The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is an awesome tech tool. Front and centre is the amazing screen: a smashing 5.7in display with four times the resolution of Full HD, not to mention AMOLED technology that produces incredible contrast and punchy images whether you’re looking at still images, Hollywood movies or games.
Still, as much fun as watching someone else’s creation is fun, nothing quite beats making stuff yourself. And when it comes to photography, that goes double: a decent photo challenge gets you out and about, and the Galaxy Note 4 is just the ticket.
Forget the screen for a second and flip the phone over: there, bang in the middle, is the camera lens. The stand-out spec is easy enough to digest – 16 megapixels is plenty of resolution for cropping and zooming – but as with all creative geniuses, it’s what’s going on under the surface that makes it really stand out.
1 Steady, Eddie
Let’s talk stability. You need it in photography: a camera that moves about is a camera that’s going to take blurry pictures, and you don’t need that. The Galaxy Note 4 has optical image stabilisation built in: that means that an element inside the camera moves to compensate for your movement, producing steadier pictures. It’s also got an f/2.2 aperture: nerds will be with us already, but for the less specialised it means the lens lets loads of light in, meaning you can continue shooting once the light starts to fade.
2 Killing the radio star
If all you’re shooting is still images, you’re missing a trick. We love short films, and a smartphone – especially one with a huge screen and weighing under 200g – is a near-perfect thing to shoot them on. The Note 4 shoots Full HD – natch – but it also shoots Ultra HD (also known as 4K) video. Y’know, the ultra-detailed, future-proof standard that suits massive screen tellies and proper cinemas. Ultra HD is something you’re going to be hearing plenty about over the next few months and the Galaxy Note 4 lets you get going right now.
3 Trading spaces
Start shooting Ultra HD video, mind, and you’ll realise something quick: it’s big. Each second of Ultra HD footage will cost you roughly 3MB of storage space, and while the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a generous 32GB of internal storage, keen film students will be pleased to note the Note 4 has a spare microSD card slot, allowing you to add cards up to 128GB – enough for grown-up-sized project.
4 Proper post-production
You’ll need a decent app if you want to edit your pics (the Galaxy Apps store has loads), and, of course, a decent screen. The 5.7in AMOLED display on the front of the Note 4 is a superstar: an ultra-wide contrast range and a huge resolution (four times that of Full HD, you know) means that not only will your pics look good as soon as you take them, but you’ll be able to bring out the best in them afterwards. All without going near a PC; now that’s progress.
5 Insane selfies
We can’t resist a selfie. Even though the world and its dog is doing them (seriously: Google “dog selfie” and wave goodbye to your afternoon), the selfie is the perfect blend of precious memory and nerd comedy, and as such we advocate taking as many as possible. So it’s good that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has a pair of cameras, and the one on the front is just for you. And as many mates as you can fit in to its wide field of view. It’s got a resolution of 3.7 megapixels, and an aperture of f/1.9. Again, knowing what this means is less important than knowing what it does: light absolutely floods in, allowing you to take pictures in dodgy light without ending up with a load of gloomy, blurry ghosts in all your pictures. Click!