x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Samsung GALAXY Note Review

Samsung GALAXY Note

Posted: , by Ray S.



Samsung GALAXY Note Review
Believe it or not, the Samsung Galaxy Note is also meant to be used as a phone. Taking this thing and putting it next to your head is certainly not beautiful, but it's possible. Unfortunately, the earpiece is disastrous, as it fails to emit tones with decent loudness, plus it makes voices coming through it sound muffled. The microphone isn't very strong, but it does pick up your voice well, so at least the person on the other end of the line won't have that much trouble while conversing with you.

With such a huge display, it's only natural for us to be a bit worried about the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy Note. Thankfully though, the manufacturer has managed to fit a pretty decent 2500mAh battery inside, which should be able to provide 13 hours of talk-time and about 24 days of stand-by – a remarkable achievement indeed.


It should be clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note is a niche product. It's not a phone designed to take over the mass market. Why is that? The big dimensions of the Note make it much more uncomfortable to handle and use than any other smartphone. Some people with extraordinarily large hands may have a chance of finding it okay, but those cases will be extremely rare. Just to give you an example, the device's size means that it's absolutely impossible to use it with one hand only. As a matter of fact, it also makes some normal everyday stuff like typing out messages and emails too much of a hassle.

Of course, the bigger screen has its benefits. Important areas such as internet browsing and multimedia consumption have gained the most, though this doesn't mean that the experience is light-years ahead from that of a normal 4.3" smartphone like the Galaxy S II, for example. If you are a mobile gamer, the Galaxy Note will be a very suitable solution as well. However, where this handset shines is in the process of note-taking, which has been made more intuitive thanks to the ability to write with the special stylus. If you're looking for just this kind of handwriting experience, then the Galaxy Note is sure to appeal to you.

Leaving the enormous screen and dimensions aside, the Samsung Galaxy Note is a pretty decent smartphone, equipped with powerful hardware, delivering zippy performance with all tasks. It's very well feature-packed, although some of its aspects haven't been executed in the best possible way. For example, call quality is very poor, while the camera is fine, but nothing industry-leading.

As far as alternatives go, we would recommend that you consider the HTC Sensation XL, which offers a 4.7" screen, as well as all variants of the Samsung Galaxy S II. If you are in the States, Sprint's Epic 4G Touch and T-Mobile's Galaxy S II come with 4.52" displays, while AT&T will soon join the party with its 4.5" Galaxy S II Skyrocket. And, if you can wait a little longer, we believe that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus and its 4.65" screen will also prove to be a pretty decent solution. By the way, if the enhanced experience of taking notes is what you're after, you should also check out Sprint's EVO View 4G (or Europe's HTC Flyer), which is a 7" Gingerbread-powered tablet by HTC, having the very same idea as the Galaxy Note, complete with the stylus.

Software version of the reviewed unit: Android 2.3.5, Build: GINGERBREAD.XXKJ4

Samsung GALAXY Note Video Review:


  • Extremely large screen
  • Great multimedia device
  • Snappy performance


  • Poor call quality
  • The large screen only brings marginal improvement in certain areas
  • Camera could be better
PhoneArena rating:
User rating:
8.725 Reviews

  • Options

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:00 36

1. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 16:55 5

28. shayan (Posts: 159; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 17:47 3

30. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 17:05 16

29. buggerrer (Posts: 306; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 18:29 5

33. xoatomxo (Posts: 57; Member since: 26 Apr 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.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:08 7

55. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 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.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 11:23 13

60. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 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.

posted on 13 Nov 2011, 13:08 1

90. mills0806 (Posts: 37; Member since: 13 Nov 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.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 23:38 5

68. tmcr7 (Posts: 180; Member since: 02 Nov 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:08 1

2. hunted (Posts: 403; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:26 21

3. AppleSux (banned) (Posts: 20; Member since: 12 Mar 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:49 14

6. Mazhh (banned) (Posts: 6; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:34 18

13. Vinopantoz (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:09 2

63. bucky (Posts: 3133; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)

or maybe you cant handle the truth

posted on 09 Apr 2012, 02:41

112. minkhantkyaw (Posts: 5; Member since: 09 Apr 2012)

No , you sucks !!!

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:26 8

4. district11 (Posts: 125; Member since: 17 Apr 2011)

Snappy performance

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 12:50 4

7. metoyou (Posts: 279; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:01 16

8. leftheodo (Posts: 106; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:29 10

10. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 16:38 11

27. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 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.

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:02 14

9. ph00ny (Posts: 1507; Member since: 26 May 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?

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:30 3

11. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:32 7

12. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 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....

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:38 1

14. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 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!!

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:39 3

15. saiki4116 (Posts: 405; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 16:27 2

25. SJisaBitch (Posts: 8; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)


posted on 02 Jan 2012, 05:28 1

104. Jshrd (Posts: 3; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 13:50 8

16. Sjael (Posts: 4; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 14:03 5

17. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 408; Member since: 24 May 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..

posted on 02 Nov 2011, 16:28 4

26. SJisaBitch (Posts: 8; Member since: 02 Nov 2011)

who cares about what goes on in IINNDDIIAA???

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

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Samsung GALAXY Note

Samsung GALAXY Note

OS: Android 4.1.2 4.0.4 4.0.3 2.3.5 2.3.4
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.3 inches, 800 x 1280 pixels (285 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera8 megapixels
Samsung Exynos 4, Dual-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
Size5.78 x 3.27 x 0.38 inches
(147 x 83 x 9.65 mm)
6.28 oz  (178 g)
Battery2500 mAh, 26 hours talk time

Latest stories