Samsung Galaxy S4 – is £630 too much for a phone?

by , Technology Researcher Technology 28 March 2013
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Pricing for the Samsung Galaxy S4 has finally been revealed, and even Apple’s iPhone 5 is £100 cheaper to buy. So is this latest Android smartphone value for money? We’ve been scouting for views.

Samsung Galaxy 4

If you want to buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 Sim-free, it looks like you’ll have to cough up an eye-watering £630. That makes it the priciest smartphone (apart from those diamond-encrusted luxury ones) on the market.

So, how will that price go down with prospective buyers? Not well if Robert Follis’ (@robfol) tweet is anything to go by:

Get your Samsung Galaxy S4 on contract

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a top phone. I can’t wait to see how it fares in our expert tests against the HTC One and Apple’s iPhone 5. It could even be the most powerful smartphone yet.

However, judged on today’s pricing information, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is simply too expensive to buy Sim free. It’s certainly out of my price range. The Sim-free market isn’t huge, but any handset that costs £100 more than the iPhone 5 is likely to struggle. Traditionally, Android phones have managed to sell like hotcakes thanks to their affordability. Just think about Google’s own Nexus 4, for only £239 Sim-free, as tweeter SinkingShip points out:

Getting the Samsung Galaxy S4 on a contract is a different story. After shopping round, I found Samsung’s latest flagship handset was available for the same price as the iPhone 5 or slightly less. I suspect most people will still prefer the allure of an iPhone, although many may be minded to keep the apps and files they’ve been using with their old Android.

The strength of Samsung’s Galaxy S brand will be really tested in the coming months. People with money to spend on a premium phone could put a massive dent in Apple’s past dominance over the mobile world. But those of us without the spare cash to spend will be rubbing our hands with glee at the impending deluge of Galaxy S3 deals.

So what do you think about paying £630 for a smartphone? Does it only make sense to get such a pricey phone on contract?

29 comments

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banjo

One HUGE advantage of the Galaxy S4 is that it is NOT made by Apple (Control Freaks R Us)..

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wavechange

Like those who brag about having the fastest/newest/most expensive company car or the biggest expense account, I can see the appeal of an expensive mobile phone to business users. :-)

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Disagree

I would pay anything to not have an iPhone – probably the poorest mobile phone there is – yet people fall for the hype.

The sim free price will also be much lower than this.

The Nexus 4 is subsidised by Google, so you can’t compare to this.

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Graham

I’ve had a Samsung galaxy for 2 years and changed to iPhone 5 2 weeks ago. I much prefer the iphone: more responsive, smaller, lighter, better battery life, can operate with one hand, simpler to use, cooperates with my ipad via iCloud. But I appreciate that some may prefer a bigger display or lower price…each to his own.

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Bob

You are comparing a 2009 phone to a 2012 device.

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Anita K

Far too much to pay for a mobile phone for me but if people are silly enough to pay for one then leave them to it. Better than blowing their money on fags or alcohol. I somehow don’t think they will gain the popularity of the iphone though. I love my iphone and would no way swap an iphone for a more expensive other make.

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outwar6010

so specs dont matter to you? you dont mind spending a close enough amount on a vastly inferior product because of the apple brand?

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peter t

Maybe the Apple product is inferior, maybe they are control freaks but I’ve not experienced the endless crashes and freezes I had with my Android phone, which I’m sure could have been fixed by jailbreaking it, rooting it or whatever, I just need a phone that works, I have a PC that I use for computer science stuff and a Mac for everything else, same applies to my phone, an Android is more customiseable and interesting to use, but like italian exotica cars is not exactly what you would use to go shopping in. So my ancient Lambo is for impressing people, making a lot of noise and draining my bank account, but for shopping, moving bags of cement and just generally getting me there in a boring but reliable way my Focus does the trick. Same with phones. I bet most of the people who want the S4 have huge wide screen HD TVs, so why would you want to watch even HD movies on a 5, 6, 7 or any other size screen?

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outwar6010

i have owned a htc desire(first android phone) galaxy s iphone 4 and then the galaxy nexus and i havent experienced any of the above issues. I watch movies on my tv at home i just prefer higher resolutions where i can remember all that marketing crap jobs was saying about the iphone 4 had a retina screen with a resolution higher than the eye can perceive but you will notice a sharper texts etc. The iphone 5 has 1136×640 resolution 326 ppi while the galaxy s4 is 1920 by 1080p with a ppi of 440. Why not get more for your money? you say that andoird phones are like “exotic cars” but apple stuff are priced like them for incremental updates(and overpriced for more memory)

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outwar6010

if you knew the power of whats powering the phone you wouldnt question the price. The exynos processor has been benchmarked and blows away everything else by an insane margin. You also get the standard samsung features like expandable memory and replaceable battery. Lets not also forget that the screen is 1080p oled screen. The isnt an iphone killer its the s4: destroyer of all phones lol

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wavechange

Wow. Fantastic. But won’t it be obsolete in six months?

Actually, what seriously impresses me is the replaceable battery.

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outwar6010

why? because the note 3 will be out? the gs4 will still be an amazing phone. I mean if its too pricey for you; you could always go for a motorola defy for 50 quid

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wavechange

Actually, I have a £50 phone. It’s not one of these new-fangled smartphones though.

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outwar6010

you could have got alot more features etc for the same price. What phone did you get?

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wavechange

It is a Nokia C2-01. I don’t need features because I can use my tablet or laptop without reading glasses, and I struggle to read the text on the biggest phones.

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outwar6010

fair enough but most smart phones have a pinch to zoom feature

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wavechange

Absolutely. I use that to read the smallest text on my iPad, and the trackpad performs the same function on my laptop.

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outwar6010

but wouldnt you prefer one device that does the job of you phone, tablet etc in one great package? this phone is around the price of the latest ipad but is many times more powerful(benchmarks prove this) the definition is also several times higher than the “better than the eye can receive all powerful retina display” and its an oled screen meaning organic light emitting diode which uses less power and has great colour reproduction. The higher definition and 5 inch screen means that you will be more than fine.

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wavechange

Thank you, but I think I’ll stick to my MacBook Pro and iPad. I can do real work on the laptop too, so take that when I’m out an about unless I’m travelling light. And if I’ve forgotten to take my phone with me, which does happen, I can use Skype.

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outwar6010

if you bought an ordinary latptop for about 500 and this phone you would have saved yourself over a grand easily and you would have much better specs and would be able to do more But hey it’s your god given right to spend money on insanely overpriced junk that is made by a company that steals ideas rebrands them and sues other companies. Seriously apple behaves like they are in ibms position. ibm puts insane amounts in r and d and other companies have used their stuff but no lawsuits. While apple on the other hand literately invented the concept of the aluminium unibody and the firewire port(only about 10% of people remember what that it is). No other company did unibody construction before apple because of how wasteful it is(the end user needs to replace the entire device if things go wrong)

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wavechange

I have been using Apple computers at home and at work for over 20 years. The worst feature is the amount of hype they attract, and I have no intention of contributing to that. FireWire has been an important feature of Apple computers, and SCSI before that. Now we have the Thunderbolt interface. I’ve only had one ‘ordinary’ laptop – a 17 inch Toshiba – and I gave it away to a colleague at work.

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Figgerty

For that money, I would rather have a basic mobile with a long battery life and buy a tablet with the money left over. I have no desire to read newspapers on line on a small screen. If I spent a lot of time travelling on business and my company paid for my phone, then I would flash it around with the best.

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outwar6010

its 5 inches which is quite big. Trust me when i say the level of convergence this phone provides (very gigh def high quality oled screen insanely powerful processor with 4 cores dedicated to lower power stuff) you will not struggle to get about 2 days out of it maybe slightly more with normal usage. isnt it better to have one great device(and being able to add 64 gb at will) that replaces a tablet(which in most cases are more expensive and have lower specs)

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Smith

Actually only the Snapdragon 600 quad core will be available in the UK and US clocked at 1.9Ghz. Considering the fact the S4 costs £160 to make, the price seems rather extortionate, almost Apple like. I’d much rather go for the HTC One which has almost identical specs, yet offers vastly superior build quality and design.

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outwar6010

one allows you to expand the memory the other doesnt the htc one “ultra pixel” camera produces over processed pictures which reviewers are saying tanked. Btw the iphone 5 cost £142 to build(64gb model and roughly 20 pounds between sizes yet massive retail difference) the htc one build price hasnt been released yet but doubt its different. Unibody construction is incredibly wasteful and gives you less in terms of control when fixing it(you need to replace the whole thing)

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Smith

32gb more than enough for myself and most others. The issue with over processed photos has already been rectified in the next firmware. My last three phones have been the iphone 4, the S2 and then the S3 and while i like the spec of the S4, My htc one is on another level. I honestly don’t believe £630 is justifiable when phones that are just as good if not better are available for £120+ cheaper. But that’s just my opinion.

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outwar6010

how do i stop email alerts??????????????????

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wavechange

See the FAQ at the bottom of the page.

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Figgerty

Click ‘Manage your subscriptions’ below post a comment box. Easier to see on a larger screen.

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