Samsung galaxy note 4 00 640x427The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has to be the second most anticipated Samsung smartphone for 2014, after the Samsung Galaxy S5. The main difference between the two flagships are the display size, the Note 4 features a larger 5.7-inch (vs 5.1-inch) screen and the S Pen which is absent in the S5. The most surprising announcement for this Note device is the Edge limited edition, which a similar device that offer a rounded edged display units right side with very unique user interface innovations.

No word yet on pricing and availability during the press briefing, and we bet Samsung will unveil these info during the press conference (article to be updated). We expect the retail price without contract to be $700 (not confirmed yet), the Edge limited edition will be more expensive and is expected to be available at the end of 2014.

Specifications

Important: the article will be updated with the confirmed specifications during the press conference – features marked as confirmed are final

  • Size 5.7 inch screen size (confirmed)
  • Dimensions TBD
  • 2.5D Glass
  • Display Quad HD resolution (2560×1440 ) (confirmed)
  • Processor Snapdragon 805 4-core 2.5 GHz
  • Android 4.4.3
  • Micro SD
  • Internal storage 64GB
  • Max storage capacity 192 GB
  • RAM 4GB
  • One Micro SIM
  • Rear Cam 16 MP (confirmed)
  • Colors: white, black, gold and pink
  • Full Galaxy Note 4 Specifications, and compare the Note 4 with the Note 3

What’s new?

Quad HD display

The Galaxy Note has been significantly improved on the hardware side, with a Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display, a 16 Megapixel rear camera with Smart Optical Image Stabilization.

Samsung galaxy note 4 12 640x426

Enhanced cameras

Samsung has improved the aperture of the 3.7 Megapixel front camera to f1.9 to capture 60% more light. Selfies being the trends on social networks, the note 4 gets a selfie button on the back just below the LED flash and a wide selfie feature with a 90 degree shooting angle (vs 77 degree in the previous model) that expands up to 120 degree when using the wide selfie feature.

The 3100 mAh battery (unconfirmed capacity yet) is able to charge at 50% in 30 minutes and offers  an ultra-power saving mode.

Improved S Pen and software

Samsung galaxy note 4 16 640x426

The S Pen sensitivity has been doubled from 1024 to 2048 levels, which is the new standard to high end stylus today. Some features that work in combination with it has been added such as Smart Select in the Air command menu, the Note taking widget and the new virtual pens accessible from the S Note application. Anew Snap Note function allows for converting an picture of your analog note into an editable image.

Improved noise cancellation and voice recording

Samsung put some effort in the voice recording quality by adding a third microphone to enhance reduction. This allow users to access a selective playback feature in the voice recording application, you can listen separately up to eight different people who have been recording during a meeting.

Processor and RAM

Other unconfirmed new hardware features include the Quadcore Snapdragon 805 2.5 GHz (from a Snapdragon 800) with 4 GB RAM.

Industrial Design

Samsung galaxy note 4 05 640x426

On the design side, Samsung retained the similar form factor and design of the Galaxy Note 3 with subtle enhancements. The faux stitches have disappeared while the faux leather back cover stays, making the body more minimalistic and more elegant. The metallic frames that goes around the chassis conveys a premium feel look, which, combined with the glass look of the front, enhance the overall built quality. Dimensions were not released during the briefing, however, the handset felt the same weight and size as the Galaxy Note 3. The Galaxy Note 4 is comfortable to hold and still very light for its large size.

Display

Samsung galaxy note 4 15 640x426
The Galaxy S5 was the first Samsung smartphone to get a quad HD screen and I was very happy to discover the same feature in the Note 4. The gorgeous Quad HD (2560×1440) Super AMOLED display offers an incredible image quality with bright colors and deep contrast. We watch a few video and we were able to decipher very fine details in flowers and animals hairs and feathers when zooming in the picture. You can check out the photo gallery to see for yourself.

S Pen

Samsung galaxy note 4 07 640x426

The user experience with the S Pen is now quite impressive, and it totally make sense to use it for drawing now. Samsung has come a long way since the Galaxy Note 1 , at that time the lack of sensitivity prevented a good control of the quality of the lines I was producing while drawing.

The new S Pen offers 2048 levels of sensitivity which is the new standard in the smart stylus world. The high sensitivity produces different type of lines, depending on the speed or the inclination, the opacity of the line will vary. The mouse button allows to select multiple items in the same screen, it is very practical for selecting multiple photos in the gallery or a long text easily in an email.

Samsung Software improvements

Samsung galaxy note 4 09 640x426

Alongside the S Pen, Samsung improved its Note taking application which is now accessible as a widget from the home screen (photo above). There are two new pens in the Note application now, a fountain pen and a calligraphy pen. (photo below)

Samsung galaxy note 4 06 640x426

Smart Select is the new addition in the famous Air Command menu which is accessible by hovering the smart pen on the home screen and clicking on the mouse button. Smart select allows users to selct any portion of a screen in any application and collect them as images to share or save. (photo below)

Samsung galaxy note 4 22 640x426


In the photo gallery above you can see how you can collect mutiple portions of the screens and share them.

Snap Note is the other new feature that converts a photo of your analog note into editable images. The image to text is not available though.

Action Memo is now accessible by pressing the button and double tap the tip of the pen.

Multitasking now offers a new gesture interface: from any screen you can

Camera

Samsung galaxy note 4 18 640x426

In today’s smartphones arm race, alongside the display, the camera is one of the key component of a winning device. Samsung upgraded both cameras with 3.7 MP on the front and 16 MP in the back. The aperture is better (F1.9) to allow 60% more light when capturing in the dark during parties or nightclub fun. Samsung even added a Selfie button on the back cover to improve the comfort when taking self-indulging photos. The default front camera has been increased from 77 degree to 90 degree and thanks to the Wide selfie feature you can take a panorama-like picture with the front camera, up to 120 degree.

Samsung galaxy note 4 17 640x426

Multimedia / Entertainment

Video Playback

The amazing Quad HD display is a large part of the fun in the entertainment experience, and to make sure everything is smooth and crisp, I played a few videos during our briefing. The image quality is stunning and the sound quality very clear, the volume is not overly loud but powerful.

Next-gen voice recording

Samsung pushed the envelope on the voice recording side with the addition of a third microphone for noise reduction and the selective playback feature. It is possible to separately playback up to eight different voices that have been recording simultaneously in a noisy room. The demo was quite impressive, the Samsung played a sound file that was recorded in a noisy room and the playback on the Note 4 was crisp and clear with absolutely no background noise.

Galaxy Note Edge Limited Edition

Samsung galaxy Note 4 edge 01 640x426

The new Galaxy note 4 is really well designed and packs a number of improvements that will make users’ lives a little easier and more fun. However, there is nothing really innovative so far… except for the amazing Galaxy Note Edge limited edition! (Compare the specifications of the Note 4 and Note Edge)

With this unique device, Samsung is experimenting on a new type of user experience while delivering a beautifully crafted design labelled “modern fluidic” by the design team. The principle is quite simple: the display expands on the smooth edge of the right side of the smartphone, and this additional space is not just there to make it pretty, it adds a new dimension for the user interface.

Samsung galaxy Note 4 edge 03 640x426

Basically the edge of the smartphone becomes an additional navigation bar from where users can quickly access the core functions such as the phone app, the contacts, the message app, the browser, the camera app and the Google folder (see photo above). We can see that there is more real estate for additional applications on the home screen. The new Edge design might provide a more comfortable user experience,  since the most used applications are literally placed under the tip of  the finger – we need to try the Note Edge over the course of a few days to make sure this innovative user interface is really convenient.

Samsung galaxy Note 4 edge 04 640x426
The Edge display is also used for additional mini applications (see photos above and gallery below) such as the timer, the stop watch, the torch, the ruler and the voice recorder. Notifications such as the weather updates will be displayed there as well. (photo above)


Once inside an application, the app menu disappear from the edge and is replaced by the local commands of the current application in use, for example the camera options are accessible from there (photo below).

Samsung galaxy Note 4 edge 10 640x426

Conclusion

As we predicted, the Galaxy Note 4 does not introduce new and radical changes to the phone, the Edge Limited edition however an amazing innovation in terms of user experience is. The S Pen and software enhancements deliver a better user experience for those who love taking handwritten notes over typing, and open the door to limitless creativity for the artists who to go fully digital.

 

Filed in Breaking >Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, Galaxy Note 4, , IFA, IFA 2014 and Samsung.

Key SpecsGalaxy Note EdgeGalaxy Note 4
StatusReleasedReleased
Resolution2560x14402560x1440
Size (Diagonal, Inches)5.6"5.7"
Processor NameSnapdragon 805
4-core
2.7 GHz
Snapdragon 805
4-core
2.7 GHz
Max. Total Storage Capacity128 GB96 GB
Megapixels16 MP16 MP
Battery Capacity (mAh)3000 mAh3220 mAh
Street Price$700$700
Complete product dataSamsung Galaxy Note Edge Full specsSamsung Galaxy Note 4 Full specs
User Comments