12-26-2014 09:25 AM
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  1. GalaxyOnyxWitch's Avatar
    Different strokes for different folks, but as long as there is no mechanical defects or any reason that I have to get this phone repaired etc then I am very happy and excited about it. More than I thought I would be.

    I read a lot about quotes of "more polished" and "smoother" etc but I have to say I have no frikkin idea what people are talking about! If it's scrolling etc I know android and ios manages how they handle data processing during the scrolling part etc, but I have used an iphone 4 for 2 years before jumping on the android bandwagon and other than a bit of stuttering when loading pages while trying to scroll I have not encountered any huge difference in apps between the devices.

    I think there may have been one app that wasn't optimized or something and it looked less detailed than it should but when you have an OS that caters to as many makes, models and screen sizes as android does, I think they do quite well.

    I guess I just aint as danged sofisteekated as some folks to purceve th' difference!!

    polished my patootie.
    skippyg and jerseygirl like this.
    10-28-2014 12:40 PM
  2. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    Nice thoughts on the Note 4....

    It's a shame that they don't do something about the lousy speakers on them. With the Note 2 I had since day 1 with it, they had the best DACS for it, but fell flat on the speakers. Yes I am a audiophile and have invested $$$$$$ in both my home theaters and my 2 channel systems and can say that the Notes are lousy. Now my M8 is significantly better but even it is lacking in real world quality as compared to what I have in my home.... but it is the best as compared to anything else available.

    The spen is a great feature of the phone and many use it but most don't. I didn't buy my note for it itself but as a package as most people do.

    The screen is the best I have seen on them and certainly will be why most buy one. Call quality issues is because Samsung has always been behind on getting the best radios in them. Every note series has been this way.

    For me if they upgrade the speakers and the radio in it it will be one of the absolute best..
    10-28-2014 09:09 PM
  3. tech_fan's Avatar
    First post, but interested in hearing thoughts from others. I got my Note 4 a few days ago and then bought a 2014 Moto X the next day because the sound quality on calls was pretty bad coming from AT&T and an iphone 5s. Here's something I tried to post elsewhere:

    First, I'm on Verizon in the San Francisco area. I'm coming from AT&T and an iPhone 5s. So far, the voice quality on calls is worse for sure. Overall the phone offers a ton of features, but many things don't feel very polished. Today I bought a 2014 Moto X to compare and I'll keep one of them (thanks Best Buy!).

    - External speaker on the Note 4 is poor. Tinny and distorted compared to the iphone 5s and especially to the Moto X which has a GREAT sounding speaker

    - Sluggish. It's not terrible, it's actually good in terms of responsiveness but if compared to using the iphone 5s, the Moto X or my Nexus 7 tablet it is slower.

    - Terrible noise reduction, smearing and over sharpening on pictures. This is fairly typical for camera phones however. I guess my expectations are too high in this area. The iPhone 5s that I had actually took very good photos though. The color quality on the Note 4 is very good, the stabilization does actually work well. The problem is when you look at any picture at 100% view (either on the phone or on a computer) you can see terrible blurring of details and smearing, and then sharpening artifacts. I might be able to excuse this in poor light but this happens in good lighting situations as well. Anyway, decent for a phone, but the iPhone 5s photos were better. The 2014 Moto X if you're interested is much worse (terrible in low light and no stabilization, I need to do some tests with it mounted to a tripod). So, the camera is somewhat of a disappointment. UPDATE: did outdoor daylight shots with both cameras Note 4 photos a little better but the surprise was that in good light the Moto X camera was almost as good and i didn't notice the smearing/sharpening issues as much as on the Note 4.

    - Music. At first listen, the Samsung sound alive software does a very nice job of adding digital eq and other effects (tube amp, echos etc) and music thru headphones sounds very very good. This has been the big surprise on the phone..the sound thru headphones impressed me (at first, read on). It does not have enough power to drive a lot of headphones though. So -1 for the weak amp. I tested it with my Sennheiser Amperiors, Sennheiser HD650's, Hifiman HE-400's and Sony MDR-MA900's. No surprise that on the efficient headphones (amperiors and MA900's) it sounded the best. Oddly I took the line out into a dedicated headphone amp (Schitt Asgard 2) and it sounded terrible. Not sure what is going on here. Suffice to say when hooking headphones directly to the Note 4 I think you will be impressed. Having said that, the same headphones on the Moto X sound BETTER. The Moto X has a bit cleaner sound and a bit more power to drive the headphones.

    UPDATE: Another day of listening and the sound of the Note 4 is really starting to bother me. It has a lot more distortion at 75% volume than the Moto X does. Reminds me of ipods that no matter what volume you are at, as soon as you use any eq you get noticeable distortion. It also rolls offf bth high and low frequencies sooner than that Moto X. Another day on the Moto X and the sound is really really good. The Note 4 external speaker is crappy and combined with a distorted signal from the phone itself it's just not that great. The Moto X has a very good speaker and minimal distortion coming from the electronics to make a big improvement.

    - I have not played with the sPen much so won't comment on that.
    - The Verizon model of the Note 4 uses a DIFFERENT size hole for the mic so many Note 4 cases will not work properly.
    - Some of the navigation when using the Samsung apps just doesn't make sense when laid on top of regular Android. They need to work on their apps more.

    The overall experience with the phone feels nowhere as polished as an iphone or the moto x. Having said that it does offer some really important features that those two don't - SD card memory expansion, removable battery. I'm not sure which phone I'll keep. The Note 4 just has so many bells and whistles it's very easy to get enticed by them, but the overall quality of the hardware and software just don't feel as well done as the Moto X or iphone.

    My BIGGEST ISSUE is voice quality as a phone. It's just not that great so far. If the Moto X beats it here I may end up with that.

    UPDATE: Well day two and no surprise the Moto X is the best sounding cell phone I've ever used. I would say the radio in it is no better than the Note, but the audio circuitry and software is much better. Having said ALL of that, I still may keep the note instead, for the following reasons -

    - Expandable memory
    - battery life
    - sHealth of all things. I'm kind of thinking I might get some use out of it.

    One other note...in bright sunlight the Moto X screen was better. I was not expecting that. All of the above are just my opinions of course.

    UPDATE: forgot to mention, the delay in clicking the screen to take a pic and the pic being taken is over a second maybe even two. This is very sluggish. I made sure all other apps were closed to try to speed this up but it didn't work. The Moto X is a lot faster FWIW.
    Interesting analysis.. For me, I had the Note 3 and was bugged by TW. The Note 4 had just came out and I wanted to shop more before I decided to get another Samsung. I ordered the Moto X recently and tried that out. Yes the speakers on the Moto X are cool. The UI was very basic which was a turn off so, I installed the Nova Launcher on the Moto X. You might want to try the Nova Launcher on the Note 4 to see if you like that. You can get the Nova Launcher to do a lot of things like gestures and organizing the device better. The customizations are endless.

    I returned the Moto X because of the battery life and the need to tinker with the device more than the Note 3. I wound up reactivating my Note 3 and returning the Moto X. I also did not care for the non-removable battery and lack of SD card availability. You do know, that the Nexus 6 will be coming soon and that might have some options over the Moto X.

    I also have heard about camera complaints on the Note 4. Some have downloaded the Google camera app and say that it has improved greatly. I also know that the Moto X camera has flaws in certain situations as well. Not sure that any one phone camera is going to be stellar.
    Baby_Doc likes this.
    10-28-2014 09:55 PM
  4. tech_fan's Avatar
    Btw, another irritating thing with Samsung is that they tend to be all over the place instead of focusing on one thing and doing it right. They also tend to do things just to experiment like the useless feature of Smart Scroll or Smart stay that was removed in the Note 4.

    I also would not keep a device for SHealth. It looks cool but once you peel back the onion, you will see that its very limiting and works with the highly inaccurate pedometer. I use a Fitbit and my Fitness Pal that works 10 times better hands down.
    10-28-2014 10:03 PM
  5. Alexander Burnside's Avatar
    Btw, another irritating thing with Samsung is that they tend to be all over the place instead of focusing on one thing and doing it right. They also tend to do things just to experiment like the useless feature of Smart Scroll or Smart stay that was removed in the Note 4.

    I also would not keep a device for SHealth. It looks cool but once you peel back the onion, you will see that its very limiting and works with the highly inaccurate pedometer. I use a Fitbit and my Fitness Pal that works 10 times better hands down.
    I can't comment on how accurate the pedometer is, but I like it - In that case, that's not pointless tech because most phones already have accelerometers and they are very useful for tracking the phone's movements. The finger scanner on the back that reads blood oxygen and pulse, however, is beyond pointless.

    SHealth doesn't even use them for anything (practical). I guess that it's cool that the phone can do that, but I'd rather that feature be gone and the phone cost a little less.
    10-29-2014 01:04 PM
  6. nugj's Avatar
    One of the earlier posters commented about using the N4 for its Mobile CPU capabilities. I thought that was a terrific comment. In fact, to me the S pen is not a stand alone feature but is tied into the N4's Mobile CPU capabilities. Without the S pen you would be saddled with the same functional characteristics of any smartphone...do what you can when you can with the keyboard. I guess the point I am trying to make is that for me anyway I think the N4 will be the first "mobile device" I will own that is small enough to be pocket-able that can be a phone with real Mobile CPU capabilities. The lack of the S pen at least to me drives everything else, even the devices that are trying to be phablets right back to just being oversize smartphones.

    I am willing to take a hit on music and video audio quality because to me you are just kidding yourself if you think any of these devices rise to the level of "good" in that regard with the speakers being the least consequential item. The only thing worse than listening to audio through these things using headphones or ear-buds is listening to audio through their speakers. Phone audio quality for me more than anything else is an issue of volume not necessarily quality. As long as my ears are not bleeding I am fine with it.
    10-29-2014 06:07 PM
  7. HothTron's Avatar
    If your buying the Note series and not bothering with the S-Pen, your just wasting your money on the wrong phone honestly.
    10-29-2014 06:32 PM
  8. HothTron's Avatar
    Interesting analysis.. For me, I had the Note 3 and was bugged by TW. The Note 4 had just came out and I wanted to shop more before I decided to get another Samsung. I ordered the Moto X recently and tried that out. Yes the speakers on the Moto X are cool. The UI was very basic which was a turn off so, I installed the Nova Launcher on the Moto X. You might want to try the Nova Launcher on the Note 4 to see if you like that. You can get the Nova Launcher to do a lot of things like gestures and organizing the device better. The customizations are endless.

    I returned the Moto X because of the battery life and the need to tinker with the device more than the Note 3. I wound up reactivating my Note 3 and returning the Moto X. I also did not care for the non-removable battery and lack of SD card availability. You do know, that the Nexus 6 will be coming soon and that might have some options over the Moto X.

    I also have heard about camera complaints on the Note 4. Some have downloaded the Google camera app and say that it has improved greatly. I also know that the Moto X camera has flaws in certain situations as well. Not sure that any one phone camera is going to be stellar.
    I have NOT been happy with my NOte 3 with T-mobile at all. 3 Replacements later and I STILL have horrendous Wifi drops from all wireless networks, crud SD reading speeds, [language] poor photo quality and shoddy indoor reception
    10-29-2014 06:46 PM
  9. HothTron's Avatar
    It's a shame that they don't do something about the lousy speakers on them. With the Note 2 I had since day 1 with it, they had the best DACS for it, but fell flat on the speakers. Yes I am a audiophile and have invested $$$$$$ in both my home theaters and my 2 channel systems and can say that the Notes are lousy. Now my M8 is significantly better but even it is lacking in real world quality as compared to what I have in my home.... but it is the best as compared to anything else available.

    I honestly don't know why people, especially audiophiles think buying a all in one "smartphone" and then get pissy and moany that the audio quality "sucks" Well farking duh people! Thats like asking a Honda to perform like a [language] Ferrari, it just isnt' gonna happen.
    10-29-2014 06:51 PM
  10. nugj's Avatar
    All of the designers who care what people think about the audio performance of their devices can't wait for the day when nobody has ever even heard of something called a "record" never mind having actually heard a true audiophile system built around a turntable. To get even close to that in digital media, start with a dedicated audio dac at about $20k and then a disc transport for another $15-$20K. Have not even talked about the speakers yet.

    Once Vinyl totally disappears, then what qualifies as "good" will automatically take two steps down the ladder at least and at that point the depths to which you can fall will not be as great.
    10-29-2014 07:01 PM
  11. Almeuit's Avatar
    I have NOT been happy with my NOte 3 with T-mobile at all. 3 Replacements later and I STILL have horrendous Wifi drops from all wireless networks, crud SD reading speeds, [language]
    poor photo quality and shoddy indoor reception
    Man .. that sucks you have that many issues. I don't use an SD card so not sure on that but my T-Mobile Note 3 held wifi without a hiccup. Indoor reception wasn't even that bad. Note 4 is better but the Note 3 was still fine and I held LTE in many places.
    10-30-2014 08:03 AM
  12. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    I honestly don't know why people, especially audiophiles think buying a all in one "smartphone" and then get pissy and moany that the audio quality "sucks" Well farking duh people! Thats like asking a Honda to perform like a damn Ferrari, it just isnt' gonna happen.
    Well because it wouldn't take a great deal to make them better than what is on most of them. My M8 is pretty darn good compared to everything is on the market so I'm not pissy or moany about this if you are referring to me... Lol The speakers are A reason I have mine BTW. I only hope that they do even better on the next model next spring
    10-30-2014 06:44 PM
  13. HothTron's Avatar
    All of the designers who care what people think about the audio performance of their devices can't wait for the day when nobody has ever even heard of something called a "record" never mind having actually heard a true audiophile system built around a turntable. To get even close to that in digital media, start with a dedicated audio dac at about $20k and then a disc transport for another $15-$20K. Have not even talked about the speakers yet.

    Once Vinyl totally disappears, then what qualifies as "good" will automatically take two steps down the ladder at least and at that point the depths to which you can fall will not be as great.

    10-30-2014 06:52 PM
  14. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    All of the designers who care what people think about the audio performance of their devices can't wait for the day when nobody has ever even heard of something called a "record" never mind having actually heard a true audiophile system built around a turntable. To get even close to that in digital media, start with a dedicated audio dac at about $20k and then a disc transport for another $15-$20K. Have not even talked about the speakers yet.

    Once Vinyl totally disappears, then what qualifies as "good" will automatically take two steps down the ladder at least and at that point the depths to which you can fall will not be as great.
    Well I agree with you on this, but the Note II did have Wolfson DACS in it, so I fault Samsung for not following through with it.

    BTW... I enjoy listening to my modest vinyl collection on my Music Hall mmf-7.1 through my Jolida JD9
    11-01-2014 09:52 AM
  15. dj2big's Avatar
    I'm coming from an iPhone 5S and yes IOS is much more smoother than android with touchwiz but compared to Android OS it goes toe to toe if not better IMO for that experience you have to get a Nexus
    11-01-2014 12:45 PM
  16. xxx420's Avatar
    For what it's worth I'm very happy with my note so far but I do see the over sharpening effect when taking photos and I'm a little bit disappointed with the camera. Has anyone tried any third party camera apps from the Play Store to see if that changes it in a more suitable way? I know some have tried the Google camera, I did also but was not impressed with that either.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    11-01-2014 12:57 PM
  17. piinkRainbowz's Avatar
    This is exactly why I bought the note. Hell, I would preferred the spen on galaxy s series to be honest. The only reason I avoided purchasing notes was because I felt it was too big for me personally. But I finally decided to just leap for it and enjoy the spen functionality. and I'm happy I did because screen size isn't that bad.
    Why do I need to answer your question with specifics aside from just saying that I love the S pen capability? If you need specifics, i'll offer a few....I love the screenshot functionality, I love being able to then draw precise notes on top of a screenshot. I love using the function of clipping a small piece from a webpage and saving that to a prior note. I take notes in meetings, college classes, and my daughter loves to draw with it. There's so many reasons I love the S pen.

    I know some people do not care for or need the S pen. And i'm not saying that's the ONLY good thing about it. what I am saying, is that Samsung has chosen to focus on the S pen when it comes to the Note series, and everything else is just small improvements upon the S series that gets released a few months prior. My entire point, is that the Note's biggest strength is that it has the S pen functionality. You seem offended that Samsung pushes the S pen so hard, yet it's their NOTE device line. Why wouldn't they push it when it's the entire point of the Note? Sure, there's many other great features like the metal trim, incredible screen, screen size, multitasking functionality, etc.. But there are other outstanding devices on the market that meet most of those categories and they do not push any s pen.

    The phones I mentioned were just off the top of my head, so I apologize if those I mentioned did not meet your expectations. However the Note came out just barely before the Nexus 6 was announced, so people are still within their return window if they don't need or are offended by the S pen that they can return it and get the Nexus. That's why I mentioned that as an alternative even though it's not yet on shelves.

    Back to my original point, each device has it's strengths and no one should or can expect the Note to compare in terms of external speaker to the HTC One or Moto X. The camera, that should meet expectations and outperform an iPhone 5s or whatever, so Samsung better release a software update to improve the performance because I too have had many of the problems OP mentioned.

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
    11-01-2014 01:39 PM
  18. limoeric's Avatar
    I use Nova Launcher and destroys Touchwiz. Just my 2 cents.
    11-01-2014 02:13 PM
  19. limoeric's Avatar
    Use Nova launcher and it runs very fast as you can customize it to your liking. Much, much better than Touchwiz!
    11-01-2014 02:14 PM
  20. Verizoned's Avatar
    Nice thoughts on the Note 4....

    It's a shame that they don't do something about the lousy speakers on them. With the Note 2 I had since day 1 with it, they had the best DACS for it, but fell flat on the speakers. Yes I am a audiophile and have invested $$$$$$ in both my home theaters and my 2 channel systems and can say that the Notes are lousy. Now my M8 is significantly better but even it is lacking in real world quality as compared to what I have in my home.... but it is the best as compared to anything else available.

    The spen is a great feature of the phone and many use it but most don't. I didn't buy my note for it itself but as a package as most people do.

    The screen is the best I have seen on them and certainly will be why most buy one. Call quality issues is because Samsung has always been behind on getting the best radios in them. Every note series has been this way.

    For me if they upgrade the speakers and the radio in it it will be one of the absolute best..
    Thanks for the comments on the M8. I may buy one tomorrow. Still have my Note 4 and trying to accept it's crappy sound, but I too am an audio person and it's tough compromise.
    11-01-2014 10:09 PM
  21. evilcopter's Avatar
    good review for note 4, i had it for a while but handed over to my family friend.
    11-02-2014 01:59 AM
  22. LaTuFu's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments on the M8. I may buy one tomorrow. Still have my Note 4 and trying to accept it's crappy sound, but I too am an audio person and it's tough compromise.
    If you're an audio person, there is no mobile device out there that you will be satisfied with the external speaker.

    Samsung doesn’t see the external speaker as a high priority feature, to be sure, but any device that uses digital output, a single speaker and 3.5mm audio jack is going to have compromise as its middle name.

    I wouldn't necessarily put a Samsung device at the top of the list for speaker quality, but I wouldn't put them at the bottom, either.
    bassplayrguy likes this.
    11-02-2014 04:51 AM
  23. MDMcAtee's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments on the M8. I may buy one tomorrow. Still have my Note 4 and trying to accept it's crappy sound, but I too am an audio person and it's tough compromise.
    A top end set of ear buds is a very good compromise and will make a huge difference in your listening pleasure for music and video. Also a great bt ear piece for your phone calls as well covers the rest.

    It was what I did with my Note and worked well.
    11-02-2014 06:03 AM
  24. Verizoned's Avatar
    Thanks for the comments on the M8. I may buy one tomorrow. Still have my Note 4 and trying to accept it's crappy sound, but I too am an audio person and it's tough compromise.
    I haven't been around much...still on a quest to find a phone that I'll stick with. Still have a Moto X (lollipop update sucks) also now have the M8, Nokia 1020, Nokia 1520. The M8 sound is pretty good, but it is v shaped with a weird boost in the highs that bothers my ears a bit. Boomsound absolutely RUINS the headphone quality. Be sure to turn it off in the settings. I guess if I was using $5 crappy ear buds it would improve them, but if you are using any decent headphones it actually makes things worse.

    The Moto X sound is still very good when paired with some external BT speakers and I like the sound thru headphones but the M8 has more power and drives low end with more authority. I just hate the high end bump that you can't get rid of.

    Anyway, none of the phones are fantastic but I could live with: M8 and Moto X. I could "deal" with the sounds on the Nokia phones just because the cameras are so good.
    12-22-2014 02:58 AM
  25. Axr6's Avatar
    I find the sound quality of the Note 4 excellent. I use the speakers for voice navigation and for speaker-phone applications and the sound is clear, loud and without distortion. By far the best for the phones I have owned, thus far. As far as the amplifier, I can not be called a true music buff but, my Sennheiser HD 490, as well as my Velodyne ear buds sound terrific to me. I am, altogether, very happy with the sounds.

    Sluggishness issue: Under Settings - Display, I set the "Increase touch sensitivity" option and am quite happy with the response of the screen as opposed to the default setting.

    Camera; I have not played with the camera, yet, as my phone is only a few days in my possession. I did, however, download the optional free Samsung modes. Looking forward to exploring all the many options.

    For me the Note 4, thus far, exceeds my expectations after coming from the Thunderbolt-S3-S4 line. I use the S-pen a LOT, multiple times a day by making reminder notes, editing them and pinning them to my home page. No excuse for forgetting any honey-do tasks anymore. Good-by yellow notes all over my various desks :-). I also love the many options that the pen provides in creative modes, and the precision that it provides over fat thumbs. On the pen-use alone, I would never go back to a phone without it.
    12-22-2014 12:14 PM
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