Samsung has just recently launched the Galaxy Note 4 4G+ and StarHub Community has provided me the chance to review this awesome phone! In this review, I will be focusing on the unique features of the phone like the S pen and S Health. And some other key factors like the software UI and the battery life. Like the previous Note series, Samsung has packed the best specifications possible with the currently available technology on the Galaxy Note 4!
Below are the specifications.
Chipset – Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 SoC (2.7GHz Quad-Core)
CPU - Adreno 420
Display – Quad HD Super AMOLED 5.7 inches (1440*2560)
OS – Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz UI
Battery – 3220 mAh Removable
RAM – 3GB
ROM –32GB eMMC
Camera – 16 MP with Shake Free Smart OIS
microSD – Yes
Connectivity – Cat 6 LTE-enabled / WiFi – A/B/G/N/AC / NFC
Special Features – S Pen, S Health, Fast Charging
In this review, I will be comparing the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with its biggest competitor, the LG G3.
Much like the Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4 has full aluminum frame. I really like the look and feel of the phone. The buttons are positioned right at where my fingers will be (might be because I am used to huge phones). The back cover of the Note 4 is very similar to the Note 3 and it feels really good on hand. Much better than the plaster look on the Galaxy S5. And I must say, this is the best looking Galaxy series phone so far!
Honestly speaking, there is no real tangible difference in performance across all the high-end phones. However, it is good that Samsung chose to couple the Snapdragon 805 SoC with the QHD display, unlike the LG G3. Snapdragon 805 SoC is more optimized for QHD and the Note 4 feels cooler on hand as compared to the LG G3 after prolonged usage. Other than this, there is no real difference in terms of performance.
Another thing to note is that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G+ supports Cat 6 LTE, which gives you theoretical speed on LTE network of up to 300mbps! Look at the screenshot below for a good reference! (Note that the actual throughput is usually half of the theoretical speed)
Another comparison that I’d like to make with the LG G3 is the display. The Galaxy Note 4 uses Super AMOLED while the LG G3 uses IPS LCD display. Both of them have the same resolution, but LG G3 being 0.2 inches smaller, gives it the crown in the battle of highest pixel-per-inch (ppi). However, ppi is not the entire story behind display technology. Samsung used to be known to have over-saturated display but this was not observed in the Galaxy Note 4! The Galaxy Note 4 has decent colour reproduction and it is significantly brighter than the LG G3. With Super AMOLED technology, the black is pitch black on the Note 4, which is not observed on the IPS LCD of the LG G3.
Amazing, is one words that I would use to describe the camera on the Galaxy Note 4. With Smart OIS, it is a breeze to take a crisp shot on the Note 4. Auto focusing is very fast as well on the Note 4, although not as fast as the Laser Auto Focus found in the LG G3.
There are many features found on the camera as well and I shall report back when I have figured them out!
Fast Charging and Battery Life
Time is money. With fast charging, you can charge your Note 4 up to 50% in 30 minutes! Samsung is not the first OEM to offer this (OPPO Find 7A/7 has it before Samsung Galaxy Note 4), but what I really liked about Samsung’s fast charging technology is that it can be used on any type of charger as long as the power rating is the same (or similar). I can charge the Note 4 equally fast with the LG G3 charger!
One full charge can last me an entire day with ease! Even if you need more juice, just get a powerbank that supports 2A output and you can get another 50% in approximately 30 minutes!
S Pen – More doodling around! S Pen technology is probably the best stylus technology to date. It automatically blocks your touch input when you are writing with your pen! I have tried using a stylus on an iPad for taking notes and it was terrible.
S Health – Measures your heart rate, SpO2, Stress level, UV radiation intensity, watch your weight, your food intake and sleeping pattern. (there are more to be listed!) Really interesting feature in my opinion!
Fingerprint Sensor – Who wouldn’t like to use their own fingerprint to unlock their phone? This is a really useful and convenient way of unlocking the phone. But it can be quite tough to swipe on the sensor with one hand (with high chance of dropping the phone).
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is packed with software. Some might be useful but others might be redundant. I certainly hope that Samsung gives their users the choice to uninstall the apps that they do not need. The OS itself uses up a whopping 7.39 GB! (Vanilla Android/AOSP usually takes up less than 1GB) Another thing that I didn’t like is that Facebook, WhatsApp and many other social media apps are system apps, which does not allow you to uninstall, at least not without rooting the phone. People like me felt that the restriction is unnecessary!
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is certainly a fabulous phone. You cannot go wrong with this phone which is packed with awesome specifications, design and software. However, if you are currently holding on to the Galaxy Note 3 or any other high-end phones that is released later than that, it is probably not a huge improvement.
There is nothing much to complain about the phone, except for its UI.
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