Some specs have leaked for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which is expected later this year sometime around September. The rumoured hardware includes a 2K (2560x1440) display, the same CPU as found in the Galaxy S5, waterproofing, rustproofing and a 20.1MP camera.
A 2K display for the Note 4 wouldn’t be surprising. Oppo has already broken the 2K barrier with its 5.5 inch Oppo Find 7, which was unveiled on March 16.
Despite being one of the world leaders in screen tech, it makes sense that Samsung would let Oppo beat it to the punch with a 2K smartphone. The Galaxy S5 is Samsung's Q1 release. It sports a 5.2 inch display, which is hardly large enough to warrant a 2K resolution in the current market. There’s very little demand for it and the benefits of the sharper resolution on the smaller display would be offset by its increased demand on battery power. Not to mention that most HD content still maxes out at 1080p.
The Note 4 will have a larger display. Based on yearly trends, it will probably be bigger even than the 5.7 inch panel on the Note 3. A 2K display may actually make a noticeable improvement when spread out over a larger area. At the very least, Samsung will have a marketing standpoint from which to argue the virtues of a 2K resolution on a phablet-sized screen.
No upgraded CPU from Galaxy S5 to Note 3
If true, this one will definitely be surprising. The Note 3 boasted a much more powerful set of hardware than the GS4. Where the smaller device had just a 1.9GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM, the Note 3 rock the 2.3GHz snapdragon 800 CPU with 3GB of RAM.
These may just sound like numbers, but they are important ones. The Note 3 made the GS4 look like last year’s news, such was the gap between their internals. If Samsung sticks with the same CPU between its two big releases this year it’ll be a very different approach from the Korean giant.
In 2013 the Note 3 boasted a far superior shooter to Samsung’s actual flagship – the GS4. On paper they were almost identical; both sported 13MP sensors and similar imaging software. In practice they were worlds apart thanks to some clever tweaks to the imaging software. Jumping from 16MP to 20.1MP between the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 deviates from the pattern, but that’s not to say it can’t happen.
In any case it doesn’t even matter.
There was always going to be a boost in camera quality between two flagship devices released 6 months apart from a world-leading manufacturer. Whether Samsung goes with a MP boost or enhancing the behind-the-scenes technology it will be impossible to see any real-world improvements until people actually start taking photos with the Note 4.
Waterproofing and... rustproofing?
The Galaxy S5 is water resistant. It has a rating of IP67, which means it can sit in up to 1m (3 feet) of water for up to half an hour. There’s no reason that Samsung wouldn’t go with the same kind of approach with the Note 4. It’s a popular feature, and once you give buyers a good feature it’s difficult to take it away. Whether or not Samsung chooses to improve the water-resistance rating of its products even further is anybody's guess.
As for rustproofing, we weren’t even aware that it was an issue with smartphones. Doubly so with Samsung’s plastic-cased powerhouses. This sounds like another clever marketing tagline suggesting a solution to a problem that never even existed. If it’s even true at all.
There has been a lot of speculation made about the look of the Note 4. A few pics even leaked thanks to Windyleaks, but if they’re legitimate images then the device pictured is sure to be a prototype for testing internals and the display and not indicative of the external design.
There have been suggestions about curved glass, which is unlikely. There’s not much demand for curved smartphones, so there’s little reason for Samsung to use one on its flagship phablet.
As for whether or not we’ll see a return of the faux stitched leather look, or a bigger version of the Galaxy S5’s spotted soft-touch rear, we’ll just have to wait and see.