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Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 still in the running?

Launched in September 2014, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is starting to show its age… at least on paper because the reality is another matter altogether! Due to various events surrounding the Note series in recent years (the Note 7 fiasco and the non-launch of the Note 5 in Europe), this smartphone is actually still in fashion for many users and is very likely to be found at the foot of the tree this Christmas. But is it really a good investment in 2016?

It is one of the rare smartphones with a stylus

The Galaxy Note7 scandal last September and the non-commercialization of the Galaxy Note 5 last year means the European market has not seen a new Note series smartphone in two years. The selection of smartphones with a stylus is very limited. This is a shame as, for many users, it is one of the most practical aspects of a smartphone.

The Galaxy Note 4 stylus also has functions that are characteristic of computers with a conventional mouse

Removing the stylus from its position kickstarts Air Command, the shortcut management center for Action Memo, Intelligent Selection, Image Clip and Capture. The Galaxy Note 4 stylus also has similar functions to that of a conventional mouse on a computer. For example, if you hold down the S Pen button and move the tip over the screen at the same time, you can select whatever you want on the Note: just as you would do on a computer.

androidpit samsung Note4 vs Note5 8
The Note 4 (left) versus the Note 5 (right). © ANDROIDPIT

A slightly outdated design that still offers some advantages

The obvious trend for high quality smartphones in 2016 is the use of noble materials such as metal and glass. Clearly, the Galaxy Note 4 is not quite of this caliber, though its design is far from offensive. You may or may not like the fake leather effect on the back, but this can be removed and, unlike many other smartphones, allows access to a removable battery and a microSD extension.

It is especially important to clarify that with regards to the SIM card, a simple micro SIM is sufficient. There is therefore no need to order a nano-SIM from a phone provider. If you already have a nano-SIM, you will need an adaptor.

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Pierre Vitré
The fake leather effect is a bit outdated in 2016
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A screen that still holds its own and a decent camera

The Galaxy Note 4 may not be of the latest generation, but it nevertheless benefits from technical features that are still very much acceptable in 2016 and are sufficient for the majority of users. Should we conclude that the Galaxy Note 4 is outdated? Absolutely not.

Type: Phablet
Model: SM-N910S
SM-N910C
Manufacturer: Samsung
Dimensions: 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 176 g
Battery size: 3220 mAh
Screen size: 5.7 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 2560 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
Front camera: 3.7 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 4.4 - KitKat
User interface: TouchWiz
RAM: 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB
Removable storage: microSD
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (SM-N910S)
Samsung Exynos 5 Octa (SM-N910C)
Number of cores: 4 (SM-N910S)
8 (SM-N910C)
Max. clock speed: 2.7 GHz (SM-N910S)
1.9 GHz (SM-N910C)
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1

The Samsung phablet has a Super AMOLED screen with QHD definition (1440 x 2560 pixels). With 518 pixels per inch, it's an excellent screen that is far from obsolete compared to the competition. The same goes for its 16 megapixel camera which is, of course, not at the same level as a Galaxy S7 but does not fall far behind either. Its performance in low light is a bit disappointing, but it's not terrible. The Galaxy Note 4 manages well in natural light, as well as for macro shots.

androidpit Samsung Galaxy Note4 2
The Galaxy Note 4 screen is still holds its own in 2016. © ANDROIDPIT

Not Nougat but Marshmallow

Samsung will never update its Note 4 to the latest version of Android Nougat, but smartphone owners can however get Android Marshmallow. The update introduces new features, such as the memo function available on the Note 5 which allows notes to be taken as soon as the stylus is removed. The overall performance has also been improved (fewer lags when multitasking) and the icons have been reviewed. The new version of Android Marshmallow on the Note 4 also features the native management of application permissions, the introduction of a menu dedicated to managing the RAM, Google Now On Tap, Doze...

 

A price that is still very high

The price of a Galaxy Note 4 can vary depending on the vendor, but in general it hovers at around 500 euros. It is thus a particularly high tariff for a 2-year-old smartphone but its price can be explained by the high demand from users and diminishing stocks. For me, however, this price is still very high. As a comparison, a Galaxy S7 Edge launched barely six months ago costs around 600 euros, a Nexus 6P 500 euros and a Huawei Mate 8 600 euros.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 edge 15 review
The price of a Galaxy S7 Edge is not so very different from that of a Note 4... © ANDROIDPIT

That being said, there is a strong possibility that it will be found during the sales around Christmas time, so be wise and make sure to differentiate between real discounted phones and scams. You could also make the most of Black Friday next month.

Conclusion

If you want to give a relatively high quality Samsung smartphone as a gift this Christmas but cannot (or do not want to) invest 600 euros, turn to the Galaxy Note 4 - especially if the stylus or removable battery are important criteria for you. Its popularity has ensured customized ROMs and a large community of fans is present on the web.

However, except for the stylus, there are now many alternatives on the market that, on top of performing better, have the distinction of being significantly more affordable. Better to think twice before buying a Galaxy Note 4, especially since Samsung now no longer provides maintenance for one’s phone.

Which one do you prefer?

Choose Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy S7 edge.

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What do you think about the Galaxy Note 4? Is it still an option for you?

Readers' favorite comments

  • Greg1100 3 weeks ago

    " Samsung will never update its Note 4 to the latest version of Android Nougat"
    As they lashed up with Note 7 and Note 5 never came to UK, then Note 4 is the last proper sensible phone sold here.
    They should certainly give the Note 4 another year of support in recompense for their N7 cockup. I wouldn't have bought the N5 anyway, as I consider it a downgrade after the Note 4.
    Glass panels are absolute crap- too easily busted. My Note 4 is white, so has a very strong, very light plastic back allowing easy battery changes and better access for SD card fitting. Plus, my Note 4 is in a case, so rear panel could be made of concrete- no one would see it, so all the journalistic whingeing of non "premium materials" is of no consequence.

  • anthony gross 3 weeks ago

    for me love everything about the note4 i wish they bring back the tv remote feature and the removal battery the tv remote is awsome....anybody agree

  • Mitchell Ferencevich 3 weeks ago

    Note 4 still top notch. I told Verizon that if they wanted me to turn in my note 7's, they had to give me my note 4 again. Not nearly as cool looking, but it was my only acceptable option. They actually gave me two note 4's for free. I wasn't about to give up an s pen and I still needed lots of storage. The Note 5 was not expandable, but the note 4 still was. The 256gb card that came free with the Note 7 works great in the note 4 so I still have almost 300gb of storage on a device that's two years old. I had originally been pushed to switch to the s7, but I think many people forget the value of the s pen to those who really enjoy the note phones. I couldn't go back to a finger phone at this point. In addition I was not willing to pay for a phone that I don't actually want. The note 7 was only $3/MO more than the s7 edge. The $3/MO savings by no means would have been worth the loss of an s pen. Since turning the Note 7's in for the 4's, I noticed that other than looks I really dont notice that much of a difference. Phones have not made all that much progress with innovation and many of the new ones don't do that much more than the phones from 2-3 years ago. Indeed they look cooler, have newer OS features, and are faster, some of the things you won't notice on an older device because the features were not all that bad to begin with. Back to the Note 4 for my wife and I until a newer note comes out. In the meantime I am enjoying my older phone especially I am saving $72/MO for two lines (device payment) by not paying for a different device that I really don't want.

  • Mark 3 weeks ago

    The Note 4 is still one of the best phones on the market today. The Note 5 is a downgrade from the 4 except for processor speed. No removable battery or Micro SD support. I do not know where you get your prices from but I can buy an unlocked Note 4 for $339.00 online. Which for what you get is a great deal. Get an external charger a couple of extra batteries and never have to worry about being low bat again. A couple of extra Micro SD cards fill them with movies and music and never be bored again.

  • Isiah Mcarn 3 weeks ago

    2yrs old,,operating perfectly, love my 4.

39 comments

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  • Does the writer if this article work for Samsung? I "upgraded" twice from the Note 3 to the Note 7. Speed and efficiency were great but not everyone is in love with the edge design. The Note 4 is a flat screen with the same screen hardware spec! The same. With Marshmallow, I find it every bit as capable, fast as the Note 7. Samsung did not bother to do much with Touch Wiz mods, and the reason is obvious, they want you to go buy the Next Big thing. Here is the point to be be made about a sealed design...yes, you can take it swimming...oh yay, but in a year or so, that battery won't be keeping a charge the way it did. When I bought my aftermarket Note 4 the ONLY thing wrong with it was the original battery was not holding a charge. That was to be expected. Bought two after market batteries with a wall charger for 50 bucks. Good as new! Try that with your beloved S7. Speaking to the author on that. I have nothing against the phone. Loving my Note 4, fully paid, not leased, and won't be updating soon.

  • Let me know when Samsung Pay arrives

  • Mike P 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Still love my Note 4, old but still gets the job done. Removable battery is a plus along with the microsd card slot, my screen shows signs of ageing yes because of amoled, slightly on the warm side eventhough I using amoled cinema to make it a bit cold

  • Samsung note 4 is good indeed

  • I just wish they had Samsung pay on the note 4!!!! Other then that its a great phone!

    • Cory Schmidt
      • Admin
      • Staff
      2 weeks ago Link to comment

      I agree Scooter Man! Samsung says Samsung Pay is available on "our latest devices," which includes the Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 active, Galaxy S6, and Gear S2 (Beta – with NFC only). But since the Note7 blew up, maybe it should open it up to a previous generation.

  • i don't get the big deal on the android updates all they do mainly is restrict more than anything else. My note 3 was rooted on the first day and it was never updated works great. Using xposed and other apps makes it a great phone no need for upgrades.

    • My S5 is still on Kitkat. And I won't update to anything. I tried 5.0.1 months ago. More than half of my xposed modules didn't work and everything is freaking white -_- no thanks then!

    • Restrict? I get more features or smoother operations. Interesting..

  • My family thinks I'm crazy that I won't upgrade "because of a stylus"! I'm a happy camper with my Note 4 & attached stylus-THE BEST addition to ANY smartphone since apple pie!!! Until, the lack of being able to update REALLY makes a difference, OR someone comes up with a phone WITH a stylus, I'll stick with my Note 4.

  • I'm back to using my Note 4 after having to return two Note 7s - what a headache! It's actually working better the 2nd time around. I'm very happy I didn't get rid of it when I upgraded to the combustible Note 7. I was faced with the decision of switching teams and going with iOS (shuttered at the thought) or downgrading to S7 or another Samsung phone. I couldn't do it. The Note 4 is tried, true, dependable and reliable. I have no qualms with it or the software. Will hold on to this gem until it dies.

  • I need the SPen and I love the Note 4. If only Android would support its older operating systems though. Lollipop updates have introduced several frustrating bugs since I purchased the phone. What I don't understand is why nobody is fixing them.
    Three weeks after I got the Note 4, it stopped connecting to the car audio and I can't dial out via Bluetooth. The display goes black after 2 seconds when the notification bar is pulled down, it asks EVERY TIME which program to open (even my memory is better than that). No amount of resetting or restoring makes any improvement either.
    Parts replacement is also horrendous. I've ordered batteries and SPens from Samsung's suppliers but they are a poor quality or don't work at all.
    My original Note was great but the processor is inadequate with new apps. TouchWiz was also more powerful and useful.
    Even though I won't go near iOS, I do respect that Apple keeps their operating systems up to date for their users.

  • What method did you use to root your Note 4? I need to retrieve pics that were accidentally deleted and have never rooted before.

  • Ever since I rooted my note 4 it's been running smoother than my friend's note 5. I just got a new battery today and am going to upgrade my software to cyanogen mod 14.1 nougat later this evening.

  • 2yrs old,,operating perfectly, love my 4.

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