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Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 4

Samsung announces the Galaxy Note 4

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Samsung is today introducing the Galaxy Note 4, a large new smartphone that sticks to the formula of the Note 3 while rounding out many of its predecessors rough edges. The Note 4 looks very familiar, but that's not a bad thing: Samsung has been iterating on its wildly successful phablet for four years now, and that means it's had plenty of time to improve upon its weak points. With Apple reported to be announcing a large, 5.5-inch iPhone just a week from now, it's critical that Samsung make this new Note as appealing as ever.

Read: photos and hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Note 4

The Note 4 has a 5.7-inch AMOLED display, just like its predecessor, but it's now sporting a Quad HD resolution, which should make for a huge improvement on sharpness. As usual, Samsung is also touting just how much more vibrant an AMOLED display is than an LCD display. That's not something that everyone is a fan of, but it definitely makes colors pop. There are changes to the Note's software here too. One new feature allows an app to be shrunk down into a smaller window that can hover overtop of another app and still be used. Apps can also be put into a two-app split-screen view.

One of the notable additions to the Note 4 is a metal band wrapping around its side, much like the recent Galaxy Alpha. There's still a faux-leather style on the back, but the small changes go a long way to making this new Note look much better than what came before it. It'll be available in black, white, pink, and bronze. Naturally, the S Pen is back as well, allowing the phone to be controlled with a stylus. Samsung says that the Note 4 has double the pressure sensitivity of the Note 3.

The phone has a 16-megapixel rear camera with image stabilization and a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera. This new Note also includes a heart-rate monitor and a fingerprint sensor like the ones added to the Galaxy S5 earlier this year. The phone includes either a quad- or octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage that can be expand through MicroSD. The phone will be runing Android 4.4.4 KitKat.

Samsung is also unveiling the Galaxy Note Edge, a separate version of the Note with a display that curves over one side of the phone.