Samsung’s flagship smartphone improves on its predecessor in every way.
By Sadad Talhouni
With the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung finally seems to be getting the hang of upgrading their devices in worthwhile ways. Almost every aspect of the phablet is an improvement on the Note 3, providing a better user experience.
Starting with its design, the Note 4 now comes with a sturdy metal chassis that gives it a truly premium feel. The removable back cover is made of a textured plastic that evokes a leathery feel that’s even better than that of the Note 3.
A quality feel was truly the best foil to the Note series’ trademark large size, as the phone comes in at a whopping 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, weighing in at 143 grams. The size is, of course, due to the large 5.7 inch super AMOLED screen which, with Quad HD resolution and 515 ppi pixel density, is probably the most beautiful, crystal clear screen on a smartphone you’ll find in the market today.
This huge screen needs to be handled by powerful internal specs, which is why the new Note has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor at 2.7 GHz, an Adreno 420 GPU, 3 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of internal memory (which can be expanded up to 128 GB externally). This hardware powerhouse gives the Note 4 super smooth performance, with Samsung’s oft-maligned Touchwiz interface becoming a delight to use, and allows the phone to give users an impressive and unrivalled feature experience.
The S Pen, one of the Note series’ marquee features, works better than ever before on the Note 4. We often found ourselves using the stylus instead of our fingers, particularly to select text and draw over images.
The Note 4’s camera is another highlight. The 16 megapixel camera, fitted with optical image stabilization, was capable of capturing beautiful quality images of 5312 x 2988 pixels and 4K video. It was impressively fast, responsive, and came with a multitude of features that allow for different photography experiences.
But perhaps the best feature the Note 4 has to offer is multitasking. With new and improved methods that allow you to use multiple screens at the same time, the phone shines in the productivity department. The ease and seamlessness of their use is always a delight, allowing you to, say, watch a YouTube video while texting your friends simultaneously. The Note 4 is, as is often the case with Samsung flagships, bloated with options and features that take a while to be completely understood. And yet this time, Samsung has managed to better integrate them, and given them more than one practical uses (the heart rate monitor, for example, can also be used as a shutter button).
We were worried the phablet’s 3220 mAh battery wouldn’t be up to the task of handling so many features, but it actually easily lasted for 14 hours of heavy use, and that was without any of Samsung’s useful power saving features activated. Even if you are low on juice, it wouldn’t be much of a problem thanks to the Note 4’s fast charging cable, which fully charges the phone in about one hour.