Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: Four of a kind

Four of a kind

GSMArena team, 10 October 2014.

Snapdragon 805 chip

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 we reviewed comes with the Snapdragon 805 system-on-a-chip, which should be the last 32-bit high-end chipset from Qualcomm. It's built using a 28nm manufacturing process and has a quad-core CPU with four Krait 450 cores clocked as high as 2.7GHz. The graphics processor is an Adreno 420 GPU.

The Galaxy Note 4 can alternatively come with the Samsung-made Exynos 5433 with an octa-core processor with four Cortex-A53 1.3GHz cores and four Cortex-A57 1.9GHz ones. The GPU in charge in the Exynos chipset is the Mali-T760. Our review unit however is the Snapdragon version.

Let's look at the CPU performance first. Geekbench 3 and AnTuTu 5 give an all-around evaluation of the system. Here the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 scored very high results. In Geekbench 3 it was defeated (strangely) by its peers - Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Snapdragon chipsets and the Exynos-powered Alpha. It edged out the Apple iPhone 6 Plus, though.

AnTuTu 5 shows the Galaxy Note 4 as the second seed just behind the Galaxy Alpha. Basemark OS II shows an overall score along with single and multi-core scores.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3214
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    3011
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    2937
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2925
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    2884
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2860
  • OnePlus One
    2663
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2563
  • HTC One (M8)
    2367

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    51905
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    46824
  • HTC One (M8)
    44020
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    43164
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    42211
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    40393
  • LG G3 - EU version
    39905

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    1222
  • OnePlus One
    1196
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    1181
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1126
  • HTC One (M8)
    1126
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1109
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1082
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    1003
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    915

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2588
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    2579
  • HTC One (M8)
    2428
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    2415
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    2236
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2213
  • OnePlus One
    2213
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2114

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    15096
  • OnePlus One
    10234
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    10063
  • HTC One (M8)
    9860
  • LG G3 - EU version
    9611
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    9446
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    9364
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    8792

The Adreno 420 GPU inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is very capable. We ran a series of on and offscreen tests through GFXBench and the gaming benchmark Basemark X. It's important to note that the onscreen tests should turn out with a lower framerate because of the Galaxy Note 4's (quite higher than 1080p) 1440p screen resolution.

The GFX 2.7 and 3.0 offscreen tests place the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in second place behind the Apple iPhone 6 Plus. The difference in framerate isn't big compared to the iPhone but is considerable (in favor of the Galaxy Note 4) when compared to other phones.

The onscreen tests place the Samsung phablet way behind the competition, which is to be expected - it has the highest resolution here, aside from the LG G3.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 got points where it counted, though. Gaming shows great promise as the Note 4 topped Basemark X.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    44.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    41.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    31.3
  • HTC One (M8)
    28.4
  • OnePlus One
    28.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    27.8
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    27.7
  • LG G3 - EU version
    27.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    26.3

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    48.4
  • HTC One (M8)
    30.1
  • OnePlus One
    30
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    29.3
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    28.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    26.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    26.4
  • LG G3 - EU version
    20.5

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    18.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18.5
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    13.4
  • OnePlus One
    12.1
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.8
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11.4
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.1
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    9.9

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    25.3
  • OnePlus One
    12.9
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12.7
  • HTC One (M8)
    11.9
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11.7
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    11.2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 S800
    10
  • LG G3 - EU version
    7.2

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18684
  • OnePlus One
    13129
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    12637
  • HTC One (M8)
    12396
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    11744
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11552
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    11065

Browsing benchmarks show JavaScript and HTML 5 performance on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Kraken tests the former and lists the Galaxy Note 4 as second only to the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Alpha - a respectable score. HTML 5 performance on the Galaxy Note 4 is surpassed only by its main rival, the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    4650
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    4911
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    5351
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    6043
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    6355
  • LG G3 - EU version
    6987
  • OnePlus One
    7008
  • HTC One (M8)
    10296

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3389
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2208
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    1533
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1474
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 (S801)
    1398
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    1364
  • OnePlus One
    1339
  • HTC One (M8)
    1069

What you need to take away from these tables is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a very capable smartphone. The 1440p display resolution is tasking on the GPU (as seen in the scores above) and the multitasking features will take their tow on the processor but the Snapdragon 805 handles everything with ease.

Performance is buttery smooth aside from a half a second wait when you tap the recent apps button (but probably just nitpicking here - the same task on the Nexus 5 running stock Android takes exactly the same rime). The UI appears to run at a constant 60fps.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Don't order no phone from these people there tell you one thing and it the next look for someplace better

  • Anonymous

6 year old phone, bad battery, wow what a surprise

  • Anonymous

Battery very weak