Samsung's next big business phone is almost here. The Galaxy Note 4 — a follow-up to last year's huge 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 phablet — is expected to launch in early September. Like its predecessor, the device is expected to be a stylus-equipped behemoth that's packed with productivity-boosting features. But how big will the new Note be? What kind of hardware will it have? And will it ship with hot new features, like a fingerprint scanner? Samsung has been tight-lipped about the Galaxy Note 4 thus far, but a torrent of leaks and rumors have helped give us an idea of what to expect. Read on for five of the most exciting — but unconfirmed — features that could make the Note 4 even better for work.
Quad HD display
The Galaxy Note 3's 5.7-inch display is very large, and that benefits business users. The big screen is better for screen-intensive tasks, such as editing documents and managing your email inbox, and it makes everyday tasks, such as browsing the Web, more comfortable.
The Note 4 is expected to have an even better screen than the Note 3's. Rumors speculate that the device will sport a supersharp 2560 x 1440-pixel Quad HD display, which would make it as pixel-dense as the screen on the new 5.5-inch LG G3 smartphone. And if the Note 3 features the same AMOLED display technology as the Galaxy S5 — which provides unmatched color saturation and viewing angles — it could be the best smartphone display yet. It's not yet known if the new phone will keep the 5.7-inch dimensions of its predecessor, however.
Make no mistake: The Galaxy Note 3 is a fast smartphone. It packs a speedy Snapdragon 800 processor and was the first smartphone to come equipped with 3GB of RAM, making it a multitasking powerhouse. Even still, reports suggest that the Note 4 will be significantly more powerful. It's rumored to include the new Snapdragon 805 chip, so launching and switching between apps should be even snappier. That's a big plus for business users who want a device that can handle anything they throw at it.
Better fingerprint scanner
Earlier this year, Samsung launched the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 as one of the first Android smartphones to include a fingerprint scanner embedded in device's home button — just swipe your finger down over the button to quickly and easily unlock your device. A fingerprint scanner makes it possible to secure your work phone without fiddling with cumbersome passwords and PINs, and rumors indicate that the Galaxy Note 4 will be the first phone in the Note line to include the hardware feature. As on the Galaxy S5, you'll probably be able to use the scanner to unlock your phone, as well as gain access to a special private folder where you can store your company's most sensitive documents and data.
Some reports indicate that the Note 4's fingerprint scanner will have an improved design that lets you simply place your fingertip over the home button to activate it, similar to how the iPhone 5s' scanner works. The Galaxy S5's scanner requires users to slowly slide their finger down over the button, which makes it a bit less reliable.
And the Note 4 is likely to include other new security features as well, including support for Samsung's Knox security suite, which debuted on the Galaxy S5. Knox lets you run business apps — such as an email client, messenger and Web browser — inside of a secure profile, which ensures that rogue applications can't access your data.
Looks aren't everything, but it's nice to have a business phone you can take seriously. Most critics say Samsung phones have generally lacked the "premium" feel of some other flagship phones, mostly due to the devices' plastic frames. The Galaxy Note 3 improved upon the plain plastic design of the first two Note devices by adding a textured plastic back that looks and feels a bit like leather, complete with faux stitching around the edges. Still, metal phones such as the iPhone 5s and HTC One M8 easily outclass the Galaxy Note 3 when it comes to aesthetics.
But some reports suggest that the Note 4 will sport a metal body, which would help give it a more premium feel. It's unclear if the faux-leather back would remain, however. Regardless, a metal design might make the Galaxy Note 4 a phone you're proud to show off in a business meeting.
Though nothing has been confirmed, the Note 4 is expected to debut with some of the features that make the Note 3 such a great business phone. For starters, it's likely to ship with some of the same stylus functionality. Pressing the single button on the side of the Note 3's stylus, for example, launches the Action Menu, which lets you jump to five different pen input applications. That way, you can start writing right when you want to, without having to dig through your app drawer for the right note-taking application.
One feature that's sure to return with the Note 4 is Multi Window mode, a multitasking feature supported by most Samsung smartphones. In a nutshell, Multi Window lets you run two applications at the same time in a split-screen view. You can quickly swap out which apps are open, resize the windows, and even copy and paste text between the two apps. Multi Window is most useful on big-screen phablets like the Note 4 — running two apps on a smaller screen can feel a bit cramped.
Originally published on Business News Daily.