The new Galaxy Note 4 features a crisper, 5.7-inch display in a metal frame, reflecting Samsung's latest design strategy to keep pace with rivals including
The new model offers accessories designed to attract gamers and an improved pen stylus and related software as a handwriting alternative to typing on a keyboard. It boasts easier to use multi-tasking features that take advantage of its large screen.
The Note 4 is key to a recovery by
Mobile phone analysts said that, while packed full of hundreds of features and many of the latest hardware specs, there is little in the Note 4 to excite new users.
"I think this is mostly an incremental change," Forrester analyst
Research firm Canalys says Samsung lost its title as No. 1 smartphone player in
Part of the blame goes to the Galaxy S5, which is seen widely as a disappointment since its global launch in April. Research firm Counterpoint estimates the flagship premium phone was outsold by the much older
NEEDING A BIG HIT
While the new Note device appears to meet expectations on key features such as the quad high-definition display and a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera, the improvements are incremental and suggest further struggles ahead for Samsung to differentiate its product, especially with large-screen iPhones on the way.
"It is an acknowledgement that Samsung took a wrong turn with the move into plastic cases and that its designs didn't move fast enough to keep pace with many competitors," said
"The importance of metal cases is that it directly translates into bigger, edge-to-edge screens," he said.
Samsung also showed off a limited-edition version of the Note with a curved edge screen on one of the phone's sides, helping users to stay focused on their main screen without having to respond to calendar reminders or incoming emails.
It demonstrated a Virtual Reality headset that turns the Note 4 into the sort of immersive gaming platform once confined to consoles.
The Korean electronics giant says it will get more aggressive on pricing and focus on a narrower set of products for its mid-to-low tier products. The moves could help Samsung staunch a loss of market share but would inevitably undercut profit margins.
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