Can't get enough Note 4 info? Here's the next 10 things you should know about this phone.
The Galaxy Note 4 is a huge device for Samsung that will undoubtedly sell tens of millions in the next couple of years, so we're sure more than a few of you are curious about it. After rounding up our thoughts into a comprehensive review and also a solid list of the first 10 things you need to know about the Note 4, we now have another great lineup of 10 more things you really should know about this phone.
Whether you've already picked one up and just want to learn all you can, or are still on the fence and need a little more info before making up your mind, this is going to help you along the way. Read along for our list of the next 10 things you should know about the Note 4 — let's dive in.
1. There are subtle but meaningful software changes coming from the Galaxy S5
While the Note 4 and its predecessor the Galaxy S5 have very similar software, there are meaningful differences between the two. Samsung has used the Note 4 (and the Galaxy Alpha) as a platform to release very small interface changes that we've found to be for the better.
The launcher has been cleaned up to reduce or remove excessive animations and drop shadows, flattening out buttons so they're leaning more towards modern design principles. The settings menus have dropped the blue and black aesthetic for a new white background with black text that's easier on the eyes. These are changes you wouldn't notice just using the phone, but become apparent when you set it side-by-side with an older device. A step in the right direction for Samsung's software design.
2. The Note 4 has "Smart stay" to keep the screen on while you're looking at it
Remember when Samsung unveiled crazy new eye and face tracking features with the Galaxy S3? Well, some of them have lived on and made their way to the Note 4. "Smart stay" is the big one worth looking for, particularly as it's not on by default. When enabled it uses the front-facing camera to look for someone looking at the screen and keep it on so long as you're still looking. It works surprisingly well, even when your face is off-axis a bit, and isn't nearly as gimmicky as we may have first thought when it was introduced.
3. "Adaptive display" makes the screen look its best based on the content you're viewing
There's no doubt that the QHD screen on the Note 4 is one of the best available right now, and Samsung's software tweaks make it look even better. In the display settings, turned on by default, are features that make the display change its characteristics slightly based on what you're currently looking at on screen. "Adaptive display" is the default mode that boosts the colors and contrast just a tad, aided by the "adjust screen tone" that changes things further based on what the screen is actually displaying.
It doesn't necessarily produce a perfectly "accurate" picture, but when you're dealing with Super AMOLED you're not going to be getting that in any case. You might as well embrace the wonderful colors and clarity that are further enhanced by the adaptive display software.
4. QHD resolution means you'll never see pixels
With a 5.7-inch display at QHD — 2560x1440 — resolution, it's basically impossible to see individual pixels or jagged edges on this display without some kind of magnification device. That size and resolution works out to just over 515 ppi (Pixels Per Inch), and while it was "impossible" to see pixels at a normal distance back when we crossed the 400 ppi mark, the Note 4 makes it so that you can't see pixels at any distance.
Put your face as close to the Note 4's screen as you can, and you still won't see jagged edges. We sure hope this starts to slow down the "pixel wars," but something tells us it won't, sadly.
5. The SD card slot can accept cards up to 128GB in size
32GB of internal storage not enough? Sure, you can add an SD card. Well, you can actually add an SD card up to 128GB in size. Factoring in formatted capacity being less, you could be looking at a phone with over 150GB of storage — think that's enough for all the media you'd need in any given week.
6. You can use up to five apps simultaneously with pop-up windows
The Note 4 has a new way to multitask, and it's called "pop-up apps." These little windowed apps stay on top of anything else you're doing on your phone to help you handle multiple things at once, and you can quickly switch between using them and collapsing them down into small bubbles on the side of your phone.
You can run up to five pop-up windows at any given time, in addition to whatever other apps you're managing full screen underneath them. We're not sure what situation will call for having all five up at once, but hey with that big screen we're sure more than a few people will give it a shot.
7. You can use your finger to authenticate the PayPal app
The Note 4's finger scanner found in the home button isn't useful for much, but one of the things that it works well for is the PayPal app. After registering your fingerprint in the system (which can also be used for unlocking the phone) and logging into the PayPal app on the phone, you can choose to use your fingerprint as an authentication method for making purchases with the app. No more confirmation with a PIN or password — just swipe your finger down the home button and you've made the purchase.
8. The S Pen from the Note 3 actually works on the Note 4 just fine
One funny thing we ran into when comparing the Note 4 and Note 3 were that the pens are completely compatible and interchangeable. Don't let the subtle physical differences fool you — you can take the Note 3's pen and put it up against the Note 4's screen just fine. It automatically starts tracking the tip of the S Pen for hovering gestures, and it immediately recognizes the button to launch further functions. The only catch is that the Note 3's S Pen is a bit of a tight fit to put into the Note 4's holding slot.
Maybe not the most useful thing ever, but if you happen to have an old Note 3 laying around you can use that S Pen should you misplace the one that came with your Note 4.
9. The S-View Flip Cover for the Note 4 doesn't play nice with Hangouts for calls
This probably won't come as a huge surprise to anyone, but if you opt to pick up an S-View Flip Cover for the Note 4 it isn't going to work well if you use Hangouts for your calling solution. Samsung's apps are the only ones that work in the front window of the case, meaning that incoming calls via Hangouts aren't going to ring and show up in the window like a normal phone call would.
Adding to the pain, if you are on a Hangouts call and close the cover on the case, it will actually sometimes hang up on your call because of the way it puts the phone to "sleep" with magnets. If you plan on making calls over Hangouts this likely isn't the case for you. But if you choose to use the regular phone dialer, the case will work great.
10. You can now pick up Qi wireless charging backs
It took a few months, but the Galaxy Note 4 now has proper Qi wireless charging backs that you can buy and pop on your phone. There's both a standard charging cover and an S-View style cover depending on what you're looking to get out of it. These pack less additional bulk than the last round of accessories for the Note 3, but still add extra thickness that can cause issues with third-party cases.