The Galaxy Note 3 was so good, so what can Samsung do to make the world’s best phablet even better? Mostly, make it feel more premium of course.
The Galaxy Note 4 keeps the same 5.7-inch display size from the last Note, but gives it an incredible resolution bump up to a quad-HD 2560×1440 panel.
Under the hood is 2.7GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (expandable up to 128GB via microSD card). You also get all manner of 4G connectivity you can possibly dream of 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a 16-megapixel camera.
For the Samsung devotee, one feature will noticeably stand out: the Note’s new frame. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha introduced a brave new world where Samsung built metal phones, and the Note 4 solidifies that choice of material by adopting actual metal trim, as opposed to the Note 3 and the S5′s faux-chrome rim. It’s a small, and for the average customer, negligible improvement, but side-by-side the improved material gives the handset a more solid and premium feel.
The Alpha-esque metal banding certainly makes it thicker than the iPhone 6 Plus, but certainly easier to hold in your hand.
The back cover feels more premium than ever thanks to a thicker plastic and a weird texture that makes it feel less like pleather than ever.
All in all, it’s a very heavy device and reasonably thick, that serves to make it feel almost more premium when you hold and carry it.
While the device might be thick and heavy, the new stylus is as light as a feather, making it easier to flick about than ever. Using the pen is better than ever, especially for handwriting. It’s a joyous writing experience at last.
The screen resolution from the new quad-HD panel is absolutely bonkers. Colours are more vibrant and beautiful than ever on this amazing screen which, at the moment, is one of the best you can buy.
Elsewhere, Samsung has made its Touchwiz skin on top of Android less in-your-face than ever. Thankfully the gadget giant is finally getting the message on getting out of your way.
Meanwhile, despite being large and very in charge, for some reason it just doesn’t feel as big as other Notes thanks to a smaller bezel.
Overall, we love the new Galaxy Note, and want to play with it some more.
Darren Orf also contributed to this piece.