Australia is one of the lucky first countries to get the latest Samsung smartphone: the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy S4.

Being selected as one of Telstra’s Social VIPs, I headed off to Sydney (flight and accommodation covered by Telstra) on April 23 to attend the Samsung Galaxy S4 launch event.

Before we arrived at the Sydney Opera House where the event was being held, a Samsung Galaxy S4 was given to each of us as well as a hands-on demonstration. Even though I already knew just about every little feature of the phone, holding and actually seeing the mobile in action still amazed me.

The device is really sleek with slightly better design changes than the Galaxy S3. Sadly, people may not notice that you are holding an S4, due to the similarities in design (that is, until you start waving your hands above the screen and control the screen scrolling with your mind, err, eyes, I mean).

The launch event in Australia went off with a big bang. Apart from being held at the Opera House, the theme of the night was blue – complete with blue carpets and blue roses (real ones).

The Sydney Opera House was also wrapped in pictures, sent by Australians online before the big event.

The launch event went smoothly and in my opinion was a much better presentation compared to the first global launch event in New York. It was well presented, creative and fun. With a mix of live demonstrations, video presentations and hands-on features, us regular audience members were left captivated, while the media were busy tweeting out information about the pricing and availability as they were announced.

Singer Guy Sebastian also made a surprise appearance at the end of the launch and sang a couple of songs for us to wrap the night up.


I have used the Samsung Galaxy S4 for over a week now and really like it. Powered by a powerful 1.9GHz quad-core processor, it is fast and smooth. Australia may not get the octa-core, but in my opinion, the quad-core is already more than enough. The display is simply gorgeous (clear and sharp) and the extra screen size is perfect for news reading, tweeting, and checking out your Facebook friends.

The smartphone works flawlessly with Telstra’s 4G network and I’ve been getting awesome speed from it. I got 37Mbps/21Mbps at the Sydney airport and 19Mbps/16Mbps in Melbourne CBD.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is available now in Australia (it launched on Saturday 27 April) and can be purchased from a Telstra store on a plan or outright for $816 RRP. You can check Telstra’s Samsung GALAXY S4 page for more details and to choose the right plan for you.

Editor’s note: Read more reviews and technology pieces at Michael’s blog, Craving Tech.