Samsung Galaxy Note 4 design, specs and launch rumours

Samsung has officially sent out the invitations to "Unpacked 2014 Episode 2", where it is expected to unveil the Galaxy Note 4.

Taking place in Berlin on 3 September at 3pm CEST (2pm BST), the event will be streamed around the world via Samsung Mobile's YouTube channel but ITProPortal will be in attendance, bringing you comprehensive live coverage of everything that goes down.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to be unveiled on 3 September

We're approaching this launch in a bit of a funny mood.

Over recent years, Samsung's conferences at the major technology tradeshows have served as the undisputed headline acts (think back to the launch of the Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014 - which dragged many away from Mark Zuckerberg's keynote - and the Galaxy Note 3 at IFA 2013).

However, the company's position as smartphone king (at least at tradeshows, since Apple doesn't like to mix it with the riff-raff) is no longer valid. Much of the world is actually more pumped up for the launch of the Sony Xperia Z3, which will take place an hour later on the same day.

This isn't to say that the Note 4 isn't generating excitement. Its predecessor earned a Best Buy award in our review and is a truly excellent device - we certainly expect the upgraded phablet to continue the trend.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

Unfortunately for Samsung, its disappointing range of Gear smartwatches and the current flagship S5 mobile has significantly damaged the Galaxy brand, as well as Samsung's overall reputation.

Waves of negative press have rocked the South Korean superpower over much of this year, and the likes of HTC and LG have given it more than a run for its money with their own brilliant new flagship handsets.

Come IFA, will Samsung find a way out of the rut or sink slightly deeper into the quicksand?

  • 26 August
  • 16:23

    There are two fresh features in fact, the first of which is that the Note 4 will allow the user to register shortcuts to different fingerprints, so if you want to fire up an app with your little finger, you'll be able to specify that. Samsung is also introducing web sign-in with a fingerprint, so you can swipe a digit to securely sign into a website.

  • 16:22

    According to fresh reports, the Note 4's fingerprint scanner - yes, it will apparently have one - will be a Synaptics Natural ID solution, just as seen on the Galaxy S5, except it will have been tweaked with some new goodies S5 owners don't have access to (at least not yet – they could get patched in, of course).

  • 22 August
  • 16:12

    Samsung plans to release a special ultrasonic cover for its upcoming Galaxy Note 4 phablet that could assist visual impaired users that own the device.

    The phablet, which is expected to get its big unveil at IFA 2014 next month, will have the cover as an option, according to reports, and it works by emitting ultrasonic sound waves to detect objects that are nearby.

  • 16:11

    News just in...

  • 12:59

    The company's is also expected to include a gesture shortcut to fire the camera straight up from the display being off, again in order to take swift pics – plus there'll be several new selfie modes (surprise, surprise) including "wide selfie" and "selfie alarm" (wide angle, and face detection and auto-focus, respectively).

  • 12:59

    As for the front-facer, again going with the trend these days, that will utilise a 3.7-megapixel sensor, as decent selfies are something of a selling point right now (not for us, mind, but we're not the mass market).

    Cameras aren't just about hardware, and Samsung does have some nifty features and software touches planned for photos on the Note 4. One feature that may be on board the phablet is Side Touch, which is essentially a sensor on the side of the handset that just needs a quick touch to take a pic.

  • 12:58

    Apparently the Galaxy Note 4 will have a 16-megapixel Sony IMX240 camera sensor for the main rear snapper, and optical image stabilisation (though that's pretty much expected for higher-end models these days). It will also be capable of recording UHD video (3840 x 2160 resolution) at 30 frames per second.

  • 12:57

    Dum-dum-dum! We've got our hands on more leaks!

  • 14 August
  • 15:30

    There's obviously no way of verifying this information until the launch but it looks pretty comprehensive. Definitely the best leak we've seen so far.

  • 15:25

  • 15:11

    Erafone also says that the OS will be Android 4.4.3, but with the Galaxy Alpha set to launch with Android 4.4.4 at the beginning of September, it seems likely that the Note phablet will also carry version 4.4.4.

    Other alleged specs worth highlighting include the storage levels, with options on 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, and the 16-megapixel camera which comes with auto-focus, optical image stabilisation, and a dual-LED flash.

  • 15:09

    Assuming that the the entry is genuine, the Galaxy Note 4 comes with a 5.7in display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, powered by a Snapdragon 805 CPU and 4GB of RAM.

    That's exactly what was expected from previous leaks, apart for the RAM which was thought to be 3GB, rather than 4GB. To be honest, 3GB still sounds more likely to us.

  • 15:05

    Thoughts?

  • 14:59

    Sold out, you say? We're not so sure.

  • 14:59

    Check this out.

  • 14:58

    The company has listed the Note 4 on its website, despite the fact that Samsung hasn't even announced the phone's existence.

  • 14:58

    Indonesian retailer Erafone.com has made a grave era (sorry).

  • 14:52

    Rejoice! We might have just got our hands on the official Galaxy Note 4 specs.

  • 11 August
  • 15:59

  • 15:53

    What's more, Samsung's products have traditionally come clad in cheap-looking polycarbonate, rather than good old metal. Will the company shake things up come September?

  • 15:52

    For a long time now, Galaxy-branded smartphones have found success despite their ugly design. Samsung's mobile rivals absolutely hammer it in terms of prettiness.

  • 15:49

    If the actual Note 4 does indeed end up matching the device on the leaked case - which, let's face it, is likely at this point - it may get a warm reception but is unlikely to win itself any modelling contracts.

  • 15:45

    The handset looks pretty similar to the Galaxy S5, in terms of hard and soft keys, as well as dimensions. However, it will definitely be larger and will probably pack a number of phablet-friendly features (as well as a stylus).

  • 15:41

    As you can see from the snap below, the box suggests that the phone will be released on 15 September (a Tuesday).

  • 15:38

    That's right. The retail box has also been posted all over the Internet.

  • 15:37

  • 15:37

    There's more...

  • 15:07

    A very genuine-looking alleged snap of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has leaked.

  • 15:05

  • 08 August
  • 09:42

    Good stuff, people. It looks like at least four-fifths of you have come to the right place.

  • 07 August
  • 16:35

    Out of curiosity, given the choice between tuning into Sony's Xperia Z3 launch or Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 launch, which would you go for?

    Sony's a company in the ascendancy (especially its mobile arm), while Samsung's experiencing an unusually tough period.

  • 12:10

    This is definitely a nod to Knox, Samsung's enterprise security product which seems to have impressed everyone in tech but BlackBerry.

  • 12:02

    As you've probably noticed, the official invitation (below) suggests that Samsung wants to target business people with the new Note 4. The seemingly scrawled image depicts a set-square, the cloud and a couple of graphs.

  • 11:18

    Over the next few months (and beyond), you bargain-hunters will be pleased to know that the price of the Note 3 will shrink ever smaller and smaller. Having launched in 2013 for £570, you can now pick it up from Amazon for a far more wallet-friendly £370. That really isn't bad for a high-end smartphone (in today's market, anyway).

  • 09:40

    Pretty interesting results here. I didn't expect so many of you to vote positively. Wishful thinking or genuine hope?

  • 06 August
  • 17:07

    Which brings us to our first poll...

  • 17:03

    It could, of course, save some valuable screen space. With the soft keys permanently on the curved bit of the display, users could have quite a bit more room for multi-tasking.

  • 16:53

    A curved display, no matter how useful, could be a game-changer. People tend to be intrigued by things they haven't seen before and this would definitely represent an eye-catching move from Samsung.

  • 16:48

    We've got to say, the top device looks hideous. The bottom one, one the other hand, looks pretty damn slick.

  • 16:47

    So what do you think about these then?

  • 16:45

  • 16:42

  • 16:41

    A couple of unofficial pictures making the rounds online seem to suggest that the device will pack a curved display. Let's have a look...

  • 16:34

    We also think the Note 4 will feature some level of dust and water resistance, like the S5. Maybe don't expect to be able to go scuba diving with it though.

  • 15:15

    The Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM could power the show behind the scenes.

  • 15:13

    Not bad, eh?

  • 15:13

    By the way, on a 5.7in display, that translates to 515 pixels per inch. On a 5.9in screen, that's 498PPI.

  • 15:09

    The display size is expected to remain at 5.7in, though some people reckon that it will move up to 5.9in. The resolution, on the other hand, should jump up to and impressive and incredibly sharp 2,560 x 1,440 pixels.

  • 14:55

    Samsung's actually done well to keep leaks to a minimum this time around, at least compared to other tech companies.

    That hasn't stopped us from getting wind of a few tasty specs though...

  • 14:44

    For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's the official "Samsung Unpacked 2014 Episode 2" invite.

  • 14:39

    Welcome to our latest live blog!