Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Launched
Samsung Galaxy Note 4

It can be said that Samsung essentially created the large-screen smartphone phenomenon (also known as the phablet) when it launched the original Note in 2011.

That phone had a 5.3in screen and was widely derided as being huge. Today it looks small in comparison to some of the monster phones on the market. In that time Note series has seen successfully larger devices each year - until this year that is, with the Galaxy Note 4 mirroring the Note 3's 5.7in screen.

So, with the same screen size is there any need to upgrade? Here we looks at the key changes made by Samsung in its latest large-screen tablet to help you decide if you should upgrade:


Note 4 vs Note 3: Design


As we've said the Galaxy Note 4 retains the same screen size as the Galaxy Note 3, and elsewhere the design remains relatively similar though Samsung has now begun to use real aluminium in the construction of the Note.

The Galaxy Note 4 has a more squared off design and it is about as thin (8.3mm) as the Note 3, but 8g heavier than last year's model.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The rear cover is still made of the "leather-like" polycarbonate material as the last Note, but without the faux stitching

The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in white, black, gold and pink.


Note 4 vs Note 3: Screen


The screen may be the same size, but the Galaxy Note 4's screen is certainly not the same as last year.

Firstly there is a 2.5D effect with a slightly bending at the edges similar to what we've seen from Nokia's Lumia's devices in the past, which should make for easier swiping

Samsung has included a Quad HD resolution panel in its latest smartphone, with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 515 pixels per inch (ppi).

It is the same resolution as the 5.5in screen of LG's G3 and a significant improvement over last year's Note 3 screen.

The Note 3 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 386ppi.

While more pixels will obviously improve the viewing experience, it also means that it will drain the battery faster, but we will have to wait and see if Samsung has managed to successfully offset this increased battery drain elsewhere.


Note 4 vs Note 3: Hardware


The Galaxy Note series has always been at the cutting-edge of smartphone hardware and the Note 4 is no different.

Powering that high resolution new screen will be one of two powerful chipsets. As typical for Samsung, the Galaxy Note 4 will come in two versions, one powered by a quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor while the other will be powered by Samsung's own Exynos 5433 chip.

Both models will come with 3GB of RAM and will run Google's Android 4.4.3 (Kitkat) software.

The Galaxy Note 3 is no slouch however with a Snapdragon 800 chip together with 3GB of RAM still incredibly powerful.

Both models come in 32GB or 64GB variants (the Note 3 is also available in a 16GB version) with microSD card slots available on both to add up to a further 64GB.


Note 4 vs Note 3: Sensors and Stylus


The Note 4 has added a number of sensors including the fingerprint reader introduced on the Galaxy S5 as well as including the heart-rate monitor on the rear cover - though we still don't know why.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The rear cover also sees a UV light sensor added next to the camera.

The S Pen Stylus which has been one of biggest selling points for the Note range over its large-screen rivals and the Note 4 builds on that success.

The stylus on Note 4 has double the pressure sensitivity to the one one the Note 3 which should make it even better for writing and drawing.


Note 4 vs Note 3: Camera


Samsung has upgraded the camera technology from the Galaxy Note 3, which featured a 13 megapixel sensor.

The Note 4 comes with a 16 megapixel sensor, along with optical image stabilisation and dual-LED flash.


Note 4 vs Note 3: Software


The Galaxy Note 3 was launched with Android 4.3 while the Galaxy Note 4 will ship with Android 4.4 however both are hidden beneath Samsung's TouchWiz interface.

Despite a year between them, the differences in terms of software are not huge, but the biggest is probably Snap Note, which will allow you to take a picture of a real-world note and within minutes the Note 4 will convert it into a digital note you can edit on your phone.

There are also update to Smart Select and the system of floating windows during multi-tasking, but the most - if not all - could come to the Note 3 too as a software update.