Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: Four of a kind

Four of a kind

GSMArena team, 10 October 2014.

Phonebook is great

The dialer is the familiar TouchWiz app and features all the basics - smart dial, quick dial and even a video call button.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Phonebook • Favorites tab

The Galaxy Note 4 features auto call rejection - it can reject all calls, only calls from specific numbers, all unknown numbers and so on. Blocking mode is even more restrictive - it blocks incoming calls and silences notifications and alarms. Only contacts on the priority list will be able to get a call or a message through. Blocking mode can be set to turn on and off automatically during a certain time period (e.g. at night).

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Contact window • Auto reject settings

You can create custom vibrations for different callers (similarly to the way it's done on iOS).

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Creating a custom vibration

Stellar telephony

We had no issues with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 when it came to reception or call quality. Sounds came out loud and clear in the earpiece and callers on the other end said they hear us without issue. The noise-cancelling microphone on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 also seems to do a great job of eliminating the cacophony of the outside world.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung went with a back-facing single speaker on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Given the extra space on the phone we would've preferred stereo speakers anywhere but on the back. At least the quality and loudness of the speaker is up to scratch - it came out with an excellent score and is among the loudest phones we've tested. Things don't stop at loudness though - the sound was clear and of great quality.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 67.3 65.7 66.5 Below Average
Sony Xperia Z3 69.7 66.6 67.2 Average
Samsung Galaxy Alpha 66.6 61.7 75.7 Average
Apple iPhone 6 66.6 65.7 72.8 Average
HTC One (M8) 66.3 66.3 75.7 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9005 70.5 66.6 78.0 Good
Samsung Galaxy S5 mini 73.5 67.7 78.7 Very Good
OnePlus One 74.8 73.5 80.2 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 79.5 74.4 89.3 Excellent

Feature-rich messaging

The Messages app has a row of shortcuts for the contacts you message most often and below that is the list of all conversation threads. Threads feels like a standard IM app and you can customize font size, the shape of the bubbles and the background.

This app handles both SMS and MMS and features a wide variety of smilies. Note that using smilies greatly reduces the number of symbols in a message - it drops to 70 and each smiley counts for two symbols (that's because they use the Unicode format rather than the GSM alphabet).

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Messaging app

The Messages app has some cool features too - you can delay dispatch by 3 seconds (or up to 30), so you can cancel a message before it goes out. You can also schedule messages to be sent automatically (say, congratulations for a birthday).

The app also features spam protection - messages from specific numbers or containing specific phrases can be blocked. Safe mode will disable the feature that automatically makes links clickable and will scan them for potential threats.

You can set an Emergency message to go out to primary contacts when you hit the Power button three times fast. The phone can optionally take a photo (without making a sound) and send it along with the message.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has two email clients - the Email and Gmail apps. Both are well familiar by now and work just as ever. You can use them side by side via Multi window as well and use the drag and drop functionality for text.

The all-purpose keyboard

The Samsung QWERTY keyboard really shines on the ample, high-res canvas of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It features a row of numbers above the letters and a rich set of features. You can enter text by swipe-typing (like Swype and others), as well as move the cursor or view all alternative symbols for a key (which can be great if you use special symbols a lot).

The button row has a quick dial-like feature where you press and hold a number to enter a preset phrase. This can be used for standard messages like "okay", "can't talk now" and so on.

A small floating keyboard is also available, which comes in handy with Multi Window as you can move it out of the way (and it takes up less space to begin with).

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Naturally there's Voice input but also handwriting recognition. You can type things using S Pen and then the software converts them into better-looking text using a handwritten font.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Reader comments

Mine is reaching 7 years, and I was thinking about the same replacement. I have always had other phones after 4 years with this sweet Note, but I couldn't replace it. Is the X60's camera better? Because for sure my 11T pro's 108mp ...

  • Anonymous
  • 19 Feb 2022
  • KZK

Recently changed from Note 4 to LG V60 after 6 years of service. Really satisfied with V60's battery life.

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Jan 2022
  • 6cn

Yeah many and cheap BUT still not the original, even many of cheap battery are fake, such as have not NFC and last much shorter than original, even the worst part is the hologram placing on battery body tells that battery is completely fake The ...