What you can expect from Samsung's new phablet, the Galaxy Note 4.
This is the Note 3With the Galaxy S5 launch almost upon us (the device goes on sale this coming Friday), our attention turns to Samsung's other 2014 flagship. The Galaxy Note 3 (pictured above) was just unveiled at IFA Berlin last September, but spring is in the air, and the new season is bringing rumors to the Note 3's successor. Six months after the launch of the Galaxy Note 3, talk of the Galaxy Note 4 is heating up. So what can we expect from the next generation Note? Read on for what we know so far, as well as rumors and educated guesses. We'll keep updating this post, so check back regularly!
The display on Samsung's Galaxy Note handsets is always the hero feature. As the phone credited with launching the phablet trend, the Galaxy Note was one of the first popular 5-inch phones, and it's only gotten bigger over the years. The display on the Galaxy Note 3 measures closer to six inches (5.7 inches to be precise), and it looks like the display on the Note 4 might be even bigger than the panel on the Note 3. Don't worry, though. It won't be that much bigger. According to the latest reports, the display will be a 5.75-inch panel. There's also talk of a 2560 x 1440 resolution. If these numbers are correct, you're looking at 510 ppi compared to the 388 ppi on the Note 3. Yowza.
When Apple announced the iPhone 5S, one of the biggest headlines stemmed from the phone's 64-bit processor. More than six months later, we're still waiting for Samsung to hit back with its own 64-bit solution in a phone. There were rumors of a 64-bit processor for the Galaxy S5, but that didn't come to fruition. Now there's talk that the 64-bit chip will be inside the Galaxy Note 4. The Korea Times says Samsung will ship the Note 4 with a 32-bit or 64-bit chip, depending on the market. (The company has shipped previous devices with different processors depending on LTE support in a given market, so this wouldn't be unusual.) The news outlet cites a Samsung official as saying it needs time to apply Qualcomm's 64-bit processing technology to the Note 4.
Given the Galaxy Note 3 was released in late September, we reckon the Galaxy Note 4 will also see a fall launch and unveiling. The Note 3 has been extremely successful, and Samsung no doubt wants to let the phone ride the wave for as long as possible. However, at this stage, smartphone users are more or less used to the yearly upgrade cycle smartphone manufacturers have adopted, so they'll be waiting for news of the Note 4 from around month eight or nine. This could spell a slowdown in sales of the Note 3 over the summer. If Samsung is anticipating that, it may use it as an excuse to launch the Note 4 a little bit earlier (say the end of August), but with IFA Berlin scheduled for September 5 to 10, we're betting Samsung will announce the Note 4 the same week it announced the Note 3 last year.
We know the Note 4 is going to be a big device. Just by the nature of its branding, it has to be. However, there may be something different about this year's Galaxy Note. According to the latest rumors, we could see a curved design with the Note 4. The Korea Times reports that a curved display is 'one possible option,' citing a Samsung official in its report. While Samsung has never had a curved flagship phone, it's no stranger to curved displays and form factors. This year's Gear Fit features a curved display and form factor, while the curvy Galaxy Round hit Korean stores in the fall of 2013. Going back even further, there was the Nexus S, which was developed by Google in partnership with Samsung and featured a slightly curved 'contour display' that fit snugly against the users face during calls and sat comfortably in the hand while browsing or texting.