Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone is here and it goes on sale today in the Indian market at a price-tag of INR 58,300. I spent some time with the Note 4 at the recently-held India launch event to find whether the phone is worthy of this hefty price-tag.
As soon as you lift the Galaxy Note 4, you realize that the phone is quite different from the previous-generation Note smartphones. With Galaxy Alpha, Samsung had finally moved towards metal and the same design language has been used in the Note 4. The new Note smartphone still includes a plastic back with soft-rubberized coating and glass on the front, the sides and the overall frame of the smartphone are now made from reinforced aluminum. All this adds up to a totally new experience.
The Galaxy Note 4 looks and feels far better than Note 3 or Note 2 smartphones. It is solid, sturdy and sharp but without any concern for weight. Despite the included metal frame, the smartphone is just 8 grams heavier than Galaxy Note 3.
Time and again, Samsung has proven that it really knows how to make great smartphone displays and Note 4’s 5.7-inch Quad-HD Super AMOLED panel is a proof of it. The display looks amazing and thanks to 519PPI, it is now humanly impossible to distinguish individual pixels. What’s even better that Samsung claims this super high-resolution display doesn’t take a toll on the battery of the phone and in fact the overall battery performance is said to better than Note 3. The company’s Ultra Power Saving mode on Note 4 is another advantage for crunch situations.
India is getting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805-variant of the Galaxy Note 4 and the processor is a performance-powerhouse. During my brief usage, I found the Note 4 to be an excellent performer. It is smooth, snappy and quick in everything that you throw at it. The on-board 3GB of RAM certainly helps in the performance and so does the presence of Android 4.4.4 KitKat.
Although Samsung has been cutting back on software enhancements, there are still plenty of stuff on the Note 4, most of which is unlikely to be used by the regular consumers. The company has made several improvements on the multi-window as well as S-Pen front but they require users to remember a lot of stuff and aren’t necessarily easy to use.
On the imaging front, the smartphone packs a 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization as well as a 3.7MP front shooter. Couple of images that it took from the phone’s rear camera at the launch event were good but cameras will need more testing before I can say anything concrete on the imaging performance.
Overall, Samsung has really come up with a great smartphone with good looks, great display, and amazing performance but the main issue lies with the pricing, which is just too much. With other Quad-HD display smartphones selling for far less, it is hard to suggest Note 4 at this point (unless you have plenty of cash to spare). It is very likely that the phone will see a price-correction in the coming weeks, after which, it should finally become a phone worth spending the money.