SValue for money:
Also consider: amsung birthed the phablet (too big to be a phone, too small to be a tablet) market with the f i rst Note device in 2011. Despite much ridicule, the Note has been a niche success. Its latest version is bigger than ever and our review unit sports a white ‘ leather’ back that resembles styrofoam. It’s a bulky, ugly monstrosity of a gadget. And I love it.
Despite its large size, thanks to a massive 5.7” screen, the Note 4 is surprisingly comfortable to hold and use – even with one hand. Once you’ve made the finger adjustments necessary for phones larger than 4” you’re in compensation territory anyway, and the Note 4’s slim body makes handling quite doable even if it still takes up more space in a pocket than most people will be comfortable omfortable with.
Samsung still has no class when it comes to industrial design. sign. The Note 4 feels plasticky and thee plastic leather back is horrendous – probably the worst piece of plastic ever attached to circuitry. However, the company has cleaned up its act on the software front.
Whereas previous revious Gala x y dev i ces presented an abomination of Android, cluttered up with bloatware and Samsung’s Touchwiz ouchwiz (the name is your f irstrst clue) user interface, the Note 4 is refreshingly different. Much of the bloatware is still there, but it isn’t in your face and the interface has been tidied up quite a bit. I’d still prefer to use the standard, outof-the box Android interface you get from Google, but I’m actually okay with Samsung’s interpretation thereof.
The other thing that sets the Note 4 apart is its stylus, which Samsung calls the ‘S Pen’ and can be used for interaction instead of your fingers. The S Pen has always been one of the most sensitive and accurate styli available for mobile devices and on the Note 4 it’s better than ever. Samsung also includes its Pen.Up! app for sharing art you’ve created on the Note with other users and it’s amazing to see what is possible with this device.
The S Note software has also been improved and syncs with popular cloud service Evernote. With S Pen in hand, this makes the Note 4 a productivity powerhouse, especially for creative professionals. You can take pictures and doodle on them, attach notes to PDFs, sign documents or just about any other purpose you could imagine for a digital pen.
Battery life is also remarkably good on the Note 4, but the caveat here is that it takes very long to charge when using standard power sources like your laptop’s USB ports. Samsung includes a “rapid charger” in the box, and you’ll want this close at hand for charging the Note 4 – without it, it will take the better part of an afternoon to charge up.
As a sum of its parts, the Note 4 is a terrible proposition. But as a whole this is one of the best Android phones I’ve used. I generally don’t like oversized screens, but the Note 4 pulls it off commendably. The S Pen is a welcome addition and the whole experience of using the device is pleasant. This may also just be testament to how far Android has come since its nasty, fragmented early days, but there’s probably more to it than that. The Note 4 has a cult following and I’m starting to understand why.