Skip to main content

Samsung Galaxy S4 - Can It Defeat The Naysayers?

First reviews are in for the Galaxy S4 and, to be frank, they're pretty disappointing.

Well actually if you read the text of the reviews there's little to complain about, except the titles and summaries suggest that there is. The biggest complaint being that it's construction isn't premium like the metal of the HTC One and iPhone 5.

I wonder how much of the complaining about the GS4's build is to do with device snobbery. The same was true of the GS3 and that still sold pretty well against the better made HTC One X and iPhone.

The truth is that Samsung have had remarkable success selling devices that most reviewers and commentators are quick to write off for various reasons. The Galaxy Note was derided for its size and sold by the bucketload. The Note 2 for being bigger and turned out to be an even bigger success. Even the GS3 was slammed in reviews against the HTC One X, which it outsold in spades.

Samsung aren't aiming at the device connoisseurs of the world. They build phones that reach every corner of the web and appeal to the broadest range of users. There may never be a snobbish reason for using one but that won't stop the GS4 from selling well. Of course 90% of the buying population will be exposed to the marketing push for the GS4. 90% will never have heard of the HTC One. That alone will determine what many people buy.

The GS4 may have a 'lot going on' but that ensures there'll be a feature to entice everyone.What's your killer feature? The camera - well Samsung have put together one of the most powerful cameraphone interfaces, with excellent controls for manual shot creation. Gestures? How about the ability to 'wave' your way through the phone, Minority Report-style?

No-one will use all the features that Samsung have added, but there's a good chance that you'll want at least one or two. And of course those that you don't use can be disabled so they don't intrude on the device experience.

Don't be fooled, Samsung didn't get to the top of the tree by mis-judging its market. My guess is that it has that mix just right once more.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…