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Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition) Review

Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Interface and Functionality

Samsung Experience delivers

Samsung Galaxy Note FE (Fan Edition) Review

One of the actual changes from the OG Note 7 to the Note FE is the UI. Samsung wisely kept TouchWiz in its archive and updated the phablet to the new Samsung Experience, which made its debut on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Underneath the new UI aesthetic is Android 7.0 and all the associated goodies that arrived with the latest iteration of Google’s operating system. The fresh appearance looks right at home on the Note FE.

The Edge Screen is on-hand, with a wide array of functions and menus that you can use with it. We billed it as a “nice thing to have” for those that can make use of it, and then we turned it off.

The S-Pen on the other hand is a spectacular tool. The Air Command floating icons can be arranged and assigned to other applications (up to 8) with virtually no limit to what app you want to have available to quick launch after removing the S-Pen from its compartment. The same spring-loaded mechanism is on hand, and the head of the stylus pleases the OCD in you with a satisfying click-click with the thumb.

Pressure sensitivity and palm-rejection are spot-on, and latency is only really visible if you start swiping the tip super-fast across the screen. Two of our favorite features are screen-off memo, and GIF capture. One is perfect for jotting down a quick note, and the other is great for capturing that perfect loop of video content.

Iris Scanner and Bixby

Still not quite up to par

Samsung’s new AI assistant, Bixby, is along for the ride, but it is not the complete experience as can now be found on the Galaxy S series. Rather, it is Bixby Home and Reminders only, with no voice assistant. The presentation is clean and is not unlike Google Now, with color schemes to the information cards. How it performs long-term will depend on how much you use it, as well as how Samsung feeds its AI engines over time. For early days, without the voice interaction, Bixby Home and Reminders seems to have more in common with BlinkFeed as found on HTC devices.

Iris scanning is available, with all the benefits and limitations of that feature. We will not call it half-baked, but it is not convenient since the Note FE has to be held a certain way, at a certain distance, at the correct angle. The front-mounted fingerprint scanner in the home button is far more reliable.

Processor & Memory


Contrary to previous reports, the Galaxy Note Fan Edition is shipping with Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 CPU. This is the same processor found on non-US Note 7 variants last year. Performance is competent, if not blazing fast. The better-optimized UI provides an overall nicer experience, so you do not get the sense the hardware is struggling to keep up.

The Note Fan Edition ships with 64GB of microSD card expandable storage and 4GB of memory. The device maintenance settings provide for basic analytics to free up memory and storage, as well as automatically shut down apps in the background if they go unused for too long.

Performance benchmarks

AnTuTu
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 140972
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 173945
HTC U11 172131
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 179811
JetStream
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 49.015
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60.931
HTC U11 70.708
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 167.76
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 54
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60
HTC U11 58
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 58.2
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 27
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 41
HTC U11 19
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 55.8
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 2639
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 3256
HTC U11 3031
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3119
Geekbench 4 single-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 1832
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 2006
HTC U11 1910
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3443
Geekbench 4 multi-core
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Fan Edition 5168
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6708
HTC U11 6495
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5619
View all

Connectivity


The Note FE is unlocked out of the box, and it supports most of the LTE frequency bands for AT&T and T-Mobile. The trade-off is seeing an occasional switch in the cell signal from “LTE” to “3G” in certain areas, whereas a device designed for the American market, or a carrier certified unit, would have no such issues. Another byproduct is the Note FE’s inability to fully leverage aggregated spectrum where AT&T or T-Mobile have enabled it, meaning peak data throughput speeds may be a bit slower than you are accustomed to seeing.

68 Comments
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posted on 25 Jul 2017, 08:51 2

1. jeroome86 (Posts: 2102; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)


Prepare to get ambush with that review.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 10:23

15. Flash (Posts: 1424; Member since: 19 May 2017)


The Fiery Edition Note 7.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 12:06 1

31. abubasim66 (Posts: 3; Member since: 22 Feb 2016)


The Fecal Edition Note 7

(Sorry. Couldn't resist. I only dislike this one because the stupid curved display.)

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 08:55

2. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 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.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:14 2

4. Medoogalaxy (Posts: 109; Member since: 25 May 2017)


Iphone 7 also lag :)

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:35 1

8. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


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

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 10:04 3

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.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 10:24 1

16. Flash (Posts: 1424; Member since: 19 May 2017)


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

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:07 1

20. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 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.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:54 1

30. jacky899 (Posts: 44; Member since: 16 May 2017)


Samsung was caught in the past for paying people to write bad reviews of the HTC One and had to pay a fine. I don't doubt any second that these Samsung fans here are paid by Samsung.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 16:33

50. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


Yup, good point mate.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 19:40

58. greyarea (Posts: 263; Member since: 14 Aug 2015)


It continues to baffle me how much people rag on the site, writers, review scores, other commenters, yet come back regularly and comment at length. Seems to me the most likely reason is that they are paid to do so. Especially when they advocate for one company at length.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 20:23

59. NoToFanboys (Posts: 2976; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Great point.

But you really have to stop talking as if only one side of the blind fanboy nation are at fault, all these blind fanboys are equally annoying and stupid.

Question is, are you one?

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 10:49 1

19. redmd (Posts: 1367; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


No phone is perfect. IPhone 7plus lags and stutters at some point. Which is dissapointing for me as this site claims otherwise. The best reviews should be based on months use of the phone, not days or weeks.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:13 1

22. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


See post 20 lol

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 12:28 1

36. ph00ny (Posts: 1507; Member since: 26 May 2011)


It does lag. Let's not act like mobile devices do not lag

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 12:38 1

37. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


See post 20 lol

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:15 3

5. abdoualgeria (Posts: 750; Member since: 27 Jul 2015)


Iphone 7 on ios 11 lags too

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:36 1

9. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


iPhone 7 doesn't have a lag issue.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:18 3

23. adi90 (Posts: 513; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


If you have saved $1 for every time you have written 'lag' on phonearena.com, you would have saved more than a million dollar.

Is it some kind of kick for you to write lag and samsung in the same sentence every time?

Even if s8, note 7 lags as you say, they are still very good smartphones.

If an iphone user can live with retina display in 2017, a Samsung user can also live with occasional stutter.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:21 1

24. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


It's not occasional stutter. It's consistent stutter lol.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:25 2

26. adi90 (Posts: 513; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


Yes. Just like iphone is consistently boring, samsung also consistently stutter.
Now go out and live your life.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:32 1

27. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


The iPhone is boring to me as well, which is why I don't use one in my device rotation. Doesn't change the fact I'd like Samsung to improve its lag/stutter situation.

We are both on a mobile tech blog right? Nothing about this suggests we aren't living our lives lol.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 16:20 3

48. adi90 (Posts: 513; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


You are definitely living you life but you are too much obsessed about samsung's lag. Don't you get bored writing same point again and again?
Considering the fact you are nexus user, you shouldn't be worried about samsung's device so much.
If in the future samsung can fix its ' tremendously lagging devices' you can switch from nexus and buy a samsung device.

But writing same thing on phonearena.com every other day, will not help you or samsung or anyone.

That is why i said get some life and stop worrying about samsung's lag so much.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 18:54 1

54. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


I'm concerned so that I can return to Samsung smartphones. Nobody is stopping you from ignoring certain comments and moving along lol

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:43 1

29. Leo_MC (Posts: 2677; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Dude, objects - such as phones - are boring, go hang out with other human beings if you want to have fun.

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:43 2

12. kiko007 (Posts: 5385; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


iOS 11 is beta software...

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:19 1

6. sissy246 (Posts: 4022; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


6p can lag, so stop lying.
There is not a phone out there that may not lag once in awhile.

https://youtu.be/rQ9MB47tjVQ

https://youtu.be/8CYAEk3Jd6w

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 09:37 1

10. Lumbergh (Posts: 318; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


6P doesn't have a lag issue. All phones lag, all don't have consistent lag issues.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqn5VUnfCNw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvCdMz3lFpQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcrCDi7J7Uk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1aRxEkDI1g

posted on 25 Jul 2017, 11:22 3

25. adi90 (Posts: 513; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


There is only one consistent thing in your mind and it is the consistent use of word 'lag' every time you see a samsung article on phonearena.com.

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Display5.7 inches, 1440 x 2560 pixels (518 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera12 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2342 MHz, Kryo processor
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5.89 oz  (167 g)

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