Is number 4 the phone to buy in 2014?
With the buzz surrounding the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus wearing off around the country, another power house of a phone arrives to steal the show. The hotly anticipated Galaxy Note 4 has finally hit shores of the US and its arrival couldn’t have come sooner. The Note 4 brings with it a whole laundry list of subtle changes that add up to a significant departure from the Note 3 before it. As a previous owner of the Galaxy Note 2 and 3, the arrival of this phone has been on my radar as the phone to beat in 2014. Although I do not have this phone in person for daily use, consider this my first impression of Samsung’s new flagship for 2014.
This years iteration of the Note 4 arrives to customers with a 5.7″ Quad HD Super AMOLED display. At first glance this screen is just as incredible as the screens on the rest of 2014’s flagships from HTC, Motorola, and LG. But taking a deeper dive into the phones menus and various apps will bring your senses to a level that never been seen on a smart phone. When you hear the term ppi or pixels per inch, think to yourself the amount of pixels in each inch of the display. The Note 4 has a staggering 515 ppi stuffed into its gorgeous screen. If pixels matter to you, the Note 4 sits above the Apple iPhone 6 plus and below the LG G3 in rankings. Where this device pulls away from the competition is with the inclusion of its AMOLED display, allowing the phone to turn off individual pixels when black is displayed on the screen. Blacks are deep with an almost space like hollowness, and the colors pop with such warm contrast. Having seen all three of the above phones in person, it really makes it hard to recommend anything other than the Note 4 for the sheer beauty of its screen alone.
Samsung comes out the gate swinging for the fences with the 2014 Note 4. It really wanted to ensure that the competition was obsolete right out of the gate. Powering the device is a Qualcomm SnapDragon 805 with 3 gigs of on board ram and an Adreno 420. This puts the Note 4 on top of the smartphone rankings for most powerful in today’s standards and benchmarks. Only the Nexus 6 and Droid Turbo are slated to match the spec sheet on the Note 4. Although my time with the Galaxy Note 4 review unit was short, I am able to confirm that the Note 4’s software no longer proves difficult for modern hardware to support.
My short time with the Note 4 proved to be best 15 minutes I’ve spent reviewing a phone. The 3+ mega pixel wide-angle selfie front facing camera was incredible to say the least. Around back, the Note 4 comes packing a 16 mega pixel shooter that includes optical image stabilization. This camera combo in the back rivaled photos taken with my current daily driver, the LG G2. More time needs to be spent with the Note 4’s camera in order to really crown it king of the hill. Stay tuned for more a more in-depth review of the rear camera on the Note 4.
Before we begin this portion of the first impression, I have to say that I have not been a huge supporter of anything that has come from Samsung’s Mobile Arm. Although I mentioned above that I owned two previous Note phones, my ownership did not last long. Fast forward one year and the Note 4 has changed every negative view I previously had about Samsung products. Android 4.4.4 KitKat runs extremely well under the veil of Samsung’s Touch Wiz skin. Without having the Samsung product engineer to help me, I can assume that the combination of latest generation processor and optimized software allowed the Note 4 to change my long-term opinion of Samsung phones and tablets. This quick software overview could take an entire page if I detailed every feature crammed into the Note 4’s software suite. I will however say that the new and improved stylus is the second biggest reason for buying this phone.
My Non Expert “expert” Opinion
If you are waiting to use your upgrade on Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint feel worry free about using it on this phone. If you are on T-Mobile’s Jump plan, AT&T Next, or Verizon Edge wait a few weeks for this phone to go on sale or monthly price to drop. With the aforementioned device upgrade plans costing the consumer roughly $31+ a month added to their bill, it makes this and the iPhone 6+ a tough pill to swallow. But if you have the means and would love to have the best Android phone to take the place of your phone, laptop, and tablet, this is the device to get right now. Run, don’t walk to your nearest cell phone store to pick this device up.
Stay tuned for the full review in the coming weeks!