Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: Four of a kind
From an oddball that everyone was laughing at to becoming one of the most important Samsung announcements of the year - the Note series got to a place where now everyone else wants to be in too, including Apple. Samsung isn't in too big a trouble just yet, but profits just can't keep climbing forever and the company needs the Galaxy Note 4 to become a success in a way the Galaxy S5 couldn't.
That's some heavy burden to carry, even more so considering competition is at an all-time high, now that Apple finally entered the phablet game. Yet the fifth Galaxy Note phablet (you didn't forget the Note 3 Neo, did you?) is as well prepared as one could hope for. Amazing hardware is what put the Notes on the map, but two generations after the original the software support finally caught up to make last year's Galaxy Note 3 a genuinely exclusive package.
Now the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes to finally add the last seemingly missing piece of the puzzle - the exclusive design. A metal frame and a curved glass over the screen along with a refined faux leather back work together to make the latest phablet one of the handsomest pieces of hardware around. And as you can see in the list below, Samsung didn't have to make compromises elsewhere.
- 5.7" 16M-color QHD Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with curved Gorilla Glass 4
- Android OS v4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
- LTE Cat 6 support
- Quad-core 2.7GHz Krait 450 CPU, Adreno 420 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset
- 3GB of RAM
- 16MP OIS camera with 2160p video recording @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 120fps
- 3.7MP front-facing camera, 1440p video recording
- Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA, Download booster
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
- 32GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
- S Pen stylus
- Enhanced Multi-window multitasking support
- Fingerprint scanner with PayPal support and private mode access
- microUSB 2.0 port with USB host and MHL 2.0
- Bluetooth v4.0
- IR port for remote control functionality
- Standard 3.5mm audio jack
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Heart-rate monitor
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- 3,220mAh battery
- Rear-mounted mono speaker
- microUSB 2.0 is a downgrade over microUSB 3.0 on the Note 3
- The uneven gap between the metal frame and curved screen glass takes a few points away from an otherwise excellent build
- No enhanced resistance to liquids or dust
- Wireless charging support only with an optional back cover
The first QHD AMOLED screen and the first Snapdragon 805 smartphone to go global as well as the best S Pen yet - the list of things for Galaxy Note 4 owners to brag about is certainly not a short one. But a flagship's worth is not in the number of exclusive features - the areas where it fails count double against it. And while the Galaxy Note 4 has very few things to be ashamed of, it's our duty to check against any nasty surprises.
So, we set to explore each and every feature of Samsung's latest flagship. The first rendezvous back at IFA went well for the Galaxy Note 4, but will it survive a proper in-house audition? Let's find out together - join us on the next page as we start exploring the exterior.