Product Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 4

If you’ve been reading my other Samsung reviews, you should know that I’m not a fan of their hardware design. Until now.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is a stunning device. It looks good, feels good, and is super fast.  The AT&T LTE coverage was excellent everywhere I went.

Selfie with the Note 4

I’ve been using this phone, in addition to my iPhone, for a couple of weeks now, and I don’t want to give it back. I chaperoned a high school band trip involving 100 kids, freezing weather, and a 30-hour round trip bus ride. I thoroughly tested the camera, videos, battery life, cold weather use, navigation, and just general feel, and it never let me down.

10922672_10155008415045627_89166737912906907_nAgain, once you get to this class of phone, it is hard to be disappointed. It is not much smaller than the Mega 2, but that little bit makes a huge difference in usability. I found this size much easier to handle. It still requires two hands, but it doesn’t feel like I’m holding a waffle.

Another different aspect to this phone is the stylus. Tucked away, it’s invisible. It did come in handy using the phone in cold weather. I didn’t need special gloves or have to take mine off to use it. The stylus has a couple of useful functions that would be extremely handy for someone who needs to make handwritten notes, drawings, or markup images. I would probably utilize this with critiquing apps, websites, and other media viewed on the device. I think this would take some getting used to in order to maximize use of these features. Purchasing an additional stylus is not a bad idea. If you become accustomed to using it and you lose it, waiting seems costlier than having a backup.


Traveling on the bus during the band trip gave me the chance to test out the hotspot. Let me just say I was everyone’s new best friend. The wifi was fast and reliable compared to the charter bus setup, even out in the boondocks. This is a wonderful feature for meetings, classes, family vacations, and more.

I’m sad about handing this device over to AT&T this week. Who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up one for myself. Don’t tell my iPhone.


Disclaimer: I was given this phone to review by AT&T without any conditions or remuneration.


Product Review – Samsung Galaxy Alpha

Image (c) Ann Adair

This past week, I had the Samsung Galaxy Alpha in my hands.

Let me begin with some positives: One of the nicest looking phones from Samsung, period. Screen is gorgeous!  Processing speed is nice and fast. Generally, the phone is very responsive.

Google’s new Inbox looks fantastic. I’m a hardcore Google user and I wish it was this pretty on my iPhone. Sometimes I forget what the Android platform is really like. It’s quite nice, actually.

The size of the phone feels good in your hand. Not too big and unwieldy like some of the super-sized phones around.

(c) Ann Adair — Shown is Thinkamingo’s Lists for Writers app available on Google Play.

Some cons? Battery life could be a little better.

My biggest issue with this phone is that while it is one of the best looking Samsung models to date, it’s not very sleek. It wants to be sleek. It’s light and thin, with a beveled metal edge, but what annoys me is the assortment of bumps in the case to facilitate the camera, the headphone jack, and the power cable. I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off this phone because of the picking I would do with these little anomalies.

Basically, that’s the worse thing about this phone, which means if that doesn’t bother you, you’re golden. This is a great lower-priced phone that packs a lot of power. It’s fast and pretty with apps-a-plenty on the Android platform. This is a great value for a casual phone, but not not want you want if you are looking for a flagship-type model for heavy business use.

Disclaimer: I was given this phone to review by AT&T without any conditions or remuneration.