Today at the IFA Conference in Berlin, Samsung held its Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 event. As expected, the Galaxy Note 4 was announced. It builds on everything the previous three Notes have featured, and takes it even further. They also announced a special version of the phone called the Note Edge. Let’s take a look at what was announced.
The Note 4 is the newest version of the Note 4 series of ultra-large screen smart phones. For the first time, the screen of the Note doesn’t get any bigger. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t get any better. The screen has been enhanced from Full HD to Quad HD at a resolution of 2560 x 1440, the same resolution as the recently announced LG G3. The screen uses the same Super AMOLED panel display technology as the Tab-S tablet. Samsung contends it has several advantages over IPS screens. Like the GS5, the screen is also 2.5D
The Note 4 also brings the new styling announced in the Galaxy Alpha to the large screen flagship. It has the same textured front and back panel types as the Note 3, but ditches the plastic casing for a stylish aluminum frame. It’ll be available in 4 colors: black, white, gold, and pink. Sadly, the cool blue color from the Alpha didn’t make the cut. The Note 4 also brings new cameras to the equation. The back camera features a 16mp sensor and optical image stabilization. However, in this case, its the front that steals the show. The selfie cam now features a 3.7mp sensor with an expanded 90° viewing angle and f/1.9 aperture speed. If that isn’t enough, Samsung announced a panorama selfies mode to make sure you get everyone squarely in the picture. You can also use the rear heart rate monitor as a shutter release. Cameras are bright and have enhanced low light performance. The battery is the same size more or less, but the phone is 7.5% more efficient despite the higher resolution screen. It also will charge to 50% in only half an hour. You also have the ultra power saving mode that debuted with the GS5. For calls, it has three mics for noise canceling.
The operating system on the Note 4 stays with Kit Kat for now, but the interface is enhanced. Since this is a Note, the S-Pen stylus is integral. The sensitivity is doubled to make it much more precise and natural. It can also work as a mouse when selecting text. It also works with a new Smart Select capture feature that makes it quick to add images and text in a way that can be easily emailed to others. You can take notes in four different ways, including Snap Notes, which uses the camera to take notes. The interface has been further enhanced for multi-window support. It can work with a window on top of the others or in a snap view.
The company announced four new cases for the Note 4. That isn’t the big story as far as accessories. They announced a partnership with noted pen maker Montblanc. They are releasing their own S-Pens in the form of the Pix and the E-Starwalker. They can act not only as a high end stylus, but also a pen.
The Note 4 has spawned a spin-off they are calling the Note Edge. The Edge takes everything that is great about the Note 4 and adds a right hand edge screen. The Edge screen is independent of the main screen and multi-use. It gives you access to special menus and controls without having to reach into the regular Android interface. Time will tell if this is a useful feature, but it looks pretty interesting. Samsung is also launching an SDK today for third parties to integrate with the Edge screen.
The Note 4 launches worldwide in October. Exact dates and pricing will depend on your carrier. As of publication, the top US carriers didn’t announce plans. The Edge will also launch in select markets later in 2014.
The Note 4 brought a better but not bigger screen, new design language, and new useful features to make an already good design even better. If you’re coming off of a Note 2 or even upgrading from the newer Note 3, this is a worthy upgrade. For more IFA coverage, you can keep tuned to our website at Geekbeat.TV.