It was a given that Samsung was going to announce the Galaxy Note 4 at its Unpacked event, which kicked off the IFA tradeshow, as the Galaxy maker has used the Berlin event to debut the previous three Note devices. But Samsung two-upped itself by announcing not only a new pen-enabled smartphone, but a curved alternative as well, the Galaxy Note Edge.
The Note 4
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 seems an incremental update to the Note 3, at least at a glance. The latest Note has the now-familiar faux-leather back panel common to Samsung’s flagship devices, and a similar metal edge, which also resembles the new Galaxy Alpha.
The specs have seen a more substantial boost than the appearance would suggest, with the 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display now sporting a 2560 x 1440 resolution for a whopping 518 pixels per inch, up from 288. Samsung also boosted the camera specs, adding 16-megapixel rear and 3.7-megapixel front shooters. New features include an enhanced optical image stabilization, improved light sensitivity, and selfie features for capturing 90-degree and 120-degree group shots.
Samsung also paid attention to the battery, adding a user-replaceable 3320 mAh battery, which isn’t much bigger than the battery in the Note 3. However, Samsung boosted the power savings, meaning the Note 4 should last as long as its predecessor, despite having a higher pixel density on its display. In addition, Samsung promises the Note 4 will be able to charge up to 50% in just 30 minutes.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will feature either a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor or a 1.9 GHz octa-core processor, depending on the carrier and country. It will have 32 GB of internal memory, microSD card slot that supports up to 64 GB, and 3 GB of RAM. Those specs make it one of the most powerful smartphones on the market at launch.
Connectivity options include LTE and just about every other common cellular band, 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1, IR, among many others. Interestingly, the Note 4 has a miniUSB 2.0 input, which is a downgrade from the miniUSB 3.0 featured on the Note 3 and Galaxy S5.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will ship with Android 4.4, and support many of the same features found on previous Galaxy smartphones, including Air Command, S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen Input, and Multi Window. The Galaxy Note 4 also has a fingerprint scanner and voice recording mode with directional voice tagging and a selective playback capabilities for isolating voices in group conversations.
The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in “Charcoal Black,” “Frost White,” “Bronze Gold,” and “Blossom Pink” this October. It’s expected to come to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular.
Galaxy Note Edge
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a unique take on the phablet, as it is mostly copies the specs of the Note 4, but adds a curved display that wraps around the right edge of the device. The curve actually saps a tenth of an inch off the display, leaving 5.6-inches of main screen real estate.
The curved edge is essentially a separate display that function to deliver alerts, including Tweets, sports scores, headlines, and stock prices. Users can swipe through them with the flick of a finger. The edge also doubles as an app tray for favorite and commonly-used apps.
The Galaxy Note Edge will ship in “Charcoal Black” and “Frost White.” It should come to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon “this fall,” according to Samsung.