Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the latest phablet of Samsung’s ever-famous Galaxy Note series and is also the successor to the Galaxy Note 3. It was launched back in October, 2014 for a price of PKR 85,000/- (~850 USD) in frosted white, charcoal black, bronze gold and blossom pink colors. We did do a head-to-head Note 3 vs Note 4 comparison so now it’s time to take a detailed look at the Galaxy Note 4 in this Note 4 review.

Like we usually do, let’s have a brief look at the Galaxy Note 4 specifications before getting started.

  • Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat)
  • Dimensions: 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, Weight: 176 g
  • 5.7-inch (1440 x 2560 px) Super AMOLED display, ~515 ppi pixel density
  • Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A57 CPU
  • 32 GB Internal Storage, 3 GB RAM, microSD up to 128GB
  • 16MP camera with LED Flash and OIS
  • 3.7MP Front-cam
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, AGPS/GPS, Bluetooth v4.1
  • Li-Ion 3220 mAh battery

Unboxing

Note 4 Review - Unboxing

Galaxy Note 4 comes in a box not larger than the phone itself. There is not much in the box except all the regular stuff. List of the contents is as follows:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (device itself)
  • Fast charging adapter
  • USB v2.0 data cable
  • In-ear hands-free (with extra ear buds)
  • 3220 mAh removable battery
  • Reading material

Do watch our complete Note 4 unboxing, if you missed it earlier.

Design

Galaxy Note 4 feels really nice when held in hand for the first time. Although the Note 4 is not a small device still it’s pretty easy to hold in hand and feels not much heavier than your usual phablet. Unlike the predecessor, the device feels more solid probably due to the missing chrome strip around the sides.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Back-cover of the Note 4 is totally plastic with a textured feel to it. Although Samsung might claim that it’s similar to the Note 3 but it’s actually not. Note 3’s back-cover felt somewhat like leather while Note 4’s back-cover feels more like plastic.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

A speaker grill and the 3.7MP front camera along with other sensors are located in the front, near the top of the device. Three buttons (recent apps, home, back) are also present in the front but near the bottom of the device. Two of them (recent apps, back) are touch buttons which by default light-up only for 1.5 secs and than go away. But this timing can be increases or decreased from the settings. Third button (home) is a physical button which also hides in it the Note 4’s fingerprint sensor.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Note 4 also has a heart-rate sensor that is right underneath the 16MP primary camera, on the back. It is perfectly placed and is easily reachable when the device is held vertically in either hand.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

If you didn’t knew already, unlike many modern smartphones, Note 4 has a user-replaceable battery. Hence, SIM card and microSD card slots are also located next to the battery, under the back-cover.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Samsung Note 4 has a humongous 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 2K (1440 x 2560 px) resolution, resulting in a pixel density of ~515 ppi. Display is bright and colors are amazingly vibrant which allow for better viewing angles and good outdoor visibility. Personally, good viewing angles don’t matter much to me since bad ones save you from prying eyes.

If you regularly watch movies or stream Netflix on your smartphone, Note 4 won’t ever disappoint you. Watching videos is a pleasant experience mainly because of the large screen size, Super AMOLED display and of course the 2K resolution.

Performance

At core of the Note 4 is a powerful octa-core processor with Exynos 5433 chipset. This octa-core CPU is in actual a combination of two different CPUs; a quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 and a quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A57 processor. All this processing power is complemented with a 3 GB RAM.

Note 4 easily runs resource intensive Android applications and games. Almost 1.5 gigs of RAM is always free but this does depend on your usage and how many apps are running in the background. Have a look at this wonderful AnTuTu benchmark score of the Galaxy Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

We were really interested to see how would mobile gaming feel on the Note 4. We must say that you should expect nothing less from the gaming experience on the Note 4. Games like FIFA 15 and Agent Dash run flawlessly.

Camera & Video

In comparison to its predecessor, Galaxy Note 4 has an improved 16MP primary camera with a LED flash and optical image stabilization. Note 4 has a significantly improved camera in comparison to older Samsung smartphones as well. It can certainly be considered one of the best smartphone cameras in the market. As they say it, “Seeing is believing”, have a look at the samples provided below.

You can see in these outdoor images that Note 4 manages to capture a good deal of details under proper sunlight. Image quality is mostly (almost) retained on zooming in and the image appears to be sharp. However, colors aren’t much vibrant and seem a bit dull. Under low-light,  Note 4 loses details from its images and the image seems smudged.

Indoor images on the Note 4 have better quality than most smartphones on the market. I wouldn’t call it exceptional but its nothing less than impressive either.

Selective focus is a rather interesting camera mode which is available in many Samsung devices. It allows you to take DSLR like images by blurring out the background and focus on a single object. Since this is a software technique, it is really good but its not perfect. Let’s see if you can find problems in the selective focus sample shots below.

Note 4 also has an excellent video quality. You would notice that a good deal of details is present in the sample videos below. Colors also seem pretty natural and videos are quite stable because of the Note 4’s OIS which is absent in Galaxy Note 3 and even the Galaxy S5.

Interface & Functionality

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with Android v4.4.4 (KitKat) and Samsung’s TouchWiz UI installed on it. Samsung also has plans to soon update their latest phablet to Android Lollipop.

Galaxy Note 4 comes with the new S Health app to make use of the Note 4’s UV, heart rate and SpO2 sensors. S Health is a complete suite to keep track of all your health needs. Among other things, it can count the no. of steps you take daily. If you’re idle for too long, it also encourages you to get up and take a walk. It also keeps a track of your hear-rate using S Health and Note 4’s heart-rate sensor. Moreover, you can also set workout goals and than track ’em.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Another interesting app that comes pre-installed on the Note 4, is the S Note app. You can have action memos or even make extensive notebooks using the S Note app. It has a good deal of different pen settings that you can be used to produce different results.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

To make use of the large screen real estate, TouchWiz UI on the Note 4 allows multiple apps to be opened at once. See the Samsung’s multi-window feature and many others in the Note 4 software tour below.

Battery Life

Looking at all those great specifications and such an amazing display, some might be worried that how long does the Note 4 actually last?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review

Well, it has a rather average battery life, nothing that Samsung can brag about. Although i was mostly able to go through a day and a half easy without needing a recharge but Note 4 gives up pretty easy under heavy usage.

Something that’s rather interesting about the Note 4’s battery is that how fast it charges. Using the fast charger supplied with the device and fast charging enabled from settings, Note 4 charges up to 100% in about just one hour.

Note 4 Review Wrap-up

Samsung Note 4 is one of the best Samsung phablets that we’ve ever used. In our opinion, it can be considered the best phablet on the market, better than the Huawei Mate 7 and the iPhone 6 Plus. If you fancy Android smartphones and have no issues with large and pricey devices, than Note 4 could be the one for you. It is an almost perfect combination of good hardware and great software.

Personally, i feel that the device is brilliant but priced too high. What are you thoughts about the Note 4? Do you think that you want one or do you have some other device in mind? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

ABOUT

haseebahmed7
I am a technology enthusiast who has been writing tech blogs for few years now. I come from a Computer Sciences background & have been developing webs, web apps & smartphone apps from a long time. I also develop for White Rabbit & can be reached at haseebahmed (at) rabbit-white (dot) com.