Samsung takes Notes to the Edge with two new phablet devices

3 Sep 2014

Scribbling notes with the S Pen and Galaxy Note 4

As expected, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 4 at its Unpacked press event in Berlin, but there was also an added bonus in the form of the Galaxy Note Edge.

“With the introduction of the Galaxy Note series, we brought the age-old culture of the pen and notepad into the digital world,” said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT and mobile communication at Samsung Electronics as he introduced the two new devices at the pre-IFA event.

The South Korean electronics giant continues its productivity and creativity-focused ranged with the Galaxy Note 4, a 4G-ready 5.7-inch phablet featuring a quad-HD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440.

Inside, the Note 4 will house either a 2.7GHz quad-core processor or an octa-core chipset, depending on which market you get it from.

Photos can be captured using a 16MP rear camera with auto-focus and image stabilisation, or a front-facing 3.7MP camera with an f1.9 lens letting in some extra light and provides the option to shoot wide-angle selfies.

Noteworthy new features

The key features of the Note are, naturally, its note-taking capabilities, and the fourth-generation has made efforts to improve on them.

The mobile device’s trusty S Pen has been enhanced to create an experience closer to a traditional pen and paper and, with it, users will be able to collect and create content with ease, piecing elements from different origins together for simple sharing.

In fact, note-taking on the Note 4 can happen in a variety of different ways, all integrated with Samsung’s S Note app. Users can type, write using the S Pen, record voice memos, or even photograph a page or classroom board of notes and convert this to an S Note.

Voice recording has also been optimised for diligent documenters with multiple microphones and improved noise cancellation. The new voice recorder offers directional voice tagging and a selective playback capability lets users isolate and listen to specific voices in a group conversation.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 colour range

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

The Note’s Multi Window function has also been refined to make multi-tasking easier for users who can now choose how they access applications with full, split or pop-up screens and easily change the size and positioning of apps on the screen in one swipe.

The powerhouse of a device also comes with a fingerprint scanner, UV sensor, and a heart-rate monitor that can feed information to the latest S Health app.

The Note 4 is also packing 32GB of storage with micro-SD expansion available up to 64GB, plus 3GB of RAM and a 3,220mAh battery, all jammed into an 8.5mm thin, 176g package.

The design language has also undergone an update, while a soft, textured back cover provides added comfort and a touch of elegance.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

The Galaxy Note Edge

More from the Galaxy Note Edge

Similar features can be found on the 5.6-inch Galaxy Note Edge, though its display comes with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 +160. That 160-pixel addition at the end accounts for the additional screen real estate supplied along the edge of the device, hence the name.

The Edge Screen UX provides users with quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality even when the case is closed – all that’s needed is the swipe of a thumb.

Users can also receive notifications directly to the edge screen when watching full-screen video so as not to disturb the view.

The Galaxy Note Edge is ever so slightly slimmer and lighter than the Note 4 and has also shaved off some battery capacity for an even 3,000mAh.

The Galaxy Note 4 will launch globally in a range of four colours from October, while the Note Edge will arrive in black and white variants in select markets later this year.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.