The camera on the new Note 4 has been upgraded from 13 MP that were featured on the Note 3 to 16 MP and it now has the ability of optical image stabilization. It needs to be noted that you will not notice a huge difference since it is only a slight upgrade in reality, but it does have much more accurate colors than the camera we have seen on the Note 3. Photos taken during the day look great, true to their form, and there is almost no noise on them, while photos taken in low light conditions can have noise on them, but much less than what we have seen on the photos taken with the Galaxy Note 3. If you want to shoot photos that should capture fast movement, that is where you will be a bit disappointed, as they often come out a bit blurry, and it will probably take a couple of tries in order to capture a photo that you will be able to use.
OS and Features
TouchWiz that Samsung is so eagerly trying to push on all of their devices is still far from being good. The software has had obvious issues since it was launched and it seems that the company is not in a hurry to resolve these issues that are very annoying at times. However, once you get used to it you will cease to notice those annoyances. The TouchWiz is improved over the one we’ve seen on the Galaxy S5, but some apps follow the new TouchWiz design and the others follow the old design, which can be a huge mess at times. Multitasking does the job it was intended for, and the split-screen function really works well on the new Note 4.
The S-Pen works well (as expected since it is a feature that is unique to the Galaxy Note series). The only annoying thing is that you can’t tap the home button with it, as it does not respond to tapping; you need to do it with your finger. If you want to write longer notes, you will need to flip your phone in order to get a zoomed in space to write on, therefore having more space to write on, as your handwriting will automatically be smaller. There is a neat new feature that is called “Action Memo” which finally lets you save your notes on the home screen as a widget, which has a preview on your note. It is a really good feature for creating a one page long shopping lists, or simply using the feature or a reminder of important tasks that you mustn’t forget.
There is not really much to say about the battery since even Samsung has stated that it will last roughly the same like the battery features in the Galaxy Note 3, and that is true. The large screen drains battery really fast (maybe even faster than on the Note 3, since the screen on the Note 4 has a higher display resolution). It is expected of you to have a charger ready if you are leaving your home for a longer period of time, and if you are planning to use the phone a lot during that time. Demanding apps (especially demanding video games) can drain the battery in just a few hours, so it will require some management from the user’s end in order to get the most out of it.
The camera has definitely been improved, especially when it comes to how the colors look on the screen. However, the 3 MP upgrade is not enough for you to notice a significant difference between the Galaxy Note 4 and its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3. When it comes to the OS and features, Samsung has once again under-delivered with the TouchWiz UI, but if you are already used to it, then you will probably not notice the flaws of this user interface. The S-Pen works as intended and the Action Memo addition that the users have been asking for a long time is really nice, and works exactly as the users wanted. Overall, the Note 4 is an upgrade over the last year’s model, but not a significant one. You should pick it up though, especially if you can trade in your old Note 3 and save some money since it is very likely that it will be one of the first devices that will receive the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade.
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