I recently wrote about the best reasons to buy a Galaxy Note 5. But I have to admit that it's a pretty marginal upgrade to the Note 4 and in some ways a regression, as you would have read in our Galaxy Note 5 vs Galaxy Note 4 comparison. In many respects, now is a great time buy a Galaxy Note 4. Here's why.
For starters, the Galaxy Note 5 falls quite nicely into that 'incremental upgrade' category that Samsung seems to have been tagged with ever since the Galaxy S4. Sure, the Note 5 has a faster processor and more RAM, but its specs sheet seems a little too similar to the Galaxy S6 – a six-month old phone – for most people's tastes. So you're not missing out on too much specs-wise.
Then there's the lack of a curved display. I've already written about my disappointment that we won't see a Galaxy Note 5 Edge, but its absence on the Note 5 is doubly disappointing. Not only does it mean the Note 5 has none of the nice Edge software features, it also means we probably won't see a Galaxy Note Edge 2 either. So the Note 5 doesn't have that going for it either.
Then there's the design. I really liked the Note 4 design, but sadly it looks like it was a one-off, at least for a Note. The Galaxy S6 looks a little too iPhoney for me, and with its new iOS-like icons, the Note 5 seems to have headed down that path too.
On the software side, if you're worried that the Note 4 won't getting the new Air Command options, such as customizable shortcuts, there's actually no reason to believe they won't be delivered to the Note 4 via a software update.
The new S Pen on the Note 5 feels a lot like the old one on the Note 4 too. Unless you really want that funky ejector mechanism or slightly slimmer bezels, there simply isn't that much that feels new on the Note 5. In fact, the Note 4 has features many people wish the Note 5 has, most importantly, the microSD expansion and removable battery.
In short, if you're not sold on QHD displays, like the option of a spare battery, keep all your music or photos on an SD card or don't particularly love the new Note 5 design, then the Note 4 is a great option. It will likely get the same software as the Note 5 via an update, and the difference in specs isn't really all that great; the Note 5 is basically just a Galaxy S6 with an S Pen, so the usual year's worth of spec improvements has shrunk to five months: the duration between the launch of the Note 4 and the S6.
The Galaxy Note 4 will also receive a hefty price cut now that its successor is out. So there really is no better time than now to buy one. You'll get a great device that looks good and has two of the best Samsung features that are missing from the Note 5, and the price is about to be very nice indeed.
What do you think of the Note 5? Are you more impressed by the Note 4?