We’ve covered rumors of the Galaxy Note 4 previously, but new “information” keeps seeping out. We’re not sure how much stock to put into these rumors, but as release dates get closer more “information” continues to appear. Make of them what you will.
Galaxy Note 4The latest rumors for the Galaxy Note 4 are certainly interesting, and if accurate point to an interesting device. Multiple sources point to a very different look for the new Note, as Samsung begins to address the frequent criticism of the look and quality of its shiny plastic devices. (Editor’s Note: I’ve always found the build quality of Samsung’s phones and tablets to be very good. Plastic does not equal poor build quality, as far as I’m concerned. But there are many who believe otherwise, and Samsung appears to want to address that perception.)
The latest rumors are that the Note 4 will have an all metal chassis. Some point to aluminum as the selected material, others say Samsung is still testing multiple metals. With a release date anticipated in September, Samsung should be finalizing production facilities, so this author thinks it’s unlikely the design is still up in the air. Aluminum is the most likely material anyway, as it’s light, easy to work with, and properly treated very hard and scratch resistant. The open question is whether the phablet will have a removable back and battery, like most other Samsung devices, or whether Samsung will adopt unibody construction similar to the HTC One series phones.
There have also been rumors that the Note 4 will have a wrap-around screen, similar to the prototype device shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2013. More recent rumors, though, suggest a curved screen like that on the Samsung Galaxy Round, pictured above the headline. While the Round hasn’t been a huge seller for Samsung, the Note series offers far more capability than the Round, and Samsung has had more time to design features that take advantage of the shape. The curved screen undoubtedly makes it easier to fit a large Phablet device in a pants pocket and curving the screen from side to side certainly makes more sense than from top to bottom, as on the LG Flex.
There have been consistent rumors of two versions of the next Note, so maybe we’ll see a more traditional plastic-bodied Note 4 take the majority of sales, with the metal-bodied, curved screen version a limited edition premium offering.
Nexus 6While there have been rumors that Google was going to eliminate the Nexus phone line in favor of the “Silver” line of premium phones, Google confirmed at this year’s Google I/O conference that the Nexus line would be updated for 2014. Since Nexus phones are usually released alongside significant OS updates, it’s likely we’ll see a Nexus 6 this fall, about the time Android ‘L’ is released to manufacturers. And we’re now starting to see rumors of just what changes Google has in store for us.
First up is a larger, higher resolution screen. Probably 5 inches, but perhaps as large as 5.5 inches. Nexus devices generally offer pretty close to state of the art hardware when released, LG has a phone with a 5.5″ screen currently on the market, and other manufacturers are rumored to have them coming soon, so this isn’t too far a stretch. We’re hearing it’ll be a QuadHD 2560×1440 screen, but at least one rumor, says 2048×1080, which would be a unique and interesting compromise. Higher res than the Galaxy S5 and HTC One, but with potentially better battery life than a QuadHD screen.
Another consistent rumor is a better camera. The cameras in Nexus devices have been widely panned, and even after a software update the shooter in the Nexus 5 is significantly behind those in other premium smartphones. Rumors are pointing to a 13MP rear camera, and a 5MP selfie cam, which would be quite a bit better than most of the competition’s front cameras. Rounding out the rumors are a larger battery (a no-brainer to go with the larger, higher resolution display), 3 GB of RAM, and a faster processor. What hasn’t leaked is who will manufacture the phone. LG denies any involvement, but they also denied involvement in the Nexus 5, so we’ll see.
Following Nexus tradition, it is expected the phone will be available in the Google Play Store, unsubsidized, at a price considerably less the the full price for premium devices from other handset vendors.
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