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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch hit by build quality complaints

Luke Johnson


Samsung Galaxy Note 4 build

In the wake of the Galaxy Note 4 release, Samsung has been forced to respond to complaints from a number of early adopters who have reported issues with the handset’s build quality.

Although a UK Note 4 release date is not set to be held until October 10, the 5.7-inch smartphone touched down in Samsung’s native Korea last Friday, September 26.

The big launch doesn’t seem to have gone quite as smoothly as Samsung would have hoped, however. According to Korean media, Note 4 owners are already complaining about the shoddy piecing together of the high-end phones.

According to a number of separate adopters, the Note 4 suffers from sizeable spacing between the phone’s screen and its new metal-framed body.

The issue is severe enough for pieces of paper and business cards to be easily slotted within the gap (pictured).

Despite early reports of the far from high-end build quality, it is currently unclear how widespread this issue is.

Now, in a statement sent to TrustedReviews, Samsung has responded to the Note 4 build quality concerns, dismissing the reports as an issue.

"The reported issue does not impact the functionality or quality of the Galaxy Note 4," an official Samsung spokesperson told us. "We assure our customers that all Galaxy Note 4 units meet our strict manufacturing and quality control standards."

Although this will be of little reassurance to those with gappy Note 4's, it appears that Samsung is aware of the issue ahead of the phone's UK arrival.

The Note 4 launch woes come just days after the iPhone 6 bendgate controversy which saw the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus become misshapen when carried in users’ pockets. Ironically, Samsung rushed the Note 4 to market in Korea to stem competition from Apple’s latest handset.

Potential construction issues aside, the Galaxy Note 4 is shaping up to be a serious player in the smartphone space.

Packing a 5.7-inch QHD display alongside a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, the Note 4 adds a 16-megapixel OIS camera to the mix. The company’s trusty S-Pen stylus also features with newly improved pressure sensitivity.

Read More: Galaxy S6 release date

Sabir Uddin

September 30, 2014, 11:37 am

I don't think it will affect the device at all. Im going to get a Spigen Capsule case which should go over it anyway. Its also good that Samsung aren't hiding like the iPhone bend

Prem Desai

September 30, 2014, 12:42 pm

I'm appalled by Samsung's response that it won't affect the working of the phone.

First, this is not true as dust, etc will go into the devices if the gaps are really that big.

Second, this is meant to be a premium product selling at a premium price. This quality is just not acceptable.


September 30, 2014, 1:22 pm

this is not about Apple vs Samsung
this is about both companies rushing their "premium" phablets out to beat the Chinese competitors. Apple already had the US market, but 40% of Asian consumers use phablets. So Apple sold out Jobs vision and fragmented the brand just to get that market. Samsung made slight improvments to get to that premium product level and now they just undermined it.
both companies are in cornered animal mode.....consumers eventually will not see the brand worth paying twice as much for the same chinese phone. most people really only do X amount of things on there phonea


September 30, 2014, 1:23 pm

i ordered my case already
i cannot wait for this phone!!!!!!

Sabir Uddin

September 30, 2014, 1:28 pm

I have ordered 2 Spigen cases, 1 Spigen glass screen protector and a Samsung 64GB Micro SD. I cant wait either!!! Oh nice pizza!

Jesus Reyes

September 30, 2014, 5:34 pm

"Far from high-end build quality". It's funny how this is called "build quality" when it has nothing to do. It is just a manufacturing defect. Build quality is the iPhone problem, caused by a design flaw and the use of poor quality material. A gap between the phone itself and the metal rim is not lack of quality, it is just a defect. I think authors should know how to write before writing, but that's a personal thought, though.

Kraiklyn Asatru

September 30, 2014, 5:51 pm

Truth is I don't want a metal case. The plastic on my note3 is fine. Plastic is a superior material to be honest. Shame to fall for the imagined 'premium' of a inferior material.

Michael Torres

September 30, 2014, 5:54 pm

This is extremely unfortunate for both companies,which both respectively having played king of the hill, for making outstanding phone tech history. The iPhone 4 &4S. The Galaxy S2 & Note. After both companies rushed to market unneedfully, prompted by the assumptions that clients would rather use these phones on a limited bases.The iphone with its beautiful hardbody & glass feel was in fact the most easily breakable phone with crushed displays on 1 in 4 metro commuters that I personally did see more iphones being operated in used car fashion with the Timex takes a lickin still keeps tickin which actually proved iphone has quality! As for any GS3 & GS4, this spec filled phone super heated like laptops of old, as do the GS5 with occasional software glich as I remembered GS2 NEVER overheated and did drain the battery cause I could watch videos all day with that little monster. The moral of the post is companies like the one that launched the One plus One gives you 5.5in 1080p 401ppi. 800 snapdragon processor @ 3gb ram lcd ips display with a fucin fm radio to boot 13mp camera with a 3000ahm battery at 16gb & 64gb ( no memory expansion) the so called mid range phone ! BY Golly! We're almost talking about iphone 6 plus. That's tragic at only $299.00 & 349.00 variables.I must conclude that the above writer was correct that both companies not only jumped before the sound of the start gun, but also was being tight fisted financially to frugal with overall build and a almost finished product, lets pray these phones bear up by the October 17 th marketing date

Andrew Strautz

September 30, 2014, 6:52 pm

the magic word is tolerances. the gap in question has been around on other Samsung phones for years and even on other devices that where manufactured expecting an end user. I can easily slide a finger nail between the bezzle of my Galaxy S4 and I've known that since day one. the reason why its there is so that impact shock dousen't shatter your screen when the body deforms, metal is worse than plastic for a material choice so the gap may be more pronounced but its there for a reason.

I would be more surprised if the the device didn't live up to other standards of durability, for instance how well douse the Note4 hold up to bending stresses? if you drop the phone on a corner or screen first onto a rock, is it going to shatter? is the damned battery going to explode in my pocket, if so douse Samsung plan on shipping heat resistant Kevlar underwear from their defense division to band-aid the plethora of other problems their devices have had in the past? this is not the issue people should be getting worried about; simply because its not an issue.

a piece from Modern Marvels on the History channel (back when they actually had documentaries about history) covered the advertizing practice of "steam cleaning our bottles" as a common practice every one did. suddenly someone could claim it as if no one else did, Yet here we have an example of what literally every (good) manufacturer douse and Samsung suddenly gets demonized for it. WTF people?


September 30, 2014, 8:42 pm

Most cases will cover this part anyway, and if you don't have a case it's only a matter of time until you need a new screen.


October 1, 2014, 4:56 am

Samsung is not about build quality it is about shoddy quality. Their response made it a fact.


October 1, 2014, 2:10 pm

make excuses for the multi billion dollar company


October 1, 2014, 4:03 pm

An over $800 dollar phone should be flawless and have no issues especially with its hardware. I'm not sure if you can replace a screen. As far as I know you have to get a new phone.


October 4, 2014, 10:04 pm

Yeah, and I can slip a piece of paper just the same way in my Galaxy Note 1. Nobody ever noticed, none of the reviews mentioned it, I never suspected I could do that. And so what? It is a non-issue.

Maybe some day somebody will discover some other hitherto unimagined party trick with a phone and an every-day item of business paraphernalia.

Since when did such irrelevant artefacts of the build become a quality metric?


October 4, 2014, 10:09 pm

Why is it a defect? How do you know, when you don't have the build spec? Maybe the gap is there by design, quite probably to isolate the glass screen from shock if the phone is dropped.


October 4, 2014, 10:15 pm

What do you know? The same gap is present on the original Galaxy Note. Nobody ever mentioned it. Ever. Not the reviewers, not the haters, not the iPhone bois, nobody. Because it is just not an issue. You might as well take Samsung to task over the colour of the phone's internals - it would be just as irrefutably true, and just as irrelevant.

Like you, I'm appalled by Samsung's response that it won't affect the working of the phone. I suspect it will, and for the better.

I suspect the gap is there through engineering design, possibly to accommodate differential thermal expansion of glass and metal, or possibly to isolate the glass from edge impacts. That is just my assumption. Yours is to fly off the handle and rant about "just not acceptable". Not your usual measured self.

Jesus Reyes

October 5, 2014, 2:21 am

Well, I'm not quite sure if you're being sarcastic or not (it can be very difficult to identify this online) but I certainly don't know, that's correct. What I meant is that it is, for sure, not a "poor quality" matter, and it could be—at its worst—just a defect.


October 5, 2014, 6:41 am

Not being sarcastic. To say it is a defect or even poor quality implies you know it is not intentional. I think it is intentional, there by design. The exact same design feature is present on my Note 1. Others report the same on other Galaxy models. My guess is that either it isolates the screen from edge impacts, or it accommodates differential thermal expansion of screen and chassis materials, or both. In no way does it detract from the function or aesthetics of the device. No one even noticed for all the years it has been there on the Note 1 and other devices. It really is not an issue, at all.

Prem Desai

October 5, 2014, 8:57 am


Probably in a bad mood that day.

I'm actually frustrated with Apple and Samsung - playing childish games.

If Apple or Samsung have an issue, the other is there to mock them without considering their own situation. I'd be much happier if they quietly concentrated to delivering better products / service.

BTW - I have the Note 2 - no gap that I can see ....


October 5, 2014, 12:49 pm

And I can't actually see the gap in my Note 1 either. I would never have known had I not, out of curiosity, tried slipping a piece of paper in. Which just shows what this whole gap thing is - nonsense.
Agree totally that Apple and Samsung look foolish slinging mud at each other. Just like politicians, they only demean themselves.

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