I’ve noticed a number of people declaring the Galaxy Note 4 the “King” of Android in the past few weeks. The King! That's high praise indeed. There does seem to be a belief among the Android community that the Galaxy Note 4 was the best phone Samsung ever produced. And you know what? Maybe it was. Let’s take a look at how the Note 4 might have earned this perception.
When designing smartphones, there are always things which don’t make the cut, for whatever reason. A feature or part of the time, that wasn't delivered due to budget or time restraints. This wasn't really the case with the Note 4. What’s interesting about the Note 4 is that it kind of did everything.
It had the fastest processor at the time, a world-class QHD display, and a fantastic camera. It had wireless and quick-charging functionality. It had a fingerprint scanner and a heart-rate monitor.
Essentially, all of the features you would want from a premium Android phone. It also had the S Pen, the stylus that elevates the Note series above typical tablet fare.
And features it did lack, were part of a trade-off. It wasn’t waterproof, but given the removable battery this was to be expected. It didn’t have front-facing speakers, but Samsung must have (correctly) identified that these are way down the on constomers' priority lists.
What’s interesting about the Note 4 is that it kind of did everything.
Crucially, the Note 4 was the last major Samsung handset to offer expandable storage and a removable battery pack. It was almost sacrilege when Samsung dropped these from its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, which explains much about why the Galaxy Note 4 is so well-regarded.
It stood out from the crowd in all the right ways
Another factor in its enduring popularity is the lack of real competition at the time. Even the iPhone 6 couldn't compare, lagging behind what Android users had become accustomed to in the power stakes as it did. The Note 4 was streets ahead of everthing in terms of both performance and features, and that's simply not true of Samsung's 2015 flagships.
Samsung put everything it could into the Galaxy Note 4 and the result was a phone that captured the hearts of Android fans and non-Android fans alike. Though its successor, the Note 5, offers several tiny changes that make it better than the Note 4, it doesn’t offer now what the Note 4 did at the time. Not really.
Did the Galaxy Note 4 show Samsung at its best? Was it the best smartphone the world had seen for its time and place? Sure, I could go for that.
What do you think? Has Samsung produced a standout phone in 2015? Will it in 2016? Or was the Galaxy Note 4 truly the last great Samsung device? Let me know in the comments.