Preview: First-Look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Note Edge

My favourite multi-tasking phablet which is true to its name,  gets a new iteration & this time it has two versions. Is it better? Is it a worthy upgrade?...Here is the Good, the Bad & the Ugly about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 & Note 4 Edge.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4:

The phone has a metal chassis continued from the earlier Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Its not a full metal unibody. It has the same faux-leather patterned high quality plastic back cover similar to the previous Note 3, but the stitch pattern has been removed. Personally I used to like the stitch pattern. The front glass cover seems to have a smooth well finished look.
The design is neither ground breaking or awe inspiring, but it certainly looks a bit more premium than the Galaxy S series phones. 
Samsung is releasing the phone in 4 colours Frost White, Charcoal Black, Bronze Gold & Blossom Pink.

A 5.7" QHD (2560 x1440) Super AMOLED display as Samsung mentioned is not a first QHD display out there. But, it is indeed the first Super AMOLED QHD screen on a mobile phone & the AMOLED screens on the Samsung phones are known for vivid colours & over-saturation of the colours. But, then again as far as I am concerned this particular 'issue' makes the screen look even more beautiful along with the deep blacks on AMOLED. Now, this is my personal opinion & Samsung has been working on the techniques to reduce the saturation such as Adobe RGB. But, that's a topic for another discussion.

User Interface & Features:
The phone runs the Android 4.4 (kitkat) out of the box which has the now all too familiar Touchwiz UI. There is the multi window experience now further enhanced with a discrete window effect added to the already present split window usability, much like we are used to in Windows PCs. There is a fingerprint reader integration which is similar in implementation to the one by iPhones. There is also a heart rate monitor on the backside of the phone under the camera which is used for keeping track of your heartbeats. But, these gimmicky features apart the S-pen is a whole game on its own & that's why I would not mind giving it a sub-category of its own.

S-pen & its Features:

S-pen always has been one of the best and practical accessory and feature of the Galaxy Note Series. But, this time round I think they have improved them even better with some awesomely useful features on a day to day basis. The notable additions and the most usable ones are:
  • Smart Select - A feature which lets you select anything from text to photos & include the links to the respective apps or create a selection of data or just simply share what was selected using the S-pen.
  • Photo Note - As the name suggests makes a note of the photos that you click converting the analogue to digital. But, that is not all, it allows you to edit the note and add your own inputs to it.
  • Advanced S-pen - The pen like feel to the S-pen is further enhanced with the enhanced pressure sensitivity & this should mean cleaner notes(at least for them who in regular pen and paper have a decent handwriting :P)
Camera & Gallery:
The 16 MP snapper comes with OIS and would be a great help for a phone of this size for the clicks it takes. A 3.7MP front-facing F1.9 lens means better pics in low light scenarios.
There is also a live HDR mode which helps in better quality HDR pics.
The front camera now also has a Panorama mode which allows you to fit in more people into a selfie possibly, but  I think its a gimmick as most selfies are about the clicked moment. But, I am no selfie expert to know how that would turn out to.
The Gallery is similar to what we have seen on the galaxy S5 and there are no surprises there.

Sound & Music Player:
There is nothing much said about the sound quality improvements on the Note 4 and hence we will have to wait till I review it.

Battery Life:
The battery of 3220 mAh with a Fast charging option which promises 30% faster charging (0-50% charge in 30 minutes is what is promised) means that the phone would spend less time at the docking station. Also Samsung has introduced the Ultra Power Saving Mode which proves to be helpful in those situations when you wont be able to get to a power dock and want to still use that phone. 
The real world results are yet to be seen.

A 2.7GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 805 /1.9GHz Octa Core Exynos 5433 (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad Core) Processor with a 3GB RAM seems like a combination that can outclass one and all in any category of phones & it certainly might. 
The synthetic benchmarks & real world performance will be given out once we have the full review.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge:

There is very little that sets the Galaxy Note Edge from its sibling other than the obvious curved edge display and its features.

Curved Edge Display:

The curved edge display is a totally new concept to enter the mobile communication arena. We have seen various companies show concept designs,but this the real product.
What Samsung has done with this is basically set a separate always on screen with even a separate SDK running the whole thing. It is shown as highly customisable panels which can show you information from weather to stocks to sports team updates to regularly used apps to simply time.
In my opinion the curved screen is at the moment not the best bet by Samsung at the moment and it stands as a more of a show-off device released by them presently.

If you want a powerful phone which can make notes a breeze & sharing articles/pics or anything at all an enjoyable and easy experience and you don't require a full blown tablet or computer to do that then look no further than this at the moment (this may cost as much as a computer...:P). If you are a person who complaints about his/her 5 inch phone saying its too big, then look away now, this isn't for you.


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