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First Look: Samsung's Galaxy S4 powerhouse

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First Look: Samsung's Galaxy S4 powerhouse

3:28 /

This stellar smartphone is stuffed with features, like a 13-megapixel camera and a TV remote that really works.

This is the Samsung Galaxy S4. It's got a stunning 5-inch HD display LTE, a monster Quad-core processor and a terrific 13-megapixel camera. It's got a ton of other features besides and all of those together make this one of the top smart phones you can get. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET and let's see what it's got. The all-plastic Galaxy S4 looks a lot like the Galaxy S3 but it has larger screen and details that make it look just a little bit more high-end. It runs Android 4.2.2, which is already packed with features and layers its own touch voice interface on top. Get ready for some highlights starting with settings. You see those one touch icons in the notification tray, now you can toggle on and off even more of them. You can even add at their order and make them appear in its hot 5 controls. If Android gets too overwhelming, you can also turn on the strip down easy mode. Websites, games and video all look really great on the 5-inch 1080p HD AMOLED display, [unk] part to the phone's 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor. Its AMOLED screen delivers rich colors and deep blacks but it's also extremely reflective and harder to read outside. The S4 comes with Gorilla Glass 3 cover glass and an extra sensitive screen once you operate the device with a cloth-covered hand. Do you wanna control your phone with your eyes? You can, sort of. New features do like you scroll the screen up and down when you tilt it and you can pause and resume video when you look away from the screen and look back. Something called air viewable preview items like extra browser tab or photo in the gallery when you hover your finger over the screen. The S4's 13-megapixel camera and 1080p HD camcorder are really great. And then 2-megapixel front facing camera, it's not that bad either. Of all of these new settings, dual shot is definitely my favorite. It will insert photos or video using both the front and rear cameras into the same frame. There's also a mode called Drama that arranges an action sequence all-in-one shot in an animated photo mode that moves a portion of the scene and freezes the rest. Sound and shot is one mode that adds a 9-second voice caption to your photo but it only plays back on a Galaxy S4 device. Now, the bottom with all these fancy tools is that you really have to plan out in advance when you're gonna use them. So, I just wanna take in most of my photo and video in a regular or automatic mode. Image quality was really good in outer and well lit situations and I could even crop photos that it took from far away without losing very much detail at all. Video was also really crisp. Here's the neat feature. You can use the S4's IR blaster to control almost any TV and DVR player. After you click set up, you'll have access to several remote control interfaces. I actually did use it at home to surf life TV listings, launch Netflix shows and program my DVR. By now, you should have a sense of just how deep the Galaxy S4 features go. But here's the thing. Even if you never explore them all, the S4 is still a really great phone. It isn't as eye-popping as the HTC One but it does do all the important stuff well and you can get it from almost any carrier. The Galaxy S4 starts at $200 on contract for the 16-gigabyte model and goes up from there. So, there you have it folks. The power packed Samsung Galaxy S4. For even more details, read my full review at cnet.com.

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