You can’t go far wrong with top-end Samsung smartphones if you’re an Android fan. Up until recently, the choice was pretty obvious if you wanted the very best: you headed straight for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Something bigger and shinier is about to hit the shelves in the form of the Galaxy Note 4, though. So should you make a beeline for this instead? We take a look…
Two flagship smartphones: what’s the deal?
The Samsung way of doing things has become rather predictable. At the Mobile World Conference each April, you can generally expect to see the latest in the company’s ‘S’ series unveiled. This is Samsung’s premium device; packed with all the latest features – and each new version promising to offer the ultimate smartphone experience.
The thing is, a year is a long time in the smartphone world – especially when your main competitor has been busy stealing the limelight. What’s more, Samsung knows that when it comes to display size, 5 inches doesn’t quite cut it for many people.
So come October, enter the latest Galaxy Note – and this year we’re on the Galaxy Note 4. It’s got a big screen (5.7 inches to be precise) and a little pen. There’s a lot else besides.
Is the Note 4 basically a bigger version of the S5?
Not really, although size is the most obvious difference. The 5.1-inch display on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is hardly tiny – but the 5.7 inches on the Note 4 puts it firmly in the ‘phablet’ category. Is this for you? Yes if you use your mobile for Netflix and TV, you like to browse on a big display or if you’re a mobile gamer: probably not if pocket space is at a premium or if you prefer to use your phone one-handed.
Apart from size, are there any differences in design?
With the S5, you can remove the back – (handy for swapping Samsung batteries if you run out of power when on the move). You can do this with the Note 4 too. The Note 4 has a similar faux plastic back to the S5 – the main differentiating feature on the Note 4 being metal edging. The rumours are that a premium version of the Note 4 will also be released at some point – featuring an all-metal rear. The difference in weight between the two phones (145g compared to 176g) is relatively small given the difference in dimensions.
Which phone has the sharpest display?
First, there was HD. Then there was Full HD (which is what the Galaxy S5 has). Next comes Quad HD – a headline feature on the Galaxy Note 4. It’s not the first time this level of resolution has been seen on a smartphone (see also the LG G3). However, it’s only once you get into the phablet territory that the difference starts to get noticeable. You’re unlikely to complain about the Super AMOLED on the Galaxy S5, although side-by-side, the indications are that the Note 4 has the edge.
What about power and other features?
The Note 4 has an updated processor (2.7 GHz compared to 2.5 GHz) and a big boost in RAM (3GB to 2GB). Unless you’ve got access to benchmarking tools, you wouldn’t notice the difference: both phones are by all accounts blazingly fast and capable. The heart rate sensor and fingerprint recognition that comes with the S5 are both featured on the Note 4 as well.
Both phones have a 16-mp rear camera and both shoot video in 4k – although the Note 4 promises even less blurry shots and slicker video – thanks to optical image stabilisation. Good news for selfie fans with the Note 4 though; you get a 3.7-mp sensor on the front – a notable step up from the S5’s 2.1-mp snapper.
Two further big ticks for the Note 4: improved battery life compared to its little brother as well as a stylus. This ‘S Pen’ offers handwriting recognition capability and also comes in handy for navigation.
What about price?
There’s not a lot between them, cost-wise:
Any essential extras needed?
Neither phone is indestructible. Fortunately, here at Mobile Madhouse we have an awesome selection of Samsung Galaxy S5 cases and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 cases to choose from – including official Samsung accessories to ensure your phone is in safe hands.
The device of your dreams - or too much to handle? Are you a fan of the Galaxy Note series? Tell us what you think!
You can’t go far wrong with top-end Samsung smartphones if you’re an Android fan. Up until recently, the choice was pretty obvious if you wanted the very best: you headed straight for the Samsung Galaxy S5. Something bigger and shinier is about to hit the shelves in the form of the Galaxy Note 4, though. So should you make a beeline for this