Overview of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Since the days when the Galaxy Note product line was released, it has become one of the flagship series of Samsung, in addition to the Galaxy S series. The highlighted feature of these phones is the extremely large screen which seems to a combination between a smartphone and a tablet, also called “phablet” moniker. Especially, regardless of both large screens and strong components, you can still put it in your coat pocket or purse conveniently. Among the Galaxy Note series, the Galaxy Note 4 is the newest and most powerful one. There still remain some drawbacks – for instance, the plastic housing cannot be well compared to the aluminum cases of Apple iPhone or HTC One – but other features are very impressive. There is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 4 now is one of the greatest smartphones available in the market and it has earned our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Detail Review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The most noticeable weakness of the Note 4 is the super large size. The phone weighs 6.21 ounces and although the chassis and back cover is made of plastic, in comparison with most of the current smartphones and phablets, the Note 4 is still heavier. You may not pay too much attention to this weight – or you take this big size for granted – after all, you still notice it.
Samsung decided to change the traditionally plastic rims into aluminum trims. In terms of the aesthetic aspect, this is really a noticable improvement, but sometimes holding the phone in hands may be also uncomfortable due to its sharpness. In addition, the back cover is flimsy as it was for previous models. You won’t find these phones creaky thanks to the more well-built trim as well as glass face. However, the phones are still chunky and the shoulders are slightly too big for a comfortable holding.
In terms of the screen, the Galaxy Note 4 is similar to a lot of Android flagships currently. It has the full QHD screen with the resolution of 2560 by 1440 pixels, so in comparison with a 720p screen, it’s four times sharper. This screen is pretty spacious as it measures 5.7 inches from corner to corner, the pixels are so small tha you will not be able to see them if you don’t have a magnifying glass. Actually, the screen is of nice brightness, accurate colors from any angle, but you will the display’s glass located withing the plastic rim of the phone. Therefore, there will be an inconvenient edge when you swip the phone from one side to the other side.
The physical structure may be not a strong point of this phone but there is a unique feature that you can find from the Galaxy Note 4 – it’s the S Pen. When you don’t you this stylus, it will be neatly arranged inside the smartphone and it has the ability to recognize your handwriting, which is pretty similar to Palm Pilots of smartphones in the past. In addition to allowing you to write down notes, you also can make use of it to create multitasking windows on the phone screen. For example, when you need to use the calculator, you can draw a rectangle and find the available Calculator app from the menu and this app will be filled in the rectangle. In addition, it is also easy to maximize, minimize or move the windows that you have just opened. You can overlay a window by other ones as well. A lot of people may not notice this, but I may change your thoughts about the multitasking capability soon.
The performance of the Note 4 camera has been often compared to that of the Sony Xperia Z3 and Motorola Droid Turbo and there is no doubt that the camera of the Note 4 performs very well. For photos shot by this camera, the colors are very vivid and accurate. In addition, the focus is phenomenally sharp and you can use the QHD screen as a very useful viewfinder. With the above mentioned features, the camera of the Note 4 deserves to be one of the greatest camera among the Android smartphone market now.
In regard of the specifications, the Note 4 camera does not differ much from other smartphone cameras. The image sensor has the resolution of 16 megapixels, the aperture is ƒ/2.2 and its flash unit is a classic single-LED one. But the numbers does not tell you all about the capability of a smartphone camera. Not only the famous model from Apple – the iPhones, but the newest Samsung smartphone proved this once again. While you often find landscapes very sun-drenched for photos shot by other smartphones, the color tones of the Note 4 are even. While for other phones, the colors are turned into warm tones, the colors created by the Galaxy Note 4 are neutral, better repeating the true palette of each scene. Especially, for shooting the running water, users often base on the default settings with all three phones while the Galaxy Note 4 is the only one that allows capturing sharply in this situation.
The camera in the front is also very nice, even though the manufacturers proclaims better in the specification list. The lens of this camera has the resolution of up to 3.7 megapixels, which is nicer than many average front cameras and the video resolution is up to 1440 p. But, next to the great images, you may notice some grains from images shot by the camera in the back.
The processor of the Note 4 runs very fast. Its speed is not quite that of a 64-bit CPU – regarding this, the iPhone still has the advantage, as it’s shown on the benchmark tests – but it’s the next best thing. The phone uses a 2.7Ghz quad-core processor and a full 3 GB RAM, so the performance in processing multitasks is very great. But there is one drawback with the storage capability in which only about 24 among 32 GB is available for use and the remaining space is for running the Android system as well as the processor-intensive TouchWiz interface. But if you want a larger space for images, movies or music, you still can have the expandable storage slot. This is common for most Android smartphones.
Any large size of a battery can be acceptable as long as it is long enough for the whole day use, even for the most processor-intensive tasks. The Note 4 has such a good battery, which allows you to use the phones within two days before it needs to be charged. Its 3220mAh battery is really strong, so you can have any task performed by it. Although it may not be the largest size among the smartphones that we have tested, but its size is large enough.
In the Galaxy Note 4, there includes all the technology features that you may expect for a high-class Android smartphone and there are some additions that you might not. The performance of gyroscope, accelerometer and compass is nice when they’re working together, so it is easy for the phone to update its current location and the way it’s oriented. However, in some certain apps, this may be of no use. You’ll find the standard communicating technologies such as the 4G LTE or Bluetooth 4.1. Meanwhile, the near field communication is a nice new technology feature: this NFC chip can work with special scanners within the super close ranges. Thanks to this useful technology, you just need to wave the phone over a compatible pad to make payment for your meal, for example. In addition, it is nice to take advantage of integrated infrared blaster to have your TV controlled by the Note 4.
Another feature which seems to be invaluable is the fingerprint scanner. In general, it seems to be only for fun – you can use it for unlocking the phone or making purchases without needing to type a long password and this scanner also helps you obtain the security for your phone. However, the fingerprint scanner of the Note 4 continues to be a bit bothering. Instead of bringing the pleasure, using this scanner for the screen unlocking is more of a chore.
The Bottom Line: 7.9/10
If you are a fan of phablets, there is no doubt that the Galaxy Note 4 is a very great phone. The impressive screen, the great performance of the stylus, the strong camera and the very fast processing all make this model very appealing. If its build quality were higher, we will certainly recommend it as the top option. With the current offerings, this has been a very wonderful smartphone already.