Samsung note 4
Samsung has packed in more power, an even better display and a great camera making the Note 4 for an excellent smartphone. It’ll be too big for some and the S Pen is still questionable, but overlook this and you’ll be happy.
Standing at 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm and weighing 176g, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is basically identical in size and slightly heavier than its predecessor (151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, 168g). The minor increase in thickness is mostly down to the curved glass on top, which requires more space than a conventional flat glass.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 combines a faux leather finish akin to the one on the Galaxy Note 3 with a metal frame, but also adds a curved glass to become a real looker of a smartphone. The metal frame feels great to the touch and adds quite a lot to the premium feel. More importantly however, it should solve a long-standing issue with Samsung handsets where the silver-paint on the plastic frames would chip and peel off with time to really spoil the overall look of the company’s phones.
This is the first year when the diagonal remains unchanged at 5.7″, but the resolution got a massive boost to QHD – 2560 x 1440 pixels. This means that despite its ample surface, the Super AMOLED panel offers a mind-blowing 515ppi – way above the 300ppi Retina threshold and easily better than any of its direct rivals.
Redesigned S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with a redesigned S Pen, which is notably slimmer than the one inside the Galaxy Note 3, while retaining the same elliptical shape. The slimmer body would have made it a bit hard to handle, but Samsung has successfully offset this by adding fine ridges on its surface, improving the grip.
Latest, less-bloaty TouchWiz
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs on the latest available Android 4.4.4 KitKat customized by the most recent incarnation of TouchWiz for smartphones. Samsung has added multiple features that increase productivity and enhance security but also reduced the number of S apps and features out of the box. Most of the gimmicky air gestures are no longer in service on the latest Note 4 and in their place Samsung has put a lot of multitasking features, which we welcome wholeheartedly.
Snapdragon 805 chip
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 we reviewed comes with the Snapdragon 805 system-on-a-chip, which should be the last 32-bit high-end chipset from Qualcomm. It’s built using a 28nm manufacturing process and has a quad-core CPU with four Krait 450 cores clocked as high as 2.7GHz. The graphics processor is an Adreno 420 GPU.
16MP OIS camera, upgraded front-facing camera
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 captures images at 16MP and its sensor has a native 16:9 aspect ratio so it produces widescreen images that can be viewed in full in the gallery and on the majority of monitors. The main camera has an aperture of f/2.2 (the same as its predecessor) but finally offers optical image stabilization, which should improve things when shooting in low light. The front-facing camera has also been improved – it now has a wider aperture of f/1.9 (so it should be a little better in low light) and has seen a resolution bump to match the screen – 3.7MP (or the screen’s 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution).
The Galaxy Note 4 is impressive in look and feel, and flexed some hardware muscle while at it. The 16MP OIS camera didn’t disappoint either – to say the least. The battery life was pretty awesome too, while the user interface has been nicely polished and stripped off of a lot of clutter.
5.7″ 16M-color QHD Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with curved Gorilla Glass 3
Android OS v4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
LTE Cat 6 support
Quad-core 2.7GHz Krait 450 CPU, Adreno 420 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset
3GB of RAM
16MP OIS camera with 2160p video recording @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 120fps
3.7MP front-facing camera, 1440p video recording
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA, Download booster
GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
32GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
S Pen stylus
Enhanced Multi-window multitasking support
Fingerprint scanner with PayPal support and private mode access
microUSB 2.0 port with USB host and MHL 2.0
IR port for remote control functionality
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Accelerometer and proximity sensor
Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
Length: 153.5 mm
Width: 78.6 mm
Depth: 8.5 mm
Talk Time: Up to 20hrs