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Samsung Galaxy S4: 5 Features That Justify The $250 Price



As we inch closer to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Release date in the U.S., we learned that the AT&T plans to charge $250 for the Samsung Galaxy S4, $50 more than most flagship smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 showed that shoppers are willing to pay more for what they see as a higher value, and it appears that Samsung and AT&T are planning to rely on a similar appeal for the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 Hands-On

AT&T announced the Samsung Galaxy S4 pre-orders start on April 16th, but did not announce the official AT&T Galaxy S4 release details. T-Mobile did announce the Galaxy S4 release date at an event earlier this week, telling customers the phone is coming to T-Mobile on May 1st. And the kicker for T-Mobile is that the up fornt price of the phone is just $99 — followed by 24 monthly installments of $20. That’s still a big gap in pricing.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 price is higher than expected on AT&T, but the features make this price worth paying.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 price is higher than expected on AT&T, but the features make this price worth paying.

T-Mobile is on a big push to separate from the rest of the carriers with new plans and trading wireless contracts for payment plans on phones, so they may be the odd one out when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S4 price tag.

Verizon and Sprint did not announce any pre-order details or Galaxy S4 pricing yet, but there is a high likely hood that the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 on these networks will stick closer to AT&T than to T-Mobile.

By keeping the price of the Samsung Galaxy S4 higher than the average phone there is a bigger area for carriers to play with Samsung Galaxy S3 pricing and perhaps more room for a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini if it ever makes its way to the states.

5 Reasons the Samsung Galaxy S4 is Worth $250

The Samsung Galaxy S4 arrives with some features we haven’t seen all on the same phone before. When Gotta Be Mobile was on hand for the announcement, one of our writers described it as a conglomeration of some of the best features found on the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC One and other flagship devices.

While there are other smartphones with similar features, the combination of the features listed below make the Galaxy S4 worth looking at, even with the higher price.

5-inch 1080P HD Display with Extras

The Galaxy S4 isn’t the first smartphone with a 5-inch display or even the first with a 1080P HD display, but it does deliver a collection of features that help to justify the price — and not just due to the fact that the screen is really expensive.

The large Super AMOLED 1080P HD display works with gloves and offers support for Air View.

The large Super AMOLED 1080P HD display works with gloves and offers support for Air View.

The 1080P Super AMOLED display looks great in person, and the fact that Samsung was able to deliver it in a package that is the same size as phones with a 4.7-inch or 4.8-inch display helps.

In addition to the sharp-looking HD, the Galaxy S4 display allows users to control the phone with gloves on, something that anyone in colder regions can appreciate.

Rounding out the display is the ability to use Air View. Thanks to sensors, which also add to the cost, the Galaxy S4 can sense when a finger is near the display and show more about what is happening, allowing users to get previews in a video, see more of a photo or preview a message.

Motion Control and Eye-Tracking

Samsung took the motion control and eye-tracking from the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 and supercharged the capabilities for the Galaxy S4.

With eye-tracking and motion sensing, users can control the Galaxy S4 one-handed, during a number of convenient tasks.

The video below shows the ability to scroll a web page with motion and eye-tracking, by titling the phone forward or back. This could come in handy while reading in bed, while holding a drink on the beach or other times when only one hand is free.

Users can also use motions such as swipes above the screen, to answer a call when their hands are dirty or to scroll up or down a webpage. A good use case for this would be while cooking with ingredients on your hands.

With eye-tracking the Galaxy S4 can also keep the screen active when a user is looking at it or it can pause a video when the user looks away withe ht new Smart pause feature.

Micro SD, Replaceable Battery and Wireless Charging

The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers a trio of features that are not found in most flagship phones these days — expandable storage, a replaceable battery and the option for wireless charging. Yes, we see one or two of these features in some devices, but due to design choices or cost typically users need to pick which is most important.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 back comes off to offer access to a Micro SD card slot and a removable battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 back comes off to offer access to a Micro SD card slot and a removable battery.

Samsung’s decisions to use a plastic design with a removable back offers the ability to carry a second battery or purchase a larger Galaxy S4 battery to go further without the need for a battery case.

When the back is off, users can add more storage for as little as $10. Amazon offers numerous Micro SD cards that can add 16GB, 32GB or more storage to the Galaxy S4 without the need to jump up to the next $100 model, like the iPhone 5.

Add wireless charging to the Samsung Galaxy S4 with a new back, rumored for an April release with a $50 price.

Add wireless charging to the Samsung Galaxy S4 with a new back, rumored for an April release with a $50 price.

While the Nokia Lumia and Droid DNA feature wireless charging, there are not good options for the HTC One or iPhone 5. The Samsung Galaxy S4 features an official wireless charging kit that will let users add wireless charging without adding much bulk to the device. rumors point to the price of this accessory at $50 with a release in late April.

Dual Camera Modes & Eraser

Another cool feature on the Samsung Galaxy S4 is the ability to put yourself in the photo or video while holding the device.

With the Dual Shot mode, users can superimpose a photo or video from the front facing camera over the shot taken with the rear facing camera. The result looks something like the video below.

This mode is one of many software features built into the Galaxy S4 camera app. Samsung smartphones typically offer more features in the camera app than their competitors.

Another mode is Eraser, which allows users to remove objects from photos. For example this mode should help you cut out a photobomb, or a passing tourist that walks into your perfectly composed vacation photo.

Multitasking Prowess in a Pocketable Form Factor

The final reason the Samsung Galaxy S4 is worth the price is that the 5-inch HD display allows users to multi-task on the screen. This isn’t your standard Android or iPhone multitasking — but two apps on the screen at once multitasking.

Pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the Samsung Galaxy S4 for mobile productivity.

Pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the Samsung Galaxy S4 for mobile productivity.

With this feature, the Samsung Galaxy S4 lets users use two apps one the screen at once, allowing users to mix fun and work or watch a video while keeping twitter open.

When paired with a bluetooth keyboard, the Samsung Galaxy S4 should offer a very portable productivity experience, something we enjoyed with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

The biggest catch here is that Samsung and carriers may offer different apps as part of multi-tasking (based on our experience with the Note 2) which coud limit the usefulness for some users.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. Nexus 4

HTC claims the Samsung Galaxy S4 is “more of the same,” and talks down many of these features, telling Engadget, “Looking at the software features of the S4, we think Samsung spent more on marketing than innovation.” Some users may agree, but the combination of these features go a long way in making up for the higher than average Samsung Galaxy S4 price.



  1. Fred Barnett Jr.

    03/29/2013 at 9:13 am

    While all these features are great & useful, which of these features does ATT have that other Carriers do not.? These are mostly Samsung features, not ATT. So maybe there is another reason ATT is justified to charge the extra $50. Since ATT’s LTE 4G network is the ONLY one (n US) that will work with the Exynos 5 Octa-Core 1.6 GHz processor, maybe they will have this processor in there version of the Galaxy S4. ? ! Now I’d say this would be well worth $50, Hey.? New Rumor from FreddieBoy.!

    • fhffgh

      03/30/2013 at 10:06 am

      Mostly software features that shouldn’t jack up the price

      • fhffgh

        03/30/2013 at 10:08 am

        Software features should be free!

    • Raphael Mastromonaco

      04/01/2013 at 5:25 pm

      You make an amazing point that is getting my hopes up lol stop it! haha What an interesting notion. I think you might be on to something. I did hear that where we were originally told the Octa wouldnt run on LTE, however lately i read somewhere that that was actually not true at all and that it can handle all bands of LTE.

      • Fred Barnett

        04/01/2013 at 5:35 pm

        Actually a sales nerd (usually fairly accurate info) @ Sam’s Club, who sold ATT, Verizon & Sprint phones made the statement that the Exynos 5 Octa core processor worked best on ATT’s LTE network & they would have an exclusive on the Exynos 5 prosser n the Galaxy S4 n the US of A. !

    • Indydi

      04/09/2013 at 6:15 pm

      Just for the record, I think AT&T has clarified that the $250 is for the 32G version. The 16G will be $200.

      I’m awaiting word from Verizon myself!

  2. IceTrey

    03/29/2013 at 1:44 pm

    The killer features are Group Play and ChatOn.

  3. John

    03/30/2013 at 8:20 pm

    Expandable memory, large battery, and awesome screen are not software features! Even the ability to use both cameras at the same time is based on high-end hardware. I don’t like increasing prices as a consumer, but you get what you pay for, and I sure as heck don’t want to pay 80% of that price for a stupid iphone.

    • Fred Barnett

      03/31/2013 at 6:51 am

      Except everything u mentioned is part of each Galaxy S4 phone,
      Whether it’s hardware or software. So u’ll b paying more
      for the exact same. Hello.!

  4. stephane astolfi

    03/30/2013 at 8:41 pm

    None of these features Justify an extra $50 above the other premium phones on the market. As mentioned above they are Samsung “improvements” and not ATT. Now, if ATT sells the S4 with the Exynos 5, the question could be : is the Samsung chip worth $50 more than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 ? I really doubt it !!!!
    Let’s talk more about a huge business to come…

    • Indydi

      04/02/2013 at 10:18 pm

      The micro-SD slot alone justifies the higher price. All the rest of those features are just icing on the cake!

      • FreddieBoy

        04/02/2013 at 11:08 pm

        Only if ATT was the only Carrier that had the S4 with Micro SD card slot, however that & other features are on ALL S4’s, even @ a Carrier that sells the phone for $199. Hello

  5. Kalada

    03/31/2013 at 9:24 am

    Nobody has said anything about the actual price of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Please whats the Actual price?

    • Fred Barnett

      03/31/2013 at 9:56 am

      $249. With 2 year contract @ ATT, which is the rub, expected $199. !

      • goanna

        03/31/2013 at 4:01 pm

        That is not the price of the phone. That is the price of the phone with a contract. What is the non contracted price of the phone?

  6. MikeC

    03/31/2013 at 6:34 pm

    Wait 2 or 3 weeks and Walmart and BestBuy will have it for $30 to $50 off. Wait 6 months and they will be free with a 2 yr contract. You don’t have to get it the day it comes out. Show some restraint people or stop complaining about the price!

  7. dave Sekella

    03/31/2013 at 8:05 pm

    Software should be free. What are you, an idiot? Do you think it just magically writes itself? Software takes hundreds of hours of work by highly trained, highly paid people. I’ll bet some of them are even Americans.

    • Alarm

      04/02/2013 at 3:56 am

      Americans making software yeah ok

  8. annette

    04/03/2013 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t know much about cell phones, but my sons argue about the galaxy s4 and the iPhone, please help me see which one is better.

    • FreddieBoy

      04/03/2013 at 7:29 pm

      S4 is so far ahead of Apple, its a no brainer. I started with the 1st iphone to the iphone S3, then switched to the 1st Galaxy, currently use a Galaxy Note II. If u don’t want that large a phone, S3 (less $), excellent phone or S4, if u want the latest & greatest.

    • Indydi

      04/09/2013 at 6:12 pm

      Eight or so months ago, your sons would have had a tougher argument. But so much has changed in that time that the tables have turned and iPhones are now generally viewed as lacking in technology. Many long-time iPhone users have given them up for Android. You almost never hear of anyone leaving Android for an iPhone.

      iPhone/iOS used to be the best, but Android and its phones have come so far in the last year that it has left Apple in the dust. Samsung phones are pretty consistently winning all comparisons. Many people are wondering if Apple is going to step up to the plate, but their history has been to take small steps forward with each new generation.

      I agree with FreddieBoy–the S3 is a great phone that you can get for a steal right now, or you can pay more and get cutting edge technology in the S4 or HTC One.

  9. Thomas

    04/08/2013 at 12:23 am

    That galaxy s4 contains lots of plastics and i really hate to see that.

  10. Uriah

    04/21/2013 at 10:33 am

    I’m ordering my Galaxy S4 through T-Mobile since they have a lower up-front price for the phone as well as a new LTE network in my city. The new network paired with the 1080p display on the Galaxy S4 should make for a perfect phone for streaming. I keep up with my shows during the trip to and from work at DISH on my phone, since it takes some time to get there. I use the DISH Anywhere app to stream my live and recorded shows everywhere I go and LTE only helps!

  11. onlyaprogrammer

    05/02/2013 at 6:33 pm

    Yippie microSD… What might you do with a MicroSD Card on that crap of a device? Subscribe podcasts? Good luck with trying. Kindle Books? Would be so great, but you cant move them to the SD Card. Spotify Offline Music? No luck eather. Given that only 9 GB of the 16 GB are available and the SD Card is more of less useless (yes: Works for the samsung apps of which i only use the Camera).

    What a poor review…

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