Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review – Best Smartphone 2014

Samsung was the one who created the buzz in the phablet market in 2011 with the launch of their Note Series. During that time only Samsung was focusing on providing big screen smartphones to the users. Now we can see all smartphone companies are selling phablets in the market.

Earlier this year, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 4 and believe it or not according to us it is the Best Smartphone launched in 2014. So is it just the best device in huge screen category? And does it cater to the needs of all kind of users? Read on to find out.

Unboxing

Here is an unboxing video of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 various items you get with the device in the Indian retail package.

Retail Box Contents:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • USB to microUSB data cable
  • USB Charging Adapter
  • Stereo Headsets
  • Extra S pen tips
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty information

Design & Build Quality

Note 4 is the first phablet from Samsung which has a metal frame. It has metallic chamfered edges and a plastic back. The device is sturdy and has solid build quality. It measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm and weighs around 176 grams. The bezels around the display are quite thin which helps in making it a compact device when compared to other devices with similar display size.

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The front of the device is dominated by a 5.7 inch Super Amoled display which has a 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution. It is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4 which is currently available in just one other device – Galaxy Alpha. So, Samsung already has an advantage in this area.

Above the display you have a 3.7 megapixel front facing camera with wide angle lens, an earpiece, proximity & ambient light sensors and notification LED.

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There is a physical home button along with a capcitive multitasking button present on the left and back button present on the right. You also have a fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button. The scanner works pretty well and it easily recognizes the fingerprint 8 out of 10 times which is again one of the best accuracy score we have seen in the this segment.

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Volume rocker is present on the left side of the device and a power/lock key can be seen on the right. The keys are made of metal and can be easily reached even while using the device with one hand.

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A 3.5 mm audio jack along with secondary mic for noise cancellation and Infrared Blaster is present at the top of the device. At the bottom you have a microUSB port and S Pen stylus slot.

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Moving to back, you will find a 12 megapixel camera along with LED flash and heart rate sensor. The back of the device is made up of plastic which has a faux leather finish which gives the device a premium look and feel as compared to normal plastic back. You also have a loudspeaker outlet on the back.

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The phone comes with a removable back panel and underneath it you will find a 3220 mAh removable battery, micro SIM card and micro SD card slot.

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Overall, we are impressed with the build quality of Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The metallic chamfered edges gives this device a premium look and the faux leather finish at the back provides a better grip.

Display

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with a 5.7 inch Super Amoled Display which has a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels. It is the first phablet in India which comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection which makes the display more resistant to scratches. It is undoubtedly the best display we have ever seen in any smartphone till date.

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It has very good viewing angles and brightness levels. The color reproduction and sunlight readability is amazing. The display is good for all kind of tasks like watching movies, playing games or reading text.

Hardware & Performance

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 2.7 Ghz quad core processor along with 3GB of RAM and Adreno 420 GPU. As expected from a high end device, it is super smooth and we did not face any kind of lag or slowness while using the phone.

The device is able to handle everything with ease. You won’t experience any issues while doing multitasking, playing games, watching videos or switching applications. To measure the performance of the device we performed three benchmark tests on the device – Antutu, Quadrant standard and Nenamark2. The device performed very well in all the tests. It scored 59.8 fps in the Nenamark 2 test, 23,584 in the Quadrant standard and 46,381 in Antutu Benchmark test.

So, according to benchmark tests it is a great device in terms of performance. But can it actually handle all those high end games which require high CPU and GPU capabilities from a device? To find out the answer we played Asphalt 8 and Nova 3 on the device.

The device was able to handle both the games with ease. There was no lag or heating issues with the phone. It comes with 32 GB internal storage which can be expanded by using a micro SD card of upto 128 GB storage. The infrared blaster present on the device has a good range and can be used to control various appliances like TV, Setup Box, AC etc.

Both fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor works pretty well on the device. If we compare it with other high end devices, it is the only device which comes with both Heart Rate monitor and Finger print scanner. So, users who decide to opt for this device will have an added advantage.

Talking about other connectivity features, it supports 4G, WiFi, Blueooth, GPS, NFC and USB OTG. Overall, it is a very powerful device and you won’t face any problem with the device as far as performance is considered.

Software

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 runs on Android 4.4.4 Kitkat OS along with Touchwiz UI on top. The interface has been optimized by the company and it is smooth with no lag. It offers a lot of interesting and useful features like multi-window (run 2 apps side by side in a split screen fashion) and floating window multi-tasking (running apps in popup windows).

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Company also bundles some useful apps like S health and S note with the Galaxy Devices. The S health app can be used to monitor your Heart Rate, Stress levels, Blood oxygen level and even UV level when you are out. Amazing, isn’t?

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S Note is a useful apps which helps in taking down notes, draw sketches or doodling using the S Pen provided with the device. For users who think Note 4 is too big for one hand operation they have provided the One handed input and along with that the ability to resize the app windows using a diagonal swipe from top right or left corner.

Overall, Galaxy Note 4 is a great device when it comes to software and productivity. The device really takes multitasking to the next level and company have optimized the software for a smooth and lag free experience.

S Pen

Just like the previous Note devices, Note 4 comes with a S Pen Stylus which is more pressure sensitive and accurate when compared to previous generation stylus. It allows the users to take down notes, draw sketches, prepare presentations etc.

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Using the S Pen, users can copy data from the web pages, copy images and take partial screenshots. The hand writing recognition of the device is highly accurate. Once you take out the S Pen from the slot you will see a feature called as Air Command. It gives you 4 different options – Acion memo, Smart Select, Screen Write and Image Clip.

The S Pen Can be considered like a mouse for the Smartphone. It really helps users in taking the complete advantage of the productivity features present in Galaxy Note 4.

Camera

Galaxy Note 4 comes with a 16 megapixel back camera with Optical image Stabilization (OIS) and LED flash. We are really impressed with the quality of images it captures. All the images are sharp, clear and contains a lot of details. The device also has a 3.7 megapixel front facing camera for selfie lovers.

The camera has fast auto focus and supports various modes like Rear Cam selfie, Selective focus, Panorama, beauty Face, Dual Camera etc. Here are some sample images captured using the back camera of the device.

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The quality of captured images is good and it is one of the best camera we have seen in the smartphones. The back camera can also record ultra clear and sharp 4K videos. Overall, the camera present on Note 4 won’t disappoint you.

Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 comes with a 3,220 mAh removable battery which has a rated talk time of around 20 hours on 3G. Company have optimized the software on the device to improve the overall battery life. It comes with Normal and Ultra power saving mode to extend the life of the battery when charge is low.

The phone easily lasts for a day and a half with moderate usage. Even for heavy users it can last for an entire day which is pretty good considering the fact that it has a huge 2K 5.7 inch display. The phone supports fast charging and can be charged upto 50% in just 30 minutes.

Conclusion

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is available in India for approx Rs 55,000 which makes it much more affordable as compared to its competitor iPhone 6 Plus which costs around Rs 63,500. The device is really worth the price, it comes with a great display, excellent performance, good quality camera and superb battery life.

We highly recommend you to opt for this device if you are looking for a large display smartphone which has tons of useful and productive features. According to us it is the Best Smartphone of 2014. So, are you Ready to Note ?

Pros:

  • Best display
  • Excellent performance
  • Optimized Software
  • Good Camera
  • Superb battery life

Cons:

Looking for cons of this device? Sorry, but it is a perfect smartphone and we didn’t find any issues with the device.

Author: Akshay Aggarwal

Akshay is a Tech Enthusiast who loves to write about Technology and Gadgets. He is very passionate about blogging and has been blogging since 2009.

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