So what’s good to see is that the size and form factor hasn’t changed (Other than the new edge model but i’ll come to that later!). The Note 4 looks very similar to the Note 3 with the same size screen and the back is the same faux leather plastic that actually works really well. However look closer and you’ll see the silver edging is now metal which gives the note 4 a real air of quality for the first time. If you’ve seen the S5 then i’m told it looks and feels just like that and this not only looks and feels a lot classier but it will bring a little bit of strength to the phone too.
The device is almost identical in size and shape as the Note 3. If anything a few grams heavier but you’ll hardly notice that.
New 2.5D glass brings a very, very (and I mean small here!) slight curve to the device but more importantly enhanced strength too. I think glass technology is fast becoming so good these days that cracked screens are really going to be a thing of the past.
A Quad HD with Super AMOLED screen which brings a super colour spectrum and 500+ PPI pixel density. That’s a 1440 x 2560 pixel screen in your pocket people!
So, some nice changes but evolution rather than revolution but as a note 3 owner, it’s in the user interface where some of the biggest changes are.
Multitasking has had a big update with the ability to now create multi windows on your screen allowing you to multi-task in a way more intuitive way but you can also share things from each window so you can say drag an image from your gallery directly into an email. From the demo I saw, you can see that the ability to open multiple windows and share resources between them is really different but natural too. Dare I say it, but it’s almost like having a Windows PC in your pocket!!
S-pen has also had an upheaval! The pressure sensitivity has been doubled and it also takes advantage of the better resolution screen so it’s said to feel exactly like writing with a real pen. i can tell you first hand that one of the main reasons I like the Note 3 is down the tiny thin text I can write on it freehand, so this comes as an exciting new evolution for me! The pen not only has better pressure sensitivity but better speed and tilt detection so it behaves like a real pen would if on all 3. This has also allowed for 2 new pen styles, calligraphy and fountain pen that looked from the demo like really great features.
Smart select is a neat feature that allows you to select a series of pieces of data which then allows you to send the data as a whole bundle to anyone. So for example you could open Chrome, save some images, go to Trip adviser and select and store each hotel as a picture, go into S-Note and create a sketch and store all of these together. You can then save or send this as an email. Very useful.
S-Pen can be used more like a mouse too, so you can use it to select multiple items but also to click and drag text and it’s much more how we’re used to doing it.
S-Note now has a widget so you can add notes far more quickly with the convenience of being able to snap an image, take a voice or textual note.
If I had one gripe about the Note3, it was that the camera was not quite up to the same nice level as many other phones today but this has also been addressed. Not only are the cameras updated with a 16MP back camera with image stabilisation for the first time and a 3.7MP front facing camera with an f1.9 and wider angle lens which will help with lower light conditions. You can also use the heart rate sensor on the back cover to take the shot which reduces and camera wobble for those essential “selfies, and wefies!”
The battery has also seen some innovation. Whilst the actual size of the battery has only jumped 20mAh from the Note 3’s 3200mAh battery, the Note 4 is said to last 7.5% longer and this is despite having all the multi-tasking and way better screen.
It’ll charge the battery from Zero to 50% charge in 30 minutes with a new fast charge feature and will get it up to 70% charged in under an hour.
3 Microphones on the Note 4 allows the device to do some new clever things too! It’ll record in 8 different directions so if being used to record sound it will be able to detect distinct sound and its direction way better. However the ability to now utilise noise cancellation is the big boom for me with the 3rd Mic able to deliver noise cancellation to sound recording or whilst using the phone meaning the Note 4 can be used in noisy environments but still deliver a better sound experience.
Free software is also updated on the Note 4 so you get a whole set of free access to things like Dropbox and a lot more than that for 2 years.
The device comes in 4 colour options including Black, White, Gold and Pink.
The biggest surprise was the confirmation of the rumours of a phone with extended screen and this has arrived in the form of the Note “Edge.” The edge screen is a totally separate screen that can be used to store all kinds of short cuts and it’s going to drive some really new styles of features and apps. It comes with a brand new SDK so programmers can innovate on the platform.
There’s no mention of price yet but i’d expect these to be at least the same price as the predecessor phones, however a launch date of October was given so it won’t be long until you can get your hands on one! I have to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Samsung, but this is all a really pleasant surprise. The Note 4 is absolutely full of innovation, top, top technology and features galore. It’s not an enterprise tool in my opinion, it’s simply not rugged enough and it isn’t IP rated either so don’t go giving it to all your engineers just yet but as a business tool it simply superb and takes the Note range a big step on.
It’s raised the game hugely on the iPhone 6 out next week so let the war begin. I know which queue I’ll be in already though!