Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Note 4: its fourth-generation smartphone with a stylus for taking notes and sketching. Here's everything you need to know about the Note 4 release date, price and specs in the UK. See also: Galaxy Note 4 launch - as it happened
The Note 4 looks much like the Note 3, having the same size 5.7in screen, soft-textured back and metal band around the edge. However, there are plenty of changes and updates: keep reading to find out what they are.
The Note 4 will go on sale in October, so there's not long to wait and Clove states that first stock is due to arrive the week commencing 13 October. It will be available in four colours: black, white, gold and pink.
We said the Note 4 is likely to come in between £550 and £600 – similar to the Galaxy S5 - and it seems we were right as Clove has the smartphone up for pre-order at £575 inc VAT.
The big news as far as hardware is concerned is that the screen is now a 'Quad HD' display, with a resolution of 2560x1440 - that's a whopping 515ppi. It's covered in '2.5D glass' which means it has a very slight curve. The Note 3 has a flat screen with merely a full HD 1920x1080 resolution. The 5.7in diagonal means it's not much larger than many phones these days, and smaller than the LG G Flex.
Another big feature, which Samsung didn't really mention during the launch is that the Note 4 is the first mobile device with a built-in UV sensor. Part of the S Health system, it will warn users if they are getting too much sun.
There are a total of 5 UV index levels: Low, Moderate, High, Very High and Extreme, and users will be presented with different precautions based on the level of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
The fingerprint scanner is improved in the Note 4. All four fingerprint canning features in the Galaxy S5 - Screen Lock, Private Mode, Samsung Account Verification and PayPal Payments - are coming to the Note 4.
The S-Pen - or stylus - now has 2048 levels of pressure sensing, double that of the Note 3. A new S-Pen feature is Smart Select which allows you to capture several pieces of information at once. For example, you could clip a couple of hotels from TripAdvisor and then some images from another source, then share that group of selections with a contact by dragging and dropping into an email.
The new Snap Note feature can automatically straighten images taken with the camera, and then convert any text into editable copy.
Not all notes are visual, and the voice recorder has been improved in the Note 4 by using three microphones to record sounds from 8 distinct directions. The interview mode uses noise suppression to isolate the interviewee and make the voice clearer. Noise cancellation, using the extra microphones, also improves phone calls, especially when using speaker phone.
Instead of talking about numbers, Samsung says it wants to concentrate on ease of use and ‘quality images’ with the Note 4. To that end, it has a 3.7Mp front-facing camera (with a bright f1.9 aperture) and a 16Mp rear camera with optical image stabilisation.
The bigger aperture makes the front camera 60 percent brighter than the Note 3, so it should provide better images in dim conditions. It's also possible to use the heart-rate sensor on the back as a shutter button.
Another change on the front camera is that it has a wider viewing angle of 90 degrees (as opposed to the 77 degrees of the Note 3) and there’s also a panorama mode which increases the angle to 120 degrees.
A new fast charging charges from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes. It takes about 55 minutes to charge the Note 3 from empty to half full. The Note 4 also has lower power consumption, which gives a 7.5 percent increase in battery life, despite having the higher-resolution screen and only marginally higher-capacity 3220mAh battery (the Note 3 has a 3200mAh cell.
Storage and memory
The Note 4 has 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot capable of accepting up to 64GB cards. Contradicing rumours of 4GB of RAM, there's actually 3GB.
The full specifications are below:
2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE) : 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz 3G (HSPA? 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz 4G (LTE Cat 4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat 6 300/50Mbps) * May differ by country and carrier
2.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor 1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor *May differ by country and carrier
5.7 inch (143.9mm) Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560 x 1440)
Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Rear Facing: 16Mp Auto Focus camera with Smart OIS Front Facing: 3.7Mp camera with f1.9
Rear Facing Camera : HDR (Rich tone), Selective Focus, Rear-cam Selfie, Beauty face, Virtual Tour Shot, Shot & More, Dual Camera Front Facing Camera: Selfie, Wide Selfie
Codec: H.264, MPEG-4, H.263, VC-1, WMV7, WMV8, Sorenson Spark, MP43, VP8 Recording & Playback: up to UHD
Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC?/eAAC?, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis, FLAC(?) (?) Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support
S Pen Optimized Features
Air Command (Action Memo, Smart Select, Image Clip, Screen Write) S Note, Snap Note, Direct Pen Input
The Note 4 runs Android KitKat - no surprises there - but Samsung has also worked on the user interface to make it easier to use.
One of the biggest complaints from users was that Multi Window was too hard to use, and we'd have to agree. On the Note 4, Multi Window is part of the recent key. Using your finger or the S-Pen you can minimise an app and make it run as a ‘pop out’ window, as well as using split view where you can run two apps, one in each half of the screen. Plus, it's simple to adjust how much space to give each app by dragging the dividing line.
Other software changes include dynamic lock screens with images from third-party providers including Yahoo! You can, of course, choose your own images.