Each release of a Galaxy Note device has been a major event for Samsung, almost as important as the Galaxy S flagship series. The Note family has a lot of fans, especially because of its attractive format and useful S Pen stylus. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the next in the gamut and we are starting to hear more about it, especially regarding the possible flexible QHD YOUM display, 128 GB of internal storage and a 64-bit processor...we have high hopes. This article is updated when new information emerges. Update: Not long after the full specs and price for the Galaxy Note 4 leaked we've received new information on the finger scanner modes as well. See below for details.
Galaxy Note 4 release date and price
The full specs and price for the Galaxy Note 4 have been posted on an Indonesion online retailer's website. Check out our short summary of the full Galaxy Note 4 specs and price, or take a look at the specs section below. The listed price is 9,499,000 Indonesian Rupiah, equating to 814 USD, 488 GBP or 607 EUR (although we remind you that currency conversions are hard to peg down as actual market prices). Nevertheless, the Galaxy Note 4 certainly seems to be in the same rough price range as the Galaxy Note 3 when it launched. Samsung China has also just posted a promotional video for the Note 4 with a September 3rd date listed.
Predicting the release date for the Galaxy Note 4 is not a hard task in any case, considering that (mostly) all other Notes saw their start in the month of September.
- Galaxy Note N7000: September 2011
- Galaxy Note 2 N7100: August 2012
- Galaxy Note 3: September 2013
- Galaxy Note 4: Between September 15th and September 28th 2014?
Samsung recently began sending out private invites for the Unpacked Event at the 2014 IFA on Wednesday, September 3rd. The event will take place at 2 PM at the Tempodrom in Berlin, Germany, a couple days before the official start of the IFA. In the past, Unpacked Events are where we have seen the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3 and most recently, the Galaxy S5.
GSMArena has discovered an internal Samsung document regarding vacation leave for employees, and the restricted times may have revealed the Note 4 release date. Employees will not be granted vacation time between September 3rd and September 7th (around the time of the Samsung Unpacked and IFA events in Berlin) and also from September 15th to September 28th. We now presume the Galaxy Note 4 will be announced on September 3rd at their Samsung Unpacked conference and then released around September 15th. You can see the document below.
Galaxy Note 4 specs
Based on the leaked specs sheet mentioned above, the Galaxy Note 4 will be housing a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. There will be two processor variants for different markets: the SM-N910S powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.5 GHz and the SM-N910C powered by an octa-core Exynos 5433 SoC. Both variants will be backed up by 4 GB of RAM. The Note 4 will reportedly receive a camera resolution boost to 16 MP and add Optical Image Stabilization to the mix and be available in a 16, 32 or 64 GB storage option with microSD expansion up to 128 GB. The specs table claims Android 4.4.3 will be running the show, but we expect that to be Android 4.4.4 by go time. If you want to see the full image, take a look at our Galaxy Note 4 price and specs leak article or hit the source link.
SamMobile has obtained further confirmation of a 16 MP main camera with Optical Image Stabilzation and 3.7 MP front-facing camera on the Galaxy Note 4. Furthermore, the site is definitively claiming that Samsung is indeed ditching their proprietary ISOCELL camera sensor in favor of a Sony-made Exmor IMX2450, a rumor we had previously believed to be true (see camera section below). Of course, none of this is official yet, but it is certainly starting to look like the real deal.
SamMobile has also uncovered evidence of a Side Touch sensor in the Note 4 code for taking pictures with the index finger on the side of the Note 4 without a dedicated camera shutter button. The Galaxy S5 had the same sensor coding though and the tech didn't materialize in the final product, so there's no guarantees for the Note 4 either. A new GIF mode and three new selfie modes have also been discovered: a wide-angle selfie, a selfie triggered by a smile or a wink and selfie alarm which will automatically focus on your face, so no more blurry selfies (blurfies?).
Update: SamMobile has released even more information on the finger scanner, which is compised of the same Natural ID technology by Synaptics found in both the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Alpha. However, the Note 4 will add new functionality that allows you to set fingerprints as shortcuts to specific apps. Apparently the same shortcuts will make their way to the S5 via a software update. The site also shares details of an ultrasonic sensor case that can be used to provide feedback on objects in front of the screen for those with vision problems. How well this will work is a bit of a mystery.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4|
|System||Android 4.4.3, TouchWiz|
|Display||5.7 inch, 2,560 x 1,440 pixels (QHD), 515 ppi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-Core 2.5 GHz (SM-N910S) / Samsung Exynos 5433, Quad-Core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-Core Cortex A57 (SM-N910C)|
|Internal Memory||16/32/64 GB (+ microSD up to 128 GB)|
|Camera||16 MP, Optical Image Stabilization, dual-LED, Sony Exmor IMX240 sensor (rear), 3.7 MP (front)|
|Connectivity||LTE, HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Bluetooth 4.0, MHL 2, USB 3.0|
|Price||Approx. 814 USD, 488 GBP or 607 EUR (based on 9.499.000 IDR)|
Galaxy Note 4 build material
There had previously been rumors that the Galaxy Note 4 would be receiving a full metal jacket, but as detailed in the predictions video below, we don't think this is very likely due to the weight and costs involved. Still, recent comments by a senior Samsung VP have hinted that there is still a slight possibility that the metal-clad device Samsung have already admitted they are working on could indeed be the Note 4. Here's what the Wall Street Journal had to say about ''two new high-end smartphones'' that Samsung plans to release in the next six months:
Kim Hyun-Joon, a senior vice president at Samsung's mobile-communications business, told investors on an earnings call that one model will feature a large screen, while the other will be made using "new materials." He didn't elaborate. Samsung has previously hinted that it might use bendable screens in its future mobile devices.
Now, there's a bit of extrapolation to be done from this comment. If you've been reading our coverage of the Galaxy Alpha then you'd know that device is pretty much guaranteed to be released in the next couple of weeks with a metal back panel. While I believe this to be the case, this doesn't absolutely mean that the Alpha is the metallic device mentioned by Kim and the Note 4 is not: if you've checked out the rumored specs of the Galaxy Alpha then you'd have a hard time calling it a ''high-end smartphone.'' This means we have three possibilities:
1) The super-premium Galaxy F with metallic chassis is still out in the wild somewhere, waiting to pounce.
2) Samsung has a different definition of what constitutes a high-end device than I do (perhaps Samsung thinks that a metal build is enough to call a device high-end).
3) The Note 4 will actually be the metal clad device. I doubt it, but you decide. To add another twist, ''new materials'' doesn't necessarily mean metal either...
Galaxy Note 4 and Gear VR headset
As we covered in our Gear VR roundup, it's looking like the Galaxy Note 4 will debut with a very exciting new wearable companion: the Gear VR. The virtual reality headset has been floating around the internet for months now in a prototype render and recent app leak, but it seems almost certain that it will be presented alongside the Galaxy Note 4 in September.
Galaxy Note 4 UV sensor
Recent news has surfaced that Samsung will continue its path with health and fitness by incorporating yet another market first on the Galaxy Note 4: a UV sensor. The user would have to tilt the device to a 60 degree angle in the direction of the sun to the back of the sensor to get it to work. With this new feature, Samsung wants to help users reduce the risk of the sun’s ultraviolet radiations which leads to skin damages, premature ageing and cancer. The UV levels that are detected on the Note 4 are measured in 5 levels, low, moderate, high, very high and extreme, and then the device provides some useful tips on how users can protect themselves. This could be a great new, and actually useful, addition to smartphones by helping users become more aware of the sun’s rays, especially as skin cancer and diseases are very real problems of this day and age.
Galaxy Note 4 iris scanner
A recent tweet by SamsungExynos now leads us to presume that the Note 4 could indeed come with an iris scanner. But doesn’t this feel like a deja vu? This is actually what had been rumored for the Galaxy S5 before its release, which now seems to have been bumped to the next generation Samsung phablet. That being said, it doesn’t mean that this is any less credible, seeing as the tweet comes right from Samsung themselves.
In the Tweet, the depicted image could very well be the Note 4, however, the home button is weirdly round. The image also hints at the iris scanner that Samsung is allegedly working on, and the newest Note device could be the ideal candidate in which to implement this technology. This would also be a chance for Samsung to get ahead in the technology arms race, instead of lagging behind the competition, like with the fingerprint scanner.
Galaxy Note 4 predictions [video]
For those more visual types, we've covered all of the rumors surrounding the Note 4 in video format.
Galaxy Note 4 interface: new version of TouchWiz
Samsung promised a ''return to basics'' with the Galaxy S5, and the company certainly fulfilled its promise. Many consider that Samsung lacks technological innovation, while others think that the errors committed with the Galaxy S4 were fixed with the S5. TouchWiz was partly revised and seems to be taking after Tizen, the manufacturer’s own operating system (if not the other way around). That leaves us wondering if the Note 4 won’t look even more different to the stock Android UI, by adopting for example the rounded icons in the entirety of the phablet's user interface, not only in the settings as with the Galaxy S5. We won’t know for sure unless we get a glimpse of a leaked screenshot.
There has also been news that Samsung is getting rid of Samsung Hub, or at least not pre-installing it onto its devices. There could be other radical changes on the Note 4, to get rid of the bloatware that Galaxy users don't use anyways.
And the promise of changes to come to the TouchWiz UI seems to be fullfilled with the official release of Android L in the autumn of 2014. Right now it is just a developer preview, but Google has already included a lot of new design changes, in particular with the notifications shade and quick settings, as well as some added features, like a battery saver option.
Galaxy Note 4 screen: flexible YOUM, OLED, QHD display
The YOUM display has been talked about for some years now, and we might finally see this flexible display on the Galaxy Note 4, marking it’s commercial debut. This now seems more plausible considering LG manufactured the slightly bent LG G Flex, and Samsung already commercialized the Galaxy Round with a curved display in Korea. Based on many leaks, as well as benchmark tests, and executives who can't seem to keep secrets, Samsung is definitely set to release a ''new form factor'' in Q2 of 2014. This new display is rumored to have a QHD resolution and use OLED technology. There are also rumors of a 5.7-inch diagonal, but this may also be as big as 5.9 inches, curve included. If you aren't keen on having a curved screen, it has been speculated that a choice between flat and curved will be available. But with all this said and done, a 5.7-inch QHD display would bring 515 pixels per inch, and this is less than the latest LG flagship, the LG G3, which was released at the Mobile World Congress of 2014 in Barcelona.
Some are even expecting Samsung to bring a bent touchscreen display that is stretched onto the sides of the smartphone. The flexible display, or at least curved, would potentially allow shortcuts and notifications to move the phone’s sides, so that you can access them without meddling with the main screen, as shown in the picture below.
Further credence has been given to the curved display rumor now with reports that a device with a three-sided display has entered production. It has long been speculated that Samsung would release a new curved model this year, but this seems to be a slightly different approach, with sloping sides on the right and left edges (similar to the leaked image above that we had previously seen). Only a small quantity of these devices are said to be in production, so whether Samsung is gearing up for something as big as the global launch of the Note 4 is uncertain. We'll have more soon, take a look at the leaked image of the supposed production model below.
Samsung has trademarked the Galaxy Note Edge name, meaning that the likelihood of the Galaxy Note 4 appearing in a mass market version with normal display (what we've seen recently) and a niche market three-sided display loooks a bit more likely. Of course, Samsung trademarks lots of names it ever uses, so this could all lead nowhere as well.
Galaxy Note 4 camera
At first, there were rumors of a 20 MP camera, as seen on the Korean site etnews.com, though we wouldn’t consider this site the most legitimate of sources, at least in the way of rumors. That being said, this is completely foreseeable if you consider that Samsung has never been last in the pixels race. The S5 has a 16 MP camera, making 20 MP quite probable. And as mentioned above, 4K video will probably also be on the menu, considering the Note 3 already has it.
Further rumors pointed towards a 16 MP Sony sensor, which has already been used on flagships in 2014. The Note 4 will also likely get optical image stabilization added to this year's camera technology. The front-facing camera could be set at 3.7 MP. See the specs section above for the latest details on the Note 4 camera.
Galaxy Note 4 hardware, processor and battery
Samsung has the habit of announcing new high end technologies independently of their flagship press events. This was the case with its latest Exynos true octa-core processors, the flexible YOUM display, as well as the QHD display. This being a common occurrence allows us to speculate that the Note 4 will in turn benefit from advanced technologies that may be announced before the Note 4 appears.
We also know that Samsung plans on augmenting the internal storage in its mobile devices, which is why we believe that the Note 4 could be released with 128 GB. Samsung is also working on 64-bit technology for its next Exynos processor, which could be in the Note 4. There has also been talk of it getting the upcoming 64-bit Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 805, which would ship with Adreno 420 GPU, the first commercially available graphics processor with dynamic hardware tesselation. Simpy put, you'd get greater graphical details while using less memory and power.
In addition, each new phablet in the Note series often marks the arrival of a higher number of gigabytes. Could the Note 4 be the first to come with 4 GB of RAM? That being said, 3 GB is more than ample for present smartphones. A new graphics processor could be coming up though, considering the Adreno 330 is equipped in previous generations of Samsung devices. Other factors that could be considered for the Note 4 are Cat 6 LTE with 300 Mbps data speeds.
Undoubtedly the battery will also be improved in the Note 4, and with the presence of LucidLogix optimizations, the QHD display that should arrive on the next Samsung phablet won't use as much energy as its predecessors.
Galaxy Note 4: best smartphone of 2014?
There haven’t been that many rumors or speculations in regards to any specific functions to come on the Note 4, like a fingerprint scanner or a heart-rate monitor like the Galaxy S5. If Samsung comes out with a QHD flexible YOUM display, they will be able to retrieve a bit of lost ground lost to Sony Xperia Z2 during the MWC 2014 and more recently to the HTC One (M8). And now that LG has also stolen some of Samsung’s territory with the LG G3, Samsung will likely bring us a monster smartphone when they finally release their next flagship device.
What do you think of the Galaxy Note 4?