Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: This Android phablet rules with a pen

Late 2016 update

After a botched recall and some very negative publicity, in September Samsung stopped production of the Galaxy Note 7. The company earlier had asked carriers around the world to suspend sales of the phone. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has gone further, saying, "Consumers should power down and stop using all Galaxy Note 7s."

Our advice: Don't buy a Galaxy Note 7, even if you can still find one. And if you already own one, you should immediately turn it off and exchange it for a phone that isn't a Note 7. All US cellular carriers and Best Buy (among others) will exchange your Note 7 for phones of equal value on the same network. Similar schemes apply in the UK and Australia.

The Galaxy Note 5, which Samsung still sells, however, remains a great, nonexplosive phone. Though it doesn't have all of this year's hardware or software enhancements, it features a great camera, a terrific stylus and extensive battery life. And it is safe to own and use.

In fact, there is no shortage of terrific alternatives. Apple has released its iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which take great photos, provide long battery life and deliver fast performance, though they lack some of the Galaxy Note 7's cutting-edge features such as an iris scanner and wireless charging. Google recently released its Pixel phone. And there is Samsung's own Galaxy S7 Edge, which is the most similar to the Note 7, just without the stylus.

Editors' note: The original Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review, first published in October 2014 and updated since, follows. The rating, originally 4.5 stars (9/10) has been reduced because of competitive changes in the marketplace.

To stylus or not to stylus, that is the question.

The 's S-Pen -- the narrow stylus tucked handily inside Samsung's surprisingly successful, giant 5.7-inch Galaxy Note phone -- stands out in a crowd. No other popular phone comes with a stylus, and this one makes the most of its mouselike properties, and an ability to write and draw on the screen. Every day, I've used it instinctively to jot a list or note, and to keep the screen clean from finger smudges.

The Note 4's specs also earn outstanding marks across the board, including its eye-poppingly vibrant display and a mostly-excellent 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization. Rapid LTE data speeds and a robust processor join a host of other specs and features that easily make the metal-rimmed, Android-powered Note 4 easily equal to other top-rated handsets -- and often better. The phone's drawbacks, though present, are minor and few.

As someone who enjoys the physical act of writing, I love the Note 4's stylus skills. However, if the act of putting digital pen to paper baffles you, skip this handset in favor of other big-screen phones that potentially cost less and perform core tasks just as well. This year's Galaxy Note makes only incremental improvements over last year's runaway Note 3 , and if you don't use the S-Pen heavily, the Note "phablet" costs too much compared to competing large-screen phones like the LG G3.

The Note 4 sells for $300 on-contract and $600 off-contract in the US; £600 or £650 in the UK; and AU$940 in Australia. Scroll to the end for price comparisons.

Design and build: Metal over plastic

Achieving the zenith of premium design has long eluded Samsung, whose polycarbonate handsets are usually attractive if not drool-worthy. Earlier this year, Samsung broke the all-plastic mold with its metal-rimmed Galaxy Alpha, a move repeated on the Note 4. Silver accents around the rim and buttons look sharp on both the white and black versions we saw; they should class up the gold and pink tones as well.

So how does it all look? Very good, and a lot better than pretty much every other Samsung phone you can buy, except perhaps for the Alpha. The backing is slightly more textured (and thankfully free of last year's cheesy, chintzy faux stitching). The straight sides are comfortable to grasp and easy to hold onto. You can easily find physical buttons with your fingertips.

Despite the improvements, though, the Note 4 still falls short of the LG G3 and HTC One M8's luxe metal contouring and finishes, and the Sony Xperia Z3 's modern edges. Metal also structures the iPhone 6 Plus, which maintains a more seamless build quality than the Note 4 (although you can't remove the iPhone's backplate.)

After spending several months using the phone, I found that it holds up well to daily wear and tear.

Size and portability

There's big and then there's big, and the definition seems to swell by the day. You'll find the Note 4's exact dimensions and weight in the chart below, but what I think you really want to know is what it's like to hold and carry around, especially compared to other supersize phones.

Size-wise, it's a hair taller and thicker than the Note 3 and almost identical to the iPhone 6 Plus. The LG G3 feels much more compact by comparison, even though its screen size is just 0.2-inch smaller.

As a relatively short person with smaller hands, the Note 4 technically squeezes into my back pocket, though it looks comical sticking out of it. The same scenario goes for its palm-stretching effects: I find one-handed use pretty much pointless and almost impossible, even with Samsung's software modes turned on. However, several CNET editors with larger mitts and pockets didn't have much trouble with the Note 4's size, commenting on how nice it feels to grip.

Size and weight

Samsung Galaxy Note 4iPhone 6 PlusLG G3Sony Xperia Z3
Dimensions6 x 3.1 x 0.34 inches (153.5 by 78.6 by 8.5mm)6.2 x 3.1 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)5.76 x 2.94 x 0.35 inches (146.3 x 74.6 x 8.9mm)5.75 x 2.83 x 0.29 inches (146 x 72 x 7.3mm)
Weight6.2 ounces (176g)6.07 ounces (172g)5.26 ounces (149g)5.36 ounces (152g)

Ultra HD display

Although it's got the same 5.7-inch display as last year's model, the Note 4 has jumped in display resolution, from 1080p HD up to a 2,650 x 1,440p quad HD AMOLED display. Its pixel density of 515 ppi soars over the Note 3's 386 ppi and the iPhone 6 Plus' density of 401 ppi (but is less pixel-packed than the slightly smaller LG G3's at 538 ppi).

These are big, impressive numbers on a big, impressive display that is undoubtedly clear and sharp. I spent a lot of time scrutinizing the Note 4's presentation of many HD images, Web sites, and even 4K video against the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3, all of them with brightness cranked to the max. I also threw in the Note 3 for good measure. Apart from predictable differences in color temperature and tone between the LCD iPhone and G3 versus the AMOLED Notes, differences in lettering and image quality were minor, if visible at all.

Display resolutions, compared

Samsung Galaxy Note 4iPhone 6 PlusLG G3Sony Xperia Z3
Display5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (2,560x1,440)5.5-inch 1080p HD LCD (1,920x1,080)5.5-inch Quad HD LCD (2,560x1,440)5.2-inch 1080p HD LCD (1,920x1,080)
Pixel density515 ppi401 ppi538 ppi524 ppi

I will say, though, that the G3 looks noticeably dimmer at full brightness than the rest, and that the Note 4 exhibited smooth color gradients and strong contrast. It was perhaps just ever so slightly better than the rest, but not nearly enough to warrant a rowdy debate. Even when viewing 4K video, hawk-eyed CNET editors and photographers gathered around the phones could only tell slight differences in the amount of detail on display.

Watch this: iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4

Other external features

If you're familiar with Samsung's Galaxy S5 , you pretty much know what you're getting with the Note 4. A physical home button and two capacitive soft keys rest below the screen, each with a secondary function when you press them down. The power/lock button decorates the right spine, with the volume rocker on the left. A rapid-charging port at the bottom edge balances out the 3.5 millimeter headset jack and IR blaster up top.

Below the camera lens, an LED flash module combines with the heart-rate sensor that is rapidly becoming another Samsung hallmark. The back cover pulls off to access the battery and microSD card slot, which you can fill with an up-to-64GB card (but not the 128GB you see on some other phones). The S-Pen holster bores into the back as well.

One thing you won't notice is a rubber gasket surrounding the internal parts to help keep them free of water, unlike on the Galaxy S5. This isn't a deal-breaker by any means, though some folks find that "waterproof" phones (also like the Xperia Z3) are a little more convenient for their hydrophilic lives.

Music plays nice and loud out of the speakers, though its certainly passable audio quality is a little tinny and thin, not quite the rich, rounded audio of the HTC One M8, for example. Behind the scenes, the Note 4 supports Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.

OS and apps

Android 4.4 KitKat is practically a given on this phone, as is Samsung's custom TouchWiz layer. If anything, Samsung seems to have scaled back from the Galaxy S5 rather than piling more on top like it usually does.

My Magazine, the newsfeed that lives to the let of your home screen, has morphed into Flipboard (which powered it anyway). The Toolbox feature that was introduced with the S5 is also gone. I also enjoyed color-coding app folders on the home screen, which is another relatively tiny Note 4 omission. Google Search's always-listening ear is off by default, but you can turn it on in the app's settings menu under "Voice."

Otherwise, you'll find a slew of ways to customize things from motion control to the notification panel. Blocking mode and private mode are present, and those who find the UI a little too frenetic can switch to a simpler Easy mode. As a security measure, the biometrically-minded can set up the fingerprint scanner as well (though its time-saving property is dubious).

Large phones like this one often come with settings to turn on one-handed operations. New in the Note 4 is a persistent panel hosting icons for your home-button functions, plus one to shrink down the application window for theoretically better one-handed use. You can expand or hide it on any screen, and of course, customize the icons.

Features that would help me use the phone one-handed are some I'd like to like, but in order for it to work, you have to be able to comfortably grip the phone and navigate with a thumb, something I had problems with while grabbing a pole on the bus and giving blood, both activities that really test these claims by taking an arm out of commission. Also, though it's meant to be temporary, shrinking the app window defeats the purpose of having such a large display in the first place.

Just two more notes on apps before we move on. You may notice a few tiny changes to S Health. In the US at least, S Health gets a new optional "coach" you can use that's sourced by healthcare provider Cigna. In addition to checking your heart-rate, the app can also monitor your blood-oxygen level (SpO2).

You might also notice fewer bundled Samsung apps in general, like the Kid's Mode that came pre-installed in the S5. These haven't disappeared, they're just packaged into Galaxy Apps and include partner apps (many that comes with deals) like Dropbox and Kindle for Samsung. Any other bloatware you find on your phone is most likely courtesy of your carrier.

Multitasking and more

The Note 4 still supports a split-screen mode that lets you resize two app windows from a list of supported programs. You can now launch it several ways, including from the Recents tab, and can also create smaller pop-up windows to drag around the screen.

Even more, you can shrink the size of a popup to float it around the screen as a persistent bubble -- a lot like a chathead in the Facebook Messenger lexicon, or like the Toolbox bubble found in the Galaxy S5.

(Watch the video below for examples.)

Watch this: Multitask like a pro: Galaxy Note 4 gets it done

This year's Note adds the ability to select text (as in a website) and multiple Gallery images by clicking the S-Pen button and dragging. Further, you can pull these items from select apps to others when in multi-window or popup mode. I was able to drag images from the gallery to the Messaging app, for instance, but not into Facebook or Gmail, two places where the shortcut would make a huge difference.

One 2014 addition I did glom onto is the sticky Post-It style of the Note 4's Action Memo. Now, after writing a note, you can also pin it to the home screen as a visual reminder. Here's another beneficial change: being able to share and annotate photos after hovering over them in the gallery.

As with all the phone's multitasking efforts, I'm not sold on the overall efficacy of all these time-saving conveniences; I'm not convinced they all work.

Writing with the new S-Pen

It may look like a little plastic toy, but the roughly 4-inch plastic S-Pen stylus is the crux of what makes the Note series what it is. The Note 4's square-sided S-Pen is almost the exact same design and dimension as the Note 3's, only a touch shorter.

What's different is the tech within the wand, which makes the Note 4's S-Pen a smoother, more responsive writer than last year's model. To test it, I wrote the same sentence several times with both S-Pens, first on the Note 3 and then on the Note 4. Text handwritten with the Note 4's S-Pen consistently came out heavier and darker than with the Note 3's pen, even at different ink thicknesses. This is because the new S-Pen has more than 2,000 levels of sensitivity versus 1,000 levels on last year's model.

(Watch the video below for examples.)

Watch this: Galaxy Note 4's stylus gets clever new tricks

As before, you can select from a number of writing implements and colors, building your favorite combinations into presets to use on different backgrounds and templates. A calligraphy tip is the newest addition to the bunch, imparting dramatic edges and smoothing out my otherwise inelegant penmanship into something readable and semi-stylized.

The S-Pen is great for navigation when you use it more like an extension of your finger and mouse -- and that also helps keep the screen clean from grime. I find it easier to use when I'm stationary rather than mobile.

Cameras and video

Bottom line: the Note 4's 16-megapixel takes some great photos. You probably won't actively notice its best new feature, optical image stabilization. Instead, you'll notice that flowers swaying gently in the breeze look well-defined despite the motion, and that your jittery espresso hands might not muck up as many shots. Colors can be a little oversaturated, but the end result is a collection of images, especially taken outdoors, that I'd want to share and possibly print.

As I said, that assessment applies most to photos taken with ample natural light. Like a lot of other phone cameras, the Note 4's indoor and low light shots often processed with less detail and sometimes with a quality I can only describe as a mask over the scene -- and this is after taking the time to set up a photo on a stationary object. Low-light shots also tend to kick in Samsung's automatic night mode, which often asks you to hold still for several seconds while it processes the image. Most rival phones aren't that demanding.

The front-facing 3.7-megapixel took nice self-portraits, though beware of the automatic Beauty Face mode that artificially sheds years from your age. You can dial that up or down depending on your tastes. A new wide-angle selfie mode takes a three-part panorama, though it takes a lot more time and effort to get right than is worth it. Better is the rear-cam selfie mode you launch from the main camera. A series of beeps (or vibrations) tell you you're on track, and then automatically takes the photo. The image quality is infinitely better and the scene much more natural.

(Watch the video below for examples.)

Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ups selfie style two ways

Samsung has really pulled back on default camera modes. The HDR toggle remains on the screen, while selective focus and panorama are still tucked into Modes by default. You can click Manage Modes to surface more, like dual camera and action shot modes, and you'll also be able to download more from the camera app.

Video capture is excellent and is one area where optical image stabilization makes a difference. Videos capture in 1080p HD by default (with a 16:9 aspect ratio), but can go up to Ultra HD 3,840 x 2,160-pixel resolution for 4K video. These will be gargantuan files. If you're into saving space or need to shoot in lower-resolution, 720p HD and VGA are other options.

Both the camera and video recorder let you adjust exposure values and metering, ISO and white balance, and both HDR and grid lines. Slow motion and fast motion return as tools for more adventurous producers.

Stick around for a more detailed camera-versus-camera shootout. In the meantime, enjoy these photos below. Click to enlarge to full resolution.

Performance: Data, processor, battery life

Performance is nothing short of impressive for any category, and that's when looking at diagnostic test scores as well as real-world usage. LTE-A Category 6 means you can theoretically get speeds as high as 300Mbps down and 50Mbps up. In San Francisco, the Note 4 consistently yielded double-digit downlink speeds in the 20s and 30s; 16Mbps was the low and 50 the high. Uplink speeds ranged from 11 to 15Mbps, with one outlier at 0.92.

In real-world tests, uploads and downloads were equally zippy. Music and YouTube videos also streamed reliably, even when demanding higher-load HD content. Consult the chart below for a few more details.

3D Mark Ice Storm -- Unlimited

Samsung Galaxy Note 420,286Apple iPhone 6 Plus17,565Sony Xperia Z3 (global)18,243LG G316,187

On the processing side of things, you'll either get a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset (with an Adreno 420 GPU) like I did, or a 1.9GHz octa-core Exynos 5433. I had no complaints with the speeds at which tasks complete, like loading up S Notes, for example. you'll get 3GB of RAM.

A phone like this was made for taking photos and viewing the screen at length, which is why its 32GB of internal storage is crucial. If you need more, you can buy a microSD card that holds up to 64GB more.

Geekbench 3

Samsung Galaxy Note 41,105Apple iPhone 6 Plus1,619Sony Xperia Z3 (global)968LG G3906

Those of you fretting over battery life should be eased by the way the phone seems to sip power from its 3,220mAh juice pack. Rated for up to 20 hours talk time, I was able to go a full day on a single charge with more to spare, and that's doing normal tasks like streaming music, using Wi-Fi, and taking photos.

Even when you do tax the battery with resource-draining activities like navigating long trips, the fast-acting charger that comes in the box hops to it, charging up to 50 percent of the battery's capacity in half an hour. Note, of course, that battery efficiency tends to flag over time on any phone, and that out-of-the-box tests will outshine those down the road. We'll update this section with results from our in-house battery run testing.

Call quality

Call quality was pretty good when I tested the Note 4 in San Francisco using AT&T's network. I found volume nice and loud at medium and medium-high levels, without any background noise. I did notice, though, that my caller's voice, while natural, sounded a little off, with a little artificially breathy quality.

On his side, my testing partner noted that I sounded a little tinny and scratchy, though volume was fine. I also sounded slightly flat to his ears.

Speakerphone was good on both sides. My calling partner noted that I sounded almost the same through the speaker as I did through the standard ear pierce. He only heard a slight echo. On my side, volume was surprisingly loud and clear, though he sound a bit muffled.

Buy it or skip it?

If you intend to use the Note 4's stylus daily, the phone will serve you well in every capacity and is worth the price.

Comparison pricing

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (32GB)iPhone 6 Plus (16, 64, 128GB)LG G3 (16GB)Sony Xperia Z3 (32GB)
Full retail price US$700-$825, depending on carrier$750; $850; $950$600$600
On-contract price (US)$300$300; $400; $500$100-$200$200 (Verizon); N/A (T-Mobile)
SIM-free retail price UK£600-£650£620; £700; £790£375-£480 £550
Full retail price AustraliaAU$950AU$900; $1,130; $1,250AU$800AU$850

Its specs and design undeniably put the Note 4 near the top of the food chain, though some rival phones have sexier builds and competitive performance, and often take cleaner, more reliable low-light and indoor shots. While the hardware is a step up from the Note 3, changes aren't dramatic enough to warrant an immediate upgrade.

If you want to see how the Note 4's size, design camera and more stack up to its predecessor and Apple's phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus, check out CNET's initial comparison and final impressions.

Buy the if you:
-Intend to write notes or draw often
-Like the idea of navigating without using your fingers
-Crave a large-screen phone
-Seek a top-tier Android device
-Have a flexible budget

Skip the if you:

-Don't plan to use the stylus
-Prioritize an all-metal smartphone
-Don't require an extra-large screen
-Have a more limited budget
-Already own a Samsung Galaxy Note 3


Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Android smartphone model with stylus by Samsung

Galaxy Note 4 logo.svg
Samsung Galaxy Note 4.png

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in White

BrandSamsung Galaxy
ManufacturerSamsung Electronics
SloganDo You Note?
SeriesGalaxy Note
  • SM-N910x
  • (Last letter varies by carrier & international models)
Availability by region
  • Worldwide:
  • October 17, 2014 (2014-10-17)
  • India/Australia:
  • November 2014 (2014-11)
PredecessorSamsung Galaxy Note 3
SuccessorSamsung Galaxy Note 5
Form factorSlate
  • H: 153.5 mm (6.04 in)
  • W: 78.6 mm (3.09 in)
  • D: 8.5 mm (0.33 in)
Mass176 g (6.2 oz)
Operating system
System on chip
  • Exynos version:
    • Quad-core 1.9 GHz Cortex-A57
    • Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Snapdragon version:
    • Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450
Memory3 GB LPDDR3
  • Global: 32 GB
  • China variant: 16 GB
Removable storagemicroSDXC up to 128 GB
  • Global: Removable Li-ion
    • 3,220 mAh, 15 Watts charging speed
  • China variant:
    • Non-replaceable Li-Ion 3,000 mAh
Data inputs
Display5.7 inch (145 mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED
(16:9 aspect ratio) 2560×1440 pixel resolution, 518 ppi
Rear camera16 MP (5312×2988), f2.2, 1/2.6 inch sensor, with autofocus, OIS, 2160p at 30fps(limited to 5 mins), 1440p at 30fps, 1080p at 30/60fps, 720p at 30/60 fps, slow motion video recording at 720p at 120fps
Front camera3.7 MP, f1.9, 1440p/1080p/720p video recording
Development statusAvailable

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is an Androidsmartphone developed and produced by Samsung Electronics. It was unveiled during a Samsung press conference at IFA Berlin on 3 September 2014 and was released globally in October 2014 as successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.[1] Improvements include expanded stylus-related functionality, an optically stabilized rear camera, significantly increased charging rate, revised multi-windowing, and fingerprintunlocking. It is the last in the Samsung Galaxy Note series with interchangeable battery. Its subsequent model, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, was unveiled on 13 August 2015.



Note 4 features advanced S Pen with more features
Note 4 is the first Galaxy Phone to feature adaptive fast charging capability (up to 15 Watts).


The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a 2560×1440 Quad HD (“WQHD”) Super AMOLED 5.7-inch display with 2.5D damage-resistant Gorilla Glass 4 and provides a pixel density of 515 ppi (pixels-per-inch).


The Note 4 came in two variants, one powered by a 2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset with Adreno 420 GPU, the other powered by Samsung's ARMv8-A Exynos 7 Octa SoC with two clusters of four cores; four Cortex-A57 cores at 1.9 GHz, and four Cortex-A53 cores at 1.3 GHz, which is the same processor cluster sold for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in markets that mostly use or only have 3G (such as HSUPA and HSPA), and/or '2G', such as unaltered GSM and CDMA networks, similar to how the Galaxy Note 3 is sold. The phone has metal edges with a plastic, faux leather back.


Both devices that use 4G, LTE/LTE-A and Hybrid 4G-LTE Networks were only sold in Canada, Australia, the U.S., the United Kingdom (for some carriers), Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and South Korea, which have widespread 4GLTE Markets, or are solely 4G/LTE/LTE-A dependant such as Canada and Denmark, which did not use any 3G or older networks, except for HSUPA (Used as a fall back network should the signal strength be weak due to being underground or in the middle of a building), as well as HSPA+, which is a 3G network, though considered by some to be the Original 4G.[2][3][4] The GPU in charge in the Exynos chipset is the Mali-T760.[5]

The Chinese variant utilizes the TD-LTE and TD-SCDMA Plus Network.


Both variants came with 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded using MicroSD-XC cards.[6]

The memory card slot has been relocated to allow hot swapping without physical blockage by the battery.[7]


The Note 4's back-cover has a strong resemblance to the Note 3, with a faux leather texture (although without the simulated stitching). Note 4 has a new aluminum frame design, bearing resemblance from the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Criticism has been aimed at the lack of IP67 certification (water and dust resistance), which was present in Samsung's other flagship, the Galaxy S5, released half a year earlier.



This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (July 2020)

URL tooltip in Kiwi Browser, a Google Chromiumderivative, revealed with its stylus.

Like the predecessors, the Note 4 also includes a stylus pen, branded S-Pen, incorporated into the design. Samsung touted new S-Pen features including tilt and rotation recognition[8] but these features were either not implemented or not supported.[9]

The WACOM digitizer has been upgraded to be able to distinguish between 2048 pressure sensitivity levels, twice as much as the predecessor.[10][11]

The Scrapbook feature introduced on the Galaxy Note 3 has been extended by a so-called Intelligent Selection feature that allows for optical character recognition of highlighted screen areas.[12][13]


The Note 4 also incorporates a user-removable 3,220mAhlithium-ion battery for the global model and a 3,000mAh non-removable lithium battery[citation needed] variant for the model sold in China. The global model is the last Samsung Mobile flagship to be equipped with user-replaceable battery.

The device is the first flagship phone by Samsung to support Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 for fast charging up to 15 Watts.[14][15]

The Note 4 features a USB 2.0 charging port instead of USB 3.0 (as was in the Note 3 and S5), in favor of a new feature called Fast Charge[citation needed], which Samsung claims can charge the phone from 0% to 50% in about 30 minutes and from 0% to 100% in less than 100 minutes.

With the wireless charging rear cover accessory, which exists in both a plain rear cover form factor and an S Viewflip cover (or S Charger View) form factor, the battery can be charged wirelessly using Qi technology.[16][17]


The Galaxy Note 4 uniquely features an ultraviolet ray measurement sensor.[18][19]

Like the Galaxy S5, it is also equipped with heart-rate monitor, oximeter, among other, more common sensors (barometer, digital compass, front-facing proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope). However, the Note 4 lacks the thermometer and hygrometer sensors which the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 from 2013 were equipped with.[20]

The Air View feature is no longer useable with fingers like it is on the S4, Note 3, S5 and Alpha. However, it is still useable with the stylus.

The capacitive key on the left side of the home button is now a task key, whereas it has been a menu key for previous Galaxy Note series models. However, holding the task key for one second simulates a press of the menu key.[21]

Unlike its successor, the Galaxy Note 4 supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL), which can be used to connect the mobile phone to an HDMI display.[20]

Next to the wireless charging S View cover, another accessory for the device is the LED flip wallet (or LED dot case), which allows displaying the clock time through barely visible small pin holes on the front cover while closed.[22]

S-View cover[edit]

The S-View cover, a horizontal flip case with preview window, shares the functionality of the predecessor's, except the ability to create Action Memos (digital post-it notes) without unfolding the cover.

A flashlight shortcut, optional analogue clock designs (next to the default, digital clock), as well as the ability to record video, a shortcut to dial contacts (phone numbers) marked as favourite, and access to the heart rate monitor, all without opening the cover, have been added.[23][24]


The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 originally shipped with Google's mobile operating system, Android, specifically KitKat 4.4.4, with its user interface modified with Samsung's custom skin named TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0. The Note 4 contains most of the original Note's software features and functions, but also adds more significant upgrades from the predecessors, such as a new multitasking interface, expanded S-Pen functions, gestures, and refreshed menus and icons.

However, some Samsung Smart Screen and air gesture control functionality which was present on the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha, including Air Browse, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll and Air Call Accept, has been removed.[25][26]


The new multitasking interface merges the Galaxy Note 3's “S-Pen window” feature and the split-screen feature known from the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5, into one feature. Applications (including the camera application[27]) can be transitioned from floating pop-up view to flexible split-screen view and vice versa, and can be put from normal into pop-up view by dragging diagonally from an upper corner.[28][29]

Gallery software[edit]

The Galaxy Note 4 uses a gallery software very similar to the one of the Galaxy S5, with support for functionality such as "Shot & More" and "Selective Focus". Additional camera modes can be downloaded from a store provided by Samsung.[30][31]

The gallery software is compatible with the Air View feature that allows previewing photos from albums when hovering the stylus above it.

User reports suggest that the Exif (meta data) viewer has been removed from Galaxy Note 4.[32][33]

Software updates[edit]

The device can be updated to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop in many regions, bringing a new, refined UI, and new runtime. This version has been criticized for poor battery life. A further update to 5.1.1 is available, depending on the wireless carrier.

Most Note 4 devices can also be updated to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, bringing Android features like Android Doze (a feature introduced in Marshmallow that saves battery life) and greater control over app permissions to the device. The Note 4 TouchWiz UI was also evolved featuring the home screen icon pack known from the Galaxy S6 and also features new S Pen features known from the Galaxy Note 5 such as the new Air command menu design with custom shortcuts and Screen-off memo. However, the UI is still very similar to the previous UI and slightly similar to the S6 UI, but most of the TouchWiz UI resembles the original UI for the Note 4.


Rear of Note 4 featuring Camera, Flash and Heart Rate Monitor

The main (rear-facing) camera is a 16 Megapixel (5312×2988) autofocus camera with 16:9 aspect ratio image sensor (Sony Exmor RS IMX240),[34] featuring Smart OIS (Optical Image Stabilization + software image stabilization), being the first mobile phone of the Samsung Galaxy Note series and the first original variant Samsung flagship phone to feature an optically stabilized rear camera.

It allows optically stabilized4K (2160p)video recording at 30 fps, 1080p video recording with 30 fps and 60 fps (Smooth Motion) options and also 120 fps slow-motion video recording in 720p resolution. An option for 1440p video has been added in the camera software. Like the Galaxy S5, its rear camera supports high dynamic range(HDR) video recording with up to 1080p at 30fps.

Digital zoom is allowed up to eight times, twice as much as on the S5, Note 3 and earlier. The option to separately preserve the standard dynamic range version from high dynamic range (HDR) photographs has been removed.[35]

The secondary (front-facing) camera is a 3.7 MP camera with an f1.9 aperture that can record 2560×1440 QHD videos and capture wide-angle pictures.

The Galaxy Note 4's front camera is the first front camera in any mobile phone that is able to record videos at 1440p (WQHD) resolution.

After the LG G3, the Galaxy Note 4 is the second mobile phone to be able to record optically stabilized 2160p (4K) video.[36]


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was released around the start of October 2014 and was available in most major markets by the middle of October. The first regions to receive the device were South Korea and China where it gained huge popularity. In the first month only, the Galaxy Note 4 reportedly sold 4.5 million units, which is a little less than its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3, which was able to report 5 million sales in the first month after release.[37][38] Samsung says that sales of the Note 4 were lower than those of the Note 3 at launch because the Note 4 was initially unavailable in some major international markets due to manufacturing issues, delaying release until early November in markets including the United Kingdom and India.

Plug-in for Samsung Gear VR[edit]

Only Snapdragon variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, sold by US and European mobile carriers, may be plugged into the Samsung Gear VR headset, which was created in partnership with Oculus VR.[39]


The phone was met with critical acclaim. When the Note 4 was released in late 2014, DisplayMate measured the performance of the display and said it was the best performing smartphone display ever tested and raised the bar for display performance.[40]

Note 4s were used to film Cai Lan Gong, the world's first feature film shot with a smartphone at 4K resolution.[41]


The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (branded and marketed as Samsung Galaxy Note5) is an Android phablet smartphone developed and produced by Samsung Electronics. The Galaxy Note 5, along with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, was unveiled during a Samsung press conference in New York City on 13 August 2015. It is the successor to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The phone became available in the U.S. on 21 August 2015.

In Europe, the successor to the Note 4 is the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, because the Note 5 was never released there, there never was a Note 6, and the Note 7 was withdrawn due to battery hazard. However, the Note 8 has neither a replaceable battery, nor a custom colour case window, nor a 16 Megapixel camera. With the S Charger View case, user-replaceable battery, Micro SD-XC-expandable storage and 15 Watts of charging performance, the Note 4 still performs well 6 years after release.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Rubin, Ben Fox (September 3, 2014). "Samsung unveils Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge". CNET. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  2. ^TELUS Communications Company. "TELUS - Wireless, TV, Internet and Home Phone service".
  3. ^http://www.Rogerswireless.caArchived 2007-11-12 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^Rogers uses LTE-A (150 to 200mb/s) in the 10 largest cities in Canada, however can drop down to HSPA+ during low coverage. Also, Wind Mobile uses only the fallback networks of HSPA+ and HSUPA, due to its cheaper cost, and speeds closer to the maximum because of their low usage.
  5. ^"Samsung's Exynos 5433 is an A57/A53 ARM SoC". AnandTech. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  6. ^"Samsung Introduces the Latest in its Iconic Note Series – The Galaxy Note 4". September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 17, 2014.
  7. ^Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2014 live broadcast – Episode 2 – Up close (04:45)
  8. ^"Samsung GALAXY Note 4 – S Pen". September 18, 2014. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  9. ^Brad Molen (October 15, 2014). "Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review". Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  10. ^"Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S Pen secrets revealed". Carphone Warehouse. 2014-10-03.[unreliable source?]
  11. ^"The evolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen". Android Authority. 12 August 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  12. ^"Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Tipps & Tricks: Scrapbook". Samsung Mobile. 2014-11-12. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  13. ^"Galaxy Note 4: Scrapbook | Samsung Service DE". Samsung de (in German). Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  14. ^"Galaxy Note4: To use fast charging, what kind of charger should be used?" —
  15. ^"Galaxy Note4: How to set the fast charging feature?" —
  16. ^"S View Lade-Cover EP-VN910I für GALAXY Note 4". Samsung de (in German). 2014.
  17. ^"Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Wireless Charging S View Cover (White)". Samsung uk.
  18. ^Exclusive: Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s Ultraviolet (UV) sensor explained! (SamMobile, 2014)
  19. ^Video: Playing with the Note 4's new UV and SpO2 sensors (Phone Arena, 3 minutes, September 6th 2014)
  20. ^ abSamsung Galaxy Note 4 specification sheet on GSMArena
  21. ^Review of the Galaxy Note 4 by GSM Arena – Page 2: Retail package, 360-degree spin, design and handling, controls
  22. ^"Samsung EF-NN910B Charcoal Black - Handyhülle | SAMSUNG". Samsung de (in German). 2014.
  23. ^"The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 S View Cover vs Protective Cover Hard Case Review". GadgetNutz. 22 February 2015.
  24. ^"S View Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review". The Daily Note. 2014-10-05.
  25. ^Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review – Page 4: User interface
  26. ^How to enable motion and gesture controls on the Galaxy Note 4 – AndroidPit – March 21, 2015
  27. ^"Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Die besten Tipps und Tricks". (in German). 2014. p. 1. Retrieved 2020-07-18.
  28. ^Review of the Galaxy Note 4 user interface by GSMArena
  29. ^[Video: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Tip: How to use the Multiwindow feature (5 minutes, October 22nd 2014)
  30. ^Samsung Galaxy Note 4 camera tips and tricks —
  31. ^"How to add more camera modes on Galaxy S5 and Note 4" —
  32. ^User reports lack of EXIF viewer on the Galaxy Note 4's gallery application
  33. ^AndroidCentral user reports lack of metadata viewer on the Galaxy Note 4 gallery application
  34. ^Review of the Samsung Galaxy S6 camera by GSM Arena − Mentions that the Galaxy Note 4 uses the IMX240 image sensor type.
  35. ^"Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - Common Camera Settings | Verizon". Verizon knowledge base. 2014.
  36. ^Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review − Page 8: Camera
  37. ^Pavithra Rathinavel (2014-10-27). "Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Hits 4.5M Sales In 30 Days And A New Samsung Ad Celebrates Note 4's Brilliant Camera". International Business Times. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  38. ^Todd Haselton (2014-10-24). "Galaxy Note 4 Sales May Be Off to Slower Start Than Galaxy Note 3". Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  39. ^"Samsung Gear VR is real: Samsung plus Oculus turns a Note 4 into virtual reality (hands-on)". CNET. September 3, 2014. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  40. ^"Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge OLED Display Technology Shoot-Out".
  41. ^"Cai Lan Gong Mendapat Penghargaan MURI Sebagai Film Layar Lebar Pertama yang Dibuat dengan Menggunakan Samsung Galaxy Note". Samsung ID. 20 October 2015.

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Versions: N910F (Europe); N910K/N910L/N910S (Korea); N910C (Asia, Europe, South America); N910FD (United Arab Emirates); N910FQ (Turkey); N910H (Asia-Pacific); N910G (Singapore, India, Australia); N910U (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile); N910W8 (North America)

NetworkTechnologyGSM / HSPA / LTE2G bandsGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 3G bandsHSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100  HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 - N910W84G bands1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20 - N910F, N910C 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28, 38, 40 - N910G 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17 - N910W8 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 28 - N910USpeedHSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps (Exynos 5433)
HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A Cat6 300/50 Mbps (Snapdragon 805)
MiscColorsFrosted white, Charcoal black, Bronze Gold, Blossom PinkModelsSM-N910C, SM-N910S, SM-N910H, SM-N910F, SM-N910G, SM-N910U, SM-N910K, SM-N916S, SM-N910L, SM-N916L, SM-N916K, SM-N910T3SAR0.37 W/kg (head)     0.88 W/kg (body)     SAR EU0.37 W/kg (head)     0.38 W/kg (body)     PriceAbout 350 EUR
Network2.5G (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 carrierAP2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor
1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor
*May differ by country and carrierDisplay5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)OSAndroid 4.4 (KitKat)CameraRear Facing: 16 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS
Front Facing: 3.7 Mega pixel camera with f1.9Rear Facing Camera : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More, Dual Camera
Front Facing Camera: Selfie, Wide SelfieVideoCodec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8
Recording & Playback: up to UHDAudioCodec: MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(*)
(*) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) supportS Pen Optimized FeaturesAir Command (Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip, Screen Write)
S Note, Photo note, Direct Pen InputAdditional FeaturesMulti WindowUltra Power Saving ModeVoice Recorder (Normal Mode, Interview Mode, Meeting Mode, Voice Memo)Download BoosterS Health 3.5Dynamic Lock ScreenBriefingGoogle Mobile ServicesChrome, Drive, Photos, Gmail, Google, Google+, Google Settings, Hangouts, Maps, Play Books, Play Games, Play Newsstand, Play Movie & TV, Play Music, Play Store, Voice Search, YouTubeConnectivityWiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80) MIMO PCIe
GPS / GLONASS / Beidou
NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE)
IR LED (Remote Control), USB2.0, MHL 3.0
MirrorLink Certified™ (v1.1)SensorGesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope, RGB,IR-LED
Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor, Finger Scanner, UV, Heart Rate Monitoring, SpO2 (Dependent on market)Memory32 GB Internal memory + micro SD slot (up to 128GB)

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