Editorial: Why Do We Need So Many Versions of the Samsung Galaxy S 4?

S4 Life Companion

We all love new smartphones and many of us try to make sure we have the latest and greatest devices to share with our friends and family.  However, what do you do when you run into an issue where the same manufacturer has several models that are basically the same phone?  This is my dilemma with Samsung’s new Galaxy S 4.  I’ve considered purchasing the Galaxy S 3 as the replacement device for my aging HTC Thunderbolt, but about that time I heard Samsung was going to release a new version of that phone aptly named the Galaxy S 4.  I was giddy, not only was I going to get a new phone, but it was also looking like I would be getting a bleeding-edge device.  I began to anxiously count the days and continue to scour the interwebs looking for any juicy tidbit I could find out about the successor to the great Galaxy S 3.  Then came the official unveiling by Samsung and I was floored.   The new features looked great, even if I wouldn’t use all of them on a regular basis.  Elation was soon followed by disappointment.

My search for more information led me to find out that there were rumors of a Samsung Galaxy S 4 Mini.  Ok, no biggie, I wanted the bigger phone so I put the thought of a S 4 Mini in the back of my mind.  Next up, a rumor of a rugged S 4.  Ok, that’s kind of cool.  I don’t work in an environment with a lot of dust, but I could see how a Galaxy S 4 with a rugged exterior would be great for those in the construction field.  Another version to the back of my mind.  Now, the most recent rumor is a version of the S 4 with a larger 16 megapixel camera on board.  Let’s take a step back, that’s four iterations of the same phone, each slightly tweaked towards a certain set of users.  What was once a simple choice is now more convoluted that anticipated.  What happened to simplicity and creating one device?

Let’s look at one of the Galaxy S 4′s main competitors, the HTC One.  The “One” brand may slightly confusing as you may be thinking: “Didn’t they release that model before?”  Well the answer is both yes and no.  Let me refresh your memory.  We’ve seen the HTC One name before, but it was always followed by a letter or symbol such as the popular HTC One X.  The reason I brought HTC into the conversation is that their new HTC One is just that.  There is only One model.  For those purists, the capitalization of One in the previous sentence is intentional.  The HTC One is the only model available.  Yes, there are rumors of a One Mini, but I have yet to hear of other variations of the HTC One.  This makes it so much easier to market to the consumer.  You walk into the store and say you want the HTC One and there are no follow up questions such as: “What version?  Rugged?  Zoom lens?  It’s simple and straightforward.

Thank you for indulging me in my rant.  I love Samsung and I truly appreciate the effort vendors take to provide us quality, full featured devices.  I just wish Samsung wouldn’t make so many variations of basically the same phone.  As to what device I go with as my Thunderbolt replacement, I’ll leave that as a surprise.  I’ll write about it once I’ve made the decision and I’ve had some time with the new device.

Do you think there are too many variants of the Samsung Galaxy S 4?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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