Introduction


The Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition needs no introduction. In fact, no device we can think of has garnered more visibility while its actual release was so limited in size and scope. The Galaxy Note FE could arguably be tagged as a simple reincarnation of the Note 7, and that is certainly a valid observation.

Samsung chose to refurbish a large selection of returned devices. Using salvageable components from the beleaguered Note 7 series, Samsung was able to reduce gross waste, and even extract materials that could be put to use in other products.

During the time that was taken to tear-down, reclaim, and recycle all the returned stock, Samsung continued to make progress with its other smartphone products, particularly with its flagship Galaxy S-series. The end-result, by making only two significant changes, Samsung made something that is actually a little more, and a little less, than what the Note 7 was.

Design

Still elegant in 2017


The Note FE has the exact dimensions and physical design of its predecessor, making it a two-handed device. The only visual cues that this is a different model are the lack of the Samsung logo under the earpiece, and the name of the device on the back.

Outside of that, even though it is “last year’s” design, the Note FE feels great in the hand, and the symmetrical motif with the sharp curves in the display and rear glass back plate blend nicely into a subtly noticeable metal frame. In all, the design fits nicely into what we have seen so far in 2017. The color options for the Note FE are the same as was available last year, black, silver, gold, and coral blue, with the latter still among our favorite color schemes, the light blue touch contrasts perfectly with the copper metal frame.

Design features are otherwise unchanged from last year, due to the remanufactured nature of the Note FE. That is not a bad thing, the materials are all top notch, Gorilla Glass 5 protects the display and backplate, and water resistance is still present, with the Note FE packing an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, allowing the device to survive up to 30 minutes in as deep as 5 feet of water.

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition

Dimensions

6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches

153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.89 oz (167 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

HTC U11

HTC U11

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches

153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition

Dimensions

6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches

153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.89 oz (167 g)

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Samsung Galaxy S8+

Dimensions

6.28 x 2.89 x 0.32 inches

159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm

Weight

6.10 oz (173 g)

HTC U11

HTC U11

Dimensions

6.06 x 2.99 x 0.31 inches

153.9 x 75.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Display

Bright and bold, the Note FE’s AMOLED panel will not disappoint


With 2K resolution, the Note FE carries on with Samsung’s penchant for making vivid AMOLED displays. Though, the 16:9 ratio is arguably an outlier among flagships this year, the arrangement makes sense for a device with a suite of functionality baked-in to utilize the S-Pen. Even with momentum of big-ticket video media making the push to a narrower aspect ratio, like 2:1, the 5.7-inch has plenty of room to let you take it all in.

With the new Samsung Experience UI, the resolution is set to FHD by default. In addition to kicking the pixels into high gear at 1440 x 2560, you can also opt for the more battery and processor friendly HD of 720 x 1280. That noted, users will be able to discern subtle differences in UI fluidity when changing resolution settings, but after the initial switch, you still have to look closely to really see the difference overall.

In addition to being able to swap through resolution settings, Samsung lets you switch between different screen modes that adjust the color characteristics of the display. The default setting is “Adaptive display,” which tends to bring you all the color, indeed, saturation is pretty high, maybe too high for some users. “AMODEL cinema” places the display in a mode suitable to playing HDR10 video. “AMOLED photo” puts settings in the Adobe RGB color space, and “Basic” places colors in the standard sRGB scheme, which is arguably the best option, but beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. On this unit, the “Adaptive display” pumps up all the color to “11,” while “AMOLED photo” seems to deliver the best all-around balance.

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70 Comments

72. roger77

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 20, 2018

i have own this note fe. to be honest this is a good smartphone, camera even in a night shot is more sharp and clear than the mate 10 that i have also.sylus and screen omaled is very good.battery is also very good even its smaller than my mate 10.the only downside is for gaming and music sound, its far away with my mate 10. for me, i like this my note fe and no reason for me to upgrade it with the new samsung flagship at this time.

63. Skizzo

Posts: 448; Member since: Jul 14, 2013

I almost wish that they didn't put it out again. I had the Note 7 for like less than 2 months when it came out, and had to swap it out for an S7 Edge. Was not happy about the trade off, as I wouldn't have gone for the S7 if I had a choice from the start, but oh well. That whole exchange fiasco was a nightmare. I still have a couple of Note 7 screen protectors and a Spiegan case I couldn't return, sitting there, reminding me of what happened, and now they bring it back, as if to tease me. I feel like everyone that had a Note 7 should get a 50% off coupon for the Note FE...or better yet, off the Note 8!

62. hansip87

Posts: 231; Member since: Nov 10, 2015

Huh, when Xiaomi phone is as good as it gets, but no US availability, 7. this though, Korean only, 8.8..

65. Gawain

Posts: 452; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Because Xiaomi sells exactly zero handsets in the US.

61. antifanboyism

Posts: 57; Member since: Jun 20, 2017

R Maxwell can you please confirm why you wrote availability of FE as a con only after the other users pointed it out . And why you did not wrote it as a con before people pointed it out . Even with the addition of one more con why hasnt the rating of FE decreased .

64. Gawain

Posts: 452; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

The pros and cons have been the same since the article went up. Even the article says the limited availability is a con. ????

53. Heisenberg

Posts: 379; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Is this phone gonna be released wordwide? I need one right away

43. Vancetastic

Posts: 1948; Member since: May 17, 2017

God I wish these Apple fanboys would stfu and go back to jacking it to the iPhone 8.

44. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Solid reversal of my comment from yesterday, fam. That's not sarcasm btw :-).

45. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

That guy is def an alt account lol 12 posts and member since May.

47. Vancetastic

Posts: 1948; Member since: May 17, 2017

You'd think so, but no. You, however....

46. Vancetastic

Posts: 1948; Member since: May 17, 2017

I'm silly like that!

40. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

after they review the HTC U11 with 8.2 score and a laughable cons, PA's Review is Trash for me.

32. killer7D

Posts: 551; Member since: Sep 18, 2014

So this Fire Edition gets a higher rating than HTC U11 .. What the faaaaack iPhonearena?

38. jellmoo

Posts: 2687; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Why wouldn't it?

42. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

because it has a SAMSUNG LOGO.

57. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 2015

They're both androids. What role does you hyperbolic iphonearea comment play here?

18. antifanboyism

Posts: 57; Member since: Jun 20, 2017

- Not actually sold in the United States . This is what phonearena wrote as con when they reviewed Mi 6 . Then I wonder Sammys FE also not available in US . They haven't wrote the limited availability of FE as a con . Isn't it bias . Plz up vote if you agree .

41. jellmoo

Posts: 2687; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Did they update the Review, because I see: Limited availability Stratospheric price to import to the US

17. syam7863

Posts: 75; Member since: Sep 15, 2016

I do understand that this phone is quite a feat. But when Xiaomi or other chinese brands has to be imported, the score will be much lower.

21. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Good point. This is an inconsistency PA should respond to.

60. Gawain

Posts: 452; Member since: Apr 15, 2010

Xiaomi doesn't sell anything in the US. Neither do the next half-dozen of Chinese makers. Huawei, ZTE, OnePlus, are just about it. If you can't see the significance in the "Note 7 remake" after stuff caught fire....

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31797; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Glad to see it back. It's still a top 5 device, and beautiful as ever. Right on Samsung.

3. TheNeighbor

Posts: 370; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Still waiting in the rest of Asia to get this.

2. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

"Graphics performance can stutter sometimes" So, the phone lags. I don't care what any biased Samsung fanboy says, but this is unacceptable. This was mentioned in the S8+ review as well. Samsung must figure out a way to fix this issue. The FE is far too expensive to stutter when gaming. My 6P from 2 years ago doesn't do this, and it has a weaker chip. Samsung - We want to love your devices, but real world performance must be improved.

4. Medoogalaxy

Posts: 232; Member since: May 25, 2017

Iphone 7 also lag :)

8. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

iPhone 7 doesn't have a lag issue. Also, let's not deflect.

14. LilJokr unregistered

All phones lag at some point. My iPhone 7 does sometimes, but it's nothing major. But he's not really deflecting anything.

16. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

Every time you point out the lag issue, they deflect by swinging shots at Apple.

20. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

I believe some PA posters are literally paid Samsung reps. I don't know how many times I must explain this simple concept. All phones lag. Some phones have a greater degree of lag. Some phones have such a great degree of lag in which it's declared an issue. If a review notices lag/stutter, there is most likely an issue as this observation has been tested in various scenarios. Multiple reputable sources mention gaming lag on many Galaxy reviews. This is an issue, not just the phone lagging in one occurrence.
Galaxy Note Fan Edition
  • Display 5.7 inches
    2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    5 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 8 Octa, 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie
    Samsung One UI

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