You probably spend more time with your smartphone than anyone else. So what do you do when your significant other is being difficult? Don’t tear your hair out in frustration. Arguments and shouting will get you nowhere. If you’ve run into some Galaxy Note 4 problems, don’t worry. It will be okay. We can work it out. Now take a deep breath and see if you can find a fix to smooth things over right here.
Updated on 5-20-2015 by Simon Hill: Added solution to battery life and new problems on camera autofocus, text messages disappearing, contacts stopping, and GPS losing fix.
First problem: There’s a gap between the screen and the body
Problem: Gap between screen and body
A bunch of reports sprang up shortly after the Note 4 release in South Korea complaining about a gap all around the screen. There are photos and videos of people sticking business cards into the gap between screen and body, both at the top and sides of the Note 4. Quickly dubbed Gapgate, it seems Samsung was aware of the issue as the user manual states “A small gap appears around the outside of the device. This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur. Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly.”
“The reported issue does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note 4,” an official Samsung spokesperson told TrustedReviews. “We assure our customers that all Galaxy Note 4 units meet our strict manufacturing and quality control standards.”
There’s a good chance that you wouldn’t notice the gap unless it was pointed out. Since this was publicized a lot of people have shown off similar gaps on the other smartphones. Some Note 4’s may be worse than others. All you can really do is ignore it, or return your Note 4 if you’re unhappy.
Next problem: ‘OK Google’ doesn’t work
Glitch: ‘OK Google’ doesn’t work
A few people have been reporting issues getting the voice command “OK Google” to work correctly every time. For some people, it worked fine when initially set up, but then stopped working after a couple of days, other report that the “Always on” function that allows you to use the command when the screen is off, doesn’t work properly.
They shouldn’t be incompatible, but some people have had success here by turning off Voice wake-up in the Settings menu of S Voice. Others report the opposite (that S Voice must be on for “OK Google” to work).
Make sure that Settings > Language and input > Voice search > “Ok Google” Detection is set to Always on. Try restarting your Note 4.
If you’re still having the problem there’s a good chance that a specific app is causing it. You could check your apps one-by-one. Start with wearable apps, anything that accesses the notifications. Alternately you could do a factory reset and selectively re-install until you find the culprit.
Next problem: Phone keeps randomly restarting
Problem: Galaxy Note 4 randomly restarts
A few people have encountered the dreaded random reboot issue with their Note 4 handset. The phone will simply restart itself at random intervals with no obvious cause.
If you’re using a Micro SD card in your Note 4, then that’s the first thing to check. Remove the card from your phone and test to see if the random reboots still occur. If the reboots have stopped then back up the data from the card on your computer and try reformatting it on the Note 4 via Settings > Storage > Format SD card.
You could try a factory reset. Make sure you have all your data backed up. Go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device > Erase everything.
Contact your retailer, carrier, or Samsung and arrange a return and replacement.
Next problem: The Menu key is missing
Annoyance: The Menu key is missing
If you’re updating from another Samsung device to the Note 4 then you might be annoyed by the lack of a Menu key. The key to the left of the Home button is now Recent apps in line with the rest of the Android world.
Most developers have updated their apps to include a menu option as a software button. It’s usually an icon of three dots; you may have to swipe to reveal it.
For older apps that haven’t updated with a software option you can simply long press on the Recent apps key and you’ll bring up the menu.
Next problem: Dead pixels
Issue: Dead pixels
If you notice that your new Galaxy Note 4 has dead pixels on the screen then you have a couple of options. This is a pretty common issue with smartphones.
If you have no luck then it’s time to go back to the retailer, carrier, or Samsung to get a replacement handset.
Next problem: Poor battery life
Problem: Battery life
There have been some reports of people suffering with poor battery life on the Note 4. It has a big battery that should last a decent amount of time, but there are plenty of things that can have an impact. Bear in mind you’ll be using it a lot more for the first few days and batteries can take some time to bed in.
Try using the Power saving You can configure what it does in Settings > Power saving.
Make sure you restart the Note 4 periodically.
Go to Settings > Battery and take a look at the usage. See if you can identify a problem app or service. You may be able to uninstall it or disable it. Check out the free Greenify app, as it can really help identify and deal with rogue apps.
Try wiping the cache partition. Turn the Note 4 off then press and hold Volume up, Home, and Power. When the phone vibrates, release Power, but keep holding the other two until you see the Android System Recovery menu. Use Volume down to highlight wipe cache partition and press Power to select it. When it’s done, press Power to select Reboot system now.
You may find it’s quicker to just factory reset and reinstall apps selectively.
If you’ve rooted your Note 4, you can get more information by installing Wakelock Detector. You’ll also be able to remove more bloatware.
Next problem: Back button sensitivity
Issue: Back button sensitivity
A few people have found that the capacitive Back button to the right of the Home button on the Note 4 is not very sensitive. It may be failing to register touches or require a hard press to work.
This is a hardware issue and you should go back to your retailer, carrier, or Samsung and get a replacement.
Next problem: Lag
Quite a few people have complained about lag on the Note 4 in the form of small pauses when returning to the home screen, typing on the keyboard, or loading apps. Some users find stuttering during general navigation or upon waking the Note 4. Switching between apps and opening the Recent apps menu seem to be problem spots.
Open S Voice and tap the menu key at the top right to find the Open via Home key Turn it off. It detects a double tap as a shortcut to launch S Voice, but that can also result in a slight laggy feel when you press the Home key once.
Go to Settings > About device and tap on Build number seven times. Go back to Settings and you should now see Developer options. Tap on it and you can set Window animation scale, Transition animation scale, and Animator duration scale down from 1 to 0.5 or even 0.
You don’t have to stick with TouchWiz. A lot of people feel Samsung’s UI is to blame for the lag. Try another launcher like Nova launcher and see if it feels better.
Samsung has released a couple of updates since the Note 4 came out. Check in Settings > About device > Software updates > Update now.
Next problem: Bluetooth won’t connect
Issue: Bluetooth won’t connect
Quite a few Note 4 owners have encountered issues trying to connect with Bluetooth accessories and car systems. The phone might refuse to connect altogether, or it might only offer limited functionality when it does pair.
Refer to your manufacturer’s manual for the accessory or car and find out how to reset connections. It’s possible you’ve simply reached a connection limit and have to delete an old device.
You should also check if there’s a specific button or procedure to get your accessory or car into pairing mode.
Go to Settings > Bluetooth on your Note 4 and delete all the pairings, restart the phone, and then try them again.
Take a look at the profile in Settings > Bluetooth and see if anything needs tweaking.
Every time a new smartphone is released there are a lot of reports about problems with connecting to Wi-Fi networks or maintaining good Wi-Fi speeds. Here’s what to try if it happens to you:
Try turning your Note 4 and your router off for a couple of minutes. Now turn them on again and retry the connection.
Take a look in Settings > Power saving and make sure that low battery life isn’t restricting your Wi-Fi.
Try forgetting the connection, choose your router in Settings > Wi-Fi and Forget. Enter the details again.
Try the free Wi-Fi Analyzer app and see if the channel you’re using is crowded. Change to another channel if it is.
Take a look at the settings on your router. Make sure that MAC filtering isn’t on, or add your Note 4’s MAC address, which you’ll find in Wi-Fi > Settings > Advanced.
Make sure that your router firmware is fully up to date.
Next problem: Camera autofocus won’t work, or very slow
Problem: Camera autofocus won’t work, or very slow
A lot of people have run into issues with the autofocus on the Note 4 camera. When they open the camera app it either refuses to autofocus, or it takes a long time to focus.
Shaking the Note 4 or giving it a solid tap can get the focus working again, but it won’t solve the problem permanently, and you don’t want to have to shake or tap it every time you use the camera.
Make sure that you have removed any protective film on the camera lens, and clean it gently to ensure there’s no debris or fingerprints on it. The camera could be trying to focus on something that’s stuck to the lens.
If you use a case, try removing it, and see if the problem persists.
Some people have had success after turning the Note 4 off and then slapping the camera onto the palm of their hand several times. Turn it back on and the focus might be working again, but there’s no guarantee the problem won’t return.
Open up the camera and tap the gear icon at the bottom left for Settings, then the three dots at the top for the full menu. Choose Metering modes and try changing it to Matrix or Spot, and see if it works better.
Some people had success by opening up the camera app and going to Mode > Manage modes and then deselecting everything.
Go to Settings > Application manager and slide over to the All tab then find the Camera app. Try tapping Clear data and Force stop. Now open the Camera app and see if it’s working.
It looks as though, in a lot of cases, the camera is loose. That’s why the shaking or tapping is working for some people. If you’re able to, then the best solution is to contact your carrier, retailer, or Samsung and try to get a replacement. A lot of people report that they got a new Note 4 and did not suffer from the same problem.
Next problem: Text messages disappearing
Glitch: Text messages disappearing
A few Note 4 owners have been complaining about text messages disappearing. Sometimes they’ll write a text message and then upon sending it will disappear. Other times an incoming text message will pop up and then disappear.
Use Hangouts and make it your default messaging app.
The first thing to check is in the messaging app. It might be automatically deleting messages because you’ve reached your specified limit. Tap the three dots at the top right in Messages, open up the Settings menu, and then tap Delete old messages. Either turn it off, or increase the limit.
If you’re with AT&T this could be down to the AT&T Messages Backup & Sync feature. You can disable this by logging into your AT&T account online.
Next problem: “Unfortunately, contacts has stopped working”
Issue: “Unfortunately, contacts has stopped working”
Quite a few Note 4 owners have been getting the message “Unfortunately, contacts has stopped working” popping up frequently, and seemingly at random.
Go to Settings > Application manager and scroll to the All tab. Find your Contacts app and tap Clear cache and Force stop. Restart your Note 4, and see if the issue is resolved.
Check in the Google+ app. Tap the three dots at the top right and choose Settings, then tap your name under Account Settings and choose Contacts. Try unchecking Keep contacts up to date.
Some people report that they resolved the issue by disabling Google+ or uninstalling updates for it. The options can be found in Settings > Application manager > All > Google+.
Next problem: GPS keeps losing fix
Bug: GPS keeps losing fix
A lot of Note 4 owners are unhappy with the GPS function. It’s either taking ages to get a fix, or it’s dropping the connection pretty frequently. It seems to be a lot worse when people are moving than when they’re stationary.
Start by going to Settings > Location and make sure that High accuracy is selected under Mode.
If you have a case on your Note 4, then try removing it. Some people have found that GPS works perfectly after removing the case, especially if it has any metal parts.
Some people have found that this issue was resolved after they removed their microSD card. Apparently, some older cards can cause issues. It’s certainly worth testing.
You could try wiping the cache partition by turning your Note 4 off, and then holding down Volume up, Home, and Power. Let go of Power when you feel a vibration, but keep holding the other two. Use the Volume down button to highlight wipe cache partition and Power to select it. When it’s finished you can tap Power to select reboot system now.
If you’re still having issues you could try a factory reset. Back up all your precious files first and then go to Settings > Backup and reset > Factory data reset > Reset device.
If nothing works then it’s time to contact your carrier, retailer, or Samsung and see if you can get a replacement handset.