DPReview smartphone reviews are written with the needs of photographers in mind. We focus on camera features, performance, and image quality.

The Note 4 is the latest iteration of Samsung's top-end line of so-called 'phablets'. In terms of design the new model is very close to its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 3, including a similar faux-leather material on the back cover. Under the hood, however, things have been upgraded significantly. In the camera department the Note 4 has gained an optical image stabilization system which makes it the first Samsung smartphone with this feature.

With a 1/2.6-inch 16MP BSI CMOS image sensor and F2.2 maximum aperture the rest of the rear camera specification is identical to the Galaxy S5. At the front you'll find a 3.7MP camera with a fast F1.9 maximum aperture for selfie-shooting and video chats. It comes with a selfie-panorama mode. 

However, as you would expect it's not just the camera that has been improved on the new model. The Note 4 comes with a new 5.7-inch 2560×1440 QHD display that offers a very high pixel density of 518 ppi. Depending on the region, Android 4.4 is powered by a quad- or octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. Images can be stored on 32GB internal memory or a microSD card. The 3320 mAh battery offers a quick-charging mode that lets you charge from 0 to 50% within approximately 30 minutes. On paper the Note 4 looks like a very appealing smartphone for those mobile photographers who prefer large devices and screens. Read our comprehensive review to find out how it performed in our test.  

Key Photographic / Video Specifications

  • 16MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • F2.2 aperture
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3.7MP / F1.9 front camera
  • 4K video recording

Other Specifications

  • 5.7-inch 2560×1440 QHD Super AMOLED display
  • 2.7 GHz Quad-Core or 1.9 GHz Octa-Core (1.9GHz Quad + 1.3GHz Quad-Core) Processor (depending on region)
  • Android 4.4
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB storage and microSD support
  • 3320 mAh battery with quick-charging

Our 8-page review

We've considered every aspect of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, with the photographer in mind. We examined the user interface of the native camera app and its special features. We experimented with the camera's performance when taking stills and video, and had a play with the device's many special feature modes. Click any of the links below for more information of specific functions and continue to our conclusion for a final summary of our findings.