represents the metaphorical rape of Android and all that Google has created until now. But to some, TouchWiz is the only Android experience they have ever had. They know nothing else, so why should TouchWiz’s faults or impacts upon Android affect their usage?

Well, the answer is simple: if the most prominent and popular example of Android is a bloated, lag-riddled, and obese amalgamation of all that is unholy, then some users will get the “wrong idea” about Android. They will think that this is Android. They will think that this soulless, beastly mess of code is Apple iOS’ primary competitor, and not Google or any of the other multitudes of Android flavors.

On the other end, you have those, who like me, detest TouchWiz. Some TouchWiz detractors hate it so much that the mere mention of its name inspires an angry, primal reaction. In fact, some who loathe TouchWiz wish for nothing more than the chance to plunge a new $700 Samsung device into a fiery hell pit, hoping to forever vanquish its demonic systems for all eternity.

While the above may seem hyperbolic, it is indicative of how many have come to view Samsung’s attempts at software domination. Recently, Samsung has taken the route opposite to Google, HTC, Sony, and others. Instead of conforming the software’s design to stock Android and Holo guidelines, Samsung uses dated and cartoonish design, emphasizing a “fresh,” “creative” appeal that it so desperately wants its devices to engender in the consumer. In fact, TouchWiz’s design takes me back to simpler times—the times of Froyo and Gingerbread.

Almost to the point of insult, Samsung layers feature upon feature into TouchWiz, hoping that users find new and unique ways to justify using their devices. Samsung hopes for a world in which a traveler walks around a foreign land confidently, translating bits of conversation here and there in order to ask a local fisherman where to take a shit or how to score detergent-free narcotics. Samsung hopes for a world where people use anything but touch to control their devices, as if physical movement was an activity exclusively reserved for the poor.

Unfortunately, Samsung’s world is much more real once you cut through my bluster. Samsung has left Google and Android behind, creating mobile devices in its image and its image alone. Samsung’s position is not necessarily inexcusable—they are a wildly successful business, after all. Rather, Samsung’s position has done nothing to advance Android and everything to inhibit it, and for that reason, and that reason alone, Android enthusiasts should be worried about the GS4. If it sells as it should, we may see more manufacturers follow Samsung and not Google, much to the dismay of your humble author and legions of Android enthusiasts worldwide.

But in the end, Android is open. So long as Samsung complies with the requisite licenses, it can do whatever it damn well pleases. And believe me, it will continue its violent Android death march until someone gets the gumption and billions of dollars to stop them.

Sadly, that time is probably far, far away.

 

Very much in agreement here. I can understand their apprehension on changing something like Touchwiz when they've had such a great deal of success, but at the same time they have to understand that by remaining stagnant with the design of their UI, other companies are offering a smoother experience. For me, the issue is two-fold; the design is so chaotic and as a result, a phone with a quadcore A15 is actually not able to stop it from stuttering from time to time. What I propose is not a full blown change, but a few tweaks that would keep their customer base happy while appeasing those of us that look at it on a different level.

 

Part of using an AMOLED display is accentuating its strengths, and although it comes off as "cartoonish", Touchwiz does manage to do that by offering a myriad of colors in its design. Going for a black/gray design, while probably more aesthetically pleasing, wouldn't show off the display that so many people are fond of (even if blacks are blacker on AMOLED). What I'd propose is utilizing a smaller, cleaner font, redesigning their notification shade to more closely resemble stock Jelly Bean (without the green), doing the same thing with the settings menus, and redesigning their stock icons to a cleaner, more modern look. One of the things that makes Touchwiz so chaotic is that there's no real consistency to the design apart from the notification shade and the settings menus. Their stock apps should all be relatively close in their design language, but unfortunately they've missed that so far.

 

Aside from the actual look of Touchwiz, there's some serious work to be done to have it perform as well as other UIs do. The transition animations need to be toned down, and resources need to be available to avoid the constant redraws. What's frustrating about this whole thing is that they have so many positives with the S4, but Touchwiz presents them in a borderline negative way. Offering a clean UI such as stock Jelly Bean as a compromise may placate some, but it also strips the S4 of all the things that separate it from other devices.

 

What I'm afraid of is Samsung tasting even more success this time around with the S4 and refusing to change their ways. One can't argue with success, but one can argue that not progressing in key areas can hinder sustaining that success. Here's to hoping that Samsung figures this out before it's too late.

 

 

I'd go so far as to argue that their design language is undefinable, if only because they've meshed way too many versions of TW together.  

 

What I fail to understand is why, instead of creating a clean "palate" from which they can work, Samsung insists on piling on feature after feature, etc., resulting in absolute chaos for new users.  It makes me appreciate efforts like Motorola's recent version of Blur (on the "HD" devices), where Moto pared Blur back to get to what's important--before adding neat things and whatnot to the core OS.


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wonner #4

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Posted May 20 '13 @ 9:24 PM

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.

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dmmarck #5

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 11:48 AM

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2


Because it is exceptionally poor in all facets, from boot through execution. Changing a launcher doesn't change its faults, nor does disabling apps.

Sent from my HTC One


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Eric Kane #6

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 12:00 PM

 

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2


Because it is exceptionally poor in all facets, from boot through execution. Changing a launcher doesn't change its faults, nor does disabling apps.

Sent from my HTC One

 

 

While you do have the ability to customize it, the overall goal should be a smooth, aesthetically pleasing experience out of the box. Touchwiz doesn't offend me in any way, whether it be looks or function, but I do believe they could do so much better as it pertains to both. There's a median I believe Samsung can hit with their next iteration of the Galaxy. They have no reason to abandon what has made them so successful, but they can clean a few things up to appease those of us that pay a little closer attention to the details. I say this because they've outted themselves as being aware of these gripes by releasing a Google Edition of their phone.

 

What they may not have expected was that while there's a porton of users who covet stock Android, there's much a much larger portion that want to keep the features/applications found in Touchwiz. There is definitely a balance to be found here; it's up to Samsung to deliver it.



C Sab #7

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 12:27 PM

It's disappointing that TW hasn't changed much over time but personally I love the new features and I didn't notice any lag (especially with that new update pretty much fixing that issue), all I need is a different laucnher and the S4 is my perfect phone.



Eric Kane #8

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 12:51 PM

It's disappointing that TW hasn't changed much over time but personally I love the new features and I didn't notice any lag (especially with that new update pretty much fixing that issue), all I need is a different laucnher and the S4 is my perfect phone.

 

I enjoy my S4, as well. It's such a different end of the spectrum for me. I find myself almost adjusting my habits when using the S4 and it works.



wonner #9

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 2:25 PM

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.



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Because it is exceptionally poor in all facets, from boot through execution. Changing a launcher doesn't change its faults, nor does disabling apps.



Sent from my HTC One



Name some examples, not including the launcher.

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dmmarck #10

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:18 PM

 

 

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2



Because it is exceptionally poor in all facets, from boot through execution. Changing a launcher doesn't change its faults, nor does disabling apps.



Sent from my HTC One



 

Name some examples, not including the launcher.

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Sure:

 

It seems to handle GPU/graphics acceleration poorly.  If there's one thing that comparative OS's do better, its graphics integration, which is why many S4 reviews note animation and animation-related lag where such reviews rarely (if ever) experience the same degree of lag on the One and comparable devices.  Without tearing into the code, I can't give you a scientific explanation. :)

 

Hardware/software integration.  Samsung does not seem to properly tune the OS to the hardware, except in one case--the Note.  This is unlike other devices like Sony's Xperia, Moto's RAZR HD series, the Nexus series, etc.  

 

Refresh/redrawing issues still present from prior versions of TW.

 

General memory management (RAM gets chewed through, inexplicably, very quickly).  It either needs to (1) dump it quicker, or (2) re-prioritize and not make it particularly wasteful.  Hence the requirement beginning with the GS3 of 2 gigs of RAM (and ironically, the chronic existence of lag).  In order to future proof the GS3, it had to have enough RAM because it was going to use every ounce of it.

 

The primary issue I have--and a lot of folks who like Nexii have--is the fact, as stated, TW is just huge.  The launcher replaces one thing.  Disabling apps replaces another.  But the core OS remains, and comparatively, TW is far more "bloated" than other current iterations of the leading/main skins. For example, compare a Nexus 4 to a GS3, and it's almost night and day.  It's not that the GS3 doesn't have the hardware, its software just doesn't get performance to the same level that leaner, meaner software does.

 

In fact, I'm willing to bet that the "Google" S4 will wipe the floor with the regular S4 in every way.  But that's because stock AOSP is simply better at a lot of different things.

 

That being said, a lot of user experience is based on opinion.  I just wish Samsung took a better, more focused route in developing its OS.


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C Sab #11

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:27 PM

I think the thread title is misleading, it should probably say "Touchwiz is Decanent and Depraved."



dmmarck #12

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:28 PM

Why is there so much emphasis being placed on Touchwiz? The beauty of Android is, you don't like something, change it. I hate TW launcherwise. I like some of the features within the framework and I like the device on a whole. It's so easy to customize, I don't get hung up on the asethetics. My S4 has no hint of TW left and I can't even flash any ROMs yet.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2


Also note the irony of you have chosen turning off a lot of TW and not using all of its lovely features yourself. The fact you have to do anything aside from launcher switching is troubling.

Don't get me wrong, Sense can be fairly terrible in a lot of ways. I just think that memory management, optimizations, and graphics are all better. The One is "crisp."

 

There are reasons why people choose AOSP, even when it breaks stuff--it just does its job better, and device performance bears that out.

 

NOW, that being said, someone used to TW, i.e. yourself, could be completely ok with it.  To me, it's a poor representation of Android and doesn't fit anything I look for.

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dmmarck #13

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:30 PM

I think the thread title is misleading, it should probably say "Touchwiz is Decanent and Depraved."


There are issues with the hardware too. I just became enraged and focused on one thing, which, let's face it, is a major aspect of the device.  One should not take this thread as scientific--or hell, even logical--discourse :).

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C Sab #14

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:45 PM

 

I think the thread title is misleading, it should probably say "Touchwiz is Decanent and Depraved."


There are issues with the hardware too. I just became enraged and focused on one thing, which, let's face it, is a major aspect of the device.  One should not take this thread as scientific--or hell, even logical--discourse :).

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Yes there are but nothing serious, at least not when compared to the lack of evolution with TW. :P



dmmarck #15

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:49 PM

 

 

I think the thread title is misleading, it should probably say "Touchwiz is Decanent and Depraved."


There are issues with the hardware too. I just became enraged and focused on one thing, which, let's face it, is a major aspect of the device.  One should not take this thread as scientific--or hell, even logical--discourse :).

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Yes there are but nothing serious, at least not when compared to the lack of evolution with TW. :P

 

 

I am troubled with the S4 Pro v. S600 chipset thing that Anandtech got into in its tear down.  Although, full disclaimer: I haven't really given a shit about that since the teardown, so I have no idea what resulted or if anyone clarified it past Qualcomm telling everything "it is what we say it is so just shut your whore mouths."  (But that's also because I chose my horse to ride at that point.)

 

Oh, and I despise (i) the home button and (ii) AMOLED screens.  For the latter, not necessarily how they present light, color, images, etc.  Just in my experience--and I owned 4 bloody Galaxy Nexus devices--the screens start "going" a bit early for my tastes.  Banding, burn in, pixel burn out, tinting, etc.  I'm absolutely positive that the new AMOLEDs are a million times better.  You just can't unsee that type of shit, ya know?  The black blotches--and to this day, I can draw their shape, size, and placement by memory--really grind my gears.  How does that happen?  Black is arguably the best and most powerful color on AMOLED screens--how do you make it so that it can go awry so quickly and easily, without real explanation?  

 

I have absolutely crippling OCD, and I will tell you this: OCD and AMOLED screens just do not mix.

 

And that doesn't even touch on the fact that low brightness revealed the papery "texture" of the screen, or that anything more than 40% brightness would chew through the battery. 

 

Still...burned 4 times...which was 4 too many, but alas, I loved my Nexus.


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C Sab #16

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:54 PM

Well, obviously the screen is much better than it was back then but it's preference. Also, I found the home button to be almost flush with the body so I wasn't really bugged about that. Screen looked great to me, and it made the screen on teh S3 look really dim actually.



dmmarck #17

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:57 PM

Well, obviously the screen is much better than it was back then but it's preference. Also, I found the home button to be almost flush with the body so I wasn't really bugged about that. Screen looked great to me, and it made the screen on teh S3 look really dim actually.

 

Yeah I don't doubt the screen is better now than before, particularly my generation of AMOLED (again, Galaxy Nexus).  However, I have done a few comparisons, and I prefer the One's presentation than the S4.  But even I will tell you, a lot of screen is preference and how you perceive color, light, etc.  And a lot isn't.  But yeah, there's that.

 

As far as home button, I just think it's an example of laziness and messes with what is otherwise a very clean design.  So are capacitive keys, in that regard.


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C Sab #18

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 5:58 PM

I didn't really see how the screen on teh One looked when browsing. I probably should next time I go to Futureshop. But yeah, all screens these days look great overall so it hardly matters.



dmmarck #19

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:03 PM

I didn't really see how the screen on teh One looked when browsing. I probably should next time I go to Futureshop. But yeah, all screens these days look great overall so it hardly matters.

 

The only really noticeable difference that can be perceived different is the presentation of fonts and the like.  They're a bit more crisp on the One, and zoomed in shots (or whatever the hell they are called) bear that out.  Check this set of photos for some of that.

 

(I also remember another set, but this raging headache is not going away, regardless of the quantities of bourbon that have been thrown at it in a futile attempt for relief.)


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C Sab #20

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:08 PM

While that is true the S4 is getting pretty damn close though.



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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:09 PM

While that is true the S4 is getting pretty damn close though.

 

Oh yeah, I completely agree.  The difference between the One and the S4 isn't nearly as egregious and abyssal as the One X and the S3, the former of which I think wipes the floor with the S3.  That whole floating image, at least at the time, blew my mind.


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C Sab #22

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:14 PM

The S3 was great but when i compared them the S4 makes it look like crap. I'm amazed at the improvements Samsung is making.



dmmarck #23

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:15 PM

The S3 was great but when i compared them the S4 makes it look like crap. I'm amazed at the improvements Samsung is making.


Well it had to. The LCD panels on the One X and even the Nexus 4 were incredible.

Oh, the S4 camera is ridiculous. I'll give it that.

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C Sab #24

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:19 PM

Yeah that's one thing the S4 definitely beats the One at. For the most part anyway.



dmmarck #25

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:22 PM

Yeah that's one thing the S4 definitely beats the One at. For the most part anyway.

 

Except low light :).  

 

That being said, I've taken more pictures with the One than I ever did with my Galaxy Nexus.  Part of that is I now have more reasons to photograph stuff, and part of that is I lack an artistic predisposition. 


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wonner #26

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:32 PM


Also note the irony of you have chosen turning off a lot of TW and not using all of its lovely features yourself. The fact you have to do anything aside from launcher switching is troubling.

Actually, I worded that poorly. I originally meant that my S4 looks TW-free. All the features are on except for the air gestures. I use Nova, the statusbar is Holo'd out, center clock, circle battery, etc. Like I said, I like TWs features...I just don't care for it's looks.

As for the animation lag and other gripes you mentioned, perhaps I am just used to it. I'm on my third generation of the Galaxy series and I've been satisfied with every one. And to me, that's all that matters. :)
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dmmarck #27

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 6:39 PM

 

Also note the irony of you have chosen turning off a lot of TW and not using all of its lovely features yourself. The fact you have to do anything aside from launcher switching is troubling.

Actually, I worded that poorly. I originally meant that my S4 looks TW-free. All the features are on except for the air gestures. I use Nova, the statusbar is Holo'd out, center clock, circle battery, etc. Like I said, I like TWs features...I just don't care for it's looks.

As for the animation lag and other gripes you mentioned, perhaps I am just used to it. I'm on my third generation of the Galaxy series and I've been satisfied with every one. And to me, that's all that matters. :)
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Could very well be the case.  The features are fine--some seem really, really useful.  That being said, the core OS--IMO--needs some work to make it perform a bit better.  The fact that users have lag, any lag, on a device with a CPU clocked to nearly 2 ghz is...damning.


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wonner #28

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 8:45 PM

Could very well be the case. The features are fine--some seem really, really useful. That being said, the core OS--IMO--needs some work to make it perform a bit better. The fact that users have lag, any lag, on a device with a CPU clocked to nearly 2 ghz is...damning.

Personally, I've experience absolutely no lag at all. But one thing seemed to be a factor... where the device was made. Some S4s were made in China and they had problems with lag. Others were made in Korea and they had no problems at all. I guess it's just a case of Samsung getting too big for their own good.

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Posted May 21 '13 @ 8:59 PM


Could very well be the case. The features are fine--some seem really, really useful. That being said, the core OS--IMO--needs some work to make it perform a bit better. The fact that users have lag, any lag, on a device with a CPU clocked to nearly 2 ghz is...damning.

Personally, I've experience absolutely no lag at all. But one thing seemed to be a factor... where the device was made. Some S4s were made in China and they had problems with lag. Others were made in Korea and they had no problems at all. I guess it's just a case of Samsung getting too big for their own good.



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Where were the review units made? China, presumably?

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Eric Kane #30

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Posted May 22 '13 @ 5:25 AM

 

While that is true the S4 is getting pretty damn close though.

 

Oh yeah, I completely agree.  The difference between the One and the S4 isn't nearly as egregious and abyssal as the One X and the S3, the former of which I think wipes the floor with the S3.  That whole floating image, at least at the time, blew my mind.

 

 

As far as the panels go, it's really up to the user. The LCD performs better in certain areas, as does the AMOLED. One of the things that I've gotten used to on the S4 that irks me a little on the One is that more often than not, I get the full screen real estate. Outside of including a menu button, HTC couldn't have done anything with this, but it doesn't change the fact that I get a larger viewing experience on the S4.

 

One of the key advantages to the LCD, one that I really like, is that it has the more effective auto brightness. I rarely have to make any changes to the brightness, whether I'm outside or not.