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Samsung Galaxy Note review

 Review: November 2011  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: With a 5.3 inch HD screen and a stylus, the Samsung Galaxy Note is a cross between a PDA-style phone and a tablet.

Best buy: Samsung Galaxy Note 4 4G SIM ... from Amazon (£0)



 

Review

It's rare to describe a phone as unique, but we can safely say that the Samsung Galaxy Note is one of a kind. A hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet, this is the largest mobile phone we've ever reviewed!

The first thing you notice when you see the Galaxy Note is its size. It's big. It's heavy. But get over it, because that's how the Note is. It may be too big to hold to your ear and use as a phone - in which case, you need to use it handsfree or get a Bluetooth headset. It's surprisingly thin, which means you can hold it in one hand (unlike an iPad 2), but you'll need your other hand to operate it properly. As for carrying it, it's not really the kind of phone you'd stick casually in your jeans pocket and forget about. You'll probably want a bag of some kind to keep it in. We're talking about a handbag or briefcase, not a dedicated rucksack, you understand.

Anyway, there's a reason why it's so huge. It's got the biggest screen on any mobile, at a massive 5.3 inches. That puts it closer in square centimetres to a Samsung Galaxy Tab than an iPhone 4S. So it really is no exaggeration to describe the Note as a hybrid. The screen is really what the Note is all about. Not only is it huge, it's a Super AMOLED display, as used on the Galaxy Nexus, so it's very bright and produces up to 80% less reflected light, so outdoors it's much easier to see than an ordinary TFT display. Not only that but it has the highest resolution of any current mobile phone. It's a genuine HD display, capable of displaying 720p images & videos. But it's actually larger than 720p, being extra-wide with a total resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. The extra width changes the aspect ratio of the display, making it squarer than most phones, so it feels even more like a tablet/PDA.

The Note runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) rather than the latest Ice-Cream Sandwich, version 4.0. We'd have loved to see ICS on the Note, as it includes more tablet-focussed features, but Samsung have done a good job of integrating Android with their TouchWiz interface, so it's hard to stay disappointed for long. TouchWiz keeps getting better. We love the widgets and the way that facebook and twitter are closely integrated into the whole contacts & messaging system. It's a very polished user interface, and reaches new heights in the Galaxy Note. In any case, hopefully an update to ICS will be available before long.

You'll see from the photo above that there's another element to the user interface - a stylus. Strictly speaking, this is an advanced form of stylus called an S-Pen, which incorporates pressure sensitivity, so that it knows how hard you're pressing. You can use the S-Pen to annotate photos and make notes and the device even supports handwriting recognition. The S-Pen tucks away into a slot when not in use, which is just as well, because we can't help feeling that most people won't use it. After all, the capacitive screen responds perfectly well to the touch of a finger, and most people will find typing on a Swype-enabled virtual QWERTY keyboard to be faster and more accurate than old-fashioned joined-up writing. Still, the S-Pen is there for those who want it, and there are a smattering of art-type apps designed specially for the Galaxy Note that let you make use of it.

The Note is clearly intended to excel in PDA-style functions, so it's great to see that Samsung have developed an app specially for the Note called S Planner. S Planner is an advanced diary app that lets you manage your electronic diary much as you would an old-fashioned paper one. But being electronic, you can sync it with Google Calendar, Microsoft Exchange, etc. We think it's a great app, and one that really makes the most of the Note's unique features.

As a flagship phone, Samsung have sought to equip the Galaxy Note with the best of everything, and that includes the camera. The 8 megapixel camera has all the features you'd expect on a high-end mobile phone, including LED flash, autofocus and digicam gadgets like smile shot and panorama shot. It can compete with the best in daylight and doesn't do at all badly in low light either. There are some great photo editing tools on board, and of course you can use the S-Pen to draw moustaches on your friends faces too. The main video camera is outstanding as well, recording at full HD 1080p and up to 30 frames per second. A front-facing 2 megapixel camera supports video calls.

The Note is fully equipped for music and video. Video playback on the huge HD screen is of course fabulous, and audio quality is excellent too, with support for 3D sound via headphones. All the popular file formats are supported and there's an FM radio with RDS as well.

Google Maps works very well indeed on the Note, finding locations rapidly and downloading maps quickly too. And it hardly needs saying that the huge screen is fantastic for viewing maps.

It's worth mentioning that the Galaxy Note does everything without missing a beat, thanks to its dual-core 1.4GHz processor, which is fast enough to handle even the most demanding apps. The Galaxy Note is well equipped with memory too, coming with either 16GB or 32GB of onboard memory, plus a microSD card slot so you can add an additional 32GB of storage.

When it comes to connectivity, you'll find quadband GSM compatibility plus HSPA giving download speeds up to 21Mbps. Of course there's Wi-Fi too, plus Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 and an audio jack.

You're probably wondering about the battery life of such a powerful device, but you needn't be concerned. The Galaxy Note comes with an extra-large 2500mAh battery. By comparison, the Galaxy S2 has just a 1650mAh battery, so the Note is more than capable of facing up to its responsibilities. If you manage power sensibly you might get a couple of days use between charges, but it depends on how much you use features like Wi-Fi, GPS, and so on.

Summing up, the Galaxy Note is a very interesting device, full of potential. It's clearly not going to be a mainstream device like the Galaxy S2. The size, weight and price will exclude many people. But for those attracted by its capabilities, the Note is a phone like no other. Underlying everything is that enormous screen, which is literally a blank canvas making all kinds of apps, productivity tools and games possible. The S-Pen adds further to the potential. Even if you just use it as a mainstream smartphone that works brilliantly for texting, email, facebook, etc, you'll get a lot out of it. You can even make phonecalls if you don't mind looking like a dork or a cyberman. Finally, as a business phone/PDA it's perhaps without peer.

So we've decided to give the Galaxy Note 4 stars. Whilst it's without equal in many respects, we can't ignore the high cost and the size/weight issue. But if these downsides don't bother you, you'll probably consider the Note to be worth 5 stars easily.

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Samsung Galaxy Note features include:

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Samsung Galaxy Note user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it, and please ask questions in our User Questions section above. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Rating:


Average rating from 53 reviews:

Reviewed by David from UK on 31st Dec 2012
BEST....mobile out there..very fast and found battery great as it gets plenty of use. Jelly Bean update soon will only add to whats already the best phone on the market.
Rating:

Reviewed by derek from scotland on 13th Nov 2012
had this phone for 2 months now and its the best phone i;ve ever had.Installed ics and its even faster now.Cant fault it.
Rating:

Reviewed by Laneyx from Herts . UK on 6th Sep 2012
Have had the NOTE since March and can say it is fantastic, can now use it with one hand ! First thing you notice is it's size, awesome screen and the S pen makes browsing the internet and using apps easy. The only problem now is that any other phone looks tiny, a bit like having a 50" tele and the watching a 20" tele. HD video superb and social networking a breeze. Wouldn't have anything else. Unless of course a bigger phone is launched. Shame the Galaxy Note 10.1 isn't a phone.
Rating:

Reviewed by Abdul from uk, london on 9th Jul 2012
This phone is great for someone like me. Battery was a problem for me at first because I am a heavy user, however I just purchased a external battery cover from ebay for £15 and that helps my phone last heavy usage.
Screen size isnt a problem, grabs a lot of attention from everyone ;)
S note is very handy, just upgraded to 4.0.
would have been great if I can watch videos on a small display as this is avaiable on s3.
Very cheap on contract... im only paying £21 a month.
Rating:

Reviewed by Dave Allchurch from UK on 20th Jun 2012
Upgraded to the note from a galaxy S2 which in my opinion was the perfect phone but the big screen of the note and pen dragged me to it. It pretty much is an S2 with a big screen and pen to be fair but thats no bad thing as gingerbread was and still is a great OS for android. its speedy, smooth and responsive and the pen is a great tool for quick notes and editing pics/docs. Finally ICS was available and disaster as the battery life dropped from a daya and a half to half a day :( but after a few setting changes and a factory data reset i'm now getting nearly 2 days worth with medium usage (it only drops 1% overnight!!). Now on ICS its quicker, more responsive and the screen seems sharper also. So dont believe anyone on here commenting that the battery life only lasts 5 hours as they must have all the settings turned on constantly or cant put it down until its fully drained. The screen deserves a special mention as its so bright you can turn it down to about 30% brightness and this is still bright and will save you a load of battery life as this will be the biggest drain as it is on all smart phones. it will play loads of video files and audio files which is more than a certain Apple device and has micro sd card slot which the iphone 4s cant match either. this deserves 5 stars without a doubt and it is still pocketable no matter what other people say.
Rating:

Reviewed by Data Security from India on 15th Jun 2012
Samsung galaxy note should be categorized between a tab and a Smartphone, itís too small to be a tab but appears to be very large if we call it a smart phone. Apart from the size the gadget is just amusing, its a great time-pass when no oneís surround to hangout with. Its 5.3 inch HD Super AMOLED display is super cool offering excellent image viewing, hd video playback. Despite of having that monstrous display the phone is remarkably slim and light. Itís just 9.65 mm thick and 178 grams in weight. It runs great on android v2.3.5(gingerbread) and is vastly loaded with features, recently i have installed inDefend Mobile Backup from dataresolve.com itís a great application that helps to take backup essential data from your Smartphone and store it on an online and encrypted cloud. More over the backup data is on their online secure servers and can be restored to the phone at any moment.
Rating:

Reviewed by Chels from UK on 10th Jun 2012
I saw the phone on the tv advert and instantly had to have it, my phone contract had just come to an end so took the risk and purchased a contract without doing much research. The phone is brilliant, perfect screen quality so i can watch movies on the go, the s pen is useful when i am in need of having to write quick notes to myself and the apps are excellent. The battery life can go quite quickly but is simply solved by turning it onto powersave mode, which makes a big difference without effecting much of the quality, one charge on a day should last it throughout the next day. I noticed that on reviews people are claiming it is a slow phone, i have not found it slow at all and the memory seems neverending. It is a big phone to carry round with you but all of the overall qualities definately make up for it, anybody considering buying the phone i 100% recommend it.
Rating:

Reviewed by rajdhar from india on 9th Jun 2012
Very nice phone /tab batery is poor.
Rating:

Reviewed by James from UK on 8th Jun 2012
I have just purchased the Note and have been using it for a couple of days. Yes it is big but with the size comes a beautiful screen and great graphics. I have only received 1 phone call and it did seem strange to hold such a large device to your ear. However my main form of communication is either by e-mail or social media sites and therefore this phone is ideal. Upon opening the box I was immediately asked to update the firmware which immediately updated the phone to ICS. On all my previous phones I have never used 1 handed operation for texting (remind me to laugh more often when people walk into lamp posts or slip of curb stones whilst texting) however by just stoping what you are doing and send your text either by touchscreen or by using the S Pen does not take long. I have had no concerns with battery life as it does match the S2 and my previous Galaxy ACE.

Overall an amazing phone and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Rating:

Reviewed by Jamie from UK on 6th Jun 2012
If your looking for an honest, simple review on this phone-- then read this :)

...Good tablet, BAD phone!!

It's good to have at home and to search the web and watch videos and stuff but its not good to bring out at all in public, answering calls and texting and even ending calls can be a right pain!!.. and unlocking the phone is ridiculous!

Plus you'll feel abit silly having it out with you... because of the size.. its wayyy too big! its more of a tablet then anything.

Top 5 good things:
1/ The camera is pretty good.
2/ it's not bulky, nice and slim.
3/ The pens takes screenshots
4/ Looks sleak and attractive (nice shiny look to it)
5/ Good Speaker.

Top 5 Bad things:
1/ Slowness
2/ Battery power (literally will last you 4-5hours)
3/ Unlocking phone will annoy you after abit
4/ Very unresponsive
5/ Samsung layout is abit weird and annoying

So yep.. it can be really slow, i had the phone 2 weeks and then canceled the contract because i had enough of it!
The battery went after a few hours regardless of going on apps or the camera... unlocking the phone was pure ridiculous!! especially when your out and you need to make a quick call or text... i had to stop and put all my shopping down just to make a text.
Answering and ending calls is also one of the worst things... ending calls was VERY bad! i had to rely on the other person ending the call because the screen just goes black and there was no "end call" button?

The layout of samsung has changed... for the worst. It's just confusing now and is quite awkward to get use to.
it's not as simple as it was in the old pay as you go phones :(

Overall i'd say its alright to own as a tablet and to keep it INDOORS but this review is about the phone side so i have to give it 1 out of 5 stars because it's a terrible phone.
Rating:

Reviewed by the biggest lover of hazem salah abo ismail from egypt on 4th Jun 2012
i think it is the best mobile & tablet in the world,thanks samsung.
Rating:

Reviewed by Mr H from UK on 29th May 2012
Having read the reviews I took the plunge and attempted the Galaxy note having upgraded after owning a galaxy s2 for a year. I had tried the iPhone 4s (due to hype) first of all but quickly moved back to android, the flash player and restrictions quickly reminded me of apples lack of flexibility!
Anyway back to the note.. It's a cross between the tablet and a phone but it works for me. You soon become used to the size, amazing display and smooth transition For Internet browsing and apps the note is highly recomended. Battery life not bad at all, lasts the day at reasonable use. Bbc I player, YouTube etc are all really watchable and good quality, as is the camera and high resolution screen for photo video playback. It's not as heavy as one would think and fits into the jeans pocket easily. Not really used the pen to be honest, this may suit some but I prefer the thumb and finger method and this has not caused any issue - its responsive and suffers little lag. The only minor thing I would suggest is the speaker is okay (I'm been ultra picky) but I would prefer one on each side of the phone! Note 2 perhaps?! And being tongue in cheek the keypad is large for a mobile when using with one hand, however Samsung thought of that and have a setting for a 'normal or smaller iPhone type size' keypad. Brilliant.
I own an ipad2 and this galaxy note but since owning the note the iPad has sat redundant! Before the gs2 sat redundant when in reach of an ipad. How things change?! Therefore i can only Recommend this super piece of tech.
Rating:

Reviewed by inder from uk on 29th May 2012
Don't listen to any bad reviews you might see on the internet or YouTube. This phone is brilliant I'm so in love with it. People make out that its massive its really not that big. Also the best smartphone out at the moment... People who bad mouth this product are the people who can't afford it. It's amazing runs brilliantly its a mobile and tablet in one.
Rating:

Reviewed by richard waring from uk on 13th May 2012
what can i say i will tell you the bad points first none at all. now i will tell you the good points every thing get this phone fantastic .the screen is great battery life great you cant expect days and days of battery life on a phone this big it has the largest battery for a phone get power tools of android market and turn gps network and anything eles you are not using it will save alot of battery life try it.
Rating:

Reviewed by diane from wales on 12th May 2012
I have had my note for a few months now and I just love it to bits, its brilliant I can't find nothing bad to say about it. I have had no problems with ringing people if you set up speed dial its even easier but the usual way takes seconds in any case. I use swype for messages its so fast and easy to use or if you have problems with swype then just rotate the phone and use the keyboard. Its super fast on the internet and videos and music is just fab on this monster of a phone. The call clarity if great no problems with making yourself heard or hearing someone on the other end. Ringtones are loud so I've had no problems hearing them when my phones in my bag. Hanging up is easy just push the big red button. I was looking at the samsung 3 but to be honest I cannot find a single reason to get rid of my baby
it goes with me everywhere. And games well just awesome
Rating:

Reviewed by MediationNotWar from England on 12th May 2012
Let me begin by saying that I have had absolutely no problem with the size of this phone. To me it's the ideal phone size. It fit's into my trouser, jacket and shirt pockets without difficulty. Despite what others may have found, placing it your head to use as a phone does not make it look outsized.

In fact, in homage to Crocodile Dundee when he gets his huge knife out in New York when accosted by thugs with their smaller ones, when a colleague gets their iPhone out (which has a screen area approx 50% of the Note's) I say "You call that a phone? THIS is a phone" and show my Note.

Screen is great, battery life is better than my Galaxy S2, but most of all the stylus and note taking software is brilliant. I use it all the time and have no difficulties at all with it. My job requires me to keep notes and this allows me to do it in a safe, convenient and organised way.

One day, all phones will be made this way!
Rating:

Reviewed by connie from UK on 11th May 2012
I feel I should share with anyone that is thinking of purchasing the swanky looking Samsung Galaxy note: I lived with it for two months and I HATED it. It's difficult to type texts & it's slow to respond to touch & it's so easy to call people accidentally & VERY hard to hang up after! The pen is awful and senses the screen when you are not even touching it making it so hard to use etc etc I could go on and on. I have just gone back to the iphone 3 in desperation and I AM SO RELIEVED.
Rating:

Reply by Gunnar from Norway on 15th May 2012
You are joking-or?

Reply by Neil from UK on 25th Aug 2012
Do you work for Apple?

Reviewed by peter norman from UK on 6th May 2012
In a few words, this phone is OUTSTANDING !!!!!
Rating:

Reviewed by ScRaPeR from EgYpT on 5th May 2012
@ 1st moment when I bought & saw the Screen's Super AMOLED HD I was WOWED & gazed as if in a dream world from its superior colouful big Display, What an "all in one" Device, It has everything that I need, From Sharp Detailed camera's Image Quality To Full HD 1080p Video recording "although 720p is better @ low light night" , & what a powerful instant response from its dual 1.4 Ghz core Processor that cope with pcs' frequencies ! From Best of the options is the intelligent voice talk capability that is highly responsive & quite interesting, Its considered an excellent gaming console performing great even in most sophisticated latest 3D games thanx to its powerful GPU which is way faster than the galaxy tab 10.1 Not to mention the ICS os that will enhance the performance & the battery life obviously. Its the Smartest Super-phone "PHABLET" Ever-made up-to-date till the OMG GALAXY Note 2 is out there YET !!!
Rating:

Reviewed by The_Pon from UK on 5th May 2012
Just got the Galaxy Note a week ago; it was provided by work, and wasn't sure what to expect due to the size. Having had it for a week, the size isn't a problem at all. It still fits nicely into a pocket, and can be held to the ear for calls with ease.

Having suffered a blackberry for the previous year, this device is an absolute joy. The screen is magnificent in both size and quality, and it has all the features needed for use as a business phone, such as remote calendar and contact synching with the exchange server. It also impresses customers for giving presentations, and site visits are made much slicker with the camera quality and the stylus, so I can annotate the photos in real time.

I've always been an Apple loyalist in truth, and I have my own 4S, but annoyingly, I do prefer the Note. It does everything an iPhone does, but better. Apple have some catching up to do with the iPhone 5. Size wise it's a different animal, but the features of the note also eclipse the 4S... To the point that the Note's voice control is actually better than Siri (UK customers have limited Siri functionality)... Given that Siri is the flagship feature of the iPhone, that's a poor showing. If Apple had only gone the whole distance and enabled it properly here, maybe I wouldn't be saying this, but Samsung have clearly made a massive effort (and spared no expense - looking at the price!) to make this phone everything it should be and more. Whilst the HTC One X is more powerful, my colleague has one, and was truly envious of my Note... I can't comment on why as I haven't used the HTC.

Overall 5 stars. It's a brilliant phone in every sense. My only slight caveat with it is that if you're just after a phone for core functions like calls, text, email etc. you'll get a cheaper, less bulky model that'll do everything you need with aplomb. For anyone who uses a phone / PDA for business or for general 'life management', the Note is the only choice.
Rating:

Reviewed by Waz from Uk on 2nd May 2012
Fantastic, i have had it a few days now and the screen is great and so is the rest of the phone, recommennnnd ,
What is suprizing is that when i opend the box i went woooaaa thats big but now i have got usd to it, it just seems normal, it is when others see it and go woa thats a big phone and ur like yeh it is buts its goods,
I had the one x for a day before i sent dat back nothing wrong with the x one just my mind wanted the bigphone and now ive got it 5stars *****,
Stylus is more of a fun thing then needed but it doesnt harm u tucked away in the side of the phone,
Well i love mine and i do recomnd to u to buy if the chance avails
Rating:

Reviewed by TopTen from UK on 1st May 2012
Having always wanting the best phone on the market at the time of renemwal (Nokia N95, HTC Desire, Iphone4,) there was no way I wasnt getting the note, afterall, I did more browsing than actually making phone calls and the big screen was the selling point for me. Yes, its big at 1st but after a couple of days, its just a phone. I passed the Iphone4 on to the Wife and when I pick it up to show her things, it looks so "last year" I couldnt go back to something that small again. The phone generally outshines the Iphone4 in most departments and I much prefer ANDROID over IOS. My problem is signal strength. My 3g & wi-fi signal is very poor at the best. Last night I was at a place where I go often and I have never had any issues with the Iphone4 signal but it was the final straw with the Galaxy Note Im afraid. Im going to ring my network provider up today and send my Galaxy note back :(
Rating:

Reply by Yasser from UK on 2nd May 2012
Did you turn on SIGNAL BOOSTER????? A Feature in all Samsung Phones...

Reply by TopTen from UK on 3rd May 2012
Dont know about the "signal booster" I will have to take a look at that. Having played with the Note a couple more days I can report back that when in a "3g area" with normal coverage the Note is super fast at browsing. Upto now I've decided to stay with it and accept that the Iphone just has better signal strength in low coverage areas. My 2 stars rating was probably out of frustration and should have been at least 4 stars.

Reviewed by Yasser from UK on 1st May 2012
Just picked up this phone on a bargain £20 per month contract (free phone) online.

Amazing phone. Was not as big as first thought (I was thinking about an actual tablet size) so that was thing. I had an S2 before so was familiar with the menu etc.

It really is a decent phone, watching netflix and videos is amazing. The sound from the phone did sound a tad bit tin like however I am used to hands free when watching media on it.

Defo 5 stars, if there were a 6th then I would give it that too. Well done Samsung for releasing this.
Rating:

Reviewed by Claire from UK on 22nd Apr 2012
I upgraded to this phone 11 days ago. I was hesitant about doing so due to its size, seeing it in the shop it appeared to be freakishly and laughably large compared to all other phones! But I am somebody who uses my phone for actually making phone calls on it the least, my main uses being texting and web browsing. I went ahead and bought this on a two year contract with 02, knowing that I had the 14 day cooling off period in witch I could change my mind if this phone was too beastly to carry around in my pocket, and send discreet texts whilst I am supposed to be working, ahem.
Having owned the HTC Desire for the previous two years there were a few initial teething problems with moving over to Samsung. Firstly the text reflow whilst browsing the web,rather than pinch to zoom with HTC, with Samsung you double tap. Not as impressive as HTC's as when you scroll up or down the page with the Samsung the text will wobble to the side unless you swipe the screen in a perfectly straight line. The HTC locks it to a straight up and down so there's no flying diagonally across the page by accident. Maybe a minor thing for some but I find it irritating. Texting isn't as straight forward either, using XT9 a lot of words are time consuming. Mostly words containg an apostrophe, if I want to type "they're" it will automatically add the apostrophe, if I want to type "Ben's" it will not (even if I add that word to my dictionary). To get the apostrophe I have to scroll through a menu.
Also there are no led flash light notifications for texts or missed calls, nor is there a light whilst charging the phone. I actually really miss my old phone, but I love the beautiful display and huge screen on the Note. I will be keeping it, and hopefully the ICS and premium suit update will be a great improvement.
Battery life is good, especially for such a large display. I am getting a day and a half of medium/heavy usage.
Rating:

Reply by Nick Prosser from Scotland on 22nd Apr 2012
I had a desire hd for 18 months, bought the Note, and i noticed the same things as you. I could have lived with that but the phone was too big to thumbtype horizontally. I sent the Note back and bought the One X, and have fallen in love with it

Reply by Claire from uk on 29th Apr 2012
I found an app on the android play store to replace the missing led notifications. Works great! I'm very used to the size of this phone now, other phones now look miniscule to me. No laughs from people about its size so far!

Reply by Richie from UK on 9th May 2012
Does anyone know waht this app on play store to replace the missing led notifications is called.

Reply by Akram from Jordan on 21st Jun 2012
Richie, try NoLED or iLED

Reviewed by Nick from Scotland on 21st Apr 2012
I recently sold my One X due to various bugs, and bought a Note. The screen is gorgeous, everything works great. The camera isn't as good as the One X though, and Sense is alot more pleasurable than Touchwiz. However, the One X has ICS, where as the Note is still running Gingerbread.
The problem I have with the Note is thumb typing in Landscape mode. This was a joy on the One X. But with the Note, the Menu button is awkward to reach with your thumb. There is also no button for closing the keyboard, unless you install an app, which is great for customizing the keyboard, but this takes up RAM and slows down performance.
Also, the quality of the phone is not on a par with the One X. It falls short of expectations considering it's high price.
There is no dedicated Home button for the internet browser. In fact the browser just feels cheap, basic and clunky.
So to summarize, this phone needs a makeover. Improved camera, build quality and ICS. Avoid if you are a thumbtyper.
Rating:

Reviewed by Andre from South Africa on 21st Apr 2012
Totally blown away with this phone. As an Apple fan, I am very impressed with this. Not using it as a phone but as PDA replacement and Samsung got it right. Love the choice of input method - still a bit old school and like the thought of writing something down. Worth the money spend.
Rating:

Reviewed by Cheryl-Lee from Scotland on 19th Apr 2012
I recently upgraded my phone contract with Orange and instantly knew that the Galaxy Note was for me. I am gadget daft so this had me sold on that alone, Twitter trends it as a phablet - cross between a smartphone and a tablet - so I get the best of both!!This phone has many features that I love, for example all of my social networking and email accounts at my fingertips. Yes, it is on the big side but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. The 5.3" super AMOLED screen is superb and razor sharp in quality. A few other features that I love is the S Planner, which is perfect for me and I love the screenshot facility it has (ideal with Google Maps). All in all, an outstanding phone and, despite its size, would recommend to anyone. It definitely makes both my old Blackberry Bold 9700 and the current iPhone 4S vastly inferior!!
Rating:

Reviewed by edrus nawawi from malaysia on 17th Apr 2012
the best ever....i won't have another gadget of this sort not until the birth of the next generation of galaxy note....
Rating:

Reviewed by Richie Curry from Ireland on 14th Apr 2012
Great phone, love PDA's and love smart phones, best of both, battery good too but I am on the phone alot, therefore get one day max, very big but you get used to that, in my opinion better than current Iphone, which I also love.
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Reviewed by WKL from UK on 11th Apr 2012
This describe is truth about between PDA and tablet. I'm fan of PDAs since 2006. I saw this device appeared in the commercial on the television. I was surprised that device with style, which is PDA-like is return back!!! Since most of PDAs were near disappeared around 2008 since Apple's iPhone launched which became popular than PDAs. I'm not happy with Apple because my fingers are fat. I'm looking for device with hardware keyboard (found HTC with Windows 7) and then found Samsung's Galery Note with Android. I love device with style for easy write down between deaf and hearing persons. I had test this device in Phone4U store that's wonderful. I'm glad Samsung pushed Apple out the way before I was about buy iPhone 4S or 5. Now I will decide buy Samsung's.

10/10 recommended
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Reviewed by Mihnea from Romania on 9th Apr 2012
Best "phone" i ever had. It moves very fast,internet browsing is epic, battery life is good and the screen is....SUPER Amoled :). Love it.
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Reviewed by jonno from England on 4th Apr 2012
my first smart phone.. I decided to make a quantum leap and go for the Note.. It is truly amazing and not too big to use as a phone at all and i now see no need to get a tablet as i had planned to do..so it has saved me money that's what I told my wife anyway ha ha. Just brilliant and my old phone now feels microscopic when I look at it
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Reviewed by Robin Sandow from United Kingdom on 3rd Apr 2012
I have now had my Samsung Galaxy Note for about a fortnight and have to say that this is the first phone I have ever fallen totally in love with. Actually, I do not refer to this device as a phone, but a hand-held computer, which may also be used comfortably as a phone. It is incredibly versatile, reasonably easy to get acquainted with, and simply is a most amazing piece of kit. Why is it that everyone boasts about getting a larger and larger TV screen, but finds virtue in having an ever increasingly small phone? It is the very size of it that I really like. You can use it as a Kindle too........
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Reviewed by Aliennurse51 from USA on 30th Mar 2012
I've had the galaxy note now for one month and must say coming from an evo 3d this is an awesome upgrade. The size is fabulous for watching movies and videos and everywhere I go people are stunned by the size. Picture taking are awesome with super color reproduction and clarity. I left my canon rebel at home on a recent vacation. I work out frequently and the size is no problem. Fits in my sweatpants or workout shorts fine and even my shirt pockets. Yes a word of warning once you are used to its size and super hd screen you will most probably never go back to a smaller phone. Enjoy fellow note users
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Reviewed by Francois Bechu from UK on 24th Mar 2012
A word of warning...... once you've switched to the Note, there is no going back. All other smart phones will look and feel too small. There is nothing out there that matches the wonderful experience of the Note short of Ipad which of course is not a phone and too big to carry around. It takes about a day to get used to the size and you then become hooked. You need some kind of thin silicone case for better grip and protection in case you drop it. This is the ultimate phone in my mind. I just love it and can't help playing with it constantly. Buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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Reviewed by Dave Juby from Tobago West Indies on 15th Mar 2012
By far the best and quickest beast i have ever used
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Reviewed by Matt from Uk on 6th Mar 2012
Had iPhone 4s since launch day, saw the note and had to have one, once you get used to its size it makes every other phone look poor. It's display is large , clear and crisp. I can't stress how good this really is, won't ever go back to a smaller screen . Super amoled makes retina display look poor. Battery life is amazing and when ics arrives the experience will just get better.
This makes the S2 look bad.
Galaxy Note is king of the smartphones, I know people will be waiting for the release of quad core phones, but the dual core exynos in the note outperforms every other phone on the market.
If you were in doubt as to your next smartphone purchase then hesitate no more , go and buy one it's the best decision I have made
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Reviewed by deano from uk on 4th Mar 2012
ive had many many phones. I got this for the size as its easier to use with bigger fingers. Battery is great, screen amazing, fast aps, reliable, great camera and the list of possitives goes on and on and on. THE best phone i have had (ive had iphones and a few of my friends jumped the iphone ship and dived into samsung waters). Android 4.0 to be sent to the phone in Q1 so its guna be even better. Get this phone!!
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Reviewed by Rishi from India on 1st Mar 2012
Used this phone for almost 2 months after leaving my N900 Maemo phone. Well, the display is so good that you can just admire it for atleast a day. Reading Novels from Kindle store is easy. The browsing, reading word docs, worksheets are all so soothing on eyes. GPS is super fast. Although sound quality lacks the punch of N900. The Samsung store offers many Apps for free which are charged in Google Android store. Video player is treat to use, just drop file of any format and it runs. However I had problem playing video file beyond 4 GB. Camera is really good. Not yet tested the video recording feature. Playing Angry Bird is real treat here, tested few more games and they are all super smooth. As a phone, the sound quality, reception, loudness are all top notch. I found that sometimes after using lot of Apps,say in a week, the phone become laggy and even drops the signal, where previously it was holding. It needs a restart then to acquire the same level of performance. After 2.3.6 update, this earlier character has reduced. Overall I purchased this for large screen in a proper phone, fast CPU and GPU for super smooth android experience and it doesn't disappoint. I am searching for an app which can replace my garmin trekking gps having a facility to store waypoints, route to the waypoints and calculate area in the field, which is yet not found. Any suggestion folks?
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Reviewed by Nowroz from Bangladesh on 26th Feb 2012
just got it today and it is AMAZING! i saw my brother use s2 but when he saw mine he was awestruck! hahah i simply love it!!
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Reviewed by Terry from London on 16th Feb 2012
I just got my galaxy note and I am quite impressed with the phone all in all but I feel it is a bit laggy in some areas and find that slightly disappointing for a dual core processor and that's clocked at 1.5 ghz but the phone is excellent I am also not so keen on the huge screen fair play its kind of the point to have bought the phone but at the end of the day I thaght that you were support to beable to us to phone when you bought it basically when you hold this phone in your hand it makes your hand look like a child's hand and your thumb can not reach the top of the screen or to edge of the screen and my hands are not small by any means. The This is probably the best phone on the market to date but I think I need to go to a sensible range of 4.7" because this phone is just too much. Battery life is absolutely top notch on this phone and doesn't lose complete charge till early evening 10pm it has almost 2gb of stored phone memory for your apps and you can transfer them to your memory card which is great I have enjoyed every moment of using this phone its just a shame it is a little too big, the a pen is gimmiky it is excellent none the less but it's something to that you pull out in front of your iphone friends an stand in awe at and wish they had gone for a galaxy note but when you have finished showing off you don't really use it much after woods. The best even - the huge gomph of screen
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Reply by Terry from london on 16th Feb 2012
i thaught i would come back today and just let you know that after a few more hours of playing with this device i have come to the conclusion that actually i love it and i am now keeping it and will be selling my galaxy nexus. Yeah the screens big but after a little while i just feels like a 4.7" handset there realy is nothing in it when i wrote my expirence earlier i had the phone for a day and a half but i would say after two to three days you come to the conclusion of yeah its a big phone deal with it ask yourself the question what did i want this phone for? I found out that i wanted a phone and a tablet all enclosed inside one driver and thats exactly what this is bye bye galaxy nexus *****.

Reviewed by android noobee from UK on 27th Jan 2012
I've been looking, waiting and saving since Froyo. Friends have the S2 and that is one impressive phone. I wanted a tab 7" but the 1gHz processor and screen let it down, the tab 7+, honeycombe 3.1 let it down. Then the Note came out...wow this is it. Mine runs on gingerbread 2.3.5 and it runs smooth and like a dream. The screen is beautiful res and is just the right size to read docs, watch iplayers and YouTube and the processor is fast enough to do it. The wifi is fantastic and doesn't drop out and the bluetooth is backward compatible with all my old phones, p.c. and handsfrees. Bought off Amazon and with a Tesco simm only, 1yr contract. All in all, Spot on.
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Reviewed by Sherveen from UK on 23rd Jan 2012
Can't add anything new to what everyone hre have already added. Had my Note for almost a week now and boy aren't I satisfied. I did initially wonder had I made a wrong move with the size and with the phone bit too big to work with just one hand sometimes, if I have got into a bit of an impractical phone and less mobile one. It only takes less than a day to forget the size being a bit too large, just can't love it enough....The battery life is around the regular 1 day for any smart phone to be honest, but that is a life style I have already got used to with all my past phones so its not an issue. Never was a fan of the iPhone and doubt I ever would be at the rate Samsung is creating wonderful devices like this....well done Samsung, I love you!
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Reviewed by auya from india on 18th Jan 2012
because of its size it's better than every phone out there and ya it fits my pocket
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Reviewed by michaelw33 from uk on 11th Jan 2012
i was hesitant about getting this phone-mini tab...i owned n loved the galaxy s2..brilliant phone...loved the vibrant colours and everything else it did...i even played online no bother no lag etc..using ps3(mw3)..i couldnt believe it..anyway after seeing a demo note..i thought jeez thats got an even better screen..but is it guna fit in my pocket..i was also intrigued by the camera it does indeed take better pics than s2..maybe its the screen resolution..but ive compared pics blown up(note wins))...anyway the note is top notch in every department..beating every other phone ever made...you get used to the size after a day of use..BRILLIANT JOB SAMSUNG!!!What could possibly beat this??? N yes it fits easily in yr pocket;)
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Reviewed by Alison from UK on 7th Jan 2012
I have had the Samsung Galaxy Note just for a few days now. Without a doubt it is the ultimate phone, despite its rather large chassis! I have owned and used many smartphones, recently the Apple 4S and also the HTC Sensation XL, which is another phone of large proportions. In all honesty they all have individual qualities that make them stand out but for quality across the board, I am not sure you will find anything better on the market at the moment! Android seems to be the way forward, and with the imminent release of ICS promised for this handset, I can only see things getting better and better. Stand out features are brilliant crisp AMOLED HD screen, a big screen that makes browsing, reading and typing a real pleasure. An 8mp camera which again is one of the best. I actually want to take photos with this phone. The UI is extremely intuitive, and because Android is a busy OS, I think the larger hardware does it justice. On some of the smaller handsets, Android can just look too cramped. I do use tablets as well, but this is as good as the Galaxy tab and so much easier to keep in my bag, that the tablet is now redundant! I love that it has the stylus, this is practical and a really useful addition. A quality product!
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Reviewed by Bruce from Northern Ireland on 31st Dec 2011
Size is its advantage, not something to be downrated on. It's a fantastic phone and better than anything else I have used.
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Reviewed by Osmond DSouza from Saudi Arabia on 24th Dec 2011
I have been using this phone for the past 2 weeks. Its just awesome. This phone has an excellent battery life. It can last easily for 2 days with heavy usage. The screen is great. After using it for some time the size of the phone will never matter. Now I dont feel it is a big phone. The problem is that you can never go back to other phones as the screen size matters.
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Reviewed by afiq from malaysia on 17th Dec 2011
the camera?super fantastic. Battery?super cooool.
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Reviewed by Ade from UK on 2nd Dec 2011
How can this be given 4* only when it is a FREE phone on a the same contract as other top priced phones. It has to be a 5* review on the back of its features. The size of it is a POSITIVE not a negative. If people do not want the HUGE benefits that its large screen gives you then you get a Galaxy SII. You cant give it less stars than the SII on the back of how its better! Weird. I think this marks a new era. We put up with small screens a couple of years back and now everyone wants a larger screen. People love iPads, Tablets and Kindles. Why go out and about with a phone and a tablet when this phone bridges the gap brilliantly. So, change that review ending and give it the 5* that it blatently deserves and then add a new section on the left called Hybrid Phones and actually be a pioneer.
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Reviewed by patrick wong from singapore on 29th Nov 2011
This is definitely an iphone beater If you can live with the size nothing out there right now can beat this monster
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Reviewed by Helen from England on 28th Nov 2011
I have had this phone 1 week. Its fantastic! I have never known a battery last so long. It only needs charging every 3 days and thats wilth me either listening to music, going on net, texts etc. Really crisp clear screen, excellent camera and music player. Due to size, internet pages are also very clear. Lovely phone
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Reviewed by Jon-Cameron from England on 27th Nov 2011
Perfect review and one of many that really highlight how amazing this phone is. I have owned this now for a few weeks and never tire of looking at the beautiful screen. Please don't emphasise too much on what you might look like holding the phone to your ear, having asked my friend's opinion many times, they concluded that it doesn't look stupid at all. I cannot recommend this phone enough.
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