S4 is here... at last.

Boy does pre-ordering suck. Somehow it makes the wait longer especially with devices like the HTC One being released. Speaking of the HTC One, what was I looking for that wouldn't be met by HTC? Exclusive Samsung features I'm looking forward to include the flip to mute all-a feature I had on my Omnia 2; it is on the S4. I really into health monitoring so I'm interested to see how that is implemented. Multi window on my phone and tablet will allow me to make multi window a habit. 

Now that I have the phone what do I think? First you should know I bought a Samsung guide to help me get the most out of it and my Note 10.1. It's reminding me of a lot of features I had forgotten about and will make it easier to explore all the new features in store....

Open the box and oooo shiny once you be all the little pieces of plastic off. Really, had I not read there is a plastic cover to remove from the camera lens it would still be on there LOL. The S4 feels great in hand and is very responsive. The screen is bright and the sound is LOUD. The screen is very sensitive to touch, not surprising since it's made to use with gloves on. The camera is awesome, as I expected. I plan on playing with it more this weekend if the weather is good but so far the moving picture and sounds with the picture are cool.  I thought the center button and the menu soft key would take time to adjust to but I don't really use the menu button and it seems natural for the back button to be where it is.

Who can use all these new features! I've spent hours setting my S4 up because I wanted to make some changes and get rid of stuff that I won't need any more. Between the multi-screen and glove box I don't use Widgetsoid any more. Even though I use the Samsung keyboard on my Note 10.1, I did download Swype from the Play store because it's such a good keyboard for me. I fiddled with SHealth a little because I'm interested in that. It's a great system for people who are just starting to use their device as a lifestyle aid. In addition to using your device as a pedometer you can also use it to track exercise and food. The interface is very nice and when the scales and pedometer is available it will be a system on par with the FitBit system I'm already using. (Unfortunately the FitBit doesn't sync right now with the S4 like the Note 10.1 or the S3.)

At this point all high end devices (I refuse to call these simply phones) should give a similar experience in terms of fluidity and speed so choices will be personal. I took a look at the HTC One when my S4 was delayed. Tom and Ryan along many many reviewers really rave about it. Unfortunately the ergonomics of the device weren't comfortable so it's really not the device for me.

What do you use your phone for and which upgrade is the best choice for you? Whether you choose this year's flagship or last year's I think we've nearly hit the performance wall. With the next Android version rumoured to be remaining as jellybean there are more choices than ever since they should have an upgrade path.