Notebookcheck

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F) Smartphone Review

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 11/26/2014

Dazzler. The concept of the Galaxy Note, a high-end smartphone with a digitizer, is still unique and well implemented by Samsung. But the device cannot utilize the promised additional performance of the Snapdragon 805. However, the Note 4 probably has the best smartphone display, which shines bright and can also convince outdoors.

For the original German review, see here.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the latest upgrade of the flagship smartphone with a digitizer from the South Korean manufacturer. Besides the current Snapdragon 805 processor there is also a higher resolution display with a higher pixel density. But Samsung also improved the build quality and uses a metal frame for the first time, so the device is not only an upgrade in terms of performance but also in terms of materials. The S-Pen was reworked as well and is supposed to have more pressure levels. Only the USB port is a step down. This time it only supports the 2.0 standard, while the Note 3 still had a USB 3.0 port.

There are currently not many devices that could keep up with the Galaxy Note 4 in terms of specifications. Samsung is also still the only manufacturer that offers such high-end smartphones with additional digitizers. The South Koreans charge quite a lot as well, the RRP is hefty at 769 Euros (~$960) and therefore 20 Euros (~$25) higher compared to the predecessor. Can the smartphone fulfill its promises?

None of the rivals have digitizers but are otherwise among the most powerful devices on the market. The list includes the LG G3Sony Xperia Z3HTC One M8Apple iPhone 6 PlusNokia Lumia 1520 as well as the Huawei Ascend Mate 7.

Case

The plastic cover looks like leather.
The plastic cover looks like leather.
It is not that easy to clamp a note into the gap.
It is not that easy to clamp a note into the gap.

The case of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is now a bit thinner but also a bit longer in return. Despite the large 5.7-inch screen, the device feels good in the hand and is not too heavy with 176 grams. The slightly higher weight compared to the Note 3 (168 grams) is probably a result of the metal frame. However, the latter improves the quality impression of the smartphone significantly, so we have no problems with a couple of grams more.

The build quality is on a very high level. The gaps are even, but the gap between the display glass and the metal frame could actually be a bit smaller. Some gap-gate scenarios show that you can insert thick business cards, but we cannot confirm this. Sure, there can be more dirt than usual, but we could only clamp a thin piece of paper with a lot of patience and we could only insert it by a millimeter. Samsung could have done a better job, but this is not a serious issue.

The Galaxy Note 4 is completely resistant against pressure and also very torsion-resistant. The plastic back cover has a leather design and can be removed. Under the cover are the replaceable battery and the slots for the micro-SIM and memory card. The device is, unfortunately, neither dust-resistant nor waterproof.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Note 3 had a USB 3.0 port, but the Note 4 only supports the slower USB 2.0 standard. The port is used for data transfers with a computer and to recharge the smartphone. It also supports OTG and MHL.

The microSD slot supports memory cards with a capacity of up to 128 GB. It can be used to store media files and also apps. You get support for App2SD, so the apps can be launched from the card as well.

Our review unit does not support the streaming standard DLNA, but Wireless Display or Miracast, respectively, in return. This is unfortunate since most TVs, Blu-ray and DVD players support DLNA, while Miracast usually requires an additional adaptor.

An infrared transmitter is available as well and allows the control of TVs, set top boxes, Blu-ray and DVD players as well as AV receivers. Inputs are quickly executed in combination with the app Smart Remote.

Top: audio, microphone, infrared
Top: audio, microphone, infrared
Left side: volume rocker
Left side: volume rocker
Bottom: S-Pen, microphone, USB 2.0, microphone
Bottom: S-Pen, microphone, USB 2.0, microphone
Right side: power
Right side: power

Software

The operating system of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is Google Android 4.4.4 KitKat with the customized TouchWiz user interface. An update to Android 5.0 Lollipop is pretty likely, especially since the manufacturer already made a small announcement on its Twitter channel.

Otherwise, the software is pretty similar to the Galaxy S5, the only addition are the features for the S-Pen. They did not really change compared to the predecessor but are pretty handy. Screenshots can immediately be processed, shared or saved, respectively. The same applies for sections of the screen, and texts can be highlighted with the Intelligent Selection. The latter can directly be stored with the corresponding source information in Scrapbook. It is also possible to select the text in the screenshot later and copy it into a text processing program. Simple notes are possible with ActionMemo.

The S-Pen feature is explained after the first start.
A menu opens when you remove the pen or push the button at the S-Pen.
It is easy to take notes on the screen.
Selected objects are available until you use or close them.

The voice recognition S Voice is also available and works quite well. Samsung only installed a robot-like voice to reduce the storage requirements for the voice recognition. If you want to use S Voice, you can download a better quality pack (around 124 MB) from the Galaxy Store for free. The situation is similar for the S Translator, the language packs can be installed afterwards if you need them. Multi Window is Samsung's multitasking feature for the Note 4, which we already know from other devices. This also works well in the case of our review device and does not cause any criticism. However, we can sometimes notice micro stutters. Google's Android 5.0 should improve the situation, but Samsung will have to optimize its own user interface as well.

S Health is now available in version 3.0 and leaves a good impression. Only the hourly reminders about your own inactivity are a bit annoying. The sensor at the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can be used to determine your heart rate and also for your own oxygen level. It is also possible to direct the sensor towards the sun to determine the level of the UV radiation.

Samsung installs a lot of third-party apps. Most of them can be deleted without problems, but this is not the case for Flipnote and Evernote, which cannot be uninstalled.

S Voice works pretty well, but it is not available in standby.
Small dialogues are possible as well.
S Health: Oxygen concentration
S Health: Stress level
S Health: UV radiation

Communication & GPS 

The WLAN module of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 supports the IEEE 802.11 standards a/b/g/n/ac in 2.4 as well as 5 GHz networks. The range is good. The damping in direct proximity to the router (Fritz!Box 6360) is around -50 dBm in a 2.4 GHz network, and between -73 and -79 dBm with a distance of 20 meters. The smartphone indicated an average signal quality. Websites are still loaded very quickly, only the ping times were sometimes quite high. The damping was a bit lower in a 5 GHz network.

Access to mobile Internet is possible via quad-band HSPA+ with download rates of up to 42 Mbps. Faster connections are supported by LTE Cat. 6, which provides download speeds of up to 300 Mbps (upstream up to 50 Mbps). The coverage of frequencies is very good, but there are, unfortunately, no corresponding networks in Germany yet. 

We have to praise the integration of Bluetooth 4.1, especially in combination with LTE Advanced, since the new standard reduces interferences in the 2,600 MHz band in particular. It is also possible to manage more connected devices at the same time. We had no problems to stream music or the sound of an HD video stream from the Internet.

GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors

You can locate the position of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 via GPS, Glonass or Beidou. In theory, the Snapdragon 805 SoC already supports the European Galileo system, but the start was delayed to 2020 because of numerous problems. The satellite fix was very quick outdoors, but it can take a bit longer indoors.

We checked the accuracy of the position in a comparison with the Garmin Edge 500 bicycle computer. Overall, the Note 4 manages a good result and only deviates by 4% from the reference device. Especially the narrow sections reveal some problems, but problematic situations like the forest are not a big challenge.

Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Garmin Edge 500
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Useful additional feature

Telephone Functions & Voice Quality

The phone app is pretty much standard, only the design was slightly changed. However, Samsung expanded the handling with some useful functions. Swiping from the right over a contact in the call list automatically opens the messages. Swipe from the left and you automatically call the contact.

The voice quality is pretty good. The recipient confirmed a very good quality when we held the Galaxy Note 4 to the ear, but there was a slight clattering on our side. The quality via speaker is decent as well and the sound output of the smartphone is okay. The provided headset leaves a good impression; only high tones were a bit shrill.

Cameras

Even the front camera of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a small highlight. It takes pictures with up to 3.7 MP (2560x1440 pixels, 16:9) and captures a lot of light (aperture f/1.9). You can also use the heart-rate monitor at the back of the smartphone as a trigger in the Selfie mode, which makes the handling very simple. There is a special Groufie mode as well, which almost works like the Panorama mode and uses swings to capture a wider angle. The whole picture is then created from three pictures, which have a pretty low resolution of just 1.6 MP (1365x1141 pixels).

The main camera is, under good lighting conditions in particular, one of the better modules on the market. It takes pictures with up to 15.9 MP (5312x2988 pixels, 16:9) and is supported by an LED flash. However, the auto feature of the flash could be better and activates the flash pretty late. The picture is conveniently sharp and details are very stable as well. The color reproduction is also good. Because of the large aperture (f/2.2) there is a slight overexposure, even though it is only visible with close objects.

Colors appear a bit pale in worse lighting conditions and the contours are a bit blurry. Picture noise is visible, which is also a result of the mediocre light sensitivity (up to ISO 800). You can still take decent pictures in combination with the flash, especially since the latter still allows pretty natural colors.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
Indoor shot (main camera, no flash)
Indoor shot (main camera, no flash)
Shot at complete darkness (main camera, with flash)
Shot at complete darkness (main camera, with flash)
Indoor shot (front camera)
Indoor shot (front camera)
Slightly too much exposure from the front camera outdoors.
Slightly too much exposure from the front camera outdoors.
The Groufie mode compresses the picture.
The Groufie mode compresses the picture.
Panorama with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (29 MP)
Panorama with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (29 MP)
Spherical 360-degree picture. The animated view on the Note 4 is much better.
Spherical 360-degree picture. The animated view on the Note 4 is much better.

Videos on the Note 4 can be recorded in Ultra HD (3840x2160 pixels, 30 fps). If you prefer Full HD, then you get twice the frame rate, so the material is also well suited for high-quality slow-motion videos, even though the slowing factor is limited. The special slow-motion mode supports up to 120 fps, but the videos are immediately compressed to the final result on the smartphone and are only available in 720p (14 fps). There is also no sound in slow-motion videos. Sound is otherwise recorded in stereo and the quality is comparatively good.

Accessories

The provided accessories of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 include a modular quick-charging power adaptor with a nominal output of 15 (9 Volts, 1.67 Amps) or 10 Watts (5 Volts, 2 Amps), respectively. You also get a data cable, a quick-start guide, a headset as well as a small tool to change the SIM and SD cards.

Optional accessories from the manufacturer consist of different kind of covers. The charging cover EP-VN910I (RRP 60 Euros, ~$75) is made of leather and not only protects the smartphone, but it can also be used to charge the battery wirelessly via induction. Slightly less exclusive is the inductive charging set EP-WN910I for the same price, which includes a corresponding charging plate. The back cover (RRP 20 Euros, ~$25) of the smartphone is available in several colors (white, anthracite, gold, pink) as well.

Warranty

Samsung grants a warranty of 24 months for the Galaxy Note 4; the provided accessories and the battery are covered for six months.

Input Devices & Handling

The main input device of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen, which recognizes up to ten inputs simultaneously. The panel is protected by a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, which provides great gliding capabilities that don't cause any criticism. The touchscreen executes inputs quickly and very precisely.

The keyboard layout of the smartphone is similar to the Galaxy S5 and is just slightly bigger. The layout is good and enables quick inputs. However, it does not use all of the available space at the peripheral areas in landscape mode. The review unit has many options to improve the handling of the smartphone with one hand, but don't be fooled, the smartphone should be operated with two hands.

The S-Pen works as usual and was once again improved compared to the predecessor. The digitizer can now differ between 2048 pressure levels, which is twice as much as before. You can select that the display only accepts pen inputs to avoid accidental inputs from the hand. Text or symbol inputs should work well with the S-Pen, only the shape of the pen could be better from an ergonomic point of view.

Voice inputs are possible via S Voice or Google Now; both scenarios work pretty well, but, contrary to the Moto X, this is not possible in standby. However, it is possible to adjust the proximity sensor of the Note 4 so that it still works with a deactivated display and activates the latter with a contactless hand gesture.

Portrait mode
Landscape mode
The screen size can be reduced for one-hand operation.
It is also possible to reduce the keyboard size.

Display

The Galaxy Note 4 uses the most brilliant display that we have seen in a smartphone so far.
The Galaxy Note 4 uses the most brilliant display that we have seen in a smartphone so far.

The display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 measures 5.7-inches and is therefore just as big as its predecessor Galaxy Note 3, but the resolution has been increased. The manufacturer equips its high-end smartphone with a QHD Super AMOLED panel with 2560x1440 pixels. This means you get a screen ratio of 16:9 and an enormous pixel density of 515 PPI, so you cannot see individual pixels.

We determined the maximum brightness with the manual selection of the highest luminance setting. The test device manages a good result of up to 356 cd/m² and the brightness distribution is very good with 92%. However, every other device within the competition is brighter in this situation. They all use LCD displays, which are brighter in general to compensate for the lower contrast. But the Galaxy Note 4 can double its brightness if you activate the brightness sensor. In this case we can record up to 750 cd/m². We cannot reproduce this effect with a flashlight, so we weren't able to record an objective result. We awarded three additional points for this exceptional luminance in the display rating.

356
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
335
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
333
cd/m²
326
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 356 cd/m² Average: 339 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 335 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.77 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.06 | - Ø
99% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.41
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-37%
-84%
-21%
-169%
Brightness
339
496
46%
395
17%
399
18%
671
98%
Brightness Distribution
92
90
-2%
89
-3%
86
-7%
90
-2%
Black Level *
0.62
0.96
0.48
0.72
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.77
3.67
-107%
5.67
-220%
3.28
-85%
8.92
-404%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.06
3.78
-83%
5.66
-175%
2.28
-11%
9.59
-366%
Gamma
2.41 100%
2.42 99%
2.53 95%
2.5 96%
2.75 87%
CCT
6424 101%
7327 89%
7741 84%
6936 94%
9408 69%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
99
59
-40%
Contrast
837
434
877
975

* ... smaller is better

Because of the Super AMOLED technology in the Galaxy Note 4, black is really deep black. This means 0.0 cd/m² in our measurements and an infinite contrast ratio. All the rivals use IPS panels, so their results are worse.

The color production of the review unit sets new reference values and covers the Adobe RGB color space by 99%. You can choose between three modes. Simple shows the colors as natural as possible, so you lose the typical overexposure of the colors due to the OLED. The presentation is free of visible color distortions and can actually satisfy professional users. The accuracy is still very good in the mode Photo, but the saturation of the colors is slightly higher to ensure a more brilliant picture. The Cinema mode has even stronger colors and a visible blue cast. Without a manual selection, the smartphone adjusts the picture to compatible apps to ensure the best possible result all the time.

Color Management (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Color Management (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
Grayscale (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Simple, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Photo, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Photo, target color space: Adobe RGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)
ColorChecker (Mode: Cinema, target color space: sRGB)

We are positively surprised by the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 outdoors. While the Lumia 1520 manages a good visibility under sunlight via software algorithms, the Note 4 does it with raw luminance. If you activate the brightness sensor, you will be surprised by the maximum brightness of the review device. This means it is no problem to read the display content even under bright sunlight. This works really well in practice, especially since the reflections from the glass surface are not too bad.

The Note 4 under the strong autumn sun with deactivated brightness sensor and maximum luminance.
The Note 4 under the strong autumn sun with deactivated brightness sensor and maximum luminance.
Same location, same sun, but with the activated ambient light sensor.
Same location, same sun, but with the activated ambient light sensor.

The viewing-angle stability of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is very good. Content is easy to read on the Super AMOLED display, even from very flat angles, and we cannot see a ghost effect, either. However, there is a slight green cast a soon as the angle gets bigger than 100 degrees. Reflections from the glossy surface of the Gorilla glass are not as bad compared to other devices and there is hardly any brightness reduction with flat angles, either.

Viewing-angle stability: Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Viewing-angle stability: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F) currently uses the fastest SoC from the manufacturer Qualcomm. The Snapdragon 805 AQP8084 (32-bit) processor has four cores with a clock of up to 2.7 GHz. It is supported by 3 GB memory, so the system performance is really good. Graphics calculations are handled by the integrated Qualcomm Adreno 420, which runs with up to 600 MHz. The GPU supports both OpenGL ES 3.1 as well as DirectX 11.2. There is also another version of the Note 4 (SM-910C) that is equipped with a Samsung processor. The Exynos 5433 has eight cores and already supports 64-bit. This could be a big advantage with the upcoming update to Android Lollipop 5.0 since the operating system will support 64-bit processors. However, we currently don't know if the 64-bit functionality of the Exynos can be activated with an update.

The benchmark results of the Note 4 are very good, even though it cannot compete with the performance of the iPhone 6 Plus or the Shield Tablet, which uses the Tegra K1. The review unit leaves a good impression in terms of raw CPU performance. Compared to smartphones with the predecessor SoC Snapdragon 801 we can see a CPU performance improvement of up to 12% in the Passmark CPU test. Linpack shows a similar picture, while the difference is bigger in the 3DMark Physics test, where the Note 4 can utilize its multi-core performance. In this case, only the Tegra K1 SoC is faster, but even the processor from Apple is clearly beaten. The Snapdragon 805 is twice as fast as the A8 from Apple and around 40% faster than the Snapdragon 801 inside the Xperia Z3 in this scenario

The Tegra K1 clearly dominates in terms of GPU performance. It is almost twice as fast as the Adreno 420 of the Note 4 in the 3DMark Graphics test. GFXBench 2.7 Offscreen shows a similar picture, the test device is around 38% slower than the reference from Nvidia. The difference is even bigger in the Onscreen benchmark since the Note 4 has to handle more pixels. It is still a good result, but Qualcomm cannot reclaim the title of the fastest SoC with the Snapdragon 805. The GPU of the SoC in our review unit also had serious temperature problems, which can result in significant performance reductions that we will evaluate later in this review. The CPU performance is not affected by this.

GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
17.7 fps ∼3%
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼2% -33%
HTC One M8
10.5 fps ∼2% -41%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
18.8 fps ∼3% +6%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
31.2 fps ∼6% +76%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
11 fps ∼3%
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼3% +15%
HTC One M8
11.2 fps ∼3% +2%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
30.6 fps ∼8% +178%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
29.8 fps ∼8% +171%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
42.4 fps ∼3%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
8.9 fps ∼1% -79%
Nokia Lumia 1520
13 fps ∼1% -69%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
24 fps ∼2% -43%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼2% -35%
HTC One M8
28.1 fps ∼2% -34%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
44.8 fps ∼3% +6%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
66 fps ∼5% +56%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
27.7 fps ∼6%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
9.2 fps ∼2% -67%
Nokia Lumia 1520
25 fps ∼5% -10%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
25 fps ∼5% -10%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼6% +6%
HTC One M8
30.2 fps ∼7% +9%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
52.4 fps ∼11% +89%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
57 fps ∼12% +106%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18913 Points ∼26%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
3683 Points ∼5% -81%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
10809 Points ∼15% -43%
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼19% -28%
HTC One M8
9521 Points ∼13% -50%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
9473 Points ∼13% -50%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
21086 Points ∼29% +11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20733 Points ∼5%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
536 Points ∼0% -97%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
6595 Points ∼1% -68%
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4% -5%
HTC One M8
15928 Points ∼4% -23%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
23937 Points ∼5% +15%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
39590 Points ∼9% +91%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20299 Points ∼10%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
662 Points ∼0% -97%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
7221 Points ∼4% -64%
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼9% -12%
HTC One M8
13856 Points ∼7% -32%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
17873 Points ∼9% -12%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
33129 Points ∼17% +63%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
696.97 MFLOPS ∼24%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
64.303 MFLOPS ∼2% -91%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
281.111 MFLOPS ∼10% -60%
Nokia Lumia 1520
944.656 MFLOPS ∼32% +36%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
986.355 MFLOPS ∼33% +42%
Sony Xperia Z3
700 MFLOPS ∼24% 0%
HTC One M8
575.654 MFLOPS ∼19% -17%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1440.81 MFLOPS ∼49% +107%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
726 MFLOPS ∼25% +4%
Single Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
319.975 MFLOPS ∼31%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
40.441 MFLOPS ∼4% -87%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
136.536 MFLOPS ∼13% -57%
Nokia Lumia 1520
236.164 MFLOPS ∼23% -26%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
438.918 MFLOPS ∼43% +37%
Sony Xperia Z3
375 MFLOPS ∼37% +17%
HTC One M8
337.474 MFLOPS ∼33% +5%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
766.2 MFLOPS ∼75% +139%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
673 MFLOPS ∼66% +110%
AnTuTu Benchmark v4 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
39174 Points ∼91%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
8526 Points ∼20% -78%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
21093 Points ∼49% -46%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
31725 Points ∼74% -19%
HTC One M8
19844 Points ∼46% -49%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
42997 Points ∼100% +10%
AnTuTu Benchmark v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
47172 Points ∼59%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
24200 Points ∼30% -49%
Sony Xperia Z3
42125 Points ∼52% -11%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
50360 Points ∼62% +7%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
55435 Points ∼69% +18%
Basemark X 1.1
High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18680 Points ∼42%
Sony Xperia Z3
12603 Points ∼29% -33%
HTC One M8
10191 Points ∼23% -45%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
28746 Points ∼65% +54%
Medium Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
31806 Points ∼71%
Sony Xperia Z3
24637 Points ∼55% -23%
HTC One M8
17913 Points ∼40% -44%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
36584 Points ∼81% +15%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1
Memory Tests (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5263 Points ∼0%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
1484 Points ∼0% -72%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
4591 Points ∼0% -13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
4437 Points ∼0% -16%
Sony Xperia Z3
4179 Points ∼0% -21%
HTC One M8
4438 Points ∼0% -16%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
5147 Points ∼0% -2%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
4807 Points ∼0% -9%
CPU Tests (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20164 Points ∼4%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
3492 Points ∼1% -83%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
11276 Points ∼2% -44%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
14220 Points ∼3% -29%
Sony Xperia Z3
18920 Points ∼4% -6%
HTC One M8
17999 Points ∼4% -11%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
43696 Points ∼10% +117%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
22985 Points ∼5% +14%
System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5857 Points ∼43%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
1617 Points ∼12% -72%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
4151 Points ∼31% -29%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
4589 Points ∼34% -22%
Sony Xperia Z3
4126 Points ∼31% -30%
HTC One M8
4433 Points ∼33% -24%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
5622 Points ∼42% -4%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
6285 Points ∼47% +7%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686 MediaTek MT6577, PowerVR SGX531, 8 GB SSD
 
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG Intel Atom Z2580, PowerVR SGX544MP2, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 1520 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB SSD
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC One M8 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W Nvidia Tegra K1, NVIDIA Tegra K1 Kepler GPU, 16 GB iNAND Flash

Both the stock browser and Google Chrome are preinstalled on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Subjectively, there is no criticism for the web-browsing performance, but the benchmarks show mixed results. The majority of benchmarks reflect the familiar performance situation and the Note 4 is behind the iPhone 6 Plus and the Nvidia Shield, but SunSpider shows an unexpected low result for the review unit.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
852 Points ∼14%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
506 Points ∼8% -41%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
734 Points ∼12% -14%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
515 Points ∼8% -40%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
731 Points ∼12% -14%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
811 Points ∼13% -5%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1164 Points ∼19% +37%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
2613 Points ∼42% +207%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5379 Points ∼11%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
1993 Points ∼4% -63%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5339 Points ∼11% -1%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
3131 Points ∼6% -42%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
7276 Points ∼15% +35%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
6777 Points ∼14% +26%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
955.6 ms * ∼24%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
1345.3 ms * ∼33% -41%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
857.1 ms * ∼21% +10%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
545.2 ms * ∼14% +43%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
1003 ms * ∼25% -5%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
827.5 ms * ∼21% +13%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
594.2 ms * ∼15% +38%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
347.4 ms * ∼9% +64%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
525 ms * ∼13% +45%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
458 ms * ∼11% +52%
WebXPRT 2013
Offline Notes (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1253.2 ms * ∼26%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
1908.8 ms * ∼40% -52%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1029.2 ms * ∼21% +18%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1542.4 ms * ∼32% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
174.51 ms * ∼4% +86%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1192 ms * ∼25% +5%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1355.3 ms * ∼28% -8%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
499 ms * ∼10% +60%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
748 ms * ∼16% +40%
Stocks Dashboard (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1268.7 ms * ∼34%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
2167.4 ms * ∼58% -71%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
942.9 ms * ∼25% +26%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1172.9 ms * ∼31% +8%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
111.65 ms * ∼3% +91%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1103 ms * ∼29% +13%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
952 ms * ∼25% +25%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
338 ms * ∼9% +73%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
742 ms * ∼20% +42%
Face Detection (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1713.8 ms * ∼14%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
2786.6 ms * ∼23% -63%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
5243 ms * ∼43% -206%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2206.4 ms * ∼18% -29%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
1207.83 ms * ∼10% +30%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7831 ms * ∼65% -357%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4534 ms * ∼37% -165%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
1463.2 ms * ∼12% +15%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
975 ms * ∼8% +43%
Photo Effects (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
980.7 ms * ∼11%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
2100.1 ms * ∼24% -114%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
1912.7 ms * ∼21% -95%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1767.1 ms * ∼20% -80%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
100.11 ms * ∼1% +90%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
875 ms * ∼10% +11%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
948.6 ms * ∼11% +3%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
904.7 ms * ∼10% +8%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
698 ms * ∼8% +29%
Overall Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
326 Points ∼14%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
187 Points ∼8% -43%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
236 Points ∼10% -28%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
255 Points ∼11% -22%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
269 Points ∼12% -17%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
345 Points ∼15% +6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
271 Points ∼12% -17%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
604 Points ∼27% +85%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
530 Points ∼23% +63%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6127.4 ms * ∼10%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
18521.8 ms * ∼31% -202%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10624.5 ms * ∼18% -73%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
27066.8 ms * ∼46% -342%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
8574.3 ms * ∼14% -40%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
6502 ms * ∼11% -6%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
8990.4 ms * ∼15% -47%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
4469.8 ms * ∼8% +27%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
4286 ms * ∼7% +30%

* ... smaller is better

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has 32 GB internal eMMC 4.5 flash storage. The user can use around 24.42 GB after the initial start, which is 4.4 GB more than the predecessor with similar storage equipment. It is also possible to expand the storage via microSD card by up to 128 GB. The system, fortunately, supports App2SD, so apps can be launched directly from the memory card.

The benchmarks confirm that the Note 4 has the fastest storage in an Android smartphone. Even the iPhone 6 Plus is beaten in PassMark but is just as fast in Basemark OS II. The latter benchmark shows that our review unit is beaten by the Lumia 1520, which manages a much better result in this scenario.

BaseMark OS II - Memory (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
595 Points ∼13%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
354 Points ∼8% -41%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
536 Points ∼12% -10%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
596 Points ∼13% 0%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
610 Points ∼14% +3%
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
1002 Points ∼23% +68%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - Disk Tests (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
34250 Points ∼25%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
4388 Points ∼3% -87%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
17914 Points ∼13% -48%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
26005 Points ∼19% -24%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
13660 Points ∼10% -60%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
17200 Points ∼13% -50%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
23184 Points ∼17% -32%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
28478 Points ∼21% -17%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
16851 Points ∼12% -51%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
3.14 MB/s ∼2%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
0.78 MB/s ∼0% -75%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.98 MB/s ∼1% -69%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
2.21 MB/s ∼1% -30%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2 MB/s ∼1% -36%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.88 MB/s ∼1% -72%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
0.9 MB/s ∼1% -71%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.44 MB/s ∼1% -54%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
19.87 MB/s ∼11%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
9.38 MB/s ∼5% -53%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.31 MB/s ∼6% -48%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
16.05 MB/s ∼9% -19%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
15 MB/s ∼9% -25%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
10.53 MB/s ∼6% -47%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
11 MB/s ∼6% -45%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
20.98 MB/s ∼12% +6%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
38.91 MB/s ∼19%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
13.93 MB/s ∼7% -64%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
13.74 MB/s ∼7% -65%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
29.08 MB/s ∼14% -25%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
18 MB/s ∼9% -54%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
19.51 MB/s ∼9% -50%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
15.5 MB/s ∼7% -60%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
23.83 MB/s ∼11% -39%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
178.77 MB/s ∼22%
LG Optimus G Pro Lite Dual D686
SGX531, MT6577, 8 GB SSD
30.49 MB/s ∼4% -83%
Asus Fonepad Note FHD 6 ME560CG
SGX544MP2, Z2580, 16 GB iNAND Flash
69.6 MB/s ∼9% -61%
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB SSD
107.53 MB/s ∼13% -40%
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
149 MB/s ∼19% -17%
HTC One M8
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AB, 16 GB iNAND Flash
88.41 MB/s ∼11% -51%
NVIDIA Shield Tablet P1761W
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 16 GB iNAND Flash
83 MB/s ∼10% -54%
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
167.46 MB/s ∼21% -6%

Gaming Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can use one of the fastest and most modern graphics units, the Qualcomm Adreno 420. The GPU is powerful enough for all games in the Google Play Store. It also supports current graphics interfaces like OpenGL ES 3.1 and DirectX 11.2, so there is enough potential for the upcoming generation of games. Complex titles like Asphalt 8 or The Descent can be played completely smoothly and with the highest details; we just noticed some small stutters during some animations in Star Wars Commander.

The perfectly working sensors and the excellent touchscreen result in a great gaming experience.

Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
Epic Citadel (Ultra High Quality)
Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Star Wars Commander
Star Wars Commander
The Descent
The Descent

Emissions

Temperature

While idling, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 reaches surface temperatures of up to 28.6 °C. We simulated load with the app Stability Test for at least one hour and measured up to 40.3 °C. Only the HTC One M8 (up to 39.2 °C) and the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 (up to 39.8 °C) are cooler within the comparison, while the hottest device is the Lumia 1520 (up to 49.0 °C). However, none of these values are critical, even though the Nokia smartphone is pretty close.

GFXBench 3.0: Battery test
The performance is steadier in the AnTuTu Stability test, but it is also more stressful for the CPU.
The temperatures are stable in PCMark for Android.
Anomaly 2 Benchmark (High Quality) only wins the silver award due to performance limitations.

We check the stability of the GPU performance with the GFXBench 3.0 Battery test, which runs the T-Rex Onscreen test thirty times in a row and monitors both the battery capacity as well as the frame rate. The latter suddenly drops during the tenth run and levels off five runs later, but on a much lower level compared to the start. The Adreno 420 loses roughly 30% of its performance (throttling) due to temperature problems under sustained load. This was already indicated by the benchmarks and the differences can be perceptible. A similar benchmark (GFXBench 2.7, T-Rex, Offscreen, OpenGL ES 2.0) shows 42.4 fps for the cool Note 4 but only 19.6 fps under load. The difference is even bigger in this scenario and instead of a smooth gaming experience you get dropped frames.

The CPU performance, however, is steady. A preview version of PCMark for Android cannot utilize the full performance, but the temperatures are constant all the time.

Max. Load
 39.6 °C38.1 °C34.9 °C 
 40.3 °C38.5 °C35.6 °C 
 38.2 °C36.6 °C34.5 °C 
Maximum: 40.3 °C
Average: 37.4 °C
32.4 °C37.9 °C37 °C
34.3 °C38.1 °C37.3 °C
34.6 °C38.3 °C39 °C
Maximum: 39 °C
Average: 36.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40 °C | Room Temperature 22.9 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

The mono speaker at the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 does a decent job but does not create a really enjoyable sound experience. The latter is pretty balanced up to a volume of around 75%, but the high tones already sound a bit pale and a bit muffled. Those issues get bigger when you increase the volume so the sound gets very tinny. The position at the back is not perfect, either.

The provided headphones are better but put too much emphasis on the bass and don't reproduce all sound nuances. Still, they are among the better provided units on the market.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is almost identical to the predecessor (0.4 – 1.4 Watts) while idling with 0.6 up to 1.4 Watts. Those are very frugal values. The iPhone 6 Plus, for example, needs up to 2.5 Watts and it has the highest consumption within the comparison. 

The consumption rises under load and the review unit needs up to 9.4 Watts. This is quite a lot and also the highest value in our comparison. Only the LG G3 (up to 9.1 Watts) has a similarly high consumption, all the other rivals are much more frugal. The Ascend Mate 7 (up to 3 Watts) manages the lowest value, but also has the least powerful SoC.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.6 / 1.1 / 1.4 Watt
Load midlight 4.3 / 9.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

The replaceable battery of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a capacity of 3,220 mAh and is therefore just slightly bigger than its predecessor (3,200 mAh). The high consumption values under load suggest that the runtimes should be shorter compared to the Note 3, but this is not the case. Quite the contrary, the runtimes are actually significantly better. One reason could be the occasional stutters during the Stability Test, which were a result of the reduced SoC clock. The throttling obviously reduced the power consumption as well.

A better comparison is the battery tests with adjusted panel brightness (150 cd/m²). The Note 4 manages very good results in both scenarios and is just slightly beaten by the iPhone 6 Plus in the WLAN test, while only the Lumia 1520 is better during video playback and runs two hours longer. Otherwise, the review device dominates the comparison and shows a very good performance.

The charging times are also great with the corresponding quick-charging power adaptor. It took just one hour and 40 minutes to fully charge a completely empty battery. However, this will take much longer with a standard power adaptor or the inductive charging.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
27h 48min
WiFi Surfing
12h 24min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 41min
Load (maximum brightness)
5h 23min
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 1520
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
LG G3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-13%
-13%
-46%
-25%
Reader / Idle
1668
1436
-14%
1455
-13%
852
-49%
1203
-28%
H.264
701
675
-4%
873
25%
273
-61%
682
-3%
WiFi
744
777
4%
582
-22%
452
-39%
672
-10%
Load
323
199
-38%
194
-40%
207
-36%
132
-59%

Verdict

In review: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F).
In review: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F).

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F) is an excellent smartphone. The material impression is now better and pretty appealing with the metal frame. The Snapdragon 805 is very fast, but the throttling of the Adreno 420 under load is pretty annoying. It will be interesting to see if the SM-N910C version with Samsung's 64-bit processor Exynos 5433 and ARM Mali-T760 has the same problems.

The Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution of the Note 4 is probably the best display of its kind right now that you can get in a smartphone. Large color space coverage and accuracy as well as excellent outdoor capabilities don't leave anything to be desired. The mega-smartphone is complemented by a clever digitizer operation and very good communication modules, which are up to date with LTE Cat. 6. The quick charging times are surprising and the battery runtimes are very good.

It is unfortunate that the USB 3.0 port has been replaced with a slower version. We would also like to see an always-on voice control for the Galaxy Note, which already works great in the Moto X. Furthermore, we would like to see an IP certification. We still award additional points for the large number of good features and the S-Pen operation, even though the throttling is a bit annoying.

If you are looking for a high-end smartphone with many superlatives and you are willing to pay the corresponding price, then you will be happy with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The predecessor is also still a good choice if you want a less expensive smartphone because it is now available for around 450 Euros (~$561). Even cheaper is the slimmed down version Note 3 Neo (starting at 318 Euros, ~$396).

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In review: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F). Test device courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.
In review: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F). Test device courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (Galaxy Note Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 420, Core: 600 MHz, OpenGL ES 3.1, DirectX 11.2
Memory
3072 MB 
, LPDDR3-1600
Display
5.7 inch 16:9, 2560x1440 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 multi-touch points, Super AMOLED, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24.42 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: combined headphones and microphone jack, Card Reader: MicroSD up to 128 GB (SDHC, SDXC), 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: Accelerometer, Orientation sensor, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Heart rate monitor and Gyroscope, Digital compass, Barometer, Open NFC, MHL 3.0, GPS, Glonass, Beidou, Wifi-Direct
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz), UMTS/HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 6 (bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20 (all FDD-LTE)), head-SAR: 0.366 W/kg, body-SAR: 0.382 W/kg, Qualcomm MDM9235M modem
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.5 x 153.5 x 78.6 ( = 0.33 x 6.04 x 3.09 in)
Battery
12 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3.8 Volts, 3220 mAh, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 20 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 3.7 MP (CMOS), main camera: 16.0 MP (CMOS, auto focus, UHD-video)
Additional features
Speakers: one mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Power adaptor, data cable, S-Pen, Quick-start guide, S Voice, Gear Fit Manager, Gear Manager, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
176 g ( = 6.21 oz / 0.39 pounds), Power Supply: 70 g ( = 2.47 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
769 Euro

 

The display is still 5.7-inches,...
The display is still 5.7-inches,...
...but the resolution climbs to 2560x1440 pixels (QHD).
...but the resolution climbs to 2560x1440 pixels (QHD).
The color presentation is great.
The color presentation is great.
Front camera with 3.7 MP.
Front camera with 3.7 MP.
The illumination of the sensor buttons can be adjusted. The fingerprint reader is inside the home button.
The illumination of the sensor buttons can be adjusted. The fingerprint reader is inside the home button.
The plastic back cover looks like leather.
The plastic back cover looks like leather.
The main camera seems to be identical with the Galaxy S5.
The main camera seems to be identical with the Galaxy S5.
The S-Pen disappears completely into the case.
The S-Pen disappears completely into the case.
The back cover can be removed.
The back cover can be removed.
It covers the micro-SIM and microSD card slots.
It covers the micro-SIM and microSD card slots.
The speaker is just average.
The speaker is just average.
You can replace the battery as well.
You can replace the battery as well.
The battery is hardly bigger compared to the predecessor.
The battery is hardly bigger compared to the predecessor.
A quick-charge power adaptor is provided.
A quick-charge power adaptor is provided.
It needs less than two hours to recharge the Note 4.
It needs less than two hours to recharge the Note 4.
Remove the S-Pen and a menu appears on the screen.
Remove the S-Pen and a menu appears on the screen.
The S-Pen has been improved.
The S-Pen has been improved.
Chinese satellites are used for the location as well.
Chinese satellites are used for the location as well.
AndEBench Pro
AndEBench Pro
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
3DMark
3DMark
Browsermark 2.1
Browsermark 2.1
Vellamo 3.1
Vellamo 3.1
PassMark Mobile
PassMark Mobile
Basemark OS II
Basemark OS II
AnTuTu v5.1
AnTuTu v5.1
AnTuTu v4
AnTuTu v4
Not all apps can be removed.
Not all apps can be removed.
The reminder of the removed S-Pen is very handy and can hardly be overheard.
The reminder of the removed S-Pen is very handy and can hardly be overheard.
PCMark for Android
PCMark for Android
50 GB Dropbox storage is free.
50 GB Dropbox storage is free.

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Pros

+Powerful SoC
+Good camera
+Great build quality
+Very good battery runtimes
+Replaceable battery
+Expandable memory
+S-Pen
+Quick charge
+50 GB Dropbox for 24 months
+Good GPS module
+Decent voice quality
 

Cons

-GPU throttling
-No IP certification
-No USB 3.0
-Bloatware

Shortcut

What we like

The great display is in a class of its own and also works well under the sun. But we also like the excellent communication features and the new metal frame.

What we'd like to see

We would have expected an IP certification for the Note 4.

What surprises us

It seems that Samsung cannot really handle the temperature development of the graphics unit, which results in noticeable performance restrictions. We hope that can be fixed with an update.

The competition

The main rivals are from Samsung themselves with the predecessor Galaxy Note 3 as well as the slimmed down version Note 3 Neo. Otherwise, the Asus Fonepad Note 6 and the LG G Pro Lite Dual are cheaper and much less powerful alternatives that have an input pen. Rivals without a pen are the Apple iPhone 6 PlusLG G3Nokia Lumia 1520Huawei Ascend Mate 7Sony Xperia Z3 as well as the HTC One M8.

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - 10/24/2014 v4(old)
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
91%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 96%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
57 / 60 → 95%
Weight
90%
Battery
95%
Display
95%
Games Performance
67 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
56 / 70 → 80%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
77%
Add Points
+1%
Average
75%
90%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (SM-N910F) Smartphone Review
Daniel Schmidt, 2014-11-26 (Update: 2014-11-27)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.