Sunday, 16 June 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 I9502 (Dual Sim) Review

I have always been a fan of Apple since the inception of the Iphone 2G. However, time has come to move on from using the Iphone 5 since it is no longer my preferred choice for my daily use. This comes as no surprise because I am getting old and I could not rely on the small 4" screen on the Iphone 5. Please don't get me wrong as it is a formidable mobile phone. It will allow users to multitask and it has great features. Among them would be the great variety of apps and also the user friendliness of the iOS. Coupled with the soon to be launched iOS 7 to the mass public, it will certainly capture more customers.

However, I need a change at this point in time. This is crucial because I want to have the ability to insert two sim cards on a mobile phone itself without compromising the great functionality of a mobile phone. From the past, we have many dual sim mobile phones manufactured by Samsung, Nokia, HTC and Alcatel but it does not provide the state-of-the-art functions eg: 8MP digital camera with 441ppi resolution screen. One could argue that HTC has just released a dual sim version of their highly popular HTC One and it will be sold in many countries including Russia.

It is understood that the HTC One is one of the best mobile phones in the 2013 era. This mobile phone supports the LTE and it has a pair of stereo speaker. Apart from that, the UI is smooth and it is just about the right weight although it has its share of problems. I like the exceptionally good 4MP digital camera which HTC could have improved on the hardware of the digital camera.

The Nokia 920 is another good contender. It has a beefy battery and comes with Windows Phone 8. I have posted an article evaluating the quality and the friendliness in using the Nokia 920. The only possible criticism with the Nokia 920 is with the size and weight of the device. It is bulky and it reminds me of the Nokia E90 which I've used a good few years ago. The Nokia 920 supports LTE and comes with lots of modern era features including NFC. However, it should be taken into account that there is no external memory slot so users will only be able to utilise the in build 32GB of memory which is sufficient. I don't think the Nokia 920 will be suitable for me due to the weight of the device.

I then sat down and think of a formidable device which will be suitable for me and I will be able to keep it for a little longer than most of the mobile device which I have used before. I then started thinking of Samsung with their newly launched Samsung Galaxy S4. The problem with the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it comes with many variations. The only Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGS4) variation which is available in the UK only comes with 16GB of internal storage. Moreover, users will only have less than 10GB out of the 16GB storage space to use due to the pre-installed softwares. Having said that, Samsung has just issued a firmware update to address this problem but it will only be available to the I9505 variation for this moment.

The updated firmware seemed to have allow users to install their apps on the external memory card but nonetheless, it is not acceptable. Many mobile phone users like me would have to resort to buying mobile phones online in order to obtain a 32GB or even a 64GB version of the SGS4.

Besides that, I would also require dual sim support on the mobile phone. It seems that the I9502 variant will suit me well so I've managed to secure a 32GB SGS4 I9502 from China since it is only available in China.

The I9502 is a serious contender to the Iphone 5. It has a bigger 5" screen on the SGS4 and it supports dual sim although the second sim slot will only support GSM and not 2G or 3G frequencies. Nonetheless, I have the opportunity to use only one mobile phone instead of having two mobile phone with me at all time.

The I9502 is similar to the I9500 variant as it uses the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5410 chip. Apart from the variation from the I9500, the other difference will be in the form of its OS. This is because the I9502 is exclusive to China Unicom so it does not include Google Store but rather China Unicom's own webstore. Apart from that, it also includes Samsung App. Many users of the I9502 have tried to install Google Store on their I9502 devices without any success.

What is required of a I9502 user to install Google Store on their devices will be the need to obtain the latest firmware from Once a user has secured the latest firmware, it will be useful to download Odin 3.07 and to obtain the files to Root the I9502. You will be able to retrieve the files and specific instructions to Root the I9502 here. You would also require the Google app file which you can download from here.

It is fairly easy to install Google Store but you need to understand that I bear no responsibility if it bricks your mobile phone. In addition to that, I would also advise I9502 users to back up their ROM before doing the following procedure.

The steps to install and run Google Store successfully is fairly simple. All you need to do is to point your browser here to go through the steps in order to successfully install Google Store. You need to bear in mind that you need to use Google Translate to translate the website language from Thai to your desired language. Apart from that, it will be as easy as ABC.

I have to comment that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is a worthy contender. It has a superb 13MP digital camera. It has a good sized battery and it is light! I did not use many of its in-build features eg: S Beam and S Voice as I do not require such function.

Good luck have a good time!


19 June 2013

I am in no position in trying to make use of the many advanced features of the SGS4 including air view because I find it a hassle to do so. I think Samsung would have to provide future firmware updates to enhance their capabilities. Apart from that, I am quite happy with the device.

At this moment in time, there is a new firmware for the I9502 which users could obtain it from samMobile here. I have managed to flash the new firmware and it has increased the phone's internal storage. However, it will not upgrade your I9502's baseband. I am still trying to silent the camera sound on the I9502 without any joy.

26 June 2013

After using the I9502 for nearly two weeks, I can confirm that I am impressed with the device. Many people have criticised the device for the lack of LTE but they have to understand that the device is exclusive to China Unicom and they have not released the 4G service in China. There is no use of installing an LTE radio on the I9502. 

I hope that China Unicom will release an updated firmware which will allow I9502 users to transfer installed apps from the internal memory to the external memory card soon.

12 July 2013

I am satisfied with the performance of the I9502. I am most happy with the fact that I do not need to carry two mobile phones. I hope that China Unicom will release an updated firmware to address the possibility of installing apps on the memory card soon.


Humberto Patricio said...

Hi there.
Thank you for brief review.
Im interested on I9502 too , so im thinking to import it from china.
Could post some opinioes about last firmware, is it "original" and free of chinese apps?
Some users noted that there is a limitation on contact numbers accepted...?
How it performs the battery?
Greetings from Portugal, Humberto.

Humberto Patricio said...


Hi there.
Thank you for your brief review.
I'm interested on I9502 too , so i´m thinking to import it from china.
Could post some opinions about last firmware, is it "original", free of Chinese apps?
Some users noted that there is a limitation on contact numbers accepted...?
How it performs the battery?
Greetings from Portugal, Humberto.

ぜるもう said...

Dear Humberto Patricio,

Unfortunately, even with the new firmware, you will still see that the original Chinese apps being installed on the I9502 due to the fact that the I9502 is exclusive to China Unicom. however, you could just ignore the installed apps and focused on Google Store instead.

Please bear in mind that 32GB version of the I9502 could be obtained from China for around RMB5800 directly excluding postage and tax. Some sellers also offer the service of rooting and installing Google Store on the I9502 before sending it to you.

After using the I9502 since I bought it around two weeks ago, I am pretty impressed with the performance of the device. It comes with three languages, ie: Chinese, English and Korean so it is useful. The only criticism from me right now is the lack of LTE on the I9502 but I guess I have no need of downloading items at 4G speed.

Have fun!