Welcome to the fast-charging world of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Being the proud possessor of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which has made it possible for me to play Angry Birds on a really big screen anywhere I go (yay!) and to stay in constant touch with my office (well), when our publication got the chance to try out the next generation of the same smart phone it made sense that I try it out.
What made even more sense was to share the assessment duties with my son Tim, a college student who loves all things electronic.
While Tim waxed poetic about 3GB RAM and 32GB of memory and that the "5.7 inch screen looks sharp and vibrant with 2,560 x 1.440 resolution..." I sidestepped the specifics to state at the screen which looked really clear with beautiful, sharp colors -- as good or better than HD TV.
Comparing the two phones: my Note 3 is black, the Note 4 is white, but you get to pick the color. They're both about the same size - the one I own is encased in a protector to help keep it safe and unbroken because of the usual sadness that can occur in life with cellphones. I highly recommend making that addition. Accessorize.
The biggest difference both of us saw in the Note 4 from the Note 3 is that the latter charges really fast. From next to nothing it can reach 50 percent within 30 minutes.
The Note 4 has optimal image stabilization -- very helpful when you're shooting video.
About the only drawback we found was that the sound was slightly tinny when watching videos. The photos it takes are excellent - so are the ones on the Note 3. The camera faces both forward and back if you want to do something other than take photos of yourself.
Using Verizon as our carrier we had no problem with calls and the speakerphone works well.
If you like using the S Pen, the setup here is good and very responsive.
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We played around with the S Health app with includes a sensor for heart rate and readings on things like UV radiation. Pretty fun and great for someone who likes checking on himself a lot.
The writing function where you can make handwritten notes to yourself is easy to operate. Again, that's on the Note 3.
The battery lasts all day and then some with normal amounts of web surfing, video watching and listing to music while connected to WiFi.
As we packed up the Note 4 to send it back to Samsung after its tryout, we agreed: If you already have a Samsung Note 3, we don't recommend buying the Note 4 unless you've got money to spare and always want to have the latest. But if you're a couple steps away from something like this, this is a very good smart phone to have on your person.