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.

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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.

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  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by sephiap (Currently owns)

    Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? No, it's the biggest conversation starter in the geek world.

    The device has a 5.3" 1280 x 800 Super AMOLED display, colours are rich, blacks are black and brightness is star-like. Resolution wise, this clears the 720p mantle although foregoes with the 16:9 ratio adopted by the Galaxy Nexus and, as such, letter boxing occurs when watching widescreen movies on this device. A pentile display matrix is employed and, if you have perfect vision and are close to the screen, you can begin to discern the tell-tale jagginess on straight edges of icons and text. In everyday usage, it does not - in any way - detract from the usability and enjoyment of the device.

    Gingerbread is showing its age on this newer, high-resolution display. Many users have reported colour-banding issues when viewing gradients on the display however in my testing (and the discoveries of others) it seems to be the OS colour management when scaling images. This will likely rectify itself when ICS drops on the device. Samsung's skin, TouchWiz, adds some polish to the ageing OS but, equally, proves quite cumbersome when considering the non-standard Android shortcuts, gestures and fancifiers implemented.

    For gaming and media, the device comes into its own. Playing Shadowgun at native resolution, the Exynos SoC flexes its muscle and proves its competence by delivering smooth, beautiful animation constantly. Movies, including 1080p MKVs, run flawlessly and a wide variety of codecs are supported.

    The digitiser employed in the Note is by Wacom, an Intuos 3 user for many years I had high hopes for the inking experience - the results are mixed. Firstly, this is the best inking experience I have experienced on a mobile device, however it isn't perfect. Whilst using the S-Pen in Samsung's apps there is a notable lag. It seems to vary between apps therefore it could simply be a software issue. More likely is the resolution and sample rate of the digitiser itself being too low for desktop-like performance. Also, Samsung has decided there should be an offset of approximately 1-2mm from the point of the pen on screen to where the inking occurs. This cannot be modified or calibrated.

    Using it as a phone, it's impossible to take the Note out in public and avoid having someone note the sheer size of the device or demand to touch it. For me, iPhones are too small for my bear-like hands and Android's keyboard too clumsy on smaller devices. Battery life is excellent, usually lasting 2 days with regular usage, the camera is excellent. Overall you will either love it or hate this device - unless you are a fellow giant, try this device before you buy, it may simply be too big for you.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 8
    • Display 9
    • Camera(s) 8
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 6
    • Battery life 8
    • Ecosystem 7
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
  • 8.0
    Show all User reviews

    Reviewed by wacko1128 (Currently owns)

    Best smart phone I have ever owned. Don't have large hands, but still find the size quite manageable. Screen at this size is amazing. It will be tough to go back to a smaller screen if necessary. I don't have any major complaints about the phone. This is my second Android phone (first was the Atrix). Difference between this phone & my old one is like night and day. Imported from the UK & although quite expensive, I still feel it was worth every penny.

    The Breakdown

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    • Design 7
    • Display 10
    • Camera(s) 7
    • Reception / call quality 9
    • Performance 10
    • Software 7
    • Battery life 9
    • Ecosystem 8
    Show the rest of this review and the breakdown
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