First off big shout out to androidandme and Samsung cause i wouldnt be able to write this review without them.
What can i say about the Galaxy note. With it being one of the biggest phones currently out there and seeing how the dell streak 5 seemed to fail so miserably how does the galaxy note fair in a world of 3.5-4.3(although this seems to be changing) inch phones? Well lets get into by talking about the size right from the start
Ok so no doubt this phone is big. I MEAN BIG!!!! As mentioned earlier its one of the biggest phones on the market yet its size here seems to be to its advantage in this case. While many people might think its too big when you actually hold it its really not as bad you think. I have smaller hands and yet i love holding this device. Couple that with its sleek, sexy and not to mention its super light weight for a phone of this size and youve got yourself a real winner here. Now with that said its not with out its issues. If you love using one hand then this phone is not for you. In fact to use one hand i have to let go of my grip and slide my fingers to about midway on the back of the phone and use my thumb so therefore the chance of dropping it are increased a little bit. But minor gripes aside its large size is a joy to use and its complimented by its beautiful super amoled hd screen which everyone loves since its so crisp,bright, and just plain beautiful which is great for anything really. Warning!!! this phone will spoil you make everything else you use seem small including your 4.3-4.5 inch phone. IT will spoil you. All i can say is go hold and play with it.
One thing most major android fans hate is the custom skins that manufactuers put on our beloved android OS and theres plenty of them. The note is no exception as it is running samsungs own touchwiz UI. So how terrible/good is touchwiz you ask??? Well while i personally dislike all the custom UIs on android i have to say touchwiz isnt to terribly bad and still carries a gingerbread esque feel to it. It actually adds some nice widgets like a really nice calander widget and a weather and clock widget. Also one thing ive liked about touchwiz is the toggles that are bulit into the notification bar. Granted there now apps that can accomplish that but before that you had to root and flash custom software to get those toggles while samsung has had that for a while now. With that said i still dislike custom UI’s and one thing i dont like about touchwiz is its cartoonish look(although they have dialed that down in recent years). Also i cant customize the 4 apps at the bottom of the dock. I mean do i really need phone and contacts down there together?And my last gripe about it is the way the app drawer. I dont like its setup and i wish i could customize more or atleast alphabetize all the icons well you can but it completely changes the layout to a list like layout and i dont like that. All in all touchwiz isnt too bad but its not that good either but i still prefer stock overall anything really.
Theres not much to be said here. This phone flys. I have almost no hiccups whatsoever. Anything i throw at it it handles with ease. Everything is fluid and fast. Also touchwiz doesnt seem to slow this beast down at all either. It could be the exynos processor that powers this phone since samsung makes great processors. From what ive read on other blogs the qualcomm processor in the at&t note does not perform as well but i havent tested it out. Bottom line this phone is a speed demon.
Unfortunatley i cant really give you an idea of the battery life unless you are going to use it as an only wifi device as i have. With that said though it will usually last me 2-3 days of light use. 1-2 days of modearte use(some casual gaming here and there,youtube, internet). So i imagine if i had a constant data connection it would still perform admirably.
The camera on this phone is absolutely fantastic.Its quick too. Now im not a camera guru or buff so for a camera phone this performs pretty darn well. I havent tested it thouroughly but both pics and videos come out great. In fact it uses the same camera sensor used by the GSII and it was touted as one of the best when it released and its still is one of best camera. No complaints here.
Honestly i use the standard gamut of apps. Nothing special except the smemo app(ill talk more about that in a bit). Example of what i use: Temple run, Google +, twitter,Youtube(the HD videos look great btw) you know the usual.
Aww yes the spen or stylus. I want to start this off by saying I hope the GS3 comes with the spen. While at first you dont really use it after a few days of playing with it i find myself using it more and more. The smemo app is the main app as it gives you the ability to create and draw. Also use it for noting things. But it does more than that. You can bring up that a smaller version of the smemo app at anytime and anywhere on your phone by holding a special grey button(which needs to be revamped its very shallow and hard to find or even feel for) and double tap. I love that feature. I also love the ability to use that same grey button and hold down on the screen for a couple of seconds and it will take a screen shot and immediately take you to the smemo app to edit/draw all over. The accuracy is actually really good. It can get off at times like if you stop in the middle of drawing a line of some sort and try to continue it you will more than likely have to try more than once but it still works very well. Also you can text or write out a text or url which is kind of neat and again its pretty accurate but still needs some work. I love the spen and while some might complain that its a niche item which it probably is, but to me its a bonus that slides and hides discretely at the bottom of the phone. So what if it its not super useful or you dont use it all the time, you get this special feeling of having it like no one else has this except you. While others are swiping or drawing with there fingers you have the spen as an option(a fun option at that) and i personally love that.
Ultimately this is an amazing phone which i would recommend to all as long as the size isnt an issue which i think will not be an issue but for a small minority. There werent really any surprises but i look foward to what samsung has in store for us Galaxy note users with future updates and of course ICS and any apps that the amazing devs can create specically for the spen.