Open Source Subnet An independent Open Source community View more

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is far from perfect

My top 10 pet peeves with my Galaxy S4.

I have been using my Samsung Galaxy S4 for almost two months now. It is as pretty today as it was the day I got it. The screen is big and bright. I have customized the look and feel of the phone, installed all of the apps I want, all of my accounts, etc. Overall, the phone is fine for doing most standard tasks that I perform on my phone. However, there are sometimes that the phone just is not up to what I need or what my iPhone did better.

Following is my list of what I don't like about my S4:

1. Camera - Yes it has uber megapixels. It has all those cool features that can make people disappear from your picture and all that. But God darn it, I have yet to take one good picture with this phone! All of my pictures are blurry. I keep cleaning the lens thinking maybe that's it. Maybe I have a setting wrong. Are any of you getting great pictures with the S4? Let me know. In the meantime, I keep playing with the settings thinking that there must be something I am doing wrong.

2. Contacts disappear - I don't know what it is, but after I make two or three calls in a row, I will hit contacts and wind up with a blank white screen. I need to close down all my open apps and sometimes it works after that, other times I need to reboot my phone.

3. Searching contacts doesn't work - I have too many contacts on my phone (4000+), but sometimes when I try to search through them it doesn't work. No matter what my search string is, all of my contacts still show up. Again, I need to close and reboot. Very frustrating!

4. Auto correct with native keyboard - Not good. I have since switched keyboards to Swiftkey and the autocorrect is a little better. Overall, though, as bad as Apple's auto correct is, it is miles ahead of what I have with the S4.

5. Battery life - I can't make it through a day without recharging the battery. I realize I am a power user, but I expect more out of my battery. Again, the iPhone gave me a better experience.

6. Blank screen when phone call is on - Like the iPhone, when you are on a call and put the phone to your ear, the screen goes blank. This is important as otherwise you would press buttons with your face (this happened to me with the iPhone). The problem with the S4 is that after I take the phone away from my face, it stays blank. So if I want to add someone to the call or even just hang up, I can't do it.

7. What are all those symbols on top? - I like the idea of a notification center on the top ribbon that you can pull down at any time. The problem is what do all of those little icons mean? Some of them are obvious, but there are others that for the life of me I have no idea what they mean.

8. Cell reception - I don't think it is that much worse than the iPhone, but it seems I never have a strong cell signal. Should I blame that on Samsung or AT&T? I don't know.

9. Wi-Fi doesn't shut off when you want it to - Sometimes I can connect to a Wi-Fi network, but don't want to. Maybe it is an open network I don't want to join right now or a hotel pay network that I don't want to pay for. I will go to Wi-Fi settings and shut it down only to see that it turned back on and tried to join the network again. This is very frustrating.

10. All of the AT&T bloatware - I have tried to remove as much of the AT&T bloatware that I can find. But am still finding more hidden AT&T "help" 2 months later. I appreciate the effort, but most of the AT&T stuff just doesn't work for me.

Don't get me wrong. I like my S4 and still think it is a hot phone. But is it the final evolution of the smartphone? No. There are still lots of little things that could be done to improve it. Taken together they represent a big step towards making this phone even better.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: Hidden Cause of Slow Internet and how to fix it
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.