Galaxy Note 4 Review - Read before buying

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones and Media Players' started by Crews Reviews, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Crews Reviews
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    Crews Reviews Newbie

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    Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review
    I have been using the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for a month and this is my experience so far.
    I wanted to get as indepth as possible for those who need to pick out their new upgrade device and are considering Samsung's biggest flagship.
    The note 4 sells currenty for $799 off contract so it will be classified as a high end device and will be reviewed as such.
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    Design

    Samsung has finally realized that there devices were being singled out for their lack of quality materials and they decided to go with a metal edge around the unit.
    The metal border does make the device look and feel like a higher quality product than their previous offerings. The metal itself is covered with a powder metal paint on the front and sides leaving only the bevelled edges with a chrome metal finish.
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    The power, home, and volume buttons are also metal with a nice click to them. They are painted in a similar fashion.
    This powder paint seems to be a slight downfall as it has started chipping in certain areas after a month of light use.
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    The back panel is the new standard faux leather although improved with the removal of the fake stitches pattern and it definitely improves the overall look.
    Under the screen you will from left to right the multitasking button, home button, and back button. This may be a little different from what you were used to as older models had the menu button where the multitasking one is.
    Fingerprint Scanner
    Samsung has found it important to match Apple and release their new devices with a fingerprint scanner.
    When I first got the device I set it up with the scanning software joyful to have the easy unlock option available to iPhone users everywhere but soon realized that it is more of a hassle than its worth.
    Scanning your fingerprint requires you to slide your finger down the home button to scan instead of tapping and holding down as is available on the iPhone.This makes it more difficult to get a successful reading and is more frustrating than the other unlock methods available.
    Heart Rate Monitor
    Another new edition to the new Samsung Galaxy line is the heart rate monitor which seems to work okay.I only got 1 or 2 obviously incorrect readings but it does take 1 or 2 attempts to get a reading at all
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    Screen
    The Super Amoled 5.7" 2K screen is a joy to look at and even better when it is in motion.
    The 2K screen may cause you issues if you have a difficult time reading small print as not all apps will adjust to your resolution to provide you optimal reading sizes.
    Blacks are darker and colors are more vibrant on OLED screens and 2K video looks great on the 5.7" screen.
    Durability
    Thanks to the added weight the device feels more solid.There was no give to the device when trying to twist or push on the screen.It may be a good option if you are looking for an extra durable device in light of the iPhone 6 & 6+ bendgate issues.
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    Accessories
    The phone comes with the usb fast charging cable with a usb to wall plug adapter.
    Fast charging works as advertised and can charge my dying Note 4 with 5% battery life to a fully charged device in an hour an hour give or take a few minutes.
    Take note that fast charging will not work if you are actively using the device or if the screen is on during charging.
    On the bottom of the device is the Samsung S-Pen which is the Note series signature inclusion.
    The pen writes well and like the Note 3 has a button which will pull up an S-pen menu to access quick shortcuts.
    The response time is almost instant and i can't find much to complain about but I don't tend to use it much.
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    Software
    Out of the box the device cane running 4.4.4 Kitkat which was standard for its time of release.
    Touchwiz is littered all over the Note 4s menus so if you are not a fan from previous devices then be prepared to install a custom rom or launcher.
    Pre-installed software includes:
    S Health
    S Note
    S Planner
    S Voice
    There are all typical Samsung built applications that I find very easy to use and better than others available on the Google Play store.
    In the next month or so Samsung will release 5.0.2 Lollipop for owners of the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge but release date details are still a bit fuzzy.
    System Specs
    Screen: 5.7" Super AMOLED
    Processor: Quad core 2.7 Ghz Krait 450
    Chipset: Snapdragon 805
    GPU: Adreno 420
    RAM: 3GB LPDDR3
    Memory: 32GB Internal
    Camera: 16 MP 5312 x 2988 with auto focus
    Real World Usage
    The device runs smoothly with Touchwiz out of the box but after I installed all of my apps and started multitasking the device slowed.Everything responded slower than I would have expected.
    The battery lasts for a whole day with medium to heavy usage. This is with the power saving modes diabled as I don't like how it dims the screen.Below is a screenshot of my usage for one day with a full charge overnight.
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    Gaming
    Games that ran smoothly on my Note 3 run slower and are choppier than they were on the older device which leads me to believe that the Snapdragon 805 chipset isnt quite up to the task of 2K gaming.
    It was due to this and viewability issues that I had to root the device and change the resolution to something more suitable for gaming.
    Games like Xcom Enemy Within and Shadowrun Returns had text far too small to read and could only be fixed with a lower resolution.
    Another issue I had is that some games would experience issues on the Note 4 which were not present on older devices.
    Games like Iesabel and Doom 3 would not run no matter what I tried.
    Other games would close unexpectedly like Deus X The fall and Telltales The Wolf Among us.
    All games I played ran with a slower framerate than on the Note 3 which is not what I expect from an upgraded model.
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    Exiles by Crescent Moon running at 2k resolution
    Benchmarking
    Here are my results after 1 month on serveral bechmark applications.
    During all tests I made sure no other apps were running in the background.
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    Summary
    The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 may look good on paper but there are a few things holding it back.
    The build of the phone is much better than their previous devices and it really feels like you are holding a quality device.
    Its only once you start using it that its weaknesses show.Lag is noticable, the 2K resolution may be a factor in this or it may be bad driver implementation from Qualcomm for the Snapdragon 805 chipset.
    App incompatibility is also a concern I have already come across a few of my apps which only force close on the Note 4 so I image there are plenty of other incompatible apps out there
    If you are one of those people that don't mind installing custom roms then the Galaxy Note 4 might be a worthwhile device.
    While the Note 4 has good hardware it wasn't until I rooted and set a custom resolution using NOMone Resolution Changer that I trully recieved the upgrade that i paid for.
     
    WhoAmI?, filfat and Tomato Hentai like this.
  2. filfat

    filfat Musician, Developer & Entrepreneur

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    Wrong OS other than that it looks like a great device, thanks for the awesome review :D (Still waiting for Lumia 1530 XD)
     
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  3. WhoAmI?

    WhoAmI? PASTA's dirty animal

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    Awe. What's the matter with lil ol Android? ;_;

    I use Android because of the hacks :D
     
  4. filfat

    filfat Musician, Developer & Entrepreneur

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    I really like Android, but I feel like I have connected more with Windows Phone. Cortana, she just gets me. The Start Screen just gives me all the info I need at a glance. Compared to Android Windows Phone just works when I need it (had to use the blue pill for Android).

    Joking aside, Windows Phone just fits me better. :)
     
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  5. WhoAmI?

    WhoAmI? PASTA's dirty animal

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    Yeah I must agree with you there. I've used a Windows phone before and I must admire it's consistency and how it works flawlessly even on lower end devices.

    Personally, I think Windows Phone would be more successful if it gave the flexibility that Android offers. Other than that, there's nothing wrong with the OS. The other reason why I personally stick to Android is because of 3 awesome apps that I just MUST have:

    ES File Explorer
    Fing Network Tools
    Poweramp

    :)
     
    filfat likes this.
  6. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    #AndroidMasterRace

    I feel like this'd should be a review section.

    But I love android the most but I do wish they could put Windows 10 (like on pc/tablet) on a phone with an Intel processor but ohh well as android is still great..
     
  7. irvinscastle

    irvinscastle GBAtemp Regular

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    meh windows phone has less support