Samsung GALAXY Note Review

Samsung GALAXY Note Review
This is a review of the European version of Samsung Galaxy Note. Click here for the review of the AT&T LTE variant


Have you ever wondered how big could phone screens get? Judging by recent trends, manufacturers seem to be constantly raising the norm as they continue to produce bigger and bigger handsets. We've already seen many such offerings, sporting 4+” screens, like the Samsung Galaxy S II and the Motorola DROID X2, but one product easily overshadows them all, in terms of size.

Of course, we're talking about the Samsung Galaxy Note. This beast of a phone actually carries a 5.3” display – the biggest you can find on a device, marketed as a “phone”. We can already see the debate over whether the Galaxy Note should be considered a giant phone or a mini-tablet, however, we'd prefer to stay away from this, and rather focus on the unique capabilities of the handset, in order to see if it has a chance in this cruel world. After all, not many smartphones today come with a special stylus of their own, designed to ease the process of note-taking. Unfortunately though, none of the U.S. carriers has announced plans to carry the Galaxy Note yet.

Anyway, let's see if Samsung's Galaxy Note has the potential to become the next big thing in wireless!

The box includes:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • Wall charger with detachable microUSB cable
  • Handsfree headset with three pairs of eartips
  • Some papers


So, um... what should we say? The Samsung Galaxy Note is one monster of a phone! It is gigantic, and it doesn't feel like anything you've used before. And if you're the type of person who'd say that the Galaxy S II is just too big, then wait until you see this guy. Don't think you'll be able to use it just like you use your typical smartphone – you can't fit the Galaxy Note comfortably in your pocket. Well, you can carry it in your pocket, but don't try to sit while it's in there. It's by no means heavy, but it is too cumbersome to handle normally. This “phone” is designed for the biggest of hands, but we don't believe that it will fit well even in such hands.

The Samsung Galaxy Note is made of plastics, but it doesn't feel cheap at all. The device is solid, and even the capacitive stylus stays very firmly in its spot, and requires a bit of force to be removed. No wiggle whatsoever.

Now, let's turn our attention to the gargantuan 5.3” display of the Galaxy Note. It is, of course, of the capacitive type and utilizes the Super AMOLED technology, which translates into rich colors, deep contrast levels wide viewing angles and... a bluish tint on top, mostly visible when displaying white. Having so much real estate however, means that screen resolution should also be abundant, in order to keep a respectful pixel density. This is one area where the Galaxy Note performs admirably, having an 800x1280 pixel res, which translates into 285 ppi. We're happy to say that everything on the screen is very clear and easily readable.

All the keys around the device are comfortable to press, while the special capacitive stylus is positioned at the bottom of the device. As we said, it requires a bit of force to have it removed, but that's fine, as it wouldn't have been better if it was wiggling. The stylus itself is long enough, and more importantly – isn't too thin, so overall we are happy with its design.

Samsung GALAXY Note 360-degrees View:



1. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

A 7? Seriously? This tablet/phone hybrid is a beast.

28. shayan

Posts: 159; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

and galaxy note is the top phone right now in user ratings...

30. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Yeah true but none of them has had it in their hands. That's the only credit I can give to this review but everything else is totally out of place. They should have reviewed the Note as the niche device it is, not as a normal smartphone or an iPhone 4S wannabe.

29. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

who is Ray S. anyway to review such great device and give it 7/10 !

33. xoatomxo

Posts: 57; Member since: Apr 26, 2011

I want this phone and cant wait until this phone launches in America. What other phones did Ray S. reviewed anyway. I am very curious.

55. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

What every1 is ignoring is the price, I would rather have an iPad 2 32GB than this thing. It's too small to be a tab and too big to be a phone, its very expensive, it sucks at being a phone, and it doesn't have the size advantage of a tablet.

60. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

You said it right, YOU don't want it. The Note is a niche product not meant for everyone. It's a concept phone.

90. mills0806

Posts: 37; Member since: Nov 13, 2011

I know seriously just buy a galaxy tab if you want to take notes or whatever. Then when you want to use a phone, just use your smartphone.Not that hard to sync data between your tablet,and whatever devices you use.

68. tmcr7

Posts: 180; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

Looking at his video, he hasn't even shown why typing on the Note is poor because of the big screen. It really doesn't make sense. But in this video, The reviewer clearly demonstrated how thumb-typing on the Galaxy Note is very, very easy. He can also easily touch the keys in the middle of the keyboard without any problems. And the video also showed how the browsing experience is significantly better, just by holding the device in a landscape position.

2. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Does this mean no use in buying this phone? The mark says SII is better

3. AppleSux

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 12, 2011

well, i have read the other reviews, where they say that the call quality, and speaker performance are awesome, n very impressive, even engadget (which is considered pro-apple) talked abt the impressive call quality, and speaker performance of the Galaxy Note. either iPhonearena is totally biased (which it is most of the time), or they have got a faulty unit. one other thing, when phonearena talks about the battery life, they just mention the manufacture's stats, but they should mention the battery life according to their own experience and usage and their own special battery tests. simply quoting the official stats cant be cosidered a good review. dont trust phonearena reviews ever. techradar and gsmarena reviews are way better and comprehensive.

6. Mazhh

Posts: 6; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

Ray S is on apple's payroll.. !!! phonearena sucks !!!

13. Vinopantoz

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

They are not phonearena..they are iPhonearena...

63. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

or maybe you cant handle the truth

112. minkhantkyaw

Posts: 5; Member since: Apr 09, 2012

No , you sucks !!!

4. district11

Posts: 126; Member since: Apr 17, 2011

Snappy performance

7. metoyou

Posts: 279; Member since: Oct 19, 2011


8. leftheodo

Posts: 108; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

If it's not Apple it's not good enough, right? This is getting annoying and iDiotic!

10. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

That's just crap. They rated the $99.00 Atrix 2 a 9, ahead of the iPhone 4S. They ooze all over themselves over the Samsung Galaxy 2 series. Let it go- they just didn't like this guy.

27. xtremesv

Posts: 299; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Actually, no. PhoneArena clearly stated on their iPhone 4S review: "Right now, we believe the Apple iPhone 4S is deserving a rating of 9/10, when we consider its overall quality, features and price (...)". That sounds to me like “we desperately want to give a 10 (overall quality?) to the iPhone 4S but we cannot because we would lose our credibility as reviewers”. Someone commented that if the Note had an Apple logo on its back then it would have got a 10. Perhaps he is right after all. I think PhoneArena should disclaim what phones they personally own.

9. ph00ny

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 26, 2011

Shouldn't there be at least a whole page or two dedicated to all the functionalities tied to the stylus (S-pen)? Isn't that point of this device?

11. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Totally agree. Maybe if it does come stateside, they will.

12. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Told my Wife about this beast, and she drooled all over herself. She WANTS a tablet/smartphone hybrid, and I would jump all over an unlocked version of this as a Christmas surprise for her. Here is hoping I get that shot....

14. snowgator

Posts: 3624; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Also notice they mentioned the HTC Sensation at 4.7" as an alternative, but not the 4.7" HTC Titan, the Windows Phone. I can understand it as this is an Android Tablet... er, phone.. um - whatever. I just had to throw it out there!!

15. saiki4116

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

they have released in india today for 35k which translates to ~700$

25. SJisaBitch

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 02, 2011


104. Jshrd

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

And You don't deserve it.. Go troll somewhere else

16. Sjael

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

The stylus on the Note is NOT capacitive. It uses electromagnetic resonance. EMR blows away capacitive styli for accuracy and features.

17. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

It costs 35k in india and knowing samsung trends,it will fall to 30-32k in a few months...for 30-32...theres nothing better..

26. SJisaBitch

Posts: 8; Member since: Nov 02, 2011

who cares about what goes on in IINNDDIIAA???

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • Display 5.3" 800 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2500 mAh(13.50h 3G talk time)

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless