The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 arrives, guns smoking!
Few product announcements garner as wide-reaching interest as do Samsung's Note series, and for a while now that's been simply attributed to the line's high-end status. But that's probably not all there is to it, as timing is an equally important ingredient. Sure, we usually think of Samsung's other high-end line, the S series, as just as impressive, but the truth is that the Note line has, since its conception, consistently outshined it.
And that's what we mean by timing. By putting half a year worth of time between its S and Note line announcements, Samsung has ensured that as soon as the appeal of the former starts wearing off, it already has something even better up for grabs. Yes, it's a different form factor, but the truth is that the line that distinguishes a phablet from a "normal-sized" flagship is starting to evaporate. Even without knowing anything specific about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, all of this suggests that it will, like its predecessors, reap massive success. The only difference today is that we now do know most everything there is to know about the Note 4, and let us tell you this: it doesn't disappoint.
Stuff a terrible-looking rectangle of a phone with even the best hardware available, and it will, sure as hell, fail. Spectacularly.
And it's true -- like it or not, smartphones have metamorphosed into something that is both a tool and a fashion statement at the same time. Samsung certainly knows that, as it's phones are traditionally more of the former and less of the latter. To that end, most all modern Samsung smartphones are pretty much entirely made out of polycarbonate. Thankfully, Samsung finally listened, and, after announcing the premium-looking and built Galaxy Alpha, is now extending that same strategy of gracing its high-profile devices with metal to the Note line.
That's right, the Note 4 is the first of its name to sport metal in its body, and the well-regarded material is seen with the phablet's frame. Also different is the Note 4's overall shape, which is now getting dangerously close to an actual rectangle, and that will inevitably put off some. Lastly, alike to the Note 3, the Note 4 will also have a faux-leather back, though the pattern has been changed a little, and no longer features the fake stitching at the end.
In terms of color options, the palette includes Charcoal Black, Frost White, Bronze Gold, and Blossom Pink.
The S-Pen, better than ever
Samsung has also spent time and effort working on improvements for what it calls “the iconic S-Pen”. Like it or not, there's no denying that the Note series have become synonymous with the digital pen.
Onto the specifics, perhaps the most welcome one is the claimed improvement in the Note 4's display sensitivity, which allows it to better understand input when writing. The company claims that jotting down notes on the phablet will feel more like doing the same thing with a standard pen than ever before.
The S-Pen will now also work a bit alike to your computer mouse. For example, if you go into the Note 4's gallery, you'll be able to select multiple photos by clicking and dragging over an area. Samsung has also improved its S-Note app, so now you can snap a picture with your camera and edit it afterward, even if the picture you snapped is titled (S-Note automatically rotates it).
AMOLED like you've never seen it before
Perhaps the number one reason people buy into the Note line in the first place are the large, phablet-y displays. With the Note 4, however, Samsung is saying enough is enough and is putting an end to the series' traditional screen size inflation over the year. Said otherwise, the Note 4 will stick to the 5.7-inch AMOLED screen of its predecessor, but improve in one notable aspect: pixel density.
That's right -- the rumors were right. Samsung's new phablet will sport a display with a super-crisp, 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution (Quad HD or QHD), which works out to the very impressive 515 pixels per inch for a super-detailed image. Unfortunately, at least at this point in time, so many pixels are more trouble than it's worth. Essentially, you're sacrificing battery life as the processor has to work harder to push so much information constantly. Samsung, however, disagrees, and claims that the 3220 mAh battery in the Galaxy Note 4 will actually provide the phablet with an even longer battery life compared with the Note 3 thanks to component efficiency improvements across the board.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 is finally ready for action, but so is the octa-core Exynos 5433
While the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 is already commercially-available in some regions (South Korea), it's international debut hasn't yet taken place. That changes today, or, well, as soon as the Note 4 hits the market. What's more, a second version of the Note 4, headed for some markets, will have the company's home-grown, Exynos 5433 chip.
Starting with the Snapdragon 805, the quad-core chip is clocked at 2.7GHz, and is all about pushing high resolution devices. Helpful with that is the new Adreno 420 GPU, which not only introduces a non-trivial performance boost over Adreno 330, but also allows for a higher-end graphics content to be rendered by the unit. The new silicon is also capable of category 6 LTE speeds, which, in theory, can reach the whopping 300 Mbps. That's more bandwidth than you can hope to get from your carrier.
As for the Exynos 5433, the chip is of the octa-core flavor and utilizes four Cortex A7 cores running at the efficient 1.3GHz, and four potent Cortex A15 cores running at up to 1.9GHz in an ARM big.LITTLE configuration, meaning that loads are transferred between the two clusters, depending on the lightness (or heaviness) of the task. If maximum power is required, the two clusters work together for superior speed.
Lest we forget, Samsung has also fitted 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM inside the Note 4, which, even today, is more than enough for a smartphone.
The same awesome camera from the Galaxy S5, but better
Looking at the front, Samsung has included a 3.7-megapixel selfie camera with very wide, f/1.9 lens. Since this is the selfie age and all, the front snapper comes with a few tricks up its sleeve – like the ability to take a photo by just putting your finger on top of the rear camera's lens and then removing it to snap, or, the addition of selfie panoramas.
Sensors, monitors, the whole shebang!
Price and release date
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is headed for an October release, and the typical carrier $299 price tag with a 2-year commitment is quite likely, at least judging from the way the company priced the Note 3. As for pricing off contract, the Note 4 will probably cost you about $750 stateside.
Galaxy Note 4
1. DogeShibe (Posts: 949; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)
Note 4 gonna take pa by storm...wait for it
10. AnTuTu (Posts: 968; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)
I wish I can buy both but its probably gonna be the hardest decision of my life :(
42. Evil_Shadow (Posts: 7; Member since: 03 Sep 2014)
All right dude, do tell me when you decide coz I m confused too :D
14. doejon (Posts: 360; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
dman u can also use the spen on ur touchbuttons on the phone :D
23. Ashoaib (Posts: 2426; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
thats pretty impressive... camera is exactly as I was hoping for... Note 4 you are mine... damn you huawei, you'll end up in my bro's pocket :D
34. umarmughal (Posts: 14; Member since: 27 Aug 2014)
King oF the ring...For which Everyone was wondering..
40. zeeBomb (Posts: 16; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)
The Note 4: A Beefier Samsung S5 Prime! Going to be a splendid thing to have.
57. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)
"Stuff a terrible-looking rectangle of a phone with even the best hardware available, and it will, sure as hell, fail. Spectacularly."
Now it will be fair if they give us examples and poofs. Right?
2. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8922; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I'm throwing my money at my phone and nothing is happen. :(
36. Ashoaib (Posts: 2426; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
yeah... focus on your studies... many phones will come and go but the time will never come... this is what we have relized the hard way, but anyway... sometime I miss those university days
3. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3297; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)
6. NextGenTech (Posts: 59; Member since: 24 Jul 2014)
Beast. 'm BUYING ASAP ...... Apple could really be doomed if people started to research.. We know they won't though. I'll show them they way.
7. amiaq (Posts: 499; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)
not sure what's the purpose of the curve screen on the "edge". Looks good though.
15. DogeShibe (Posts: 949; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)
I'm pretty it's got some functionality too..!!
8. Python212 (Posts: 363; Member since: 13 Aug 2014)
Note 4 or Note Edge!?!? OMG! This is soooo hard!!
9. mturby (unregistered)
is that the note 3, 2 or...?
12. Takeharu (Posts: 82; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
I'm deeply disappointed with the note 4, note edge looks awesome though!
13. plumix (Posts: 69; Member since: 28 Aug 2014)
the edge version will be my selected upgrade for my gnote 1 :P loll yes I still have it and use it :)
16. silencer271 (Posts: 231; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
Pass on the edge. That curved part would drive me up the wall. But going from a note 3 to a note 4 doesnt seem worth it. Hopefully next year its worth the upgrade.
20. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Both combined in a body, introducing the Pletal.
53. superduper (Posts: 151; Member since: 20 Oct 2013)
It's huge. And even heavier than the Note 3! Not sure what Sammy was thinking.
54. tedkord (Posts: 5252; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)
Probably that the aluminum everybody was screaming for weighs more than polycarbonate.
24. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
Even though the design didn't change much, it's making me want to buy it. Come on Sony, show us your Z3, I can't take it anymore lol!
Anyways, good job Samsung! One of the next phone for me. :)
25. djlucy (Posts: 8; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)
Guns blaze-in? You bet, note 4 you will be mine for Xmas :-) (note edge.....I guess I need more details, soon to come).... as im typing he comes my details lol
28. Limbopope (Posts: 25; Member since: 12 Aug 2014)
Anyone want to buy a three week old OnePlus One : D
29. kamranmoiz (Posts: 1; Member since: 20 May 2010)
Did Samsung just move back to microUSB 2.0 ??
30. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 444; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
I know! Or maybe a new smaller USB 3.0?
32. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 444; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
Noooo! I don't like the dotted glass design! The Note 3's brushed metal look glass is more luxurious! And that is just the drawback for the Note 4. All else is awesome! The features are awesome! Not so gimmicky anymore.
33. JMartin22 (Posts: 1245; Member since: 30 Apr 2013)
This may very well be the best phone throughout the rest of 2014, but I still hate these presentation's lack of technological overview. Why couldn't they tell us how the screen compared to the Note 3/S5 on a technical level? Aside from it being more higher resolution; is it brighter, more accurate, power efficient? etc.
37. Ashoaib (Posts: 2426; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
they will... samsung will use it as marketing strategy... slowly slowly they will hilight every feature in their ads
35. ledzeppelinpage (Posts: 11; Member since: 13 Jun 2014)
as I expected, Samsung kicks everyone's asses one more time.
now apple count only on their client's stupidity
38. Cyberchum (Posts: 278; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
PA will flood their site with news of S4 like they always do. They are like "let's split this news into 20 different articles to get more traffic" One will be made to read loads of news articles on one device to know what it brings on board.
39. hameed1989 (Posts: 47; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)
Samsung has done an Apple here.. They have introduced new tech before anyone..There Galaxy Note 4 is not exactly blowing the roof off but its certainly an improvement esp in terms of design. I do like the VR Headset though
44. strudelz100 (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
Snapdragon is so old its hilarious. Krait cores are 3 years old and 28nm is just as new.
If I bought a laptop today I wouldn't reach for the one with Sandy Bridge. Snapdragon 805 is a rehashed version of old, off the shelf parts. There is very little difference between the Snapdragon S4 Dual and the 805. Just more cores, more speed, and better software courtesy of Android increasing benchmarks.
Next years model will include both newer SoC designs, die shrink, and no increase in resolution to bog everything down.
Kudos to Samsung for their new processor though. 64bit is free performance. ARMv8 alone will increase performance and battery life by 10-20%.
45. refillable (Posts: 673; Member since: 10 Mar 2014)
Very good evolutionary upgrade (revolution is very hard right now anyways), but I wish they do better in design... They've got to learn a lot to design a masterpiece from metal (M7), I honestly view the Note 3 to have a better design than its successor.
BTW did you just said 64-bit exynos? That sounds extremely interesting...
47. strudelz100 (Posts: 304; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)
64bit Exynos using new ARM cores, and ARMv8 instructions. Built at 20nm. In Korea only though. Battery tests will show that the Exynos 5433 smokes the Snapdragon.
Everyone else gets the dated Snapdragon 800/801/805 at 28nm.
48. WallStreetWolf (Posts: 86; Member since: 08 Apr 2013)
We will see about that. Exynos processors have never really been that great in comparison to the chips coming out of Qualcomm. I'll be waiting for Anandtech.
49. AndroidTech (Posts: 20; Member since: 02 Apr 2014)
Ur wrong we in India always used to get exynos.. Now for the first time an improved 64 bit exynos with lte support will land.. Thank you samsung.
50. AndroidTech (Posts: 20; Member since: 02 Apr 2014)
PA says note 4 has 3gb ram wer as i just saw first look of note 4 by josh in android authority.. He mentioned it has 4gb..
51. giova90 (Posts: 5; Member since: 03 Sep 2014)
Here's what i dont like:
1) Downgraded from USB 3.0 to 2.0
2) Not compatible with microSD 128GB
3) Cheap chinese plastic for back cover
I'll stick with my Note 3.. at least i got USB 3.0 for f**k sake !
52. alrightihatepickingusernames (Posts: 439; Member since: 29 Dec 2013)
Samsung has actually really impressed me this time around! If a 64 bit model comes to carriers after Android L this might be a contender!
55. droidmanX (Posts: 39; Member since: 25 Jan 2014)
Why did they remove USB 3.0 that was available on Note 3 and S5 is baffling. It gave excellent transfer speeds much more than USB 2.0. Nevertheless Note 4 is good overall. Hope it is worth upgrading.
56. AndroidTech (Posts: 20; Member since: 02 Apr 2014)
Get ur facts right PA before posting any crap. Note 4 has exynos 5433 with 4 A53 cores and 4 A 57 cores its 64 bit ready.. Why in the world are u mixing things up and posting wrong things
58. 9thWonderful (Posts: 232; Member since: 24 Jan 2013)
My only question is can you talk on it...finally? Samsung's reception is trash.