Samsung

All hail the next meh from Samsung

Samsung unveiled the latest iteration of their flagship smartphone, the S5. Jack Wallen explains why he believes the S5 will go the way of the S4, which resulted in declining sales for their flagship line.

 

Galaxy S5
 

At the Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled its latest flagship smartphone (Galaxy S5) on the world. The reaction was a staggering ‘meh’. There should be no reason for such a response. The specs of the phone are fairly impressive:

  • Dimensions: 142 x 72.5 x 8.1mm
  • Weight: 145 g
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz quad-core application processor
  • Operating system: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
  • Display: 5.1-inch FHD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080)
  • Memory: 16/32 GB microSD slot up to 128 GB
  • Camera: 16 MP (rear), 2 MP (front)
  • Battery: Removable 2800 mAh
  • Standby time: 390 hrs; Talk time: 21 hrs
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac HT80, MIMO (2x2)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Hall, RGB ambient light, Gesture(IR), Finger Scanner, Heart-rate sensor
  • Other features: NFC, IP67, Dust and water Resistant, Bluetooth 4.0

The device has a powerful processor, plenty of space, a beautiful display, and even introduces waterproofing (for those prone to spillage and droppage). But why was there so little ballyhoo for the next iteration of Samsung’s flagship mobile?

I can answer that question in a single phrase: Same old, same old (Figure A).

Figure A

 

Figure A
 

The Galaxy S5 with its Band-Aid back.

That’s right, the S5 simply picks up where the S4 left off. This is quite surprising, considering how disappointing the sales were for the S4. But there's a lesson to be learned from the S4/5 devices, one that Samsung must heed before they drive the Galaxy line into the ground. Although many may disagree, this design has become an essential (if not crucial) element in the mobile world. And the design of the Galaxy S phone has developed into as boring an aesthetic as you will find. Add to the boring factor the ever-growing size of the devices, and you have a recipe for disastrous sales.

Here’s the thing... smartphones have become accessories of peoples' lives -- in business, in social settings, and in general. Beyond platform, one of the first things consumers see on a smartphone is its design. The next thing is how the device feels. Beyond that, it’s all about the interface. Samsung has nailed that last piece, but fewer consumers are going to reach the interface portion of their decision, thanks to the mediocre design of the phone.

The HTC One bested both Apple and Samsung to win the Best Smartphone of 2013 at the Mobile World Congress 2014. The winner in 2012 was the Samsung Galaxy S3 -- and to this day, it's the best selling phone in the Galaxy line up.

That should serve as a hint to Samsung, better their phones are selling less and less with each iteration. You have to take into consideration that the Galaxy S3 was a tremendous release. Honestly, it changed the shape of the mobile industry and helped sway the public opinion of Android. It was unique, it was powerful, the size was near-perfect, and it introduced an outstanding user interface. But while other manufacturers were making serious design changes to continue evolving their devices (to match the ever-growing change in aesthetics), Samsung simply grew the Galaxy smartphone and added little in the way to inspire awe.

Unfortunately, the greedy public demands that you “awe” their dollars from them, and the Galaxy S5 packs little of that in its punch. Even with the the addition of a fingerprint scanner (which allows for secure payments via Google Wallet, PayPal, and other wallet systems), the Galaxy S5 is in for a long, uphill climb. This will only be made worse as HTC releases the next iteration of their award-winning One device (dubbed New HTC One) and Sony unleashes the Xperia Z2 (which, with 3 GB of RAM, could be the fastest smartphone on the planet).

I've used both the Galaxy S3 and S4 extensively. Both smartphones beautifully display the power and flexibility of the Android platform. I was disappointed by how poorly the S4 sold, but after watching how the mobile world has evolved, I'm not surprised. Nor will I be surprised if Samsung reports a continued decline in sales for their flagship line.

The sad truth is that this all could be avoided by upgrading the design of the device to better fit the modern standard. Nearly every mockup seen floating around the Internet had a far superior design than what Samsung eventually unveiled. No matter how hard you try, it's impossible to get around aesthetic appeal and desire. People want shiny and new on the outside and on the inside. But consumers will never bother to look under the hood if they don’t like what they see on the surface.

Apple knows this. HTC knows this. Sony and LG know this. Why doesn’t Samsung? Share your thoughts about this in the discussion thread below.

 

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

65 comments
Hiroquai
Hiroquai

 Galaxy S4 mini is the most popular smartphone actually.It's difficult to leave the S4 mini for Galaxy S5

marvel14
marvel14

galaxy s5 will certainly not be the model that will revolutionize the flagship range of Samsung. The Korean manufacturer does not mark a real break here. The few "real" news, such as biometric fingerprint reader or even the water resistance, have already been seen on competing models,
hoping that the galaxy mini s5 will convince us to leave our galaxy s4 mini

Mercuriari
Mercuriari

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is beyond the S5 but for the camera resolution. Bigger screen and S-Pen - it's a Phone and a Tablet, and still it fits in a shirt pocket. The Note 3 makes the S5 redundant. Same with everybody else's current crop of offerings.

jeffer3
jeffer3

I am happy the S5 has water and dust protection and would have been happy with the features on the S4. I use my phone as a mobile office on the pipeline and it is always in a case. I replaced 14 I-phones in 12 months with only 2 due to moisture. The downtime is the killer and Apple was great at supplying me a spare phone at no charge after my 4th one failed. Great customer service, but not reliable for field work. I believe you should be able to have a ruggedized phone like my Sanyo which is waterproof, and has unbelievable call quality and radio coverage, then swap your Sim card back into your smart phone when you get back in your vehicle. My 2 year old S3 has a loose connection charging, but has seen the same rain and -45 temperatures so plastic is not a negative in the construction world.

T3CHN0M4NC3R
T3CHN0M4NC3R

I've read about the Google Samsung 10 yrs deal which forced Samsung to tone down Touchwiz which I think is an awesome action by Google.


I somewhat think that Samsung probably made the S5 like so as an excuse to put the blame on Google by saying "Look what your deal has costs us, we want compensation..." Not that Google is dumb enough to fall for that. But then again, Samsung designers probably ran out of fire because of the deal? I dunno.


But I gotta ask an obvious question. With awesome designs from HTC and Sony, why are people so engrossed and focused on Samsung whether they made the next big thing or the next meh thing. Look at HTC's build quality and Sony's awesome camera. Why isn't anybody talking about those?

inet32
inet32

" People want shiny and new on the outside and on the inside."

Really?   If that were true then Windows 8 would be selling a lot better than it is.

First and foremost, people want stuff that works really well and is easy to use and understand.

psengr_techrep
psengr_techrep

If don't know what "people Jack is writing about.  I've never met one of them.  Jack's column style doesn't change frequently or radically enough to inspire AWE.  Should we switch our reading time to a new writer?


Basing a technology purchase decision on looks over functionality is like choosing a spouse because he/she wears the latest fashions.  If that's the kind of folks Jack knows, I'll bet that they go through spouses as fast as they trade in cars. 



justusdj
justusdj

In some ways you answered your own question as to why the S4 didn't sell as well as the S3. The S3 was the best selling phone. Unfortunately, most carriers require 2 year contracts. Samsung is on a yearly release schedule. This means that anybody buying the S3 would have to break their contract, or pay a hefty fee to upgrade to the S4. Most people aren't going to do that. I'm one of those people. I had to skip the S4, but plan to pick up the S5 the second my 2 yr contract is up.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

Like any drug, addicts develop a tolerance to new smartphone features. Bloggers and such covering smartphones are almost universally addicted, and this tolerance effect has kicked in. There's no objective basis for any feeling that the S5 is "meh" - it adds way more features than e.g. the iPhone 5 -> 5S change, which didn't trigger the same feeling. Fingerprint reader, waterproof, more significant camera improvements, KitKat upgrades (which are more fundamentally significant than the iOS 6 -> 7 paint job), better battery life, etc.


Logic doesn't explain it all.

rathodr
rathodr

Interesting article considering iPhone hasn't really changed their face for the last five iterations. Adding color to the plastic doesn't cut it for me. I think the crowd that is easily amazed by outward appearance is too quick to dismiss the evolution that Samsung has traversed. Having said that, I would dump my Android in favor of a true Open Source solution including Ubuntu phone or a Pebble.

dkast@Hotmail.com
dkast@Hotmail.com

I switched from iphone to an S4 and never looked back. Android might not be as refined as IOS and it was frustrating at first. But once I got the hang of it I appreciated its freedoms, like loading music, video editing and without plugging into itunes. I love the big bright screen. The ability to carry a spare battery, and insert 64g of storage and take endless amount of video. As for the plastic, this has become cliche, something reviewers writes about, but nobody cares about.  Most of us are happy with our samsung phones, they feel just fine, well put together, slim, lightweight and more importantly packing technology. The iphone is aesthetically nice, but alongside the s4 it looks wimpy, dull, and outdated. For the majority screen, features and functionality are the wow factors, not the aluminum chassis in pastel colours.


Phil689
Phil689

....have S4; love it. Don't intend to change to anything else anytime soon.

Just what is it you want Jacko? You are an iboy, are you?

mcheffins
mcheffins

I think a majority of S3 users are still happy with their S3 (& HTC One, etc), so there was no need to upgrade to an S4, thereby resulting in poor sales .  (There maybe no need to upgrade to an S5 either). 

Unlike the Apple devotees who must sleep outside the store to get the new white version (meh) of the phone they already have (meh), not every Android user feels the need to ditch their phone each time a new one comes out.

I'll probably still be quite happy with my S3 when the S5 is common place.

Also, I'd guess that contracts/plans affect sales.  A lot of S3 (and the like) owners may still be in contract so upgrading to an S4 was probably not an option.

Poor S4 sales may be a result of many other factors, not just "lame design." 

I do like TeachEmToFish's idea of a Samsung upgarde incentive though...

adornoe
adornoe

Yep! The S5 has nothing revolutionary about it, and the incremental upgrades are not really worth upgrading from another smartphone, and feature-wise, it's basically more of the same,  YET...


Even as flawed as it is, it's still vastly superior to any iPhone version.  


Problem with new releases of smartphones is that, none of them will have those "WOW!" moments from years past.  It will be basically, more of the same, with something not so important added to make it "different" from the last version.  


Smartphone makers have reached "feature saturation" or "maturation", when it comes to the improvements and upgrades that they can do with smartphones where people will care. 

warboat
warboat

HTC, LG, Sony would love to have Samsung S4 levels of POOR sales.

As for the suggestion that the S3 was perfect size, do people incorrectly assume the S4 is bigger because the screen is bigger?

Don't let facts get in the way of a good story.

4wsilver
4wsilver

I  for one, am not one to get excited about getting the latest and greatest.  When the iphone first cam out, I went and looked at it and tried to spend a little time in the apple store while a computer was being repaired.  I saw some serious short comings and decided, no.  I had a plan with Verizon and being grandfathered from Altel could have a smart phone without a contract for data.  Which is what I did, picking a used windows phone which could do things Apple never dreamed of that actually affected my life style, rather than the impress you friends with wiz-bang.  I still have that phone (without data) and only now did I start looking at other phones, mainly to lower my cost.  I am going to try the Sprint Framily and part of the appeal is that it forces me to use a used phone.  That way I can research what actual users say, and evaluate what I would really use.  I have decided to go with the HTC EVO 4g lte, but I will not tell you why.  Everyone's needs are different.  I feel that it takes a year at the minimum for a smart phone or computer to be fully recognized and problems found if there are any.  If the manufacturer is high quality he fixes the problems on the existing phones.  If a manufacturer does not do that, I will all their products.  By doing this on phones, I got over the tendancy to follow the sales person to get a phone that sounded good, but which I had a lot of problems and wished I had picked a different phone.  It is kinda like getting a new car, which I have only done 3 times in my life and regretted it each time.  Those endless trips back to the dealer for repairs are terrible.  So far every phone I've gotten used off Ebay has been good, and has lived up to expectations.  I hope the EVO will do so also.  I know it's drawbacks and it good points and I just opened the package and it looks good.  The battery is charging and I will wait for that, but the case and phone is good and I got it for 20% of the real cost of new one.  I am figuring in all the added cost for a full service plan over their Framily Plan.  


I am, however grateful to those who buy new phones.  Without you I couldn't have it my way. 

craigofnz
craigofnz

Still happily running my S3. Good designs last the test of time. Hence, the issue - how to you sell the next iteration to same already satisfied customers?

DaveRissik
DaveRissik

A number of industry observers have commented that the smart phone industry maturing - slowing willingness to upgrade to the latest and greatest, reducing or disappearing carrier subsidies and general economic belt tightening. Time will tell whether Samsung will win through with being one of the few makers with replaceable batteries and accessible SD slots. The wow factors that some of the competitors have achieved have been by sacrificing such component replaceability. Let's see the comments in a few years time.

Zorched
Zorched

I keep wondering what these journalists are expecting...  The Smartphone as a device was revolutionary.  The iPad itself was Evolutionary as there had been tablet like devices before, but incorporated an revolutionary ecosystem that the prior ones hadn't.

Not every release can be revolutionary.  Not every new toy or tool can be "The absolute next biggest thing."  In fact, in most cases, human progress is like it is here: Step by step evolutionary.  Adding to and refining the great parts of what we already have.


I wish the tech bloggers would stop expecting every new tech release should be like the Second Coming, and then lambasting the manufacturers when it's not.

Randalllind
Randalllind

The Samsung Galaxy s4 was the #1 phone for 2013 so No idea what this guy is smoking. However I think all these fitness apps etc may turn of many on the S5. 

TeachEmToFish
TeachEmToFish

Maybe if Samsung sponsored an ultra-low-cost upgrade from the S3 or S4 to keep us hooked?

rickgtoc_z
rickgtoc_z

Just purchased an S4 less than a month ago, so I don't expect to look at another phone for a couple of years.  Was actually glad to see that the S5 wasn't a "game changer," because I'd hate to have buyer's remorse over the S4 purchase.  S4 replaced a 2+ year old Infuse, and it was a huge improvement.  I expect to be looking to Samsung for a replacement in 2 years - if there are new must-have features or speed improvements - or if I've abused the S4 into decrepitude.  A sturdy phone is nice, but I'm not really buying it as an heirloom.  I tend to use a protective case on any phone. so the actual case composition and finish is not that important.  If it holds up well for 2 years without coming apart or looking like trash, I'm happy.   Accessible SD slot is important, and although I've not had a battery failure recently, I'd hate to have to remove screws or pay someone to install something as simple as a battery.  The iPhone has a stable, physical design that works for a lot of folks.  I think the same thing could be said for the Galaxy S series.  It's still (barely) pocketable with a case, and has a sleek, non-obnoxious design.   Physical home button is very nice.  If Samsung will keep focusing on UI and performance improvements, I'll probably continue to be a customer.

bkp100
bkp100

I think this article is a bit disingenuous.  

True, the public always demands more, however, with the cost of these phones accelerating at the same pace as the technology (if not, faster), the days of the one-per-year turnover of cell phones is gone.  Perhaps even the one-per-two-year.  When you have a device that works, and a steadily more technically sophisticated consumer base, you don't "wow" as easily as when the tech was in it's infancy.  

Apple's last couple of intros were big yawns.  HTC and LG had little to show *before* their premier offerings, so it would follow that acceptance would be high.

Bottom line, the S4 is a fabulous phone. Just not fabulous enough to replace the S3 right away.  However, with security becoming increasingly important, features such as biometric scans, as well as waterproofing in the S5, not to mention increased capability overall, might well show up in turnover sales of the retiring S3's.  

frylock
frylock

It's no more "meh" than the iPhone 5s was, or the iPhone6 will be, or this article is to be honest. But it's certainly a much better phone than anything Ubuntu offers <cough>

najanator
najanator

i don't like the galaxy line but I will say this.. one of the big reasons they use plastic is because it enables them to easily have a removable battery and access to an SD card.... that is the sacrifice they need to make.. people don't realize this

etherkeiffer
etherkeiffer

I agree. I'm still using the old Galaxy S2 and have been effectively PAYG on GiffGaff (O2) for a couple of years. I could take out a contract at the drop of a hat but I've yet to see a phone that I felt I really NEEDED to upgrade to that offered sufficient improvements that I would actually use over the S2. Like Jack, I don't feel a burning need to have the biggest thing on the block in my pocket. S2/S3 sort of size is just fine by me.

I nearly bought an Xperia Z when it came out but just couldn't stomach the idea of getting a Sony product (which turned out to be a smart move). I contemplated The One, but couldn't tolerate the lack of removable storage and a dependence upon non-existent cloud connections (I live in the centre of Glasgow so NO chance of a decent signal!).

I very nearly got an S4 but really didn't want to spend hundreds of pounds on a high-end smartphone that looks like its Chinese knock-off with maybe less than 1% spent on the physical exterior and aesthestics. It looks cheap. The S5 has a similarly non-distinctive aesthetic, which iPhone users, no doubt at a glance would say is "cheap plastic crap", even if it's isn't crap, or cheap. Heck, even the BlackBerry Z10 is a far better looking phone.

Samsung may have started out in the mobile world by producing cheap but competent handsets but their high-end models should look, well, high-end.

It's good news for HTC and Sony at least who don't try to kid on that just because you've chosen to select the android phone, you've GOT to have a great phone that looks like crap

Anyone defending Samsung's el cheapo approach even on their flagship models needs their head examined IMO. It's indefensible as far as I'm concerned.

philyew3
philyew3

Is it weariness specifically with the Samsung design template, or is it what I call technology fatigue? 


The fact is that the market desperately needed the S3 and it was a device that perfectly met its time. Prior to its arrival, consumers were blighted with poor performance and laggy behavior from just about every Android device out there, including all the top-of-the-line models. The market was hungry for something that worked as well as the advertising suggested it would. The S3 lived up to its marketing claims. It also, crucially, brought up the standards on all the competitors that followed. 


It didn't hurt that its release coincided with the Android OS reaching a level of maturity that fully complemented the hardware design and specifications.


Once you get to that point, the consumer quickly tires of dropping $200 on a subsidized device, or $600+ where no subsidy is available ( x 2, x 3 or x 4 for families) because they have acquired a reliable tool which handles well, looks good and they can live with for 2+ years.


As the device specs progress beyond the tipping point of acceptability (i.e. the S3), more people start looking to the mid-market to see if they can get solid performance for a lower price. Google is there, front and center, pushing them in that direction with their $350-450 Nexus series. Apple continues to sell its iPhone 4S in large numbers around the world and satisfying people who can't/won't continue the cycle of spending over $300 per year to keep up with their devices.


Until the next great leap forward in mobile technology, whatever that may be, it's highly improbable you will see another device that sells like the S3 and, until that great leap forward, everything that hits the market is likely to receive a "meh" response from either the bloggers or the consumers themselves.

sybaseguru
sybaseguru

I suspect the main problem is the Nexus 4 & 5. Both had the wow factor - or enough of one to render Samsung overpriced and dowdy. No one is going to pay 500 GBP when a nicer one is available for 300 GBP - and it gets updates in a timely manner. 


The other problem was the success of the S2 and S3 which got people on long contracts that are only now coming up for renewal.

earllex
earllex

I couldn't agree with you more.  I too, own the Galaxy S3, and I have been holding off upgrading to the iPhone to see what Samsung will bring out next.  I did not upgrade to the S4 because I don't think there was much improvement.  I do look at functionality, but I also look at aesthetics.  I was expecting a metal frame on the S5, but MEH.  Some people like large phones, I do not like the trend towards larger and larger phones.  I think the adequate cell phone size has been reached, 4.7 - 5.0.  What's coming next a 12" cell phone?  Enough is enough.

BobRouseAtl
BobRouseAtl

The author mentioned many times about the design being a problem. Other than the size (which older people like me with aging eyes appreciate when trying to read tiny text), he didn't mention a single *specific* thing about the design he didn't like or could be improved. He mentioned other phones he felt had *better* designs, but never said why. 


This article didn't really inform me at all in any way.

olngrumpy
olngrumpy

I still can't believe the battery life I get from my Samsung, and I (as in myself) can replace it when the battery life starts going.  What does the device look like - I have to strip the protective cover/sleeve off to remind myself what I bought.

There are only two things people need to care about - the size and interface.  For me, with diminishing eye sight, it was functionality over convenience.  Others may need something pocket size.  But vast majority of valuable phones get new clothes!  And the interface; I'm a little bit of a techie type so the dumb-down commodity iPhone with restrictive use doesn't appeal to me, plus it's small.  PS I did give up my tablet after I got my Samsung phone.

Darren B - KC
Darren B - KC

Unlike the sheep that have blind loyalty to Apple, the Samsung owners are not as quick to move up to the next thing just because the number on the back of the case has incremented by one.  The problem with the "shiny and new on the inside" idea is that you really don't want to make very many changes because once you get accustomed to how a system works, you feel at home with it, and any deviation from that is uncomfortable to prospective buyers.  I'm an S3 owner and I love it, but if I were to read about how they changed the home page system, or how you add/remove icons, or that they once again shuffled all the settings menus around in the S5... I'd be very hesitant to upgrade because I don't want to have to re-aquaint myself with the interface all over again.

This is partly why it took Apple so long to finally change thier OS look and feel with iOS 7, although, aside from some prettier makeup, not much really changed underneath.  Even many iPhone zombies were partially shaken awake by the new look of iOS 7, and the initial reaction was one of dismay and confusion.  Some change is good, but too MUCH change will scare away the customers, so be careful how much you wish for.

rbiset
rbiset

I agree with most of the comments kfrank has posted about the article, besides "design" per se is the total ideas and capabilities of the phone, not just the "look" of the outer case or style.  I believe  the quality of the S4 and before models are by far greater than the HTC and many others, which should have been praised too...

zx2zx
zx2zx

Most sites are saying the S5 will still have 2GB of RAM, but there are i read rumors floating 3 and 4 GB

kfrank
kfrank

This flies in the face of actual sales figures. While I don't find it too strange that the S4 did not out sell the SIII (many of which are still being used and under contract), I do not understand how you could throw out HTC, Sony and LG as examples Samsung should follow. HTC had a drop in sales of 36.5 % from February 2013 to February 2014 and is looking to low-end phones to save the company. Samsung far outsells HTC, Sony and LG combined and also outsells Apple (which had a 2.2% sales drop). Odd also that you would cite Apple when calling for design change. Their phone design hasn't really changed since the iPhone 4 aside from getting a bit taller. Maybe the design doesn't wow you, but design asthetics are not universal. I happen to find the new design quite pleasing.

xrayangiodoc
xrayangiodoc

I own a Galaxy S3 and have been extremely happy with it. My 2 year contract is coming due this May and I may upgrade to the S5 at that time. For me, function trumps design. No matter how shiny the HTC One may be, if I can't change the battery or add a micro SD card, I'm not interested. Then again, I was just 65yo so maybe the industry is not concerned about what an old fart like me thinks. My next big upgrade will my Tesla Model S at the end of March.

ptturner67
ptturner67

You can take a risk with a fancy design and risk alienating your customer base or play it safe with more of the same but better!

'techy'
'techy'

I think you're totally right. All Samsung phones look the same except some are bigger and some are smaller. I have a note 2 and was super excited about the note 3, but it looked the same and my phone was pretty fast to begin with, then they added the galaxy gear which was totally a disappointment. If you're going to try to release something before Apple, make it Apple quality or better.  

inet32
inet32

@justusdj  "The S3 was the best selling phone. Unfortunately, most carriers require 2 year contracts."

Exactly.  You nailed it.   

Ndiaz.fuentes
Ndiaz.fuentes

@Phil689  LOL! Not at all. Even a cursory glance at his articles will show that he loves him some Android. However, I have to agree with him. The S5 looks ugly. It's features (like almost every other recent phone) are simply new iterations of old features. Since it doesn't wow in design or features, I'm not sure it will sell all that well. 

justusdj
justusdj

@adornoe  There won't be anymore "Wow" factor until the next wave of technology comes out. Big things like folding screens, roll up screens, etc will be the next big selling factor. At this point, finger print, megapixels, and faster specs are just extra frosting on the same cake.

justusdj
justusdj

@4wsilver  I think you'll like the EVO. Had the original EVO 4g and still have it. Mostly used as a music player, etc. The only issue I have is that it seems slow compared to my S3. But had I never upgraded, I'd probably never notice. ;-)

gdm40
gdm40

@DaveRissik Agreed after the battery takes a dive or they fill up the limited storage with Mp3's and Selfies, it will be interesting to see the comments as to why they can't simply upgrade or swap the battery out on the "Bling 9000" without a heat-gun, 15 picks, spudgers, rosary beads, and a full on tutorial from Ifixit.

bigsteve666
bigsteve666

@etherkeiffer   Many of us judge a phone, or any device or even people, more by how they work than how they look.  My identity has nothing to do with what I own.  When I have a $600-$700 device I protect it.  I keep my S4 in an Otter Box Defender so I can not a whit what the phone looks like.  


PS  Samsung makes a smaller S4 that has a 4.3" screen.

Zzyzyx
Zzyzyx

@BobRouseAtl, I very much agree with you.  Jack is usually much more informative.  I also think he has it partially wrong.  Someone has already mentioned that for the S3 it was the right convergence of serveral issues.  With the S4 that convergence has passed and so poor sales are not just due to some missing "Wow factor".  Is there some industry poll that says that looks outweigh performance?  Maybe that is true, but for me I could care less what colors it comes in or the bandaid textured case as long as it has *awesome* performance, is rugged, and isn't too bulky.  In order to make it more rugged, I'm likely going to cover the case up with a protective shell anyway.

'techy'
'techy'

Day one, a person buying an iPhone knows how to use it. Android, as you said, takes time to learn. People don't blindly follow Apple, they like Apple because it's simple and easy to use, I've asked many people that question and that's the answer I got. No-one said 'I wish they came out with this feature or that', and I know alot of people with iPhones, and none of them buy a new one every year! I have a note 2 and I love it, my chances of going to an iPhone are very slim if not impossible, but you have to give respect to other manufacturers and people that love them. I know a guy that's 80 and another around 60 years old and they both got an iPhone last year, they know how to use it within an hour, they had no idea how to use an android device after having one for a day before getting their iphones, I really tried to get them to get Android. Not all people are tech minded like most people on this site, they love easy and simple, it's not blind loyalty, you're just looking for any way to insult people who don't think like you. By the way, you'd love the iphone if you love android because apple doesn't change their interface, you're whole comment contradicts itself.

warboat
warboat

@'techy'  I've been Note user since the Note1. I've had the note1, note2, and now the note3. I was actually dissapointed with the note2 screen quality. The note1 had a better screen.

The note3 screen is simply in another league compared to note1 and note2. If nothing else, the note3 screen alone justifies the upgrade, but it offers much much more. Being able to use the note3 with gloves without resorting to the s-pen is a killer feature for me. Being able to change the channel of a TV in a waiting room is just awesome!

justusdj
justusdj

@Ndiaz.fuentes @Phil689  The funny thing about putting down Samsung's lack of design, is that most people never see it after the purchase because the first thing we all do is wrap it up in a case to protect it. 

warboat
warboat

@'techy'  bulldust. Android is easy if you just want it to be easy but it doesn't stop at easy.

When the 80yo asks you how to set a song on his iphone as a ringtone, you can show him how EASY that is on an iphone.

chthao
chthao

@'techy' breath...3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3....Now, Apple makes great products.  So does Samsung, HTC, and many others.  It's a religious battle.  It's like arguing how many gods there are.  I'm particularly an Android fan because I am indeed a techie who like to tinker.  I've always been.  I don't get offended when non-techies bash Android because it's natural to fear the unknown (to them).  I think that we should embrace how beautify the competitive market creates for us, whether you're an Android or iOS fanatic.  iOS would NOT be better without Android and vice versa.

Let's not turn this into an iPhone vs Android thread.  It's about the S5 and the discussion to better understand how sales patterns correlated to product effectiveness and success.  I think the popular opinion (because that's all it will ever be) is that it is NOT a science.  Both Apple and Android makers have both hit a plateau and are looking to change it up.  It's just a matter of time before another revolutionary change makes for dramatic turn.

Editor's Picks