Samsung is not an alien name when it comes to phablets. And in case you have been living under a rock, the phablet category is defined by smartphones that are of the more than 5-inch form factor. And there are a host of handsets to choose from in that respect.
It still seems like yesterday when users and critics were of the opinion that the phablet category would never catch on in the distant future, ahead of the release of the first ever Galaxy Note. However, fast forward to 2014, we already have the new Galaxy Note 4.
The Galaxy Note 4 is a step ahead of the company's Galaxy S5 flagship model in terms of the size and price, and is a direct follow up to the Note 3. But for the price you pay, you will be treated to a '2K' QHD screen, top-of-the-charts Snapdragon 805 processor, fast charging and a new, improved S-Pen stylus.
The new Note is already up against some decent competition that involves the likes of Nexus 6, Nokia Lumia 1520, Huawei Ascend Mate 7 and the steeply priced iPhone 6 Plus. However, it's only the iPhone 6 Plus that matches the Note 4 in terms of pricing.
We have been playing with the review unit of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for quite sometime now. And needless to say, we are equally impressed from what we are seeing here, while some nibbling issue still persist. Nonetheless, here's our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review: Form Factor and Operating System
It's interesting to see that unlike the previous three iterations of Samsung's Galaxy Note, the South Korean tech giant hasn't found it necessary to increase the screen size of the Note 4, and hence it sticks with the same 5.7-inch dimensions of the Galaxy Note 3.
Happily though, it seems like Samsung has finally paid heed to what consumers have been demanding. And one of the main complain most users had against Samsung was its use of plastic in the build material. But with the Note 4, Samsung has introduced a more metallic element.
This forms a frame around the phone on all sides, with chamfered build around its edges, ensuring that there are no sharp edges. The other purpose of these kind of edges is for assisting with easy grip of the Note 4.
Compared to the previous Note 3, the Note 4 is taller, thicker and heavier, although not as much wide as you might also think. The handset sports exactly the same shape, style and similar rounded corners as the Galaxy Alpha, but only with a bigger screen factor. Also the back is fitted with extended plastic.
Around the back of the phone is the thin, leather-effect plastic, although this time around minus the less than impressive stitching, which is a little softer to the touch. The phablet is nice to grip and offers a more sophisticated design approach of the Note 4.
Although, compared to the all-metal One M8 or the iPhone 6 Plus, it may not seem that big a deal. But then again, it is a big step up from previous Note handsets, while also serving as a reminder of the design inconsistencies that Samsung handset range has seen.
Apart from that, Samsung's so-well-known physical home key can still be found at the bottom of the screen. This also provides a space for the Korean firm to place its fingerprint scanner, which again is flanked by two touch keys.
The Note runs on Android 4.4.4 KitKat with the TouchWiz UI overlay that we've already seen on the Galaxy S5. However, the good news is that Samsung's 2014 update to TouchWiz is more refined than previous offerings. There are fewer pre-installed bloatware apps and redesigned icons that make everything look a lot cleaner.
Also, the lockscreen of the Galaxy Note 4 offers you the option to launch directly into the camera or the dial pad for an emergency call. Moreover, it can also display information related to time, date, weather and even the number of steps you've taken during a single day.