Samsung has announced its new Galaxy Note 4 phone/mini-tablet, with a spec sheet that throws down a gauntlet to the tech industry and screams, “Come and have ago if you think you’re hard enough!”.
That mighty 5.7-inch screen now packs an eye popping Quad HD Super AMOLED (2,560 x 1,440 resolution) screen, offering a stunning 500 pixels per inch.
Running Android 4.4, the new Note has a real premium finish, sporting a metal rim surrounding the handset, although that opinion-dividing faux leather back is still present and correct.
The Note 4 can claim to be the first mobile device with a built-in UV sensor, which integrates with the S Health system. The system can monitor 5 UV index levels (Low, Moderate, High, Very High and Extreme) and can make suggestions to users based on the level of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
There’s also a fingerprint scanner on-board offering Screen Lock, Private Mode, Samsung Account Verification and PayPal Payments.
Inside, the technology is start of the art, with a 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor (or 1.9 GHz Octa-Core CPU), backed by a huge 3GB of RAM, plus 32GB/64GB storage and a handy microSD card slot for further expansion. The multitasking looks pretty impressive too.
The rather splendid S Pen has been updated to include a new feature called Snap Note which allows you to take a picture of a piece of paper (or whiteboard) and change what’s in the picture.
Coming with 2048 levels of pressure sensing – double that of the Note 3 – the new Smart Select feature allows allows users to capture several pieces of information at once. For example, a user could clip a couple of rooms from Airbnb, mix them with some images from another source and share the collated info with a contact by dragging and dropping into an email.
The Note comes with a 3.7Mp front-facing camera (with a very bright f1.9 aperture) and a 16Mp rear camera offering optical image stabilisation, and the heart-rate sensor on the back can double up as as a shutter button.
Travellers will enjoy the new fast charging charging speeds which leap from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes, and Samsung are claiming a 7.5 percent increase in battery life over its predecessor thanks to lower power consumption.
There’s no news about UK release and prices yet, but we’re guessing that we’ll be looking at £450 upwards for an unlocked Note 4.
What do we think?
We’ve been trying to resist the lure of the Note for years.
We know they’re almost ridiculously large but we still love the idea of having a proper pen onboard, and given the tiny amount of time we spend using our phones as an actual phone, the arguments against holding such a cast slice of tech against your noggin don’t appear so strong.
Verdict: damn we’re tempted!
|Network||2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
3G (HSPA? 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps)
* May differ by country and carrier
|AP||2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor
*May differ by country and carrier
|Display||5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)|
|OS||Android 4.4 (KitKat)|
|Camera||Rear Facing: 16Mp Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS
Front Facing: 3.7Mp camera with f1.9
|Rear Facing Camera : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More, Dual Camera
Front Facing Camera: Selfie, Wide Selfie
|Video||Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8
Recording & Playback: up to UHD
|Audio||Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC?/eAAC?, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(?)
(?) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support
|S Pen Optimized Features||Air Command (Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip, Screen Write)
S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen Input
|Additional Features||Multi Window|
|Ultra Power Saving Mode|
|Voice Recorder (Normal Mode, Interview Mode, Meeting Mode, Voice Memo)|
|S Health 3.5|
|Dynamic Lock Screen|
|Google Mobile Services||Chrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTube|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80) MIMO PCIe
GPS / GLONASS / Baidu
NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE,ANT+)
IR LED (Remote Control), USB2.0, MHL 3.0
|Sensor||Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB,IR-LED
Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, Heart Rate Monitoring, SpO2 (Dependent on market)
|Memory||32 GB Internal memory ? micro SD slot (up to 64GB)
|Dimension||153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5mm, 176g|
|Battery||Li-ion 3,220mAh, Fast Charging (Adaptive Fast Charging & QC2.0)|