[IFA 2014] GALAXY Note 4 unpacked: Samsung’s best smartphone yet

The GALAXY Note 4

The GALAXY Note 4

As expected at IFA 2014, Samsung took wraps off its new flagship phablet at its UNPACKED event GALAXY Note 4 along with an unexpected surprise – the GALAXY Note Edge. While not revolutionary, the Note 4 improves upon last year’s Note 3 with added refinements on design and build.

The rumour mills were mostly right on the money with the specs (aside from the obnoxious retina sensor) – a 5.7-inch quad HD Super AMOLED display (2560 x 1440 pixels), superfast 2.7Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB RAM, 16MP rear facing camera with Smart OSI and 32GB storage. The front camera is now 3.7MP with f/1.9 and a 120-degree wide angle because we love group selfies.

Battery life should be good with the 3,220mAh battery.

The GALAXY Note 4 has an improved fingerprint scanner and the world’s first UV sensor in a mobile device.

GALAXY Note 4 Frost White

The S Pen also has improvements to its abilities and features. One of them is the ability to quickly pin notes to your homescreen. Samsung says the S Pen offers a more authentic pen experience. Coupled with S Note, you can use multiple note-taking methods to fit to your requirements.

In terms of hardware, Samsung has done just enough to keep ahead of the competition.

The most obvious change in the Note 4 would be its industrial design – now sleeker and with a premium metal frame. The soft faux leather back is consistent with the GALAXY S5 and older Note 3.

The new Note runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWIZ.

The GALAXY Note 4 will be available in “Charcoal Black,” “Frost White,” “Bronze Gold,” and “Blossom Pink” in global markets starting October. No pricing yet but expect it to be within the RM2,399 (US$750) range.

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Initial thoughts

I’ve always considered the Note series the true flagship for Samsung, since the original Note. While it occupies a niche, it’s well-built and usually packed with the latest and greatest hardware. The Note 3 was, I thought, the best phone that Samsung ever made and with the Note 4, the Korean giant has stuck to its winning formula.

Nothing groundbreaking here, but more or less helps it stay ahead as the phablet of choice. Definitely a buy if you’re looking for a phablet or large screen device.

 

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