March 16, 2013 | by Natesh Sood
On March 14, I was fortunate enough to attend the Samsung Unpacked 2013 event in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The event introduced the Samsung Galaxy S 4 as well as several cool accessories that could be used in conjunction with the device. Since it was my first Samsung related event, I was very excited to attend and I personally enjoyed the show tremendously. Some may say the event wasn’t that great, but I thought the mini skits were helpful in explaining the features and entertaining.
I feel as if some members of the media have become too cynical and expect way too much from companies and their products. The atmosphere of the Samsung event was electric and the live orchestra was a great touch. The Samsung execs did a great job in explaining the Galaxy S 4 and the actors played a huge role in engaging the audience. Sure, I would have preferred for Samsung to touch on Android and explain some of the key features in a little more detail, but the overall presentation did an excellent job in explaining the Galaxy S 4.
The main takeaway of the Galaxy S 4, at least in my opinion, are all of the features and functionality it offers. Samsung is continuing to distance itself from Android by adding many, many software features. Pure Android enthusiasts may not enjoy the discrepancy between TouchWiz as compared to Vanilla Android Jelly Bean, but that is why the Nexus product line exists. I personally believe Samsung isn’t catering to Android purists anymore. Instead, it is catering to the average consumer who wants a powerful smartphone that offers many cool features. The Android purist wants a device that lacks any type of bloatware and one that can easily be modified. For them, the Nexus 4 is a great piece of hardware that allows for nearly unlimited customization.
Moving on, I disagree with the notion that the next iteration of a product needs to be vastly improved from the predecessor. Samsung Galaxy S III owners should not feel pressured to all of a sudden upgrade to the latest and greatest Galaxy S 4. Consumers should want a smartphone that can last — at least — the duration of a two year contract. Samsung is catering to the owners of the Galaxy S II or other smartphones that are now ready to upgrade to something more advanced. For this market segment, the Galaxy S 4 is a great option with its 5 inch 1080p display, 1.9GHz quad-core processor, and 13MP rear facing camera.
One of the reasons I purchased a Nexus 4 earlier this year was because I knew it would last a solid two years. I am not looking to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new smartphone every year — it is simply not financially smart. As much as I would love to have the latest hardware every year, it just doesn’t fit my budget. I imagine the Nexus 5 (or whatever its name will be) is going to be an amazing device to persuade Galaxy Nexus owners to finally upgrade. I doubt it will be leaps and bounds ahead of my Nexus 4 unless a new technology can be exploited. And I am completely fine with a Nexus 5 that does not force me to open my wallet and buy it right away. With that being said, I do plan on saving up for the Nexus 6 when it launches!
To make a long story short, I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the Galaxy S 4 launch event. Samsung and its crew put a lot of effort into creating a sweet event to introduce its latest product. Maybe I am saying this because it is my first time attending and I have not personally seen other launch events, but I was genuinely entertained. The Galaxy S 4 at this point has a few bugs in its software, but the features are undoubtedly forward looking and innovative. Hopefully, the final (and consumer-ready) product is able to unite the hardware and software into one harmonious device. For now, it is clear to me the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 are the top two Android devices we have seen so far.
If you have any questions, thoughts, or comments, please feel free to voice them below!