Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition: Unboxing and impressions

There is so much to love about Samsung smartphones, especially the displays and cameras. There are things that some may find a little frustrating too, like inconsistent performance over time. It was the latter that always drove me from keeping my SIM card in a Galaxy S series for any appreciable period of time.

However, the Note series was different, despite the same hiccups I would inevitably encounter as I put the device through its paces, those perfect moments where the S-Pen was handy would prove invaluable – not in a sense of professional productivity, but out of propensity to make jokes.

Those pretty displays and other goodies from the Galaxy Note series would eventually give way to the next big thing, but I always looked forward to the next generation. The Galaxy Note 5 was the stylus-packing line-up’s maturation point – build quality that had reached parity with the Galaxy S-series, and more refined features for the S-Pen.

The Galaxy Note 7’s feature set really impressed me. I pre-ordered as soon as I was able to and immediately fell for Samsung’s ability to entrance me with their AMOLED displays. Despite there being a Snapdragon 821 under the hood, it just felt like it was not running like a true flagship. In hindsight, it could have been related to the battery, or heat from charging. The battery mayhem surrounding the device did not impact me because I returned it before all that stuff starting making news.

When the Galaxy S8 came along, I gave that a whirl also, and the terrible fingerprint sensor placement was just too big an inconvenience for me to enjoy what is otherwise an outstanding piece of hardware with a well-executed Samsung Experience skin sending TouchWiz out to a long-overdue pasture. Still, I was a little worried that the next generation Note would follow in the S-series footsteps when it comes to that critical feature. From the looks of the news lately, it appears those concerns are well-founded.

When word got out about the rebuilt “Fan Edition” Note, I was interested because on the surface, it appeared that Samsung fixed what was wrong – the battery (obviously), the CPU (small bump), and software (Android 7 and Samsung Experience).

So, being the gadget geek that I am, and with little regard for the concept known as impulse control, I went online and ordered a Galaxy Note Fan Edition from a seller in Korea.

What’s in the box

There is nothing new to the packaging, other than a big heart on the box. Clearly aimed at showing appreciation to the purists that just wanted a current-era Note device, the rest of the packaging is familiar Samsung. With the phone, earbuds, charger, USB-C cable, OTG adapter, micro-USB adapter, and extra stylus tips.

About the Note FE and Impressions

We gave an overview of differences between the Note 7 and the Note FE. The battery is smaller (safer), and so far, charging has been wholly uneventful. The device even remains cool to the touch. The discrepancy in what we earlier learned about the Note FE is the silicon inside. Rather than a Snapdragon 821, the Note FE (or at least the one I got, which is KT branded) instead ships with the octa-core Exynos 8890.

Performance-wise, the Note FE does not feel like a throwback from last year, even though its spec sheet suggests it is. The camera fits Samsung’s typical modus-operandi, that is to say, excellent.

The new Samsung Experience UI is right at home on the 5.7-inch AMOLED display. The settings default the display to operate at 1080p resolution, and you can adjust it to 2K or 720p if you like. The UI action is smooth, though it is obviously nowhere near as fast as what we have seen from this year’s power players.

Think you want one too? Bring money

If you have a gadget hunger that is insatiable, there are dozens of reputable sellers on eBay who have stormed the retailers in Korea and bought a bunch of Galaxy Note FE devices in order to feed the addiction. The prices are high, ranging between $795 and $925. You will want to double-check the specifications regarding cellular connectivity in your area, just in case.

Most of the Note FEs for sale have free express shipping from Korea, and there no import duties on shipments to the United States. I pre-ordered mine a couple days before they went on sale. The seller shipped it on Monday, and it arrived at my doorstep on Thursday.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition is certainly not the hot hit for the summer of 2017, but it is certainly worthy of some notoriety, until we are drawn to the new gear yet-to-come from LG, Google, and Samsung. Yep, I’ll probably get a Note 8 when it comes out too.



1. Saioofi

Posts: 347; Member since: May 23, 2014

Why did Samsung even release this phone again? Also the price is ridiculous.

2. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

To avoid pollution(maybe?)

7. surethom

Posts: 1729; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Too use up all the parts & make some of the billions back.

9. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012 As you can read here, it would've been an impossible task to recycle 4+ million units without having a negative impact on the environment, that's why they brought it back.

11. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"price is ridiculous" there is a reason why it's called "Fan Edition".. real fan won't even complain about that price.. and this phone is the most versatile smartphone right now (until note8) and it's camera can beat most of flagships.. (note: I'm not a fan)

14. Saioofi

Posts: 347; Member since: May 23, 2014

"it's camera can beat most of flagships" you're telling me it can beat the iPhone 7+, Pixel, S8 and the U11 with an outdated sensor?

15. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

It uses the same sensor that was on the S7 that was only surpassed by the Pixel. And the Note 7 had a better image processing. So yeah, it would beat most of flagships including the U 11, but not the Pixel, as it's still the best camera phone to this day. The U 11 has everything to beat it, but it is way too noisy in low light shots that costs it a lot when you want to rate it as one of the best.

19. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Speaking from experience, the camera on the Note 7 was better than the camera on the S7E, making it better than the camera on the Pixel & definitely the U11 & iPhone 7+. Sooooo, yea.

41. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Where werw u when all the a note 7 vs iPhone 7 canera tests were all over th3 web. Yes the Note 7 beats everything. And overall its better than the Pixel too.

44. chbanks512

Posts: 78; Member since: Mar 07, 2017

Honestly, if I hadn't already purchased the S8, I'd seriously consider picking up one of these. I honestly still miss my Note 7.

47. Myphoneisonfire

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 05, 2016

Honestly... the last 2 iPhones sold are in reality "Fan Editions".

53. Lsh99

Posts: 38; Member since: Sep 26, 2016

It's ridiculous.

17. you_sukk_it

Posts: 219; Member since: Apr 11, 2017

The prices are high, ranging between $795 and $925. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!! you so crazy samsung

25. Spyro

Posts: 334; Member since: Mar 29, 2017

You know there are some people who pay $1000+ for a closed ecosystem that offers zero functionality and control.....

27. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Those people also get 5 years of updates, no lag, and the best apps first. Oh... and that product can be used on planes... unlike this fiasco.

30. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

re: 7. kiko007 (Posts: 5177; Member since: 17 Feb 2016) Those people also get 5 years of updates, no lag, and the best apps first. Oh... and that product can be used on planes... unlike this fiasco. ====================================== iphones dont leg huh? well, iphone 7 lag search: 7. kiko007 (Posts: 5177; Member since: 17 Feb 2016) Those people also get 5 years of updates, no lag, and the best apps first. Oh... and that product can be used on planes... unlike this fiasco. also, i had the ipad 2/3/4 and iphone 5...and they lag after updates...what u talking??? LOL

32. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Wow... PA really needs to step up their bot game.

34. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

He obviously turned a blind eye to all the complaints and statistics, his ignorance and double standards are off the charts. Just sticks his head in the sand thinking that'll change reality...

31. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

About 2,690,000 results (0.58 seconds) Search Results iPhone 7 is Slow and Lags, How-To Fix - AppleToolBox › How-to Nov 16, 2016 - Although the iPhone 7 has a very fast processor and generally has a superior performance, sometimes you will find that your iPhone 7 is slow and lags. This is primarily due to software and is most likely not related to the iPhone 7 hardware. Most users notice this lag while working with the Home button. iPhone 7 lag | MacRumors Forums › iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch › iPhone › iPhone Oct 5, 2016 - 25 posts - ‎11 authors Would you say this kind of lag when scrolling is normal for an iPhone 7? [MEDIA] iPhone 7+ Siri Lag 3 posts Jan 4, 2017 iPhone 7 Massive Lag Anyone? 23 posts Nov 11, 2016 iPhone 7 + Lag 5 posts Oct 10, 2016 iPhone 7/7+ iOS 10 app close animation 25 posts Sep 16, 2016 More results from Fix Animation Lag on the iPhone 7 / 7 Plus - YouTube Video for iphone 7 lag▶ 1:19 Oct 2, 2016 - Uploaded by ITJungles Your iPhone 7 or 7 plus may experiencing some animation lagging when you are using it. You can try to do ... iPhone 7 animation lag... | Official Apple Support Communities Sep 16, 2016 - Q: iPhone 7 animation lag... Just picked up my iPhone 7 32GB.. Noticed a lagg when opening and closing a app for the first time. When i press ... iPhone 7 Plus lag Apr 26, 2017 Iphone 7 freezing and lagging almost unusable Mar 2, 2017 iPhone 7 unlock lag and closing animation lag Jan 22, 2017 Animation lag on new iphone 7 128gb. Jan 16, 2017 More results from Apple iPhone 7 Performance Issue: Why is my iPhone 7 so slow ... › iPhone Troubleshooting › Apple iPhone 7 Jan 6, 2017 - For starters, here's how to perform a soft reset on the iPhone 7: From the Home screen, press and hold the Power key and the Volume down key. When the Apple logo appears, release both keys. How to Fix iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus Lag Issue & Speed Up (Solved) The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the world's fastest devies the fact that are packed with A10 chip. However, some people have reported lag on iPhone 7/7 Plus. iPhone 7 lag when using passcode - iPhone, iPad, iPod Forums at ... Jan 12, 2017 - 5 posts - ‎3 authors Happy New Year I recently got a 128GB iPhone 7. I'm having a issue where when I enter the passcode, theres a 3 second lag before it goes to ... Iphone 7 plus lag on videos - iPhone, iPad, iPod ... 6 posts May 31, 2017 Has anyone else noticed shutter lag with their iPhone 7 ... 15 posts Mar 8, 2017 iPhone 7 Plus Lag/iOS Lag. - iPhone, iPad, iPod ... 18 posts Feb 13, 2017 Freezing and lagging ...seriously ? - iPhone, iPad, iPod ... 20 posts Nov 17, 2016 More results from iPhone 7 lag/stutt

33. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Lol... you're definitely a bot. No doubt about it.

36. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

re: 33. kiko007 (Posts: 5179; Member since: 17 Feb 2016) Lol... you're definitely a bot. No doubt about it. ================================= yes, im not a bot...i just like laughing at all the iphonies who always say that the iphones/ipads dont lag...i was once an iphone and ipad user, but ditched it due to lags after updates after updates...yes, android lags too but not like it did with my ios devices that i, talk about rendering my ios devices unusable apple???

35. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Your fanboyism is off the charts

37. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

re: 35. maherk (Posts: 4795; Member since: 10 Feb 2012) Your fanboyism is off the charts =================== yes, kiko007's fanboyism is off chart go as far as to say iphones dont lag...the many apple iphone forums online is full of lag issues LOL

38. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

But the three essays proceeding my post aren't "fanboyism"? Really though? I get that you're a Samsung fan, but even you have to admit the amount of cock-gobbling in the last few Samsung articles has been EXTREME! I'm talking Apple fanboy pre -2012 bad nut-hugging going on. I've never seen it get this over the top. And why do Samsung fans ALWAYS bring up Apple in their threads? Is the inferiority complex that aggressive?

39. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You can always see me criticizing Samsung trolls, but I never saw you criticizing anyone of the famous Apple trolls we have on this site, quite contrary, I see you applaud them in many instances. I'm not telling you what to do and what not, but you can't criticze these trolls when you're more than fine with the annoying trolls that flood EVERY Samsung article talking about lag no matter what the article is about.

42. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

It has been proven a long time that kiko turns a blind eye on Apple trolls, and he doesn't even deny it, he even praised them as better than other blind fanboys.

43. maherk

Posts: 7007; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

That's my issue with him. He says that he has a problem with blind fanboys over this site, but I can only name few on this site who call out fanboys of all colors, and you're one of them, but sadly kiko isn't. You'll never see me high-fiving techie for many reasons, but you'll never see him criticizing one of the flock of Apple trolls that keep spamming Samsung and Blackberry's articles.

45. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I think he's one of the better Apple fanboys as he doesn't troll non-Apple articles... BUT, that fanboy bias is still a big problem.

54. dazed1

Posts: 806; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

Hi apple apologist, are you ok?

40. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Reading, not one of your strong points. These werw ebay reseller prices. But if you actually read the'd know that!

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