By: Rich DeMuro
May, 3, 2013

Samsung has made a name for itself as one of the most popular Android phone makers.And with the new Galaxy S4 truly does it all.

It has a great battery, camera and design, and even rivals the iPhone.

The Galaxy S4 packs a bigger screen–5 inches–into a design that still feels great in your hand.

“One of the neatest things about this phone is a lot of the advanced, user interface stuff we did,” said Samsung’s Mobile Director of Product Marketing, Ryan Bidan.

The company markets the S4 as a “life companion,” but that pretty much describes any smartphone these days.

The difference here, is in the software.

Samsung’s Sense UI has some neat features and tricks, but a lot of them seem more gimmicky than useful.

Air gestures let you interact without touching the screen. Might be useful while cooking, but in other than that, real-world uses seem limited.

The 13 megapixel camera really shines with pictures rivaling those taken on the iPhone 5. Plus there are 13 unique modes add to experience–The dual camera function is pretty fun. It put you in the picture using a combination of the front and back cameras.

My favorite was the “best shot” feature, which takes a bunch of pictures at once, for you to choose the best frame(s).

The optional case is pretty unique also–a small cutout lets you see who’s calling or check your notifications without opening the phone cover.

In what seems to be a new smartphone trend the S4 also adds an IR blaster so you can control your home entertainment system.

But if all this seems too complicated, perhaps the most useful feature is “easy mode” It makes menus simpler and icons larger, reminiscent of the earlier generations of mobile phones.

“You’ve got a phone [with] lots of great features, huge technology and with something like “easy mode,” great for a wide range of people,” said Bidan.

As for my take, the Samsung’s S4 is the only Android phone I wouldn’t mind recommending to others–even current iPhone users.

Check out the Samsung Experience Shops at the following stores:

Atlanta
• Mall of George – 4/10
• Kennesaw – 4/9
• Smyrna – 4/20
• Gwinnett – 4/24
• Athens – 4/11
• Alpharetta – 4/9
• Buckhead – 4/19

Austin
• North Austin – 4/27
• South Austin – 4/26

Boston
• Dedham – 4/11
• Braintree – 4/17
• Framingham – 4/25
• Danvers – 4/26
• Worcester – 4/10
• Watertown – 4/26

Chicago
• Butterfield – 4/12
• Bloomingdale – 4/24
• Schaumburg – 4/11
• Joliet – 4/10
• Orland Park – 4/11
• Naperville – 4/9
• Vernon Hills – 4/18
• Gurnee – 4/10
• Tinley Park – 4/12

Cincinnati
• Eastgate – 4/25
• Parma – 4/10
• Mentor – 4/9
• Montrose – 4/18
• Canton – 4/17

Dallas
• Mesquite – 4/17
• Arlington – 4/18
• Park Lane – 4/30
• Hulen – 4/24
• Frisco – 4/26
• Plano – 4/12
• LBJ Freeway – 4/19
• Denton – 5/1

Denver
• SE Denver – 4/24
• Westminister – 4/10
• Littleton – 4/23
• Aurora – 4/17
• Fort Collins – 4/27
• Denver West – 4/26
• Northglenn – 4/18

Detroit
• Utica – 4/13
• Westland – 4/11
• Gratiot – 4/12
• Ann Arbor – 4/15
• Oakland Mall – 4/17
• Novi – 4/10
• Auburn Hills – 4/16

Houston
• Woodlands – 4/11
• Sugar Land – 4/15
• Willowbrook – 4/29
• Katy Freeway – 4/24
• West Oaks – 4/25
• Bay Brook – 4/16
• Humble – 4/12
• Galleria – 4/23
• Pasadena – 4/30
• Conroe – 4/18
• Copperfield – 4/10
• Pearland – 4/24
• Atasocita – 4/17
• Cypress – 4/26
• Houston Grand Parkway – 4/8
• Price Plaza (Fry Rd) – 4/10

Jacksonville
• Orange Park – 4/19
• Saint Johns – 4/20

Kansas City
• Independence – 4/17
• Olathe – 4/18
• Overland Park – 4/11

Knoxville
• Knoxville – 4/16

Las Vegas
• Las Vegas II – 4/25
• Maryland Park – 4/26
• Henderson – 4/20
• Summerlin – 5/2
• Southwest Las Vegas – 4/24

Little Rock
• Little Rock – 4/20
• West Little Rock – 4/18

LA
• Burbank – 4/8
• Glendale – 4/9
• Torrance – 4/10
• Westminister mall – 4/11
• Murrieta – 4/11
• Montclair – 4/12
• Tustin – 4/12
• Costa Mesa – 4/13
• Palmdale – 4/15
• Mission Viejo – 4/16
• Santa Clarita – 4/16
• Woodland Hills – 4/17
• Orange – 4/17
• Hawthorne – 4/18
• Rancho Cucamonga – 4/18
• San Bernardino – 4/18
• Lakewood – 4/19
• West Covina – 4/20
• Moreno Valley – 4/20
• Riverside – 4/22
• Jefferson County – 4/22
• Shelbyville – 4/23
• Fullerton – 4/23
• Downey – 4/24
• Glendora – 4/25
• Oxnard – 4/25
• Thousand Oaks – 4/26
• Montebello – 4/26
• West LA – 4/27
• Sherman Oaks – 4/29
• Pasadena – 4/30
• West Hollywood – 5/2
• Culver City – 5/3

Miami
• Fort Lauderdale – 4/24
• Sawgrass – 4/25
• West Kendall – 4/8
• Tropicaire – 4/18
• Hialeah – 4/19
• Dadeland – 4/26
• Aventura – 4/20
• Pembroke Pines – 4/9
• Miami Beach – 4/17
• Doral – 4/26

Minneapolis
• Ridgedale – 5/1
• Roseville – 4/17
• St cloud – 4/24
• Oakdale – 4/16
• Richfield – 4/12
• Eden Prairie – 4/25

Mobile
• Mobile – 4/17
• Pensacola, FL – 4/8
• Destin, FL – 4/9

Nashville
• Brentwood – 4/13
• Rivergate – 4/12
• Clarksville – 4/18
• Murfreesboro – 4/17

New Orleans
• West Bank – 4/13
• Veterans Blvd – 4/26
• Covington – 4/24
• Harahan – 4/25

Oklahoma City
• Oklahoma City North – 4/25
• Quail Sprints – 4/10
• Norman – 4/11
• Oklahoma City West – 4/26
• Midwest City – 4/27

Orlando
• East Colonial – 4/12
• Altamonte Springs 4/23
• Melbourne – 4/11
• Waterford Lakes – 4/22
• Ocala – 4/10
• Kissimmee – 4/17
• Millenia Mall – 4/18
• Lady Lake – 4/11

Philadelphia
• King of Prussia – 4/18
• Plymouth Meeting – 4/17
• Montgomeryville – 4/8
• Willow Grove – 4/16
• Oxford Valley – 4/15
• Whitewall – 4/24
• NE Philadelphia – 4/9
• South Philadelphia – 4/19

Phoenix
• Ahwatukee – 4/17
• Arrowhead – 4/30
• Camelback – 4/18
• Chandler – 4/25
• North Scottsdale – 4/24
• Tempe – 4/26
• Tempe – 4/16

Portland, OR
• Cascade Station – 4/15
• Calcamas – 4/12
• Salem – 4/13
• Jantzen Beach – 4/16

Raleigh
• Cary – 4/23
• Fayetteville – 4/18
• Raleigh – 4/16

Sacramento
• Roseville – 4/11
• Adren Fair – 4/17
• Modesto – 4/26
• Elk Grove – 4/12
• Stockton – 4/23
• Folsom – 4/16

Salt Lake City
• Riverdale – 4/20
• South Salt Lake City – 4/13
• Sandy – 4/27
• Murray – 4/12

San Antonio
• West SA – 4/9
• San Antonio – 4/20
• North Rim – 4/10
• Legacy – 4/25
• Alamo Ranch – 4/8

San Diego
• El Cajon – 4/24
• Chula Vista – 4/9
• Mira Mesa – 4/10
• Oceanside – 4/15
• Mission Valley – 4/29
• Otay Ranch – 4/23

San Francisco
• Santa Rosa – 4/18
• Dublin – 4/20
• Pleasant Hill – 4/10
• San Carlos – 4/25
• Union City – 4/24
• SF – 4/27
• Blossom Hill – 4/24
• Colma – 4/8
• San Rafael – 4/9

Seattle
• Puyallup – 4/26
• Silverdale – 4/8
• Tukwila – 4/11
• Northgate – 4/10
• Lynnwood – 4/20
• Bellevue – 4/19
• Tacoma – 4/27

St. Louis
• South County – 4/8
• Mid Rivers – 4/9
• Bridgeton – 4/17
• Chesterfield – 4/18
• Brentwood – 4/16

Tampa
• Citrus Park – 4/25
• Brandon – 4/12
• South Tampa – 4/16
• Sarasota – 4/24
• Lakeland – 4/24
• Clearwater – 4/15
• St Petersburg – 4/13
• University town center – 4/27

DC
• Sterling – 4/12
• Fredricksburg – 4/16
• Springfield Mall – 4/10
• Fairlakes – 4/23
• Pantagon City – 4/18
• Baileys Crossroads – 4/11
• Potomac Mills – 4/24
• Rockville – 4/25
• Reston – 4/26
• Fredrick – 4/22
• Waldorf – 4/27
• Potomac Yards – 4/16
• Leesburg – 4/25