Released on September 3 2014, the Galaxy Note 4 impressed many users with its design, technical specification and performance. A smartphone which was hard to beat at that time and that still continues to produce excellent results. Those who have one in their pocket and are looking for a worthy substitute without abandoning the brand will still have to wait since Samsung, and its Galaxy Note 7, seem to have failed.
Once upon a time there existed a line of Note devices...
With its Note line, Samsung managed to win the hearts of many users - mainly those who were looking for a device equipped with a wide display capable of multitasking and doing any other task without problems. The Note family predecessors came on the scene in 2011 and has thus opened the door to the phablet world; devices larger than the classic smartphone but more compact than a tablet, perfectly satisfying the demands of businessmen, gamers and geeks. It was an immediate success: one million devices sold in less than two months.
The Note 4 is, undoubtedly, one of the line’s most popular devices
This success did not end in 2011. The new generations released in the three years after (Note II, Note 3 and Note 4 respectively), continued to post record sales in addition to high consumer approval. The brand has, over the course of time, worked on its design, equipping the phablet with a synthetic leather shell (there are those who love it and those who hate it), and mainly optimized components and features.
The Note 4 is undoubtedly one of the line’s most loved devices. It is not only known for its excellent 5.7-inch AMOLED screen with QHD resolution that guarantees clear, crisp images, but also its 3220 mAh high-performance battery which ensures an excellent battery life. The main 16 MP camera (one of the best available when it was released) is also good and the S-Pen was smarter compared to the previous generation and always ready to accommodate us with less Air Command.
Also present was a fingerprint sensor, inherited from the Galaxy S5, which is not that surprising seeing its recent expansion, but, in 2014, could be considered a unique function. Released with Android 4.4.4 KitKat, the Note 4 was then updated to Lollipop and Marshmallow. Performance? Excellent: the 2.7 GHz clocked Snapdragon 805 processor has 3GB of RAM and is able to handle any task without problems. Price? High when it was released but this was justified given the excellent product the Note 4 was and still is today.
No, I have not forgotten about the Note Edge. Released in 2014 along with the Note 4, it did not manage to spark the interest the brand was hoping for. Despite the innovative curve screen on one side, it did not get the same attention as its flat screen brother. Its high label may have been its main limitation.
2015: a gloomy year (the first) for the Note lovers
Last year Samsung decided not to release the Galaxy Note 5 globally, a huge let-down for Europeans. It was a hard pill to swallow for those who were looking forward to getting their hands on the new phablet, which had a renewed design inspired by that of the Galaxy S6.
The reason for this decision was the alleged lack of user interest in a device equipped with a stylus and the will to push another of the company’s phablets into the market, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ that, despite the absence of the S-Pen and almost identical technical specifications, did not seem to have been a heartbreaker.
After having followed the rumors for months, admiring the stylish body made of glass and metal, read about its glorious exploits (mainly with regard to its display and camera), Europeans had to resign themselves to the idea of waiting another year with their Note 4 or Note 3 in their pockets, in anticipation of getting their hands on the Note 6. It is however a pity that the plan has literally gone up in smoke…
The burning fate of the Note 7
We were expecting the Note 6 to be launched on the market, but Samsung has decided to skip a number and go directly to the 7, highlighting the device’s link with the Galaxy S7 line. So far, so good. On August 2, the Note 7 was officially presented which, once again, surprised everyone with its very detailed design and for its technical specifications.
The innovative iris scanner, even though not critical for an average user, ensures higher level of security. The Gorilla Glass 5 best protects the 5.66-inch glowing screen, which even supports HDR. It also has a Type-C USB port, Night Mode, Game Launcher, a main 12-MP camera, which does not miss (the same as that on the Galaxy S7 Edge), and so on and so forth.
It is however a pity for its battery… explosive. The first incidents forced the brand to proceed with a recall. On September 19, the replacement plan began: the brand asked that every Note 7 in circulation be returned to fix the battery problem. On October 1, sales resumed in South Korea and in the USA but, some units that were presumed to be safe because they were replaced by the brand were involved in new incidents. On October 11 2016, Samsung ceased the production and commercialization of the Note 7.
What will happen to the Note line?
Samsung has done the right thing: recalling the devices from the market and in doing so protecting the safety of users. But for all those who anxiously waited to get their hands on the Note 7, they will have to wait yet another year for the Note 8 (if ever there is one) or begin looking around in search of a worthy substitute for the Note 4 or the Note 3, knocking on the doors of several manufacturers.
Samsung will now have to deal with the huge losses that will not only affect its pocket but also its image. Of course, the brand boasts years of experience in this field and a deep trust from its users. Accidents do happen … but twice in a row on the same device? Apparently, yes. The brand owes us an explanation: it should clarify these incidents as soon as possible so as to reassure its users in order to be able to overcome this difficult moment. After this it will have to decide whether to continue working on the Note line under another name (so as to drive away the negative aura that is currently lingering on the Note 7’s body and on the entire line) or whether to concentrate only and exclusively on the success of the Galaxy S line.
Note owners, what is your opinion? Will you wait on the next Note, if there is one? Will you go for a Galaxy S7 Edge or begin to look reluctantly around in search of another feasible alternative to Samsung?