Will the Galaxy Note 4 be a no-compromise smartphone?

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We’re never satisfied with what we have. Such is the way of the mobile world, so it should come as no surprise that the Galaxy S5 was only official for a few hours before talk of the Galaxy S5 Prime went through the roof.

The premium edition of the Galaxy S5 had made headlines more than few times before the Galaxy S5 was officially announced. In fact, we were led to believe Samsung might introduce both handsets side by side, at the very same event. However, once it was clear the official Galaxy S5 would only feature marginal improvements over the Galaxy S4’s specifications, the Prime quickly became the fallback device for the fanatics who were left unimpressed with Samsung’s showing.

It’s not that the Galaxy S5 was unremarkable or a bad upgrade to last year’s Galaxy S flagship. It brought at least one first to the market: a heart rate sensor. And it was fitted with some of the auxiliary features its competitors had dabbled in the year before, such as water-resistance and a fingerprint scanner.

It has seemingly everything a mobile user could hope for in a smartphone.

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Still, its specifications weren’t upgraded quite as much as some had hoped. It features the same RAM as before, a bump from the Snapdragon 600 with a 1.9GHz quad-core Krait 300 CPU to a Snapdragon 801 with a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400, and a higher-resolution camera – 16 megapixels instead of 13 – though Samsung didn’t include the much-desired optical image stabilization. The microSD card slot support was bumped from 64GB to 128GB and the battery was treated to an extra 200mAh.

Slim improvements, for sure.

galaxy s5 prime video leakThat doesn’t make the S5 a bad upgrade, just a small jump for the spec junkies. As such, the Galaxy S5 Prime is where the attention of many Samsung enthusiasts turned.

Normally, however, they turn to another device, the Galaxy S series’ larger sibling, Galaxy Note. This year, the Galaxy Note rumors have been somewhat muffled in light of this alluring, mysterious, premium handset, despite Samsung CEO J.K. Shin directly stating there is “no such thing” as a premium Galaxy S5 in the making.

Last year, the Galaxy Note 3 did something which took many of us by surprise. It introduced even better specifications and high-end features than Samsung’s staple brand. It offered an additional gigabyte of RAM, a Snapdragon 800 instead of the 600 in the Galaxy S4, and a more premium build. Its backside may have still been made of plastic, but it was certainly made of a nicer material – tacky and leather-like.

Now the Galaxy S5 Prime is looking more and more likely with every rumor and leak. And based on those rumors and leaks, it’s supposed to be everything we wished the Galaxy S5 was. It’s said to sport a QHD display, Snapdragon 805 SoC, 3GB RAM, and a metal frame.

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All that considered, it begs the question: what will this year’s Galaxy Note handset entail? Will it, once again, be Samsung’s most high-end handset? Or could it be overshadowed by the Galaxy S5 Prime?

Samsung’s Galaxy Note series has always been a premium brand for power users. It stands to reason this year’s will be no different, and in light of the Prime, the bar is set exceptionally high. We’ve only heard scarce details about the upcoming stylus-clad handset, likely because it’s still – at the very least – four months out.

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What we have heard, though, is rather interesting. Samsung exec Yoon Han-kil teased that this year’s Note handset would feature a “new form factor“, possibly a wrap-around or concave display – a la Galaxy Round. It’s also said to have the same size display as last year, 5.7-inches, though the resolution will allegedly jump from 1080p to quad-HD. And judging by the software, courtesy of SamMobile, it looks like the Galaxy Note 4 will get some IP certifications and a fingerprint scanner.

The Galaxy Note smartphones are en exercise in excessiveness. Maybe this is the first device Samsung will stuff its 64-bit Exynos chip in. Some faint whispers of 4GB or RAM have also been floating around, but I’m not certain the market or Android are quite ready for that jump yet.

Outside the typical, wild rumors, the only feature request that I can imagine most people are begging for is optical image stabilization … even just a working software stablilization.

Provided all the rumors pan out and Samsung steps up its game in low-light image sensing, the Galaxy Note 4 could finally be the true no-compromise device everyone has been waiting for – excellent hardware, all the best specifications, improved software, and a stellar image sensing experience in a broad range of lighting conditions.

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One thing is certain. I’m not holding my breath for any of this to happen. And this so-called “new form factor” gives me more pause than anything.

That said, it would make sense for Samsung to pull all stops with a device like the Note 4. The Galaxy Note brand has always seemed like the company’s test probe. Maybe – just maybe – that means we’ll see a high-end smartphone with absolutely everything you could possibly want in and on it.

Maybe that’s just a pipe dream.

What do you think, readers? Will the Galaxy Note 4 be the dream phone we’ve alway wanted? Will it pale in comparison to the Galaxy S5 Prime? Or will it simply be yet another monotonous iteration of a popular smartphone line? Sound off below with your sentiments and what you think the Galaxy Note 4 might entail!

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition.| Google+