Skip to main content

Samsung Galaxy S4 review: The software

We published our first hands-on impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 already, and today we will take a closer look at the software of Samsung's new flagship smartphone. The manufacturer has put a lot of emphasis on the myriad of possibilities of their new phone, so let's delve into them.

Samsung has for a while been at the forefront of introducing cutting-edge software-based innovations into its high-end smartphones. The TouchWiz shell the Korean company developed for Android is becoming increasingly comprehensive. Last year's Galaxy SIII introduced things like Smart stay, Pop Up Video and all kinds of tricks taking advantage of motion and proximity sensors. The Galaxy Note 10.1 added the ability to display two apps next to each other, and the Galaxy Note II came with a preview feature that was activated when you hovered the pen right above the screen.

All of these innovations have found their way into the Samsung Galaxy S4, it's almost a best-of collection of what Samsung has developed over the past few years with some new additions.

Waive your hands

Samsung wants you to be able to use the Galaxy S4 without even touching the screen, by means of Air Gesture. Above the display there's a sensor that detects various movements. When you hold you hand over when the phone lies flat on a surface, essential information will appear on the screen. If the notification LED informs you a new message was received, you can use this technique for a preview in order to see if it's important enough for you to pick up the phone to read it. It will also tell you the time, and after a few seconds the screen goes dark again.

Air gestures that are less useful are those that require you to move your hand in a waiving motion across the sensor. With up- and downward motions you can scroll per page through a website. You can read the rest of the Samsung Galaxy S4 review: The software review on