BERLIN, Germany – In less than four hours Samsung is scheduled to unveil its next phablet the Galaxy Note 4 at simultaneous events in New York, Beijing and here at the Berlin Tempodrom.
From the looks of it, the Note 4 is going to be one of the biggest smartphone announcements of the year. Here’s why:
1. Better Design
Design has never been Samsung’s strong suit but product iteration is, and based on Samsung’s track record 3 time’s the charm. As expected last year’s Note, the 3rd iteration since the original, was a big hit serving up a good balance between form and function.
The Note 3 was the first Samsung phone to ditch the cheap plasticky back plates for a faux leather back. That design is now standard on all of Samsung devices this year. Last month the South Korean tech giant took it one step further with a metal smartphone dubbed the Galaxy Alpha.
Expect the Note 4 to not only combine the best of both worlds – metal + leather, but also to sport the Youm Flexible display that was first teased at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013. The Note 4 is expected to have a display than bends in a 45 degree angle off to one side.
2. Better Display
2K or Quad HD displays were supposed to be the big thing for 2014 but we didn’t see much till much later in the first quarter. LG was first off the gate with its G3 smartphone, Samsung then followed it up with a Korea-only variant of its flagship called the S5 Prime. It’s most likely the Note 4 will also feature a QHD screen, the phone will retain the same size as its predecessor 5.7-inches so the display should have a pixel density of 515.3 pixels per inch.
3. Better Handwriting
A bundled stylus called the S-Pen is what differentiates the Note from Samsung’s many other smartphone lines. Meant for taking notes, scribbling comments on photos, and drawing the S-Pen has gotten better with each iteration but still falls short of the experience of writing using pen and paper. This is supposed to change with the Note 4, rumors have it, the device will come with ultra sonic sensors that will improve the screen’s sensitivity.
4. Virtual Reality Integration
A few months back it was reported that Samsung is working together with virtual reality company Oculus on virtual reality goggles made specifically for smartphones. Whatever these VR headsets will be called and what they will actually do, it’s pretty clear that the device will also make its debut at Unpacked Episode 2. My bets are on the VR headset being bundled as a companion device to the Note 4 like the original Galaxy Gear smartwatch was to the Note 3.
Editor’s Note: This coverage was contributed by Michael Josh Villanueva of GadgetMatch. He is covering live from Berlin, Germany for this year’s IFA. Follow him at @michaeljosh and subscribe to his YouTube Channel.