Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935) has recently released its latest phablet in the shape of the Galaxy Note 4, and it goes without saying that it wants as many people as possible to purchase this device, and ideally upgrade from the existing Galaxy Note 3. Many Samsung fans will of course take this option, but it doesn’t always make sense to opt for the latest mobile release. The Galaxy Note 3 is still a pretty nifty phablet, and it’s well worth considering how it matches up to the Galaxy Note 4 before jumping into purchasing the newer model of the series.

Galaxy Note 4 vs. Galaxy Note 3 - Is It Worth Upgrading?

Galaxy Note 4 Versus Galaxy Note 3

Design

Samsung has had to ride out a fair bit of criticism with regard to the design quality of its devices. Many critics and consumers alike have asserted that products produced by Samsung do not feel premium in terms of their design parameters. Certainly there is a plasticky feel to the Galaxy Note series that Samsung attempted to address with the Galaxy Note 4.

So this is one of the primary arguments for upgrading to the newer model. Samsung has utilized a much more metal-centric design for the Galaxy Note 4, and almost everyone that has experienced it comes to the conclusion that it is a significant improvement over its predecessor. Samsung has also reduced bezel size in the Galaxy Note 4, and there is no doubt it’s a better looking phablet than its earlier iteration.

Hardware

Technology moves on pretty quickly, and some of the functionality included in the Galaxy Note 3 is now looking a little dated. It also lacks some of the recent innovations included in the Galaxy Note 4, most notably the heart rate sensor and fingerprint scanner. Whether you really deem this to be sufficient for an upgrade is based on personal preference, but what can be said with certainty is that the Galaxy Note 4 is a more secure device than the previous model in the series.

S Pen

The Galaxy Note 4 has always been noted for its S Pen stylus, which is pretty much unique in the mobile marketplace. This was a prominent feature of the Galaxy Note 3, but the new model of the Note series purports to significantly improve functionality related to it. For example, sensitivity has been significantly increased in the S Pen included with the Galaxy Note 4, with the Note 4 able to sense 2,048 levels of pressure as opposed to 1,024 in the Note 3. This does make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the S Pen, and provide users with further food for thought regarding an upgrade.

Display

Samsung is renowned for the quality of its displays, and this is typically a primary motivation to purchase any Samsung mobile device in the first place. The Galaxy Note 3 screen was well received when the device was released, but the Galaxy Note 4 significantly improves on even this lauded quality. While the Galaxy Note 4 featured a 5.7-inch 1,920 x ,1080 pixel Super AMOLED screen, the Galaxy Note 4 ups the ante even further.

Although the Galaxy Note 4 does not have a larger display, its resolution is significantly increased over its predecessor, with the phablet featuring a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel Super AMOLED display. Most people believe that this is the best mass-market screen in any mobile device, and this is arguably the most compelling reason for upgrading to the Galaxy Note 4.

Processor

The Galaxy Note 3 comes with an Exynos Octa 5420 or Snapdragon 800 processor depending on which part of the world it is purchased. Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy Note 4 makes a significant improvement on this device, with its Exynos 5433 or Snapdragon 805 processor.

The one thing that can be said to be a bit of a disappointment with the Galaxy Note 4 is that it doesn’t embrace 64-bit processing, at least in the Snapdragon version that is largely available in Western markets. This is very surprising given the fact that Android Lollipop will support 64-bit devices, so perhaps the additional power of the Galaxy Note 4 cannot really be said to be a huge selling point here. Certainly the Galaxy Note 3 still performs capably, and unless you are absolutely desperate for a bit more processing power there is no particular reason to upgrade here.

Camera

Samsung has recently placed a significant amount of stock in the cameras it places in its mobile devices, and the Galaxy Note 4 is no exception to that rule. Given that the Galaxy Note series is not particularly associated with photography, the quality of the lens in the Galaxy Note 4 is certainly impressive.

While the Galaxy Note 3 comprised a 13-megapixel sensor with LED flash, its successor comes armed with a 16-megapixel Sony sensor with optical image stabilization and LED flash. Many people have asserted that the camera in the Galaxy Note 4 actually outperforms its cousin the Galaxy S5, which is certainly a ringing endorsement of the phablet given that such functionality is more typically associated with smartphones.

The question of whether you upgrade on this basis will depend on the amount of photo taking that you do, but the camera in the Galaxy Note 4 certainly stands up strongly against any phablet in the world.

Software

The new version of Android makes significant improvements to power saving functionality, and is also a little lighter on bloatware than previous iterations of the operating system. It also provides new notification features and generally is an improvement over the Android user interface included in the Galaxy Note 3.

Conclusion

The Galaxy Note 4 is a significant improvement over the Galaxy Note 3. This will be immediately apparent as soon as one picks up the device, as its appearance is far superior to its average looking predecessor. While it doesn’t exactly blow the Galaxy Note 3 away in terms of performance, there are plenty of improvements and enough extra functionality to make upgrading extremely worthwhile for the majority of users.