Camera

An outstanding sensor with processing that works harder than it needs to


We are reunited with the same 12-megapixel camera that we have seen on last year’s, and this year’s Samsung flagships. Despite having the new Samsung Experience UI, and Bixby on board, the Note FE’s camera interface is not updated with added features like Bixby Vision, or the ability to apply an animal mask to people’s faces.

That does not detract from the reality, however, that the images captured by the Note FE are wonderful, as we have come to expect from Samsung. Post-processing seems to favor over-sharpening, but just as often as not, you have to zoom in to really see it.

In darker conditions, the F1.7 aperture lends a hand in bringing plenty of ambient light into the picture, a feature we praised in our review last year. Like any smartphone camera, even with OIS, things can get a little fuzzy, but for the masses (or the few, really), the Note FE takes pictures that rival any flagship, past or present.

The front-facing 5-megapixel camera does not break any new ground, it has a wide field of view, so selfies are no problem. Wanting to spare the readership of images dominated by my ugly mug, I took it upon myself to find some people to take “us-ies” instead, with a family visiting California’s Capitol, and a couple CHP officers making the rounds. Plus, it gave an excuse to also try a selfie stick. Even with very bright sunlight conditions creating sharp changes between shadows and light, the camera performed well.

Video


The camera brings much of that same photographic competence to video recording as well. The Note FE records 4K video at 30 frames-per-second. You can also record 2K video at 30 fps. FHD video can be recorded at 30 or 60 fps. Certain features like image stabilization, video effects, and tracking auto-focus are not available when recording in the higher resolution settings.

Multimedia

Ideal for consuming video content, speaker is weak sauce


The beautiful 5.7-inch AMOLED display makes the Note FE ideal when it comes to taking in video content. With support for HDR10, you can harness more enriching goodies as providers like Netflix expand their offerings.

The single bottom-mounted speaker is barely adequate, and in order to hear anything, you really need to hammer the volume rocker. The sounds are clear, and there is nothing in the way of distortion, but among the current crop of available devices, the Note FE’s speaker does not shine. On the flip side of that, audio through the 3.5mm headphone jack works just fine.

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70 Comments

1. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Prepare to get ambush with that review.

15. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

The Fiery Edition Note 7.

31. abubasim66

Posts: 5; Member since: Feb 22, 2016

The Fecal Edition Note 7 (Sorry. Couldn't resist. I only dislike this one because the stupid curved display.)

70. danny_a2005

Posts: 365; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

How is it possible that this FE Edition has more score than the original note 7, it has a smaller battery. And by now those specs are 2016. I don't understand this score thing. But it's not accurate at all

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.

30. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 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.

50. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Yup, good point mate.

58. greyarea

Posts: 267; Member since: Aug 14, 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.

59. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 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?

19. redmd

Posts: 1947; Member since: Oct 26, 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.

22. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

See post 20 lol

36. ph00ny

Posts: 2065; Member since: May 26, 2011

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

37. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

See post 20 lol

5. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Iphone 7 on ios 11 lags too

9. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

iPhone 7 doesn't have a lag issue.

23. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

24. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

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

26. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 2015

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

27. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 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.

48. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 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.

54. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

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

12. kiko007

Posts: 7520; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

iOS 11 is beta software...

6. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 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

10. Lumbergh

Posts: 463; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

25. adi90

Posts: 554; Member since: Dec 21, 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.
Galaxy Note Fan Edition
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 8 Octa, Octa-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3200 mAh

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