The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a powerful smartphone that features a 1.9-GHz quad core processor and 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.3 JellyBean and features the Samsung TouchWiz user interface. However, even with these impressive specs, there is still room for improvement in both speed and battery life. By making a few small changes to your phone's settings and following a couple of tricks to increase battery life, your device can run better than it did right out of the box.
To add even more speed to your Samsung Galaxy S4, turn off a few settings in the Developer Options menu. Navigate to "Settings," and then click the "More" tab to see "Developer Options." If you don't see it, navigate to "About Device," scroll down to the bottom, and then tap "Build Number" seven times. You should see a countdown appear, and then a message about Developer Options once it has finished. Navigate back to the "Developer Options" menu, and then turn off "Windows Animation Scale," "Transition Animation Scale" and "Animator Duration Scale." Although you'll lose some of the visual effects when navigating around the operating system, you should see a markable improvement in the S4's speed and response. You can always turn these settings back on if you don't like the device without them.
Several features on the Galaxy S4 can help improve battery life. Go to "Settings," select "Display Settings," and then select "Automatic Brightness" to automatically adjust the brightness of the display to the correct setting for your surroundings. You can also adjust the setting for the display's timeout to 15 or 30 seconds, so that the display turns off after the selected period of inactivity. You can also help improve battery life by turning off features that are not in use, such as Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. If you're not using the cellular features or don't want to be disturbed, turn on flight mode to disable the cellular radio.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a built-in power monitor that tells you what apps are using the most battery power. Open "Settings," and then select "Battery" to bring up a list of apps that are draining the battery. If you find any apps that you don't use regularly, you can speed up your phone and save battery life by disabling or uninstalling them completely. Uninstalling unused apps not only frees up storage space, but also leaves you with more free RAM that can be used elsewhere. If you don't want to uninstall any apps and would rather just close out of them, hold down the "Home" button to bring up the multitasking window, and then swipe right or left on any app that you want to close completely.
There are a number of accessories you can purchase to make your Samsung Galaxy S4 better. The Galaxy S4 S-View Flip Cover (link in Resources) adds screen protection to your device, while allowing you to see alerts, phone status and other information at the same time. Samsung offers an extra battery kit if you're stuck without a charger, a charging pad to charge your S4's battery wirelessly, a premium Bluetooth headset, an HDTV adapter to output high-definition video to an external monitor and even a heart rate monitor to use with exercise apps. You can find additional accessories at your local electronics retailer or through your wireless carrier.
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