Thursday, 28 November 2013

Product review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

I've not had too much luck with phones. I jumped on the iphone bandwagon in 09 only to have my screen crack well before I was due an upgrade. Ok - I may have been taking ariel shots of myself whilst cycling, and I may have dropped it but I expect my phone to be able to cope with my occupational hazards. I then moved onto a blackberry curve but it never really liked me connecting to the internet and then it just gave up altogether after less than a year... and I didn't even drop it.

So when I was asked to test out the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, I was eager so see if this was a phone that could actually work for me instead of wimping out on me!

So what is it that I need from a phone and does the Galaxy S4 Active deliver??

Out and about on the bike: I need a phone that I can connect to my handlebar with my incredible bike band and use GPS as I cycle: The S4 works very well for this with it's huge viewing screen and it was very easy to activate Google maps. The bike band fits well and the phone is stable as I cycle;  also, I don't need to worry about putting it back in my pocket when it rains as it can more than handle a spot of drizzle. Perfect.

Blogging/social networking
Facebook and Twitter are already on the phone and it takes me seconds to download the app for my new favourite, Pin interest, and my old favourite, Blogger. Again the big screen makes all the Social networking apps really nice to view and use. I was able to upload my images below directly from my phone onto this blog post which saves tonnes of time.

I am often out and about and need to check and send emails, access files in my dropbox, check sales on our website or check Google analytics. It was very easy to set this up and is already making my working life much more efficient. The internet is pretty fast, sometimes I've had to wait a few seconds for a page to load but on the whole it's good and I can get the info I need pretty quickly.

My mornings are often hectic - getting my daughter in her seat on my bike, getting her strapped in, helmet on, both our bags in the basket - and I have been known to drop my phone when doing a quick time check. So the fact that the Galaxy S4 Active doesn't mind a few knocks and bumps is a very good thing for those clumsy mornings!
It has a nice selection of ring tones and is easy to use for calls, although it did take  me a few times to get the swiping technique right to answer but I can do it with ease now. It makes nice plinky- plonky noises when I type things and open and close apps, although I was aware this might be a little annoying to others when I was playing around with it on the train earlier this week (note to self, turn off the plinky plonky noises when on the train). I am eager to test out the walking and fitness apps and the underwater camera and video but may wait until the weather warms up a little for the latter...

I am very excited to at last have a good camera on my phone as I love taking snaps when I am out and about. And after a cycling accident with my digital camera (yes, I dropped it) I have decided to stick with phone photos for a little while. Below are some photos taken on a Sunday jaunt out on my bike. My only crit is that the zoom is a little fuzzy but on the whole I am really happy with how the images look and the different finishes I can put on them and how easy they are to upload in other apps.
A quick stop at one of my fave antique shops

cheap delights at the market

flowers at the market
quick snap of the little one on the way back from school
Pretending this is my house on a Sunday cycle along the river...

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