The Galaxy Note 4 is Samsung's best smartphone yet

Improved design and high-resolution screen will take on Apple

Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Electronics has finally managed with the Galaxy Note 4 to put out a smartphone that's beautiful both inside and out.

The much anticipated Note 4 was, as expected, introduced by Samsung Wednesday in Berlin ahead of the IFA trade show.

Samsung has been criticized yet again this year for its extensive use of plastic in its smartphone designs. The Galaxy S5 just doesn't feel as much like a premium phone as the HTC One M8 or Apple's iPhone 5s. But it seems that Samsung took the criticism to heart and has started to change its ways, first with the recently announced Galaxy Alpha and now with the Note 4.

To make the Note 4 look more like a premium product, Samsung has changed some aspects of the design, adding a metal frame and a new version of the faux leather that the company used on the Note 3 (no more stiches). That's a big step in the right direction, and the company has ended up with a device that no longer looks cheap.

The smartphone's best feature is the 5.7-inch screen with a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution, which looks stunning. This shouldn't come as a surprise -- Samsung's screens are one of the main reasons its mobile devices are so successful.

Even with the higher resolution, the new Note should offer better battery life, according to Samsung. Future tests will have to prove that to be true, until then it's a statement that should be greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Deciding to stick with a 5.7-inch screen was a smart decision. The tradition of increasing the size had to stop somewhere if the company didn't want to turn the device into a small tablet.

The Note 4 is 8 grams heavier than its predecessor at 176 grams and is 153.5 millimeters long, 78.6 millimeters wide and 8.5 millimeters thick, which is just slightly larger than the Note 3. I can understand why some people don't want a device as big as the Notes and other large-screened smartphones, but I am not one of them.

The Note 4 may be Samsung's best large-screened smartphone, but it will also face tougher competition than any of its predecessors.

I was given a sneak peak of a Huawei device that will be launched Thursday and can compete with Samsung's device in many respects. Also, if Apple launches the oft-rumored 5.5-inch version of the iPhone next week, Samsung will face a whole new level of competition.

The Galaxy Note 4 will be available across the world next month.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Tags consumer electronicsIFASamsung ElectronicsAndroidsmartphones

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Mikael Ricknäs

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