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Note 4, or not Note 4... That is the question??

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rushmore, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I have my preorder for Best Buy for the Note 4, but still debating the pros and cons IMO.

    The main pro frankly is the display and a gpu that actually was designed to support it (unlike the G3) and replaceable battery always a plus and prefer capacitive buttons.

    The potential cons though:

    1. Epic bloat (Samsung and VZW are sick twins for bloat fetish)
    2. Radio signal (Verizon network and Samsung devices always seem weak)
    3. Size. Still prefer easier one hand use.
    4. Sound output from the jack. Reviews so far show less than half the output of iPhone 6 and one third less than the G3 (G3 is similar to the S4). I will test this out today at Best Buy. I brought an OTG adapter and some tunes on a thumbdrive :)

    A dark horse though has entered the race with Sony Z3V that has prose and cons.


    1. Easier one hand use
    2. External sd slot
    3. Better sound from jack and speakers than N4
    4. Better camera
    5. Water proof
    6. Good quality 1080p display with top of all device battery life


    1. Sony update intervals make Samsung seem like Google Nexus
    2. Fixed battery
    3. No capacitive buttons, but the immersion mode app in Playstore apparently hides the nav bar for all apps and no root needed.

    Depending on the weight of the different points, seem I could argue either of the devices to be the next purchase.

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  2. bonerp

    bonerp Android Expert

    I had this dilema with the OPO which replaced my note 3. Immediately I saw the screen was less sensitive, although there is a fix out this week for that so waiting to see what that looks like. I've been impressed with cyanogen. Hugely.

    I'm hoping the QHD doesnt result in lag which I've seen in the tab s. Its like the processor isn't quick enough to render the images for some reason...

    However its stunning, its new and I'm a gadget freak, I also like the s pen and quick charge, and the improved camera....

    saying that I've also today preordered the edge (although still not sold on that as will be restricted to Samsungs launcher so may cancel this).

    This week also ordered the Asus Zen Watch...
  3. g8orballboy

    g8orballboy Lurker

    Found a good review comparing the Note 4 and Sony Z3:

    go to phonearena website and look at the note 4 vs sony z3 comparison review. I'd post a link but i'm too new and they won't let me yet :p

    I wouldn't jump the gun thinking the sony z3 has a better camera. More megapixel's does NOT equal better camera. At least to me the comparison pictures give the edge to the note (and its not that close imo). But I'd go check for yourself on page 3 of the review.
  4. g8orballboy

    g8orballboy Lurker

  5. KupKrazy

    KupKrazy Android Enthusiast

    I don't think the Z3 and the Note 4 is even comparable. It seems to me like the Z3 is more along the Galaxy S line rather than the Note. The Z3 to me is not a phablet which the Note 4 obviously is. I guess the comparison is being made because they are the most current flagships?

    The two most obvious things are a pro or a con depending on which side you are looking from: The screen size (5.2 vs 5.7) and the Stylus (Yes/No).

    I feel like the Z3 should be compared to the 4.7-5.2 inch category, I think.
  6. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Hence my point. To phablet, or not to phablet. That and my concerns noted. Weak audio out would be a killer for me, but will test that today.
  7. bigbuc

    bigbuc Lurker

    The bigger the better. Though the n4 is no bigger than n3. So I think I'm going to stick.
  8. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Well-Known Member

    I have been a Note 3 user for the past year and at this point I have become so attached to having the S-Pen that it always tips the scale in favor of the Note when I think about switching to some of the other new phones that I am interested in. I get so much use out of S-Note that I can't give it up. Touch Wiz is ugly, but I usually load a different launcher and it solves most of my issues with TW.

    Is the S-Pen a pro for you or a moot point?

    As for the Sony, I like to be towards the front of what is going on with phone tech too much to consider getting a Sony phone right now. We'll all be getting ready for Android-M by the time the Z3V gets L.
  9. lrgdna

    lrgdna Lurker

    I've been having the same debate. I love my note 3 so I'm leaning towards the note 4 but I love the waterproofing on the z3v. Then there is also the nexus 6 to think about which is very comparable to the note 4 due to size. I'll wait to see what other details come out about the n6 before making a final decision.

    One other aspect I haven't seen mentioned is the Gear VR accessory that will use the note 4. I'm not a big gamer or anything but the oculus rift has always fascinated me but I'm not sure I would spend the money on it or invest in such a sytem. The Gear VR will supposedly be less than 200 and you will need a note 4 to use it. That really intrigues me and leaves me leaning to the note 4 even more.
  10. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I rarely use the pen on my Note 2014, so probably would not use the N4 pen much either. Note sure at any rate.
  11. thirstypirate

    thirstypirate Well-Known Member

    That defiantly makes your decision harder than mine. I love the screen, the processor, the gpu, the VR support, and many other things, but at the end of the day "I Note" because of all the things I do with the S-Pen. I feel like there are sacrifices that I make to have that functionality, like Touch Wiz, but it's worth it for the way I use the Note. Writing things down works for me.
  12. bonerp

    bonerp Android Expert

    The vr is one reason I decided on the n4 after initially saying it wasn't enough to change up from a note 3.
  13. Teegunn

    Teegunn Android Expert

    The VR is something that intrigues me also. I think I will get it once it is released as long as it is around the $200 price tag as reported.

    As far as the S Pen - I never use it. Non factor to me, but I think overall for some it definitely separates the Note line as an advantage.

    Overall, far more good than bad is coming out about the N4, from the battery life, awesome display, improved camera, etc that I will be upgrading. I will probably wait to see when others get it in hand (hopefully early to late next week) and see how hard it is to root, and what positives and negatives emerge that we don't know about yet. I doubt there will be enough unknown negatives at this point to keep me from upgrading.
  14. g8orballboy

    g8orballboy Lurker

    Gear VR is the sole reason I'm leaving the iphone. This is my first android device. I have the first dev kit of the oculus rift and I'm a huge supporter of VR (it's going to change the world, mark my word) when gear VR was announced, I decided to look into the Note 4 since I was due for an upgrade. iOS has gotten a bit stale and after playing with the Note 4 at the AT&T store, I do not regret my preorder. I'm very excited for the switch to android and the release of Gear VR.
  15. James Kirk

    James Kirk Lurker

    Please let us know rushmore about your audio experience. I especially want to know what differences you can notice between the Note 3 vs. Note 4 speaker wise. :)
  16. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Not been able to go to BB yet to test. GSMarena rated the actual quality to be very good. That at least is better than them rating it very bad ;)

    Will probably be Monday now when I go.

    Added: If sound output is not low, I will probably get the N4. The only resistance now is "start from scratch and waste four hours" apathy. My S4 32GB locked up a few weeks ago and had to start from scratch then. Total time to download all apps, set up, emulators etc. Probably closer to five hours. Perhaps a few short attention span moments in the interim...

    That was the first time having a problem with the S4 and had since launch. It is rooted, but only to freeze bloat. Still proudly on 4.3, since IMO that is still the most stable OS Android has had to date.
  17. LaTuFu

    LaTuFu Android Expert

    I've been comfortable running pure stock Samsung TouchWiz for a while. I rooted to get around it back on the S1, and loaded different launchers on my S2. I have simply put up with it with my S4, and I haven't had any issues to speak of. You can now lock down bloatware without needing to root, for the most part, which is all I ever cared to use root functionality for.

    I need my phone to be stable, reliable for calls, emails, browsing on the go, and accessing our customer database, so I retired from rooting a few phones ago.

    I also use Evernote quite a bit for job scopes, etc. I'm hopeful that I can take advantage of the S-Pen with Evernote somehow.

    I'm planning to upgrade when it is released on US Cellular.
  18. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    Sony are actually pretty good with updates for their high-end devices. My Z (over 18mths old now) has just received its 4.4.4 update, the last of the Z-series to do so.

    Within hours of Google's official Lollypop announcement, Sony had pledged its commitment to bringing it to all Z-series devices, smartphones and tablet. The Z3s will be first in line naturally, sometime in Q1 of 2015.
  19. donmeca2020

    donmeca2020 Well-Known Member

    Just got mine today, i was previously using a galaxy s3. BIG difference. i'm loving the note 4. the screen colors are rich, the sound is alot better. everything is good on this phone.

    i was affraid it was going to be too big to use or put in a pocket... its fine to me. im happy with my purchase.
  20. stevehoffman

    stevehoffman Well-Known Member

    As to audio coming from the N4's speakers, I think the Phandroid review makes it pretty clear, that's no problem. The only issue is whether the audio coming from the earphone (miniplug) jack is OK or not. I am very interested to find out what user "rushmore" finds out when he finally checks it out at Best Buy.

    Here's quote from the "official" Phandroid review about the N4 speaker (he does not address the earphone jack audio):

    "[T]he speaker has moved from the bottom of the Note 3 to the back of the Note 4. This may seem like a step in the wrong direction, but a tiny bump on the speaker grill creates the smallest of gaps when laid flat, allowing audio to escape and vibrate. The sound on the Note 4 is loud and full enough to make it a non-factor ... ."
  21. johnnieeve

    johnnieeve Newbie

    I'm all in with upgrading my N2 to the N4. 5.7" screen is good, but I'd like 5.9. Bigger screen is good for my tired eyes. S pen is important to me, I use it every time I get on the phone. Going back to my Palm Treo 600, I've never had a waterproof issue with any device. Samsung has indicated an early upgrade to Android L. When this happens I believe the N4 will be about as close to a laptop replacement as we've seen.
  22. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I posted a thread about the low volume out from the headphone jack. The low output is real and correlates with the Phonearena analysis. The audio jack output is only 40% of the iPhone and 60% of the G3. That is low and sadly fits my testing. I used the stock app and increased the EQ settings to no avail. The sound is very good, but too low. That was with 16 ohm buds that are the lowest ohms for buds. Anything higher will be even weaker volume.

    Hoping Poweramp can override the weak audio and gain of the stock apps. The other option is to wait for root if that does not work.

    I need root regardless since have a LOT of apps that use content on the sd card so need to be able to write to the card. No root to enable sd writes, no Note 4 purchase by me, regardless of the $200 deal.

    Root tends to lag with Verizon devices and it is more sensitive now, so no luxury of waiting months like with the S4. We did not have to wait for root to enable card writes until Kitkat.

    Lollipop MIGHT have card writes, but not anywhere near certain. We would be lucky to see Lollipop in early spring. I am not waiting six months to use my favorite media apps and my game emulators. That assumes Lollipop even keeps the function in the first place. Anybody else notice still no sd slots in the Nexus devices? That to me is not a good sign they have changed their mind about sd and are now embracing it.

    I will take the S4 or even a Note 3 ANY DAY over the Note 4 with no card writes. Hopefully there is a minor tech miracle and root is obtained within a few days of release next week...... Yeah right ;)

    Added: Getting the feeling the VZW Note 4 will be hard to root and drag on.
  23. KupKrazy

    KupKrazy Android Enthusiast

    Can you let me know how you tested and with what type of audio you are testing with? I also posted in a thread that my own results were different and since I do own all three phones, I'd like to duplicate what you did to see if I can get the same.

    I tested it with 18 ohm earphones, 22 ohm headphones, and a 73 ohm headphones. I used Poweramp and the stock player and found that the G3 was the worst of the lot with the iPhone 6 being the strongest. However at 18 or 22 ohms, the audio was really loud enough to be ear piercing when set to the red zone of the volume meter on the Note 4. I really don't have any experience with it being too low at all - certainly no where for this to be a concern at this range.

    Indeed at 73 ohms it's more noticeably lower, but the result was even lower output for the G3. In no instance was the G3 ever louder than the Note 4 in my testing.
  24. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    Simple test. Used the stock app with my 16 ohm Vibe Metals and 18 ohm Klipsch buds. Boosted the EQ settings up and had the stock app at 13 (about 90%). Same result with both BB units. Did the same with the G3 and i6. The results correlated with Phonearena's analysis. The N4 was significantly lower.

    No harm no foul if no root, I am not bothering with the N4. Need the card writes for my other apps and content.

    Upade: From what I have read about the kernel version on the VZW version, N4 will take a while to root if ever. I will pass on the N4 rather than wait six months for Lollipop and assuming card writes are even in the release.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 release date was October 2014. Features and Specs include a 5.7" inch screen, 16MP camera, 3GB RAM, Snapdragon 805 processor, and 3220mAh battery.

October 2014
Release Date

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