We here at Inferse have detailed the Note 4 rumors and what many believe the device will have; at the same time, however, we know the difference between rumors and confirmations. Now’s a good time as any to detail the confirmed information regarding Samsung’s soon-to-be-announced flagship phablet and provide some idea of what you can expect if you’re thinking about picking up the device this Fall.
Display and Design
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 looks to feature the same display as last year’s Note 3, at 5.7 inches diagonally. It’s likely that Samsung decided to maintain the screen size for two reasons: (1) in order to maintain a high pixel density (PPI) and (2) to not cannibalize the sales of its Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3-inch models. Just this week, we’ve gotten word that Samsung looks to release a 7-inch, Galaxy Mega 7.0 to the market (yes, a smartphone!). You may or may not find a 7-inch smartphone appealing, but increasing the Note 4 display from 5.7 to 5.9 inches would surely crouch in on Samsung’s Galaxy Mega sales – particularly the Galaxy Mega 5.8 (which is only 0.1 inches wider than the Note 3). The company has comfortably established its smartphone boundaries, and, despite the large Galaxy Note 3 screen, doesn’t look to push the limits any further with a wider display for the Note 4 this year.
Keeping the Note 4 with the same screen size will prove to be advantageous in the future for the company’s screen resolution. The larger the screen, the smaller the pixel density (pixels per inch, PPI). If Samsung can keep the screen at the same size as the Note 3, then the company can increase the resolution (incrementally) and still produce the eye-popping colors consumers have come to expect from the Korean manufacturer. This won’t be enough to put Samsung ahead of the other manufacturers, but it’ll allow the company to stay afloat and match the screen resolution of its competitors.
The Note 4 will have a screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, as confirmed by a leaked spreadsheet that confirms the screen size and resolution for not only the Note 4 but also devices such as the Galaxy S5 Prime, Galaxy S5 Mini, and the recently-released original Galaxy S5 model. The spreadsheet screenshot confirms that the device will have a QHD (or Quad HD) resolution as opposed to a quarter HD (or qHD) resolution. Quarter HD resolution is 960 x 540 and is represented as “qHD” as opposed to “QHD.” Knowing Quarter HD resolution, we can say that 2,560 x 1,440 pixels has become the standard for Quad HD—although, in the future, we may see manufacturers break away from standard resolutions to modified resolutions that provide the best colors and overall viewing angles for their individual smartphones.
The Note 4 will most certainly sport Samsung’s tried-and-true Super AMOLED display as the company is committed to its displays. Some individuals believe that Super AMOLED displays oversaturate colors, but companies such as DisplayMate have rated Samsung’s Galaxy S5 display as “the best-performing smartphone display that we have ever tested,” said display guru Raymond Soneira.
As for the Note 4’s design, Samsung President J.K. Shin has said that the Note 4 will sport “a new form factor,” although we’ve no clue what that could be. Recent patents filed by the company suggest that we could see a three-sided Youm display arrive at market this year. The three-sided display would allow Note 4 users to check their messages, emails, and other notifications without turning on the phone.
A rumor that has yet to be verified by Samsung says that the Note 4 could be the metal smartphone that everyone’s been waiting for. We’ve seen the Galaxy S5 Prime with its aluminum metal back cover, but we’ve received no photos or evidence that say that Samsung will emerge with aluminum for the Note 4 – although there’re many Samsung fans who would rejoice if Samsung did. As for what can be expected, we could very well see the same plastic leather (or faux leather) design that Samsung used in the Galaxy Note 3. The leather back cover has its share of adherents, and the Note 4 would be no less classy if we did see the leather back cover emerge victorious once again.
We’re likely to side with the Youm display claim and against the metal smartphone claim.
Processor and Memory
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 3GB of RAM, and the Note 4 has been confirmed to feature a quad-core, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor with 4GB of RAM. More random access memory is never a bad thing, and Samsung’s processors, like its displays, have always been a matter of iteration. Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 and even 810 processors will emerge from processor chipset maker Qualcomm by the end of the year, and we wouldn’t be surprised to find Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 boasting a new Qualcomm processor release by September.
Samsung’s Note 4 will also have the usual starting 32GB of internal memory storage out of the box. One thing Samsung is to be credited for with its Note phablet line is that the company provides 32GB (not 16GB) right away for consumer use. It is underwhelming to see companies release 8GB devices, even if tech companies want to entice consumers to pay a little less for a smartphone with less than 8GB of storage right out of the box. 16GB should be a standard smartphone storage version, and 32GB is slowly becoming the new standard in memory storage for most consumers. If you’re the person that can’t get enough memory storage (and you aren’t too keen on cloud storage), Samsung’s Note 4 is the device for you.
In case 32GBs proves to be too much, the Note 4 will still have the “old faithful” microSD card slot for expandable memory storage. Samsung made its Galaxy S5 microSD card slot 128GB-compatible, and we’ve every reason to believe the same will work for the Note 4.
Camera and Software
The Galaxy Note 4 could see the best camera yet on a Samsung device (if not Android devices at large). Some reputable sources state that Samsung will implement a 20-megapixel camera in the Galaxy Note 4, bypassing the 16MP experience on the Galaxy S5.
Whether Samsung sticks with a new 16MP camera or uses a 20MP camera, the company will showcase its ISOCELL camera technology that has significantly improved low-light photos and enhanced high-light ones. The Galaxy S5’s 16MP camera is no slouch, and the Note line has always been known for a stellar camera experience. Most individuals take daylight photos, and this is where Samsung cameras excel. The company isn’t satisfied with having a camera that is 75% competent, so it’s worked on improving low-light photos.
While the megapixel camera count is enough to excite the tech enthusiast, there’s more: the company’s also looking to place some new camera software features into the Note 4 experience. Samsung’s not one to stop innovating in the software space (despite the pure vanilla Android experience that’s got many a tech enthusiast calling for the end of software innovations from Android OEMs and the beginning of a never-ending hardware competition, instead), and the Note collection has always highlighted the company’s own advancements in software. Sources reveal that Samsung will use a Download Booster (possibly called Multi-Network Booster) in the Note 4, but it is our hope that carriers embrace this feature across the board. The Download Booster was announced with the Galaxy S5 but, in the final analysis, became an exclusive of T-Mobile (to the exclusion of the three major US carriers Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon). The Download Booster allows you to use both LTE data and Wi-Fi to download large files quickly.
What other Note 4 camera software features can we expect? The company’s taking its cues from HTC’s One M8 motion launcher and introducing a Motion Launcher into the next-generation flagship phablet. The Motion Launcher on the HTC One M8 works flawlessly and we found that, when trying it out in demonstrations tests at a local carrier retail store, that the One M8 launcher works as it should. In fact, without knowing about the launcher, you wouldn’t even realize that it’s there. Gesture motions have become a way to maintain a clean user interface, and Samsung may decide to go with it this year in the Note 4. At the same time, however, we wonder where this’ll leave the Magazine UX that Samsung’s featured on the Galaxy S5. Since Samsung wants to make My Magazine a feature that’s adopted by a number of individuals, the company may very well make My Magazine an app on its TouchWiz UI instead of maintaining the My Magazine Motion Launcher that’s on the Galaxy S5 experience. HTC’s One M8 utilizes its Motion Launcher to place its dual back cameras, so it’s possible that Samsung could do this with the Note 4 experience.
The Note 4 will also come with a “smart fingerprint” feature, which isn’t surprising in the least. The company’s fingerprint scanner debuted on the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress, and Samsung’s commitment to personal data security ensures that we’ll see it for sure on the Note 4 experience. With a “smart fingerprint” feature, however, sources have said that Samsung may do much more with its fingerprint scanner than is possible on the Galaxy S5, considering that the company sees its Note devices as built for business professionals (the Galaxy S5 being a popular device for the masses). Could it be the case that the fingerprint scanner could be used for more than screen unlocking and PayPal payments?
The Aqua Mode will utilize underwater pictures, signifying that you can expect your Galaxy Note 4 to be water and dust-resistant. The Galaxy S5 has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, but Samsung could likely increase its Note 4 water and dust resistance in order to compete with the best that its Android competitors will offer. Since the company’s soon to introduce its Galaxy S5 Prime (the best of the GS5), Samsung will now have to implement faster and better on the Note devices. In other words, the stage is set for consumers to expect better than what Samsung will give the GS5 Prime (not the original GS5) because the Prime will likely sway some Note 4 users who may not see the need for such a large screen as the 5.7-inch Note experience. How will Samsung maintain its Note 4 user base? Taking all of the Note 3 (the standard in the Android smartphone experience) and seasoning it with a little more perfection than before.
Note 4 Release Date
The Note 4, according to our sources, places September 3rd as the date for the phablet’s release (at the German IFA conference in Berlin). Since the Galaxy S5 was displayed at Mobile World Congress, Samsung will stick to the fanfare with an IFA 2014 release. The Note 4’s release date is one day earlier than the Note 3’s release date last year (Sept. 4, 2013).
The Note 4 provides the premium experience of any Android smartphone on the market. A number of smartphones that will emerge this year have up-to-date specs, but they’ll all have to compete with Samsung’s “Beast of the East”. Any smartphone manufacturer who wants to stand a chance needs to get its high-end smartphones on the market before the Note 4 debuts. Following the pricing trend of Note Series, it is expected that the Note 4 will be priced around $800 maximum.