Remove All Ads from XDA

Post all Note Reviews Here!

6,100 posts
Thanks Meter: 6,813
By O_G, ET Admin on 12th November 2011, 03:52 PM
Post Reply Email Thread
Note Review Thread

Hi all

After the influx of reviews for our great device. I feel a centralized location for them would Idea. So i have created this thread for that. Please try to keep pointless comments out. I would prefer this to be a collection of peoples thoughts on the note. I plan to move any reviews to this thread and close the original threads. Hopefully this will keep some clutter down in the general section. Making it easier for us all to find what we need.

Hopefully this could be Good reference for prospective note owners!

Note Review Links:

Thanks to, Arkymedes, Gaugerer, deymayor, AndyCr15,NZtechfreak for supplying a link to above reviews (sorry if i missed anybody)
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to O_G For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift O_G Ad-Free
19th November 2011, 02:38 AM |#2  
James Harrison's Avatar
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 294
Donate to Me
Angry Post all Note Reviews Here!
This is just a video I created to really show off a fully customised galaxy note. Link it to your friends (including iphone lovers) and spread the word about this crazy ass device!
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to James Harrison For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift James Harrison Ad-Free
1st December 2011, 01:46 AM |#3  
CGI_Ram's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag Ontario
Thanks Meter: 20
Post all Note Reviews Here!
I am experienced with the 5" form factor having owned a Dell Streak.

The Note? Wow!

The good:

- The Screen is amazing! Wonderful! Colours are incredible.

- The feel of the device in hand is great! I was surprised, by this, after reading reviews. It's light... grips nicely... the back textured cover is a nice touch. It doesn't feel like it needs a case.

- The camera is better than the reviews here. It's not going to replace your camera if you are a photo freak... but it's pretty darn good.

- The speed. I've got another dual core tablet... and I'm pleasantly surprised by the speed of this device. Get ICS on it and it will be really-really good.

- I like touch wiz. I've not owned a Samsung Android device before... but the touch wiz is nice.

- It's pocketable. Yes... again... I knew it would be... but when looking at Tablets the Note has an advantage here.

- The "on-board" ability to edit photos and video (with good tools) is cool. It's one of the things that drew me to the Note.

- The SPen. Admittedly, I don't use it much yet. It's got potential though in some applications.

- The battery life. It's really-really good. Granted... I use mine exclusively as a pocket tablet on 3G/wifi... but it's got plenty of life at the end of the day.

- The screen is wicked bright! Holy smokes! I don't think I've had brightness above 50%.

The bad:

- The buttons (power, volume, etc) can get easily pressed when gripping.

- There is color shift (green/blue) when viewing at angles.

- The scrolling can lag or be glitchy occasionally. Nothing big. Just a tad.

It's a great device! I'm stoked! I love my Samsung Galaxy Note!

1st December 2011, 10:39 AM |#4  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 989
Smile Post all Note Reviews Here!
It anyone is looking for a very comprehensive and balanced review of the Note mine is finally complete.

You can find the review all in one volume here (be prepared, it's LOOOONG!).

Or, alternately in it's individual parts:

The Galaxy Note "Real-user" Review: Part 1 - Unboxing, Initial impressions, Design/build quality, Screen and Benchmarks

The Galaxy Note "Real-user" Review: Part 2 - Entertainment and media - Music and video playback, gaming, browser

The Galaxy Note "Real-user" Review: Part 3 - GPS and Telephony

The Galaxy Note "Real-user" Review: Part 4 - the "ABCs of smartphone review" - Addendums, bugs, battery, camera, conclusion... and S-Pen!

...and we also have a Root guide replete with video here.

Stay tuned, we have Motorola Razr and Galaxy Nexus reviews in progress currently.
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to NZtechfreak For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift NZtechfreak Ad-Free
3rd December 2011, 06:02 PM |#5  
AndyCr15's Avatar
Senior Member
Flag London, UK
Thanks Meter: 203
Donate to Me
Arrow Post all Note Reviews Here!
I thought this was an interesting comparison -

It's very close, but the Note does edge it, as I think you would expect.
The Following User Says Thank You to AndyCr15 For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift AndyCr15 Ad-Free
11th December 2011, 11:19 PM |#6  
Jaunzems's Avatar
Flag Mārupe
Thanks Meter: 10
Post all Note Reviews Here!
Sorry for my choppy English, I'm not a native speaker.

When we first reviewed the mighty Galaxy S II back in June, we called it the best phone ever. But when the Galaxy Note was announced in IFA this september, we thought that it will be the new best phone ever. As it turns out, it wasn’t, and here’s the explaination why.
Galaxy S II already was a huge phone. 4.3” might be too much for some people (usually for iPhone users). Keeping that in mind, try to imagine what were the initial reactions when we first took a glance of Galaxy Note in our hands. An unstoppable stream of many swearwords was ended by „ big!”. And, if we look at the competitors, there is no surprise why it feels so big – Galaxy S II, Sensation and RAZR – all of them are 4.3inchers, Dell Streak is using 5” screen, but the smallest of tablets are sporting 7 inches. After two weeks of Note usage, almost every phone looks very small.

Image courtesy of
Samsung itselves are calling this device neither a smartphone, nor a tablet – it is in a segment of its own. It is in a planet of its own. Of course, the big screen is comfy for Internet, Angry Birds or HD movies, but using this device as a, umm, phone, is a bit tricky. You see, operationing with one hand is pretty much impossible, because the finger can’t touch this. Or that. Or every corner. (Hello MC Hammer!) To reach a control, you must change your grab, and it is not only unconvienient, but a bit dangerous too, since there is a possibility to drop the device and shatter your 700$ on the floor.

Apart from that, you must forget about tweeting and messaging with one hand, because it’s impossible to reach the keys in the other side of the screen. And when I was too lazy to use both hands, I figured that using my nose to touch the controls I can’t reach is good enough. Of course, that sort of device is bought by people who know they will confront with some inconveniences like these, and they just deal with it, knowing that 5.3” screen is included in their needs (architects, IT admins etc.) And, of course, the mighty experience of browsing Internet on screen this big is absolutely magnificient.

Galaxy S II users will recognize many familiar shapes, because the front of Galaxy Note is made by a single piece of Gorilla Glass, which is covering the big screen, a home button, and two illuminated capacitive Back and Menu controls. However, the distance between them is too big, and I can’t reach them with one hand. There is Samsung logo in the top, a speaker, sensors and frontal camera. The proximity sensor leaved us with a bit of disappointment, because its job was to lock the screen down during the call, but all it did was flicker the screen.

Image courtesy of
The back is more flat on the Note than it was on S II, it hasn’t got the curve that was on the bottom of S II. The back cover is made from black plastic, which, although it isn’t as rough as it was on S II, feels a bit cheap. It is very thin and light. The phone also is very thin and light. Anyway, there are lens on the top, which is companioned by LED, but on the bottom there is Samsung logo and very weak speaker.

Fortunately, the lock button is on the right, and, if you think about it, putting it on the top would be more than insane on a phone this big. On the left we find a volume rocker, which is too high, but on the top is 3.5mm jack and noise-cancelling microphone. There is S-pen stylus and microUSB on the bottom.

Design rating – 8. The design and ergonomics are very well fitted for a screen this big, and, even though it is very inappropriate to think about Note as a phone for daily usage, and it’s too small for being a tablet, as a golden compromise it’s very good.

Even though there are many phones that have claimed its title, the mighty Galaxy S II still is the king of smartphones. Its hardware is very great and powerful, and it’s the closest definition of the word perfection. And Samsung thought: If we have such a great piece of hardware, why should we bother of making new one, if the old hasn’t been broken? Indeed, they did transplant it from S II to Note. For example, the chipset is the same (Exynos), the GPU is the same (Mali-400MP), and the ARM-Cortex A9 based dualcore processor (although it has been a tiny bit overclocked to 1.4GHz), is the same. Even though this configuration was initially launched in February, it is still one of the most powerful yet.

The device is powered by 2500 miliamperhour battery, which is huge, measuring it after phone standarts, and, once again, mediocre as a tablet battery. Assuming it is more of a phone than tablet, we will measure it after phone standarts. Even though Samsung is promising cake, magnets and unicorns with its battery life, we didn’t actually get more battery life than from a normal phone, for example, S II. That said, it is very good indeed, meaning that you’ll end up with 20% of battery life at the end of a really busy day.

As we said earlier, the front is occupied by 5.3” SuperAMOLED HD display. Of course, it’s an AMOLED, what would you expect from it to do? Indeed, it has very great and vivid colors, deep blacks and high contrast. It has 800x1280 resolution, which is very popular among laptops, not phones. Its DPI is 285, but we aren’t sure if it’s any better than Galaxy S II which has much lower DPI rates. Prepare for James May mode, because I’ll explain why.

See, SuperAMOLED Plus is better than the original SuperAMOLED, because it has RGB pixel layout instead of Pentile, which means it has the same amount of green subpixels, as it has red or blue subpixels, making it total of 12 subpixels within a pixel. However, SuperAMOLEDs are using PenTile rather than RGB, which means a lower amount of subpixels, making it a total of 9. That’s because AMOLED technology isn’t advanced enough to put enough subpixels in such high DPI, or, let’s put it the other way round, RGB AMOLED pixels are too big to make enough DPI – that’s where Pentile comes in. That’s the reason why Galaxy S II has only 217DPI.

Image courtesy of
Of course, in daily usage you’ll not notice it. Only, viewed close, yes, you can say it’s PenTile. And, displaying very small text shows up all the disadvantages of PenTile. But, yes, that’s the mark against AMOLED – we hope that until the release of Galaxy S III, which, if all the rumors are true, has HD display too, Samsung will have resolved thi issue.

This phone, being a flagship, doesn’t lack everything in connection departement, and it sports WiFi b/g/n with DLNA and WiFi Direct, 3G HSPA, GPS, NFC in some regions, Bluetooth 3.0, USB-to-go and other familiar things. It has 16/32GB storage, which can be expanded with microSDHC card. It’s possible to connect the device to the big screen with MHL audiovideo cable.

The device has 8MP camera, which is the same as on Galaxy S II. Of course, it can capture HD video. Image quality is very good and you can think of it as a replacement of point-and-shoot cameras.

Hardware rating – 9. The device is very well equipped. Of course, you would demand a RGB screen, but that’s not a big deal – just a little disappointment. Everything else is just great.

Note has Android 2.3.5, which is topped by Touchwiz 4.0. The device’s ROM is very well optimized and the battery consumption is handled nicely, bounding CPU frequency between 200MHz and 1.4GHz. The max frequency is used only 5% of time. Of course, this being XDA, you wouldn’t be interested too much in the stock ROM, but this is one of the best stock ROM’s I’ve ever seen.

The TouchWiz itself is very colorful and flash. Many will dislike it, but we loved it. It’s very functional and easy to use, and, because of the big screen, it has been made possible to put 5x5 icons/widgets on desktop or menu.

Software rating – 10. TouchWiz 4.0 is great, the ROM is optimized very nicely, and it’s a very nice gesture from Samsung to have the bootloader unlocked.
To buy or not to buy...
Amazon has put Note’s price circa 700 dollars.... I would say – not to. Of course, if you aren’t the sort of person who especially wants a big screen – then, and only then – Note is a great buy. But, if you are a normal bloke who wants a great phone with a big screen, you wouldn’t want more than Galaxy S II. It has the same hardware, but a smaller screen, which would be more comfortable in everyday usage. It also is cheaper, more popular and with a better screen (SuperAMOLED+). If you want something smaller than Note but bigger than the pack, you should take look at HTC Titan/Sensation XL, but, because it is more expensive than it’s really worth, and, has the specs of 2010, we wouldn’t recommend it either. That’s the conclusion – if you want a Galaxy S II on steroids, buy Note, but if you are fine with the S II, why should you not take it in the first place?

+ Huge screen
+ Great performance
+ Nice camera
+ Android 2.3.5 + TouchWiz 4.0
+ S-Pen stylus

- Cheap plastics
- Price is too high
- Too huge screen
- Pentile ruins the party rating – [9/12]
(Galaxy S II had 11/12)
The Following User Says Thank You to Jaunzems For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift Jaunzems Ad-Free
20th December 2011, 04:43 AM |#7  
Thanks Meter: 5
Thumbs up Post all Note Reviews Here!
Hi everyone, I'm not much of a forum poster per se, but the immense sense of satisfaction if I dare call it that this device has given me I wanted to share with the community and perhaps sway people that are on the verge of deciding whether to take the plunge or not.

Little demographic info because I believe it will influence this short review since the device itself falls under a sort of intermediary category (phone/tablet). I am month away from 30 years of age, 181 cm tall, big giant head, small hands .

Size and handling:

The SG Note in my palm, feels like a phone. I have by no means large palms, and the general feel is that the device is perfectly operational with 1 hand with the exception of typing. It's doable but the device has to be positioned so it's bottom edge in portrait lies on the little finger, then the whole on-screen keyboard is accesible with the thumb. In other words, for my type of usage, I'd even dare to ask for an even bigger screen, 5.5"-5.65" and even then I'd be using it as an all-in-one device.
Positioned next to the ear, you might get asked the "what's that question" but teen insecurities are long behind me so I don't give a damn of other people's opinion when it comes to my style or appearance let along gadgets I use. Small talk is for the weak.
In the pocket, the phone can fit just about any size, front/back pockets. So this is a non-issue when it comes to transport. I prefer wearing it in my front pockets. It doesn't create any noticeable bulge. Minor exception might be extremely elegant silk suits, but that's couple times a year scenario for me, and even then, the front jacket pockets would do just fine.
7.5/10 for size and handling (I'd give 9 to SGS2, 9.5 to HTC sensation)


With it's 178g, the device is light and easy to work and hold in the hands for prolonged periods of time. I've watched a full video without having to switch hands or body position, something I frequently do when using a tablet or a netbook. It's weight isn't felt even when worn in the front pockets of loose trousers, so you won't be getting that uncomfortable feel of unbalance and a weight pulling down.
8/10 for size and handling (I'd give 10 to SGS2, 8.5 to HTC sensation)


In order to comment of the display, I have to mention previous handheld/PDA/cell phone history: Palm Vx, Nokia 6600, Dell Axim X5, Toshiba 640x480, Iphone 2G, Nokia E90, Nokia N900, HTC HD2, HTC Desire, Nokia N8, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S2.
And without hesitation I'd like to declare that SG Note offers the best viewing experience out of any of the aforementioned devices. It's a perfect blend of resolution and picture quality.

- Black color: 95% pure black. SGS2 has perfect, 100% black tones, and Note, in a pitch dark room can distinguish between absolute darkness and on-screen tones. But it would be an extreme nit-picking if anyone finds this objectionable since the difference is so miniscule that doubt any sane person or even extreme gadget/visuals freak will find it objectionable. Introducing ambient light in the room, makes the on screen black appear as perfect blacks.
- White color: perfect white! Unlike my SGS2 which was simply put blue, in the 6400K range, the SG Note has extremely accurate white color tones. Beats my IPS apple cinema display 30" / 27" setup. Not having a true white color made browsing and watching web sites unbearable of the SGS2, outweighing to a big extend the joy from watching 720p videos.
- Contrast, saturation and brightness : Perfect. Unlike SGS2 where red/green/blue was heavily over saturated, the balance here is perfect. Everything is easy on the eye, colors pop-up just enough to make you want to stare for a long time admiring HD pictures, videos or simply browsing your favourite sites. You don't get tired when watching the screen.

In a way, all the benefits or Super amoled combined with all the benefits from an IPS display technology.

The resolution, paired with 5.3" or real estate, is something I've been waiting since I first got my hands on a mobile device. Sole reason I've changed devices was having the need for getting the highest resolution on an ideal size (4.5-6"). Although Iphone 4 had and still has the highest PPI, the 3.5" makes it useless for my needs.
1280x800, on a 5.3", + the contrast, tonal clarity, 0% light bleeds/leaks or similar effects, only 1 stuck sub pixel (stuck red, unnoticable in daily use) - make it the best panel I've ever seen.
9.5/10 (I'd give 8.5 to SGS2, 7.5 to HTC sensation)

(To be continued)
23rd December 2011, 10:04 AM |#8  
Junior Member
Flag Brasov
Thanks Meter: 6
Post all Note Reviews Here!
No, it isn’t a movie starring Ghita Muresan, but we’re still dealing with a Star!

One came from Samsung – Galaxy Note for instance, what makes us wondering if we are faceing with a Smarphone, or a small Tablet. One of my mate called it ,,tablophone”, and who knows, maybe it suites it?!

Beyond the unusual size, Note still keeps the body line of the Galaxy class with simple and sober shapes, but with a particular add: the S-Pen, an useful tool what resembles with the PDAs of a decade ago.

On a first sight, the Note is equipied with a 8MP camera, 1080p video recording with a LED flash, and a nuclear powerplant-like batery of 2500mAh. From my experience I noticed that it passed away only after 3 and a half day of heavy usage: Internet, taking photos, videos, and using as a GPS module.

On the hardware side, the exterior body size is matchet on the internal ,,soul”: an 1.4 GHz Arm-Cortex A-9 Processor and 1 GB of RAM memory.

The Tablet-Phone’s Display is impressing for any demand: from the huge 5.3” diagonal with SuperAmoled technology, to 1200X800 pixels resolution (full scale Tablet, isn’t it?) up to the fact that on the easel-sized display you can give reign to imagination and to the painting talent with the wonderful S-Pen. With this pen you can cut out and crop images from the Internet and edit them on a funny way, you can scribble on his sizeable ,,board” or you can take screen-captures by a push of a button.

The main menu is reminding you of his smaller cousin Galaxy S II, because Galaxy Note use the same Android Gingerbread (yet) with Touchizz 4 interface, wich assures you of simple operations and unique design.

The main menu is reminding you of his smaller cousin Galaxy S II, because Galaxy Note use the same Android Gingerbread (yet) with Touchizz 4 interface, wich assures you of simple operations and unique design.

The 16 GB of internal memory + the card slot are very useful to upload your music and video content up to 1080p, and the games, thanks to the powerful processor are very, very pleasant to play with! Asphalt 6 HD is beyond any imagination, a real blessing for gamers!

On the Internet you can surf with an ease of a Tablet, with Adobe Flash Player and 21Mbps speeds, you are aloud to swipe through pages within a blink of an eye.

You can syncronize the Calendar as you wish, and the Polar Office app helps you to view and edit your documents very useful to your office. The incorporated GPS module is proving very useful thaks to the brighted and big display, being a very trusteful friend to your long journeys.

As Samsung wanted to create the ultimate and complete device, the snaping and video recording part is without any compromise! This cameraphone has an 8MP back camera and yields very sharp images as you can see beyond. The LED flash added to the camera helps you to manage succesfuly as a photografer on the parties in night clubs.

The videos taked with this device have a maximum resolution of 1080p, at 30 frames/second. There is also present a front camera with 2MP suited for 3G/Skype calls.

In Quadrant, the results are telling everything: Galaxy Note scores 3750, a record in the real meaning!

Through Note, Samsung succeeds to create the ultimate and perfect device: a cross-over between a Smartphone and a Tablet, a new start-up by implementing the S-Pen that allows you to completely give reign to creation, top harware set, and by his abilities as a cameraphone, you can forget that there are specialized photo-video appliances.

Samsung Galaxy Note is not delicate and smooth, an not aimed to be! It is a powerful device, for powerful men, and... as its owners, it doesn’t go unnoticed!

You simplu like the Note or not! Uncompromising! More on: Samsung Mobilers Romania Mihai Nanu
26th December 2011, 11:37 PM |#9  
Senior Member
Flag Chennai
Thanks Meter: 472
Post all Note Reviews Here!
Made a review of the galaxy note after having it for a few weeks... check it out if you are interested. Hope it helps someone

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all
1st January 2012, 03:15 PM |#10  
khan.dharvesh's Avatar
Flag Riyadh
Thanks Meter: 2
Donate to Me
Post all Note Reviews Here!

i got my note (white) 3 days back, and im lovin it. i just thought of writing a small review. i will compare it with my sgs2 and iphone 4(not S).

size, usability, display

most people say this is 'big', but let me tell u, this should be ideal sized phone. its just amazing. due to its low weight you really dont feel that you are holding such a 'big' phone.i feel its easily pocketable. and display s 100 times better than my s2 and phone 4. technically pentile might be inferior, but in reality u just cant feel so.
let me tell u, white is far better than blue version(my personal opinion). there are so many black devices available. and white just stands apart

lets accept the fact.galaxy note has lag. but not a deal breaker, but it isnt as good as s2. reason: big screen!!!more pixels...switching between application menu and home screen is smooth in s2 , but not in gnote. u can test it by fastly switching between those two screens. also sometimes, when some applications are touched, it takes 3-4 seconds before app opens. but this doesnt happen always.gs2 is just amazing when it comes to using stock rom and i beleive future upgrades should fix this. but let me tell u, this is noticeable only if u r already having a s2 or iphone4s. but suppose u r coming from a different phone, u wont be able to notice it.

decent enough for such a big high end phone. bteer than my s2 and iphone4.

good. galaxy note really turns into a 'notebook' with the flipcase(samsing). it doesnt protect the phone as such, but good enough to protect the front part of the device. but i love the white flipcase. actually the backcover which comes with the flipcase protects ur camera lens as well. because with the default back cover, it doesnt protect the camera lens, especially when when u keep the phone down.

overall rating.

i'd rate my note 8.75/10.
my gs2 9.5/10
iphone 4 (6/10 for size, and 9/10 for speed).

I updated with KL7 and now i feel note is on par with S2. May b little bit less faster than S2. but after KL7 theres a dramatic increase in performance and the lag is gone., now il rate my Note 9.25/10
11th January 2012, 11:39 AM |#11  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 169
Post all Note Reviews Here!
I did a video review-type thing of the Galaxy Note. It's the first time I've done a video like this - please let me know what you think!

The Following User Says Thank You to Dombledore For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift Dombledore Ad-Free
Post Reply Subscribe to Thread

Guest Quick Reply (no urls or BBcode)
Previous Thread Next Thread
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes