The fanfare that surrounds a major product launch from Samsung is reaching fever pitch today with the launch of the Samsung’s latest and greatest phablet, the Galaxy Note 4. The Note 4 features many of the improvements and new technologies that we had hoped to see, included an updated processor from Qualcomm, a QHD display and a revised build that looks like a very quality device.
Don’t forget to watch this detailed hands on video of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4:
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – Key Specifications
- 5.7 inch Display QHD (2560 x 1440 )
- AMOLED w/Corning Gorilla Glass 3
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (Quad-core) / Exynos 5433 (Octa-core)
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB Storage
- 16MP Rear Camera, f/1.9 w/IOS
- 3.7MP Front Camera
- 3,200 mAh
- Android 4.4.4
Many of the key aspects of the Note 4 are actually quite similar to the previous generation, especially in terms of overall device sized. The 5.7 inch AMOLED display is the exact same size as the Note 3, the main difference of course is the screen resolution which has been upped to a QHD, 2560 x 1440 pixels. This is the same resolution as we see on newer devices like the LG G3 and the Oppo Find 7.
Of course, having a higher pixel count can mean more stress on the processor that drives it, so as expected we see an upgrade with a choice of either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 on the LTE Cat 6 version of the Note 4, or the Samsung Exynos 5433 processor which will appear on the Cat 4 LTE version. Both of these options are very attractive and should out-perform the previous gen Snapdragon 801 – we will bring you the benchmarks as soon as we can.
In general terms, the Snapdragon 805 is a quad-core processor that pack 4 Krait 450 CPU cores that can clock as high as 2.7GHz alongside the latest Adreno 450 graphics processor. The integrated LTE modem supports Category 6 connectivity which offers bandwidth of up 300 Mbps. This is Qualcomm’s latest and greatest processor, so we have high hopes that the Galaxy Note 4 will be a top class performer.
The Samsung Exynos 5433 should also compete well and takes advantage of ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture which combines four high-percentage Cortex A15 cores clocks at 1.8GHz with four lower power Cortex A7 cores at 1.3GHz. These are combined with a Mali T628MP GPU. The end result is mobile chip that should really compete with its Samsung competitor. We look forward to testing and benchmarking both versions of the Galaxy Note 4.
Samsung have also added plenty of tweaks and improvements to its software platform on the Note 4. Multi-tasking has been improved with options to have smooth and natural transitions between apps that includes having floating apps and split screen viewing for fluid app transitioning.
Build and Look
The Galaxy Note 4 will come to market in a choice of (Frosted) White, (Charcoal) Black, (Bronze) Gold and (Blossom) Pink. The design concept of the device is, according to Samsung based on the concept of ‘Modern Sleek’, and explores the idea of nature having no straight lines. In reality we have device that seems to be a little more polished than the (slightly controversial) Galaxy S5.
The Galaxy Note 4 has a thin aluminum band around the edge, with a screen that appears to float on top. The back cover has a finish that once again feels like plastic but a touch more classy than previous versions. The back cover is easy to remove, revealing a removable 3,200mAh battery, microSD slot and Micro SIM card.
The cameras on the Galaxy Note 4 have also had an upgrade with a 16MP camera on the rear that is joined by a f/1.9 lens which Samsung says will capture 60% more light and perform well in low-light conditions. The sensor also implements OIS (optical image stabilization). The front 3.7MP camera is also equipped with the ability to take 120 degree angle selfie shots, working in a similar way as a regular panorama mode.
The Galaxy Note 4 integrates 3 microphones, one on the top of the device and two on the bottom edge. As well as providing good audio quality during HD video recording, and effective noise cancellation during phone calls, the Note 4 also has the ability to allow you to record audio with all three mics simultaneously, with ability to then independently mix the three audio audio tracks. This is a great way to isolate dialogue or music and reduce background noise.
Galaxy S Pen
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, as with previous generations, integrates a stylus that slots neatly into the bottom left-side edge of the device, but this time around Samsung have worked hard to make some pretty advanced improvements. The sensitivity of the stylus has been improved considerably with thousands of sensitivity points that help the tip of the stylus react very much like a real pen.
The Samsung software that accompanies the pen gives you plenty of options in terms of pen and nib types with a calligraphy mode and several others. The S Pen feels much more like a real pen compared to the previous generation, with varying levels of ink flow according to the speed at which you are writing. It integrates well with notes and other apps to offer an improved stylus experience overall.
One feature that the S Pen does well, is the ability to use it in a similar way to regular PC mouse. This means that you can highlight any text using the S Pen, and select to copy the text – very useful for quick copying of text from a web page or email. You can also take advantage of the new command feature which allows you to select commands such as copy, paste, cut etc. from simply pressing the button on the side of the S Pen stylus.
One other feature that the new Galaxy S Pen leverages very well is the new Snap Note feature which allows the user to quickly and easily highlight any area of the screen (a picture, a web page, a tweet etc) using the S Pen and then have that Snap shot added to your note-taking app. This is what Samsung describe as digital to analog note taking; kind of like building a scrap book important ideas, pics or whatever from any digital content you happen to be looking at. The cool thing about this is that the screenshots or snaps taken will also include any meta data such as web URLs etc.