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on 1 January 2012
Ok, just to clarify prior to this brief review : I am an apple fanboy and have been for several years. I use a MacBook air at work and a desktop at one. I have iPad 2 (after trading in my iPad 1) and the who,e family use it to surf the net at home-my two year old son loves it. I had an iPhone 3GS and was coming to the end of my contract and was thinking of upgrading. I had a good look at the iPhone 4s but something just didn't feel right. I just didn't think if was that much of an upgrade and started looking at android. I did some research and was about to go for a Samsung galaxy s2 but at the last minute I got the note. I got it a week ago and already can't believe how amazing it is.

The good:

Very good battery life. The phone is new so it may get worse but I can charge it overnight and use it for meda playback for several ours a day and just charge it after 2 or 3 days.

Amazing screen. Huge and crystal clear. Makes my 3GS look like a child's toy. I have been watching episodes of the west wing on it and the colours are phenomenal

Fast. Vert fast and response. Surfing the net is rapid.

s pen.. Have been using it to create lists etc and it seems more than just a gimmick.

The main downside is the size. NOT because it is too big to use to surf the net or watch movies. It is perfect for these. It also fits easily in my trousers and jeans pockets. I am a regular sized guy and my wife (who is shorter and skinny) has also carried it in her jeans and it is fine. Having said that, making voice calls is a little crazy. It is a bit big when you hold it in one hand but honestly, given everything else this is a minor issue. Sounds strange but I'm sure that after a while I will get used to it.

In conclusion, I cannot recommend this phone highly enough. I've already started wondering why I bothered with such a small phone all these years and now I can never go back to an iPhone sized phone !
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on 11 February 2012
I very rarely write reviews of anything so writing this either means something is dire and its a warning to others - or its an exceptional buy. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy Note it's most definitely the latter and what a fantastic mobile phone it is!

I was slightly worried after reading magazine reviews which were scored four stars not five. Some reviews mentioned poor battery life but actually the reverse is true. The large battery has been exceptionally long lasting - a good two days worth of mixed media and comms. Typically at the end of a day I have over 70% left- thats with Wifi and Bluetooth on. Stunning! (I think an early OS upgrade fixed a Wifi related battery leak). The size of the phone is a bit of a shock out of the box but within a few days you don't know how got along with a titchy iPhone screen. It really looks pathetically small and dim in comparison. And no, Mr Magazine Reviewer, no-one gives me funny looks when I'm using the Note as a phone.

As most of the other reviewers I bought from Germany with a great cost saving. Just buy a cheap 'shaver adapter' for the European plug supplied and click on the 'English' language option when it starts up for the first time. Amazon Germany works exactly the same as the UK version and accepts your account as if you were ordering from the UK site. The phone is actually black not blue as stated in all the literature (or its so dark blue its indistinguishable from black). The phone has slightly slippy edges so get yourself a gel case like the Qubit smoke black cover which looks good and feel grippy. I bought a belt Cordura case from Vega Holsters which is great. A U-bop screen protector does the job too.

In use: its just a gorgeous screen. To impress your friends get the Aquarium live screen saver which looks so sharp. Then play them a HD video and watch them turn green. Coming from an iPhone the software was a revolution - transferring music, photos, in fact anything is so much easier using the Samsung Kite software over Wifi. No more iTunes nightmares! The phone feels really sturdy but nice and light (despite the weirdly flimsy but strong back cover). I have bought a 64Gb SD card which brings the storage up to 80Gb. Wow!

Speed wise the phone feels pretty quick (certainly as quick as my iPhone) but slows down when trying to run more than 4 apps. Easy to free up more RAM though and get back to brisk operation. I was worried than Android market was going to be insufficient (another magazine review 'gripe') but its probably better than Apple's and in fact had all my favourite iPhone apps and more. Being able to download You Tube videos and watch them offline is brilliant! Android OS gets a bit of getting used to but now I think it is a large step up from Apple's iOS. Far cleverer and more flexible especially with Samsung's additional tweaks.

The rather novelty pen/stylus is okay (easy to remove- previous reviewer must have a glitch) but the side button on the pen is not easy to spot or feel, as it is the same colour as the pen. Doh! I can see it being useful though -being able to annotate photos etc has great potential.

This brings me to another minor design fault - what idiot decided the off button should on the side. Putting to sleep means you can't help touching and adjusting the sensitive the volume rocker on the other side of the phone - really irritating. However I've found the Screen Off and Lock app cures this problem.

I love the Note's great connectivity - HDMI video out using a MHL cable. Also use a USB female- microadapter to connect memory sticks and SD cards for easy transfer also a mouse or USB keyboard! Brilliant flexibility.

In all - an absolutely stunning mobile.
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on 14 August 2012
While I am loathe to disagree with so many positive reviews of this phone, I really feel that I must point out that there is a major isssue with the Note's latest UK firmware - Android 4.0.3.Ice Cream Sandwich. The issue is excessive battery drain caused by the phone regularly not going into deep sleep mode. Many have noticed this. This is NOT a problem caused by the battery not being conditioned or the usual culprits - sync, wifi, brighness, bluetooth. There appears to be a kernel fault in ICS that causes this. The free app CPU Spy reveals the phones reluctance to go into sleep mode. My phone used to draw so much current that it was uncomfortably hot in my pocket! On one occasion It lost 33 percent of a full charge in 1 hour and 50 minutes while lying idle on my kitchen table. The phone was also 'buggy' with phone, camera and FM radio problems.

Fed up with this situation and not prepared to wait until a software update from Samsung UK, whose customer service department was no help whatsoever, I decided to have it replaced by Amazon. The replacement had Gingerbread software installed and works well. I no longer have to keep a wary on the phones battery meter and am now able to take full advantage of this great phone's many features.

My advice to you all would be to hold off buying the phone unless you can get one with the, older, Gingerbread software or have access to the Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4. update, which, reportedly, addresses many of the above issues.
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on 20 November 2011
This phone is ever so close to perfection. Video and internet experience is great; Stylus works really well, all that's missing is some texture on one side, to help you know where the thumb button is. The physical size issue disappears over a few days once you get use to it.
The 16gig of memory becomes way short once you get the bug for watching HD videos, you'll want more storage and I would recommend adding an extra 32gig card. Another slight negative point is that I've found the Power button and volume controls to be very sensitive when trying to angle the screen on its side to watch a movie; you can also accidently catch the two soft buttons on the front just at the wrong moment.
This is my first Samsung Phone and will not be my last, fingers crossed Samsung realize that smart phones no longer need to have physical buttons.
PS: If you have a HDMI TV, you're missing a trick if you don't invest in the MHL HD output cable, seeing the Galaxy Note play HD video and games on the big screen is so cool
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on 11 September 2012
What to buy now, Galaxy Note or Galaxy Note II? In this review I am concentrating on the differences between the later model Galaxy Note II (N7100) and Galaxy Note N7000, I am not detailing all the specifications but only the major differences between Galaxy Note II and Galaxy Note, for those of you who are, like Hamlet, torn between the Note and Note II buying decisions.

The Main differences between Galaxy Note (N7000) and Galaxy Note II (N7100) are-

The Processor

Note II CPU is Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 (Exynos 4412 Quad chipset) while Galaxy Note has Dual-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU (Exynos chipset) however the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) is the same Mali-400MP. So both the CPUs are good and both the GPUs are the same!

Operating System

Note II's Operating System is Android OS, v4.1 (Jelly Bean) while Note has Android OS, v2.3.5 (Gingerbread), upgradable to v4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwhich) a few serial upgrades are necessary but it's simple and easy with Samsung's Kies software provided with the note or downloadable from Samsung sites. ==UPDATE== With the recent firmware update Galaxy Note OS is now Jelly Bean v.4.1.2 still you may find Gingerbread in some of the phones which you need to update.

Display

I personally think both displays are pretty similar while the original Galaxy Note's display is slightly better because both displays are Super AMOLED, while Note II has a slightly bigger screen 5.5 inches with 720 x 1280 pixels (-267 ppi pixel density) display Samsung Note has SLIGHTLY lesser display screen of 5.3 inches with 800 x 1280 pixels (-285 ppi pixel density)

Memory

The internal memory of Galaxy Note II comes with 16, 32 or 64 Gb storage with 2 Gb RAM while Glaxy Note has only 16 Gb upto 32 Gb storage with only One Gb RAM. Here Galxy Note really scores. In both models the card slots are microSD.

Battery

Note II has Li-Ion 3100 mAh while Note has only Li-Ion 2500 mAh, so the Note II battery is better but 2500 mAh is not bad either, it all depends on your application usage, if you use battery wisely it's not that big difference.

Camera

Camera features are pretty same but here Galaxy Not is slightly better with the secondary (front facing camera) with 2.0 MP while Note II secondary camera is 1.9 MP.

Connectivity

Both WLAN wifi connections are pretty same Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot while Note II is dual band. Blue ooth in Note II is version 4.0 with A2DP, LE, EDR while Note has version 3.0 with A2DP, EDR. Both models lack infrared port. 4G Network in Note II is LTE 700 MHz Class 17 / 2100 - N7105 while Note has LTE 700 (Region Specific).

As you can see though there are differences in many cases they were slight, but the price difference is NOT slight. So if you are any average user and wanted a Note model, and couldn't make up your mind - then go for Galaxy Note, it's an amazing phablet (phone-tablet), actually it's a fantastic smartphone. With Galaxy Note II's arrival the price for Galaxy Note will drop, which makes it again a wise decision to go for Samsung Galaxy Note N7000. So if it was Hamlet, he would have been told "to be" to Galaxy Note and "not to be" or "Note II be" to Galaxy Note II.
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on 7 May 2012
Firstly I went from HTC to Samsung, why? because HTS are not even able to provide service turnaround times for repairs, and I can't abide poor service', Therefore I read good reviews on Samsung, secondly I have big hands and was fed up with missing the keys when typing, also I travel a lot and can't be bothered to take an Ipad all the time, secondly while I am kicking time sometimes I want some entertainment, this phones does it all, even reading my kindle while sitting in the car.
So I did my research, this was certainly one of the most popular phone son the market and many big business are now using them as work tools, after all the Ipad is just too heavy for all day use. When I looked in the shops the Note always seemed massive, but when you compare how they get the screen size (by making maximum use of the case i.e.: fill the front completely with the screen, no boarder, it's actually not that big, it feels amazingly light, I brought the HOCO case which replaces the back cover and incorporates a front leather 1mm think front cover like a book. First thing I notice once I had gone through the power up, was how fast this phone is , I really have to say it's as fast as my i7 pc getting a web page up, it flies. Battery lasts easily 1 day and I am currently getting about 1 ½ days in all before it needs a charge, so up with the other smartphones. The ease of setting us is perfect, I adore the ability to make a quick scribble note for reminders, the camera is magic, and I find I use it all the time. Technical stuff, Receiver reception where I live in 02 weak area is about 1-3 Bars, my Last HTC Sensation S was often none, my wife's IPhone 4S is better but only just. The Keis software is very comprehensive but actually has room for improvement and you will need to work hard with it to get the best out of it, nothing quite matches Itunes for easy except RIM. However my recommendation there is set your contacts, notes and calendars etc. up with Gmail and it will all slick nicely without using Keis too much. Km it does not have ICS yet, we are informed it should be here by June which means July, but the NOTE uses a heavily modified version of honeycomb and so is actually very similar in various ways to my ex HTC ICS systems, but lets hope ICS comes soon for note to make it even faster.
In summary, don't be put off with the size , its really not an issue and so far I have found every shirt and jacket pocket fits it with spare room. You will find yourself not using your pc or mac as much and even not picking up the Ipad, for me it makes a great business tool and I can see me using it more and more and may even think of buying another one, lastly I have seen so many peoples reactions when I take it out my pockets go wow, is that teh note, its amazing teh screen is so bright and sharp.
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on 28 April 2012
Bought this phone from Amazon Germany 1 month ago for 500 euros and haven't put it down since: I have big hands and ever worsening eyesight, so an i-phone was out of the question.

The doubts I had before buying it were: size, Android OS, and the price.

In fact the size is just fine: the first thing people do when they see mine is ask to try putting it in their jeans pocket and are always surprised how easily it fits.

Android OS works great (it's my first Android device) and I think this is helped by the sheer processing power that this phone throws at it: it's just as easy to use, slick and intuitive as Apple devices. It's also a lot less "locked-down" than Apple devices, meaning you can just plug it in with the standard micro USB cable and drag and drop files straight onto it, without fiddling about with the software nightmare that is i-tunes. When I got it I dragged a video and a FLAC file onto it and it played them right out of the box which is very satisfying.

The price really isn't that bad at 500 euros when you consider that a new unlocked i-phone 4S costs 600 euros with 16GB non-expandable memory, and a basic entry level i-pad is 400 euros. I wanted a new phone and a tablet and this is the ideal combination. The memory can be expanded with a 32GB micro SD, and apparently the new Sandisk 64gb micro SDs work in them too.

PROS:

- Screen: huge, gorgeous quality, you get a decent web experience from it, and you can quite comfortably and easily watch HD programs on it. Deep blacks, images seem to float on the surface, and stunningly bright, even outdoors.
- Android: I was surprised how good this is: easily as good as Apple's operating system, and you can watch Flash videos - this is a huge bonus for people like me who like to catch up on TV via streaming sites.
- User replaceable battery: battery life on this is not bad (about 8 hours heavy use), but spare batteries and chargers are cheap to buy and easy to swap out. The number of people I see down my local pub in the evening with their i-phones forlornly plugged in behind the bar after dying on their owners is rather sad. This means you can use this on a long haul flight and not worry about watching videos on it and playing games without the "range-anxiety" of worrying that your main device including your phone will be out of use.
- Call quality: superb
- Size: it is basically a small tablet, and you can comfortably read a magazine, ebook, web page or watch films or TV with no squinting.
- Camera: 8mp camera is fine, probably not as good as the i-phone, but not far off. The nice thing is being able to show your pictures to people on it's huge screen. HD video is amazing quality.
- It's a tablet: you really can use this as a tablet, rather than it being simply a big phone. Being a person who doesn't like to carry a man-bag around, a pocket-able tablet is ideal.

CONS: (very minor ones to be fair...)

- Volume: speaker volume could be louder and as it's located on the back this further reduces it. On the plus side, at least it won't be making commuters suffer from youths "chav-casting" on public transport! The headphone volume is ok, but again could benefit from being a bit louder for those of us who have already ruined our hearing from Walkmans and nightclubs.
- Slippery case: I bought a silicon cover for it as a nearly dropped it a couple of times

Conclusion:

If you are having doubts about buying this phone then don't: it's a phone and a tablet in one - its size is a huge advantage (unless you wear skin-tight hipster jeans): phones have been getting rather pointlessly small in recent years, despite doing ever more things. It is quite easily the best gadget I have bought in years.

Update: after 7 months of very happy use, just bought my girlfriend one of these too and she never puts it down. As an unlocked phone for 310 pounds (Amazon Germany), this is now quite astonishing value compared to other non-contract phones.

Cannot recommend this phone highly enough: the Note 2 is excellent if you're buying this size for the first time, but am waiting for the Note 3 for my next phone as the upgrades over this are not worth the jump in price.
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on 4 January 2012
I have been an iPhone user for years. I decided to try another phone after the release of the iPhone 4S mainly because the screen was too small and the premium you are expected to pay is a joke.

The first phone I looked at was the Galaxy Note and I fell in love instantly. It ticked all my boxes - screen size, open android platform, S-Pen, external card, apps etc. This is my first android phone and I am still tweaking, downloading and installing apps on a daily basis.

If you are thinking of buying this phone and you are not new to the android platform, think of this as a large Galaxy S2. The screen is fantastic, true HD quality. I recorded an impromptu Xmas carol performance in my office with the G Note and the quality of the video was unbelievable. The screen size may be a bit on the large size if you are thinking of making a lot of calls - in public. This is not an issue or negated if you surf the web, read ebooks or magazines, play games or watch videos a lot. You will be pleased with the extra screen size.

If you are a current iphone user and you are thinking about getting the G Note and you are over 18yrs old, stop! Stop thinking or deliberating or listening to the Apple propaganda. Set up a Gmail account to save your contacts, backup your MP3 files to iTunes and then kiss that iPhone goodbye. Give it to someone you love because they will be grateful (I sold mine to my wife and she was verrrry grateful). Then go out and pick up one of these big boys, they do everything and more.

For the technical aspects of the G Note, please read the reviews on the web. Personally, I found the S-Pen a bit too small to write with but I hope that the soon-to-be-released pen-kit will sort out that issue.

The G Note is a powerful and versatile gadget. It performs well as an executive tool and as a play device. I strongly recommend the Galaxy Note and if you are based in the UK, I would also suggest buying from .de for a saving and the same excellent Amazon service.

Just do it!
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on 16 December 2011
I received my new Samsung Galaxy Note from Smart-Deals yesterday 72 hours after ordering it. Fast considering it came from the US and I think Germany before that.
It arrived well packed and in black. I could not find a SGN in black at the right price so I settled for dark blue from Smart Deals. So I was pleasantly surprised to open the box to see a black one...great.
It will be cased and skinned of course but being black or white does increase resale value.
It might be set to the German language(as mine was) but its not hard to set it to English. Go to settings(bottom left touch key) and look around for Sprechen or something like that and find a sub heading, Deutschland and click that then from the scroll menu chose English and your off:)

Everything you've read or looked at on youtube is correct about the Samsung Galaxy Note. Its just amazing. I look at my old iphone and wonder what I saw in it. Its my first android phone having been an Apple desciple for years and I will never go back. The SGN screen is so clear and using the camera is like looking through glass. My only criticism is that the power button is directly opposite to the volume rocker and when you want to shut done the screen you end up pressing both buttons by mistake.
In conclusion I feel that Samsung got it right and they have found a middle road between a smartphone and a tablet computer.
So now I am waiting on my new bestskinsever skin so I don't have to worry about scratching the screen, I'd advise you to do the same. This wonderful mini tablet needs to be protected.
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on 19 November 2011
I took the advice here to buy from amazon.de after visiting Car Phone Warehouse - they wanted nearly £650 for the phone!! I lol'd at the sales guy!!

It worked out about £450 delivered (in 2 days!).

Yes, the size of the box confused me, until I opened the lid and found the phone filled it!
I have bought this as an upgrade from my Desire HD and it is definitely an upgrade.
The screen is fantastic. Huge, clear and crisp.

I have used the pen and it's functional. I used it for writing messages in Yahoo Messenger and found I'm quicker writing than typing but the software failed to decipher all my scribbling correctly, so I went back to typing as I am more accurate.

The size of the phone requires the power key to be on the side in an attempt at one-handed use, the DesireHD has the power button on top and it's a real PITA.

Sound from it's built in speaker is also much better and louder than the Desire HD.

TouchWiz is actually quite good. This is the first android phone I haven't installed LauncherPro on (HTC Magic, Nexus One, Desire HD).

Downsides?
No MicroSD.
The built in memory seems to be a seperate SD card, so the card you add yourself ends up in a different part of the filesystem which caused me a few issues after removing my card from the DesireHD and inserting in the Note.

No pouch.
No included protection for that huge screen? Seriously?

Phone set up.
Out of the box, the widgets and icons are a mess. The Gallery's Picture Frame widget has no timing control (it changes the picture every 3 seconds!!) and only allows 100 pictures.

Buttons.
What the hell is the point of the 2 soft buttons along with the Home button? The Desire HD's 4 capacitive buttons are a much better solution.

Sound.
This unit is big (it makes the DesireHD look small!) so why is there only 1 speaker? I emailed Sony Ericsson years ago asking them to fit a speaker either end of the P910 phone so we could watch movies/listen to music in stereo. How come no manufacturer is doing this?
There is enough room for a pen I don't really want/need!

OVERALL
Great big phone. A phone that is big and great.
I look forward to ICS in the next 3 months!
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