Great Hardware; So so software February 19, 2012
Reviewer: Vince Arter Jr. (St. Louis, MO, USA) -
Mine came in Saturday the 18th so only one day later than promised. I'm OK with that. Spent the day playing around with it. I lead an enterprise mobility team and lab for a Fortune 500 company and have access to a lot of the bleeding edge technology coming from vendors these days (except Apple who doesn't share much).
I have to say this thing is excellent. It is big. It fits in one hand for me but being a musician I'm used to stretching my fingers and such so it was no biggie for me. I could see how someone with smaller hands might have trouble using it one handed. Even with my finger stretch I was worried about holding it just in one hand.
I live in an area where AT&T is just now rolling LTE and it isn't anywhere near me but I was getting close to 8Mb down and 1.5 Mb up yesterday in a few areas. The notification bar showed 4G but not 4GLTE so I'm assuming it is HSPA+. (???)
GPS is fantastic. Works like a charm. No problems with Wi-Fi at all and getting great speeds on it.
I really like the S Pen. So many have said "the stylus is dead". Well I have to say after using an iPad and iPad 2 with a capacitive pen and loving Penultimate to the point of no longer taking paper notes (until my work iPad bit the dust) I like taking notes electronically. I have tried every mainstream Android tablet out there in my lab or in stores with good pens and none are that great. Just not good. Until I tried the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. It has a "stylus" type pen (digitizer) and an app (Notes Mobile ... man I wish they would release for all Android devices not just Lenovo and iOS) that is just out of this world. it got me back to thinking that a stylus is the way to go for accurate note taking and ultimately got me thinking about the Samsung Note.
All that to be said I am fairly impressed. The S Pen is very accurate in its capture of my writing and drawing. It is fast and smooth with not "catches" or "snags" in the writing. Very well done hardware wise. Software wise I am NOT impressed. The handwriting recognition is so Palm. :-) It is only about 50% accurate with my handwriting when trying my best. The Notes Mobile with Lenovo was probably 90% accurate with my WORST handwriting and it converted LIVE on the page as I was writing. It was FANTASTIC. Bottom line on the S Pen ... great hardware ... not so great software.
The screen. Oooohhhhh the screen. I am in love. Yes ... the screen is simply AMAZING. The color is great, the viewing angles are good. I have a Kindle Touch for reading as I've never found another device as light, comfortable, yet big enough to read (as I am a prolific reader). I would have to say the Samsung Note is pushing the envelope. If battery life is good enough to get me through a six hour flight (in airplane mode) or several days of average use then I'm sold and might not need the Kindle. The text with the Kindle app (and in general) is sharp and very easy to read. Video is just astounding.
Performance wise the device is very good. I know there were concerns that the performance of the AT&T (US) Snapdragon 1.5 GHz CPU wouldn't hold up to the 1.4 GHz Exynos that was in the non-US devices. I can't compare the two but the benchmarks I've seen online do show that difference. All I can say is that this is my third Android (had iPhones and WinMobile before that) and it outperforms anything else and has handled all of the 3D games and such I throw at it so unless you are going to be doing massive 3D rendering on this thing (HA) I wouldn't worry about it.
Sound is good. Being a musician I like to take a lot of music with me and the sound has been more than sufficient so far. I haven't tried recording on it yet with my audio interface for Android but let's hope it is quiet. I do like the music app that is included better than others I've used on both Android and iOS. I have am not a fan of bloatware but so far the apps have been useful. I wasn't a fan of TouchWiz when I first saw it on other devices but as other reviewers have state with the extra screen real-estate I think this implementation is nice. I'm VERY much looking forward to ICS on this device if AT&T doesn't take a year to get it to us. I think the "phablet", "phoblet" or "phone tablet" (whatever you want to call it) implementation is nice and ICS would probably work well on this form factor.
Overall build quality is good. Even the plastic back feels OK compared say to the Infuse. I've ordered an oleophobic screen protector that has good reviews with the S Pen and a "case" that goes over the back to protect it but that's it for now until I get used to it. Just want to protect it at this point. The buttons for volume and power / sleep feel nice and solid and comparable to other devices I've had and tested in my lab.
So overall it seems to be a fantastic device. This will be my main device now so we'll see how she holds up under heavy use and handling. Very pleased with this purchase so far. S Pen software could have been better implemented and in a more modern way but it will suffice for now. Also hoping Notes Mobile might make it on the device ... grin. Nice job Samsung.
It's pretty in white, beautiful screen and awesome battery February 27, 2012
Reviewer: R. Parker (Florida) -
It's a big phone for but if there's one thing you should be aware of, it's the back. The back can be slippery, I don't recommend letting people who aren't careful hold it or pick it up. My phone has already been dropped, on the back from a short distance to the ground.
The actual design of the phone is in my opinion is A+. The phone is pretty slim for such a big battery and screen size. The only physical button, the Power button is located on the right side. It's pretty much a giant Samsung Skyrocket with a stylus. It feels great in my hand(s) and I have normal sized hands. My personal preference for color is white.
I played with it for a few hours and screen is pretty responsive. I watched a netflix movies and 1080p films over wifi, which were beautiful. The processor seems to move just as fast the one in the skyrocket. There's no lag and handles everything well. South Florida should get 4g next month but HspA+ is enough. 5 to 8 down, 3 to 6 up.
Accessories to buy
I recommend getting a TPU hard gel case with a kickstand.(Not sure if the ones with the stands on amazon)
Leather case for your waist that goes through the belt.
Other thoughts on this phone
Many say you can't use this phone with one hand but why would I want to use it with one hand? (Outside of making a phone call) It better not be for texting and driving. This phone is great for web browsing, watching movies and have fun. This phone is a fun phone and stylus isn't bad.
If you think this phone is too big answer a call and use your ear, then go buy an In-hear Microphone or Bluetooth. I can't give personal experience about the battery life yet until I return my skyrocket. I can tell you that even with JuiceDefender(Battery saver) the skyrocket barely makes it through the the day. This should easily.
Today I got to test battery without modifying any of the settings. 6 or 7 hours later I'm 25% with extremely heavy usage. This is with facebook, 2 emails pushing and heavy browsing.
Battery will last the entire the day with normal useage despite the huge power hungry screen. I watched a few movies and NBA Games. The big 5.3 screen on this phone is just impressive. A few of my co-workers thought the phone was too big until I showed them a few videos. I also don't have any issues holding the phone with one hand.
Thought I'd miss my iPhone 4... March 12, 2012
Reviewer: Blondayngl (Washington State) -
I am a gadget geek and love to try new electronics. I have been using an iPhone since the 3GS came out, and no matter what phone I tried, I always went back within a few days- Backflip, Tilt, Blackberry Bold, HTC Inspire to name a few.
I ordered the Note from Amazon Wireless, as it was cheaper than AT&T. I haven't played with it as much as I'd like to (not a good idea to order a groovy new phone in the middle of finals), but am so far beyond impressed with it. I haven't even missed my iPhone.
Texting and emailing is much easier due to the size of the screen, and it only took a couple of days to get used to the larger size.
The speaker doesn't seem quite up to par with the iPhone, but is far superior to the Inspire. The screen is just plain beautiful, and the touch interface is outstanding. Setting it up with my ringtones, pictures and whatnot was a breeze, and the battery life has been great- two days between charges.
The internet is lightning fast and blows the iPhone internet out of the water- the Note is great for work or play.
I honestly didn't think I'd find a phone that could come close to the iPhone, I was wrong. Excellent job Samsung, I am impressed.
Simply amazing February 21, 2012
This will be a quick review for me. If you know the size of this device and pick one up I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's fast. Real fast. The screen is the highest resolution of any current Smartphone and the extra screen real estate takes advantage of it. Video playback (many codecs supported) is amazing. Web browsing is fantastic and very fast on LTE in my area. Camera is basically the same as the GS2 and that's alright by me as it's an excellent camera.
S Pen is very cool and works very well.
The review regarding the plan pricing should be tossed as it has zero to do with the actual device. People like that just skew the average ratings for no reason. I went from an iPhone 4s to the Note and I'm not going back.
I also picked up the Samsung OEM folio style case that replaces the back battery cover and it's pretty sweet.
Very impressive phone February 21, 2012
Reviewer: Thomas M. Taylor "runman" (Phoenix, AZ) -
I have not been this excited about a cell phone since waiting for the original iPhone one to come out. Yes, I am a early adapter.
I love the huge screen. Yes it is big and to some that is a draw back, but I use my phone a lot, but rarely to make phone calls. I am going to school and like to place my PDFs, books, Tabers medical dictionary and other school books on the phone. It really beats having to carry them around, or carrying a separate phone and tablet. I am a little older and my vision is not sharp as it used to be, but the screen is really clear and easy to see. The phone will fit in my dress shirt pocket and any pants or shorts front pockets that I wear.
As for the "wow!" factor. If you remember, I said that I was attending school. The younger students thought the phone was huge and the females thought it was to big for them to carry. But when they saw the PDF notes and the information for the classes I was able to keep on the phone, there still wasn't a "wow" factor or even an "I am impressed" moment, but maybe they understood a bit more. But I did not buy the phone to impress a bunch of young 20 something ladies. So, minus one star for the pretty ladies being unimpressed. LOL
I use the phone a lot for the GPS function. The GPS is very fast to pick up the satellites and find my position. Since the screen is so large, I can easily see where I am going. The screen has wonderful sharpness and contrast. I will not comment of the color quality since I cannot see colors.
Processor speed: I did a bench mark test on the CPU, and CPU coupled with the GPU is fast. Bench marks do not mean to much because they are just numbers, but the dual core processor is pretty quick once in the application and out of the touch whiz interface.
The Samsung interface is a real let down, especially with the included bloatware provided by our friends at ATT. If you are willing to root your phone, you will pick up speed in the main screens and apps screens. I had mine for less than an hour and rooted the phone. I have also modded the lock screen, it is not hard to do. With that mod I can get to my text messages, camera, main menu or adjust the ringer settings with a swipe of the finger instead of having to get to the home screen and then choose what I want to do. But regardless of rather you root your phone; from time you press on the app from the time it launches is fast. My last phone was the infuse, which is very slow and the GPS is even painfully slower.
Stylus: I have play4ed with the stylus a bit and i really cannot see a real use for it except maybe jotting down a short note. I am not going to use the stylus to scroll through screens and pick apps to launch. I makes a nice easy way to write "I love you" to your wife during church. Other than that it is not very useful to me.
Battery: The battery is more difficult to get to then the other phone that I have owned, save the iPhone. Plus, getting the battery cover back on is even harder. I have been playing with my new phone like a child would play with a new toy, so the battery does not seem to last long, but longer than the Infuse or the Skyrocket II. I really wish Samsung would have used the extra real estate, due to the [hones size, to put a little beefier battery.
Conclusion: I really do like the phone. More icons per screen and larger items are easier to see. I spend a lot of time on my phone with internet, apps and texting so ease of use is a huge bonus. I no longer need to carry around a separate tablet or laptop, I have all the information in one place. With the few customizations that I have done, the phone is fast and user friendly. The phone is wide and the need for big hands is a must. The stylus for me is a big looser.
A True Netbook Replacement March 19, 2012
Reviewer: Bob Whitley "Bob" (San luis obispo, CA) -
I purchased the Samsung Note a week ago and all i can say is WOW!This is truly the closest thing to a handheld pc i have ever used,only this is much better than any netbook i have owned in the past.The dual core processor running at 1.5Ghz makes this one of the most powerful devices on the market today,not only that but the 1GB of ram,16GB of internal storage and powerful gpu are also what make this phone a must have for a person on the go.Every single app i throw at it starts up instantly,runs smoothly and i have yet to see any programs force close.
This is hands down the best mobile device i have ever used and here is why
The 5.3 inch HD Super Amoled display is bright,colorful and just plain beautiful.Its high resolution allows for a ton of content to be displayed at once.When browsing the web you get a desktop view of sites instead of a cramped mobile view like on other devices such as the Galaxy S II or even the Galaxy S II Skyrocket.
I have a strong AT&T signal in my area so the calls sound crystal clear both with the earpiece and the speaker.When i go out of town and sometimes get 1 or 2 bars of reception the calls still sound good.No dropped calls.
I do not live in an LTE area,i only have hspa+.The data speeds i have been getting are between 3 to 7 mbps download and 700kbps to 1.2mbps upload.Youtube videos play smoothly in high quality mode and most web pages load up in a couple seconds.
I have only used it once or twice so far but it is very responsive and i do think using this could replace a piece of paper for jotting down notes.The other thing that makes this useful is the ability to accurately draw and paint on the Notes screen with it,very nice feature for artists on the go.
It works well in that you don't have to lean in to hear things but i do wish it was louder overall.When you have it at max volume there is some distortion but not too bad.
Samsung got it right!The Vibrant and Captivate that i owned before both had trouble locking on to my location,it would take over 5 minutes to find me and half the time it would show me a mile away from where i really was.The Infuse i bought later did not have as much trouble getting a lock but it just wasn't consistant with accuracy.I am happy to say that the gps on the Note finds my location within a matter of seconds and is accurate to within 9 feet.It has no issues finding satellites.
This has a more of a premium feel to it than other Samsung phones i have used such as the Vibrant which felt very cheap due to the plastic it's made out of.Because of its light weight and slim profile this thing probably would not fair too well after being dropped from waist high.Get a TPU case so the phone has some protection,they are easy to apply and do a great job of keeping the device's body free of scuffs.
There is 16GB built in and you can also use a micro sd card in it.I am currently using a Komputerbay 32GB class 10 card and it works perfectly.
Android Gingerbread is the OS on the phone,it has a much cleaner look to it but other than that i don't see much of a difference between this and Froyo.If you're new to Android or have used it before you will like this OS.
The 8mp camera does an outstanding job of taking pictures (3264x2448).They look colorful and sharp.Even in low light the camera does a good job,not as much noise as was the case with older Samsung phones.When taking in door shots the flash comes in very handy and does its job well.My only gripe with the camera is the HD video recording.When recording in 1080p you will notice that the camera is zoomed in just a little bit,there is no way to unzoom.When you go back to recording 720p or lower resolutions everything looks like it should,not zoomed in at all.It's not that the 1080p looks bad ,it looks quite nice and most people might not even care about the slightly zoomed in effect,but i do hope this is fixable with an update.
The 2mp front camera takes nice self shots and records video that looks smooth & clear,no dropped frames from what i have seen so far.I used it to video chat over Skype with my family and was pleased with the video quality,they were using a T-Mobile Galaxy S II which has a similar camera.
There are 2 of them and they both work well.When making phone calls the other person said my voice was loud & clear.When recording videos my voice was picked up even when i was 4 feet away and recording with the back camera.
On Screen Keyboard
As stated before i have used the Samsung Vibrant,Captivate and Infuse,i never had an issue with typing on the screen and so is the case with the Note.The on screen keyboard is a pleasure to use due to the responsiveness of the capacitive touch screen and how large the keys are since the screen itself is so big.
Entertainment And Work
I have only put 720p movies on it so far and the built in media player handled them like a champ,no skipped frames or other issues.As for gaming all i can say is ONLIVE!Download the app from Android market and enjoy full pc or console games on your phone.Connect the device to an HDTV using the MHL adapter and you will be as amazed as i was the first time i tried it out,seeing everything mirrored perfectly and run smoothly on a large display.If you are doing work such as creating or editing documents the ability to connect to an HDTV or Monitor really does make this a hand held office pc.
I fully charged the battery and then started using the phone.After making some calls which lasted 90 minutes,sending and receiving 20 text messages,using WiFi to browse the internet,check email,use Yahoo Messenger and also download apps from Android Market for 40 minutes total,Playing Need For Speed Shift for 15 minutes,using the gps and AT&T's data network for 35 minutes and taking 33 pictures using the back camera & flash,the battery was still half full by the end of the day.Turning off WiFi when not using it really helps you get the most out of your battery.
It comes with standard stuff such as a usb cable and wall charger.
First of all i have to say that i purchased the Note at full price because i will NEVER sign another cell phone contract again,i am done with them.What i do now is i go prepaid.I just activated an AT&T sim card through their website and chose the gophone plan.When the site asked me to enter the phones IMEI number i just used the one on my cheap AT&T gophone i had for years.After the sim was activated & loaded up with prepaid minutes and data i popped it in the Note....everything works!Phone calls and text messaging worked right away but to get data going i just entered the AT&T apn info i found online,after doing that and restarting the phone data and mms worked perfectly as well.
Other than the 1080p video recording zoom issue i can't really say anything bad about this device.I no longer carry around my netbook on trips since this can do everything that machine did plus much more.I don't think i will be upgrading for a while,i am very happy with this phone and i think you will be too :)
I recently noticed that my Note had white blotches and dead pixels on the screen,the blotches were most noticeable when there was a grey background.This is very annoying,it really upsets me because i paid full price for this phone (Over $600).All together i bought 3 Notes,one for myself and 2 for family members.I told them about the defects on my screen so they decided to use a dead pixel finder program to check theirs,guess what THEIRS HAD DEAD PIXELS AND BLOTCHES ALSO!These were all brand new in box AT&T models,I717.Needless to say i am getting a refund for all the defective Notes i purchased,2 of which were bought from places other than the Amazon Wireless site.If you have this device make sure to use a dead pixel finder program to check if your screen has defects.I really loved the phone but after this i will not be getting another one,3 strikes against it.Back to the Samsung Skyrocket until i can get the Galaxy S III.
Coming from the 4S just to compare devices. March 4, 2012
I had no reason to get rid of my iPhone 4S, I loved it. Rumors of a larger iPhone 5 were a turnoff to me, I saw no needto carrier around a bigger device. But after a week with the "Note" I sold my 4S on Craigslist.
I'll jump to the short list of negatives, compared to the 4S
The battery is about haft as good as the iPhone in terms of usage time.
It recharges very slowly no matter what charger I've tried.
It's not as usable in bright sunlight.
It's very easy if you're careless to turn the phone off unintentionally.
The volume button being opposite the on off button can exasperate the problem of unintentional button use.
The materials used in construction are not up to par with those used in the iPhone, but then no other phone is either.
The high points for me are, ironically the large. - luxurious - display, especially considering I never wanted to have a bigger devise to carry. I had an iPad 2 in conjunction with the 4S, but it wasn't always at hand. This isn't nearly as large as an iPad, but it's always right there. I treat it differently than the iPhone, I take my time more with it and don't toss it around as much because I don't think it can take it. But that's making for a more satisfying experience overall. The most engaging aspect however is the liberation that you feel with this operating system. It's like removing hand cuffs.
The iPhone types easier, and does what it does very well, but it's inhibiting in that one size fits all philosophy ignores our individuality.
I created this review on the Note. We'll see how it goes in time...
Only if you use a screen protector March 5, 2012
Reviewer: K. Labella "Peoples" (Pittsburgh, PA) -
I love this phone, so much so that I was willing to leave the Apple ecosystem for it. The screen is beautiful. Web pages and movies pop. I tested some of the complaints about color banding and found the phone display to be fine. The 4G is super snappy. Pages that make my i-phone spin loaded quickly. Streaming HD movies over 4G look very good. Again, I tested some of the complaints about pixilation and didn't find a problem. The s-pen works well and is a cool feature that replaces the need for my sticky note collection. The camera takes great pictures. The phone is quite large, and is not a good one handed phone, but it does fit in your pocket.
It's a 5 star phone, so why 3 stars? Ironically, what I love most about it is what I like least about it. The gorgeous 5.3 inch screen collects scratches more than any other phone I've owned. I noticed the display model was scratched but chalked that up to abuse. However, when I asked one of the AT&T reps for a sample to walk around with to see how it felt in my pocket, she brought me the one she had been testing for 2 weeks. It had more than 10 small scratches on the screen. When the screen was brightly lit they disappeared, but when viewing dark images they were noticeable. She told me she had been careful with the phone and recommended a screen protector. In comparison, my `naked' 3 year old phone screen looked brand new next to her 2 week old Note. I researched online and found several reviewers who had owned the Note for more than a week saying the same thing. Scratch magnet. Get a screen protector.
I don't mind learning a new operating system, or repurchasing apps I already own. I'm even willing to give up one handed operation and the convenience of a smaller device. But I can't cover the feature I love the most with some cheap plastic that will make it look worse. Screen protectors inevitably trap air bubbles, dirt, and start peeling away. I prefer to use my device in its natural state. This doesn't seem practical with the Note. Samsung needs to come up with a more scratch resistant screen. If you don't care about using a screen protector or scratches, then I strongly recommend the phone.
My aging eyes loves this phone! March 12, 2012
Reviewer: JudeM (USA) -
The first time I saw this thing reviewed on YouTube ,I said to myself "No way! That thing is stupid big!" .
Well, my opinion changed the first time I held it in person at the ATT store. I was up for an upgrade from my old Samsung Captivate and was originally thinking of switching to the Iphone4 GS (Mostly because of the commercials featuring Siri, the voice assistant) I saw that this particular IPhone had actually gotten smaller, (my husband held his own older IPhone up next to the 4GS and confirmed.) I was hesitant since even WITH Siri, such a small phone did not appeal to me, and started changing my mind and deciding to stay with Android.
It was then that I picked up the Note, and all I can say is...I fell in love. As a Boomer with aging eyes, I have in the past had to put on my reading glasses to send a text. The moment I picked up this gorgeous thing, I realized I could text without my glasses! The big bright screen makes my Swyping so fast, so accurate that texting is no longer an annoying squintfest. Being that Swype is my favorite way to input any kind of text, the size of the phone does not bother me, since I hold it in my left hand and Swype with my right. The fact that the screen is bigger makes it so I can glide my finger over the keyboard at crazy speeds without making mistakes, whether it is writing a text message or searching the web.
It is a bit big looking if you put it up to your ear to make calls if you are a woman with a smaller head like me, but not overly so, especially if you are already an Android user and used to slightly larger phones. I use a headset when I am out and about anyways so that makes that a non issue.
I use Skype video calling a lot, and that works great , with video quality top notch.
I did not think I would use the S Pen, (stylus..but different) , but have used it many times now when I am out and have to jot down notes. No more digging in my purse for a pen!
Battery drain is not really an issue which was surprising for a phone with such a big screen. I did however download a battery saving application to extend it even more. I usually use my tablet to watch movies and read books, but since since I have gotten the Note, I find myself watching Netflx and reading my books more on my phone , all in all, I cannot seem to put it down . That being said, I will most likely buy an external high capacity battery for long trips.
I live on a small military base and really did not expect to have 4G capability here, but I was surprised that I did...and was pleasantly surprised on just how fast it was .
This thing is powerful, fast and beautiful. Everything I do on it seems easier and more fun.
All in all, I am 100% happy with this phone .. well okay maybe 99.9 , because it still has the Gingerbread software build (even though it is solid and fast enough honestly.) I was told that the update to ICS would be in the next month or so, which is fine.
A pleasant change April 5, 2012
As an avid iOS user for many years, beginning with the 3GS (both jailbroken and not), I was hesitant to try an Android phone. My issue: I was noticing that I needed to put on my glasses every time I used the phone, and with the release of the 4s which still had the 3.5" screen, I thought I was going to just have to live with this screen size.
I saw an advertisement about the Galaxy Note (from AT&T), and laughed out loud about how huge it was. I showed my family and co-workers and they all laughed as well!
After a month of watching dozens of YouTube video reviews on this phone, and the size and clarity of the screen began to intrigue me enough that I went to the local AT&T store to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it fit my hand, and as I typed with both thumbs in iOS, the need to type with both thumbs on a bigger screen did not bother me at all!
I bought one on the spot, and decided to give this Android beast a fair shake!
I LOVE IT! I have used the Galaxy Note for over a week, and only had a couple of moments where I thought I was in a pickle. One of those was my need for visual voicemail, which was quickly solved with the Youmail app, and the other was the android messaging which was fixed by downloading Chomp SMS.
Many family and Co-Workers are now wanting one, and at least two of them said they will buy one in the next few months. If you are hesitant to get one, do like I did, go down to a phone store and try it out! It feels a little weird for the first few days putting it up by your ear (as it is like a mini tablet), but that feeling goes away within the first few days of use. The phone is a bit of a battery hog (mostly due to it's awesome screen), but I have yet to run it dry by the end of the day, but I have come close. As you can swap out batteries easily, and Amazon has the batteries available with charges for under $25.00, I don't see this as a problem even for the non-stop phone users.
In short: Buy it - Even a hardcore iOS fan like me will get converted by this great phone!
A funny note: A buddy of mine got the iPhone 4s yesterday and asked me to help him set it up.... I felt like I was cramped up in a tiny box trying to type on it!
Best Device I have ever purchased April 2, 2012
Reviewer: Sean U (New York, NY) -
The title sounds like i might be a "fanboi" or a shill... but I have owned (and liked) 2 iPhones (3G and 4), and an iPad, and this really is the best device I have owned. As a person that commutes a lot by train, I have carried an iPad or a laptop, my phone and other stuff in a messenger bag. My AT&T contract was ready for an upgrade, so I stopped in the local store to check out the Note. After making sure that I could deal with Android and Touchwiz, the final deciding moment was putting the phone in my pocket. I felt like I was trying on a pair of shoes, and had to walk around... sit, stand etc. It turns out... it was not to big for me... so i got one.
After living with it for about 3 weeks, I can safely say it is a great device. The display is great, the s-pen is cool for doodling or taking notes at meetings (I actually do this). What follows is my opinion on this phones pros and cons... remember, it's just an opinion.
If you are used to iTunes, you have to come up with and get used to a new strategy for syncing this device. There are options... so you have to do some research.
The battery is big enough to get me through a day without charging, but considering the size of the battery I was slightly disappointed.
AT&T Bloatware is annoying and can't be completely uninstalled without rooting the phone. Amazingly they didn't install their Visual Voicemail app which is actually useful. It can be installed... XDA Forums have the info.
You need to have a sense of humor to deal with people telling you your phone is too big.
You can add a 32gb sdhc card for around $25... 64gb for $80 if you look hard.
It's a great device for reading and browsing the web on. After installing the official Adobe Reader app, I can open pdf's that would choke my iPad.
I've had a Google account for a while. The integration with docs, gmail and everything else is very nice.
I really like the rear camera. It takes very nice snapshots with good detail. I own quite a few digital cameras, and I was pretty impressed.
If you are interested in this phone, but scared of it's humongous reputation... try it first before dismissing it. There are a lot of reviews on the web telling you that its too big to be a phone... check it out and make up your own mind. If you want a phone just to make phone calls and check your email, this is probably not the phone for you. If you like to watch movies, read, play games and take photos you should check it out.
Gigantic...but is that good or bad? February 24, 2012
Reviewer: Jason Kleeberg "J. Kleeberg" (Bay Area, California) -
The Note is the newest in Samsung's Galaxy series. Chances are, if you're looking at this review, you've already checked out this product line, so I'm not going to get too specific about the specs...you know it's got a nice processing speed, a great screen, a good amount of onboard memory (16GB's), and the Android operating system (2.3 at the moment, but hopefully an upgrade to 4.0 comes soon). I will, however, talk about the two things that sets it apart from the other phones on the market right now - it's size and the S-Pen stylus.
The screen is humungous...the 5.3" screen is beautiful, but could be a detriment to some. It's thin, so I could easily drop it into my work pants, but jeans...that's another story. The size is great for viewing email, watching movies, or texting, but is a hassle to use as a phone and walk around with.
The S-Pen works pretty well. It's a magnet based stylus technology that allows you to take screenshots and mark them up, process signatures, draw on pictures, etc. I wouldn't use it, but I could see why people would like this. The pen is small though, and could seem uncomfortable for normal use. It easily slides into the phone for storage.
Bottom line, if you're going to use the S-Pen and don't mind a giant phone, pick this one up. The screen is gorgeous and the performance is nice and fast.
Amazing all the way around its a shame about all the bloatware. February 25, 2012
Reviewer: Jeff C.
What a fantastic device. I will make this short and sweet.... Battery life great! Screen is gorgeous......easy to use and very easy to get use too. At&t of course had to load this phone with pre installed can't remove software which is the only down side to this amazing device. The new google voice command than I expected. Overall if your looking to get a phone today its the best option on the market.
So much better than the Iphone!!!!!! April 14, 2012
Reviewer: Dae Lim Lee
Previously I owned Iphone and Ipad. Now I only use my note.
So much better in terms of everything.
I put 32G micro SD card and got two extra batteries. Costed me less than $100.
Note is a super phone. I love the pen as well.
I'm finally home... April 3, 2012
Reviewer: Scott W. Hutton (Evans, WV USA) -
I finally feel like I'm home. I instantly fell in love with the Note. You can't say enough about the screen and what 5.3" actually looks like. Everything pops, is crystal clear, and the colors are vibrant. The Note is easily the fastest phone I've ever had. My previous phone was a Samsung Captivate - and the Note absolutely blows it away in every respect speedwise. There is no comparison. Everything, from connecting to WiFi networks to closing browsers, to opening documents, to buffering and watching video is much faster with the Note. It's noticeably faster in everything.
I wasn't sold on the S-pen at first, but is so responsive and intuitive that I find myself using it all the time. The Note's battery life has been the subject of some mixed reviews, but let me say that I've only charged my Note once over a three day span and I'm using it a lot (probably 2-3 solid hours of use a day). It fits fine in my pant's pocket at work and I've had no issues with the size at all. I'm not a large man (5'10"), and the Note is easy to hold and use. It feels solid in your hand, but isn't heavy or bulky.
I would DEFINITELY recommend this phone/tablet ("phablet") to anyone. The screen size alone sold me, but there is so much more to this device that the word "impressive" doesn't really do it justice. Samsung has really hit a homerun here, and it appears that they are going to be developing S-pen enhanced apps for it. The Note's size is very inviting, prodding you to use it as more than "just a phone". Great device. I'm finally home!
Pretty awesome!! March 26, 2012
I am a little over a week into ownership. I made the switch from iPhone 4 after owning an iPhone of some kind for the last 4 years and never owning an Android device. Was a little nervous about the switch but have to say I am liking Android a lot compared to iOS! Anyway, the phone. The phone is awesome!! The size is of course noticeable, to say the least, and seems to be the biggest "what if", so I'll start there. In short, I have quickly gotten used to the size it and enjoy it mostly. Great for surfing the internet, reading, remoting other devices, things you do on an iPhone and say "I wish I had a bigger screen for this...", etc. I still fumble around with it occasionally but have yet to drop it, although I've never really been phone dropper guy and am no more phone dropper guy with this phone. Also, I don't have a case on it as of this writing and I think once I get that, I will have an even better handle on it. The glass and back plastic can be pretty slick sometimes. I think if I had to do it again, I maybe would go a bit smaller (GS3 to have a 4.8 screen??) but it is manageable for me and the more I use it the more used to it I get and the more I like it! Then again, we'll see what happens when I get the case on there...
The S-Pen is cool, fun to play with, but I honestly haven't found a real use for it other than playing around. Performance is excellent, I am actually impressed after reading reviews of sluggishness on this new snapdragon processor. Very few hangups or app crashes so far. Some tasks, like web browsing, are jumpy feeling, not as smooth as iOS but I think that is more an Android thing than the phone. Not a deal breaker by any means.
Battery life has been pretty good. Once I was able to stop playing with it and use as normal, I got about 12-13 total hours on a full charge. About the same as iPhone, maybe a bit longer, in my experience. And it takes a looong time to charge but the battery is huge! I've started to just leave it on the charger overnight, every night.
Android Market: Apparently the Android Market aka Google Play Store recognizes this phone as a tablet and therefore gives you access to only tablet apps?? So apps like 1weather (which I hear is awesome) are not available to me. I have not found a workaround for this yet but am looking. I'll try to provide an update if/when I find one.
App Resolution: Along the same lines, some apps seem to not be optimized for a screen of this size which may make them appear a little off. Scramble With Friends is an example of this, player names and scores actually overlap on screen. Annoying but again, not a deal breaker... well, until it happens in an app that matters (not a game). This could also be due to the fact that I have inadvertently installed the tab version of the app bc that was all that was available to me. Pulse news is another example, the font for article titles is very large and just looks wrong.
Call Quality: I have only made 2 calls on this phone (not a big phone talker) so take this FWIW, but one said I sounded like I was in a tunnel but on speaker phone I sounded perfect. The other caller did not mention anything. I have yet to test it out for myself but thought I would mention. Call quality reviews that I have read about this phone have been good overall.
--Overall I love this phone and I love Android. Not sure why I stayed with Apple for so long actually. Also, this phablet will be getting the ICS update (coming for AT&T in 2Q 2012) which, from what I read, should make the resolution issues go away, maybe even make battery life better, more S-Pen integration and so on. This review will be 5 stars once that comes out!
I have loved phones, but never like this. March 23, 2012
Reviewer: Ashton P. Johnson "Zepaw" (Minneapolis, MN) -
This phone is not big; every other phone is small. After only a couple days of use this screen size was my new normal. I can't imagine using a phone with a smaller screen. My last phone was the iPhone 4S which was great but I have outgrown the screen size.
This phone has the largest screen out there and yet still matches and/or beats the quality of all the smaller ones. It is not stretched or pixelated, not ever.
I almost never use the handwriting apps yet I use the S pen often. My favorite way to "type" is to use the S pen with the Swype keyboard for Android.
At that point I don't think the Android App Market(s) will ever match the apple App Store but there is still a great selection with a quality about for all your needs and desires.
Surfing the wed on my note is far more like using a normal laptop/computer than a typical mobile phone experience.
The camera I am going to mostly hold out of this review because the shutter speed is slower than any out there so I feel like I must be doing something wrong. However I have not taken the time to tinker around in settings and see if there is something I can adjust to fix this.
I highly recommend this phone. Of course those who don't want such a sizable phone should look elsewhere. Those who see it as a great asset this is the phone to get.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4G Android Phone/Tablet March 18, 2012
Reviewer: E. Thomas "Mad Max" (Howard County, MD United States) -
So long Nokia. So long Blackberry. I loved the N95 8G and the Torch but the Note is the best phone aka tablet on the market right now. It is the fastest and has the best graphics by far. Visit any store and watch a movie or HD clip from YouTube and you will be amazed at the clarity. The phone also takes incredible photos and shoots video in HD. Not even the current I-phone can match it and I can change my own battery when its required without sending it back to Apple.com.
The lists of its features have already been discussed in detail on this page and in other reviews so I will skip that. The speed and size of screen cannot be overstated. It fits in my pants pocket and dress shirt pocket without any problems provided that you purchase a slim case, which I did. I would prefer a thicker case for greater protection in the event of a drop but that's what phone insurance is for. Its worth it on this investment.
The ability to cut and paste photos or screen shots and then add comments that can be e-mailed is a real time saver when trying to graphically convey a message to someone. The camera on the front and back of the phone is also a great perk that I haven't had since my old Nokia N95 8G. Now I can see who is calling and who I am talking to in real time.
If there was a complaint it would be the lack of FM radio that does not eat into your data plan. Nokia offered that a decade ago and continues to. Of course there are about 300+ android FM radio apps so there are reasonable alternatives. This is by far the best phone I have ever owned. I hope the "phablet" trend catches on so when I upgrade, I can get another large 1080p screen from Samsung.
It so popular that the Note II was introduced later in the same year. Samsung's Galaxy based phones are now the leader of the pack!
Simply Beautiful and Perfect!!!!! March 10, 2012
At first, it seemed to me like a very large phone but I got used to it very quickly. Now, I see it just like a normal size. I don't have large hands but I can hold and operate the phone without any problems with one hand. I put my pinky finger at the bottom when holding it so it won't slide down my hand.
At the beginning, I used a bluetooth earpiece for making calls, but now, I use the phone directly, it doesn't bother me at all.
The screen is gorgeous, browsing the internet it's much more comfortable than with smaller screens.
Overall, I am very happy with it.
My favorite app is the calendar that came with the phone; very nice looking app and with all the functions you expect from a calendar app.
Using the pen needs a little bit of training but, it's very convenient; you can answer emails with handwritten notes and include drawings (smiley faces).
Finally the perfect cellphone ! February 26, 2012
My primary focus when looking for a cellphone this time around was a huge screen for surfing, reading, etc.
Wow, what a hit this has been. I am a long time fan of the Palm and Android. Being a fan of Palm, I downloaded the Graffiti input and it works great. Actually, I have found different uses for the various forms of input: Speech, Samsung writing recognition, Swype, and (Palm) Graffiti. This "tablet" is so versatile.
You can really see the improved performance with the dual CPUs. And the large memory is great... I used to have to terminate programs and unload them constantly. This version lets you move the apps out of RAM and onto the internal 16GB memory/"sd card", so you have tons of room.
If you've seen some of the videos for the S-pen, they are really pretty accurate. I like the ability to create a scrapbook type memo for the projects I am working on. It's fun and useful for organizing your thoughts.
You can tell the reviewers who criticize the handwriting recongition, don't really know how to use the device. Once you learn how to properly use the applications, it's really pretty easy and works well (you may have to watch a few videos to fully understand the techniques). You can write in cursive pretty sloppy and it still recognizes the text. The trick is just selecting which word to use from the list displayed and hitting the space bar.
The camera and associated software is great. I like how you can touch the screen to tell the camera where to focus & set the exposure settings.
I really wanted this device, but was about to save money and go for the Galaxy SkyRocket, but everyone complained about the battery in the SkyRocket (even though it is still huge). This one does last all day under heavy use, but I still need to tweak the settings because sometimes during heavy use it will drop to 50%, (which with my old phone was the kiss of death, and I better look for a charger). But the Note able to make it through the day and evening just fine.
The vast majority of the time the size is awesome, but occasionally, it is sometimes the size is awkward. But I think it will just take getting used to where to place your fingers and it will be second nature very soon.
I can't wait to see the new apps that come out.
Just a note, for those of you that read the overseas N9000 version, this one does not have an FM radio as previously advertised.