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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy Note 3: features and specs compared

Scott Adam Gordon (translation)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has just been officially announced at the IFA 2014 conference, and we've got more than enough material to make a first comparison with its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3. Lets see if Samsung has provided us with a simple upgrade, or a new phablet worthy of the "best phablet in the world" title.

note3 note4 comparison teaser
Side by side: The Note 3 (left) next to a slightly squarer Note 4. / © ANDROIDPIT

Design and build quality

The Galaxy Note 4 doesn't differ from its predecessor too much in terms of design. When viewed from the front, it's mostly the same as the Note 3 (albeit a little less rounded), but on the reverse things have changed more noticeably, with the Note 4 sporting a textured, faux-leather back panel. Samsung has often been criticized for the plastic feel of its flagship phones, so this time the Note 4 is supported by a metal frame, following a similar design aesthetic to the Galaxy Alpha. Because of this, the Note 4 feels a little sweeter in the hand, despite it being a little larger than the Note 3.


  Galaxy Note 4 Galaxy Note 3
Display 5.7-inch (2560x1440), 515ppi 5.7-inch (1920x1080), 386ppi
OS Android 4.4.4 Android 4.3 (updated to 4.4.2)
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (N910S), Exynos 5433 (N910C) Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (N9005), Exynos 5 Octa (N9000)
Internal Memory 32 GB + microSD 32 / 64 GB + microSD
Camera 16 MP (rear), 3.7 (front) with autofocus, image stabilization and dual-LED flash 13 MP (rear), 2MP (front)
Extra Fingerprint scanner, heart rate-monitor, stylus Stylus
Dimensions / Weight 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm / 176g 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3 mm / 168g
Price TBA Currently 599 USD for 32 GB variant

The Note 4, like its predecessor, is a technical powerhouse and arrives with a next generation processor and upgraded QHD display. Both the front and rear cameras offer more mega-pixels for your buck this time around too, but to what extent these improvements affect the overall experience is yet to be tested. An aspect of the Note 4 which has been noticeably optimized, however, is the pen input, which not only includes new S-Pen modes but also superior input-detection and handling. 

Finally, it should be mentioned that Samsung has optimized its much-criticized fingerprint scanner for the Note 4. On the surface this only looks like a slightly larger home button, but in our test it was clear that it had been developed for improved usability. 

note3 note4 comparison back
The Note 4 (right) provides a heart-rate monitor and a 16-megapixel camera. / © ANDROIDPIT


The Galaxy Note 4 technically doesn't make any big leaps, but it improves upon most of what consumers have asked for: upgraded hardware, better S-Pen functionality and premium feel. It's certainly a contender for the number one spot in our best Android smartphones of 2014 list, but we'll have to wait until its release to find out.

What do you think? Will the Note 4 live up to expectations?

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  • Byron Garay 2 months ago Link

    I have a Note 3 and its back may not look good for some, but it has been very well placed, because it is SUPER grippy, this makes the phone more confortable in the hand because it is big, it wont ever fall of our hands easily...and that's Functionality.

    • Moni Mihailov 2 months ago Link

      Exactly. This is one of the reasons I'm loving the S5 so much (and getting it) :)

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        Scott Adam Gordon 2 months ago Link

        So what do you think of the new back panel design on the Note 4?

      • Ron 2 months ago Link

        I think the back is fine. I generally will have a case on it. My question is whether it's a big enough upgrade to move from the Note 3.

      • Nikolay Stoyanov 1 month ago Link

        The Note 3's one looked like it's made from the foreskin of a circumcised rhino. The new foreskin back must've been sourced from an elephant, as the device is a bit heavier.

  • Bojan M. 2 months ago Link

    I think that Note 4 is design wise the best looking one in the phablet Note series. I prefer phones with sharper edges.

  • Andre Sinaga 1 month ago Link

    Disappointing not much upgrade from note 3. At least not worth for > $800 if rumours are true. Fail. Still waiting for nexus 6.

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      Georg Seebode 1 month ago Link

      the release price is about the same as with the Note 3, but id expect that to drop a bit fairly soon (as happens with almost every single flagship)

    • Goojman 1 month ago Link

      Totally agree with ur post. Waiting for Nexus 6!!!

  • Goojman 1 month ago Link

    Loving my Note 3 with Dymanic 5.0 rom. Not enough mega changes to make me upgrade. Especially if Knox is gonna be more of an issue to root that bad boy!!

  • Stephanie Lawrence 1 month ago Link

    Who cares about the back really? Most users will put a case on it anyway and I use an S View case, which I love, so it replaces the back. I do like the square corners but that's not enough to upgrade. My Note 3 is awesome, fast and does everything I want. I think the Note 4 will be a good upgrade for older Note model owners though. With the position of the new fingerprint scanner I guess all hope is lost of them getting rid of that ugly home button. I do like the direction they are heading now but how much bloat did they cram into it? That's the big change I want to see, more user control over pre-installed apps, please and thank you!

  • Zach Murray 1 month ago Link

    I didn't see on the comparison that the Note 4 will allow additional storage via microsd. Did I miss something or will this not be possible?

    • User picture
      Scott Adam Gordon 1 month ago Link

      Thanks for pointing this out, Zach! The Note 4 does have an SD card slot, I have updated the specs table to include it :)

  • Eliu Duran 1 month ago Link

    Another no go is the micro usb port, why going backward to 2.0?

  • gbswales 1 month ago Link

    I have a note 3 but don't see anything here that would make me upgrade a perfectly working device (not on a contract so purchase my phones) I am intrigued by the new edge and may well take a look at that unless the price is silly