1. Laila Taylor's Avatar
    Hey guys. I'm looking to upgrade my Note 3 because it's stuck on 4.4 KitKat and can't be rooted. I wish I had more options to customize and enhance my phone and keep the software up-to-date. Is the Note 4 worth the upgrade in 2016? Is there a particular model that can't be rooted? Because I definitely wouldn't want that one. Thanks~
    07-24-2016 10:18 PM
  2. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    Hello. Welcome to Android Central.

    Unless you absolutely want a removable battery, I wouldn't really recommend the Note 4 in 2016 due to its aging hardware (even though it's still sufficient for daily use).

    If you still want a Note 4, most models do seem to have root access, but note that they may trip KNOX and void the warranty. Carrier models also may have a locked-down bootloader.
    07-24-2016 10:44 PM
  3. lokster's Avatar
    The note 4 is still relevant even in 2016, i got a note 4 2 weeks ago, i upgraded from a zenfone 2 and its doing great. i love the s pen and the display, it makes all the difference.
    huntnyc likes this.
    07-25-2016 12:06 AM
  4. nahoku's Avatar
    its aging hardware
    I'm curious why people think phone hardware ages over such a short period of time. Is it because people are just accustomed to seeing manufactures introduce phones every single year... whether needed or not?... whether better or not? Manufactures got the phone community by the (imagine it!). Practically all my electronic devices are way over 3 - 5 years old... TV, stereo, voice recorders, cameras/vid cameras, car, car nav, you name it. Even the desktop I'm typing on is over 8 years old and it runs like the first day I built it, not to mention all my laptops. If I had the mentality that all my electronics aged in less than 2 years, I'd be much poorer! I don't think my Note 4 is aged hardware... not in the least. There are still brand-spanking-new Note 4's still for sale on-line and if I didn't already own one, I'd buy one without hesitation. The Note 4 is an excellent device... and with the S-Pen, removable battery, not to mention a few other perks, its a hard device to beat... even by the current 2016 market.

    On the other hand... there is no Samsung pay and MM will probably be the last OS update. Then again, manufactures do this for a reason, don't they?

    When the Note 7 comes out, if it doesn't have a removable battery, I'll pass it just like I did the Note 5. Well, I didn't even consider the Note 5 anyways!
    07-25-2016 05:15 AM
  5. natehoy's Avatar
    Avoid the AT&T version because it has a locked bootloader so you cannot load anything but the stock firmware, and AT&T is the only major carrier not to release Marshmallow to their model yet anyway. Given the excessive delays, it's possible they may not even bother. Doubly vexing due to the locked bootloader.

    Having said that, I feel that the Note 4 (in any non-AT&T variant!) is still pretty relevant, especially at the price. You can get them from swappa pretty cheaply and since a dead battery is the #1 thing that goes wrong with used phones, well, you don't have to care about that - just budget in an extra 20 bucks and have a spare battery.

    It's almost certainly not going to get Nougat, but it's got another good year or two where Marshmallow will be a relevant version of Android and run most of the software out there.
    huntnyc likes this.
    07-25-2016 08:03 AM
  6. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    I'm curious why people think phone hardware ages over such a short period of time. Is it because people are just accustomed to seeing manufactures introduce phones every single year... whether needed or not?... whether better or not? Manufactures got the phone community by the (imagine it!). Practically all my electronic devices are way over 3 - 5 years old... TV, stereo, voice recorders, cameras/vid cameras, car, car nav, you name it. Even the desktop I'm typing on is over 8 years old and it runs like the first day I built it, not to mention all my laptops. If I had the mentality that all my electronics aged in less than 2 years, I'd be much poorer! I don't think my Note 4 is aged hardware... not in the least. There are still brand-spanking-new Note 4's still for sale on-line and if I didn't already own one, I'd buy one without hesitation. The Note 4 is an excellent device... and with the S-Pen, removable battery, not to mention a few other perks, its a hard device to beat... even by the current 2016 market.

    On the other hand... there is no Samsung pay and MM will probably be the last OS update. Then again, manufactures do this for a reason, don't they?

    When the Note 7 comes out, if it doesn't have a removable battery, I'll pass it just like I did the Note 5. Well, I didn't even consider the Note 5 anyways!
    By "aging hardware", what I meant was that the general hardware on the Note 4 is a little dated. It's not obsolete or anything and it will still handle daily tasks just fine. The SD805 plus 3GB of RAM is still a very solid combo and it's now on Marshmallow, though that depends on variant.

    Just don't expect it to go further. Then again, if you're considering a 2 year old device, I don't think you plan on keeping it for a very long time. Furthermore, the OP wants to root it.

    (Believe me, I actually wanted a Note 4 last year. Just that the camera on the G4 really tug on my heartstrings. How wrong I was...)
    07-25-2016 08:18 AM
  7. Aquila's Avatar
    The hardware is fine today, but a year or two from now with far outdated software, that might not be a good combo. If you're planning on going deep into customization, third party developer support could fall off imminently too because most versions could not be modified in the traditional manners and most Samsung phones since that one couldn't be at all. For the root/ROM community, only the Nexus lines and perhaps the OnePlus 3 can be recommended. It's almost never going to be a good idea to buy a two year old phone if you're planning to use it as a daily driver for any length of time.

    I'm quite the opposite of @nahoku; my PC is the oldest tech I have that I run as a daily driver and that only works because it has a new GPU, new SSD, new RAM, etc. PC's can be kept longer because they're modular and the components can be updated. Both of my daily use phones were released Q4 2015, my tablet was released Q4 2015, my wife's phone was released a month ago, her tablet was released 2014. TV's are all new since 4K sucked before last year, etc, etc.

    The OP mentioned keeping the software up to date. Assuming, based on the decision to keep the Note 3 until Q3 2016, that this phone needs to last 2-3 years, the only phone that can be recommended from the Nexus and OnePlus 3 is the Nexus 6P. That's the only phone out today that will have any prayer of relevance in 2018 and 2019. Otherwise, the smartest move would be to wait a couple months for the Nexus Marlin, which will have 2016 specs and software that will be running strong in 2019 without issue.
    07-25-2016 08:28 AM
  8. Laila Taylor's Avatar
    Thanks guys! Your responses are helping me sort this out.

    From what I gather, the Note 4 is a powerful device that is still relevant in 2016, but it will only be losing official and community support from here. Jumping from the Note 3 to the Note 4 will not be a big upgrade by today's standards. In the long-term, it would make more sense to buy a newer device that will outlive the Note 4's firmware support.

    However... I love the s-pen, micro SD card, removable battery, and size of the Note 3, which is my first smartphone. I won't get all of these features in another phone again except for the Note 4. With an attractive, smooth, and stable custom ROM installed on the Note 4, it could probably satisfy me for a long while. I wouldn't have to worry about a deteriorating battery. The hardware is aging, but the specs are more than powerful enough for what I'd ever use a phone for.

    I've been jumping back and forth between these thoughts. Your responses make me lean towards waiting to buy a newer device. The phone must support at least up to 64gb of storage (internal or expandable), have good developer support, and cost no more than $400. Aside from the Note 4, the OnePlus 3 fits my requirements. The only drawback is that it doesn't support my carrier (Verizon), so I'd have to look into switching. I may wait and see what the Nexus Marlin is all about. It probably wont fit within my current budget, but I may be able to work something out if it really appeals to me.

    Thanks again, and I'm always open to more suggestions.
    07-25-2016 04:17 PM
  9. Aquila's Avatar
    Thanks guys! Your responses are helping me sort this out.

    From what I gather, the Note 4 is a powerful device that is still relevant in 2016, but it will only be losing official and community support from here. Jumping from the Note 3 to the Note 4 will not be a big upgrade by today's standards. In the long-term, it would make more sense to buy a newer device that will outlive the Note 4's firmware support.

    However... I love the s-pen, micro SD card, removable battery, and size of the Note 3, which is my first smartphone. I won't get all of these features in another phone again except for the Note 4. With an attractive, smooth, and stable custom ROM installed on the Note 4, it could probably satisfy me for a long while. I wouldn't have to worry about a deteriorating battery. The hardware is aging, but the specs are more than powerful enough for what I'd ever use a phone for.

    I've been jumping back and forth between these thoughts. Your responses make me lean towards waiting to buy a newer device. The phone must support at least up to 64gb of storage (internal or expandable), have good developer support, and cost no more than $400. Aside from the Note 4, the OnePlus 3 fits my requirements. The only drawback is that it doesn't support my carrier (Verizon), so I'd have to look into switching. I may wait and see what the Nexus Marlin is all about. It probably wont fit within my current budget, but I may be able to work something out if it really appeals to me.

    Thanks again, and I'm always open to more suggestions.
    Take a look at the Axon 7 as well. Another good one might be the LG G5, which has a removable battery, SD card etc. Note 4 isn't a bad phone by ANY means, it's still a rockstar, just a little aged. It'll be fun today but odds are it'll be replaced sooner than a more up to date device. But I seriously doubt you'd hate the Note 4.
    Laila Taylor likes this.
    07-25-2016 06:37 PM
  10. AXEL314's Avatar
    If you love the Note line, especially all the features the Note 4 has that you want, I say go for it. Like mentioned, it's still a very capable device today. Even if MM is the last update this device receives, it will not make the Note 4 obsolete nor will it be incompatible with the millions of apps in the Play Store. I ran KitKat on my S5 the entire 2 years I owned it and never did I feel out of date, and right now I can say the same with my Note 4 (which I bought unlocked earlier this year).

    Do some research and see what's out there, and remember whatever device you go with - have fun with it.

    http://forums.androidcentral.com/sho...d.php?t=666999

    Note 4 910C 6.0.1 | Good Lock UI | Android Central App
    Aquila and huntnyc like this.
    07-25-2016 06:52 PM
  11. RadeonHD4250's Avatar
    In the real world, what are people possibly doing on their phones that require them to upgrade; let's just axe out software updates for now.

    Honestly I feel like we've reached the "peak" of performance. Aside from benchmarks the Note 5 / S7E is not a groundbreaking difference in terms of every day use.

    Once software comes into the mix, it's a little different.

    Posted via the Android Central App
    AXEL314 and Laila Taylor like this.
    07-25-2016 07:34 PM
  12. D13H4RD2L1V3's Avatar
    The OnePlus 3 and ZTE Axon 7 fit the bill as well, though I'm leaning more towards the Axon, mainly due to its superb audio chops.

    The Note 4 may be a little dated, but it's still a very capable device that still performs well on daily use. However, due to its age, official software support may be ending pretty soon, along with some community development support. If you don't care about updates, then it's not a big deal but if you do, it might be best to get a newer device.
    Laila Taylor likes this.
    07-25-2016 08:22 PM
  13. nahoku's Avatar
    For the longest time, there was no root on the VZW Note 4, it even had a bounty, however it's now possible to gain permanent root... no more of that Kingroot BS. Root development will probably extend to MM, if it's not already there, and possibly N, in some shape or form. XDA is the place to search theses things out. I currently run KitKat on my VZW Note 4 and it's going to stay that way. I dislike LP and MM too much to let it upgrade(???). The S Pen is too important for me to give up (I use it every single day), as is the removable battery, and until some other manufacture comes up with these options I'm stuck with Samsung.

    I agree that whatever phone you go with, have fun!
    huntnyc and Aquila like this.
    07-25-2016 08:51 PM
  14. Laila Taylor's Avatar
    @Aquila @D13H4RD2L1V3 Thanks for suggesting the ZTE Axon 7 and OnePlus 3. I've been doing a lot of research on them last night, and now I really want to pick one of those. I'm currently leaning towards the OP3, but I'll be waiting for more video reviews of the Axon 7 before making my decision. The Note 4 is still the safest option in my mind, but it's not the most exciting one now that I've looked at these other options. I've only ever owned Samsung devices. It'd be nice to go with something different.

    @nahoku Yeah, I have Verizon too and can't root my Note 3. I was really disappointed about that. But at least KitKat is very stable. I've never had any problems with battery drain, incompatible apps, or anything like that. And thanks! I'm sure whatever I go with next, I will enjoy it. The hardest thing for me to let go of would be the removable battery. I just put a new battery in my Note 3, which can last me all day long~
    Aquila and nahoku like this.
    07-26-2016 01:30 PM
  15. LegalAmerican's Avatar
    I'm curious why people think phone hardware ages over such a short period of time. Is it because people are just accustomed to seeing manufactures introduce phones every single year... whether needed or not?... whether better or not? Manufactures got the phone community by the (imagine it!). Practically all my electronic devices are way over 3 - 5 years old... TV, stereo, voice recorders, cameras/vid cameras, car, car nav, you name it. Even the desktop I'm typing on is over 8 years old and it runs like the first day I built it, not to mention all my laptops. If I had the mentality that all my electronics aged in less than 2 years, I'd be much poorer! I don't think my Note 4 is aged hardware... not in the least. There are still brand-spanking-new Note 4's still for sale on-line and if I didn't already own one, I'd buy one without hesitation. The Note 4 is an excellent device... and with the S-Pen, removable battery, not to mention a few other perks, its a hard device to beat... even by the current 2016 market.

    On the other hand... there is no Samsung pay and MM will probably be the last OS update. Then again, manufactures do this for a reason, don't they?

    When the Note 7 comes out, if it doesn't have a removable battery, I'll pass it just like I did the Note 5. Well, I didn't even consider the Note 5 anyways!
    My guess is that the aging hardware comment comes from seeing your phone begin to lag with apps that it didn't used to, after those apps are updated. I could be wrong, but that's my guess. My Note 4 has always had some lag, but recently it's pretty bad. I also get tons of "Unfortunately such and such app is not responding". I don't know why it does that. I've had 3 different Note 4's due to warranty issues, and they've all done it, even before I modified any of the factory settings.
    07-26-2016 02:59 PM
  16. nahoku's Avatar
    My guess is that the aging hardware comment comes from seeing your phone begin to lag with apps that it didn't used to, after those apps are updated. I could be wrong, but that's my guess. My Note 4 has always had some lag, but recently it's pretty bad. I also get tons of "Unfortunately such and such app is not responding". I don't know why it does that. I've had 3 different Note 4's due to warranty issues, and they've all done it, even before I modified any of the factory settings.
    The problem is all phones lag somewhat the more they get used and more apps get installed. It's no different than computers trying to multitask with all the background stuff running. I've stated before that when the Note 5 came out, no one complained about lag. A few months later, lag threads started appearing, just as expected. I doubt any of it is due to "aging" hardware. I'm not saying it couldn't be hardware related as usage demands on phones increase, but people need to realize that nothing can run everything without sacrifice. My phone has no lag except for milliseconds, but my usage doesn't include syncing, cloud services, cloud backups, or any active internet related things running in the background that will task my phone when I want to do something else. My wifi, data, and location are also turned off unless I need them. People who have all these things running all the time are certainly going to see a different result in lag when they do simple stuff like just going from camera to gallery... especially if all their photos are being automatically backed up to the cloud or synced to facebook, instagram, Picasa, you name it.

    It's not aging hardware, its usage.
    07-26-2016 03:38 PM
  17. LegalAmerican's Avatar
    The problem is all phones lag somewhat the more they get used and more apps get installed. It's no different than computers trying to multitask with all the background stuff running. I've stated before that when the Note 5 came out, no one complained about lag. A few months later, lag threads started appearing, just as expected. I doubt any of it is due to "aging" hardware. I'm not saying it couldn't be hardware related as usage demands on phones increase, but people need to realize that nothing can run everything without sacrifice. My phone has no lag except for milliseconds, but my usage doesn't include syncing, cloud services, cloud backups, or any active internet related things running in the background that will task my phone when I want to do something else. My wifi, data, and location are also turned off unless I need them. People who have all these things running all the time are certainly going to see a different result in lag when they do simple stuff like just going from camera to gallery... especially if all their photos are being automatically backed up to the cloud or synced to facebook, instagram, Picasa, you name it.

    It's not aging hardware, its usage.
    I'm sorry, you make good points and I think for the most part it's valid, however I do believe it's a hardware issue after a time. Not so much that the hardware itself is "Aged" in terms of wearing down or whatever, but simply being "outdated" and having a harder time running bigger applications smoothly. In my mind, if your device cannot semi-smoothly run the current apps within reason, the hardware is outdated. When apps get updated and take up more storage and/or require better processing to operate, one could argue it's "Aged hardware" or "outdated hardware" or whatever you want to call it.

    Shutting everything off so the device can run decent is not how it should be in today's electronics. I think by now the tech is there to make that not be a necessity.
    07-26-2016 06:24 PM
  18. nahoku's Avatar
    For sure if you want to compare new hardware to old hardware, you "might" notice a difference depending how old we're talking about. However, there hasn't been a great deal of improvement in the last year or even this year in terms of hardware with the apps most people run. Its funny that even last year (2015), people started saying the Note 4 was "old tech" as soon as the Note 5 was released. The Note 5 was released only 10 months after the Note 4. Ridiculous! Those comments really show you the mentality of some phone users! How many people actually buy phones for hardware specs vs it being new; the latest offering (sometimes, the only offering); or how pretty it is? There are already threads/articles of the S7 lagging. What's causing that? Hardware? I don't think so... it's the multitasking demand people "expect" the phone to handle. Phones are overburdened by constant pinging going on over their internet connection, or apps that are constantly running in the background even though they're not even being used while they constantly ping the internet too. Location apps are probably the worst as they constantly monitor and report the phone's location. Snapchat, Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Google PlayServices, Email clients, Gallery Apps, Sync, all running in the background, all using CPU cycles and ram, all pinging the internet! People don't realize it, so they start blaming the phone. Many people swear up and down that Android knows how to handle multitasking. My opinion is that it doesn't, because if it did, it would shut down apps and services that aren't being used. It's no wonder someone finally sort of woke up and instigated Doze! Other people simply use debloating apps to turn stuff off, or force stop apps on their own. It's not a new thing.

    Shutting everything off so the device can run decent is not how it should be in today's electronics. I think by now the tech is there to make that not be a necessity.
    The tech is not there and will never be. The reasoning is because no matter what the tech is, its the users that control how the phone will actually operate. The evidence is clear with any newly released phone after several months of being in existence. I don't shut down my apps/services just so the phone can run decently. I do it because that's how I choose to run the phone. I've done this since day one and the fact that my phone flies is probably why it does. I do this with my computers too... my task manager only has 18 processes running in standby, vs the 92 my work computer used to run with the same OS. It does make a difference with the load any device needs to handle. There is no device that won't lag if you disregard what you throw at it... I don't care how new it is. Next year (2017), every single phone released in 2016 will have lag threads.

    Not so much that the hardware itself is "Aged" in terms of wearing down or whatever, but simply being "outdated" and having a harder time running bigger applications smoothly.
    I totally understand this, and I agree. One day my Note 4 will certainly be like this, but not in the foreseeable future as long as I somewhat maintain control of how my phone runs.


    This is way off topic, so my apologies to the OP!
    AXEL314 likes this.
    07-26-2016 09:23 PM
  19. Aquila's Avatar
    The note 4 is 32 bit, right?
    07-26-2016 10:16 PM
  20. AXEL314's Avatar
    The exynos variant is actually 64 bit capable. What that means, I have no idea.

    http://www.androidauthority.com/note...roid-l-536280/

    Note 4 910C 6.0.1 | Good Lock UI | Android Central App
    Aquila likes this.
    07-26-2016 10:27 PM
  21. RadeonHD4250's Avatar
    Poorly coded apps are going to lag no matter how fast your processor is.

    I am not seeing any lag on my Note 4 under normal use. In fact, memory management has been far IMPROVED with the update to Marshmallow.

    I can now have Android Central, Messaging, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Music and the NY Times running at the same time without ever having to release anything from RAM. This is normal use for me. If you're running alot more than that, sorry to say, something is going to get kicked out of memory or lag so to speak, regardless of your hardware.

    On topic. TC, I think you have enough information. The final decision is yours to make!

    Posted via the Android Central App
    huntnyc and nahoku like this.
    07-27-2016 10:20 AM
  22. Laila Taylor's Avatar
    This is way off topic, so my apologies to the OP!
    No worries, it's been a fascinating read. I agree on a lot of points.

    @RadeonHD4250 Thanks! I received way more responses and info than I was expecting, and it's all been very helpful. I will most likely try the OnePlus 3 or Axon 7. If that doesn't work out for whatever reason, I can always fall back on the Note 4.
    nahoku and huntnyc like this.
    07-27-2016 03:46 PM

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