Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 boasts top-end specifications making it one of the more powerful devices out there. We have already looked at the specifications and features that the flagship phablet offers. But the device is not about the top-of-the-line specs, and the software too plays an important role. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy F12 budget phone gets discounted, now available under Rs 10,000
The Galaxy Note 4 runs on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and is soon expected to be upgraded to Android Lollipop as well. The operating system is wrapped under Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, which was first introduced on the Samsung Galaxy S5 earlier this year. This iteration of the TouchWiz UI sports a flat design language that is the trend among companies these days, and comes preloaded with a number of S apps out of the box. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 in pictures: A fancy 5G phone
One of the first things you will notice is the Galaxy Note 4’s display. The 5.7-inch screen boasts a QHD (2560×1440 pixels) resolution and a pixel density of a whopping 515ppi. In comparison the phablet’s rivals like the iPhone 6 Plus boasts a display with a pixel density of 401ppi. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 4 too has a Super AMOLED screen, but it too has seen an improvement. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G review: Looks fancy, runs fast but too pricey
One of the talking points on the phablet however is the much-improved S Pen stylus. The stylus now has much better pressure sensitivity for greater accuracy. It can now recognize 2,048 different pressure levels, which is nearly double its predecessor. As mentioned before, this translates into greater accuracy.
Along with the improvements in the S Pen, Samsung has also improved the software for the stylus. The Air Command interface has been improved and has four different features — Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clipper, and Screen Write.
The Action Memo quickly pops up a notepad on screen for when you need to quickly jot something down. Smart Select lets you select a part of the screen, which can then be saved and shared with your friends. The Image Clipper lets you draw any shape to select a part of the screen, and then save the image and share it with others. The last feature called Screen Write essentially takes a screenshot of the current screen and lets you scribble on the image. Again you will be able to save the image and share it with others.
Samsung’s cameras too have been improved. There is a 16-megapixel camera at the back, and a 3.7-megapixel snapper up front. The rear camera includes features like dual shot, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, panorama, HDR, and the ability to record videos at 2160p@30fps, and 1080p@60fps. The rear snapper also includes what Samsung calls the “Smart Optical Image Stabilizer.” This feature essentially counter-balances camera shake for clearer photos, and when the lighting is not optimal, it automatically extends exposure time to compensate.
As for selfie lovers, the front camera should offer plenty of options. The ‘Selfie angle’ on the phablet has been bumped up to 90 degrees, and there is also a wide selfie mode with a 120 degree viewing angle that lets you include just about everyone you want your group selfie. To make it simpler to click a selfie, you can either use the fingerprint scanner on the front, or the heartbeat sensor at the back as the shutter button.
As far as the UI is concerned, the look and feel is quite similar to what you get with the Galaxy S5. But what separates it from the Galaxy S5 are the bunch of features that enhance user experience and productivity. For many, using a big phone may be an issue, but Samsung has included a one-handed mode, which shrinks the homescreen making it easy to use with one hand.
Multi-tasking too has been improved on the Galaxy Note 4, which now offers a PC-like experience. So essentially different windows can be minimized, and they appear as small icons. You will be able to change the size and positioning of apps on the screen to make full use of the large display.
There is also an improved S Note app, which turns your phablet into a notebook of sorts. You can choose from around 18 templates and use the stylus to write. Additionally, there is a feature called the photo note camera. This lets you click a photo of any text, which is then converted into digital text that can be edited as well.
Samsung’s S Voice has been improved as well. There is an option to let the feature constantly listen to your voice, and the moment you give the command it will wake up. You can use the feature to perform different tasks including calling, texting, playing music, and opening an app, among others.
As we have said before, Samsung has also improved the voice recording functionality on the Galaxy Note 4. It now has three microphones (one on the front, and two at the bottom), and there are now two modes of voice recording — Meeting and Interview. In the first mode, you can tag up to eight people according to their direction, and selective playback lets you listen to a particular person’s voice in a group conversation. In the Interview mode you can suppress all ambient noise and only focus on the subject of the interview.
There is a heart rate monitor placed at the back, just below the rear camera. As the name suggests the feature can tell you your heart rate when you place your finger on the scanner. Samsung has also added an app called S Health, which essentially stores your health-related information. So the calories burnt, steps taken, kilometers cycled among others will be saved on the app. In addition to the heart rate monitor, there is also a fingerprint scanner integrated into the home button. Besides unlocking the phone, the scanner can also be used to sign in to particular websites, verifying Samsung accounts when purchasing content from Samsung’s services, and also link it to your PayPal account to make payments quickly without having to enter details every time you purchase something.