Samsung “Unpacked” so much stuff today I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll do other posts about the other stuff, so for this one I guess I’ll start with the new Note. Rather, new “Notes” since they slipped in another version of the Note 4 in their presentation.
The Galaxy Note 4 is an iterative upgrade to the Note 3, meaning that if you have a Note 3, there probably isn’t much here that will move you to upgrade early. That’s not to say that there isn’t a lot here to be excited about:
- The screen size is the same, but the resolution and color reproduction has been improved. For those of you who care about numbers, the screen is now quad-HD (2560 X 1440), which means very sharp, very vivid images.
- They improved both the front and the rear camera. The rear camera is now 16 megapixels and has image stabilization, which definitely helps when you don’t have the steadiest of hands when you’re taking photos. The front camera is higher resolution now, has better low-light capabilities and it has a wider viewing angle so you can really do those “selfies” justice.
- They improved the battery. It’s now a tad bigger (3220 mAh), and you can now charge it from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes. Yeah … 30 minutes. It also has the battery saving technology that they talked about with the Galaxy S5
- They’ve tweaked the software, and you can do some REALLY cool things with the S-Pen. Multitasking is a lot easier to do, for instance. It’s the same software as the S5, but with Note-centered enhancements.
- It doesn’t look a LOT different from the Note 3. They’re practically the same size. If you sit them side by side, you’ll be able to tell the difference, but you’d have to know what you’re looking for. The 4 is squarer, and it has metal edges and a soft-touch back instead of the plastic leather madness. It also has the heart-rate sensor on the back and the finger scanner on the Home button like the S5.
If they’d stopped there, everyone would say “Oh, nice upgrade”. But then they pulled out the Galaxy Note Edge. I don’t even know where to start. So take the Note 4, and on the side of the screen, curve it down so that it has an “edge” to it.
This screen is COMPLETELY independent of the main screen, so on the curved screen you can have things like notifications, the controls to your music and video player, a stock ticker, alarm clock, camera controls … it’s an entirely new type of interface. I think this one is going to be a sleeper hit, and will be the one that’s going to be hard to find. It’s such a novel idea, and the uses for it seem limitless. The big question is will the application developer community do things with it. There are enough Samsung core apps that can take advantage of it, you’ll probably not care that much.
I have a Note, and I love it. It’s the perfect size for me (some may find it too large, which is fair), and the S-Pen functionality is an added bonus. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but both should be available this October.