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General Note 4 Review: FWIW

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rushmore, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
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    Build = A

    No gap issue and nice solid feel (for plastic). Feels better in the hand than the Note 3 and iPhone Plus to me.

    Display = A+

    Drop dead sexy. It truly makes the G3 display seem second tier and also better than the Plus. I still would have preferred the tech improvements leveraged for a kick a$$ amazing 1080p, since even better performance and battery life. None the less it is sweet enough to cause cavities.

    Touch response is great too.

    Sound = B/A

    Speaker is okay and seems no better or worse than the S4 or Note 3 to me.

    Audio jack has lower volume output when using the stock app and this was also pointed out by Phonearena with lab results. Using Poweramp though corrects this and the sound quality is fantastic. Listening to Cake right now :)

    Performance = A

    Smooth experience and again makes the G3 seem second tier. My 3D heavy games are smooth and emulators are over 10% faster than the S4. MAME is still slower than the A7 on the Air, but the 64bit design affords more calculations per clock. The 810 next year should ROCK in this respect.

    Heat = A

    Device stays cooler than my S4. The N4 does get very warm when using data in weak signal areas, but that is a tech constraint rather than the device. All current phones get real wam/hot pulling data in low signal areas- iPhone included.

    Signal reception = A/B

    Call/text range is great, but the data range seems equal to the S4 and N3 (pre Kitkat signal killer for N3). IMO the reception is not the best, but not in any stretch bad. I am happy with it. The N4 could actually be a tad better than the S4, but going by a typical 1 dBm point difference seems silly.

    Battery life = A

    Battery lasts as long as my S4 with a 5200 MAH battery. Impressive IMO. Again the killer is if pulling data in low signal areas. This is a common issue for all current phones. The G3 for comparison has a display that uses about twice the power as the N4, so has a double whammy for low signal areas.

    Wifi = A

    Not having the stability issues some have mentioned in some forums. Range seems the usual Samsung good range.

    Wiz = A-

    I know some will shun me for this, but Wiz is not the burden it was on the N3 or S4 to me. I turn off all bling anyway and disable animations, etc in dev settings when using any Android device. I do not feel compelled to go to Nova as I have with all previous "Nova era" devices. Wiz used to suck, but now it is fine IMO.

    Camera = A-

    Just a zoom lens away and better low light from making a stand alone camera pointless for me. If low light photos were better it would be an A.

    Overall = A This device rocks some serious hard.

    What I would like to see with the "Note 5".

    1. Stereo speakers on front. Based on the tear down, there IS room for this.

    2. 810 or a 64 bit Ex chip. Seems obvious this will happen.

    3. Leave the display ALONE! This is high enough res. I am seeing rumors the S6 will be 4K.... Why?!? Complete silly spec racing at the expense of mobile/device practicality IMO. Some of these companies need to put a big foot up their marketing teams butt and tell them to shut the heck up on spec racing.

    4. 64 GB option actually offered to consumers and keep the sd slot of course.

    5. A dev screen option for card writes with disclaimer for use- if Android weasels out with Android L in allowing the option. It is in the test builds, but the Nexus devices still have no sd slot. Not trusting Android team as far as I can throw them with this.

    Added:

    I got this case due to nice compromise for protection / form factor and the holster, since I find the size too big for keeping in a pocket. Would rather not carry a purse either ;)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MAWRX0Q/

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G7URWR6/

    The combo works great and cost was less than $20. I also have a screen protector of course.
     

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  2. Risley

    Risley Well-Known Member
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    I agree with everything you said...
     
  3. question729

    question729 Android Enthusiast
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    If that's the case, all that needs to be done is order the thing...
     
  4. hoghunter1

    hoghunter1 Newbie
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    I sprung for the N4...coming from the N3, this thing rocks! Not crazy about the rear speakers but not a deal breaker. I have been on this since 5:00 am listening to insert radio, facebook, taking a few pics, lot of phone calls, etc...still at 68% battery. No dropped calls like the N3. Me likey!!
     
  5. Risley

    Risley Well-Known Member
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    Yea but the rear speaker on N4 is actually louder and clearer than the N3 ever was, I have both and have compared the two side by side. Big difference...N4 is better. Having said this.....its still not the best speakerphone on the market.
     
  6. treb1797

    treb1797 Extreme Android User
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    As always rushmore well done :thumbup:
     
  7. mrt19872

    mrt19872 Newbie
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    He nailed the bit about using dev options and turning off that animation crap, it is amazing how much it slows down the rotation speed\browser in general and just "mucks" up everything.

    Also yeah apparently the 6-Plus does boost a better speaker (like way better) which is I am stunned Samsung didn't upgrade. I'm used to the Note 2 and now Note 4, so yeah I can't compare and my buddy does not get his 6 Plus until the 20th of Nov.

    Will be interesting! I thought my Note 4 was slow at first until I disabled all the things Rushmore did though, talk about now a lightning fast phone.
     
  8. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
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    Just a follow-up to the mini review.

    1. This is the first phone that has had a reverse-pixie dust effect for me. Usually I like a device better the first few days and find it not as good later. Opposite in this case since actually like it even better now. I did not expect this.

    2. Speed is great. I turned off the air view and other bling since do not use it and disabled apps I will not use in the app options.

    3. Battery life remains very good- as long as not trying to use data in weak reception areas. This is same issue with all current devices due to the technology.

    4. Radio reception is actually a little better than the the S4, since picks up 4G in places the S4 would go to 3G. Also little to no 3G/4G bouncing in weak threshold areas.

    5. The display is like fine wine and gets better in impression the more use of the device.

    6. Still find the stock audio app worthless due to the weak audio out from the 3.5mm jack. I prefer Poweramp anyways, since has amp and gain increase options and a better overall app experience.

    7. The thinny case and holster combo works great for less than $20. I really like the case since does not make an already relatively huge device even more huge.

    8. Have gotten used to operating the device with one hand for calls and texts by using the one hand input mode. I have average size hands. That said, I would not attempt much one hand use unless sitting down. Using one handed while standing just adds to the chance of dropping / damaging the device.

    9. The device does not get "hot", but again can get fairly warm pulling data in weak reception areas.

    10. Call/text range has been great.

    11. Wifi is very robust and very good range.

    12. Though I like the fast charging, I have turned it off and will only use if I need a fast charge. Battery capacitance tends to erode more quickly with fast charging over time.

    13. I notice that if using data there is for sure a net negative charge when pulling from a USB source, but a net positive if using a wall charger- fast charge or not.

    14. Still using Wiz. It is fine IMO and no lag or other issues I have had in the past that compelled me to Nova.

    This puppy is a keeper :)
     
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  9. Bobbman

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    Hi Rushmore....I have been reading and learning from your forum talk for years, thank for the great reviews! How do you find the Note 4 camera in all conditions? Low light etc.. Also if you have used any other phone camera to compare it to. Jut wanted to get your professional thoughts. Thanks.
     
  10. hoghunter1

    hoghunter1 Newbie
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    You have nailed it exactly...my note 3 is gone!
     
  11. rushmore

    rushmore Extreme Android User
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    Great picks in mid to high lighting and decent pics in low light. As others have noted and reviews as well, the N4 takes better pics than the i6 in mid to high lighting, but not as good in low light.

    Since most pics tend to be taken in mid to high lighting, seems the N4 is the better camera option as far as comparison :)

    I used the N600/900, various iPhones, S4/5, N3, G3, DNA and stand-alones for comparison. Low light pics are not bad with the N4, but not as good as the i6.

    Overall, the N4 has IMO the best camera of any device I have used to date. Not used the newer Nokia devices though.

    If you do not mind a larger device, the N4 is IMO the best current device option :)
     
  12. Ken7

    Ken7 Android Expert
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    I just bought the Note 4 a couple of days ago. I generally agree with Rushmore's assessment, but will add the following:

    * I shoot 4K video and the camera in the Note 4 is just amazing. I am coming from the S5 which had no image stabilization in 4K, making the video nearly useless. The Note 4's OIS really does the job!

    * I am finding that reception is somewhat worse than my S5. I just swapped my SIM card back & forth to get comparable readings. Where my S5 was getting 93dbm/47asu, my Note 4 is getting 98dbm/44asu. If I hold both phones in a different area that's somewhat weaker, but the same area for both, I'll get 98dbm/42asu for the S5 and 105dbm/35asu for the Note 4.
    The reason I was getting a bit concerned, was we had just been in a Petsmart and I noticed I could not get a signal when I took the Note out of my pocket. Once I had it out it got a marginal signal, but I still wasn't getting reliable data. My wife's IPhone 5 was getting a decent, but not great signal. So I'll need to keep an eye on that and hopefully it won't be an issue. Of course I wonder if the metal perimeter is hampering reception at all.

    Otherwise the Note 4 is just awesome, without question the best smartphone I've ever owned. I'd be curious to hear from others that might also have been coming from an S5.
     
  13. Ken7

    Ken7 Android Expert
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    Just an update on my signal strength issue. I went over to an AT&T store where I compared my signal strength to their 2 demo Note 4s. My signal strength was exactly (within 1asu up or down depending on the moment) from their. So that made me feel better that there wasn't anything specific to my unit. It also was very close to other models that were no display.

    So I have no idea why, in some weaker signal areas, the Note 4 is outperformed by my Galaxy S5. I will say that the radio in the S5 has probably been the best radio I've dealt with in the many Samsungs I've owned. Given the other great aspects of the Note 4, I can live with it.
     
  14. DILands

    DILands Android Expert
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    Rushmore - you are killing me. I LOVE your reviews and your objectivity.

    Coming from an HTC One - M8. My problem is I'm used to Boomsound (and "yes" I DO actually use it.I've got about a month to go - and then I can upgrade 2x within 12 months. The "trade-off" or the "win" for the N4 maybe the camera. And I know that the comparison would be the same whether is was the M8, or the N6. Going into 2015 - and still knowing that there's no perfect device for me. BAH!!!

    Sound = B/A

    Speaker is okay and seems no better or worse than the S4 or Note 3 to me.

    Audio jack has lower volume output when using the stock app and this was also pointed out by Phonearena with lab results. Using Poweramp though corrects this and the sound quality is fantastic. Listening to Cake right now :)
    [/QUOTE]
     

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launched in 2014 as the company's flagship phablet. It has a 5.7-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 3GB of RAM, and an impressive 16 megapixel camera.

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