Samsung Galaxy S4 Not an Improvement for those with Autism

samsung-galaxy-s4-1When it comes to design, one big improvement of the Galaxy S4 over the S3 model can be found in the fact that it is thin and light, not nearly as unwieldy. The handset is smaller and holds a larger screen. At five inches, the Full HD screen is rather impressive.


The S4 is loaded with connectivity, and offers a nice camera, good graphics, and has some truly cool extras, such as the ability to be used as a TV remote and the S Translator. The S Translator can translate your communications into eight different languages, and actually does a pretty good job.

Another fun function is that if you are watching a video or movie and look away from the screen it will pause your movie until you look back. This is wonderful for people who are easily distracted or have to stop and start what they are doing frequently.

The settings menu may take some getting used to, as it is divided into tabs. After some exploration and a learning curve, it may actually be a feature you appreciate. It isn’t terribly hard to figure out, and once you do, it can make finding what you are looking for easier.



Two of the phone’s biggest detractors are storage space and battery life. It comes with 16 GB of storage and half of that amount is already used up fresh out of the box. This certainly can prove to be quite limiting. The battery life may be problematic for individuals with autism who are heavily reliant on their phone as a communication aid and for various apps that can improve quality of life. During a typical work day, the phone can easily drain 60-70% of its battery life at moderate use. So for those who use their phones heavily, charging at least once or twice a day will be necessary. There is no built in wireless charging, which would be a great feature for a phone that goes through battery life so quickly.

For individuals with autism, lack of small motor skill coordination may make the back button an issue of frustration. It is small and so close to the screen that it is easy to accidentally bump it. This is particularly true for people who are right handed.

A few of the supposed features of this phone are either full of glitches or of little to no use other than parlor tricks. Both air view and air gesture do nothing to improve the phone’s function, and accidental use of them could cause huge amounts of frustration, as you don’t have to touch the screen to cause changes. The smart scroll is hard to use and buggy. It will at times start scrolling so rapidly you can’t see anything, and is more of a pain than a help.


Dimensions 5.5 x 2.81 x 0.36 inches (139.9 x 71.4 x 9.1mm)
Weight 5.29 oz. (150g)
Screen size 5.0 inches
Screen resolution 1,920 x 1,080 (441 ppi)
Screen type TFT LCD
Battery 2,600mAh Li-Polymer (removable)

While the phone has some great features, it also has some serious drawbacks. In many ways, for those with autism, the S3 is actually a better choice. Review of Samsumg Galaxy S3 here.