Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumor roundup: what to expect from Samsung’s new phablet

The Samsung Galaxy Note line started as a bit of a test of the market. At the time, everyone was used to phones that we’d consider today as fairly small, so the idea of a 5.3-inch phone scared us – so much so, that we even invented the word “phablet” for it. It grew into a widely popular line, though, and launches of new models have since become staples of the IFA trade show. We’re right on the eve of the announcement of the next in a line of fairly successful phones, so we decided to go through the long list of rumors we’ve heard about the phone and compile it all into one Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumor roundup piece. It’s available for you right down below, so relax, grab a cup of coffee, and get reading.

Hardware

samsung-wrap

The most intriguing rumor concerning the Galaxy Note 4’s hardware is definitely the one suggesting a wrap-around screen. The first time we heard this possibility was way back in early January, right as CES 2014 closed down. This started to really pick up steam in late April, when Samsung executive Yoon Han-kil was quoted as saying a “new form factor” would be coming for the new Note. ET News later said that there would be one metallic, and one plastic version of the Note 4, and that there’d be a flexible display. And then around the beginning of August, a wrap-around Note 4 display allegedly entered production, though because this was translated from Korean we’re not sure if this is a limited trial run, or for a full-on Note 4 variant. After this, a trademark application for the name “Galaxy Note Edge” brought up the possibility that this could be the Note 4 variant with the curved display. So, the details are extremely murky and confusing, but it looks like something big may be happening as far as the form factor of the new Note goes.

att-note-3-review-16Now that we’ve got the mess regarding the new form factor out of the way, let’s move right along to more regular specs. GSM Arena had at one point reported that there would be a 5.7-inch QHD (quad, not quarter) display, and that has been corroborated various times by sources such as Indonesian retailer Erafone and Indian import/export tracker Zauba. This display may also have Assertive Display technology (as Samsung has licensed it), which allows the screen to adapt based on ambient light readings and the angle you’re looking at it.

Moving right along to the camera, most sources are fairly certain it’ll be a 16MP shooter with optical image stabilization. SamMobile first reported that camera resolution in early June, and that report was corroborated by an AnTuTu benchmark and other sources as well. There was one contradicting report we dug up, stating that the phone would have a 12MP OIS shooter instead, but we’re tempted to not believe that rumor as much as the others. SamMobile later reported a 3.7MP front-facing shooter could be found on the phone, and that Samsung would include a “Side Touch” shutter button – meaning, there would be a camera shutter button, but it’d be touch-based. The Note 4 allegedly has the same 16MP ISOCELL sensor as the Lenovo Vibe Z2, so have a peek at some camera samples from that phone if you’d like a better idea of what to expect.

galaxy note 4 sm-n910 sm-n915 @evleaksWe’re also pretty certain about the storage and memory departments. @evleaks in mid-May reported that the SM-N910 (the probable codename of the Note 4) had 32GB of storage. This was later backed up by that same AnTuTu benchmark, and a list of codenames of the phone leaked also by @evleaks – though this leak mentions both 16 and 32GB models, depending on region.

The handset probably also features 3GB of RAM, though there was one rumor suggesting that Samsung had opted to upgrade that to 4GB – a first for phones. The AnTuTu benchmark, again, and the same rumor suggesting a 12MP OIS camera both state that there will be 3GB of RAM, so we’re leaning to that side while not ruling out the possibility of four gigabytes.

Moving on to the processing power side of things, an initial rumor suggested that a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 would power North American models, along with a select group of Asian devices. Samsung’s home-grown octa-core Exynos 5433 is said to be the chip that will be used in European regions. We don’t know as much about the Exynos 5433 as we do the Snapdragon 805, but it did beat out both the 801 and 805 in a benchmark. While these pre-production benchmarks can hardly be trusted as accurate measures of the phone’s performance, this chip is by no means a slouch.

note-4-gsm-2There’s nothing more in terms of raw specs info, but there are some other things to talk about concerning the phone’s hardware. The Synaptics Natural ID fingerprint scanner found on the Galaxy S5 is probably returning for another round, and this is further evidenced by some software tidbits dug up by SamMobile (which you can find more information about in the Software section). There will also apparently be an ultraviolet light sensor that ties in to S Health in order to calculate the UV index. Then, your phone will be an overprotective nanny and tell you to use sunscreen, protective clothing, and other tools to avoid sunburns. Thanks, mom Samsung.

Finally, a couple celebrity sightings to ease you out of the hardware section: GSM Arena leaked a few pics of the Note 4, and on the same day there were pictures contradicting those (though they were fairly similar). One of the GSM Arena pics is to the right, and the contradicting image is below. There was also a recent leaked video of the Note 4, but it was unfortunately “lunchboxed” – that is, it was covered with a protective case in order to hide the design from any onlookers.

note-4-panel

Software

We’re expecting Samsung to have Android 4.4.4 layered with the newest version of its TouchWiz skin loaded up on the Note 4, but we’re not entirely sure what enhancements have been made on the software side of things this time around. We do have some idea of what to expect, though, thanks to some leaks from SamMobile.

In late May, we were introduced to four new software features: Swipe to launch Motion Launcher, Aqua Capture, Multi Network Booster, and Smart Fingerprint. That first item reminds us of MotionLaunch on HTC models, which is basically a way to use gestures to fire up apps. Aqua Capture sounds a bit like Aqua Mode – a feature available on Active models – and has us thinking that water resistance (or full-blown waterproofing) will be one of the headlining features of the phone.

Smart Fingerprint sounds an awful lot like another of the expected features, Fingerprint Shortcuts, which allows specific apps to be launched based on which finger is used to unlock the phone. Also on the fingerprint side of things is allegedly a browser-based password management system, and we’re excited to see what Samsung could come up with here.

gs5-fingerprintPricing/Availability

Samsung is probably the best OEM out there when it comes to making its phones available to a wide audience, and we’re certainly planning to see the Note 4 go up for sale everywhere. Here in the US, we’re expecting it to land at AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, T-Mobile, Verizon, and more, with the stateside phones all having 32GB of storage. Some of the worldwide models can be seen up above in that list of supposed codenames shared by @evleaks.

Wrap-up

So, folks, that right there is everything we know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. We know quite a lot on the hardware side – and there’s no deficiency of info when it comes to software – but there are still plenty of questions being asked, and we like it that way. We’ll be hearing answers quite soon, too, with Samsung hosting an UNPACKED 2014 Episode 2 press event in Berlin to go official with the phone. Michael Fisher and Taylor Martin will be our men on the ground for this one, so expect prompt delivery of news and hands-ons if you keep it locked to Pocketnow.

galaxy note 4 teaser video

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Rithvik Rao