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Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 months of use... the good the bad and the ugly..., 19 April 2012
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 16GB Sim Free Mobile Phone - Dark Blue (Electronics)
Well after reading all the reviews I decided to settle on the Galaxy note eventually after much debate between this and the iphone...
I bought it in early February and got it shipped to the UK as it was cheaper buying here in Euros than getting it on I've been using it extensively for the last 2 months. Other reviewers have made plenty of comments on the various features so i will try and keep that in summary form. I always want to know what's bad about a product when I buy it so I've focused more on mentioning the bad. However despite some of its shortcomings it is still the best phone I've ever used - the good outweighs the bad by miles.

I must say that I travel between two coutries a lot and in my home country (Sri Lanka) I use this purely as a tablet with a sim that is only active for data. The other half of my time (I spend around 10 days every month in Bangladesh) I use this as my local mobile phone for calls and internet/email. However I donlt get that many calls on this when in Bangladesh compared to my regular phone.

Please note that unless specified otherwise I am using all the `stock' programs for things like email that came with the Note.

Firstly, what's great about it:
1. Screen - excellent - the perfect size for reading emails, web browsing and especially great if you use it to read work related attachments such as spreadsheets because the screen size menas you have less scrolling around to do and the text is crisp and clear. I honestly cannot see and difference in resolution on this compared to the iphone's retina display although 'technically' the retina display has a higher resolution. If anyone can actually tell the difference i@d probably be willing to bet a lot of money that to the naked eye the difference is inconceivable. In terms of colours i think the colours on the note are actually brighter and more vivid.. but i might just be a bit biased here
2. Watching Videos - Simply Awesome resolution and vibrancy etc. I've got a few HD videos which I've watched on it and it is awesome
3. Wi-fi hotspot - Just love the fact that I can share the data connection
4. Kies Air - Samsung's excellent tool that allows you to transfer anything on to your phone form any laptop over the air (without the need for any cables).
5. The Visidon Application (free) - this app uses your fornt camera to allow you to selectively lock certain apps using face recognition. Yes, I too was sceptical and thought that it would take a long time to recognise your face. However in bright light it takes less than half a second to do the facial recognition. It is a problem in low light but it has a password override feature. Now I give my phone to friends with no qualms - safe in the knowledge that they can play around with it, browse the net, watch youtube videos.. but cannot go and put in silly Facebook updates on my behalf because I have locked access to the facebook app. Because it allows you to select which apps you want to lock it is great. Even settings and things like access to your photos and files can be locked in this way. A must have app!!
6. Contacts integration with FB and Gmail - works like a charm. I have phone numbers of people on FB and everything gets updates as long as they update their profile. It also logs activity of that person so you know what you've been doing with them.
7. Portability - it is excellent to have something that is equally good as any tablet that I've used always on you. It just fits in your pocket and stays with you. Simply great!

1. Phone size - donlt believe anyone who says its too big. I've got just a 32 inch waist, am 5'10" tall and weigh 68kg... so not a big person and the phone fits perfectly well in all the trouser/jean pockets that I've worn. ZERO discomfort. Once you've got used to the screen size on this baby you simply cannot go back to a smaller screen.
2. Camera quality - is excellent in low light but I found that the iphone's quality is better. Not a problem for me because I rarely use it for snapshots and when I want good pictures I use my dslr.. not my phone! Works great for scanning business cards and even paper/magazine articles and advertisements.
3. S-pen - I've used it a few times and was excited about the ability to just write down notes as opposed to carrying a book with me... but unfortunately it isn't that practical to do this. I have used this on occasion to take a photo and scribble on top of this photo (prices of things like floor tiles with an image when I was looking at refurbishing the house). Overall not used as much as I thought I would - I am not into sketching at all!!
4. Siri-like voice assistance - not really used this much at all except when driving, but even that was occasionally only. A car with good navigation/bluetooth system would be able to handle the outgoing calls equally well so this was not a particularly impressive feature for me.

Things I don't like:
1. In MS Exchange you cannot select which folders to sync it just syncs all your folders I think. I would have liked to be able to sync every single email in my Inbox and `follow ups' folder. Unfortunately syncing `ALL' (date range) made the phone unusably slow. I have to then settle for syncing it for `one month'. Whilst this is not a major problem it would have been nice to be able to really individually select which folders to sync. I have found paid software available that allows you to do this, but I think the stock application should have catered to this.
2. Cannot sync Outlook Notes - The `notes' in outlook just wont sync. I used to use this feature extensively but have now had to stop using it which is a bit of an annoyance. There is talk that ICS will include NOTES synchronisation for Outlook but I've not tested it yet so can't say for sure. For the moment I make do by installing Evernote, which has more functionality overall and also addresses my main need which is to have my notes synced across various devices. But it was still a disappointment
3. Calendar doesn't auto sync(I've turned off the general autosync feature for applications) so when I look at the calendar I sometimes forget to sync it and there is a cance you could miss appointments. Not been an issue for me personally because I still get the reminders on my blackberry. But it has prevented me form moving completely away form the BB and using this as my primary phone.
4. Email program has an annoying habit of not letting you open the attachments until body of email is downloaded. Sometimes embedded images in email bodies take ages to download especially if the email trail is long and there are 40 emails before it. This really seems silly to me.
5. You cannot individually select which applications are allowed to auto sync, this is more a problem with Android than the Note though. I would have ideally like to have said that my Email program and my Gmail program are allowed to sync data automatically but for all other programs I would have preferred to do it manually. As far as I could see you can either ask all to sycy auto or none!
6. On a few occasions there was an email or two that simply would not come on to the Note. It was showing on my Laptop in outlook as well as on my Blackberry torch, but it simply would not come on the note until I forwarded it fomr the BB back to myself... then It came!!!
7. Battery Life - On the occasions I was using it as a phone cum tablet, the battery seemed to always die before I was ready to go to sleep. Even if you use it as only a tablet for emails and web browsing plus a bit of facebook the battery dies by evening time so i typically need to charge it again when i get back form work. I have found, however that by turning off WCDMA and leaving it only on GSM mode that the battery tends to last longer. The only downside of doing this is that web browsing and especially if you are lookingat youtube videos the speed gets slow.
8. Google maps - unbelieveably accurate even in the asian countries I've been using it in like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. What a lot of people might not know is that this has an additional GPS technology that allows it to communicate with more satellites than your average phone. (I cant remember what it is technically but imagine that usually you can get only the US satellites, so if you donlt have one close by.. your location accuracy gets affected.. the note has A-GP and Glonass technology which translates to better accuracywhen pinpointing locations. Also the large screen is a definite advantage here!

If there was an iphone with the same screen size would I have bought the iphone instead - most certainly yes!! Why? Because ios is still sleeker and less buggy and some of the apps are better. But, until Apple starts catering to people who actually want to have at least some options as opposed to ONE option in terms of form factor etc I'm sticking with my note! I donlt normally do reviews but this product was so great that I thought others deserved to know!
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Apr 2012 14:03:24 BDT
Great productive review from a fellow countryman. I myself will be travelling to SL in the summer and have been strongly considering the note for my travel. I think feedback has very much fulfilled my requirements. Regarding the battery life, have you considered investing in on some extended batteries? there are few here you may be interested. I think they could extend the life of your phone by 2 days or more.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Apr 2012 04:50:04 BDT
Thanks for the suggestion mate. Incidentally, I did consider an extended battery but decided against it as it would bulk up the phone making it thicker and also render the protective rubber grip useless. I finally settled an a 5000mAh sanyo Eneloop mobile charger which is perfect because it not only rep lenishes the Note's battery but also the blackberry's and even the ipod and my wife's phone. Basically any device that charges off usb. Also its quote tiny compared to some of the other chargers of this nature that i saw :)

Posted on 25 Apr 2012 10:37:27 BDT
ArchZoilist says:
Thanks for the great review. In your pro's part of your review you mention an app called "Visidon", I've checked for this on Google Play and drew a blank!!! I'd most grateful if you could provide more info on where to find it.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2012 04:38:59 BDT
I just went back to the play store and typed 'visidon' in the search area and it immediately came up. It goes as 'visidon applock'

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Apr 2012 18:44:20 BDT
ArchZoilist says:
Thank you for your prompt reply. I've searched for 'visidon' and 'visidon applock' and drew a blank both times!!! Oh well, I'll just look for something else thank you again.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Apr 2012 06:09:06 BDT
are you using a galaxy note? maybe worth looking at the latest android version... it may not be available for osme other models.. dont know!! :-) Good lucK!

Posted on 5 May 2012 08:12:02 BDT
ArchZoilist says:
Update. Just received my Note (wow). I successfully downloaded 'Visidon', I think it depends on the version of Androrid you are running. Thank you again.

Posted on 9 Jul 2012 21:48:33 BDT
Gadget Guy says:
You deserve 5 stars for your review.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2012 21:52:53 BDT
Gadget Guy says:
Hi look at this.
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