Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: first look


It’s the new versus the old! The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 rocketed into our minds for being a well-rounded, fully equipped smartphone that screamed quality in every facet. Single handedly, it managed to dominate the phablet category yet again over the course of the last year, which isn’t all too surprising as we look at the offerings from its rivals. In typical style, the Galaxy Note 3 is relinquishing its strangle hold to only a single, worthy smartphone – its successor in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Knowing that the Note 4’s release is around the block, the question that’s most pertinent at the moment is whether current Note 3 owners should consider ditching the prized phone in favor of the newer model.


From the front, it’s almost indistinguishable to tell apart the two smartphones from one another, especially when they bear the familiar design styles we’ve come to see from Samsung’s camp. Not shockingly, however, we’re digging the design of the Galaxy Note 4 more because it’s sporting a metal trim around its sides that elevate its look a little more towards the premium side – thus, giving it an even more sophisticated look than its predecessor. Another noteworthy thing to mention is the slightly slimmer size of the Note 4, which is achieved thanks in part to Sammy shaving off more of the bezel around the Note 4’s display.

Despite the favorable results with the Note 4, it still bears the foundational design principles we’ve come to expect from the Note line. Sure, the addition of a metal trim in combination with a slimmer size is both nice, but in the greater scheme of things, we wouldn’t necessarily classify its design to be any more daring.


Looking at the specs alone reveals the supreme advantage of the Galaxy Note 4. Indeed, the two displays share a couple of commonalities – like their 5.7-inch sizes and the fact that they employ Super AMOLED technology. However, the dramatically improved QHD (1440 x 2560) resolution of the Note 4 produces significantly sharper details than that of the 1080p (1080 x 1920) resolution of the Note 3’s display. From a normal viewing distance, however, it’s really tough to gauge the Note 4’s superiority in this particular area. As we look closer, though, it becomes blatantly clear that there’s no shred of any pixilation seen with the naked eye with the Note 4’s screen.

That alone sets the Note 4 apart from its predecessor, which isn’t all that surprising considering that quad-HD resolution is the new standard going forward with today’s high-end smartphones. Although it’s tough to distinguish at first, we’re able to make out the slightly more potent brightness out of the Note 4 – while their over-saturated color reproductions continue to give them that showroom wow factor.

Interface and Functionality

It’s funny looking at the two respective software experiences, since we imagine a greater degree of change to the look and presentation of TouchWiz on the newer Galaxy Note 4. Sadly, though, there’s not a whole lot of that to the NEW TouchWiz experience – aside from a few new software features. Visually, it’s nearly identical to the outdated, cartoony look of TouchWiz past, which doesn’t say a whole lot when looking at the competition – more so towards last year’s Note 3.

If we’re to look past the superficial stuff, we begin to uncover the Note 4’s new software features, which give it a leg up over the Note 3. Specifically, various swipe gestures have been employed that enables us to access certain functions – like quickly checking out the time/date, running the camera app, or bringing us to the last thing we were doing on the phone. In addition, the S-Pen’s increased functionality gives the productivity conscious user even more control.

Processor and Memory

Yes, being the successive smartphone has its advantages – such as the case here with the Note 4’s newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, which naturally is more prized than the Note 3’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. On the surface, however, there are barely marginal differences with their overall performances, as we’re greeted with smooth performances loading up a page in its web browser, navigating across the homescreen, and launching other apps.

Thankfully, Samsung is very cognizant about our storage needs, seeing that these two behemoths offer us a spacious 32GB of internal storage – complemented further by their available microSD card slots.


As with everything we’ve seen thus far, the Note 4 is able to better its predecessor with its larger 16-megapixel rear camera – a modest upgrade to the Note 3’s still formidable sized 13-megapixel camera. Who knows exactly how the higher count camera can contribute to having better results, but Samsung is kind enough to also throw in optical image stabilization, which helps to keep things steady when taking photos and videos. Don’t count out the Note 3’s prowess in this specific area, since it proves to us time-after-time that it’s still one capable thing when it comes to snapping photos and videos, but we’re eager to see the improvements made to the Note 4’s camera.


We know that some people are itching to grab their hands on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4, since it’s one rich smartphone from head-to-toe. However, for those folks out there currently calling the Note 3 as their daily drivers, they’re surely in a predicament with the inevitable release of the Note 4. The question that’ll nag them is whether it’s logical for them to ditch their Note 3, and just jump right in with the Note 4. Undoubtedly, we wouldn’t be too shocked by the idea, since anything newer will usually draw in people, but it’s going to be a hard fought battle because the Note 3 is still one noteworthy smartphone in the space – more so when we think about the phablet category.

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