The Samsung Galaxy Note series has been the most famous Phablet series in the world. We have seen success follow the likes of Samsung Galaxy Note I, II and III in equal measures and largely these have been the devices which have been the measure of quality when it comes to large sized smartphones. Samsung to their credit has always iterated and made the latest Note device better than what it was last time around, be it an iteration in functionalities, features or simply the design. And this is true for the Galaxy Note IV.
We have received the Galaxy Note IV review unit and have spent some time with the device in the past few days playing around with it and putting it through the tests. Our first impressions of the device are best summed up by the line, “Slightly chunky, but a welcome change from Samsung”. When we first picked up the smartphone, it felt really premium thanks to the metallic frame of the device and a leather textured back. The front of the device too has an interesting line pattern. The front panel definitely is great to feel, thanks to the curved glass construction. The device is slightly heavy at 176 grams, but that is a tradeoff we are willing to make for the sake of premium-ness, especially when the device is going to cost well north of Rs 50,000.
The camera in our brief time so far has been fantastic too, and really comes on its own in low light and captures pretty sharp pictures. The OIS really helps video production on the move and the call quality has been good, though we would have liked the speaker to have been a little louder. The battery backup too has been good without ever reaching the levels that the Note II was able to. Blame it on the high-resolution display and slightly underwhelming Touchwiz, but the battery definitely felt better on the Note 4 than the Note 3. The performance generally has been snappy, and we have been using the Google Play Launcher on the phone rather than the stock TouchWiz launcher, which literally has been flying. Disable the odd water droplet sounds, replace the launcher and use a different messaging app, and the phone doesn’t look half bad when it comes to softwares. We absolutely adore the S-Pen and the new scrapbook feature really is useful when collaborating on a project. We will definitely cover more on this side of the story in the full review.
On the hardware front, the front of the device is dominated by the 5.7 inch Quad HD display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560. You have the Samsung branding just above the display with the earpiece over it. Towards the left of the branding, you have the proximity and ambient sensor and the front facing camera. The home button of the device with fingerprint scanner is just below the display. On the left chin of the device is the power button and on the right is the volume rocker. The top flank of the phone has the 3.5 mm audio port and an IR blaster, while the bottom chin has the Micro USB port as well as the S-Pen and main microphone. On the back, you have the protruding 16 MP camera with LED flash and heart rate sensor. You also have another Samsung branding and speaker grille at the back of the device.
We have put together a photo gallery of the device, to give a look at the phone from close quarters.