The Good The 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a brilliant, high-resolution screen and captures great outdoors in its 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. It is easier to use the stylus and the battery charges very quickly.
The Bad Reducing low light and closed pictures is not as good as it should be.
The Bottom Line Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a 2014 handset that has been in its prime. Choose instead of the Note 5 or Galaxy S7.
Late 2016 update
In January 2014, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 4, providing a gradual upgrade to its popular super-sized smartphone. It was a gorgeous gorgeous phone with a bright display, a high-quality 16MP camera and a reliable processor. Since then, the company has launched two new generations of Galaxy Note – the Note 5 , a reliable, dependable successor to Note 4 Note 7 which was an inconvenient disaster, given the tendency to overheat and, in some cases, fire. (Samsung missed the Note 6 nomenclature.)
After frank mention and very negative publicity, in September Samsung has discontinued production Galaxy Note 7. The company has previously requested carriers worldwide suspend phone sales . US Consumer Product Safety Commission has gone further saying, “Consumers should turn off the power and stop using all Galaxy Note 7.”
Our tip: Don’t buy the Galaxy Note 7, even if you can still find it. And if you already have one, you should immediately turn it off and exchange it for a phone that is not a Note 7. All US mobile carriers and Best Buy (among others) will exchange your Note 7 for phones of the same value on the same network. Similar schemes apply in the UK and Australia.
The Galaxy Note 5, which Samsung still sells, however, remains a great, non-explosive phone. Although not all hardware or software enhancements this year, it comes with a great camera, a terrific stylus and a great battery life. And it’s safe to own and use.
In fact, there are no stunning alternatives. Apple has released its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which take great photos, provide long battery life and provide fast performance, though they lack some of the latest Galaxy Note 7 features, such as iris and wireless charging. Google recently released its Pixel phone. And there is Samsung’s own Galaxy S7 Edge, which is most similar to the Note 7, with no stylus only.
Editors’ note: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Original Review , first published in October 2014 and updated, should be downgraded to 4.5 stars (9/10) due to competitive changes in the market.
A stylus or not a stylus is a question.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 The S-Pen – a narrow stylus well placed in Samsung’s amazingly successful, giant 5.7-inch Galaxy Note phone – stands out from the crowd. No other popular phone comes with a stylus, and this one makes the most of the mouse’s features as well as the ability to write and draw on the screen. I used to instinctively use it every day to record a list or note and to keep my screen from getting dirty.
The Note 4’s features also receive outstanding ratings across the board, including a bright bright display and a mostly excellent 16MP optical image stabilization camera. Fast LTE data transfer speeds and reliable processors come with a host of other specifications and features that make the Note 4 metal bezel work easily on metal bezels as well as other better phones – and often better. The disadvantages of the phone, though there are, are few and few.
As someone who loves the physical act of writing, I love the skills of the Note 4 stylus. However, if the act of placing a digital pen on paper distracts you, skip this handset for the benefit of other large-screen phones that are potentially cheaper and perform the basic tasks just as well . This year’s Galaxy Note is only making additional improvements from last year’s print Note 3 , and if you don’t use the S-Pen a lot, note phablets cost too much compared to competing big-screen phones like LG G3 .
Note 4 sells for $ 300 a contract and $ 600 a contract in the US; £ 600 or £ 650 in the UK; and $ 940 in Australia. Scroll through to compare prices.
Framed!Samsung Galaxy Note 4now metal-trimmed (pictures)
Design and construction: Metal floor plastic
The achievement of the zenith of premium design has long eluded Samsung, whose polycarbonate tubes are usually attractive, if not worthy of drones. Earlier this year, Samsung smashed entire plastic molds with a metal bezel Galaxy Alpha , the move repeated in Note 4. The silver accents around the bezel and buttons appear sharp in both the white and black versions we have seen; they must also classify gold and pink tones.
So what does it all look like? Very good, and much better than almost any other Samsung phone you can buy, except for Alpha. The lining is a bit more textured (and fortunately, without last year’s cheesy, clear artificial seams). The straight sides are comfortable to grip and easy to hold. You can easily find the physical buttons with your fingertips.
Despite the improvements, the Note 4 still doesn’t fit the LG G3 and HTC One M8’s cutting metal contours and finishes, and Sony Xperia Z3 modern edges. Metal also structures the iPhone 6 Plus, which supports a more flawless build quality than the Note 4 (though you can’t remove the back of the iPhone.)
After spending several months using the phone, I found it to be well-worn daily.
Size and portability
There are big ones, and then there are big ones, and the definitions seem to be swelling by the day. You will find the exact size and weight of the Note 4 in the graph below, but what I think you really want to know is how to carry and carry, especially when compared to other super-sized phones.
He is taller and thicker in hair than the Note 3 and nearly identical iPhone 6 Plus . The LG G3 feels a lot leaner compared to even though the screen size is 0.2 inches smaller.
Being a relatively short man with smaller hands, the Note 4 technically squeezes in my back pocket, though it looks comically sticking out of it. The same scenario applies to the effects of palm stretching: I find that using one hand is almost meaningless and almost impossible, even with Samsung software modes enabled. However, several CNET editors with larger gloves and pockets did not have much of a problem with the Note 4’s size, commenting on how enjoyable it was to shrink.
Size and weight
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||iPhone 6 Plus||LG G3||Sony Xperia Z3|
|Dimensions||6 x 3.1 x 0.34 inches (153.5 by 78.6 by 8.5mm)||6.2 x 3.1 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)||5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm)||5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches (146 x 72 x 7.3mm)|
|Weight||6.2 ounces (176g)||6.07 ounces (172g)||5.26 ounces (149g)||5.36 ounces (152g)|
Ultra HD display
Although it has the same 5.7-inch display as last year’s model, the Note 4 has jumped in display resolution, from 1080p HD to four 2650 x 1440p HD AMOLED displays. Its pixel density is 515 ppi higher than the 386 ppi Note 3 and the iPhone 6 Plus is 401 ppi (but smaller in pixels than the smaller LG G3 at 538 ppi).
These are big, impressive numbers on a large, impressive display that is clearly clear and crisp. I spent a lot of time studying the Note 4’s presentation of many HD images, websites, and even 4K videos against the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3, all of them vividly crammed to the max. I also dropped Note 3 for good measure. Apart from the predicted differences in color temperature and tone between the iPhone and G3 LCDs compared to the AMOLED Note, the differences in writing and image quality were negligible, if at all.
Display resolution, by comparison
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||iPhone 6 Plus||LG G3||Sony Xperia Z3|
|Display||5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (2,560×1,440)||5.5-inch 1080p HD LCD (1,920×1,080)||5.5-inch Quad HD LCD (2,560×1,440)||5.2-inch 1080p HD LCD (1,920×1,080)|
|Pixel density||515 ppi||401 ppi||538 ppi||524 ppi|
I will, however, say that the G3 looks much dimmer at full brightness than the rest, and that Note 4 showed smooth color gradients and strong contrast. It was perhaps just a little better than the rest, but almost not enough to dispute the controversy. Even when watching 4K videos, CNET editors and photographers with eyes gathered around phones can only notice the slight differences in the amount of detail.
iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4 by Brian Tong03:30Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has one thing that competitors do not AutoplayOnOff 00:00 02:08 Settings
Other external features
If you are familiar Samsung Galaxy S5 , you almost know what you get with Note 4. The physical home button and two capacitive soft keys lie beneath the screen, each with a secondary function when you press them. The Power / Lock button decorates the right spine, and the left rocker with the volume rocker. The fast charging port on the bottom edge balances the 3.5mm headset jack and the infrared blaster at the top.
Under the camera lens, the LED flash module combines with the heartbeat sensor, which is quickly becoming another feature of Samsung. The back cover is removable to access the battery and microSD card slot, which you can fill with a card up to 64GB (but not the 128GB you see on other phones). The S-Pen holster also slams into the back.
One thing you won’t notice is the rubber gasket that surrounds the interior to keep them out of the water, unlike the Galaxy S5. This is by no means an attacker, though some people find that “waterproof” phones (like the Xperia Z3) are a little more comfortable with their hydrophilic life.
The music plays nice and loud from the speakers, though, of course, its passable sound quality is a bit tiny and subtle, not quite rich, the rounded audio of the HTC One M8, for example. Note 4 supports Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.
OS and apps
Android 4.4 KitKat is practically a handset, just like the usual Samsung TouchWiz layer. If anything, Samsung seems to have abandoned the Galaxy S5, rather than accumulating more than usual.
My magazine, the news feed that resides on your home screen, has turned into a Flipboard (which is still eating). The Toolbox feature that was introduced with the S5 is also missing. I also liked the home screen color-coded application folders, which is another comparatively tiny omission of Note 4. Google Play Permanent Listening is off by default, but can be turned on in the application’s Settings menu in the Voice section.
Otherwise, you will find many ways to customize things from motion control to the notification bar. Lock mode and private mode are present, and those who consider the user interface too frenetic can switch to a simpler mode. A biometric tuner can also be configured as a fingerprint scanner (though its time-saving property is questionable).
Large phones like this one are often equipped with one-handed operation settings. What’s new in Note 4 is the solid panel layout icons for home button functions, plus one to reduce the application window for theoretically better one-handed use. You can expand or hide it on any screen and, of course, customize the icons.
The features that will help me use the phone with one hand are what I would like, but for it to work, you need to be able to grip the phone comfortably and move your thumb, causing me problems with grabbing a pole on the bus and blood donation, both actions that really validate these claims, hand in commission. In addition, although it is meant to be temporary, reducing the program window overrides the goal of having such a large display in the first place.
Two more notes to the apps before we continue. You may notice a few tiny changes to S Health. At least in the US, S Health is getting a new optional “trainer” that you can use that comes from a Cigna medical provider. In addition to checking your heart rate, the app can also control your blood oxygen level (SpO2).
You may also notice fewer Samsung software packages, such as Kid’s Mode, pre-installed in S5. They have not disappeared, they are simply packaged in Galaxy Apps and include partner apps (many of which are deals) such as Dropbox and Kindle for Samsung. Any other software you find on your phone is most likely provided by your carrier.
Multitasking and more
Note 4 still supports split screen mode, which allows you to resize two application windows from the list of supported applications. You can now launch it in several ways, including the Recipients tab, and you can create smaller pop-ups to drag and drop the screen.
What’s more, you can reduce the size of the popup to float around the screen as a stable bubble – very similar to a puzzle in the Facebook Messenger vocabulary or as a Toolbox bubble found in the Galaxy S5.
(See examples below).
This year’s note adds the ability to select text (as on the Web site) and multiple Gallery images by pressing the S-Pen button and dragging. In addition, you can drag and drop these items from the selected applications to others when you are in multi-window or pop-up mode. For example, I managed to drag an image from the gallery to the Messaging app, but not to Facebook or Gmail, two places where a shortcut can change a big role.
One addition to 2014 that I made is the stylish Post-It note style of note 4. Now, by writing a note, you can also pin it to your home screen as a visual reminder. Here’s another useful change: the ability to share and comment on photos after hovering over them in the gallery.
As with the multitasking phone, I do not sell the overall efficiency of all these time-saving conveniences; I’m not sure they all work.
Write with the new S-Pen
It may look like a small plastic toy, but the approximately 4-inch S-Pen plastic stylus is what makes the Note series what it is. The square S-Pen Note 4 is almost the same design and size as the Note 3, only a tad shorter.
What is different is the technique inside the wand that makes the S-Pen Note 4 a smoother, more responsive author than last year’s model. To test this, I wrote the same sentence several times with both S-pens, first on Note 3 and then on Note 4. The text written by hand from the S-Pen of Note 4 consistently appeared heavier and darker than the pen. Notes 3. even with different ink thicknesses. This is because the new S-Pen has more than 2000 levels of sensitivity compared to 1,000 levels in last year’s model.
(See examples below).
As before, you can choose from a range of writing tools and colors, building your favorite combinations into presets that you can use on different backgrounds and templates. Calligraphy card is a new addition to the set, which adds dramatic edges and smooths out my otherwise illegitimate fabrication of something readable and semi-stylized.
The S-Pen is great for navigating when you use it more like extending your finger and mouse – and it also helps keep your screen clear of dirt. It’s easier for me to use when I’m stationary rather than mobile.
Cameras and video
Bottom line: The 16MP Note 4 notes take great photos. You probably won’t actively notice the new best feature, optical image stabilization. Instead, you will notice that the flowers that gently sway in the wind look clear, despite the movement, and that your destructive espresso hands may not overshadow so many shots. The colors may be a bit oversaturated, but the end result is a collection of images, especially those shot on the street, that I would like to share and possibly print.
As I said before, this estimate applies most to photos taken with enough natural light. Like many other cameras on the phone, Note 4 indoor and low-light shots are often handled with fewer details and sometimes quality that I can only describe as a mask over the stage – after spending time adjusting the photo to fixed object. Low-light shots also tend to Samsung’s automatic night mode, which often asks to hold still for a few seconds while it processes the image. Most rival phones are not so demanding.
The front 3.7 megapixel still has nice self portraits, though beware of the Beauty Face automatic mode that artificially sheds years of your age. You can dial this up or down depending on your tastes. The new wide-angle selfie mode takes a three-part panorama, though it takes a lot more time and effort to get right. Better is the rear cam mode that you run from the main camera. A series of beeps (or vibrations) tells you that you are moving and then automatically takes a picture. The image quality is infinitely better and the scene is much more natural.
(See examples below).
Samsung has indeed abandoned the default camera mode. The HDR switch remains on screen, while selective focus and panorama are still typical of modes. You can hit “Manage modes” to get more surface like dual camera modes and actions, and you can also download more from the camera program.
Video shooting is great and is one of the areas where optical image stabilization matters. Video shoots HD 1080p by default (16: 9 aspect ratio), but can reach Ultra HD resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels for 4K video. These will be file files. If you’re saving space or need low-resolution shooting, 720p HD and VGA are other options.
Both the camera and the DVR allow you to adjust the exposure and measurement values, ISO and white balance, as well as HDR and grid lines. Slow motion and fast movement are returning as tools for more suitable manufacturers.
Take a closer look at the camera against the camera. In the meantime, enjoy these photos below. Click to enlarge to full resolution.
Performance: Data, processor, battery life
Performance is no different than impressive for any category, and it takes into account the results of diagnostic tests as well as real-world usage. Category 6 LTE-A means you can theoretically get speeds of up to 300Mbps down and 50Mbps up. In San Francisco, Note 4 consistently gave double-digit downlink speeds in the 1920s and 1930s; 16Mbps was the lowest and 50 was the maximum. Uplink speeds ranged from 11 to 15 Mbps, with one higher figure being 0.92.
In real tests, downloads and downloads were equally short. YouTube music and videos were also streamed, even when demanding higher HD content. Refer to the chart below for more details.
When it comes to handling things, you’ll get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 2.7 GHz chipset (with Adreno 420 GPU) like I did, or an Exynos 5433 1.9 GHz octane core. I had no complaints about the speed of completing tasks, such as downloading S Notes, for example. you will get 3GB of RAM.
Built for taking photos and viewing the screen for a lifetime, this phone is crucial for 32GB of internal storage. If you need more, you can buy a microSD card that holds up to 64GB more.
For those who are locking in on the battery life, it should be easier to see how the phone seems to absorb energy from its 3,220 mAh juice pack. I have a talk time of up to 20 hours, and I’ve been able to spend the whole day in a single charge, and even more to save, and it does the usual tasks such as transferring music, using Wi-Fi, and taking pictures.
Even when you tax the battery with resources such as long-distance navigation, the high-speed charger that comes in the box jumps to it, charging up to 50 percent of the battery capacity in half an hour. Note, of course, that battery performance tends to deteriorate over time on any phone, and out-of-the-box tests will block them on the go. We will update this section with our internal battery testing results.
Call quality was pretty good when I tested the Note 4 in San Francisco using AT&T’s network. I found volume nice and loud at medium and medium-high levels, without any background noise. I did notice, though, that my caller’s voice, while natural, sounded a little off, with a little artificially breathy quality.
For my part, my testing partner noted that I sounded a little tinny and flaky, although the volume was great. I also sounded a little flat to his ears.
The speaker was good on both sides. My call partner noted that I hear almost as much through the speaker as through a standard ear breakdown. He only heard a slight echo. For me, the volume was surprisingly loud and clear, though it sounded a bit muffled.
Buy or miss?
If you intend to use the Note 4 stylus daily, the phone will serve you well in every way possible and is well worth the price.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (32GB)||iPhone 6 Plus (16, 64, 128GB)||LG G3 (16GB)||Sony Xperia Z3 (32GB)|
|Full retail price US||$700-$825, depending on carrier||$750; $850; $950||$600||$600|
|On-contract price (US)||$300||$300; $400; $500||$100-$200||$200 (Verizon); N/A (T-Mobile)|
|SIM-free retail price UK||£600-£650||£620; £700; £790||£375-£480||£550|
|Full retail price Australia||AU$950||AU$900; $1,130; $1,250||AU$800||AU$850|
Its features and design undoubtedly put the Note 4 near the top of the food chain, although some rival phones have more sexual capabilities and competitiveness, and often take clearer, more reliable low-light shots indoors. Although the hardware is a step up to Note 3, the changes are not dramatic enough to warrant an immediate upgrade.
If you want to see how the Note 4’s size, the design camera and other devices fit with its predecessor and the Apple 6 Plus in the size of Apple’s phablets, check out Initial CNET comparison and final impressions .
Buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 if you :
-Make notes or draw often
-Like the idea of navigating without using your fingers
-Remove the phone with the big screen
-View the highest level Android device
– Provide a flexible budget
Skip the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 if you :
-Do not plan to use a stylus
– Prioritize a full metal smartphone
-Don’t need large screen sizes
-Become more limited budget
– Already owns Samsung Galaxy Note 3