Samsung finally released the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with an improved display, better hardware design and simpler Touchwiz without as much crapware as earlier versions of the phablet. It still offers the great S Pen for fine-tipped accuracy without compare in the smartphone world.
Most buyers of a new phone unpack it, load their favorite apps up and then start looking for some awesome accessories. This can add some significant cost, especially if a Note 4 owner invests in the wrong case or buys the wrong car dock. That’s why we’re offering our list of the first 5 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accessories that owners should look at to extend the value of their new phone/phablet. These Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accessories extend the usefulness of the phone for work and for play.
Readers will notice that we didn’t include any cases for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. That’s one of the first accessories most people buy, so there’s an entire post listing 5 awesome Note 4 cases.
Bluetooth Speakers or Headphones
The portable Bluetooth speaker market exploded in recent years, so finding the right one can pose a challenge. Braven always makes nice sounding speakers with excellent battery life. The Braven 705 Bluetooth battery-powered speaker will appeal to people who enjoy colorful accessories. The company sells them in 8 colors.
The speaker charges up using a micros-USB cable and lasts about 12 hours thanks to the 1400mAh battery. The detachable rubber cover protects a charging port, stereo input and output connections, Bluetooth connection button and power indicator LEDs. There’s also a full-sized USB port for topping off the Note 4. This keeps the speakers safe from water. On the other side, there’s a set of music controls and a power button.
The Braven 705 sounds pretty good for a small wireless speaker. Users can also answer calls from the speaker by pushing one of the buttons on the end of the speaker. Get them at Braven for $99.
If wireless headphones match your lifestyle better, look at the Phiaton BT 220 NC Bluetooth 4.0 noise cancelling wireless ear buds. We recommended the older version of this pair of ear buds in a review: the Phiaton PS 210 BTNC. The Phiaton BT 220 ($159 at Amazon) NC upgraded that set we liked in some nice ways. First, the design means they’ll last longer. The PS 210 BTNC broke faster than as we hoped, but the BT 220 NC feels sturdier and better built. They also sound incredible for Bluetooth ear buds, and they added NFC pairing to this version.
The active noise cancelling feature means users don’t hear ambient sound as they’re listing their music or other audio. The set feels good and comes with different ear inserts to match a person’s ear canal.
The ear buds connect to a small pack the size of a 5-stick pack of gum. This holds the battery and electronics. It also offers a clip to hold the pack to a shirt during a workout. The package includes a strap to hold the pack around the neck. It’s hard to attach the strap, so instead of feeding it through the tiny holds, I just slipped the loop at the end of the strap to the clip. This makes it easier to attach or detach the strap.
Pairing with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or other NFC enabled smart phones is easy. Tap the case to the back of the phone and it offers to pair them.
Other useful features include what they call Clear Voice Capture, for talking on the phone through the ear buds, and a stereo cable to connect to a phone when the battery runs out.
iBolt xProDock Connect for NFC Enabled Phones Car Dock
It’s hard to find a car dock that fits the large Samsung Galaxy Note 4, even with the thin bezel around its 5.7-inch display, but the iBolt xProDock Connect for NFC Enabled Phones will fit large phones like the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus. The top of the retail box shows the largest size phone the dock fits. Hold the phone up to the box to see if the phone’s width measures narrower than the widest distance the spring-loaded clamp expands to.
The dock can fasten to the windshield or dash using a suction cup. I installed it on my dash using the included adhesive disk. The mount sticks to the disk firmly and releases easily thanks to the lever that breaks the suction.
The dock uses three arms and a spring-loaded clamp that grabs hold of the phone. Two arms should to rest under the phone and the third grabs the top while in landscape mode. It also works in portrait mode, thanks to the ball joint on the back of the docking clamp.
Users will need to assemble the iBolt xProDock Connect, but it goes together easily. Inserting the phone is a bit challenging since it’s so wide, but it fits. It’s not made specifically for the Galaxy Note 4, which means it will fit others as well. My wife uses an iPhone and we own an iPhone 6 Plus that serves as a family line. When she drives, she can put her phone in the dock too.
The package comes with an NFC disc that links to the iBOLT Dock’n Drive app in the Google Play Store. The app makes it easy to quickly open apps like Google Maps for navigation, Google Play Music for streaming some albums or add direct dial links to quickly call favorite contacts.
Square Jellyfish Smartphone Spring Tripod Mount
The Square Jellyfish Smartphone Spring Tripod Mount screws onto any tripod with a standard 1/4 20 tripod stud. The photo above shows it with the JOBY GorillaPod GripTight. Since the GripTight doesn’t fit the Galaxy Note 4, we found this one from Square Jellyfish that does.
The Square Jellyfish mount comes with a spring-loaded clamp and the two arms fold down for easy storage in a pocket, computer bag or purse.
On back there’s a knob to loosen the mount so the user can twist the mount 90 degrees for using the phone in portrait mode as well. Square Jellyfish sells accessories like a ball head and their own small tripods.
The mount works great to hold the phone for photos and video, but it’s also useful as a stand watching streaming video or typing on a Bluetooth keyboard.
Targus Universal Foldable Keyboard for Android Devices
The Samsung Galaxy Note comes with a 5.7-inch screen, making it big enough to fire off quick emails, compose a short document or use for mobile surfing. A portable keyboard makes all of this quicker, so take a look at the Targus Universal Foldable Keyboard for Android Devices ($40 at Amazon). It comes with a carrying case to hold the keyboard when not in use. With the keyboard folded up and in the case it’s just a little wider than the Note 4 and as thick as three phones stacked.
Connect the keyboard via Bluetooth 3.0 and type away. The keyboard’s width makes typing comfortable. It takes getting used to for some typists, because the B key sits on the wrong side of the divide. Some people hit the B with their left thumb, but it forces the user to hit it with the right.
They keyboard promises all-day battery life. The carrying case doubles as a stand for the phone.
Adapter to Connect to a TV or Projector
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can do more than work as a computer in the user’s hand. Want to connect it to an external display to watch a movie or get some work done? To connect the Note 4 to a TV, monitor or projector get a wireless display adapter, like the Google Chromecast, Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick or the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter. Yes, we do recommend the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter as one of the best Samsung Galaxy Note 4 accessories.
Most people think Chromecast when they think of streaming or mirroring an Android phone to an external display. However, the Chromecast has limitations. Streaming video can lag or stutter. It only works with Android or with the Chrome browser on Windows. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter ($69.96) doesn’t suffer those limitations but it also costs twice as much as the Chromecast. It’s worth the cost if you want something that’s more reliable, works with a Windows computer with Miracast support, like the Surface Pro 3, and still lets the user connect to the adapter and the Internet at the same time.
The Google Chromecast offers a less expensive solution that hooks up to a TV or display using HDMI and powers the adapter with a micro-USB cable connected to either a USB port on the display or a USB to AC adapter, just like the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter.
The Chromecast works well, but there’s some lag with full 1080p HD video. The Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter didn’t lag or stutter once in our tests. It also works with a direct connection to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 using Miracast technology. That means the phone can wirelessly send the signal to the external display and access the Internet at the same time.
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