HDC S4 Spark: review

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  • July 23, 2013

HDC S4 SparkWe have been very busy answering a lot of emails and trying to figure out a lot of aspects of the new HDC S4 Spark so as we promised you, here you have a review of the latest chinese smartphone that supports all the gesture control capabilities!

Just before we forget, we would like to ask for patience to all those readers that we haven’t answered their emails yet, please be patient as we are still dealing with our overcrowded inbox, so please give us a 24-48 hour time period to reply. (at this time all emails have been replied!)

Said that, let’s talk about the HDC S4 Spark in broad terms, as you already know this is a 5.0 inch MTK6589 equipped chinese smartphone very similar to the HDC S4 Legend, that was one of the first chinese devices stuffed with the Air View and Gesture Control capabilities. Now, the HDC S4 Spark seems to push these capabilities way further and is offering (besides Air View & Gesture Control) what is known as Smart Stay.

Let’s check some of the most common features in this HDC S4 Spark, just to answer the most common question that has been mailed to us :

‘What’s the difference between S4 Spark and S4 Legend?

Just to put it simple, we have been told that you can ‘unlock’ some features behind Air View, Gesture Control and Smart Stay, but this seems to require knowledge around Android and expertise with Engineer mode codes and apps, so at the moment we are not going into this, we just want to throw some light on ‘The real difference between each other’ which is in fact, the Smart Stay feature, so let’s find out what is this all about.

Smart Stay: 

HDC S4 Spark

With Smart Stay, the screen stays on as long as you are looking at it. Something similar happens with Smart Pause which is intended to pause a video if your eyes look away and on the other hand we could have Smart Scroll, but this is NOT supported.

HDC S4 Spark

Smart Scroll would allow you (if it were supported) to follow your facial motion and the tilt of your device to automatically scroll up or down a website.  So, plainly speaking Smart Stay in the HDC S4 Spark let’s you pause videos and (we are waiting for this to confirm) you are supposed to be able to turn off the screen if you are not looking at it straight.

Gesture Control and Air View:

HDC S4 Spark

We are just waiting for some precise information about what can you do with this phone with the Air View capabilities, hopefully we are getting some feedback throughout this week.

HDC S4 Spark

On the other hand, it seems that with the HDC S4 Legend there is no possibility of previewing emails, pictures, contacts, etc..we encourage our most experienced readers to submit us any kind of information or experience around the Air View thingy.  We are saying this because as far as we are concerned there is neither the option of hovering over nor the possibility that the device detects our finger approaching the outer most of the screen.

Announcement:

(*)If any blogger/reader/techie/geek/developer/engineer/IT guru out there has any/more information about the Air View capabilities with the S4 Spark send us an email at info@multicorechina.com and we’ll update the post gladly, as we think it is better to share  your insight and our knowledge with the Multicorechina.com community and with all the chinese smartphones fans around the globe.

How it works?

HDC S4 Spark

Of course, to perform all these movements that allow you to dictate your own guidelines to the smartphone, we need a sensor located just close to the front camera and light sensor, all these sensors gather information that combines with some code, and then it enables you to make weird gestures that control your device.

Confirmed gestures:

Air Browse: Move to the next or previous screen by moving your hand left or right above the sensor, this is cool, definitely.

HDC S4 Spark

Air Jump: Scroll through web pages and body of emails by moving your hand up or down above the sensor.HDC S4 Spark

Air Call: Accept incoming calls by moving your hand over the sensor. By default, the speakerphone will be activated when the call is answered.

HDC S4 Spark

Mute calls: When activated, turning the device over will mute incoming calls and media playback.

HDC S4 Spark

Confirmation pending:

The gestures below need to be confirmed but from our point of view, they should work as they are merely ‘variations’ of primary movements/gestures. If you have tried to do this with an S4 Legend or S4 Spark please drop us a comment or mail us.

Mute/pause: Mute or pause media playback or the FM radio by covering the screen with your hand. According to our Android experts, this gesture should work on the HDC S4 Spark.

HDC S4 Spark

Quick glance: When your device is on a flat surface with the display facing upwards and the screen is turned off, move your hands above the sensor to display status and notifications information.

HDC S4 Spark

So, if this HDC S4 Spark works as smoothly as the HDC S4 Legend does, we definitely recommend its purchase as it comes with an extra feature -Smart Stay- that we are pretty sure can be ‘tweaked’ in the near future, allowing extra gestures – but we need to confirm this last point yet-

You can buy the HDC S4 Spark HERE.

Thanks for reading us, thank you so much for all the emails we got since our last post and please comment and contribute in order to gather more information around this device.

If you have any questions or would like to place a comment please go ahead, besides that if you want to drop us an email do it at info@multicorechina.com

The MultiCoreChina.com Team.

Updated: 01/08/2013

36 Comments

  • granarte says:

    I have an HDC spark hello I have a problem …. mistakenly install a legend rom and my phone is brick …as I can fix this ..thanks

  • […] it has full compatibility with Gesture Control. Don’t know what’s this all about? Read this post about Gesture Control or this one here explaining you how to turn your Android into a […]

  • […] we saw on the HDC S4 Spark review combining a Samsung based ROM plus a MediaTek SoC you can get the same features genuine phones have […]

  • eddywills says:

    DOES THE SMART SCROLL FUNCTION ON THIS PHONE WORK? AND THE MULTIWINDOWS SPLIT SCREEN

  • Alex says:

    Hi MCC,
    Thanks for your reply.. can you spot any differences between clone and original ?
    NFC and Sbeam works well ?
    Because there are too many series of clone.. It is not easy only to spot from hardware since the hardware is similar now.. Perhaps you could make a post to differentiate the original and clone one..

    Thank you

  • Dean says:

    hi…
    can the s4 spark use s4 legend firmware in order to have smart stay in s4 spark??
    tq..

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi Dean!

      Looks like you have a little misunderstanding hehe..no problem, we are here to help.

      The S4 Spark is the one that comes (as stock) with the Smart Stay, although now via ROM you can get the same in an S4 Legend.

      You can flash any HDC with any S4 series ROM you want.

      Hope this helps!

  • Alex says:

    How to differentiate this HDC phone vs Original S4 ?
    Does HDC phone have LTE version?
    Any guide for people out there who want to buy original? so that they able to differentiate it?
    Thanks

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi Alex!

      Check this pic.

      LEFT one is clone, and RIGHT one is genuine S4.

      Hope this helps!

      If you have more questions or doubts arising please contact us!

      Thanks for reading us!

      The Multicorechina.com Team

  • Hi,
    are you sure MTK6589 doesn’t support 2gb Ram ? so they lie ?
    Thanks a lot because i hesitate between legend and spark and i’m goinf to buy one today !!! Only from Fastcardtech ?
    thanks for your help !

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi!

      Yes, the MTK6589 can only support 1GB of RAM. They don’t lie, because the benchmarks are tweaked (modified to show 2GB of RAM) but I won’t trust those benchmarks, stick with what we are saying.

      If you want to buy this phone and have a little discount you can mail us at info@multicorechina.com

      Thanks for reading us! ;)

      Stay tuned!

  • Chicote says:

    Una pregunta un tanto seria… el tema de Radiaciones… este telefono ha pasado los controles de la CE ¿¿no es peligroso en este aspecto??
    Lo pregunto porque… en fin, me remuerde el mito ese de que los moviles chinos (menos marcas conozidas como ZTE, Huawei, etc) desprenden radiaciones bastante altas… y además, he visto el video este y no me he quedado muy tranquilo! :S Aunque es cierto que tiene como 3 años en Youtube… y ahora han podido evolucionar! No se!

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi again!

      Taking into account that SAR levels are not a measure of anything (FCC dixit) and on the other hand, chinese manufacturers are using taiwan’s latest SoC’s which -at the same time- are constantly struggling to reduce battery consumption, hence radiation levels. WE (it’s a personal opinion) won’t rely the whole decision making process of buying a chinese smartphone recline on this radiation facts.

      On the other hand, we would like to invite you to read this…extracted from FCC website (Federal Communications Commision)…according to SAR radiation levels:

      What SAR Does Not Show

      The SAR value used for FCC approval does not account for the multitude of measurements taken during the testing. Moreover, cell phones constantly vary their power to operate at the minimum power necessary for communications; operation at maximum power occurs infrequently. Consequently, cell phones cannot be reliably compared for their overall exposure characteristics on the basis of a single SAR value for several reasons (each of these examples is based on a reported SAR value for cell phone A that is higher than that for cell phone B):

      Cell phone A might have one measurement that was higher than any single measurement for cell phone B. Cell phone A would, therefore, have a higher reported SAR value than cell phone B, even if cell phone B has higher measurements than A in most other locations and/or usage configurations. In such a case, a user generally would receive more RF energy overall from cell phone B.
      Cell phone A might communicate more efficiently than cell phone B, so that it operates at lower power than cell phone B would under comparable conditions. Consequently, a user would receive more RF energy overall from cell phone B.
      The highest value from cell phone A might come from a position which the user seldom or never employs to hold a phone, whereas that user might usually hold a phone in the position that resulted in the highest value for cell phone B. Therefore, the user would receive the highest RF exposure that cell phone B delivers but would not receive the highest RF exposure that cell phone A delivers.

  • Heli says:

    Soporta 4G?? O LTE?? Y a ver si me mandas un cupon de descuento -.-!

  • tomaz says:

    Hi! On fastcardtech.com is information that phone has 2GB RAM? What is correct now, 2 or 1GB RAM? And is the frame of phone from alluminium or plastic?
    Best regrads!

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi tomaz!

      The MTK6589 only supports 1GB of RAM, other than that (higher) they’re lying to you.

      Thanks for your interest and keep on reading us!

  • Kei says:

    Notice it has the multi window widget on the screen, does multi window work?

  • Kreg says:

    MTK6589 CPU supports 2 GB of RAM??
    Please tell me exactly how much RAM, depends on the game I’ll take it or not.

  • rodri says:

    hello, my name is Rodrigo and I’m from Argentina, I am wanting to buy the HDC galaxy s4 spark in fascardtech.com page, thanks for your input as to the product description really was very useful, but my big question is, you I would recommend buying this device through this page? ie, this page is reliable? because I really like to buy it and do not want to take any decilusion, I await your prompt reply, best wishes greetings, thanks

  • Nicolas says:

    Soporta el desbloque con voz del s-voice del s4 ya que con el legend se podia usar y me parecia bastante interesante de antemano gracias.

    • Hola Nicolas!

      Sí tiene Voice-Unlock ;)

      Saludos,

      • Nicolás says:

        Bueno, muchas gracias y otra pregunta si tiene notificador led?? Si es asi definitivamente voy por el spark aunque no me parece muy funcional lo que ofrece aparte del legend pero bueno es mejor tenerlo y no usarlo que no tenerlo jajaja esperemos un video review muchas gracias :)

  • yohan says:

    hi guys, are you tested if original backcover fit in this phone?. How about size, are the same as original?. I ordered mine two days ago.

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi yohan!

      It’s not a 1:1 clone, but if you check the dimensions we are 99% SURE that you can fit in a Silicone case (thus, more elastic than the hard ones).
      Check the little differences in measurements:

      Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4
      Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm (5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 in)

      HDC Galaxy S4 Legend
      Dimensions: 135.8*68.7*8.3 mm

      So, actually the clone is a little smaller than the original S4, but just like circa milimeter and a half..and 0,5 mm thicker…so a sof silicone case will fit, we are pretty sure ;)

      Thanks for commenting and keep on visiting us!

      P.S: You can always buy one specific case for this clone

      The MultiCoreChina.com Team

  • Kreg says:

    Good day! Lay out antutu test (preferably a video).
    this is the final version of the phone, or will even be fixed?

    • HI Kreg,

      We currently do not own any Antutu results, they will look almost identical to the S4 Legend ones, besides that we don’t know if this is final version of the S4 Spark, but we will find out.

      Thanks for visiting us!

  • soku23 says:

    Hello legend hdc already bought and waiting for delivery but now some regret because maybe it was worth the wait. unless it is the ability to update hdc hdc funcjami legends of spark. and it really is exactly the difference?

    • Hi soku23!

      Actually the only difference between Legend and Spark, is that Spark has the Smart Stay function -this is- the ability to pause/stop videos when you’re not looking at the screen.

      If you can live without that, it’s almost the same phone.

      Thanks for visiting us and stay tuned!

  • mubeen says:

    hi…thanks for the review…its really helpful..my only question is whether this device is exactly similar to the samsung galaxy s4?

  • Kei says:

    Is the HDC S4 Spark a 1:1 of the original? Original samsung battery and cases all fit? On fastcardtech site the dimensions stated in the description is slightly bigger than original S4.

    • multicorechina says:

      Hi Kei!

      The HDC S4 is not a 1:1 copy, it’s slightly smaller, here you have the dimensions:

      Samsung I9500 Galaxy S4
      Dimensions: 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm

      HDC S4 Spark
      Dimensions: 135.8*68.7*8.3mm

      We are pretty sure an original S4 case silicone case will fit, and at the same time…original S4 batteries as well, as S4 Spark has the same dimensions and battery groove as the HDC S4 Legend, so it should fit.

      A lot of our friends that already own this phone in China claim tha – indeed- it’s an HDC S4 Legend clone..rather than another model lol

      Thanks for visiting us and stay tuned!

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