With the launch of Galaxy Note 4 deep-dive, once again Samsung is ready for battle.
Since 2011, Samsung Galaxy Note has pretty much been the de facto standard for the giant phones. No doubt, there have been rivals, but none of them have the capability to stand in front of the Note from its XL throne.
However, after the launch of iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is now venturing into the big-screen terrain and Google rumored to be on the edge of launching 5.9-in. Motorola-made Nexus phone—Samsung seems ready to defend its turf.
According to the official reports, Galaxy Note 4 will be available from all U.S carriers this month. The phone maintains the same basic look and feel of last year’s model while turning things up a notch with some hardware improvements and subtle design tweaks.
While considering the Samsung’s position in the big-screen phone game right now, this seemed to be a sensible strategic move.e so far. But is it enough to make the phone worth buying?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 costs $300 with a two-year contract from AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular or Verizon or $750 spread out over a two-year payment plan from T-Mobile.
Here comes the Galaxy Note 4 deep-dive review.
Body and Display
As I have said earlier that the Note 4 seems similar to the previous model, I mean it. Certainly, if you won’t pay a close attention, you will possibly mistake it with the last year’s Galacy Note 3. Note 4 is almost the same size as its predecessor and has the same squared-off shape and general appearance.
When you look closely, you surely notice some differences such as the new Note trades last year’s faux-chrome plastic frame for one made of metal, a delicate but significant improvement in terms of design. It still maintains the trademark faux-leather plastic back panel and is nowhere near as premium or thoughtfully designed as other high-end phones, but for Samsung, it’s a striking baby step away from the tacky vibe that’s long defined its products.
The new Note 4 deep-dive is not a small phone. It definitely isn’t a device you can use single-handedly, and even with two hands, it can be a bit unwieldy. That’s a result not only of its size but also of its boxy, flat-backed shape, which doesn’t make for the most ergonomic or comfy form. Well, these qualities also make it gauche to carry around in regular men’s jeans and meanwhile, my wife confirmed that this device is nearly impossible to fit in the pockets of typical women’s pants too.
On a more interesting node, the Note 4 equals to the size of 6.0 x 3.1 x 0.33, which is slightly smaller than Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, despite the fact that it has a 5.7 screen compared to the iPhone’s 5.5 display. Visibly, bezels make a big difference.
When you talk about the Note 4’s screen, the display is amongst the finest you ever imagined. Note 4 Deep-dive has been upgraded from 1080p to Quad HD resolution, giving it a staggering 515 pixels per inch.
As per my experience is concerned, the difference between 1080p and Quad HD really, doesn’t that dramatic in the actual world. Honestly speaking, it’s quite hard to find the difference in quality with the added pixels alone. However, Note 4 deep-dive looks enormously spectacular, and at the end of the day, that’s all that ultimately matters.
Buttons, Sensors and Speakers
When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 deep-dive buttons, the standard Samsung’s mishmash of buttons sits beneath the screen, including a large physical Home button flanked by capacitive Recent Apps and Back buttons. Happily, the Note 4 follows Samsung’s recent (and long overdue) move away from the deplored Menu button that was still present in last year’s Note and created plenty of gauche usage scenarios.
As compared to the Galaxy S5, the latest Note 4 features a fingerprint sensor within its Home button. And just like on the GS5, the sensor is rather picky and awkward to use.
Moreover, the Galaxy Note 4 comes with the headphone jack on its top edge and a standard micro-USB charging port on its bottom. Inquisitively, the phone does not support USB 3.0 for faster data transfers, which is a feature Samsung had introduced with last year’s Note 3.
In the meantime, the back of the phone houses one tiny speaker grille near its bottom-left edge, pretty much the same as what we’ve seen on most recent Samsung phones. Its audio quality is passable, but nothing spectacular.
The newest thing that comes with this year’s Note is a heart rate monitor on the back of the device in order to take heart rate measurements. It has the ability to sense your blood oxygen saturation level along with the intensity of ultraviolet light from the sun. It’s all novel enough, but it’s a bit complicated to use — and with the heart rate, at least, its measurements are pretty hit and miss in accuracy, as is typically the case with these types of sensors. Moreover, the Note 4’s fitness Suite consists of a pedometer that would automatically follow your steps throughout the day and remind you when you’ve been inactive for too long.
Performance, Stamina and Connectivity
Regardless of having cutting-edge specs, Samsung’s high-end devices always seem to be unexpectedly lacking in the realm of performance. The Note’s 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM, is a no exception.
Note 4 deep-dive is by no means slow, but it’s distinctly less smooth and snappy than devices like the HTC One (M8) and Motorola Moto X. There seems to be recurrent jerkiness in animations and transitions.
No doubt, the Note 4 does impress in the realm of stamina: Like its predecessor, the phone packs a 3220mAh battery and device has had no trouble getting me from morning to night on a single charge; even with moderate to heavy use, as much as three to four hours of screen-on time.
When you talk about the call quality on the Note 4, it has been fine with the AT&T-connected unit, which I have been testing. There appears to be zero distortion while I spoke to people. On the other hand, data speeds have also been in line with the AT&T’s LTE network in my area.
The Note 4 deep-dive has a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), as compared to the 13 megapixels and no OIS on the previous Note device.
Well, in higher the megapixels, bigger would be the size of the image, though at these levels, this won’t make a big difference for people, On the other hand, the addition of optical image stabilization (OIS), indeed, brings a noticeable increase in the phone’s ability to capture sharp-looking images, especially in low-light conditions. Yet, Note 4 isn’t at the level of a low-light-focused device like (M8) in that regard, but it does suitably well and is able to capture a fair amount of detail even in very dim environments.
Moreover, HDR mode of Note 4 actually works. If it is enabled, you can capture even problematic areas like washed-out skies clearly and you can actually feel the difference. You will have to toggle that option on and off manually when needed.