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.

Design


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.

Display


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.

Camera



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.

Expectations


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.




Related phones

Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)

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15 Comments

1. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Note 4 or edge has finger scanner?

9. fanboy1974

Posts: 1345; Member since: Nov 12, 2011

It has both fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor. But with Android wear it may not matter anymore.

2. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The Note Edge is where it's at!

3. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Think the Edge will come to Verizon?

14. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1277; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Both 4 and edge coming to all 4

4. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

Kind of odd they didn't include a finger scanner. Not something that's really important to be, but something others might want to see. Maybe it's on the back, though. Not sure.

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

The fingerprint scanner is in the home button like the S5.

5. engineer-1701d unregistered

note 4 is a fail due to speaker on the back not the bottom or the front.

6. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Yeah, looks like I will be sticking with my note 3 till note 5.. dont like rear back speakers. .

7. CX3NT3_713

Posts: 2363; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Why no hands on, with the note edge? That's the interesting one

8. CanYouSeeTheLight

Posts: 1122; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

"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." What? It has a bigger bezel than the Note 3 as is evident on the pics...

10. Tsepz_GP

Posts: 1177; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Gimme that gorgeous Note 4 :D

11. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Staring at the picture of Note 4 and Note 4 together and drooling over it...

12. spiderpig2894

Posts: 597; Member since: Jan 10, 2012

Aww. The top and bottom bezels are a little bit increased by some mm and the rear speaker grill is a no-no. I prefer the current Note's bottom speaker grill. I'll just wait for the Note 5 or 6 then.

13. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

The problem : GN3 is much more attractive with the price tag. Yeah, that's the REAL problem all Android OEMs are facing.

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