After a lengthy wait, the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 is finally out on shelves, arriving today after a bump in release date. But what are the most important things to know about the Verizon Galaxy S4? We take a look.
In March, Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S4, its flagship that will replace the Samsung Galaxy S3 as the company’s high-end device in the Galaxy S series. Like the Galaxy S3, and the Galaxy S devices before it, the Galaxy S4 comes with powerful and current technology on board, features that should be extremely tempting to those looking for a new device.
The Galaxy S4 features a large 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor, a 13MP camera, a slim and lightweight design that comes with a removable back and a microSD card slot. It also has Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a host of Samsung’s smart software features on board. Suffice to say, it’s an intriguing smartphone and one that already resonated with consumers with Samsung already recording record-breaking sales figures.
One reason that the phone is so attractive in the United States is that it’s available on a host of different carriers including the five biggest, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and today, Verizon Wireless.
Indeed, Verizon has finally started offering the device to consumers, a month after the Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived in the United States. And while the Galaxy S4 is still a much talked about device, there are still some important things that consumers should know about it, the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 in particular.
For those that may be interested in the device or already own one, here are the five most important things to know about the Verizon Galaxy S4.
Largest 4G LTE Network
The Verizon Galaxy S4 is here and there’s quite a bit of commotion, more than we saw for launches on other carriers. Why? The reasons are simple. First, Verizon consistently gets high marks when it comes to customer service. That’s important as a smartphone often needs third-party attention, whether it’s a warranty, a data plan issue or something else. That’s not the main reason why people are excited though.
No, the real reason is that Verizon has the largest 4G LTE network in the land, with 497 markets around the United States, That dwarfs AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the second largest in the U.S., and makes Sprint and T-Mobile look like small time, particularly T-Mobile which still is only live in seven U.S. markets.
Those buying a Verizon Galaxy S4 smartphone buy one knowing that they will have 4G LTE readily available just about everywhere they go. Buying a Galaxy S4 from another carrier, for many, means a wait, a wait that could take weeks, months or in the case of Sprint and T-Mobile, years.
For some, this won’t be an issue. However, for those that have tasted 4G LTE, there is simply no going back.
Verizon will be charging $250 for the Samsung Galaxy S4, though, that price will come with a mail-in rebate, something that is easily forgettable. Those that don’t wish to deal with that will be able to find cheaper prices for the Verizon Galaxy S4 through retailers like Amazon and Staples.
Amazon in particular is offering the Verizon Galaxy S4 for a mere $180, $20 off the $199.99 price at Verizon and at retailers. Best of all, that price comes without a mail-in rebate.
So for those that are looking to buy now that the device is on shelves, a third-party retailer is a good place to look for those that wish to save some money on the purchase.
No Sign of 32GB or 64GB Verizon Galaxy S4
As of right now, the Verizon Galaxy S4 is available in one model and one model only: A 16GB version. This wouldn’t be an issue if the device didn’t come with a little less than half of its storage space already take up by unknown entities, likely Samsung’s software, or if the microSD card was worth the price of admission.
The lack of storage space and ability to move all file types to the microSD card has current and future owners in a bit of an uproar, so much so that Samsung has promised to investigate with a possible outcome a slimmed down piece of TouchWiz software from Samsung. TouchWiz is the user interface it puts over the Android operating system.
An easier remedy of course would be 32GB and 64GB models at Verizon but thus far, there is no sign of those. Verizon confirmed to Gotta Be Mobile that it has no plans to carry a 32GB model though if the complaints get boisterous enough, that could change.
Slower Updates En Route
For those that have owned a Verizon Android smartphone before, move along. For those that haven’t, know this. Verizon is typically the last to major Android updates and last to crucial bug fixes. As it explained to us, it puts devices through rigorous testing before releasing software. And while that may be true, as we’ve seen in cases like the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it weeds out all of the bugs.
Verizon will likely be the last carrier to Android 4.3, Android 5.0, Galaxy S4 bug fixes and so on and that is something that owners, both current and future, will need to prepare for.
Bootloader Unlock Coming
Those looking to customize their Verizon Galaxy S4 should know that they will more than likely have the ability to in the near future, despite Verizon locking the device down.
Developer Dan Rosenberg has promised a bootloader unlock method for the Verizon Galaxy S4 at some point down the road which means that those looking to install custom software should be able to do so soon.
For now, root is available to those that want to get started on freeing up their device from carrier clutches.