The Galaxy klasse 4 delivers a luscious quad HD screen, progressed multitasking, far better pen input und a sharper camera, all in a slick metal frame.

Du schaust: Samsung galaxy note 4 test chip

ByMark Spoonauer20 October 2014

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The Galaxy note 4 delivers a luscious quad HD screen, progressed multitasking, better pen input and a trickster camera, all bei a slick metal frame.

ForPremium steel frameGorgeous quad HD displayPowerful multitasking featuresImproved s PenHigh-quality 16-MP camera
AgainstBelow-average display screen brightnessHeavier und thicker than predecessorBattery life might be better

The Galaxy note 4 delivers a luscious quad HD screen, advanced multitasking, far better pen input and a trickster camera, all in a slick metal frame.

Pros+ Premium steel frame+ Gorgeous quad HD display+ an effective multitasking features+ Improved ns Pen+ High-quality 16-MP camera
Cons- Below-average screen brightness- Heavier and thicker 보다 predecessor- Battery life might be better

The note 4 ist a two-handed affair. Weighing 6.2 ounces and measuring 6.04 x 3.09 ns 0.33 inches, this phablet is actually heavier und thicker than the note 3 (5.9 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches, 5.9 ounces), though the latter didn"t have metal. Die iPhone 6 add to is so noticeably thinner and lighter than the klasse 4, punkt 6.2 x 3.1 ns 0.28 inches und 6.07 ounces, yet it has a smaller, 5.5-inch screen und no stylus.

All of the buttons on the klasse 4 are fairly easy to access, including the power taste on die right side and the volume rocker on the left. The elongated, oval home button doubles together a fingerprint reader zum unlocking die device, i m sorry worked an ext reliably bei my testing than ns fingerprint reader on the Galaxy S5.


While the quad-HD screen on ns LG G3 didn"t impress, Samsung"s 5.7-inch at sight AMOLED display screen delivers a terrific combination of sharpness, wealthy color und extra-wide the town hall angles. Having a 2560 ns 1440-pixel panel might seem favor overkill, however it didn"t when ich marveled at ns level des detail an a 4K youtube clip von a Koala bear. Ich could quickly make the end individual wiry hairs approximately its ears.

(Image credit: unterschrift Spoonauer / Tom"s Guide)

You"ll so see much more details bei the 16-MP photos freundin shoot. A photograph taken von a gorilla at ns Bronx Zoo proved fine wrinkles under die animal"s eyes as well as in intricate web von vines wrapping approximately a tree an the background.

I so appreciated the high-res screen wie man looking at handwritten notes i pinned to die home screen. Even weist thumbnail size, ich could discern the several items on my shopping list.

On ours lab testen using a colorimeter, die Galaxy grad 4 produced 163 percent of the sRGB color gamut. Samsung"s AMOLED displays tend kommen sie produce oversaturated hues, deshalb that high number isn"t a surprise. Ns iPhone 6 plus registered 95 percent on the same test. It was a similar story with color accuracy, v the note 4 afford a Delta-E rating des 4.2 (closer zu 0 zu sein best) and the iphone phone 6 plus a 1.9.

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I can use the note 4 bei direct sunlight, however it wasn"t a pleasant experience. Here"s why: ns phablet struggle 318 nits ~ above our irradiate meter, which is lower than ns category average of 367 nits und way much less than the iPhone 6 Plus" 537.


I schutz good news and bad nachrichten when that comes kommen sie audio. On the plus side, ns Galaxy klasse 4"s rückseitig speaker kann sein get pretty loud. That registered 81 decibels on our sound test, which ist higher than the iPhone 6 plus (78 dB) und on a par with the category average.

However, ns audio was dafür harsh that the note 4 made taylor Swift"s "Shake that Off" sound like a tinny mess. The iPhone 6"s speak delivered more well-rounded sound through deeper bass.

Multi window Upgrade

When that comes to multitasking, the klasse 4 makes the iPhone 6 look favor a phablet with training wheels. Notfall only kann sein you run 2 apps side über side — and drag und drop content bolzen them — but it"s also much easier to use Multi home window now.

Though freundin can ausblüten long drücken sie on the rückseitig button und drag apps on ns screen one weist a time kommen sie multitask, the klasse 4 lets you offen a Multi Window-friendly anwendung right from die recent apps menu. You just tap die split-screen icon an the appropriate corner von the app"s thumbnail, und then pick which app you want kommen sie run on the bottom hilfreich (or appropriate side) des the screen.

This smartphone is also smart enough to not take freundin away from split-screen mode. Weil das example, ich tapped a straße address in bei email signature on die top window, and the bottom home window showed me ns location on google Maps, where i could obtain directions.

The klasse 4 has actually one other nifty tricks up the sleeve. If freundin drag under from ns corner des any Multi window app, you tun können shrink it and move the around the screen. You kann then shrink the anwendung to a floating bubble and have it follow you as freundin navigate between apps, comparable to facebook Messenger"s chat Heads. Samsung calls this attribute Pop-Up View, und it kann be a echt time-saver.

A Smarter, Smoother s Pen

I"ve constantly found Samsung"s ns Pen more des a novelty 보다 a truly valuable tool. That alters with the grad 4. With double die pressure sensitivity together the grad 3 (2,000 levels versus 1,000), i found die writing experience to be soft smooth wie scribbling quick action Memos. I so love the you kann quickly pen these memos to ns home display screen with a tap.

I appreciate the ns Pen"s new mouselike functionality. Ich simply pressed the s Pen"s button und dragged it over a block des text on a Web seite to pick it. From there, ich could dough the text into an email or facebook post zu share in article. I just wish ns OS was smart enough kommen sie bring end the link to ns article automatically wie sharing text deswegen I can do both tasks in one step.

Whether you"re trying to delete multiple bildern or share them, the improved s Pen so lets you select multiple images at once in the gallery wie you hold ns button. Ns gallery zu sein one des several apps that lasst uns you hover the pen just above the display zu reveal more options. Bei this case, ich could use screen Write zu share die photo with my message, Edit, share or Delete.

TouchWiz and Interface

For me, convert from the iPhone 6 to ns Galaxy klasse 4 was a relief bei some ways. Ich love having simpler access kommen sie more fast settings, as well as a key-board with a committed number heat out of the box. I so like ns cleaner new look des the complete Settings menu, brought over from die S5, even though the number von options is overwhelming.

In a small nod zu Google, die home screen features a prominent google Search/Now widget, i beg your pardon you tun können activate über a voice command. However make no mistake: This is a samsung experience. I know because ich felt compelled kommen sie immediately disable stroked nerves sound results that accompany display screen taps and notifications.

Samsung continues zu offer a one-handed mode, which lets you shrink ns display und move it zu one side. Unlike the iPhone 6"s Reachability Mode, the grad 4 lasst uns you move this shrunken window around.


Given all of its capabilities, it"s fitting the the note 4 zu sein the zuerst smartphone to pack Qualcomm"s Snapdragon 805 processor (quad-core running at 2.7 GHz). There"s deshalb 3GB des RAM ~ above board and 32GB of storage, und is expandable hoch to bei additional 128GB über microSD.

In daily use, the note 4 ceded mixed results. Samsung"s phone was slower than ns iPhone 6 zu launch the camera from ns home screen and lock screen, but faster than Apple"s device wie man exiting to ns home display screen from apps.

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The grad 4 deshalb proved swift wie man scrolling internet pages and switching betwee apps. However, there was some legen at times, such as when pulling hoch more info on a 4K videobilien clip. I so noticed inconsistency v the note 4"s handwriting recognition; sometimes, my scribbles became text immediately, and other times, it took a couple of seconds. That"s die trade-off v Samsung"s TouchWiz overlay matches a cleaner develop of android on a device like die Moto X: freundin get much more features but deshalb more latency.

The klasse 4"s hardware is certainly beefy enough zu trump many flagships. Zum instance, the phablet scored 3,124 top top Geekbench 3, a synthetic prüfen that procedures multiscore performance. That"s higher than the Galaxy S5 (2,927) and the HTC One M8 (2,480) (Snapdragon 801 CPU). The iPhone 6 Plus and its A8 chip notched 2,903.

The note 4 soared top top 3DMark eis Store Unlimited, which measures graphics performance. Die device fight 20,126, beating the iPhone 6 plus (16,965), Galaxy S5 (18,204) und Moto ns (19,593). Ns One M8 (20,965) came closest zu beating the note 4.

However, the klasse 4 fell rückseitig to planet on die more demanding GFXBench manhattan benchmark, i m sorry gauges OpenGL es 3.0 graphic performance. The klasse 4 mustered just 11.1 frames per second, which ist surprisingly low. The iPhone 6 Plus got above 30 fps, and even the Galaxy S5 fared better, at 11.7 fps.

Back Camera

From the note 3 zu the klasse 4, samsung upgraded the back camera from 13 zu 16 megapixels. However, the note 4"s camera offers one more improvement: Samsung deshalb added optical bild stabilization, which is supposed zu result an better low-light performance.

Samsung continues kommen sie offer a plethora des camera modes, including ns artsy Selective Focus, annoyingly tedious Rear-cam Selfie und all-encompassing shoot & More, which lets you take a shot und then apply in effect (like Eraser) afterward. But most note 4 owners möchte stick zu Auto and be an extremely satisfied.

(Image credit: unterschrift Spoonauer / Tom"s Guide)

Unfortunately, the klasse 4"s camera dropped down an low light. A picture of two colleagues taken an a dim room looked quite dark and had considerable grain. Die iPhone 6 plus seemed to let an more light, and it did a better job of capturing skin tones. The note 4 still lost with ns flash on —by a mile — due to the fact that the image looked swollen out. Die subject"s jacket on ns iPhone 6 photo looks more choose shiny leather.

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As expected, the klasse 4"s camcorder caught smooth und detailed 1080p footage when ich shot some new York city traffic. Also with a potentially complex mix of shadow und sunlight, ns phone delivered gleaming yellow taxis, und it was easy to make out ns plaid sample on a bike driver across die street.

When ich bumped up die resolution zu 3840 x 2160p, playback stuttered a bit more on-screen, but ich could discern even much more relief bei a brick building and make out the Web address on a blue truck an ext than 50 feet away.

Front Camera

With a 3.7-MP prior camera, samsung has upped its take self game an more means than one. An addition kommen sie sharper pics, there"s a new wide selfie mode that lets you stitch with each other a more comprehensive shot simply by tilting the phone bei your hand. Punkt first, ich found the difficult kommen sie line things up, similar zu a panorama, but I got the hang des it ~ a few des these selfies. Die processing time didn"t take it long, either.

(Image credit: markierung Spoonauer / Tom"s Guide)

As zum the quality, the note 4 did a fair job of capturing my skin ton while smoothing out the wrinkles. There"s a beauty-mode slider that you kann tweak right bei the live view, if freundin don"t desire that Photoshopped effect. I so commend Samsung for the former camera"s low-light performance. Also on a dark night, with only die light of my laptop an front von me, ns phone recorded a perfectly usable selfie.

Bonus: You kann use die heart-rate sensor on the zurück of the phone together a shutter button.

Battery Life

I wouldn"t say it"s a weakness, however the grad 4"s battery life is shorter than I"d hoped. Regardless of its huge 3,220-mAh battery, this phablet didn"t wow on our battery life test, which involves constant 4G web surfing at 150 nits von brightness.

The klasse 4 lasted 8 hours und 42 minutes, which ist 21 minute above the smartphone category average. However, at 10 hours, die iPhone 6 add to lasted more than bei hour longer, und we"ve seen other handsets, like ns One plus One, walk over the 13-hour mark.

During my testing, ich usually started zu run out von juice an the evening, however all sie need is a half-hour with the included charger zu get back up kommen sie 50 percent. Plus, there are a couple of different ways to extend her runtime.

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Power conserving Mode lasst uns you border background data, CPU performance and other functions with a couple of screen taps, while extremistin Power conserving Mode zu sein really miserly. That turns ns screen gray-scale when allowing data only while the screen is on. Consider this möglichkeit a last resort, together you"ll be limited kommen sie a handful des apps. Plus, it took about 30 seconds zu fully communicate this mode.

S health and wellness

There"s other subtly cool about seeing how numerous steps you"ve taken so far in the day best on her lock screen. That"s just one example of Samsung"s s Health in action, which offers a last of features without requiring you zu download additional third-party apps (unlike Apple"s wellness dashboard).

I used ns sensor ~ above the rückseitig of the klasse 4 to not only measure up my heart price (which tun können take a couple von attempts) but also my blood oxygen level SpO2. S Health so sports a integrated pedometer, exercise mini app, a food and sleep tracker (the latter of which requires a separate samsung fitness device), UV meter for sun exposure und stress measure tool.

Watching the klasse 4 meter work zu determine my tension level via the back-mounted sensor was stressful bei and von itself, but ich wound up an the center range.


One of the erste things i did upon setting hoch the note 4 was kommen sie create a folder for AT&T bloatware i didn"t want to look hinweisen again. Seriously, i don"t recognize how viel money ist changing hands bolzen Samsung und the carrier, yet I"d to speak it"s not worth it.

Milk and Hancom Office apps

To Samsung"s credit, some von its very own apps and other bundled choices are worth using. Milk is a slick internet radio app that lets you navigate betwee genres und your stations durch a digital dial. S Note und SketchBook weil das Galaxy help you take complete advantage of the ns Pen, and Smart Remote lets you use the klasse 4 together a remote zum your TV.

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Other remarkable apps encompass Softcard (formerly well-known as Isis Wallet), ns major carriers" attempt zu compete with apfel Pay through NFC-enabled payments. Hancom Office lasst uns you edit und create office documents, und Lookout can protect your device from malware und help sie locate it if it"s shed or stolen.

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Bottom line

The Galaxy grad 4 is deswegen much more advanced than other phablets the it"s almost an its own league. Yes, ns quad-HD screen ist gorgeous, yet I"m more impressed von what you kann do on this canvas. The improved s Pen und Multi home window features make me an ext productive, und the 16-MP camera beat ns iPhone 6 Plus an a number des shots.