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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review | Mobile Phones Review

Some said it would never catch on, but here we are four years on from the original Galaxy Note phablet with the fourth generation device - the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The Galaxy Note's big screen and S Pen stylus are certainly not for everyone. The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha offer a more mainstream smartphone setup - the Note 4 brings together big power, a big screen and big productivity.

If
you're after a top-end smartphone which won't break the bank (or your
palm, pocket or handbag) then you're probably in the wrong place.




At over £600, $800 (around AU$960) SIM free the Galaxy Note 4 was heart stopping expensive at launch.

A
few months have passed now and the price of the Note 4 has dropped a
bit, but you're still looking at upwards of £500, $700 (around AU$900)
if you don't want to be tied down to a contract.

On contract in
the UK a free handset will now see you shell out upwards of £33 per
month for two years. It is a considerable investment.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
The Galaxy Note 4 - king of the phablets?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is up against the likes of the Nexus 6, Nokia Lumia 1520, Huawei Ascend Mate 7 and the steeply priced iPhone 6 Plus, with the latter the only one matching the Note 4 in terms of cost.

Unlike
the previous three iterations Samsung hasn't deemed it necessary to
increase the screen size of the Note 4, so it sticks with the same
5.7-inch dimensions of the Galaxy Note 3.

It's
not the same screen though, as Samsung has given the Galaxy Note 4 a
hefty resolution boost - but more on that on the next page.

When
it comes to design Samsung has definitely listened about its latest
line-up feeling plasticky in the hand and has decided to give the Note 4
more of a premium finish.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
The metal frame runs round the outside
There's
a metal rim surrounding the handset, shielding the rest of the chassis
like a velvet rope protecting celebs from real people in a club.

It
sports exactly the same shape, style and rounded corners as the Galaxy
Alpha, only on a bigger scale and thanks to the increased size the
plastic rear is more noticeable here than it is on the Alpha.

Samsung
has tried to make the removable plastic cover feel more premium by
giving it a leather effect finish, but there's still no fooling your
hand with that unmistakable texture.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
Still all plastic on the back.
A
plus side to this though is the plastic rear does provide good grip -
vital when you've got such a large handset in your hand and even though
the Galaxy Note 4 is a touch wider than the all metal iPhone 6 Plus, I
found the Samsung is easier to hold.

Even though the 6 Plus has a
smaller, 5.5-inch display, it's actually taller than the Note 4 -
something else the Samsung has over its Apple rival as it makes the
phone more balanced in the hand.

Add to that the placement of the
power/lock key on the right of the Galaxy Note 4 and you find that even
for a big phone the key buttons are still easy enough to reach (if your
palms are on the larger side).


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
It does have a lovely screen.
The
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, almost the same as
its predecessor and smaller in width and depth than the Galaxy Note 2, which is impressive considering this is the first of the Note series to sport a metal frame.

I've also been using the 5.5-inch OnePlus One recently and there's really not a lot to choose between the two in terms of size.

It's
safe to say then, if you're already accustomed to the larger league of
smartphones then the Galaxy Note 4 will feel right at home in your palm.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
There's a fingerprint scanner hidden here
I
really like the way the Galaxy Note 4 feels in the hand and having used
the Note 3 on a number of occasions, it definitely feels different and
refined enough - plus it's light too, just a touch over the weight of
the Note 3 at 176g.

Samsung's tried and tested physical home key
still resides at the bottom of the screen, providing a location for the
Korean firm to stuff in its fingerprint scanner, and that's flanked by
two touch keys.

To the left of the home button is the
Multi-tasking key, while on the right you get Back. Both Back and
Multi-tasking are completely hidden when not illuminated by the
backlights, providing a clean finish to the front of the Galaxy Note 4.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
The Note 4 can be tricky to use one-handed
Some
shuffling of the Note 4 in the hand is required to get your fingers in
the right position to reach these during one handed use, and you'll need
to be careful not to drop it.

Round the back you'll find a 16MP camera, LED flash and the heart rate monitor which also features on the Galaxy S5, S5 Mini and Galaxy Alpha.

In
the bottom corner you'll also notice the end of the S Pen stylus hiding
inside the body of the Galaxy Note 4, while behind the removable rear
cover there's a microSIM port, microSD slot and a sizable 3220mAh
battery.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review
You'll find a 16MP camera on the back
This,
then, is the Note handset with the most premium and accomplished look
and feel to date. Samsung is finally providing the build quality its
top-end devices have been yearning for.

Samsung has managed to
keep the dimensions manageable - it's certainly a lot easier to hold
than the 6-inch Lumia 1520 and Ascend Mate 7 - and while the iPhone 6
Plus may look sleeker, the Galaxy Note 4 boasts a bigger, better screen
and very similar dimensions.

 | TechRadar

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