The world’s most successful phablet is about to hit the market (although Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might have a little to say about that status with the forthcoming iPhone 6). The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a hotly anticipated device, but the Korean manufacturer will have lots to do if it is to improve upon the very warmly received Galaxy Note 3. So what changes, new features and upgrades can we expect to see in this very high profile device? Here is a rundown of what we know about the Galaxy Note 4 thus far.
Galaxy Note 4 vs. Galaxy Note 3
As handsets go, the Galaxy Note 3 was actually pretty bulky, weighing in at 168g. However, it would appear based on leaked images of the forthcoming Galaxy Note 4 that the physical design of the device will remain pretty similar. It is notable that all ports and buttons are in similar positions on the Galaxy Note 4 as with the previous handset, so it is reasonable to assume that the phablet will ultimately be of similar dimensions and weight to its predecessor.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 came with a 5.7-inch display, and featured a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. Although the Super AMOLED touchscreen was highly praised at the time, technology moves pretty quickly in the mobile sector and now other mobiles are available with significantly superior resolutions and more pixels-per-inch.
In terms of the Galaxy Note 4, it is strongly expected that this new phablet will feature a Quad HD Super AMOLED panel. Quad HD comes with four times more pixels than a 720p HD display and is the next step up from full HD with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. However, sources differ over the actual size of the display, with some suggesting it will be the same size as the Galaxy Note 3, while others assert that it will be trimmed slightly to 5.5-inches, which would make it the same size as the LG G3.
Samsung has traditionally been praised for the quality of cameras that it has included in its devices, and therefore the snapper built in the Galaxy Note 4 will be important for the reception and perception of the device. The Galaxy Note 3 featured a 13MP rear-facing camera, and recent reports have indicated that Samsung will beef up this element of the Galaxy Note 4.
Thus, purchases of the Galaxy Note 4 can expect the device to feature a 16MP rear-facing camera. To bring the handset in line with the iPhone range, optical image stabilization will be included, and leaks suggest that the camera will also feature a dual-LED flash. The camera will also unable video to be captured in 2160p at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps, and security features will be handled by a 2MP front facing camera.
Rather than an entirely new version of Android, it is thought that the Galaxy Note 4 will feature an updated version of the operating system, namely Android 4.4.3 KitKat. The handset will also be armed with a new version of TouchWiz. At the time of writing there are lots of rumors about new S-Pen features, but there is no solid information regarding this. A heart rate sensor is also expected, which would be similar to that included in the Samsung Galaxy S5.
It is unlikely that the Galaxy Note 4 will offer an upgrade over its predecessor in this department. Thus, we can expect the Galaxy Note 4 to retail in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB versions. However, micro-SD storage will be improved to 128 GB.
The battery performance of the Galaxy Note 3 was pretty good, so there may not be huge upgrades in this department. However, rumors indicated that the Galaxy Note 4 could include an Ultra Power Saver Mode, which would significantly improve battery performance; again, this was a feature debuted in the Samsung Galaxy S5.
It is reasonable to assume that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will cost no less than the Galaxy Note 3 retail at when it was released, and may indeed cost slightly more. The Galaxy Note 3 came in at a price range of around $700-$800 on most carriers, and we may see the Galaxy Note 4 lunch at similar price points. However, subsidies may be available for contract users who go with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.
The Galaxy Note 4 is likely to be a significance improvement on the Galaxy Note 3 in some areas; most notably its display. Consumers can expect improved imaging from the handset in particular, and the camera to be of higher quality. Additionally, there are some notable software enhancements planned, and micro-SD storage will also be improved. Battery life is also likely to be better than the Galaxy Note 3, and the Galaxy Note 4 should be a pretty nifty device based on the current rumors when it finally sees its September release.