Let’s face it, one of the joys of buying a new phone is showing off to friends and family (and strangers) all the things it can do which their phones can’t. From all our years of testing smartphones we can comfortably say no phone comes close to matching the Samsung Galaxy S4's repertoire of features that make people go “aaaahh.”
If you just look at its hardware specs, the $899 S4 doesn't boast any revolutionary technology, just improvements across the board, from improved screen quality and resolution to an upgraded camera. And instead of the powerful, 8-core Exynos 5 Octo processor available to US users, Australians get the slower quad-core 1.9 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon Series 600 processor because the Exynos is not compatible with Australian 4G LTE services.
But if you put the specs aside the S4 boasts many innovative features and functions that you can use to amaze your friends, particulary those with iPhones! Here’s our top 10 list based on our first hands-on experience with the S4 at the Australian launch at Sydney’s Opera house.

Party trick 1: Air View / Air Gesture

It's like magic. The S4 lets you do things without touching its screen. Gather the friends you want to impress and open apps such as mail, the photo gallery or phone dial and navigate and preview content simply by hovering your fingers over the screen. You can also scroll between screens by waving your hand over them. You'll get lots of "ooohs" and "aaahs" but it's definitely a party trick, because when we tried it we couldn’t really see the point. It’s just as easy to touch the S4's screen to do the same thing. Maybe Air View or Air Gesture would be really useful if your hands are, say, covered with food in the kitchen (or paint, or mud, or whatever) and you have to respond to a phone call or search for something on the web.

Party Trick 2: Smart Scroll

You can scroll a web page simply by tilting your head up and down when you look at it on an S4. Once you enable Eye motion in the settings, a little eye symbol appears (pictured) when you open a new page, to tell you that it’s tracking your face's movements.  We like this feature and think it would be useful if you are standing in a crowded train or bus and holding the phone with one hand (or you're at home wearing a straightjacket).

Party Trick 3: S Translator

Try this one out on anyone who speaks French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese or Spanish. Open the S4's S Translator and get them to type a sentence in their native language. Hit the translate button and it will be reproduced in English, in written or spoken form, and vice versa. So what’s the big deal, you ask, since plenty of other phones offer translation apps? The S4 is the only one which bakes the function directly into its other native apps, such as email and instant messaging, enabling you to translate from within them. 

Party trick 4: Smart Pause

Get your friend to start viewing a video on the S4, then distract them for a second or two. When they look back at the phone, the video restarts from where they left off. Magic! The S4 senses when the holder’s eye is looking away and immediately stops the video and resumes playing it when the user's gaze falls back on it. Benefit? You can multi-task more easily while watching a video.

Party Trick 5: Dual Shot

Why didn’t anyone think of this before? You can take photos with the S4  that show both the scene being photographed and the photographer. The back view is shot separately via the rear camera and you add it manually as an inset into the main image. It means you can now do food porn shots that combine a luscious dish at your favourite restaurant with an inset that shows the salivating photographer.

Party Trick 6: Drama Shot

Get your friend to run across the room doing something stupid and capture the whole sorry scene using “Drama Shot” mode. This captures a sequence of photos of the subject but packs them into a single frame, showing you grabs of the movement from start to finish. Ideal for social media humiliations.

Party trick 7: Sound & Shot

Ask someone to say something while you take a photo of them. Sound & Shot mode captures not just the image, but also the sound a few seconds either side of the shot. When someone views the photo, they hear the sound recorded with it.

Party trick 8: Remaining photo modes

For this one, grab a friend with an iPhone and challenge them to show you how many photo modes come with the iPhone's native camera (all two of them, HDR and Panorama). Now blow them away with the vast array of photo modes on the S4. These include “Eraser”,  which lets you erase photo bombers like the lady carrying presents in the image above, from your snaps; Animated Photo, in which you can animate only parts of an image, like a cinemagraph; Best Face, which lets you take several group shots but select the best faces for a combined, final shot, and other common modes found in most cameras.

Party trick 9: The Fitness Phone accessories

There are trillions of fitness tracking apps you can download for any smartphone and some plug into related accessories that track your body's vital signs during exercise. But the S4 comes with its own fitness accessories, including a set of scales, wristbands and heart monitor that work with the S4's native S Health application. FitBit, be worried.

Party trick 10: Group Play

 
Get up to eight of your friends together and share your favourite song with them, having it play simultaneously on their phones. Only problem with this trick is that you need to buy all of your friends a Galaxy S4 for it to work. But if you do, they will be truly impressed!