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Galaxy Note 4 has slow performance, battery won’t charge to 100%, calls keep dropping, other issues

Hello everyone! Welcome to another #GalaxyNote4 post. In this one, we tackle on the commonly encountered slow performance issue about the Note 4 and the reasons why it may be occurring. We hope that this article will help shed some light on this issue.

If you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

Below are specific topics we’re bringing for you today:

Problem 1: Galaxy Note 4 has slow performance, battery won’t charge to 100%, calls keep dropping

Hi. So I have a Galaxy Note. I have loved the features of this phone but recently it is not working as it should. Everything has slowed down. it takes too long to load the camera that the picture opportunity passes me by. Battery never charges to 100%. I have already purchased 2 new batteries. same issue with all 3 that I have. Yesterday was dropped calls and no call connection at all. Caller can hear me but I hear nothing after the first 1min of connection. I have reset the phone. i have deleted all the non essential apps and reinstalled them several times. Video playback is crap. Please help. I have had it for a year and I can’t buy another phone. Please tell me what to do i am at the end of my rope with this phone. UUGGHH!! — Anna

Solution: Hi Anna. There can be a number of factors that can cause a problem like this. Let’s discuss some of the most common ones encountered by a lot of users.

Aging. You may only be using your phone for a year now but the hardware itself may be manufactured years before. The Galaxy Note 4 was originally released in 2014 so if you got it as a pre-owned unit, it may have been used extensively for at least or about 3 years now. Keep in mind that 2 years is usually a ripe age for today’s smartphones. We’re not saying that you’re supposed to replace your smartphones every two years but you can’t expect any device that’s been running every day for 2 years to perform the same way when it was first unboxed. There are other variables that can hasten or slow down performance degradation but aging is inevitable. Hardware components eventually loses their efficiency after some time even when the device is left unused. The usual wear and tear of components progresses at a faster pace as a smartphone ages so overall performance is usually degraded significantly over time.

Your usage habits and level of care for the device can also come into play. If the phone was dropped, exposed to extreme temperature, or got wet before, you should expect some form of poor hardware performance.

Just remember, the more you use the device, the faster wear and tear happens. It’s basically like a car in a sense so even if you take good care of it, you should expect it to start showing slow downs or annoying performance issues at this time.

Newer software update on old hardware. This is often one of the reasons why older Samsung devices tend to run slower over the years. Keep in mind that the Galaxy Note 4 was designed to work with older and “lighter” Android versions. Installing later Android iterations can severely impact performance simply because its hardware is not designed to handle more complex, newer operating system versions. For example, a lot of Note 4 users today are reporting to us that there phone has started to lag significantly after installing Android Marshmallow on it. While there may be other possible reasons for such poor performance issue, you can’t eliminate the fact that older hardware components are simply not able to do more complicated jobs newer Android versions demand. That’s not to say you’re not supposed to update your software but simply to demonstrate the fact hardware slowdowns can also be caused by installing newer Android updates. If your phone has become too sluggish immediately after you’ve installed an update on it, then that’s a clear case of newer software impacting the hardware negatively. You should revert to the older or previous Android version if possible. You can do that by reflashing the device. We don’t provide flashing guides in this post so kindly look for a good guide online.

Incompatible/buggy apps. Another reason an Android device becomes slow after an update, or after some time is apps. Not all apps are developed with the same skill, experience, and resources (yes, apps need time and money to build) so inequality is rampant. Treating all apps as if they’re perfect is bad mindset. In today’s app-filled world, learning how to discriminate between apps can pay great dividends. That said, you should always ensure that you only install known, working apps. But how would you know that an app works, you ask. Well, you don’t have to know how to code to do that. Shop for apps like you shop for your food. Trust word of mouth and in context of Android computing, that means briefing yourself by reading reviews from other users. When you visit an app in Google Play Store, always read to reviews from other users so you’ll know if an app has a good overall rating, or if others have reported problems after installing it. Educate yourself. Not doing so can lead to problems, including one that can impact the performance of your phone’s hardware.

Not all apps are tested to work on all Samsung or Android devices so there’s always a chance that they may work fine on one, but not in another device.

Establish a baseline. It’s hard to tell what may be causing the problems you mention here but one good way to arrive at a possible solution is by establishing a baseline performance first. Slow downs and other erratic phone behaviors can be caused by software glitch, hardware malfunction, or a combination of both. To see if bad hardware is to blame, you must do a factory reset first. This will allow you see if your phone works normally again. If that’s the case, then the most likely cause is hardware-related. To factory reset your Note 4, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the Galaxy Note 4 completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up and the Home keys together, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Note 4 vibrates, release both the Home and Power keys but continue holding the Volume Up key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery shows on the screen, release the Vol Up key.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and press the Power key to select it.
  6. Now highlight ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Vol Down key and press the Power key to begin the reset.
  7. When the master reset is complete, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and hit the Power key.
  8. The Note 4 will restart but it will be longer than usual. When it reaches the Home screen, then begin your setup.

Once you’ve factory reset the device, be sure to let it run for a few hours without any apps installed. This will allow you to take not of any change in terms of performance. You expect that the phone will work significantly faster in this condition so if it’s otherwise, the most likely cause if bad hardware. To further check, you can also reflash the firmware back to older firmware to see if that will help. If the issue persist, then the issue is beyond your ability to fix. You must send the phone in so it’s hardware can be checked, or the device replaced.

If the slow performance issue only returns after you install your apps, there’s a chance that one of the apps is problematic. To identify which app is causing the problem, uninstall them one by one until the issue goes away. Make sure to observe how the phone works after every uninstall to see if there’s a difference.

For your network-related problems (dropped calls and disconnection), make sure to let your carrier know about them. If the call problems continue even when there are no third party apps installed, that’s the only time that you’ll consider bad hardware is causing them. Otherwise, you should work with your carrier.

Problem 2: Galaxy Note 4 keeps freezing and rebooting

Constant freezing and rebooting. Phone will freeze for 20 seconds to a few minutes. Sometimes it will not recover and the battery has to be removed and replaced to start up. Sm-n910v 6.0.1 Kernel

I have tried every combination of the following: Factory reset from settings Factory reset from recovery boot, Wipe partition, Safe mode, Clean Master, Wakelock. No after market apps after hard reset Disabling all factory apps that aren’t used (Instagram, FB, slacker, NFL, etc.). I’m completely exhausted with this. Please assist if you have some new suggestions! Many thanks! — Amatorn

Solution: Hi Amatorn. You’ve already tried almost all software tricks that you can do in this case other than reflashing older Android firmware. If reflashing won’t help either, you can bet hardware is the main cause of all these problems. Send the phone in or have it replaced.

Problem 3: Galaxy Note 4 screen remains black

I have an international version N910H of the Note 4. Like some others I have seen, my screen went black. It is still working and even responding to my touches, but I can’t’ tell where I am touching. Anyway, I have tried all the soft resets and other tricks to get it to work and it is just plain down. I am at the point where you usually tell everyone to bring it in to a service center. Here is the idea I have. Since I have a replacement phone (cheap Blu Life), I am okay and in service. So, I was thinking of trying to replace the offending part myself for the fun and practice. If I hose it in the process, oh well!

Can you tell me if this a total screen replacement, or is there another part that is driving the lighting? Again, the screen glass and touchscreen are in working order. Oh…the little lit buttons at the bottom aren’t lit either. Any advice you can give will be appreciated. I had a career working on electronics, albeit older, larger circuit devices. I just want to try this small stuff and see if my fat fingers can do it. Thanks. 🙂 — Darin

Solution: Hi Darin. First of all, we don’t provide hardware troubleshooting and diagnostics in this blog. If you intend on fixing the problematic part yourself, we recommend that you visit sites like iFixit.

Secondly, the most likely problem is the LCD or the monitor. If ever you’ll do the repair, consider replacing the entire screen assembly instead of the LCD only. This lessens the risk of encountering problems later on if you’ll damage the digitizer and/or flex cable in the process.

Problem 4: Galaxy Note 4 battery loses power fast, won’t fast charge

Phone randomly shut off while at 100% (charging in car while driving). When powered back, one battery was very low. I tried to charge it back and it was draining faster than it could charge.

Bought a new battery, charger, wireless charger, and have tried to kill open apps, uninstall what’s not needed, move everything off the phone memory onto the SD card…still having issues. Did a soft reset as requested above and tried to run/charge the phone without the SD card and still having issues. Drains quick, won’t fast charge (it’s enabled in settings). Any advice or suggestions?

I’ve tried 3 batteries, several different cables, 3 different outlet adapters, the wireless charger and couldn’t pin-point an issue with any of these. Only thing that has changed prior to this happening was I was in an area that didn’t have service and was roaming for a couple of days here and there. Didn’t know if that could be the issue and if so, now that I’m back to a normal service area- how to fix it. Model# SM-N910P Android Version: 6.0.1 Baseband Version: N910PVPS4DQF1 Kernel Version: 3.10.40-9120850 Build# MMB29M.N910PVPS4DQF1. — Chris

Solution: Hi Chris. There’s only one thing that you need to do in this case. Do a factory reset and observe the phone. If the problem remains, the cause must be hardware-related. There must be a malfunction in the motherboard, most probably the power management chip. Contact Samsung and let them check the hardware. Otherwise, simply replace the device.

Problem 5: Galaxy Note 4 screen lags when pressing the Power button

Note 4. A little over 2 years old. Kept in a Otter Case. KNOX Version 2.6. The past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed when I press the on button at the bottom. The phone lags in pulling up the screen. This is just to initiate the displayed lock screen. not once I’ve swiped the screen. I have a 32GB memory card (using about 7.5GB of it). Internal memory is about 14.6GB used. Not very many apps. I often hit the task manger & stop open apps or RAM usage. I have removed the battery, waited over 30 min & reinstall. Will still lag. Installed the advanced task killer app. Hopefully I’ve given enough info for some guidance on fixing this issue. Thanks. — Scot

Solution: Hi Scot. Please review our brief discussion on the common causes of slow performance problems above. Although your case may be slightly different, the general troubleshooting and causes may be similar.

Problem 6: Galaxy Note 4 keeps rebooting, won’t install update

Hi. We have a Note 4 on AT&T. A month ago it became flaky. We searched and installed Wake Lock which worked around the problem. ~2 days ago AT&T/Samsung pushed another software update and this time it won’t turn on. So we tried to remove battery, press power to drain charge. Tried Vol Dn/Power, Vol Up/Home/Power, and generally no response, no lights, no vibration. Plug in charger gives no response, no lights, no vibration. However, once in a while, the phone would power up to install update. Update seems to complete, and then it goes dead again. It has tried to install update about 5 times now. Help!! Thank you. — Steve

Solution: Hi Steve. The first thing that you want to do here is to see if you can stabilize the phone again in order to do further troubleshooting. If you can’t do that, then you’re out of luck. You should contact AT&T and see if there’s a way for them to replace the device.

However, if you can make the reboot go away by booting the phone to Odin or Download mode, then reflashing the bootloader may be able to help. If you haven’t tried it before, we recommend that you do that before contacting AT&T.

These are the sample steps on how to flash a bootloader. Exact steps may be a little different on your phone model so be sure to do more research. The following steps are provided only for demonstration purposes:

  1. Look for the correct firmware for your phone model and download it. Make sure that you select the right one. It should be the same exact firmware that ran previously on your device. We assume that you list down the firmware version somewhere. If you did not take note of it before, there’s a chance that you may pick the wrong one. As you may know now, using an incorrect firmware can cause complications so good luck with that.
  2. Let’s now say that you have identified the correct firmware. You then want to download it to your computer. The firmware file should have a bunch of files in it like AP_, BL_, CSC_, etc.
  3. Look for the file that starts with a label BL; this should be the corresponding bootloader file for this firmware. Once you’ve identified the bootloader file, copy it to your computer’s desktop or to any other folder that you can easily access.
  4. Proceed with the rest of the flashing procedure using the Odin program.
  5. In Odin, click on the BL tab and make sure to use the bootloader file you’ve identified earlier.
  6. Now, make sure that the “Device Added” status and its “ID:COM box” has turned blue before hitting the START button. This will initiate the flashing of your phone’s bootloader.
  7. Restart the phone once the procedure is finished.

Problem 7: Galaxy Note 4 won’t turn back on after installing an update

Hello, After i updated the software a month ago appeared the first problems, freezes over freezes, restarts, and so on. And I installed an app, wakelock, to keep my phone going, and problems were gone, till today when i received notice for another update and hoped that I can finally get over wakelock(this app eats the most batery, it actually drains it…). so i updated, sry can’t tell the version exactly, and worked fine for half an hour, then the phone went dead, and can’t turn it on anymore. it had 30% more battery when suddenly died. I even kept the battery out for more then 10s, several times. It’s charging for 15 minutes now and still no power… any ideas ? Thx a lot !!! — Bogdan

Solution: Hi Bogdan. Try to see if you can turn the phone to other modes first. If you can’t, your only other option is to take it to Samsung or to any independent service center to have it repaired.

To try to turn it on to other modes, follow these steps:

Boot in Recovery mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
  4. When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. You can either wipe the cache partition or do a factory reset when in this mode.

Boot in Download Mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and then hold the Home and Volume DOWN keys, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the Samsung Galaxy logo shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume DOWN keys.
  4. Wait until the Download screen appears.
  5. If you can boot the phone in download mode but not in other modes, that means that your only way out may be to flash a stock or custom firmware.
  6. Use Google to look for a guide on how to do it.

Boot in safe mode:

  1. Charge the phone for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Press and hold the Power button.
  3. Once the Samsung Galaxy logo appears, release the Power key and immediately press and hold the Volume Down button.
  4. Continue holding the button until the phone finishes rebooting.
  5. Once you see the text “Safe mode” at the bottom left corner of the screen, release the Volume Down button.
  6. The only difference of safe mode from normal mode is that the former prevents third party apps from running. If you can boot the phone in safe mode but not in normal mode, uninstall all apps until the issue (that prevents you from booting normally) is eliminated.

Turning the phone on is a prerequisite in order to do software troubleshooting. If your device remains dead or unresponsive after trying the steps above, consider repair or replacement.

Problem 8: Galaxy Note 4 stuck in black screen, won’t turn on

I have a (Verizon) Samsung Galaxy Note 4 but I’m not a customer. While attempting an update, the phone ‘stuck’ on a black screen. Top left of screen in red was ‘Odin Mode’ with eight more lines of ‘information’ beneath that. In the center is the message Software Update Failed and a graphics of a cell phone, a yellow triangle with an exclamation point and a PC monitor. Message beneath advises device didn’t update successfully. I have attempted to unfreeze the screen by pressing volume up, power key and home key, but the screen reverts to the same messages. I tried volume down, power key and got ‘Warning. A custom OS can cause critical problems in phone and installed applications. If you want to download a custom OS, press the volume up key. Otherwise, press the volume down key to cancel. Volume up: Continue. Volume down:  Cancel (restart phone). Beneath the message is a yellow triangle with an exclamation sign. Whichever way I press the volume key, I’m still stuck and am unable to reset the phone to factory or any other settings. The software assistant is not recognizing my phone, nor is my PC. Is there anything I can do to correct this and get the phone to work again? — Anne

Solution: Hi Anne. Please read our suggestions for other users above. There’s only so much an end user like you can do when it comes to Android troubleshooting. If all our suggestions above won’t work, you’ll have to resort or phone replacement.

Problem 9: Galaxy Note 4 won’t install updates, how to update if there’s no available OTA update

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Straight Talk phone. Gahr! Yes I now know straight talk will not allow updates on phones. I am frustrated by this as my phone is forever stuck running Android 4.3 version. This is upsetting because several apps, Fitbit being one, that I cannot receive any updates on as many apps updates only support devices that update 4.4 and up. I have 2, maybe 3, questions:

  1. Is there a (simple I’m not tech savvy) way to get around this so I can update my Android from 4.3?
  2. Under settings – about device it shows: SE for Android status Enforcing SEPF_SM-S975L_4.3_0046. What is this and its significance? Thank you so much for time and help. — Kimberly

Solution: Hi Kimberly. If your device no longer receives OTA or over-the-air updates and there’s no available update when checking Samsung Smart Switch, your only option would be to manually install an update by flashing.

SE stands for Security Enhancement. “SE for Android status Enforcing SEPF_SM-S975L_4.3_0046” means that your device is protected from known security threats and apps. Current security version is the remaining should be indicated by the rest of the message, which in this case is SEPF_SM-S975L_4.3_0046.

Problem 10: Galaxy Note 4 died and won’t power back on

Last night while driving home, daughter in back seat asked to use the phone “to listen to music.” Battery was on low end. After about 30 minutes she handed it back, said battery died. Got home, plugged phone in-no response. Plugged another phone into charger to verify charger/cable were functioning — verified functional. Plugged phone back in, left plugged in for 30 minutes or so. Researched troubleshooting and learned about power button+volume down. Tried this and phone booted into options (can’t remember exactly what all the options were, but I chose the first option “start.” Phone restarted and was on for about 1 minute then died. Now will not respond to anything. Have left it charging all night but does not give any response, whether plugged in or not. Tried power + volume down for 10 secs, tried it for 30 secs, tried power for 60 secs… Nothing. Phone did feel a little warm when I took it off the charger this morning, but not unusually warm. — Howard

Solution: Hi Howard. If you won’t be able to turn the phone to other modes like the ones we suggest Bogdan should do above, then the next good thing to do is to try another battery. It may have simply reached its end-of-life and has become permanently damaged. Alternatively, you can check if it’s a battery issue by using a simple tool, multimeter. You don’t necessarily have to buy it. If you know someone who knows how to use it, you can let him or her test the battery for you. This way, you’ll avoid spending for a battery when the problem is on the motherboard and the phone needs replacement.


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