It's been 9 months since the Galaxy Note 3 was released - aeons in tech-time - so it's no surprise eyes have turned to its successor, the Galaxy Note 4.
This is an article about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. We’ll be rounding up all the latest news and rumours about the phablet in the run up to its unveiling next year.
For other Samsung news, check out our Samsung News Hub.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Size and build
In the run up to the unveiling of the Galaxy Note 3, there was a lot of speculation about whether or not Samsung would move away from plastic-backed phones.
The logic – as it went – was that Samsung was worried the launch of the plastic-backed iPhone 5C could give consumers the impression that plastic backed phones were cheaper and somehow inferior to their glass/metallic backed rivals.
There were also rumours in the supply channel that Samsung was testing out other materials. According to ET News, the company has sent engineers to Vietnam to investigate the feasibility of making smartphones with aluminium and magnesium backs.
However, as it turned out, talk of a metallic or glass-backed Galaxy Note 3 turned out to be wrong.
They say there isn’t smoke without fire. So could the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 come with a glass or metallic back? Time will tell.
Moving away from the back of the phone, there has also been some talk about what to expect from the phone’s display.
The phone was the original phablet and when it was first launched with a 5.3-inch screen, it was considered enormous. These days, there are phablets out there that are bigger than some tablets.
Samsung has steadily increased the size of the phone’s screen by 0.2-inches with each new phone. Fans had been hoping that Samsung would break with tradition and jump to a 5.9-inch screen, but alas, it wasn’t to be.
Could the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 finally meet with the demands of fans, or will Samsung stick with the 5.7-inch screen found in the Galaxy Note 3?
Tech Radar thinks maybe the phablet won't bump up the size at all, with an Indian import/export tracker pretty much confirming a 5.7-inch display.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Price
Little is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4’s price at the moment. Going on previous launches, we’re expecting it to stay around the price of the Galaxy Note 3 and the 2 and 1 before it. Something around the £550 mark wouldn't be against odds.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Specifications
It’s almost a certainty that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will come with a 64-bit processor.
We know that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will definitely come with a 64-bit processor. Speaking to Korea Times, Samsung’s co-CEO Shin Jong-Kyun promised the company will match the processor found in Apple’s new iPhone 5S.
And recently Samsung confirmed that it is working on 64-bit processors for its 2014 handsets - although the company stopped short of actually announcing which handsets they were. That said, it’s not a stretch to guess that means the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 4.
Stephen Woo, president of Systems SI at Samsung electronics told CNET that the company is taking a “two-step approach” to developing 64-bit chips.
According to Woo, the firm is planning on developing a 64-bit chip based on designs from ARM. Once it has mastered that technology, it will design its own chip. It is believed it will be the latter chip that ends up in both of Samsung’s 2014 flagships smartphones.
“We are marching on schedule,” Woo said Wednesday. “We will offer the first 64-bit [processor] based on ARM’s own core. After that, we will offer an even more optimised 64-bit [processor] based on our own optimisations."
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Camera
At the beginning of September, reports began emerging that Samsung is working on a slimline 16 megapixel smartphone camera with optical image stabiliser (OIS) technology.
At the time of writing, there is only one smartphone in Samsung’s range that comes with OIS, and that is the less-than-slimline Galaxy S4 Zoom.
According to GSMarena, who broke the story, the new lens has been designed to fit in its slimline range of smartphones.
If we see it appear in the Samsung Galaxy S5 – as we currently do – then it will be a shoe-in for the Galaxy Note 4.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4: Launch Date
Going on previous launches, we fully expect this to hit shelves in September 2014. The Korea Times says the likely launch would be at the Berlin IFA trade show, which runs from the 5th-10th September. Android Geeks think we'll have the Note 4 before then, with their sources hinting at a September 3rd release.