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Galaxy Note 4: A Powerful, Beautiful Phone

Our run-down of the world’s most popular Android phone

Michael Cruickshank
Galaxy Note 4: A Powerful, Beautiful Phone© 2017 Samsung

Samsung’s Unpacked Episode 2 event has now concluded and its latest releases are already causing a buzz. Of course the main unveiling was the long-hidden updated version of the most popular Android phone line - the Galaxy Note. Finally now we can get a good look at the New Note 4, and take in all the features of this brand new phone. And what a phone it is…

Design:

While similar in form factor to the Note 3, the new version nonetheless features a metal band running around the side of the device. This is similar in form to the company’s earlier Galaxy Alpha release, and marks a departure from the all-plastic finish of previous generations. In addition to this, the phone features a variety of soft back covers, which are being offered in four colours: black, white, gold and pink. The phone measures in at 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm and weighs a little heavier than it’s predecessor at 176g.

Image: © 2014 Samsung

Display:

In terms of screen, the phone boasts a 5.7 inch Quad-High Definition Super AMOLED display which Samsung believes is much sharper in quality than the LCD displays offered by competitors. Its 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution translates to 515ppi on the 5.7 inch screen, which represents a more than 30% increase in pixel density from the Note 3.  The screen itself is built from tough, scratch resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3.

Hardware:

Underneath the hood the phone contains an improved Qualcomm 805 2.7GHz Quad-Core processor, backed by 3GB of RAM, and an Adreno 420 GPU. As well, the Note 4 has a marginally larger 3220mAh battery which is only 20mAh more than the Note 3. Samsung has noted the fact that the new hardware will put strain on the devices battery life, so it has taken care to improve the overall efficiency of the device, rather than increase battery size. The Note 4 will have 8% more battery life, due to these tweaks, if Samsung's claims are to be believed.

Image: © 2014 Samsung

Software:

Software-wise, the phone features some notable additions to the South Korean manufacturer’s proprietary TouchWiz Android skin. New features allow for functions such as split screen multi tasking, where a user can run a “windowed” version of another app while a full screen primary app is also running. In addition a partnership with Yahoo images has enabled Samsung access to a wide range of High-Def photos which it plans to use as customisable background options. Other features include quick notation photography app Snap Note, as well as better S Pen integration with the OS.

Camera:

Samsung chose to explain at great length the effort it had put into building a better camera experience. The Note 4 packs a large 16MP rear camera, which, while not the 20MP camera many had hoped for, nonetheless represents an improvement on the 13MP one in the Note 3. This camera features in built optical image stabilisation as well as LED flash and autofocus capabilities.

Knowing that selfies are a growing phenomenon in photography, Samsung also updated the front facing camera to a 3.7 MP sensor. The viewing angle of this sensor was also increased from 77 to 90 degrees to allow for the taking of wider angled selfies. Furthermore, the company also added a new software feature to allow a user to shoot long, panoramic selfies of large groups of people.

Image: © 2014 Samsung

S Pen Stylus:

Samsung has spent a large amount of time perfecting the use of the S Pen stylus. The new updated version of this peripheral can now function more like a computer mouse than its predecessors, through click and drag, and square selection modes. Furthermore, this pen has been optimised to facilitate a more natural writing experience, with a pressure sensor which has double the sensitivity of its predecessor. Samsung is also pairing with luxury pen maker Mont Blanc in order to create a series of custom styluses for the Note 4, which also can be used as traditional pens.

Summary:

All in all, the Note 4, while only having an evolutionary design design, nonetheless has something which will satisfy everybody. The updated hardware, improved camera, new S Pen and fresh software features are sure to cement this phone’s position as a productivity leader among Android devices. This, combined with Samsung’s massive marketing apparatus will almost guarantee that this product is a hit.

Image: © 2014 Samsung

 

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