When the Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives in April, it will join the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 in Samsung’s two-pronged flagship attack. And while the Galaxy Note 3 will remain a solid option throughout much of 2014, we’re already hearing questions about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a device that will likely join the Galaxy S5 later on this year.
When the Samsung Galaxy S5 arrives, many consumers are going to have a big decision to make: Buy the Galaxy S5, pick up one of its competitors, or wait for the next wave of devices to arrive later this year. Those who are weighing the Galaxy S5 are likely weighing it against a number of devices including the iPhone 5s, Nexus 5 and the new HTC One. There are also plenty of consumers who are weighing it against an in-house option, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is considered, by many, to be one of the best smartphones on the market. So there is no shame in considering the Galaxy Note 3 right now or in the months to come. It’s a solid smartphone and one that will last through the duration of a two year contract thanks to solid software support.
And while that will be a match up for many people, there are others that are already looking ahead, weighing the Galaxy S5 against the rumored devices of 2014.
As rumors start to heat up, we’ve started hearing a lot of questions about the next Galaxy Note, a device that we’re calling the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It’s still early in the year, so details remain in the shadows, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t offer our own predictions while we wait for the rumor mill and Samsung itself to out the Galaxy Note 4.
Here, we take a look at 25 things that we think consumers should expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Some of these are obvious, some of them are specific, and we think all of them have a pretty good chance of panning out.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Name
1. Here’s the deal. Samsung has invested a great deal of money and energy into making its big flagship devices household names. There are many people who associate Android with Galaxy and vice versa. That’s how successful Samsung’s has been in marketing its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones.
With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine Samsung releasing its next flagship Galaxy Note with any other name than Galaxy Note. And given its naming structure, it’s hard to imagine Samsung using any other name but Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Another name would be confusing to consumers and potentially deadly for sales.
This is a device that is released ahead of the holidays and marketed as a competitor to the iPhone. Don’t expect Samsung to change up the name, especially in a year like 2014 when the iPhone 6 is rumored to have a much larger display. Samsung can’t afford to get cute.
Galaxy Note 4 Launch
2. First of all, expect Samsung to release a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone. Samsung executives have already said that the company plans another launch. There is also still a market for the massive screen and the S Pen. A brand new Galaxy Note is coming, consumers can count on that.
3. As for the launch itself, consumers should expect it to arrive in the fall. Samsung executives have all pointed to an arrival in the fall and again, it’s hard to argue with JK Shin. 4. And since Samsung has essentially confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 launch for the fall, it’s looking like the Galaxy Note 4 will once again land at IFA in Berlin, Germany. The past three Galaxy Note models have landed at IFA and given that the Galaxy S5 launched at MWC, there is no reason to believe that the company will shy away from a trade show.
5. IFA 2014 kicks off on September 5th so consumers should expect the Galaxy Note 4 to launch anywhere between September 1st to September 5th. If Samsung launches at IFA, it will do so on the day that it opens up. 6. Samsung used an Unpacked Episode 1 launch event for its Galaxy S5 event so it’s pretty clear that we’ll see either an Episode 2 or Episode 3 for the Galaxy Note 4’s launch.
7. Expect the Galaxy Note 4 launch to include an orchestra and a live stream.
Galaxy Note 4 Release Date
8. One question that we continually get asked about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and really any rumored smartphone, is: “When will it be coming out?” When it comes to the Galaxy Note 4, we don’t have the exact answer but we do have a good idea. If the Galaxy Note 4 is launching this fall, and there is a good chance that it is, its release date will likely come in the fall as well.
Samsung typically releases its devices about a month or so after they are announced. Case in point, the Galaxy S5 which is arriving about a month or so after it debuted on stage at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. 9. So, with a Galaxy Note 4 launch probable at IFA 2014, consumers should expect a release in September or October. Anything outside of those two months would be shocking.
10. Consumers in the United States should expect to be at the front of the pack. Samsung clearly is focused on speed when it comes to the release of its flagship smartphones in the U.S. and thus, we expect the Galaxy Note 4 to hit the U.S. around the same time it hits most other countries. The days of waiting are over.
11. We expect a standard Samsung Galaxy flagship release. Pre-orders and a release date that lands during the working week rather than on the weekend.
Galaxy Note 4 Carriers
12. Another question that we’ve already been asked, numerous times, is about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s potential carriers. Consumers want to know where it will be headed. We can’t say for sure but we have a pretty good idea.
The Galaxy S5 is coming to all five major carriers, following in the footsteps of the Galaxy Note’s and Galaxy S’ before it. So, in other words, we expect the Galaxy Note 4 to land for all five major carriers in the U.S. The Galaxy Note 3 is popular and it’s hard to see a carrier passing on a new model before the holidays.
13. Historically, the Galaxy Note has skipped smaller regional and pre-paid carriers. Perhaps the device is too niche for a widespread release. We’re not exactly sure. Given that this has happened twice before with the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 2, it’s hard to expect a change this time around.
We’d be surprised if the Galaxy Note 4 landed for carriers like Cricket, C Spire and Virgin Mobile but it’s not out of the question, especially if Apple does release a big screen iPhone.
Galaxy Note 4 Price
14. Samsung Galaxy S5 rumors suggested that the price could drop down from $199.99. Rumors and reality did not agree with one another in this instance though because the Galaxy S5 emerged for the usual $199.99 price for a 16GB model. It’s a sign of confidence in the “Next Big Thing.” It also means that there is a good chance that the Galaxy Note 4 will be priced at its usual $299.99.
The Samsung Galaxy Note has always been more expensive than the Galaxy S because of its massive high-resolution display and its bundled S Pen stylus. Those features allow (and probably force) carriers to command a premium.
The S Pen is what sets the Galaxy Note series apart from the Galaxy S so we’re pretty sure it will be included with the Galaxy Note 4. At the very least, the Galaxy Note 4 will come with a massive 1080p full HD display. Those, combined with a Bloomberg report that cited a Samsung exec saying that the Galaxy Note 4 would target those looking for a “premium” smartphone lead us to believe that the price will remain unchanged.
15. Expect its unlocked, off-contract price tag to remain the same as well. The Galaxy S5 is still its usual $650 off-contract.
Galaxy Note 4 Features
16. At the very least, expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to have a massive, full HD 1080p display. A full HD display is the bare minimum for a flagship Android smartphone and we can’t see the Galaxy Note 4 taking a step back. We also can’t see its display getting any smaller now that the Galaxy S5’s display is 5.1-inches compared to the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3.
There are rumors that suggest that the Galaxy Note 4 could feature a display that’s better than that. 17. At this point, we’re expecting a QHD display on board the Galaxy Note 4. This is a feature that Samsung itself says is planned for 2014 and its a feature that was heavily rumored for the Galaxy S5. It’s clear that it’s in development.
With the Galaxy S5 display getting bigger, Samsung is going to have to do something to increase the gap between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note. One of the ways to do that is the display. 18. Galaxy Note 4 rumors also point to a “bent” three-sided display on the Galaxy Note 4, something that would provide better viewing angles. This didn’t appear on Samsung’s 2014 road map for displays and thus, we consider it a long shot for 2014.
19. Samsung keeps its flagship designs under lock and key which means that we’ll be lucky if we see the Galaxy Note 4 design leak ahead of schedule. So expect to be surprised, in some way, by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s design.
20. We expect the Galaxy Note 4 design to follow a path similar to the Galaxy S’. Every year, Samsung changes its designs. It tweaks the looks and it makes improvements. The Galaxy S5 features two improvements that we could see on the Galaxy Note 4. The first, a fingerprint sensor in the home button for added security and convenience. The second, an IP67 certified design that is water and dust resistant.
21. Another thing to expect is an overall design change. Expect the Galaxy Note 4 to look different than the Galaxy Note 3. Whether that’s thanks to a metal casing or something else, we can’t be sure. Just don’t expect it to be the faux leather plastic again.
22. This is one of the no-brainers we mentioned earlier. Having a high quality smartphone camera is important to consumers. It’s why Samsung went out of its way to offer a number of camera improvements on the Galaxy S5. It’s why Apple tweaks its iSight camera with every single iPhone release.
The Galaxy Note 3’s camera is good but there is always room for improvement and thus, we expect Samsung to continue to refine the camera and the camera application. Samsung’s camera application is among the best on the market.
23. This is another piece of low hanging fruit. Expect the Galaxy Note 4 to come with a powerful processor, perhaps the Snapdragon 805 or a new Exynos processor from Samsung. The Galaxy Note is built for things like multitasking and gaming and they require powerful and efficient processors. Expect there to also be at least 3GB of RAM to back the processor up.
24. Finally, the software. We’ll start basic. Consumers should expect the Galaxy Note 4 to come with the latest version of Android. Whether that’s Android 4.5, an update that has been rumored, or something else remains to be seen. Google likes to release Android updates in the middle of the year so there is a good chance that it could be something new. Whatever it is, it will be current.
25. We expect Samsung to do what it always does. Add new features and deliver improvements to features that are already on board. There is always a focus on adding and improving to the collection of S Pen applications and this is the area that we expect Samsung to focus on with the Galaxy Note 4.
We also expect the Galaxy Note 4 software to focus on health, just like the Samsung Galaxy S5’s software. Health, S Pen and multitasking are three things that we expect Samsung to key in on with its next version of TouchWiz.