Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Hands-on, Initial Impressions & Photo Gallery

by Chetan Bhawani 55

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Featured

Samsung’s plans about the “Galaxy Note” series has never backfired. These devices have always done a great job, though Samsung has priced every smartphone of theirs higher than what they can be valued at, but rarely people have complained about the price of the Note series. This time, another bold step taken by Samsung as they priced the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 at a higher price point. Whether it does the justice to the pricing, can be judged only after using it and understanding how the company has upgraded the Note 3 into a better one, but for now, here’s our hands-on.

First look, this is huge. It easily feels heavier, although it’s not more than 8 gm heavier than the Note 3, but still the metal band on the sides makes this feel more like a premium and heavier device than it is. For the size, the Note 4 doesn’t have much of a difference again but the 8.5mm thickness makes this look like a beast, and for sure one of those phablets you cannot easily play around with one hand. It of course is comfortable with the metallic side and curvy edges, but we are talking of the usage here, which is hard for users who have a habit of one-handed usage of smartphones.

For those who are wondering about an upgrade from the Note 3 to Note 4, you are assured to be taken on a smooth ride. No big changes, but excellent upgrades to the features that matter for user experience. For example, the QHD display, the improved camera and the S Pen. Firstly, the display size is kept the same – 5.7-inch, but the QHD resolution adds to the big improvements (although still the QHD resolution doesn’t make much sense to me), because there are no visible pixels, and to add to that, Samsung has used the SuperAMOLED type display to make it vibrant and colorful. The viewing angles are great, and the curved screen towards the corners given it a great overall look.

It was always the plastic design that people criticised about, but Samsung chose Galaxy Alpha to introduce something new, at least in terms of design – with a metal band on the sides. And the same is now seen on the Galaxy Note 4. It looks premium, two reasons for that – 1. the chamfered edges not just feel good, but they reflect the light and look classy, 2. the raised corners on the left and right side.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Photo

It is because of the addition of metal, that we can now see the improvements in the buttons as well. Sturdy, hard to press and no where like the standard Samsung phone buttons that we have been seeing since years. The back cover of the device is not flat, as it gets raised near the camera, over the headset jack area, and it curves down towards the sides. One noticeable difference from the Note 3 is the shifting of speaker from the bottom frame to the back of the device, which I might find a little annoying. Also, the leather stitch that was added in the Note 3, is removed and here you get the similar texture extending till the corners.

Just below to the 16-megapixel camera is the flash and a heart rate monitor, just like in the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha. The camera lens is raised and although annoying, it is unavoidable (but don’t we see the G Lens in the Xperia series not protruding out?). On the top, is the 3.5mm headset jack, secondary mic and the IR blaster, and in the bottom, there are two mics, assisting in better noise suppression.

According to Samsung, the S Pen is hugely improved, and I should give it some time to understand what changes are brought into it, although this is not with the hardware part but with software enhancements. It has always been a better interface for me on the Note series than on the flagship “S” series from Samsung, although it is the same TouchWiz, but the options to take advantage of the S Pen, make it rather interesting.

The phone runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat and there is some bloatware that Samsung has never hesitated to pack in, as we see Galaxy Apps, Evernote, Flipboard, Dropbox, Smart Remote, Magzter, SnM, Pages Manager, TripAdvisor apart from the standard Google Play apps, as well as a few apps such as S Note, Scrapbook for the S Pen. For the early tests, the device is swift in response, never gave up with anything during the first day of usage and we did a lot of multitasking, gaming and Internet browsing already, but never saw the Note 4 breaking a sweat. Dealt with each of it very well, with a good pace.

Though, these were all our initial impressions, and the review would be up soon, to share our actual thoughts about the long-term usage of Note 4.

Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. He keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more!

  • Karan Mehta

    amazing rewiew

  • Karan Mehta


  • pritesh palan

    Obviously Note 4 is a premium device, I like most about it is Samsung has launched Snapdragon variant in India for their Flagship Device. Waiting for Full Review.

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    This is the dad of all smartphone .. No one can beat it but why it has bad reviews from America???

    • I think those reviewers got the Exynos model… I saw some reviews that the Exynos one is slow…

      • Shanky Yadav Jungly

        okk exynos samsung’s own processors

    • Maybe because increased criticism from americans its just something they like to do. and the american us version will have snapdragon wihile korea will use exynos from their own creation

  • Jugal Mudoi

    Great hands-on of this amazing device… It’s a marvelous device and it has many useful features for daily life use

    • yes this is by far the best phone for everyday use. It does everything well. Its built for all around usage in every aspect. You can tell by the great commercials!

  • Suraj Racharla

    Amazing hands on article and yes it is very similar to the note 3 in design. The metal band on the phone makes it look and feel so premium but it comes with a hefty price tag which is reallly expensive. this is the king of all devices and i would pick this device over any device if i was able to afford it

    • Wait for a month and we might see some better pricing for this.

      • i would love too see that too Chetan! I eagerly await a price drop and maybe see evermore people with it!

  • Nikhil Narkhede

    BEAST . wish to have one 🙂

    • Its everyone’s wish unfortunately not everyone’s wish can come true… But its still nice to wish for and maybe luck we be in your favor!

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    This is what everyone wants ..

    • yup the smartphone of the year the camera is very appealing at 16 mp and image stabalizations and sensors built for face detection when taking the new rear selfie feature

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    I am getting addict of this page.

  • John Burton

    Great review, can’t wait to get my hands on one!

  • Dalton Chan

    The design is hillarious

    • Joshua Akinsola


  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    I am getting addict if this review

  • Really hoping to be able to get this, nothing else is as good for me personally.

  • I’m not a pure Sammy fan but been inlove with the Not series since Note 2. Ugh I want this phone so bad! Soo bad!

    • It is only the Note series that has always been the best from Samsung.

      • I think the S5 is fine. Just that the Galaxy S series seems overrated. I got somehow impressed with the S5, except Sammy’s touchwiz and bloatwares are crazy.

        • The TouchWiz is what has been the major letdown, apart from the design. Now, with S6, there are huge expectations.

      • Agreed 100% I remember the first note and peoples original fears about the size. But note has always been a quality line and Ive followed its growth from day one!

      • Suraj Racharla

        The note series year after year has insprised many other smartphone companies to think the same and for Samsung to make such a big has always been a big risk for them. The note device seems to have told Samsung that yes there is an audience in the world waiting for the Note series and the people is like the wind in the wings of Samsung. I can’t wait to see where Samsung goes with the Note series!!!

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    only special for indians

  • Chidambar Kulkarni

    The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is in many ways a remarkable handset. It’s the first Note with a truly premium design, one of the first smartphones with a QHD display and one of the most powerful handsets on the planet.

    • Suraj Racharla

      I think the Note series has always inspired me and made me dream for their devices. The Note 4 is the best addition to the series right now and it has already struck my heart for good and I cant think about any other smartphone right now!!

      • Ajanth Uthayakumaran

        It definelty has inspired me

  • Joshua Akinsola

    man i want this this is the dram

  • Joshua Akinsola

    It really does look amazing nothing compares especially that iphone 6 phone

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    it got an excellent camera which cannot be defeated

    • Suraj Racharla

      It can’t be deafeted because there is no camera which can match the superior quality of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

      • Shanky Yadav

        yup this is not going to going to happen but next year hope their will be its competitors in the department of camera

  • Bishal Adhikari

    i’d love to have this on my hands

  • Bishal Adhikari

    best smartphone ever

  • Bishal Adhikari

    Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Hands on a beast

  • Nebu Cherian

    Camera looks good but pricing jesus

  • Joshua Akinsola

    might never be able to get my hands on this but a man can dream one of our best abilities: to dream

  • Joannes Joseph

    Galaxy note 4 is just amaazzziiingggg


    • Suraj Racharla

      Honestly nothing can beat it. Samsung has proved itself the most superior one in the tablet market and Samsung will continue to say that staememt for years if they stay on the same road. Samsung deserves to be called the no 1 smartphone manufacer of all time. Let go SAMSUNG!!!

  • Joshua Akinsola

    pricing is set for the lucky people who can afford. I will never give up on my desire for this phone. Nothing would make my day more than toting this beast around. Of course the camera isn’t as great as one one an xperia but it does come with optical image stabilization and wide selfie agngles and rear selfies. This phones is just loaded with features.

  • Android

    Dreaming of getting this phone and holding it my hands. Lol and also swiping my finger on it while i unlock the device. This is my fantasy phone and i am waiting till get my hands on it so i can uncover all the secrets and maybe find more and share with all you people, The galaxy note line is so good that people using the galxy note 1 are still using to date and they say that galaxy notes atre the best phone you can buy. This phone is flawless in hradware and software!!! The phone also looks amazing with the glass on it popped up a bit. IT may increase in thickness but it still looks great!!

    • Ajanth Uthayakumaran

      I know I also love the curved glass on it

  • every time i come i come back to this it feels like… it feels like coming back home. Its just where i belong. All I do is imagine life with this phone and cant seem to accept the reality of not having it. If i got my hands on this beautiful blessing. My wildest dreams would have come true and my life would honestly be complete. I would be able to enjoy the full power of the strongest phone to the fullest and explore in depth every aspect of it. The note 4 has become a huge part of my lf which is funny because i dont even have it!! But i can dream right?

  • Suraj Racharla

    Lol you copied pasted the exact same comment from the other article!!

    • i know its note 4 related and i wanted it to be known all over XD

  • Suraj Racharla

    It has inprised many people. Not only the average person but rich people also. The note series is the most pretigious phone series there is to date and if you own one of those phones you should be happy because there are alot of people in the world like me who cant get their hands on it!!

  • Suraj Racharla

    I know. It does add to the thickness and i feel like it was a good trade off. It adds to the design of the phone and makes the screen pop up a bit more. I also think it has to do something with the S pen and it improves the accuracy!!