Time has come ! Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is launched in a usual fashion that Samsung has been following for quite a while, releasing flagship every year. Here i will review Galaxy Note 4. This review will be unbiased and yes i am not paid to do this review even though i am a Galaxy Note Series lover but i am definitely not a “fan boy”.I have upgraded my phone from Note 3 to Note 4. So this is my Galaxy Note 4 review and i will reviewing hardware, software and galaxy note 4 specs.
Galaxy Note 4 Hardware
Beauty & The Best
Samsung’s switch from plastic to mental was predicted after they came out with Galaxy Alpha though it did spoil the surprise element by releasing Galaxy Alpha first but after the release of Galaxy Note 4 this may be likely the first time regular consumers get their hands on mental device from Samsung.
The metal is composed of aluminum and magnesium that runs around the edges of Note 4 with flat portions and very slightly textured color that matches the rest of the phone. I have personally seen the white one and it looks beautiful and its very much visible that its a metal phone.
Truly the build quality of Note 4 puts the old Samsung devices to shame. The class and beauty that you cannot squeeze out of a plastic device. Even though the entire back cover is still plastic and removable as it has been always with Samsung. But you will tend to not notice it because the contact point of your hand and fingers will be all metal.
The plastic back cover still has the leathery touch as that of its predecessor Galaxy Note 3 but the stitch texture is taken off though it’s not that bad as the overall device weight is reduced to just 176 gram and good thing is you still have access to removable battery and very well placed sim-card and micro sd slot. One reason i think of that Samsung continues to use plastic back cover is because how compact it makes the device feel in hand and more importantly it brings the good grip in hand compared to the metal back cover. Think of your hand sweating and how difficult it will be to handle metal sleek phone.
Volume and power buttons are in the standard places, as are the headphone and USB ports. All the buttons match the metal edges perfectly and are easier to find in regular use than older versions. For some reason Samsung decided to move back to USB 2.0 from 3.0. But no matter how comfortable it feels Note 4 is still going to be too large for many people to handle.
Galaxy Note 4 Specs
Could you ask for more ?
Beneath the beautiful exterior of the Galaxy Note 4 are the specs that keeps the edge with what’s available in late 2014. SnapDragon 805 quad-core processor clocked at 2.7 GHz paired up with GPU Adreno 420, 3GB Ram and a stunning QHD 5.7″ Super AMOLED display.
Galaxy Note 4 ships with 32GB of internal storage of which almost 7.78GB is used up by the system. After installing my favorite apps and games (and by the way ! it’s a lot :p) I am still left with around 15 GB of free space. I do use 32GB of micro sd which always keeps my free of problem running into errors like low space. Note 4 can support upto 128GB of micro sd compared to only 64GB in Note 3.
Note 4 does carry some headline features from Galaxy S5. The finger scanner in the home button and the heart rate sensor in the back just under the camera. For most people like me these feature maybe a meaningless one time feature. But i still think finger scanner is worth having considering security.
Galaxy Note 4 Display & Speakers
That’s a stunning display ?
Samsung has upgraded their display to QHD for Note 4. Impressive resolution of 2560×1440 is just stunning. I am very comfortable to say that this is the best display Samsung has ever put in a phone. I go out a lot and there is a noticeable improvements in outdoor viewing in the Note 4’s display. It is bright, insanely crisp and easy to see in the daylight.
Audio is one thing that i have to complain about. The speaker quality isn’t worthy of my praise as i praise other features of Galaxy Note 4. The speaker just isn’t loud and with such a beast phone you kind of expect a bit more in terms of audio. Its more than perfect for ringtones and loudspeaker calls and other notifications but certainly its not something that you want to watch a youtube video without plugging in some earphones.
Galaxy Note 4 Software
Lighter, Brighter and Friendly
Software on Galaxy Note 4 is similar to the one on Galaxy S5 but if you put it side by side and compare you may notice subtle differences and it’s all for the good. Notification pane is cleaner. No more S Finder and Quick connect which i truly hated in Note 3. The quick settings also looks cleaner and elegant than before.
“My Magzine” has been replaced with “Briefing”. It has the same functionality though. Briefing is powered by Flipboard. I do use Flipboard but i don’t like the way “Briefing” is so i just use flipboard application whenever i want to checkout news and trends.
There are also changes in Settings and device settings. Samsung has moved to a much more appealing white background with black text. Though it does drain battery but i like the move to white background. It looks more friendly, easier to read and provides nice contrast. The settings have also been simplified.
Since i bought the device i have enjoyed these Samsung changes and have nothing to complain about specially considering the release of Android L. They are trying to get people to get used to these changes. Although the biggest changes i have noticed are in use of S Pen, One-handed operation, Multi Windows.
I am not sure if you ever noticed that Samsung never refers to its S pen as stylus and it does make sense considering the features S Pen handles and with no surpirze this year S Pen received bunch of features and improvements.
I have noticed that Galaxy Note 4 S Pen is easier to handle though the basic features stayed the same but old “Pen Window” feature is now gone. It does retains the old Action memo, Smart select, Image clip and Screen write options.
S Note has significantly received major visual changes but functionality is the same as before. One frature that i always loved hand/palm rejection is still there which is good !. I do use S Pen a lot and trust me when hand/palm rejection is not On i go through a lot of trouble to note down something but maybe it’s just me.
Multi Window and one-handed operation
The Multi Window feature is now way easier to use and the annoying tab on the side of the screen is no longer required. You can launch apps and split screen view with a tap of a button on the application’s card in your multitasking view. Long pressing the back button will open up a sidebar to show a list of Multi Window capable app that you can drag and drop on your screen. The only problem remains is that this feature only works with few apps. I am still waiting for Samsung to change the feature so we can use any app we want to in split screen. Hopefully it will come soon !
Galaxy Note 4 is also capable of running the small windowed apps called pop-up apps on top of other content on your phone. A new gesture is added to accomplish this, just swipe diagonally from the top-right corner of the screen to shrink down the current app into a small window. New feature let’s you collapse windows apps into a small persistent bubble that can be recalled into a full app at any time just like chat heads in Facebook messenger. I found myself using windowed app using often like checking out a map while searching for an address on webpage or taking a note while checking out a website.
One feature that i never used in Note 3 because i didn’t like it much is now much improved in Galaxy Note 4 and that is One-handed operation. Now i can shrink it as much as i want and gesture made it easier as well. Simply swipe in from either edge and quickly back out towards the edge to enable One-handed operation.
As i previously said i hated this feature in Note 3 but now i find it very useful in Galaxy Note 4 because the improvements Samsung has made. Though sometimes i do feel that i am wasting the half of that brilliant QHD display.
Overall the new improvements in Multi Window and Multi tasking department increases the usability of Note’s large screen
Galaxy Note 4 Performance
My biggest concern with getting Note 4 was battery life. Considering QHD 2560×1440 display i was not sure how much it will affect the performance. But after getting it and using it for a month i can say Samsung has done a great job with the combination of software and hardware. I did not notice any drop in performance.
I have been using my Note 4 for a month and i did not face single instance where my Note 4 stuttered even with heavy multitasking which i did face with Note 3. Galaxy Note 4 is insanely impressive to see everything running smoothly on high resolution display.
Galaxy Note 4 Battery
One Day Device
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with 3220 mAh battery. Similar shape of battery like Galaxy S5’s. I do use my phone heavily and I am able to use the device for a day easily without plugging it in again in the middle of the day so i am pretty happy with the battery performance considering we do not have any technology yet which can produce batteries that can go for days.
Though on extremely heave usage with multiple hours of YouTube videos and LTE tethering to my laptop. My phone lasted almost 8 hours. I am pretty happy with that given that my Note 3 used to get drained within 3 hours though i am not being fair as i used Note 3 almost a year. But 8 hours on extreme usage is more than enough.
Galaxy Note 4 Camera
16MP with improvements
I have read so many reviews on Galaxy S5 and how bad its Camera performed in low light. With Note 4 they did some improvements, it does retains features like phase detection auto focus but ads one feature that was missing from GS5 and that is OIS – Optical Image Stabilization. It is a feature that physically stabilizes the Camera module. It is not just a fancy thing it actually does enhances what a Camera is capable of.
The result of Galaxy Note 4 speak for themselves, simply by adding OIS to the GS5 Camera drastically enhances the photographic capabilities of the Galaxy Note 4. Low light performance has been improved from rubbish to acceptable. Video is much smoother. Samsung has removed all the software stabilization modes from the Camera interface indicating hardware is capable enough to do the job on its own.
I will still argue that Note 4 is not producing good images in low light but does takes absolutely stunning photos in ideal light conditions.
Galaxy Note 4 records video in UHD – Ultra High Definition (3840×2160) as well as 1080p and also slow motion video just like GS5. The OIS helps with video stability, Samsung has removed any software stabilization from video mode as well and now is entirely handled by OIS – Optical Image Stabilization. Watch some video samples below. Note video sample is not by me.
Front Camera is 3.7 megapixels (MP) with new software features. With “selfies” culture on the trend Samsung is embracing it. Wide-angles and new panorama selfie mode it is now easier to get you and your friends in one single shot from the front and yes it does offer good images. Samsung has also added a rear cam selfie option that automatically takes a picture when your face is detected.
Final Words On Galaxy Note 4
Yes ! Bigger & Better
I am certainly happy for the changes Samsung made to Note 4 and i am enjoying the device to the fullest though i did wait for the element of surprise when Note 4 was announced. I love the device but i am still waiting to see the change. My words to those who want to upgrade from Note 3 and are confused. If you have money and you are looking to change your device then go for Note 4 but if you are happy with your current Note 3 then there is no reason to upgrade. Wait for Note 6. For all those who want a new phone and will not mind the phablet’s big screen. Get Note 4 and you will probably never look back. This is the time to upgrade. If you found this article helpful please like, share and comment. Thanks for reading.