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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Introduction


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is one of the finest smartphones we saw last year, and we have to say, it held its own pretty well throughout 2014. But the time has come for a better, faster, and stronger heir to stand up and announce its immediate appointment. The Galaxy Note 4 is every bit as good as its predecessor, only better in every regard. Samsung had to go far and out to ensure the Galaxy Note remains the king of phablets. A direct comparison with its powerful predecessor is a good way to find out whether the Galaxy Note 4 is up for the challenge.

Design

Subtle, but impossible to miss refinements make the Galaxy Note 4 the most beautiful one in the series.

The Galaxy Note 4 represents a subtle, but impossible to miss refinement of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3's design. For example, its looks have become more aesthetically pleasing. Instead of dull and flat, the front panel is more sporty and vibrant, and the aluminum frame is not merely something for the plastic to hold on to, but a finely sculpted design detail. The faux leather texture on the back panel stays in the Galaxy Note 4, although it looks classier now that the tacky fake stitching is removed.

The button placement remains unchanged. In both devices, the power key is positioned to the right, while the volume buttons are found on the left. The Home button, positioned in the center of the bottom bezel, looks about the same, although the one in the Galaxy Note 4 houses a fingerprint reader, as with the S5. It is accompanied by the multitasking capacitive key to the left, and the Back capacitive key to the right. And to the lower right, of course, you will find the Galaxy Note's specialty - the S-Pen slot.

Talking about the S-Pen, the stylus itself is 99% identical between the two devices, with only minor cosmetic differences to account for. Notably, the one in the Galaxy Note 4 is significantly easier to take out of its slot – it simply slides in and out. The one in the Galaxy Note 3 required a much tighter grip and pull.

Which phablet is easier to handle? That's pretty hard to say. The Note 4 is taller (by 0.09 inches or 2.28mm), slightly thicker (by 0.008 inches or 0.2mm) and heavier (by 0.28 oz or 8 grams), but it is 0.03 inches (0.76mm) narrower than its predecessor. These tiny differences don't account for a noticeable improvement or decline in ergonomics, and the sameness between build materials makes both phones feel equal in the hand – large, solid and rectangular.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches
151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 3


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.

Display

Past mistakes are forgiven! The Galaxy Note 4 has higher resolution and is super color-accurate.

Putting the Galaxy Note 3's 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display against that of the new Galaxy Note 4 shows how much Samsung managed to improve its AMOLED technology. The Note 4 display has the same 5.7-inch diagonal, but its resolution has been bumped to QHD (1440x2560). This results in a higher pixel density of 515 pixels per inch (ppi) compared to the Galaxy Note 3's 386 ppi. Thanks to this, the Galaxy Note 4's display appears sharper, its individual pixels impossible to spot with the naked eye from any viewing distance. The difference is not immediately apparent at first, because the Galaxy Note 3's display is still pretty sharp. But when the two phablets are put next to each other and viewed at a normal distance from the eye – say 16 inches (40cm) - the predecessor's screen seems a little blurry.

Resolution bump aside, picture quality is a huge area of improvement. In terms of accurate colors, the Galaxy Note 4 is the first Samsung phone to really have such. The Note 4's standard color temperature is a wildly impressive 6667 Kelvins - a hair's distance from the reference level of 6500 Kelvins. The Note 3, in comparison, verges far into the realm of cold colors with its temperature of 7972 Kelvins. The Galaxy Note 4 screen's color and grayscale errors are minimal, while the Note 3 has overblown colors and greenish look, that may wow somebody, but is pretty inaccurate. Note 4 not only has the most color-accurate AMOLED phone display, but also one of the best phone displays at all. However, if we nitpick, we must note the gamma level - the Galaxy Note 3, which measures 2.25, is almost on point with the preferred Gamma value of 2.2, while the Galaxy Note 4 measures a lower 1.97 gamma value. However, the lower gamma of the Note 4 is the result of brighter highlights only, with the shadows remaining as dark as they should be. This means that the screen ends up being a bit punchier and more contrasty than normal, though the effect is not so overdone as to be annoying or distracting. And it is still presents a much more realistic, color-accurate view than the Galaxy Note 3.

Finally, let's have a look at how the two displays perform outdoors and indoors. Pleasant outdoor usage requires a bright display covered with high quality, non-reflective glass. Both phablets are covered with high-quality glass that isn't overly reflective, so we have this part sorted out. But what about brightness levels? Although the Galaxy Note 3's display is reasonably well visible under direct sunlight, its maximum brightness level of 360 nits is surpassed by the 468 nits its successor is capable of. This means you will have a much easier time seeing and operating the Note 4 outdoors in the sun than its predecessor.

Bedtime reading requires a very low level of brightness to not strain your eyes. Both phablets fare very well in this regard, as the Galaxy Note 3 gets down to 4 nits of luminance, while its successor can muster a terrific 1 nit, ensuring a very comfortable night reading experience.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6667
(Excellent)
1.97
1.56
(Excellent)
3.1
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 360
(Average)
4.6
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7972
(Average)
2.25
5.5
(Average)
6.93
(Average)
View all

40 Comments
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posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:00 24

1. zunaidahmed (Posts: 569; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)


wow, 1 nit is impressive, I am an Apple fan, but I do love how samsung built their phablets, I bought the 6 plus, and I am gonna buy the note 4. I am pretty sure note 4 beats the 6 plus easily. Mostly because samsung already knows how to make use of the bigger display, while Apple is still trying to push into this market.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:18 12

6. Dude2014 (Posts: 435; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Nice rational comment from Apple fan! :)

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 15:48

24. AnTuTu (Posts: 1578; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)


Great devices for great ppl :)

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:01 5

2. zunaidahmed (Posts: 569; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)


I am not an hater of any brand, pls don't mistake my comment guys......haha

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 19:09 1

28. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1031; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


I like what you said because you're giving credit where is due. I will have either the Note 3 or Note 4 hopefully by the end of the month. You have to respect Apple for what they've done, but Apple needs to keep up because companies like Samsung are running over them and have been over the last couple of years

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:05 1

3. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


at least 9 hours of battery life for note 4

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:52 3

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


I had similar results when I had my N3 after tweaking and disabling a lot of apps.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 13:51

17. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


but you had s5 smurf, as far as I remember

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 17:15

26. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


And a Note 3 before that. I used that before I got the S5 on launch day.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 14:33

20. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


I meant phonearena test.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:12 4

4. shaineql (Posts: 344; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


Battery life with 1nits while night surfing in bed , thats gonna be awesome

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:18 1

5. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Note3 is better
Note3 = good battery life + good design + Has pen

Note4 =only good screen

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:32 6

8. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


lol so note 4 has no pen and good design ?

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 15:14

22. mawhob2222 (Posts: 219; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


Note4 has pen but the design no, also the battery life very bad link...

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 21:26

30. Andrewtst (Posts: 608; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


What a nonsense reply.

Note 4 battery test proof better than Note 3.

Note 4 had 2x better sensitivity S Pen than Note 3.

Note 4 design wise is much better and premium than Note 3.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:52 4

12. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


dunno if serious or joking

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 13:50 2

16. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


wow, what a wise comparison... note 3 has pen+good design+good battery... note 4 doesnt have these... we need more such a knowledgable persons, you alone is not enough... world will be a better place if we have some more

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 03:56

33. Industriality (Posts: 131; Member since: 08 Sep 2014)


I tried Note 4 in samsung Store in Paris (Fr) :

- better screen
- better build
- has pen too
- Back leatherette is awesome and very pleasant to touch
- battery life hasn't been tested yet (wait for gsmarena and anandtech)

Your comment is stupid.

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:24

35. Noonting (Posts: 132; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Note4 battery is better

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:20 4

7. Dude2014 (Posts: 435; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


Considering the price, Note 3 is 480$ and Note 4 is 750$ in my country, Note 3 wins hands down!

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:33

9. ilegales (Posts: 3; Member since: 09 Oct 2014)


Here in central europe the note 4 is going for $1000
so your price of $750 is actually very good

what country are you located ??

thanks

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:53

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


It's $700-825 in the US depending on the carrier.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:37

10. strudelz100 (Posts: 644; Member since: 20 Aug 2014)


41000 on Antutu? The iPhone 5S gets 42-48,000 with iOS8.

A year newer and the same Graphics scores on GFX Bench. Slower web browsing?

Resolution taking its toll. Couple this with the fact that neither are future-proofed for 64bit Android L (and all updates from now on): and the Note 3 is clearly the better value.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 12:55 7

14. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You criticized the benchmark scores yet parsed the fact it has a 64-bit processor for future proofing.

The 5433 destroys everything on the market. The N4 is without a doubt the most powerful smartphone on the market (as always). Best Buy has been demoing the N4 for about two weeks now and the 805 pushes that 1440p screen perfectly.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 14:09

18. CreeDiddy (Posts: 607; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


Any is capable of pushing qHD. Manufacturer's choose not to use the screen resolution due to its higher cost and battery drain. Once the screens become more efficient and the cost comes down you will see more manufactuer's adopting the higher resolution. The Apple A Series processor is capable of pushing 4k, but it doesn't make sense on a 5"-6" phone.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 17:18 1

27. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10434; Member since: 14 May 2012)


qHD is 960x540p. AMOLED has come to the point where QHD is as efficient as the 1080p panel. GS5 LTE-A proves this.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 14:41

21. alaw.14 (Posts: 227; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)


The 805 wont get a perfect score all the time. There is sometimes were the 805 gets 50,000 on antutu and you dont even want to know what the exynos 5433 gets on antutu.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 21:31

31. Andrewtst (Posts: 608; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


That is Snapdragon 805 result.

Exynos 5433 is far ahead this time and anytime reach over 50k benchmark. Also remember the iPhone 6 plus 3D benchmark had some issue where it run lower than 1080p resolution. Every others site is pointing out.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 13:17 3

15. gigaraga (Posts: 1454; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


Two beautiful phones from two generations. Gotta love em' Note series.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 14:13

19. Sid91 (unregistered)


I saw a screen shot from one xda user for note 4 where Antutu score was 50272 for the exynos version, I wanna know how the score varies so much and if the quad core registers a lower score.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 15:42

23. AndroidTech (Posts: 20; Member since: 02 Apr 2014)


I ve note 3.. Its still an awesome phablet.. Rose gold has much better look than chrome metal..

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 16:38

25. UglyFrank (Posts: 1580; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Note 3 has a 1/3inch sensor

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 21:12

29. kevin91202 (Posts: 518; Member since: 08 Jun 2014)


The Note 4 has a maximum brightness of 750 nits. Once again, please get it right, PA.

posted on 09 Oct 2014, 23:27

32. vivasomuvivek (Posts: 5; Member since: 02 Sep 2014)


awesome phone!!

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 04:02 1

34. TheOldOne (Posts: 187; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Dear Phone Arena, please be so kind that on you next comparison you make sure you use the same wallpapers for the devices. This gives us a better base for figure it out for ourself which display is nicer for instance.

In this particular example, the Note 3 looks way better than the Note 4th...

posted on 10 Oct 2014, 07:27

36. Noonting (Posts: 132; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


I liked note3's stitch design

posted on 11 Oct 2014, 06:42

37. liftmeup (Posts: 29; Member since: 17 May 2014)


Antutu benchmark for my Note 3 showed 41095, measuring it three times in a row, every result was above 41000..

posted on 11 Oct 2014, 15:12 1

38. phonemonkey (Posts: 168; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


Okay, how biased in the fan base of this website?
Apple gets slammed constantly for changing nothing, while samsung consistently releases the same freaking phone with nothing but upgraded hardware components?

Is anyone else tracking this?

Why? Because samsung has little leverage over the software experience.
It is horrible.

At least apple is ballsy enough to have its own operating system.

Oh, and by the way, they are doing an amazing job with it.
Where is samsungs own proprietary operating system for… anything?

Not to mention samsung down 60%, please let the excuses fly.

Hate away.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 06:04

39. saffant (Posts: 271; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Tsk tsk. I pity your intellect (or lack there of).

posted on 15 Jan 2015, 02:44

40. choozurmobile (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Jan 2015)


best phones Samsung ever designed. Really a must have gadgets.

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