Galaxy Note 4 Design: 10 Exciting Details

In just a few short weeks, Samsung will announce this year’s new Galaxy Note release, a device that’s currently being dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. And while nothing is confirmed until Samsung takes the stage, rumors have led to a fairly detailed list of Galaxy Note 4 design specs. Here, we take a look at what we consider to be the 10 most exciting Galaxy Note 4 design details.

The first half of the year was full of Samsung Galaxy Note 4, rumors that pointed to Galaxy Note 4 specs, Galaxy Note 4 launch date and the Galaxy Note 4 release date. The three essential pieces to the puzzle. In the last two weeks, we’ve started to see that puzzle slowly get pieced together thanks to credible leaks and Samsung itself.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is heavily rumored to have a 5.7-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 805 processor, enhanced camera with image stabilization, a fingerprint sensor for extra security, new software, and more. On paper, it appears to be a huge step up from the Galaxy Note 3. Along with the iPhone 6, it’s one of the most anticipated devices of the fall.

Galaxy Note 4 Display

There is, however, one big piece to the Galaxy Note 4 puzzle that remains a bit murky: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design. Samsung historically has clamped down on its flagship designs so that the surprise isn’t spoiled ahead of time. This year however, we’ve seen a number of Galaxy Note 4 design leaks and rumors emerge well in advance of its September 3rd launch date.

Maybe Samsung’s isn’t as tight this year. Maybe these have been controlled leaks aimed at countering the excitement surrounding the iPhone 6. Maybe these leaks are off base. It’s hard to say right now because Samsung still hasn’t confirmed the Galaxy Note 4 specs. The Galaxy Note 4 itself is now confirmed but the specs remain in the shadows. That doesn’t make it any less exciting though.

With all of that in mind, we want take a look at what we think are the 10 most exciting Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design details to come out in the past seven months or so. These are the details that we think prospective buyers should know about as we push deeper into the year and closer to its official September 3rd Unpacked 2014 Episode 2 launch event.

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Plastic + Metal

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design rumors have exploded this week thanks to a series of leaks that appear to show the Galaxy Note 4 in the flesh. GSMArena got its hands on some photos that appear to depict an unannounced Samsung smartphone that from the look of things, could be the elusive Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

The alleged Galaxy Note 4 photos show a device that’s build primarily out of textured plastic. Around the edge, we see what appears to be a metal band, something that rumors out of Korea have suggested would indeed be a part of the Galaxy Note 4′s final design.

This could be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

This could be the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

If this was last year, we wouldn’t be as excited because Samsung had not yet shown a commitment to using new build materials with its flagship smartphones. However, with the arrival of the plastic and metal Samsung Galaxy Alpha, it’s starting to look like Samsung might actually use some metal with its next Galaxy Note design.

The change makes sense. Consumers have, for years, complained about Samsung’s boring plastic materials. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3, for instance, used a faux plastic leather back that simply wasn’t as nice as the iPhone 5s’ design or the design of the iPhone 5, a device that arrived all the way back in 2012.

This could be the Galaxy Note 4's front panel.

This could be the Galaxy Note 4′s front panel.

It’s clear that Samsung is quite nervous about the impact the iPhone 6 could have on its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note sales, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be coming in 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch sizes, so a change from plastic to plastic and metal could be what Samsung uses to attract those to its new premium Galaxy Note 4. Remember, Samsung has touted this device as a smartphone aimed at the high-end.

Metal or not, we’re excited to see what Samsung has up its sleeve. The company always improves its designs year after year and the Galaxy Note 4 could finally take the next step with premium materials.

Storage

A report from the well known evleaks suggested that the Galaxy Note 4 would be coming with 32GB of internal storage, at least in the United States. Last year’s Galaxy Note 3 came in just one flavor, 32GB, though it was in possession of a microSD card slot for expanded storage. You kind of have to offer that if you’re only offering one storage model.

Today, a massive spec leak from retailer Erafone points to the arrival of a 32GB Galaxy Note 4 and it also suggests that Samsung has 16GB and 64GB models up its sleeve as well. That seems a little flimsy given Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 approach (32GB & 64GB) and its Galaxy S5 approach this year (16GB only in U.S.) but without details from Samsung, we can’t confirm anything.

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What’s exciting is that the retailer lists a microSD card slot that can be used in conjunction with a 128GB microSD card. What this means is that at the very least, Galaxy Note 4 users should be able to expand storage upwards of 150GB. Plus the cloud.

One thing to note. The Galaxy Alpha, which could share a design with the Galaxy Note 4, does not have a microSD card slot. And it comes with 32GB of storage space. Thing is, the Galaxy Alpha is not a flagship device, so there’s no added pressure to deliver that feature.

Fingerprint Sensor

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4′s physical home button is rumored to include a fingerprint sensor, a feature that would add an extra layer of security and bring added convenience to Galaxy Note 4 users. It’s a feature that’s found on the Galaxy S5 already so it’s no surprising to learn that Samsung is aiming to get it on board its other flagship.

A fingerprint reader is also likely part of the Galaxy note 4 specs.

A fingerprint reader is also likely part of the Galaxy note 4 specs.

Samsung allows developers to tap into fingerprint sensor through its SDK so we’re excited to see what might pop up in the months and perhaps years after the Galaxy Note 4′s release.

Screen Real Estate

The display is always a key part of a smartphone design and in the case of the Galaxy Note series, the display plays a critical role. The Galaxy Note is known for two features in particular, its massive display and its S Pen.

The S Pen is an integral part of the Note experience.

The S Pen is an integral part of the Note experience.

The S Pen is, of course, the bundled stylus that users can holster inside of the design when they’re not writing, drawing or taking advantage of the device’s unique apps. The large screen is crucial because it provides a fantastic playground for those that love to play games, get work done, watch movies and television shows, and browse the web on their phone.

There’s a reason the Galaxy Note is called a “phablet.” It’s a dumb name but the large screen and stylus truly make it a combination of smartphone and tablet.

The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to have a 5.7-inch display.

The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to have a 5.7-inch display.

So, we’re excited that Galaxy Note 4 rumors are pointing to a large 5.7-inch display with QHD resolution. That’s the same size as the Galaxy Note 3 display but QHD will offer better resolution for all of the activities we love on the Galaxy Note.

Three-Sided Display

Samsung has hinted, several times, at a new form factor. That new form factor is rumored to be a three-sided display that offers unique viewing angles for users. Rumors suggest that this Galaxy Note 4 with flexible display probably won’t be mass produced and could be comparable to last year’s Galaxy Round, a Galaxy Note-like variant that emerged with a curved display in Korea.

The company recently filed for a trademark for the name “Samsung Galaxy Note Edge” fueling speculation about a three-sided display. While we still haven’t seen the device itself emerge, the concept below will give you a general idea about what to expect from Samsung and a possible three-sided display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 concept with three-sided display.

We’re excited about the prospect but we caution consumers. Temper those expectations because this technology probably isn’t going to be ready for mass production in 2014.

IP67 Certification

Another Galaxy Note 4 design feature that we’re excited about is the potential IP67 certification that could come with it when it’s released in September. The Galaxy S5 is also in possession of a IP67 cert which means that its design is both dust and water resistant. No, not dust and waterproof, dust and water resistant.

A small plug covers the charging port to keep water out.

A small plug covers the charging port to keep water out.

It’s a feature that we enjoy on the Galaxy S5 and it’s one that we’d love to see come to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design. It’s always nice having an added layer of protection, especially if you’re expecting to keep the device for a couple of years.

Two Cameras

We’re excited about the two Galaxy Note 4 cameras, a rear camera that appears to be situated in the back-middle of the device and a front-facing camera that’s in the front of the smartphone for video chat purposes.

Holding out hope for a faster, better performing Galaxy Note 4 camera.

Holding out hope for a faster, better performing Galaxy Note 4 camera.

The Galaxy Note 4 is expected to feature a brand new camera that features a 16MP sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS). OIS is a feature that’s been featured on other Android smartphones, the Nexus 5 and LG G3 in particular. It helps to cut down on shakiness in videos. Paired with the device’s rumored Snapdragon 805 processor, we could see the camera deliver some truly beautiful photos and video including 4K video.

Erafone’s Galaxy Note 4 spec sheet hints at a 16MP camera sensor with OIS, autofocus, dual-LED flash which means that this camera is shaping up to be a crucial piece of the Galaxy Note 4 design.

Heart Rate Sensor

Those Galaxy Note 4 photos show off the design’s camera sensor and they also appear to confirm a heart rate sensor. The Galaxy S5′s heart rate sensor was featured on the back of the phone next to the rear camera and it could be that Samsung does exactly the same here.

There is a small pulse reader built-in to the flash area of the Galaxy S5. Galaxy S5 owners can use it and the S Health 3.0 app to take their pulse and track it to see if there are changes over time and to see how their heart rate is at rest and during activity. It can be seen, in action, in the video below.

UV Sensor

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 arrived with an array of sensors but it did not come with a UV sensor. According to rumors, a small sensor in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will reportedly measure UV radiation as part of Samsung’s continued push to a full body health and fitness solution.

The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

The Galaxy Note 4 S Health app will measure UV radiation and offer education according to rumors.

This Galaxy Note 4 feature will alert users to unsafe UV Radiation levels to help protect the owner’s skin from damage. As we’ve pointed out, the feature could much more than bloat as it could allow the Galaxy Note 4 to alert owners when UV exposure is too high, so that they can wear the right clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen and get out of the sun when needed.

This might seem like an extremely small addition to the Galaxy Note 4 but in our eyes, it has the potential to be extremely useful for Galaxy Note 4 owners, especially those that like to be in the sun.

Four Colors

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Finally, rumors point to the arrival of four Galaxy Note 4 colors, blue, white, gold, and black. If true, the device would match the Galaxy S5 design. We’re excited about the gold Galaxy Note 4 and we’re hopeful that Samsung can get the blue and gold variants out faster than the gold and blue Galaxy S5 variants that arrived weeks after launch.

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