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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 officially announced: here’s what you need to know

As expected, Samsung has now taken off the veil on its Galaxy Note 4. The new beast is a considerable upgrade over its predecessor.
September 3, 2014

Easily one of the most anticipated tech announcements of 2014, Samsung has now taken the wraps off the Galaxy Note 4 at their Unpacked Event, ahead of the official start of IFA 2014.

As the rumor mill previously had indicated, the Galaxy Note 4 follows suit on the Galaxy Alpha’s new ‘premium’ aesthetics, offering up a metallic frame in a body that has curved edges once again akin to the Alpha. Unlike the Alpha, however, the Note 4 features a faux leather back, though the texture is somewhat different when compared to its predecessor and no longer includes stitching in the design. Whether the new design is an improvement or a setback really depends on your own taste.

samsung galaxy note 4 first look aa (10 of 19)

Turning to the front, the design keeps with Samsung’s traditional button layout, though it also features a fingerprint scanner like the GS5 before it. The display size is also the same this time around, though the bezels are a bit smaller and the resolution has been upgraded to QHD. One small noticeable difference is that the edges of the protective glass on the front are a bit rounded.

For those that were hoping that the Note 4 would take on the water and dust resistance from the GS5, no such luck here. Samsung says that while the Galaxy S5 was targeted towards everyday users, the Note 4 is geared towards business users and those who wish to use the S Pen for creative purposes and so the Korean giant felt that water/dust-proofing wasn’t as big of priority to these types of users.

Moving past the cosmetic aspects of the Note 4, you’re probably wondering what the beast packs under to the hood. Without further ado, let’s jump in and take a look.

CPU/GPUSnapdragon 805, Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 450 / Adreno 420
CPU/GPU (Select markets)
Exynos 5 Octa 5433, 64-bit, Octa-core 4 X 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 + 4 Cortex-A57 / Mali T760
5.7-inch, 2560 x 1440, 515 ppi
16/32/64 GB,nmicroSD up to 128GB
3220 mAh
16MP/3.7MP, BSI Sensor, Optical Image Stabilization, LED flash
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.0 (LE), IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz n3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHzn4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps)
Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB,IR-LED nProximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, Heart Rate Monitoring, SpO2 (Dependent on market)
Android 4.4.4 KitKat with TouchWiz
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g
Charcoal Black, Blossom Pink, Frost White, and Bronze Gold

The Note 4 adds some pretty big changes to the hardware package when compared to its predecessor, such as its beautiful QHD display and a beefier Snapdragon 805 CPU. There’s also several new sensors thrown into the mix here, such as fingerprint reading and UV scanner.

Much more demanding specs, however, could also mean more stress on the battery. Thankfully, Samsung’s optimizations and the Snapdragon 805’s relatively energy-frugal design shouldn’t make too much of a difference, at least judging by reviews of the QHD/805-equipped Galaxy S5 LTE-A. Of course, it’s really too early to give an accurate report on battery life for the Note 4 just yet.

samsung galaxy note 4 first look aa (4 of 19)

Bottom-line, the Note family has always offered the most impressive specs available and the Note 4 doesn’t disappoint. That said, there’s more to a good phone than just raw specs — software is also crucial.

Software features

While Touchwiz is still alive and well on the Note 4, Samsung is introducing several new features for the Note, many of which are centered around the S-Pen and multi-tasking. We’ll go into more details on these features in a later post, but here’s a quick run-down of some of the bigger hitters:

  • Air Command has been slimmed down to just four options: Action Memo, Screen Write, Pen Window and Smart Select. S Search and Scrap Booker are still on the phone, they just aren’t part of the menu anymore.
  • Action Menu  can now be opened by double tapping the S Pen on the screen while keeping the S Pen button pressed.
  • Smart Select lets you select multiple pieces of content at a time and you can then have them appear in a floating bubble where you can access, share or convert them to a scrap book format.
  • Samsung also is introducing two new writing types, Fountain Pen and Calligraphy, designed to mimic their respective writing utensils.
  • Multi-window enhancements: Holding the button between apps while in MultiWindow will open the app top in floating mode, and swiping from the top right corner will open the floating mode. Samsung is also adding an icon onto a compatible app’s thumbnail in the recent apps menu which you can click  on to automatically open up said app in multi-window mode.

More Coverage

We’ll be bringing you more great coverage as the day progresses, so be sure to stay tuned as we’ll be updating this post with links to all the greatest news and videos related to the Galaxy Note 4.