Samsung Galaxy Note

Verge Review

Note: Our original review was of the unlocked, £499.99 ($784) GSM Galaxy Note. We've updated the review to reflect our impressions and tests of the $299 (with contract) AT&T model as well. Check out the Connectivity and Software sections, in particular, to see the biggest differences between the two devices. There once was a time, commonly referred to as the pre-iPad era, when people questioned if there really was a gap between laptops and smartphones for tablets to fill. The two established...

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Basic Specs

Thickness 0.38 inches
Weight 0.39 pounds
Form factor Slab
Screen size (diagonal) 5.3 inches
Operating system Android
Launch OS version 2.3

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Galaxy Note.

Recent Discussions

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Tech Specs

Hardware

Height 5.74 inches
Width 3.27 inches
Thickness 0.38 inches
Weight 0.39 pounds
Form factor Slab
Color White, Black, Pink

Display

Screen size (diagonal) 5.3 inches
Technology Super AMOLED HD
Pixel arrangement RGBG (PenTile)
Resolution (Y) 1280 px
Resolution (X) 800 px
PPI 285

Connectivity

GSM Yes
GSM frequencies supported 1900, 1800, 900, 850
UMTS / HSPA Yes
UMTS frequencies supported 900, 2100, 1900, 850
LTE Yes
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi support 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 3.0 + HS

Processor

Clock speed 1.4 GHz
Number of cores 2

Memory

RAM size 1 GB

Storage

Internal size 16 GB, 32 GB
External Yes
Max external size 32 GB
External type microSD

Front Camera

Resolution 2 megapixels

Rear Camera

Resolution 8 megapixels
Flash LED
Video resolution 1080p
Video framerate 24

Software

Operating system Android
Skin TouchWiz
Launch OS version 2.3
Notable apps S Memo, S Planner, S Choice

Interface

Headphone jack 3.5mm
Other ports Micro USB, MHL

Sensors

Sensors Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity, Ambient light, Accelerometer

Battery

Capacity 2500 mAh
Removable Yes

Benchmarks

Quadrant 3818
SunSpider 3053 ms

Recent News

No recent news about Samsung Galaxy Note.

Recent Discussions

No recent discussions about Samsung Galaxy Note.

9.2

Average User Review

of 12 total reviews
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  • 10
  • Design 9
  • Display 10
  • Camera(s) 9
  • Reception / call quality 9
  • Performance 10
  • Software 8
  • Battery life 9
  • Ecosystem 9

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  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by milominderbinder (Currently owns)

    10 million phones later and the Note has proven The Verge completely wrong. But given a choice with dozens of Android sizes, consumers are picking 4.8" to 5.3" Samsungs. 5.3" and even 5.5" are the largest phone screens only because nothing bigger has been offered.

    If you are under 50, your phone is your internet, email, movies, Facebook, and everything else but a phone...except when your mom calls.

    Yes there is a market for little iPhone just like there is a market for small size gloves. If you have small hands, a 4" screen may be perfect for you. But finally there are phones for people with medium and large hands.

    The Breakdown

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    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by dino.lukavackic (Currently owns)

    Is it a phone, is it a tablet? Nope, not tablet nor phone nor phablet, it's unique in it's performance, it's stands alone in it's category (one that groups sizes), and it has great characteristics. So, if anyone wants a phone that is 5 years ahead of others - Note is for you.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 10
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    • Camera(s) 10
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by forwardisstilltheonlyway (Currently owns)

    This is the best phone I've ever owned (I've said that about every new phone I've owned :-))

    1280 X 800 screen res is higher than the iPad 2 and it really is beautiful. I only have the iPhone 4s to compare it too and it beats the iPhone hands down, due to the amount and clarity of information it can display.

    It's faster overall the iPhone as well, it might not be as smooth but it gets done what needs to get done faster probably due to the Exynos Proc.

    My only gripe is you can't use the stylus on the touch buttons at the very bottom of the phone beside the physical home button.

    If you can handle the size its a no brainer, best phone on the market and that includes the SIII I'd say.

    The Breakdown

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    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
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    Reviewed by Shohid (Currently owns)

    Hardware

    The first thing that screams out at you is the sheer size of the handset, it’s a large devices, easily dwarfing almost all handsets out there, but in return you get a massive 5.3 inch 1280 x 800 Super-Amoled display. Samsung have done an admirable job at keeping the bezels to an absolute minimum, so what you get is a phone with best screen to size ratio.

    In the hand its surprising light and thin. I were able to do most basic operations with one hand, but essentially this is a two handed handset, once I got over that hurdle, using the phone became very usable.

    Samsung uses its typical hardwearing plastic throughout the phone, and while it does not feel super premium it does feel very well made and solid.

    The display is a high resolution Amoled of the pentile variety, however, only those with eagle eyesight we feel will complain about the display. It is clean, crisp, wide viewing angles, infinite blacks and oversaturated poppy colours. With a display like this at 5.3 inches, it is a joy to look at.
    Software

    The phone ships with android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, with Samsung’s touchwiz overlay. It adds a host of useful additions such extra widgets, a more intuitive and efficient widget, folder and wallpaper picker, easy access to phone radios in a very smooth and mostly lag free interface. I particuary liked the ability to swipe left or right on a contact to either call or send a text. But it’s not all gravey, touchwiz is very cartoony opting to use bold colours, and while it does add functionality, at times it is at the cost of simplicity and elegance and of course Android 4.0 ICS improves vanilla flaour of android but leaps and bounds, however on the whole, I am fans of Samsung’s user interface.

    Camera

    Samsung have shown they know how to make excellent camera modules and, and the Galaxy note is no different, the handset takes excellent phones, with good levels of detail and colour reproduction. In particular macro shots turned out very well indeed, but like most phones, the Galaxy note did not fare so well in indoor situations.

    Battery Life

    With a massive screen one would expect battery like to be pretty dire, but the Galaxy note with its 2500mAh battery fared very well. I was easily able to get one full day out of it and two in low to medium usage.

    Conclusion

    The Galaxy Note is an excellent handset, once you get over its giant size. With a display so large it is a pleasure to use the phone for things like web browsing and watching media. Added to this the superb screen, great battery life and above average camera, you have an excellent all round device for those who think big can be better.

    http://mobiletechblogger.co.uk/galaxy-note-review-fabulous-phablet/

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 8
    • Performance 7
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by johngore (Currently owns)

    I did have reservations regarding the size of the galaxy note, but bought the galaxy note and after two three days it has become a part of me. I no longer notice the size difference only wonder how i coped with the smaller screen. The size of the phone is i think in the sweet spot of usable / comfort.

    The screen is simply amazing, watching videos on this phone is a delight. Not bad headphones either.

    The phone just simply works i love it.

    S=Pen works pretty well but day to day never use it.
    Best phone ever had.

    Battery is amazing originally worried especially based on the size and quality of the screen but even emails, calls , videos games, internet still getting two days between uses with fairly heavy use.

    Previously owned/

    Iphone 4s
    Galaxy S2
    Iphone 4
    Iphone

    The Breakdown

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    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 10
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 9
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  • 10.0
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    Reviewed by Kangal (Currently owns)

    Best phone of 2011 and best available phone (if your pockets+hands are big)
    -Best screen
    -Largest battery
    -Best features (all essentials + SPEN, GLONASS, NFC, LTE)
    -Great Software (with ICS this will be better than Gnex)

    If the Gnex deserves a 9.0, then this phone deserves a 9.5 (with ICS) or a modest 8.5 with TouchWizz

    P.S. It made an avid N900 jump ship!!!

    The Breakdown

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    • Camera(s) 9
    • Reception / call quality 10
    • Performance 10
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by ph00ny (Currently owns)

    Display - Color tone, sharpness, brightness, contrast are all superior to the Galaxy S2 SAMOLED+ it replaced
    Performance - Initial XA based firmware was laggy but the current LA4 based firmware makes it as fast as S2
    Reception-Better wifi and cell reception than the S2
    Battery-Oh my. They should do this with all of their phones from now on. 2500mah lasts me the entire day and then some with various account syncs, and multimedia usage

    The Breakdown

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    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 10
    • Ecosystem 10
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  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by etwashoo (Currently owns)

    Owned the Galaxy Note since November 2011. The display is easily a 10 - nothing comes close in a phone - and yes I mean phone. I went from iPhone to Milestone to Galaxy S to Galaxy S2 to Galaxy Note. This easily works as my phone and size is only a matter of opinion. Mine is in my suit jacket during the day and in my jeans (even Levis 511 Skinny) in the evenings. Regarding holding up the phone to the face...seriously...I don't care what anyone thinks, and in the 10 days I've ridden the subway, I've seen 5 other Galaxy Notes. Playing with an iPad on the train is dorkier than calling with this phone, considering it is no larger that my hand stradling the corners diagonally.

    I might also add, the only comments I've had are positive like: "Wow that display is awesome," and "That's what I'm talking about" and when a guy standing in the subway said I provided him with entertainment on our 15 minute ride when he watched me play AirAttack HD.

    I also own a 10.1" and 7" tablet and with this resolution, I find the other tablets just to frickin' big - especially 10.1." On the other hand, when I use my girlfriend's Galaxy S2 or try out the new 4.3" phones in the shops I think, pfff...these things are tiny. So, in contrast to the Verge review, I find the Note the best of both worlds. A phone with big awesome display and a tablet that is more manageable to use and fits in a pocket.

    I also happen to be a proponent of Samsung's customization of Android (TouchWiz) since their Codec support, Camera App, Photo/Video Editing, Clock App, Swype, etc. are all superior to stock Android. One point regarding "sephiap's" review: You can change the pen settings and recognition time. It's under Keyboard>Keypad>Handwriting Settings

    Other users may disagree, butI thought I would just share my experience.

    The Breakdown

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    • Performance 9
    • Software 9
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by j3g (Currently owns)

    Best phone I have owned (iphone 4, GSII, Dell Streak, etc). Pen comes in hand for quick notes. Button on the front is great for quick turn on and to go to home screen. I haven't had to root or custom ROM the phone...its THAT good =) The size of the screen is big enough to be a very good GPS & video player in the car. I have it mounted over a vent in the center console of the dash.

    The Breakdown

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    • Software 7
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 9.0
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    Reviewed by Niels (Currently owns)

    If you can get over the fact that you're basically holding a tablet against your face when making a phone call, you will be carrying around a beautiful 5.3 inch Super AMOLED display. Once you get used to it and all the screen real estate it's hard to imagine going back to a smaller screen. Some minor design issues. A good extended video review on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Gz8EkxUig (allcoolandnew.com)

    The Breakdown

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    • Performance 10
    • Software 8
    • Battery life 7
    • Ecosystem 9
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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