Hot topics

Was the Galaxy Note 4 the last great Samsung phone?

androidpit Samsung Galaxy Note4 1
© nextpit

Since the departure of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 and the lackluster performance of the Galaxy Note 5, the Galaxy Note 4 has grown to be the preferred device for phablet fans. Despite the fact that the Note 4 is now well over two years old, demand for the device has continued to ensure its viability within the smartphone market. Does this mean that the Note 4 has become the undisputed King of all Samsung devices? Maybe - you never can tell. Let’s take a look at how the Note 4 might have earned this perception.

It did almost everything

When designing smartphones, there are always things which don’t make the cut, for whatever reason. A feature or part of the time, that wasn't delivered due to budget or time restraints. This wasn't really the case with the Note 4. What’s interesting about the Note 4 is that it kind of did everything.

It had the fastest processor at the time, a world-class QHD display, and a fantastic camera. The inclusion of the quad-core Snapdragon 805 with GHz with 3 GB of RAM ensured that the Note 4 was one of the most powerful smartphones available. It had wireless and quick-charging functionality. It had a fingerprint scanner and a heart-rate monitor.  

androidpit samsung galaxy note 4 23
The Galaxy Note 4 - the smartphone that does practically everything. / © NextPit

Essentially, it included all of the features you would want from a premium Android phone. It also had the S Pen, the stylus that elevates the Galaxy Note series above typical tablet fare.

And features it did lack, were part of a trade-off. It wasn’t waterproof, but given the removable battery this was to be expected. It didn’t have front-facing speakers, but Samsung must have (correctly) identified that these were way down on customers' lists of priorities.

What’s interesting about the Note 4 is that it kind of did everything

Crucially, the Note 4 was the last major Samsung handset to offer expandable storage and a removable battery pack. It was almost sacrilege when Samsung dropped these from its Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, which goes some way in explaining why the Galaxy Note 4 is still so well-regarded.

It stood out from the crowd in all the right ways

Another factor in its enduring popularity is the lack of real competition at the time. Even the iPhone 6 that was released at around the same time couldn't compare, lagging far behind what Android users had become accustomed to in the power stakes. At the time of its release the Note 4 was streets ahead of everything in terms of both performance and features. 

androidpit samsung Note4 vs Note5 14
The Galaxy Note 5 wasn't as well received as the Note 4. / © NextPit

Samsung put everything it could into the Galaxy Note 4 and the result was a phone that captured the hearts of Android fans and non-Android fans alike. Though its successor, the Note 5, offered several tiny changes that did make it better than the Note 4, it still doesn’t offer what the Note 4 is able to deliver.

So, what comes next?

At the moment there is a great deal of discussion, and even more speculation, on what we can expect to see released by Samsung in 2017. Many Samsung devotees are patiently waiting for the release of the rumored Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, so there is a chance that the popularity of the Note 4 may experience a bit of a downturn. That said, for the time being its looking as though Note 4 owners will still be able to continue to use their devices. Batteries can still be purchased from Samsung, and the Note 4 is continuing to receive software updates and security updates. 

androidpit samsung galaxy note 4 21
The Galaxy Note 4 - the last great Samsung device?. / © NextPit

But when can we expect to see a successor to the Note 4? Should we even be expecting a successor? These questions are currently going unanswered by Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7, spontaneous combustion issues aside, was a worthy contender in this respect, but did the issues which caused its downfall also spell the end for the entire Samsung Note series? At the moment this is a fairly open question. Samsung may surprise us at forthcoming Mobile World Congress with a new phablet - most likely the Note 8 - as serial leaker Evan Blass has indicated there may be one on the way. Whether or not this is the case, only time will tell. 

Was the Galaxy Note 4 truly the last great Samsung device? Should we be holding off on the final verdict until the mythical Samsung Galaxy S8 is released? Let us know in the comments below.

Comparison: The best foldable phones

  Best large foldable Best clamshell flip Best foldable alternative Best passport foldable Best flip alternative Price pick
Image OnePlus Open product image Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Product Image Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 Product Image Google Pixel Fold Product Image Motorola Razr+ (2023) Product Image Motorola Razr (2023) Product Image
Rating: OnePlus Open
Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Rating: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
Rating: Google Pixel Fold
Rating: Motorola Razr+ (2023)
Rating: Motorola Razr (2023)
Price Comparison
Go to comment (142)
Scott Adam Gordon

Scott Adam Gordon

Originally from the UK, Scott graduated in Popular Music Studies at Newcastle University and attributes much of his success there to his beloved Samsung Galaxy S2. His current aim is to write cool things about Android. And he loves it.

View all articles
Liked this article? Share now!
Recommended articles
Latest articles
Push notification Next article
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing

  • 1
    Rossella Nov 29, 2019 Link to comment

    Here I am looking for a new phone....and after reading these praises...should I? My Note 4 is still going strong. It would be so much easier to carry on with it but what if it suddenly
    quits on me? I guess I will keep researching and hopefully find a comparable replacement.

  • 1
    Greggb Oct 8, 2018 Link to comment


  • 1
    James Sutton Nov 11, 2017 Link to comment

    When I bought the Note 4 the Note 5 was also out. I looked closely into both models and ended up going with the Note 4. Despite being older it was absolutely packed with features including a few which weren`t available on the Note 5. The Note 4 has the removable sd card slot for extra storage and removable battery which is also 220mah bigger than the non removable note 5 battery. You would think Samsung would make the non removable battery bigger but who knows what their logic was. Also the IR blaster is fantastic. I have it set up for tvs in my room, rec room, office and even a few friends tvs. The note 5 does have some upgrades but realistically the slightly newer hardware has negligible performance increase while the features they removed make the Note 5 a deal breaker for me. As a power user I hope they eventually bring back the removable battery to the Note line. Extra batteries are so cheap online and nothing beats going from 0-100 percent with the switch of a battery.

  • Heather Wahlquist 3
    Heather Wahlquist Oct 3, 2017 Link to comment

    SCOTT IS CORRECT. I mean, Scott, you're correct. It's like going to a strip bar, kinda....
    While cycling thru the generations of any given phone, Like a striptease, removing and reputting, the audience dictates who and what are their favorite features, and one at a time and slowly, the one you've waited a year or more to see, the final unveiling, there it finally is and she has no boobs. $1000 later and no Va-huh, either? Uh, no thank you. (I like boys, not girls.)

    For over a year, I've had an upgrade to replace my pretty white Note 4.... 7 being my favorite number, I felt comfortable -kinda- being a traitor to my favorite phone that I've ever had. I wasn't happy about the ugly dude-purple, but, whatever...On a quick side note, on Amazon, no matter what case or cell-coat or Ipad jacket or carrier I want to buy in lighter colors, white/pink/mint, they're always sold out. Yet, they keep over-making black or purple leopard..I have a theory but again -whatever.

    Note 7 -meh, never used it, then it was recalled....then I bought another Note 4 in black, too.

    Note 8: Comes in 2 colors which are ugly and uglier, too skinny, no removable battery, top sd-card drawer 'that needs a dumb key' mess, impossible rounded edges like the I'd-buy-a-galaxy-edge-if I-wanted-an-edge CAUSE an-edge-is-not-why-I-buy-your-Notes-Samsung. ..yeah yeah, I saw it was a bit different, still sticking my tongue out at it...At Best buy, I couldn't find it on display, at 1st. I missed it, cause it's a real 'stand-out'. Thank god they made a "new" phone that looked like every other phone on the market. Why? Now, I will say this: Upon closer glance, the disproportionately long+skinny body was a stand-out. And, minus any of us loyal Note lovers favorite features, I left the store a bit mad at Samsung. I felt duped and wondered why they betrayed us. And, knowingly so -thats the worst kind. My final note ;) is....

    Just like a stripper with no boobs is just a girl, a Note with no removable sd card nor removable battery, is not a Note. It's just another massly-ordinary cell-phone. That got dumber.

    Anyone got a cell phone making machine I can borrow, thx....SMILES -HW


  • Polad Vazirov 2
    Polad Vazirov Oct 2, 2017 Link to comment

    Yes you are so right..i liked this topic. I m using note 4 and as you mentioned i can not find another good phone to replace my note 4. Even note8 is not perfect as my note4.


    • 2
      marky mark Mar 18, 2018 Link to comment

      yes same for me. could not find the reason to give up note 4 for note 8. Looking at s9 plus. Still am not upgrading. the battery, makes huge difference. I've change out my battery as much as my wife changed out her iphone about 4 times now. I have signed documents with my phone with out companies noticing its a digital signature. My phone has been doing cartwheels to find a reason to replace it and it's still going. I hope note 9 Will give me the reason I need.


  • 2
    Andrew Staley May 28, 2017 Link to comment

    I had the note 7 on pre-order and when that went to hell I ended up getting a s7. After 6 month I actually gave that 2 my wife and went back to my note 4. Even things like the IR remote sender I use a lot!

    Unfortunately the phone has an issue that a new battery hasn't fixed but bidding on a replacement note 4 on ebay now :)

    Definitely my favourite phone I ever owned. (Also owned a note 1 and 2) :)


  • 3
    daniel sauer Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

    I've had my note 4 for a year now and I've got no intention of getting anthor phone. I've tried lg g3 and lg g4 and tried lg g5 which felt like it was going to fall to pieces. Luckily I've kept my note 4 its still got a fantastic display and a very good camera changable battery and expandable memory. My work friends have got an S7 edge which I was totally underwhelmed by the curved screen and fixed battery. Yes S7 edge has a slightly better camera when the lighting is low but in good day light i couldnt notice any difference and there is to many compromises owing the s7 and these newer phones. My note 4 does everything I want in a good phone and I will be keeping it.

    hotspring21Hans F

  • Mark Juenemann 1
    Mark Juenemann Mar 12, 2017 Link to comment

    In the interest of making my Note 4 last until something proven better is available. I ordered a wireless charging back to save wear and tear on the charging port. $25 for the back and about the same for the charger.

  • Ian Daye 1
    Ian Daye Feb 1, 2017 Link to comment

    Beware, the Note 4 is now out of warranty, and many users are starting to see various issues crop up due to bad mmc on the motherboard.

    People are complaining about slow and clunky responses, random reboots and sometimes the system will just halt with the error:

    Could not do normal boot
    mmc_read failed

    Indicative of bad internal memory. Only official solution is to send it in for a costly motherboard replacement.

    • 2
      Stevbo Jun 14, 2017 Link to comment

      Best to flash a custom ROM and root the phone. Much more exciting, especially since it is an older phone now. There are loads of custom roms out there that make use of the Note 4s solid hardware and optimises it's 808 processor. Im currently on a Note 7 and S8 Rom that gives me all the best features of the Note 7 and S8 in the solid hardware of the Note 4. You basically have a Note7/s8 on your note 4 phone. Havent had any problems to date and the phone runs smoothly, although it can get a bit warm sometimes. Custom ROMS can invalidate your warranty and should be flashed only if you know what you're doing

  • 3
    Sai Jan 24, 2017 Link to comment


    Deactivated Accounthotspring21Hans F

    • 6
      Jaskulski Feb 14, 2017 Link to comment

      The Note 5 is better. All the crap about SD-slot and removable battery put aside, there is a difference. I fixed these Samsung design "bugs" with a modular phone case from I got extra battery and addition 64GB. And platform for additional modules. I am all set for the Note 8 :)

  • Diz 7
    Diz Jan 10, 2017 Link to comment

    I had the Note 2 and the Note 4 since the week it came out and it's an amazing phone, almost an insult to call it a phone, I use it for so very much more. I use the pen function a LOT, it's fast enough, expandable enough, the Samsung on the go (OTG) feature rocks for transferring files or photos to an external hard drive or thumb drive, I even got an iRig guitar adapter designed specifically for the Note 4 an a few other Samsung phones, an that rocks, plug a guitar and headphones into it and you're set.

    Unless the Note 8 has a replaceable SD card, and battery I won't get rid of my Note 4. My son has the Note 5 and is already missing the SD card and battery options.

    PLEASE heed our requests Samsung. Your Note 7 debacle could have been a WHOLE lot less with a removable battery.

    hotspring21Hans F

    • hotspring21 12
      hotspring21 Nov 14, 2018 Link to comment

      Samsung execs are so block headed. Why can't they offer another variant of Note 8/9 with removable battery? What's wrong with offering customers more choice?? Water resistance need not be compromised - you can have removable battery and still water tight phone. You can have your cake and eat it too!

  • 19
    Moni Mihailov Jan 9, 2017 Link to comment

    The S5 and the Note 4 were Samsung's greatest devices. Anything after that lost features and appeal. They became another Apple copy-cat which let down their loyal customers who liked them for being plastic, for having lots of features and for the ability of replacing the battery and the sd card. Until they release something which has all the S5 (or Note 4) features + some more, I'm staying on my SM-G900F.

    hotspring21Cory SchmidtHans F

    • Cory Schmidt 19
      Cory Schmidt Jan 9, 2017 Link to comment

      I know Moni, I'll never give away my Galaxy S5 Mini even when I upgrade soon. I put a new battery and microSD card in and it feels like a new device. No slow downs and I can do everything well.
      While some improvements were made the company needs to reflect on what customers want. I personally like Apple devices for certain features but I want a healthy alternative. And another premium glass device is not the solution. If Samsung focused on the mid-range it could retake much of the market from Apple. Maybe Samsung could just focus on a couple of devices instead of having so many on the market. The company's research is unmatched and we could even make the argument that Apple is copying much of its technology.
      A plastic Note 8 with a removable battery would blow everyone away. I wish there was some way to bring this to the attention of the company. There are many tech journalists and Android community members who voice this but it still isn't clear. SUGGESTIONS ANYONE!!!???

      • 46
        Deactivated Account Jan 10, 2017 Link to comment

        Yes Cory I have a suggestion they will listen to. Stop buying the sealed battery models. Planed obsolescence was started by Apple. They got away with it so now everybody is doing it. The only thing they will listen to is a lack of sales. As consumers it is our only voice. I did not need the G5 I have two other phones. I supported them for their courage for trying something new. The only way I could as a consumer, I bought one. I will likely buy the V20 for the same reason, along with it being the best phone of the year in my opinion and others.

        hotspring21Deactivated AccountCory SchmidtHans F

      • hotspring21 12
        hotspring21 Nov 14, 2018 Link to comment

        Yes who looks at the back of their phone anyway, when these fragile glass back phones have to be encased in a case? so stupid! I never see back of my glass backed Galaxy S7 (in a case of course), and I wish I could swap out my aging battery but I can't.

        Deactivated Account

  • 16
    nightflyer2131 Jan 8, 2017 Link to comment

    Im still kicking my ass for letting it go if it wasnt for the BS with note7 debacle. Yes that is still the best phone out there by far but thank u smasung grt job with the note7 peache bitch ass sory for the my pissed off words but they have it coming!

Show all comments
Write new comment:
All changes will be saved. No drafts are saved when editing