Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Review




The one downfall to having the biggest and brightest screen on the market is that it takes a lot of energy to power and illuminate the darn thing. The 3220 mAh battery sounds humongous, but that’s the same size as the Note 3 and it’s got a lot more pixels to push. Based on my limited testing the Galaxy Note 4 gets comparable battery life to its predecessor. It’s doesn’t seem better, it doesn’t seem worse, it seems on par- but Samsung has sweetened the pot to improve the overall battery experience dramatically.

My favorite new feature? Fast charging.

Fast Charging

According to Samsung, new battery and charging technology leveraged in the Note 4 allows for a “Fast Charging” feature when using the proper connection. With a completely dead phone and 0% battery life, they claimed you could plug it in with Fast Charging and reach 50% battery in 30 minutes. Fast Charing, where have you been all my life?

Interestingly enough, it didn’t take long before I was put in this exact position: a last minute ticket opportunity for the Orioles Playoff game came up and after purchasing a ticket, I had only 30 minutes to leave my house. And the Galaxy Note 4 was at 0% … alright, Fast Charging, let’s see what you got.

Adaptive fast charging requires an AFC or Quick Charge 2.0 compatible charger to work and supports Samsung Fast Charge charging and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge solution. Fear not: as long as you don’t buy your Note 4 on the black market, a compatible fast charger will come in the box.

Power Saving Modes

Once again following suit ofthe Galaxy S5, the Galaxy Note 4 has two specific features to help you conserve battery life: Power Saving Mode and Ultra Power Saving Mode: don’t underestimate their capabilities.


Power Saving mode will immediately shut off access to all non-essential connectivity tools like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and background services while allowing you to customize how severe the restrictions go. You should consider using Power Saving Mode regularly whenever you know you won’t be using your phone for an extended period of time. Ultra power saving mode is the Macho Man Randy Savage of power saving modes: it’s extreme. Once you’re in this bad boy you can only do the most basic of things. On the upside, though, your battery could last days in this mode. Definitely handy for extenuating circumstances.

Lastly, make sure you’ve quick access to the most important battery intensive settings and toggle them off manually when you’re not using them. Samsung’s custom notification and settings drawer is one of the best in the business, so use it wisely. Keep your Wi-Fi, Location, Bluetooth, NFC, and all that jazz off when not in use. It will go a long way.

Next: Conclusion

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

You can now pre-order the Sony Xperia Z3 from T-Mobile, free copy of DRIVECLUB for the PS4 included

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  1. Why does it suck?

  2. Great article. I can’t wait to get mine!

  3. We added pagination to this review in hopes it would load quicker and people could more easily find specific content of interest. For folks who tend to read the full review to the bottom every time it may or not be preferred.

    Hoping to get your feedback!

    1. Pagination is fine as long as there is a “Whole article on single page” button too!

      1. Fair point. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

        1. Hi Rob, Can you switch to ART and check whether the UI lag is gone? I am getting mine tomorrow.

      2. I agree. I don’t mind pagination as long as there is the option to load all at once.

    2. Great review with much depth!

    3. I like the page format also.

  4. Come on Verizon….release this beast already!!!!!

    1. Come on. move away from Verizon

      1. unlimited data. It’s like being Siamese twins with a vampire

  5. two…… more…… days…..

  6. nice review, rob. i’ve got mine pre-ordered on Verizon, so i should be getting it next week. nexus 6 was never on my mind since i assumed it wasn’t coming to verizon, but now that it is, and it’s official, i realized it’s literally just another BIG phone like the iphone 6+ that has absolutley no “phablet” features like the Note does…so i don’t regret ordering my Note 4 off contract!

  7. Nice review. Did you score it lower than the Moto X only because of touchwiz?

  8. I received my T-Mobile Note 4 on Monday. To be honest, the phone is a Laggy mess and is not fluid at all. Maybe the m8 that I’m coming from Spoiled me but I don’t remember my note 3 being this bad.

    I was really hoping I could avoid rooting and putting a different Rom on it but unless tmobile releases an update that addresses my issues I’m going to have to. It’s driving me nuts. Not to mention the battery life is terrible.

    1. Well maybe you have a bad unit because mine us fluid not in stutter anywhere. My battery life is amazing right now 5 hrs screen time and still have 33%.

      1. Really? Some of my apps such as Tapatalk are like watching sideshows. I’ve been averaging about 3 hours of screen on time. I wonder if I was to do a factory reset if it would help?

        1. A factory reset is a good idea if you just got it and it doesn’t feel like it’s running good. Usually a good idea while it’s still new too before you load up so your stuf .

        2. That’s the first thing I did when I got it Monday.

        3. Please report back and let us know if this helps you at all!

          For me, “Briefing” was by FAR the worst with lag and it was virtually unusable. Everything else was pretty good – not the zippiest in the world but good – and then every once in awhile you’d get a noticeable stutter.

          That doesn’t bother me, though… even my brand new Macbook Pro gets tripped up, needs to be rebooted, Chrome freezes, etc… for some reason people hold phones to a much higher standard and they’ve got a harder job!

        4. No! You shouldn’t have to do a factory reset on a brand new device. Take it back and get a new one while it is still early. You obviously got a bad batch.

    2. Can you disable some apps that you dont use and change it to ART from Dalvik.

      From what i have seen with S5, changing it to ART greatly increases UI and app responsiveness and lag is really gone!

      I expect good things to come from Android 5.0

    3. Interesting. First time I heard it a bad battery. Everyone else claims to be impressed with it. You either have a dud, bad luck, or a combination of both.

  9. That seagull video SUCKS!!!

    1. I can’t figure out why… try changing the YouTube resolution I think it’s defaulting to 240p for some reason. It looks pretty good on my phone and when I moved it to my desktop and I uploaded it directly to YouTube so I’m not sure what’s up with that.

      1. I tried changing it in the YouTube app on my Nexus 7… It appeared set for 720p already but no way that’s 720p, lol! I played over Chromecast and ewww! Lol!

        1. Speaking of that video and maybe it’s only me, but I was impressed on how it zoomed so quickly and still stayed in focus.

    2. It rocks actually. I watched the video 1080p on my Note 3 and the quality is pretty solid, especially considering its a 8x digital zoom.

  10. the speaker p lacement is the biggest Fail of the entire phone. I have the note 3 and it is the reason I won’t be getting the note 4.people don’t watch videos with a phone lying flat. They also don’t always have what would necessarily be considered a hard surface that would reflect and amplify the sound properly. Then there is the waste of battery that is required to push out a louder sound to compensate for the idiotic rear placement.
    BTW – nice review

  11. Nexus 6 for me but I love this note 4!

  12. I’m struggling between the Note 4 and the Nexus 6. If money was not an issue, which one would you buy?

    1. I dunno man. That depends on what you really care about. For some people, stock Android is the end-all-be-all. For me, I’ve had my Note II since it first came out, and I ran with CM and CarbonROM for a long time, but I also spend a lot of time on Touchwiz and MIUI. What’s important is picking the phone that suits you best. Do you want the S Pen and some cool Samsung stuff on your phone (plus some bloat)? Note 4. Do you just want a pure Google experience with no need to fuss around with your phone? Nexus 6. Me, personally, I love to tinker and love the Note line, so I went with the Note 4.

    2. if money was an issue…and you don’t require so much features and good with performance than i would have said Nexys 6, but as it is not…i will say Note 4…go for Note 4, as it has Spen, heart rate & Uv sensor and a better camera…..as you will have something extra to play with.
      and also it supports 4 sd and removable battery.

      you can always customize UI with various tools and app.

  13. So they got rid of the USB 3.0 plug at the bottom too? I must be in the 12 since I will miss that since it is a lot more sturdy while connected to a charger especially in a car

  14. Note 4 comes with a plethora of features, those who like to play with features apart from raw power and performance, this will be definitely the best smart option 4 them.

    1. Note 4 is awesome mobile with superb features. You can check more features at Samsung India sites


  15. Very good review,. It is fair and balanced in that it provides the good and the bad. And not for nothing but so far it is the only review that goes in-depth with the S-Pen and its features. Other reviewers seem to skimp over the S-Pen and continue to compare it to other devices like the iPhones, Nexus etc. When in reality just on the S-Pen alone, there is nothing out there that can come even close to justify a comparison.
    The review is also the only one that even mentions (at least in a list) that the Note 4 has Hancom Office. That software alone is far superior than any other office compatible software. It’s like MS Office for Android (if such a beast existed).
    I do agree with your assessment about the speaker and the S-Pen. To me it seems there is space to place the speaker in the front of the device either 2 on the top and 2 on the bottom for quad sound instead of that 1 rear facing one. The S-pen would have been nice if they made that metal as well.
    One thing that was not touch upon was that the rear camera protrudes from the device, thus leading it to get scratched unless one puts on a case. Make in version 5 they will get these things updated.
    TS out

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