Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 reviewed
4.6Overall Score

Price (RRP): $949
Manufacturer: Samsung

Now that we’ve seen Apple do its first take on the whole big phone thing, it’s time to see Samsung make its Note phablet better than ever.

Features

The original phablet is back, as Samsung delivers its fourth incarnation of the tablet-sized phone called the “Note” with the Galaxy Note 4.

In this model, Samsung has left the screen size roughly what it was before (5.7 inches), and even made the dimensions similar, as the phone is a fraction thicker than the previous generation, but with some easily noticed changes.

Despite what we’ve said about the screen size, the first change is, in fact, the screen, which now runs with a higher resolution, jumping from the Full HD resolution of 1920×1080 and moves to a more pixel-packed resolution of 2560×1440, the same resolution used by the LG G3 smartphone but on a larger display.

Because of this slightly different screen size, the Galaxy Note 4 runs a pixel clarity of 515 pixels per inch, with Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 3 protecting the display, which is Super AMOLED, too.

Under the screen is a new processor, an upgrade from last year’s quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor increased to the newer Snapdragon 805, making it the first phone in Australia to sport the new chip, with Samsung relying on a model clocked at 2.7GHz.

This works with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, though the latter of this can be bolstered with more thanks to the inclusion of a microSD slot capable of taking up to 128GB, while the graphics are taken care of by way of the Adreno 420 graphics chipset.

Google’s Android 4.4 “KitKat” runs here out of the box with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface on top.

Over to the connectivity options, and the upgrades include quite a lot of high-bandwidth connections for people who do a lot of work, and even a lot of play, with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 support for Low Energy/Smart, Near-Field Communication, infrared, GPS, and 4G LTE working across Category 6, a new technology that can offer download speeds as high as 300Mbps, while uploads can net as much as 50Mbps.

Cameras are also included, upgraded with a 16 megapixel shooter on the back, complete with flash, optical image stabilisation, autofocus, and 4K Ultra HD video capture, while the front-facing camera sports a 3.7 megapixel camera capable of recording selfie video in as high as 2560×1440, also known as WQHD or the same resolution as the Galaxy Note 4’s screen.

Extra features are included, too, such as a heart rate sensor on the back as well Samsung’s S Pen stylus, which sits at the bottom of the display in its neat little slot, providing a way — when removed — for Galaxy Note 4 owners to scribble notes, draw, and crop images down when needed.

A fingerprint sensor is also included on the phone, found underneath the home button on the front of the handset.