With all the big money in the large-screen smartphone space (Phablets!) it’s becoming more and more important to ensure there is value and quality built into these devices which by their very nature people are using more and more because of the extra screen size. So just what have Samsung dished up with their latest generation Galaxy Note 4?
With a 5.7 inch screen this is not a device that goes missing on a desk. It’s big. And at just shy of $1000 ($949) it also aint cheap.
However, what Samsung have produced with the Note 4 is a phone that’s better than even their flagship Galaxy S5 in one very very important area.
The Galaxy S5 suffers from plasticity. It doesn’t make me feel like it’s worth the big bucks on the pricetag, something Apple seems to be able to convince its owners of very easily.
With the Galaxy Note 4 though, Samsung have turned that on its head. The cut edges, the materials used around the sides and the back cover (despite being plastic) don’t feel anywhere near as cheap as those on the Galaxy S5. In all reality, we have to anticipate this is a new design style for Samsung which will be the basis for the 2015 Samsung Galaxy S6.
In the hand it is comfortable, while at times a little “sharp” on the edges but nothing you don’t get used to.
As a Phablet it has the advantage over almost all the opposition with the inclusion of the S-Pen, a slide out pen which can be used to manipulate the screen, take note, capture screen grabs and a whole lot more.
The S-Pen is most likely the reason most owners purchase the Note range, but let me tell you, the Note 4 comes a long long way from its older siblings.
Brightness is not something you will go wanting for, the 2560×1440 Super AMOLED display gives new meaning to the word vivid and offers excellent clarity at even the widest angle of view.
Something that is very much underdone in the world of Android is the “windowing” which has become common but unspoken in many places. Allowing you to hold an app open above another and switch between them with a touch. For things like a calculator its good, but for looking for content and research its a whole new world.
Out back the camera is great, though sadly still not as good in low-light as others including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which is the one area Samsung surely must fight back in – the camera is becoming the most used feature of these devices so for that reason it should be the primary focus of the Samsung product teams.
Battery life isn’t terrible, though for a device this size I would prefer to see it last a little more. Samsung would argue that with “fast charging” and “Ultra Power Saving Mode” those concerns are a thing of the past. I disagree.
Like the S5 the Note 4 has the fingerprint scanner on the home button, but as with the S5 requires an unnatural swipe of the finger to unlock, so will likely head to the too hard basket for many.
Call quality, while heavily under-reported in most modern reviews – is excellent. There are multiple microphones offering an improved noise cancellation in noisy environments and it makes a noticeable difference to those at the other end of the line.
Despite the shortcomings, however small they may be – regarding the camera and fingerprint scanner, there is no doubt in my mind that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the best phone Samsung have ever made.
If you’re after a Phablet, the Note 4 is the contender for you from the Android side of the fence.
Let’s hope this design and quality comes into the 2015 Samsung Galaxy S6.
- 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
3G (HSPA＋ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps)
- 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
- 5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)
- Android 4.4 (KitKat)
- Rear Facing: 16 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera
- Front Facing: 3.7 Mega pixel camera with f1.9
- 32 GB Internal memory ＋ micro SD slot (up to 128GB) 3GB RAM
- 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g
- Standard battery, Li-ion 3,220mAh, Fast Charging (Adaptive Fast Charging &
[schema type=”review” rev_name=”Samsung Galaxy Note 4″ rev_body=”Stunning design, the best Samsung has ever done, let down only by its camera and fingerprint scanner” author=”Trevor Long” pubdate=”2014-11-04″ user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.