While the Galaxy Note 4 is a useful device, it isn’t without a laundry list of problems for the user to take their time washing through. If you’re looking to buy a Note 4 and want to know what to look out for, or if you already have a Note 4 and are looking for a solution; we have you covered, either way.
So let’s take a look at the biggest problems you need to be concerned about if buying, or when owning a Galaxy Note 4.
I should note, without an intended pun, that most of these Note 4 problems are caused after an update to Lollipop (5.0). Regardless, I’ll be mentioning anything and everything, and how to fix it, so let’s get started.
1. Battery Problems after Update
The battery is arguably the most important part of a mobile device, considering it determines how long you can make use of it before it becomes a glossy paperweight. If your Note 4 recently upgraded to 5.0, you’ve probably had issues with the battery draining faster than it used to, even with Power Saver enabled.
Believe it or not, the culprit may be some third-party apps on your device that worked just fine with KitKat, but can’t play nicely with Lollipop. This isn’t the only case where your battery can be put through the ringer, but it’s the first one we’ll be discussing.
If you’re familiar with Safe Mode on Android, you’ll be putting your knowledge to use here. For this step, we’ll be making use of Safe Mode to isolate third party applications until you can narrow down which one(s) could be causing your battery problems.
The first thing you’ll want to do is boot into Safe Mode. Once in Safe Mode, you’ll need to begin the long process of uninstalling third-party applications one by one, and then rebooting your phone to note any changes.
Yes, this is as boring as it sounds, but, at least you have my above pun to give you a smile while you uninstall apps. If this step sounds like a little much, there are some other solutions available to try, or you could attempt this if Safe Mode didn’t do the trick.
If Lollipop is still biting to the center of your battery, there are three options/features you can disable to improve battery life.
First up on the list is Bluetooth. If you have this active when not taking advantage of Bluetooth features, you could be using up far more battery than you need to. To disable your Bluetooth you’ll need to go to Apps from a Home screen, then head to Settings, next Network Connections, and then select Bluetooth.
From here, you can enable or disable Bluetooth functionality whenever you please, but in this case, you should make sure it’s turned off, at least for now.
Next we’ll need to take a look at your Note 4’s NFC capabilities and most likely to turn them off. While NFC can be a useful tool, it can also take a toll on your phone’s battery if left on when not in use.
Disabling NFC is much like disabling Bluetooth. From whichever Home screen you prefer, go to Apps then, go to Settings, next Connect and Share so you can then select NFC. If the slider is already set to off, then NFC may not be the cause for your trouble. However, if it is currently on, switch it off to save on some precious battery power.
This next step has to deal with the Power Saver function I mentioned earlier, enabling this could help you conserve battery power, and can be enabled by following a few steps.
You can view a video supplied by Verizon to learn more about it, Verizon has a video you can watch.
The last battery hog to disable goes by the name, live wallpapers. If your phone’s battery is chugging along just fine with a live wallpapers still enabled, disabling it may still prove to increase battery live even further.
If losing your live wallpaper isn’t too much of a deal breaker, giving it the axe could marginally increase your battery life.
If all else fails, you should cycle your battery. Think about doing something like pulling the plug on your PC while it’s still powered on to force it to shut down.
To do this, you’ll need to remove your battery while your phone is still powered on.
After doing removing your battery, you’ll want to wait a full ten minutes before reinserting the battery and rebooting your phone.
If even this step doesn’t fix your battery problems, it may be time to look for a replacement.
2: Wi-Fi Problems after Update
Wi-Fi has always been a fickle mistress in my experience. Any minor change causes her to stop gracing your presence, and in the face of a major change, like an update, there could be a whole new slew of problems to complicate your Wi-Fi capabilities.
However, there are ways to win Wi-Fi’s favor back.
The first step to any troubleshooting is to reboot your device. If you’ve already done this, feel free to skip this step, but if you haven’t it would be a good idea to do so.
Now that your Note 4 has had a few seconds to rest its eyes, it’s time to do the same for your modem or router. Turn off the source for your Wi-Fi connection, and wait at least a full minute before turning it back on.
If your Note 4 still can’t connect to your Wi-Fi, there are more steps ready to help.
If this does not work, it’s possible that if you have Power Saving turned on in your settings, which could have some Wi-Fi restrictions enabled. Try connecting to your Wi-Fi once more after you’ve made sure that Power Saving is turned off.
Next, you’ll need to locate the network you’re having trouble connecting to and select Forget Network. Thankfully, you aren’t forgetting it forever. After you’ve cleared the connection from your phone, try to reconnect to it and perform its first time setup once more.
After these steps, if you still cannot connect to your selected Wi-Fi network, all I can recommend updating any current applications on your device, or booting your phone into Safe Mode.
3: Bluetooth Problems after Update
While I mentioned Bluetooth can cause you troubles with other parts of your Note 4, Bluetooth itself can also malfunction. The main issue is that the Note 4 can have trouble establishing a Bluetooth connection between vehicles, and any other Bluetooth enabled accessories.
Luckily, there are a few possible solutions for the problem.
Much like with previous issues, the first step to tackle the problem is to reset the involved devices. You may need to consult additional information to figure out how to reset Bluetooth functionality in a vehicle or other devices, but you’ll have an easier time working it you with your Note 4.
To reset your Note 4’s Bluetooth functionality, go to Settings then Bluetooth. From there, delete all of the pairings you have set. After you’ve done so, reboot your phone and try connecting with Bluetooth again.
If resetting all the involved devices hasn’t worked, try updating all software and firmware that you can. If something is out of date, it may not be functioning correctly because of it. An update from KitKat to Lollipop could have caused the issue in the first place, but another update could patch the hole.
If all else fails, there are apps available in the Google Play Store, that can attempt the pairing process for you, that could workaround the issue. You could use an app, like Bluetooth Pair,
or another app, like Bluetooth Auto Connect.
Either of these apps will do their best to pair up your devices, but there are plenty of other apps on the Play Store that can attempt the same.
4: Note 4 Camera Problems
While the Note 4 comes packed with a 16MP camera among its list of specs, that doesn’t stop it from losing focus on what really matters. However, not every Note 4 camera has focus issues. The deciding factor on whether or not your phone’s camera can hold its place is the carrier you received it from.
You can see here that the T-Mobile Note 4 can’t seem to focus properly:
If your Note 4 is having focus troubles like the phone above, let’s take a look at what solutions are available.
Inspect the lens of your camera. Look closely to see if anything is stuck to the lens or if it is scratched.
It’s possible that something could be stuck to the lens, or a protective film could be attached that the camera is trying to focus on while active, making for a very blurry field of view. If anything is on the lens, try your best to gently clean its surface to remove any obstructions.
Open your camera and then navigate to the camera’s Settings by giving the gear in the bottom left a tap. The Note 4 camera has a few Metering modes that could be interfering with the camera’s focus.
After opening up the full settings menu by hitting the three vertical dots, try enabling Matrix or Spot and trying to use the camera again. If you still can’t focus, try disabling all modes the camera has available and rebooting.
Additionally, you can access your camera application through the Application Manager in your Settings. Once you’ve found your camera app, give it a tap, and then select Force Stop as well as Clear Data.
After you’ve done so, give your camera another try and see if the focus issue is resolved.
In some cases, the camera not being able to focus is a manufacturing issue, and not a software problem. If you turn off your phone and give your camera a few light taps with your palm, it may work again.
In most cases, you can even contact where you purchased your phone from and request a replacement.
5: Overheating Problems after Update
Overheating shouldn’t be new to anyone who’s ever owned a smartphone, or at the very least you’ve experienced your phone running a little hot.
However, some Note 4 owners have had their phone heat up considerably during normal use while on Android 5.0. There are a few solutions to this hot topic, so let’s take a look.
Power down your Note 4 and let it sit in either a shady spot, or somewhere that’s at least room temperature.
After a few minutes have passed, you can reboot it, and hopefully not experience the overheating again.
If a short rest didn’t fix the phone’s issue, try powering down your Note 4 again. This time, remove both your battery and micro SD card if one is inside your device. Wait at least one full minute, and then pop the battery back in before rebooting your phone.
This can potentially solve the issue, but there is one other step to attempt if your Note 4 is still overheating.
There are a few apps you can download that can help determine if another application is causing your phone to heat up much faster than normal.
One app in particular that I can recommend, is Cooler Master.
This app determines what apps are hogging up CPU and potentially producing much more heat than they’re worth.
Additionally, Cooler Master can stop pesky background processes from cropping back up from being closed.
6: Random Restarts
Here’s another Note 4 issue that can quickly go from a slight annoyance, to a severe pain in the neck. Some Note 4 users have had multiple issues with their device restarting without any rhyme or reason, but thankfully, this can be fixed.
If your Note 4 has a micro SD card inside, that could be the cause of the restarts. Try powering down your phone and then removing the card. If you don’t experience the restarts anymore, you’ll need to format your micro SD card.
Make sure to backup the data on your card before reinserting it, going into your Settings, then Storage, and then finally Format SD card.
You can contact your carrier or retailer and explain the issue before receiving a replacement, but this could take a large amount of time. However, it is a viable option to fix the issue relatively easily.
As frightening of an idea as it may seem, performing a Factory Reset could fix the issue. Make sure to backup all of your data before attempting one, or restoring your phone to an older backup you have saved.
7: Videos and Photos not Appearing in Gallery
After taking a picture or shooting a video, some Note 4 users may be surprised to see that what they recorded wasn’t waiting for them in their gallery.
This is a minor bug, but one that can be quickly fixed.
The first thing you should try is powering your phone off and then rebooting. This should fix the problem for most users, but if the files still won’t show up, there are additional measures you can take.
If a reboot didn’t work, wiping the cache partition could do the trick. After you’ve completed a wipe, your photos and videos should show up again like before.
8: OK Google no Longer Working
There are a few cases where Note 4 users experience OK Google either ceasing to function properly after a few days of use, or not working at all out of the box. Other than a factory reset and a reboot, there’s only one known solution to this problem.
In your Settings, you need to head to Language and input, then Voice search to make sure that OK Google Detection is switched to Always on. It’s possible that it was not enabled before, or turned off at some point. After setting OK Google Detection to Always on, reboot your phone to finalize the change.
9: GPS Issues
Personally, I have plenty of GPS issues, but that’s because of my famous lack of direction even with technological assistance. In the case of the Note 4 however, your GPS can take ages to fix onto where you need to go, and can even drop its connection constantly.
After you reboot your device and the problem still persists,move on to your Settings. In your Settings menu, you’ll want to navigate to Location and select High Accuracy under Modes.
With this, the accuracy of your GPS should be increased, and hopefully it will react faster and drop your connection less often.
If your Note 4’s GPS depends on antenna to function properly, it’s possible a case around the device could be obstructing its signal. If you have a case on your Note 4, try removing it and observing to see if there any changes in accuracy or connection strength.
Some micro SD cards can interfere with the Note 4’s GPS capabilities. Try powering down your phone, removing the micro SD card if one is inserted, and then trying your GPS again after a reboot.
If these written steps didn’t work out, much like my map reading skills, you can view a video of a GPS fix here:
If you have no other option past this point, there’s always the Factory Reset in your back pocket, but use it wisely.
10: Vanishing Text Messages
If you’ve been slowly going insane because text messages you were sure you received have disappeared into thin air, don’t panic, you may have hit your stored text limit. Your messaging application should have a Settings menu you can access.
In the Settings menu, you can increase or decrease your limit on texts in the Delete old messages section. You can even turn this option off altogether to make sure all of your messages stay where they belong.
11: General Lag Issues
A few programs and animations on the Note 4 have the potential to slow it down. Thankfully, you have the option to downsize them, disable them, or even replace them.
The most probable offender for lag with the Note 4, and other Samsung devices is TouchWiz. While TouchWiz is less power hungry than it used to be, it can still take up a lot of processing power by default.
Thankfully, you can replace this launcher by downloading any custom launcher on the Google Play Store to get better performance.
Additional features that can cause lag on the Note 4, are Transitional Animation, Window Animation, and Animation Duration scales. To lower these or even disable them outright, you can find them located in your Settings under Developer Options.
If you don’t have Developer Options enabled, go to Settings, then About device, and tap your build number seven times. Congratulations, you’re now a developer, and have access to a few more functions on your phone. Who knew it was that easy?
If you haven’t updated your phone since the last update caused you trouble, make a backup and update again. If the new update manages to worsen things you for you further, you can always restore your data.
You don’t have anything to lose when you make frequent backups.
Almost any issue the Note 4 has, even if it wasn’t mentioned above, can usually be fixed with either a quick reboot, battery pull, going into Safe Mode, or wiping the cache partition. If all else fails, you can even do a Factory Reset, or return your phone for a replacement.
Regardless of the Note 4’s problems, each issue running amok inside the phone can be quickly quelled, contained, and eradicated.
Does your Note 4 have a problem you’ve never seen mentioned? Share it in the comments below and I’m sure an answer can be found. There isn’t a problem the Note 4 has that can’t be solved one way or another.