Personal review of Galaxy Note 4

    Hello, my name is Murat and I am smartphone dependent.
    * chorus * "Hello, Murat."

    Everywhere and at any time I have a smartphone with me. It’s not that my work or personal life depends on his close proximity, but this device greatly facilitates both of these aspects.

    To date, my companion is Galaxy Note 4 (hereinafter referred to as the “apparatus”) from the Korean manufacturer Samsung. Further, purely personal impressions will come not only from the possession of this unit, but also the user cases that accompany me and this smartphone every day.

    The description will be in simple human language, avoiding technical terms whenever possible.



    Almost all devices are very similar now. Let me explain, people usually use only the front side and the keys along the edges of the device. This means that people do not see anything except the glass screen at the time of using the smartphone. In this regard, Note 4 is simply a large black screen (until the display is activated).

    Many will say that color, ruffles, the presence / absence of distracting inscriptions on the front are important. For me - people don’t see them as soon as they start working with the device.

    Want to see the design? Then you need to turn the devices in your hands, which means that you stop using it and begin to admire it.
    There is something to admire. If you start to twist Note 4 in your hands, then immediately catches the eye a metal frame throughout the device. This is not just a response to the annual “Samsung plastic again / slippery remnant / I even have a hundred years more metal in my Nokia!” And similar remarks. Here the frame still plays a reinforcing role. Having dropped the device, there is a small possibility that he will survive this fall.

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    And yes, the frame does not bend! But, with an effort, you can scratch, chip. I imperceptibly and suddenly formed a dent, but the frame structure did not lose.

    The frame is additionally coated with paint, the color depends on the color of the device. On white - the frame is covered in white, on black - black, on gold - green (in fact, of course not).

    The back cover of the device is plastic, made "under the skin." The Koreans showed such work with plastic even with Note 3. I can not say that even the company's refrigerators can boast of this bun. REFRIGERATORS, Karl! It is possible that such "skin" plastic is used by the company somewhere else.


    The first and main application of this device is an electronic book. Moreover, the inscription “Note” in the title directly indicates this. Who is not in the know, this smartphone comes with the S Pen.

    For work, quite often you have to jot down something: tasks, a plan for the day, notes, remarks, telephones, names and addresses, etc., etc. Before the appearance of this apparatus, the good old notebook and pen were used. By occupation, notebooks ran out fairly quickly, ink pens were exhausted. Therefore, the decision to purchase it Note was conscious - an electronic notebook with a pen. Moreover, before that (not directly BEFORE him, but in the past) I already had experience using this line of smartphones - Note, Note II, Note 3.

    Work has become easier. All notes are divided into 2 types - fast (action memo) and normal (notes).

    My quick notes usually contain various snapshots. On a smartphone, they are stored in one container and can only be sorted by date and background color.

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    Regular records may already contain a name, geo, time, tag. Each such record is kept as a separate notebook with its cover, page template (blank, daily routine, lines, cells and top like templates that can be expanded additionally by downloading from a shared repository in the cloud), the number of pages. In such electronic notebooks, I lead individual projects.

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    In the notebook for the project, you can enter both the drawn text from the pen, and the electronic one printed on the on-screen keyboard. They may contain pictures, photos, audio recordings and more. You can keep various graphs and charts.

    All notes are synchronized with your Evernote account, so any entry can be accessed from your computer. Another thing is that you can edit them only on your smartphone.

    Thanks to the set for drawing, you can even try your luck at writing some kind of masterpiece. For those for whom this set is not enough - you can already download semi-professional and professional applications. Together with the pen you can get great results.

    A lot of functions are tied to a pen in the device. In order to familiarize yourself with the main ones, simply remove the pen from the slot, as the contextual radial menu opens with a choice of actions with the pen. I don’t use all these functions, because I need a pen for a specific purpose - keeping records, so without any extra reason the pen does not leave its convenient hole.

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    It is fortunate that a fingerprint scanner was built into this device - you need to protect your notes, and indeed private information in general. They write that Samsung uses a very inconvenient scanner in comparison with Apple Cupertin's, where just a finger is enough to read the fingerprint. In Note 4 (as well as in S5), to read the fingerprint, you need to swipe the Home button with your finger (it is the only button on the front of the device). I did not compare the work of these two systems, but I can say that this function works perfectly in the device, if properly configured. Android 5.0 introduced the Smart Lock function, when the device does not block under certain conditions, such as connecting to bluetooth, being in a trusted zone (work / home).

    I have a bracelet constantly hanging on my arm connected to the device, so the device is always unlocked next to me. As soon as the connection with the bracelet is lost, the smartphone immediately activates a fingerprint lock. The same situation is configured with a trusted zone at home. And it is very convenient. I'm glad that the Koreans did not cut this function from the firmware, as they do with many functions presented in the android. Tachvizyat, in other words.


    To create and consume content on the device, you need a good screen. Here he is gorgeous. I am not an ardent specialist in this field and have not taken any measurements with a colorimeter, but the screen is very, very suitable for recording, watching videos and text. There will be too many diagonals of a 5.7 ”screen, for sure there will be those who lack such a diagonal. But the fact is that it is very convenient to work with such a screen size. After all, it is precisely for this need that the Galaxy series devices are taken. Those who justify his purchase with a desire to draw and develop in this direction, in my opinion, should take a bigger screen - tablets for this purpose are just that. Even better, of course, canvas, brush and watercolor, but this is the lyrics.

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    I am one of those who in no way justifies the appearance of a 2K screen in Note 4. 1080p was enough even on Note 3 with the same screen size. The manufacturer’s 2K screen is justified by the supposedly better readability of the text in the browser, a clearer picture as a whole. But I don’t see the difference with 1080p, well, no.

    The viewing angles do not interest me, since I always use the device perpendicular to the look - I look at the screen at a right angle, but in fairness it should be noted that the angles are in order.

    Color reproduction can be adjusted for yourself. There are color profiles that suit any user. Fortunately, the SuperAMOLED screen has something to do with it.


    Great, fast and versatile camera. 16 megapixels, instant HDR for photos and videos. Photos with sufficient lighting are excellent. On the smartphone screen, which, again, is excellent, the received images look bright, juicy, high-quality. With video - the same situation. With insufficient lighting, the picture is already completely different, but better than, say, in 2012 and earlier. I do not use additional settings when shooting, i.e. I don’t change ISO, white balance and other levers, I just don’t turn off the Auto + HDR mode and I’m more than happy with this state of things. An exception can be called cases when you want to play around with the settings, but such Wishlist appear rarely.
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    There is a lack of a separate button for launching the camera, for example, on Sony / Nokia devices, but this is a disaster for almost all other manufacturers and there is no getting around it. They entered the Galaxy S6 interestingly - by double-clicking on the Home button, the camera starts. If you are lucky, then this, undoubtedly, convenient bun will be delivered in future firmware for Note 4.

    In general, I think that the camera race in flagships for quality has long ended. Now the emphasis is on the rivulets in the interface, additional buns in the form of slow motion, shooting with the ability to change focus and other, usually unnecessary, joys. Honestly, the HTC camera interface is better and more convenient (compared with HTC One M8). Everything is convenient, fast and affordable. In the Note 4 camera, for additional shooting modes, you must download the module for the camera from your own application store.


    Then her right over the edge. I do not play on phones, do not drive and do not measure results in benchmarks. The range of applications I use is limited to office recruitment plus social networks. Surely, if I install some particularly demanding new toys, they will work without problems.
    A rather interesting situation came up with the name of the processor model - Exynos 7433, 8 cores: 4 super fast to handle complex tasks and 4 weak ones for simple calculations. At the presentation and until the release, this processor was referred to as Exynos 5433, the company's fifth-generation processor. Then the company somehow quietly changed his number from 5 to 7, so that a more solid Exynos 7433 came out. Why? Only Koreans understand.

    The processor described by me is delivered precisely in the country where I bought it - Kazakhstan. A model with a similar processor is supplied to Russia and other countries.

    There is a variation with the processor on the Snapdragon 805, it has some kind of pumped LTE mode, it is higher in category. This processor, unlike the 910C (Exynos, 8 cores), is a 4-core.

    In practice, the Exynos model also has LTE support, but we have practically nowhere to use it. But I purchased a SIM card of the local only provider that provides mobile Internet using this technology. Speed, I tell you, is just gorgeous. It’s not always possible to get such speeds at home on the wired Internet. What limited me to switching to an operator was an inconvenient tariff, even a very inconvenient one. Let me have a leaky and barely working 3G, but the communication tariff suits me better.

    In order not to poke my fingers, I do not specifically call operators. Surely 4G (LTE) in Russia is better and more widespread, plus it is flavored with good support of mobile tariffs from operators. We, Kazakhstanis, still have to live and live.

    Prior to the introduction of the country, MNP decided to pamper itself with the real mobile Internet. I installed an LTE-compatible SIM card of the operator and turned on call forwarding of all calls from the old number. Mobile life has changed.


    I admit that all the android devices that I had before were always flashed with custom firmware (SM, AOKP and the like), customized by official ones. I always finished them for my needs, gave them an appearance that would suit me - there is an esthete in me regarding the design of the workspace in electronic counterparts.

    Perhaps due to age or simple ordinary human laziness, I stopped doing this. My previous device was HTC One M8 and there, after considerable experimentation with flashing everything and everything, I returned the official stock firmware and did not even set the root / custom recovery rights. I just used it as it is and everything, the benefit of the interface and the overall operation of the smartphone firmware did not have a change in this situation.

    After the acquisition of Note 4, my first thought after turning it on was to put the root as soon as possible, remove ALL the garbage that Samsung clogs its smartphones with, change the little things here and there, and even just change the color scheme, which, by default, is simple Well, very scary, and indeed very strange. Let me explain, the screen here is made using SuperAMOLED technology, i.e. when displaying a picture with more black, less battery power is consumed. On a habr even saw an article where this effect was proved. Save up to 30%, proof - .

    At Samsung, knowing their own technology, they deliberately outline the design themes of their smartphones, precisely with the AMOLED screen, so bright that it completely kills the whole logic of installing AMOLED technology displays. Where is the logic? All menus are white, regular applications also use white to the maximum. The settings screen is generally a white background with text and icons on it.

    This situation is on both Android 4.4 and Android 5.0 in the Samsung version. The only explanation I can see is Google’s demand, but have the Koreans ever taken into account the corporation’s opinion of goodness regarding design? Google Nexus is an exception.

    As expected, not only I think so, but also users of the XDA Forums resource, on which various firmware, themes, modifications for various devices of many manufacturers are regularly uploaded. Almost any jamb of the manufacturer is decided by the enthusiasts of this resource, by making changes to the system files. I met the resource back in 2010, when I purchased my first android smartphone.


    An additional reason for the demolition of the official firmware / amendments to it was the very weak energy efficiency of the device. I only have enough charge for a day of use, much more often - even less. On this occasion, I even contacted a service center, but there, after a couple of days of tests, the problem was not confirmed. The explanation in my case is a poor cellular connection that pulls juice out of the battery. My operator, as they explained to me, really badly optimized the network, there is no such problem with other operators. Of course, I decided to check it, and, lo and behold, this turned out to be true, though not so obvious. Transferring a network from 3G to 2G gives an increase in battery life in idle time of about 50%. Those. About 3-4% of the battery is consumed per night, with wifi turned off, data transfer. With 3G (or automatic selection of the network mode), about 10-15% will fly away.

    Poor optimization of the modem in the device is also possible. I am not the first and not the only one who has encountered such a problem, there is still a debate in the well-known in the energy consumption branch about who managed to squeeze more hours of battery life out of them.

    Basically, they all end when people show their usage scenario. Someone completely disables the entire Internet-social part of the smartphone, making it just a big dialer with a beautiful screen. Someone on the contrary, leaves almost every function turned on and puts up with the device from morning to evening. Others simply remove unnecessary applications by customizing the firmware of the device for themselves. I'm one of those. But in my case, this does not quite help, because The device I mainly serves for work on the World Wide Web, so the device lives only one daylight hours. In the morning I removed it from charging, at night I put it on charging from 10-15% again.

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    Certainly, an extremely high screen resolution of 2K also affects the device’s operating time.

    The firmware has an energy saving function. The frequency of the processor is limited, the brightness of the backlight, the vibration is turned off. If necessary, you can also translate ALL the image drawn by the device into the style of shades of gray. Even videos and photos will become gray. The bad news is that this does not help to keep the charge. You simply will not see a significant increase.

    The same applies to the extreme energy saving mode, when the device turns into a touch grandmother. The set of available applications is limited, the image turns gray. The device joyfully reports that in this mode it will work another day, two, a week. But no.
    Perhaps, in the inconspicuous operation of these two modes, the aforementioned modem optimization affects. The estimated rainbow hours until the device is completely turned off do not take into account the voracity of the networks of mobile operators.

    Note 4 has a quick charge function, when the battery can be half charged in 30 minutes - fast charging. It works only with a standard charger. When this charge is working, some kind of magic happens with the supply of electricity to the device - the voltage jumps, if I understand correctly.

    And if you believe people who are thinking about this, then it is better to turn off such a function right away in the device itself - it affects the battery life very much.

    General impressions

    Galaxy Note 4 will last my regular smartphone for a long time (an exception, if in Note 5 they show something, well, quite useful, convenient, practical). The smartphone is simply stuffed to the eyeballs with numerous functions that I use every day. I remove even more of these functions or simply do not use them as unnecessary.

    I do not see any competitors at the device on the market yet and I want the Koreans not to rest on their laurels and constantly improve the devices of this line, presenting these improvements not only with new devices, but also add great ideas by updating the firmware to models already existing on the market. The hardware capabilities of modern flagships of the company abound.

    Advantages of the device:
    - Luxurious screen
    - Stylus pen
    - Fingerprint scanner
    - Camera
    - Performance
    - Design

    - Shell
    - Battery

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