The latest upgrade to the Samsung “phablet” series, the Note, is setting out to impress loyal followers. The Note 4 specifications include some obvious changes, a few improvements that will please Samsung fans and one or two slight disappointments. So lets delve in and see what’s in the package.
The design of the Note 4 is not unlike the Note 3. Large, rectangular with hardware buttons on the bottom of the phone rather than using on-screen real estate for the home, back and menu buttons.
Galaxy Note 4 Size & Display
The phone measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm. The screen size remains the same as its predecessor, the Note 3, at 5.7-inches using the familiar Super AMOLED display with its over-saturated, bright colors. The resolution has been beefed up to “Quad HD” which is a resolution of 1,440 x 2,560 pixels and 515 ppi. For comparison, the Note 3 has a 1080p display of 1,080 x 1,920 pixels and 386 ppi. Because of this, the latest Note 4 is even sharper.
The thickness of the device is still 0.33-inches, but the weight is 176 grams which makes it a bit more noticeable. This isn’t much of an issue though because unless you have very large hands, holding the Galaxy Note 4 comfortably and safely is usually a two-handed job anyway.
Processor, Memory & Battery
The speed of the Galaxy Note 4 is impressive with one of the fastest quad-core chip-sets on the market: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Krait 450 processor running at an impressive 2.7 Ghz. A 3200 mAh battery is provided to handle the more demanding QHD display and faster processor. The ability to load many complex apps is also provided for with 3GB of RAM memory which should be sufficient.
Image Source: AndroidAuthority
Android & TouchWiz
Android 4.4.4 KitKat is supplied. Not quite the Android 4.5 one would have hoped to see but the Samsung TouchWiz skin probably hasn’t been updated for that yet. Hopefully buyers of the Galaxy Note 4 will be able to upgrade the OS post-purchase. The main benefit of Android 4.5 is the remote “kill switch” to turn off the phone if it were stolen or lost.
The stylus and software for the Note 4 is much the same. For people who love using the stylus, this version of the Note model won’t be much of a departure.
Internal & External Storage
The internal storage is offered in a single 32GB configuration with a microSD card slot capable of handling up to 64GB cards. This is disappointing given that the Galaxy S5 can accept 128GB microSD cards and one would have expected the flagship Note 4 to offer the same storage capacity especially given the fact that it packs a super HD camera.
The 16 megapixel ISOCELL rear camera with its LED Flash is a nice improvement. The front-facing camera is much better with a 3.7 megapixel shooter making those “selfie” shots much higher quality than other phones offer. The optical image stabilization is new for the Note and should help make shots less jerky.
Video recording covers the latest spec so it can record 4K video on the back camera and 1080p on the front. There is help with focusing and some editing is possible from the device though serious videoographers should still have their own PC, Mac or Linux editing software too.
There are numerous sensors like with the Galaxy S5. Health-related sensors including heart rate, SpO2 and UV to warn against bright sun-light exposure. Other sensors include the accelerometer, proximity, gyro, compass, gesture and barometer.
Connectivity is provided up to 4G LTE Category 6 (not Cat. 4 as previous top phones were capable of). This adds greater speed capacity on the networks that are upgrading their 4G LTE to handle it.
Wi-Fi speeds have also been upgraded with the inclusion of dual-band, the latest ac standard which is capable of capturing Wi-Fi signals from a farther distance away and allowing Wi-Fi connections from a greater distance too. Features like Wi-Fi Hotspot are included for those who like to tether their cell phone signal to other devices like a laptop.
Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and USB 3 connectors are all present too.
Other than a couple of minor disappointments, the Note 4 is a good upgrade which will undoubtedly tend owners of prevous Note models to upgrade.