Samsung Galaxy Note Android phone

Samsung Galaxy Note review: The appeal of the Galaxy Note will depend on whether you can handle its large size

  • Review
  • Specs
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  • User Reviews (3)
  • Buy Now 10
Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    5.00 / 5 (of 3 Reviews)

Pros

  • Excellent 5.3in Super AMOLED screen
  • S-Pen is unique and works reasonably well
  • Great battery life and excellent performance

Cons

  • Uncomfortably large
  • Feels awkward when making phone calls
  • Button on S-Pen is poorly designed

Bottom Line

The Samsung Galaxy Note is an interesting device that’s been designed as an all-in-one smartphone and tablet. Whether it holds any appeal will depend on you getting your head (and hands) around its mammoth size. If you’re comfortable with the design of the Galaxy Note, you’re left with a phone that has a brilliant display, excellent performance and slick software.

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  • Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) Sm-p601 Wt 32gb... 543.00
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  • Galaxy Note 10.1 Black 2014 Edition Tablet 16gb... 598.00
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Samsung Galaxy Note: Software and performance

Aside from its larger size and S-Pen, the Samsung Galaxy Note is a very similar device to the Galaxy S II Android phone. It runs the 2.3 "Gingerbread" version of Google's Android OS and also features Samsung's TouchWIZ 4.0 UI overlay. The latter offers a nice change to the stock Android UI, though its cartoony looking icons won’t be to everyone's taste. The Samsung weather, clock, and power widgets quickly found a permanent home on our screen, and you can easily customise the main app menu by creating folders. Annoyingly, you can't automatically sort the icons in the main menu — though you can move them around manually — and the default lock screen is slow to slide and feels sluggish.

A core part of TouchWIZ is Samsung’s software hubs: the social hub, readers hub, game hub and music hub, though none of them really appealed to us beyond the first few days of testing. The music hub is a subscription based music service that costs $9.99 per month, $54.99 for six months or $99.99 for 12 months in Australia. The game hub merely lists compatible games from the Android Market, while we feel both the social hub and readers hub can be replaced by more effective third-party apps in the Android Market.

Of more benefit is the range of nifty TouchWIZ functions that carry over from the Galaxy S II. Swiping right on a contact in your phonebook will immediately call that person, and swiping left will message them. You can also turn the Galaxy Note over on a desk or table to silence an incoming call. Other "motion based" features include the ability to tap and hold the screen at two points and tilt back and forth to zoom in and out of the browser or gallery, and move a selected home screen icon to another screen by holding it and moving the phone left of right. The novelty on these gestures does wear off after a while, though.

Samsung Galaxy Note The Samsung Galaxy Note runs similar software to the popular Samsung Galaxy S II. A larger screen means it fits five icons across the display rather than four.

What doesn't wear off is the S Memo app that works in tandem with the S-Pen to create quick memos. You can chose from four pen styles to draw or sketch (a pen, a brush, a pencil and a highlighter) and you can adjust the density and colour of each. The app itself is pretty basic but its easy to use and well integrated into core functions of the Galaxy Note: it’s another good example of Samsung attempting to add as much value as possible to an exclusive feature.

There's also a few drawing and sketching apps that can be downloaded for free from the S-Choice store, which is a Samsung hub for apps that have been specifically designed for the Galaxy Note. Hello Crayon, Hello Colour Pencil and Hello Chalk have all been designed for children, but Zen Brush and Omnisketch are slightly more advanced. However, we experienced much more lag and far less accuracy when using the S-Pen with these third-party apps (Omnisketch in particular) than Samsung's own S-Memo app.

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a fast phone: we didn’t experience any lag or crashes during testing and performance was excellent all-round. The camera app in particular was fast to open and capture images. It uses similar optics to the Samsung Galaxy S II: that being an 8-megapixel lens with LED flash and a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for video calls. Images captured are quite impressive for a camera phone with minimal noise, decent low-light performance and good colour reproduction. However, the LED flash is weak and when it does work it tends to wash out photos.

Samsung Galaxy Note A photo captured with the Galaxy Note's 8-megapixel camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Note's large screen is perfect for videos. The device handled most of the file types we through at it with ease: the default Samsung video player played a 720p HD .avi file with no issues.

The Galaxy Note also makes phone calls (who would have thought!) but it can be uncomfortable to hold to your head for long periods of time. We also found it a little awkward to line up the speaker against our ear due to the large size of the device. Call quality is passable, but certainly not outstanding: incoming volume isn’t as loud as we’d have liked and some of our callers did sound a little distant the phone wasn’t lined up perfectly on our ear.

Samsung Galaxy Note: Battery life and availability

Samsung has included a huge 2500mAh battery to power the Galaxy Note’s giant screen and the results are pretty impressive. Though you won’t get much more than a full day of use (like most other Android phones), the Galaxy Note will definitely last a full day even with high use.

The Samsung Galaxy Note is available now through both Optus and Vodafone and will be available through Telstra in April. It is also available to purchase through online mobile phone store MobiCity. The store was the first online retail outlet to sell the device.

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mimi

5.0

1

Pros
everything
Cons
nothing
• • •

i definitely will get one!!!

len

5.0

2

Pros
THIS IS
Cons
I havent got one.....YET
• • •

Iiihavi hav a Samsung galaxy 1, & i couldnt live with out it, so with a 5.3 screen.. GREAT! Best in 3 wayys a mobile gameconsle (psp) internet, drawing, O, reading fine print!

Sean

5.0

3

Pros
Samsung
Cons
Nothing
• • •

Hey guys this phone will be coming to Aus on 17th Nov or therebouts. Check it out on http://www.mobicity.com.au/
Its priced round $900 to pre-order

Also as to Apple (Steve Jobs may he R.I.P)
The thing is they tie you down sure they have brilliant hardware and functionality but there isn't much freedom as you have with Android. You practically have to root / jailbreak the Ipad - Iphone to install other apps etc...

And Apple should get over Flash seriously like build a bridge Flash will never die Adobe should serious sue Apple for their comments :-D

Congratulations Samsung on taking on Apple :)

Apple has been around since the early days before Microsoft and have grown to a multi billion dollar company

Hats of to Steve Jobs

But lets not forget Xerox that started it off.

Its up to us to choose what we want not to let people tell us this is bigger better faster etc...

We are HUMANS not ROBOTS and many Apple fans wont care what I am saying but each to their own I like Android You like Apple I like Linux you Like Mac Widows etc...

Its about personal choice and wants and needs If the Iphone is what you like then great but for me Ill wait for the Galaxy Note and the freedom to customize Apple think outside the square and

JOIN WITH SAMSUNG = Smapple :-D that will be BRILLIANT stop arguing about which came first the chicken or the egg? just remember without the two of yous wed still be crazking handles to dial ie: Alexander Graham Bell

I look forward to seeing SMAPPLE in the near future :-D

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