Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note Review (GT-N7000)

Samsung Galaxy Note,

At the time that I am writing this we are 3 days from the big launch in the Netherlands.
Once in a while there is a phone that leaves you speechless, well The Galaxy Note is one of those phones. We had allready had seen it at IFA and then we thought: This a phone to look out for.  Now he’s here!
The Note is a device for people who don’t want to have a Tablet but still want to have those functions, so he sits right in between. In this review we will see what exactly it has to offer.

Specifications

Platform
•       Quad Band (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 Mhz)
•       GPRS
•       EDGE
•       3G: HSPA + 21 Mbps / 4G LTE
•       Operating System: Android 2.3.5
•       Browser: Android

Display
•       5.3-inch
•       Technology: WXGA HD Super AMOLED
•       Resolution: 800 x 1280 pixels

Camera
•       8 megapixels (on the back), 2-megapixel (Front Facing)
•       Digital Zoom (x4)
•       LED flash
•       Autofocus
•       Portrait / Smile / Beauty /Panorama Shot Share
•       Negative / Geys shades / Sephia
•       Auto / Daylight / Cloudy /Incandescent / Fluorescent
•       ISO

Fun and Entertainment
•       Integrated Wallpaper
•       FM Radio
•       FM Radio Recorder
•       FM Radio RDS

Connectivity
•       Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
•       USB 2.0 High Speed
•       WAP: HTML5
•       USB Mass Storage
•       Internet HTML Browser: Android
•       SyncML (DS)
•       SyncML (DM)
•       WiFi
•       AGPS
•       PC Sync application (Samsung KIES Air)

Phone functions
•       Speakerphone
•       Caller ID
•       Group Calls

Design
•       Full Touch Bar

Battery
•       Capacity: 2500 mAh
•       Call time: Up to 1570 minutes
•       Standby Time: Up to 960 hour

Video
•       Video Player (1920 x 1080 pixels)
•       VCR
•       Video Messages (H.263 + AMR NB)
•       Video streaming
•       Voip

Business & Office
•       Mobile Printing (USB / Wifi)
•       Offline Mode
•       Voice Memo & Voice Mail

Memory
•       Internal: 8 or 16 or 32 GB
•       External: microSD card (max 32GB)

Other Information
•       Mobile tracker
•       Touch screen

Size
•       Weight: 178 grams
•       Dimensions: 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm

Music and Sound
•       MP3 Player
•       DRM (OMA DRM v1.0)
•       3D Sound technoligy (through headphones)
•       Music Library

Messaging
•       SMS
•       MMS
•       Email (POP3, IMAP4, SMTP, SSL)
•       vCard / vCalendar
•       Instant Messaging (Google Talk)

Personal Information Management
•       Calandar
•       Calendar
•       To do list
•       Clock
•       WorldColock
•       Alarm
•       Calculator
•       Memos
•       Stopwatch
•       Timer

Additional features
•       1.4 GHz dual core processor, video editor, cell broadcast messages, 3.5 mm jack, voice recognition, pen S, S memos, Social Hub, Google Maps.


Packaging and Design

Packaging
The Note comes in a white box with a picture and on the front you see a picture of the Note and the S-Pen.
What is striking about it is that the box is on the large side.
If we turn the box around we see a few specifications on the back.
And on the left side of the box we see “Samsung Galaxy Note” written.

If we open the box you immediately see the device. What is striking is the size of this device but we shall come to that later.
If we remove the white plastic, we see the usual things. Manuals, Usb-Cable/charger and in-ear earphones with an extra pair of rubbers, not to forget the battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design
If we take a look at the design of the device we see that it really is a big Galaxy SII.
Yet there are differences. For instance, the display of the Galaxy SII  is slightly recessed and the Galaxy Note’s one is more on the surface thats why this device is more sensitive to scratching.
What is striking is the bezel, which in our opinion is very small.
The front is entirely of glass and at the top we see the speaker. Beneath the speaker the word Samsung is visible to us.
At the bottom we see the home button and at the left and right we see the capacitive menu and back buttons. The side of the note is a feast for the eye with its chrome surrounding.
At the leftside we see the volumerocker and on the rightside we see the On and Off button.
At the top we see the 3.5 mm Audio Jack and at the bottom we see a Micro USB port.
What is funny is that this device has 2 microphones one at the top and one at the bottom, we think this is due the size of the device.
To the right of the Micro-USB port, we see the S-Pen. On the S-pen I will come back later.
At the back of the device, we see at the bottom a speaker, and above it there is written in Chrome Samsung. And on top, there is a camera with LED flash.
The build quality of this device is really decent.
Partly due to the weight and chrome surrounding the Note feels very solid.
The only downside we could find was the back, it is made of same material as the Galaxy SII.
Which means sweaty hands unfortunately.
It might be to big to make calls with, but in our opinion you will get used to it. One hand operation goes well but only if you have big hands.
What is great about this device is that it is almost as thin as the Galaxy S II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interface & The S-Pen
The Note also runs on Android 2.3.5 called Gingerbread. Samsung announced that the Note will be updated to the next version of Android called Ice Cream Sandwich in Q1 of 2012.
The Note also uses Samsungs own shell called Touchwiz.
With an adjustment here and there, whether it was done by the ongoing litigation with Apple we do not know. So I’ll mention the differences.
Let’s start with the lockscreen, which has also changed.
You can now put your finger anywhere on the screen and then a lock will pop up with a bigger circle, put your finger on that lock and drag your finger out of the bigger circle.
When you arrive at the home screen it looks exactly the same as the Galaxy SII.
If you go a screen to the right you will find something entirely new.
You will see some widgets which will show drawings you make with the S-Pen.
If you go to the Appdrawer we see that they used a 5×5 grid on this device, instead of the 4×4 on the Galasxy SII.

Speaking about the S-Pen, did I tell you that the S-Pen features are deeply integrated into TouchWiz 4.0.
Let us explain, by pressing on the button on the S-Pen and then tap twice on the home screen there will be a pop up memo, where you can quickly make notes.
Which then you can easily share through SMS,WhatsApp or email and other things like that. You can also hold down the button and just press en hold it on the screen to make a screenshot.
It doesn’t matter where you do it in the interface, it will work anywhere.
If you made a screenshot you can also customize it and write on it.
You can cut a piece out of a picture, which you just made a screenshot of from the internet, and put that piece on a other picture.
It is like a photoshop tool but then on your device. How cool is that! The S-Pen can do Gestures aswell, so when you press the S-Pen button and then swype up the menu will pop up.
And when you swype left with the button pressed it will work the same as the back button.
Awsering phone calls is done differently too, this is done the same as unlocking the lock screen. As you can see in the movie.
About Android Gingerbread I can write a lot, but if you want to know more I can recommend you my review of the Galaxy SII.
I have explained a large part of Gingerbread with the TouchWiz skin and also explained the hubs.

 

GALAXY NOTE INTERFACE

 

Display
About the display, we can talk for hours, it is really a feast for the eye.
It is the first device that comes with the Super AMOLED HD screen.
It has the resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels and a PPI of 285 and measures no more than 5.3 inches.
Luckily the glass is made of a sort of hardened glass, so the scratches will have “almost” no chance.
If we look at the colours we see that they are correctly and beautifully displayed.
Especially when you play HD movies on the Note, you don’t know what you see. It is truly breathtaking what is happening on the screen.

Camera
The Note has an 8 megapixel camera and a 2 megapixel camera on the front.
The cameras are the same as the Galaxy SII, and we had allready written that it makes good and clear pictures.
So all we can say is that the camera performance is just as good as the Galaxy’s II.
Below you some photos that were shot with Galaxy Note vs SGSII.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Use
Daily use of this device is really about how big your hands are.
Now I have big hands so I love to work with this device.
But I can imagine that people with small hands will not like it.
They will probably not buy it, but then again you just use 2 hands right? About the speed we can be brief and short it is blazinly fast, only one thing the browser can use an update.
But like we said, it will get the update to Ice Cream Sandwich in Q1 2012.

Conclusion
What do we have to say about the Galaxy Note. Well it was a well kept secret of Samsung before Ifa Berlin.
And we do understand that, because what Samsung has made here is a whole new section in the mobile world.
They occupy a place that nobody has thought of, the place between the Phone and Tablet.
We of SamMobile find this well done. It is adevice that still fits in your pocket, and you can enjoy full size webpages.
The screen is stunning and the S-Pen is a handy addition.
It is true about this device that you wil love it or you hate it. We of SamMobile believe that this is an amazing device and maybe the best that Samsung has made so far.
We think that the Note will be a big succes in the bussiness world and with normal consumers like you and me.

Pros and cons

Pro’s
• Outstanding display
• High-speed
• S-Pen with its awesome features

Cons
• Size (for people with small hands)
• No shutter button (Same as SgSII)

Just go to the stores and buy this lovely piece of art Samsung has created!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Comments

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Haidar79
Haidar79

🙂 I have one piece of this cellphone.
it was become so so bad in his action.
Its so slow.

trackback
Samsung has sold more than 2 million Galaxy Notes | SamMobile

[…] Want to know more about the original Galaxy Note, check out our review! […]

jordinho
jordinho

Well still waiting for jelly bean update, WTF, Everyone says its comming in january… well the first week of january went by, and still no jelly bean??? ICS 4.0.4 is boring we need the jelly bean update SOON!!!

TheraFlu
TheraFlu

Please upgrade jelly bean soon?

cdkr
cdkr

Galaxy Note is Awesome in terms of Size And Performance,After Upgrading Mine To ICS 4.0.3 There is No Match To This Phone!

Didace33
Didace33

This is awesome phone, but the interface is very very slow. I was using galaxy S2 and have upgraded to Note assuming that the performance would be much better than S2, but after getting this i was disappointed with the performance. Hope they get some fixes for this slow interface issue in the upcoming OS upgrades.

zaporo
zaporo

Have the Note about two months now. It still amazes me everyday! I love every inch of it. I was thinking about buying a tablet, but after observing my friends having to carry a bag or backpack everywhere they went just to have their tablet with them, I decided that was not an option for me. And then a solution came along the Note!! 😀 Was a bit surprised to receive a Polish Note instead of a Dutch, English or perhaps German Note. I am however not able to update my Note through Kies. So far I have updated my… Read more »

rodolfovb
rodolfovb

Just bought it a week ago. Great Phone, S-Pen frustrates you sometimes because it doesnt have a manual calibration. Anyway, you’ll get used to it. Light weight but battery seems to finish pretty fast.

baro041
baro041

ya its indian firmware.

mehdi0500
mehdi0500

same as galaxy note????

ruuhkatukka
ruuhkatukka

But KL3 is not for Europe, isn’t it?

baro041
baro041

Note just got better after new firmware update XXKL3..its super smooth no lag at all. im loving it..now waiting for 4.0..Sammobile any ice cream sandwich leaks for Note pls :D..v all are waiting

ruuhkatukka
ruuhkatukka

Thanks for this complete review, MartinR !

I have to confess that the Note seems less “explosive” than the SGS II to launch the apps : count a semi-second between the icon’s touch and the launch. Same thing when you want to wake up the phone.

Perhaps will it be corrected with next firmwares ??

levoank
levoank

Got mine this weekend and so far i am immensely impressed. It has a lot of potential especially the S-pen. Been doing my sketches on it and it works like a charm. Don’t even know where i have kept my pencil.
Thanks MartinR and Samsung.