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Samsung Galaxy S4 Review
With more features than Batman's belt has gadgets, the do-anything Samsung Galaxy S4 is an elegant, powerful smartphone as likely to confound as it is to amaze.
The flagship in Samsung's lineup and easily one of the best Android phones on the market, the Galaxy S4 can tell where you're looking (and turn the page for you), translate over a dozen languages in real time, make you a pro photographer, help you lose weight, and more.
And to support so many features, this phone has menus and buttons galore. Indeed, it has so many menus, it's menus actually have their own menus.
Samsung has thrown so many features into its new phone that the company actually bakes in an "Easy mode" that simplifies the interface down to a handful of easy to read items. You can turn the world's smartest phone into the world's dumbest, in other words.
While the simplicity of such a mode is likely to be a godsend for new smartphone users and those flustered by features -- I found it to be a breath of fresh air -- those willing to dive into the deep end of the feature pool will be rewarded with some impressively powerful tools that the company has made clear efforts to make intuitive.
And it has more tools than a carpenter, thanks to the most powerful hardware you'll find on the market today. The 5-inch screen takes up most of the 5.38-inch phones frame, and will dazzle you. While enormous, the body is thin and fits pleasingly into the average palm. Some may prefer the iPhone's all-aluminum body, but plastic is fine with me: It's durable, lightweight, and knocks a few bucks off the cost.
A 13-megapixel camera (how big is your standalone digital device?) and some wonderful software are a clear standout feature. A new mode menu brings up a carousel with simple terms for a variety of different modes: Sports, Panorama, Night, Animated photo, Best face, and so on. Select one and a message pops up telling you just what it does ("Select the best picture of each person from 5 consecutive pictures to get the best merged group picture.")
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