It's the time of year where we start to think about what the IFA in Berlin in September will bring us. One of the most important devices to make its debut at the annual showcase will be the hotly anticipated follow-up to last year's legendary Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Note 4. So what do we know already and what can we expect?
Based on an abundance of leaks, benchmark results and chatty executives we already know that a device with a ''new form factor'' will be revealed by Samsung in the second half of 2014. Considering the long-demoed curved OLED Youm display from Samsung, we're confident that we'll see this new form factor on the Note 4. The device is slated for a QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixel) OLED screen that will allow you to interact with notifications from the sides of the display. The Note 4 may stick with a 5.7-inch diagonal or bump up to 5.9 inches with the curve included. A flat and curved screen option are also a possibility. At 5.7 inches, the QHD display will be rocking 515 pixels per inch, only a few less than the LG G3.
As always, there will be two versions, one equipped with a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and another with a 64-bit octa-core Exynos chip. Check the benchmark specs below for more details. While these are certainly not final, they do match what we've already been expecting from the Note 4. Other factors to consider are Cat 6 LTE with 300 Mbps data speeds, improved S Pen functionality, the new TouchWiz and Android 5.0. It seems very very unlikely the Note 4 would go for a metallic build, considering the weight involved, but water-resistance is indeed a possibility.
The Snapdragon 805 has also been seen in an AnTuTu benchmarking graph performing lower than the Exynos (for the first time), but it is likely the 2.5 GHz clocked version and not the 2.7 GHz version we might see in the final Note 4 build. The 805 will also ship with Adreno 420 GPU, the first commercially available graphics processor with dynamic hardware tesselation, which basically means greater graphical details requiring less memory and power. Of course, we'll have microSD expansion, 3 GB of RAM (possibly even 4 GB) and probably a baseline model with 32 GB of internal storage. We'd expect a minor battery increase but the presence of LucidLogix optimizations will mean that even with a QHD display you won't need as much power as you might think.
Camera and extras
So far we're hearing the Galaxy Note 4 will ship with the same 16 MP Sony sensor we've already seen on other flagships this year, but the Note 4 will definitely add optical image stabilization to the mix and probably a few other things to keep our photographic juices flowing. A 3.7 MP front-facing camera will round things out. As yet there's no firm word on whether the Note 4 will rock a finger scanner like the Galaxy S5 or opt instead for the iris scanner that Samsung has admitted they are working on, but the heart rate monitor and heavy wearable integration seems certain. Handwriting recognition is another patent that's been floating around but we're still out to lunch on that one.
It's only a few months until IFA kicks off on September 4th so the answers are coming, as are the inevitable leaks. What do you want to see most in the Galaxy Note 4?