Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review – the best phone Samsung have ever made – EFTM

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review – the best phone Samsung have ever made

With all the big money in the large-screen smartphone space (Phablets!) it’s becoming more and more important to ensure there is value and quality built into these devices which...

With all the big money in the large-screen smartphone space (Phablets!) it’s becoming more and more important to ensure there is value and quality built into these devices which by their very nature people are using more and more because of the extra screen size.  So just what have Samsung dished up with their latest generation Galaxy Note 4?

IMG_4586With a 5.7 inch screen this is not a device that goes missing on a desk.  It’s big.  And at just shy of $1000 ($949) it also aint cheap.

However, what Samsung have produced with the Note 4 is a phone that’s better than even their flagship Galaxy S5 in one very very important area.

Design.

The Galaxy S5 suffers from plasticity.  It doesn’t make me feel like it’s worth the big bucks on the pricetag, something Apple seems to be able to convince its owners of very easily.

SM-N910_Charcoal Black_Right side_004

With the Galaxy Note 4 though, Samsung have turned that on its head.  The cut edges, the materials used around the sides and the back cover (despite being plastic) don’t feel anywhere near as cheap as those on the Galaxy S5.  In all reality, we have to anticipate this is a new design style for Samsung which will be the basis for the 2015 Samsung Galaxy S6.

In the hand it is comfortable, while at times a little “sharp” on the edges but nothing you don’t get used to.

SM-N910_Frost White_Right side_004

As a Phablet it has the advantage over almost all the opposition with the inclusion of the S-Pen, a slide out pen which can be used to manipulate the screen, take note, capture screen grabs and a whole lot more.

The S-Pen is most likely the reason most owners purchase the Note range, but let me tell you, the Note 4 comes a long long way from its older siblings.

IMG_4580

Brightness is not something you will go wanting for, the 2560×1440 Super AMOLED display gives new meaning to the word vivid and offers excellent clarity at even the widest angle of view.

Something that is very much underdone in the world of Android is the “windowing” which has become common but unspoken in many places. Allowing you to hold an app open above another and switch between them with a touch.  For things like a calculator its good, but for looking for content and research its a whole new world.

 

IMG_4585Out back the camera is great, though sadly still not as good in low-light as others including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus which is the one area Samsung surely must fight back in – the camera is becoming the most used feature of these devices so for that reason it should be the primary focus of the Samsung product teams.

Battery life isn’t terrible, though for a device this size I would prefer to see it last a little more.  Samsung would argue that with “fast charging” and “Ultra Power Saving Mode” those concerns are a thing of the past. I disagree.

IMG_4581

Like the S5 the Note 4 has the fingerprint scanner on the home button, but as with the S5 requires an unnatural swipe of the finger to unlock, so will likely head to the too hard basket for many.

Call quality, while heavily under-reported in most modern reviews – is excellent.  There are multiple microphones offering an improved noise cancellation in noisy environments and it makes a noticeable difference to those at the other end of the line.

SM-N910_Frost White_Back_003

Overall

Despite the shortcomings, however small they may be – regarding the camera and fingerprint scanner, there is no doubt in my mind that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the best phone Samsung have ever made.

If you’re after a Phablet, the Note 4 is the contender for you from the Android side of the fence.

Let’s hope this design and quality comes into the 2015 Samsung Galaxy S6.

IMG_4582

Network:

  • 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
    3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
    4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps)

Processor:

  • 2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor

Display:

  • 5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)

OS:

  • Android 4.4 (KitKat)

Camera

  • Rear Facing: 16 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera
  • Front Facing: 3.7 Mega pixel camera with f1.9

Memory

  • 32 GB Internal memory + micro SD slot (up to 128GB) 3GB RAM

Dimension

  • 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g

Battery

  • Standard battery, Li-ion 3,220mAh, Fast Charging (Adaptive Fast Charging &
    QC2.0)

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Date Published: 11/04/2014
Stunning design, the best Samsung has ever done, let down only by its camera and fingerprint scanner
4.5 / 5 stars

 

Categories
Tech

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
4 Comments on this post.
  • John Boxall
    4 November 2014 at 11:47 am
    Leave a Reply

    If you want people to take your reviews seriously, shoot your own photos of the device. Otherwise it seems that you’re just rehashing press releases.

    • Trevor Long
      4 November 2014 at 12:05 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Hey John, if you want me to take your comments seriously, check out 95% of our articles – forgive this one instance of stock photography hey? Solid Narkyness for a Tuesday mate.

    • Trevor Long
      4 November 2014 at 12:21 pm
      Leave a Reply

      Happy now John? :)

      • John Boxall
        4 November 2014 at 1:24 pm
        Leave a Reply

        Awesome. It’s little details like that which keep your standards up.

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