We weren’t particularly thrilled by the calling quality on the original Note, but this time around, we do notice a slight improvement. Specifically, voices are deliciously distinctive and clear on both ends of the line – however, its earpiece is still exhibiting the same weak volume tones as before. Conversely, there’s no difficulty in hearing voices with the speakerphone since it’s so strong, but we do notice a bit more muffling with it.

Showing very little fluctuation during our testing, the smartphone is able to pull out a signal strength of -77 dBm under high coverage areas. Moreover, we didn’t experience any dropped calls during our testing – so yeah, it’s pretty much solid in this aspect.

Now don’t get too ahead of yourself in assuming the worst with battery life on the handset, well, that’s because we’re happy to report that it’s not much of a concern with this one. Testing it out primarily under HSPA+ connectivity, we’re able to get close to two days with light usage on a full battery, which is pretty exceptional in our books. Knowing that, it’s blatantly obvious that it’s going to be reduced under LTE connections, but we’d fathom seeing it putting out at least a solid working day on a full charge.


Reiterating the obvious (again), the Samsung Galaxy Note isn’t for everyone, and in fact, it might take some people a good amount of time to get used to accepting its glorified status as being some kind of hybrid device. But simply, that’s where we find all of its allure, as it’s able to come off as being something totally fresh from the usual set of smartphones we’ve been seeing. Yes, it’s pretty much like any other ordinary super spec’d smartphone when you look under the hood, but its sheer size is exactly what makes the Galaxy Note extremely intriguing in the first place. In fact, we’re amazed to find so many random people publicly coming up to us asking, “what is that?”

Of course, there’s always the matter of pricing, which will set you back $299.99 with your signature on a 2-year contract. Hands down, it’s one of the most expensive devices to be sold by AT&T, but then again, when you factor in its high-end hardware, ridiculously large display, and 4G LTE connection, it’s all very justified – even more when it excels in a variety of key areas. Besides its physical traits, the Samsung Galaxy Note has proven itself to be a balanced offering to appease even the most demanding users out there. And on top of that, this version is seeing some improvements over the original – with the inclusion of 4G LTE connectivity being the most profound one of them all.

Despite that, it all comes full circle back to its size, and to tell you the truth, there’s no escaping that whatsoever. When you think about it, this could’ve easily been a forgettable device if it were packing a 4.5” display, but instead, it’s forever going to be remembered for pushing the limits thanks primarily to its size. Furthermore, when you look at the landscape right now, there are few devices that are able to jump out so blatantly – so we have to give kudos to the Note for standing out. Heck, you never know, we might all look back at the Note a few years from now and call it “average” in size for smartphones. Scary to even believe that, but if history has anything to do with it, we can attribute the Note as being the device to popularize this new size.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 2.3.6
Kernel Version:

Samsung Galaxy Note LTE Video Review:


  • Extremely large display
  • Streamlined construction
  • Exceptional battery life


  • Some sluggish performance
  • Too large to use with one hand
  • No Ice Cream Sandwich (yet)

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

14 Reviews



1. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

good review but yet again putting down for not having ICS, give them some time. you have to remember the transition for 2.3-4.0 is much more massive than earlier updates

27. devon613

Posts: 127; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

just got the note at my store this thing is sick....great size and screen better than i thought it would be already got tons of preorders for it....

39. gkquiambao

Posts: 62; Member since: Nov 23, 2011

This isn’t a handset fit for those with small hands, because honestly, it’ll inevitably prove to be too much, as frustration to hold and operate the device settles in. ---this is so wrong. Do you also suggest that we should not use TABLETS if that is your case? Furthermore, it exhibits all of the qualities we adore with Super AMOLED displays in general – like its overly saturated color tones, deep contrast, wide-viewing angles, and a noticeably bluish tinge. ---you praised it, and then you put it down with your words! Some of us have this innate ability to effortlessly type messages with one hand, but honestly, even the best of individuals with this special skill will find it nearly impossible to do with the Galaxy Note ---again how about in the case of tablets??? Coughing up the same level of quality produced by the original model, we’re content with the photos snapped by AT&T’s version as well – though, they’re nothing more than passable. ---"nothing more than passable"? are you serious?

44. Asphyxiation

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

Chill out. Do you get paid to review reviews? Shut up. You are never going to try and hold a tablet with one hand and type on it with that same hand. For those of us that know what Super AMOLED displays are like, his words were no downer. Considering that Samsung is not the leader in mobile phone cameras, yes, what he said is correct. Again, chill out. There are funny trolls and obnoxious ones. You are the latter. The latter is also extremely annoying. Do your homework before you criticize someone else next time. Good day to you.

40. gkquiambao

Posts: 62; Member since: Nov 23, 2011 says: Speaking of the Samsung Galaxy Note size, there are two approaches to it. Its measures of 146.8 x 83 x 9.7 mm, coupled with 178 grams of weight, qualify the handset as huge by any smartphone standards. If you look at the I717 as a tablet however, the perspective changes completely. It is easier to carry around than any tablet, without (mostly) compromising on functionality. *this is a more comprehensive review. Comparing the Note to both phone and tablet, because its a phablet after all.

43. E.N.

Posts: 2610; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Phonearena's review is fair. The Galaxy Note is a phone first, tablet second. This review, I think, is based on the assumption that people were going to carry this device around in their pocket and in their hands every day. In that case, their review was on point. "This isn’t a handset fit for those with small hands, because honestly, it’ll inevitably prove to be too much, as frustration to hold and operate the device settles in." - As a phone, this point is completely true and is going to be the factor that is going to turn you off/on at first sight. The tablet perspective is not too important because most people don't have the tablet on their person everywhere they go (mall, grocery shopping, class, gym, work, friend's house). When you're using a tablet, you're expecting a largish device. When you're using a phone, you're usually not.

2. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

typical PA, unless there is a krapple icon on the back, they take two points off the score. your guys are so biased. it is blatently obvious if a modern spec'd beast like this gets an 8/10, and iturd scores higher on a rehashed model from 2010, something is wrong!

4. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

i understand some of the points why it got knocked down, like performance, i would have taken just hspa+ using the og 1.4ghz exynos or clock it up even more, over the lte crapdragon they put in it

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the constant switch to crapdragon is really annoying. I want to know who made the decision to use crapdragon instead of OMAP, which is also LTE capable... and stronger. Why would you flip out the best chip set for the worst? Honestly, Id only give it an 8 because of the screen and pen. Anything that has been switched from exynos to crapdragon should be reduced to 7 to adjust for poor performance.

13. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I actually played with the Note and I can tell you that this phone is the most optimized phone to ever run a snapdragon. Samsung did a really good job at software optimization of this device but it still lagged. Not like anything that is a super deal breaker or even super noticeable. It lagged with the live wall paper because I had tons of background applications running. So Remixfa, you are right.

32. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011 A much less Apple Fan ass boy site than this place.

5. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012 glad i bought the international version, i prefer the in the middle physical home screen button, specially for such a huge phone. plus this way, i ll get the ics update much much earlier than the branded versions. by the end of march, i ll be licking my teeth cuz of the sweet taste of ics

6. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Fair review, I think. This is a fun device for those who are interested, but it isn't practical for everyone. I am also a little critical of reviews that pound on Android devices for not being released with ICS. We saw this last year this about this time over dual-core processors. Why detract from a device over something that is not the industry standard yet?

9. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

im with you on that one. If its Q2 and super devices still dont have ICS, then pound em. But no major US phone has ICS yet that isnt a nexus, so why detract? Seems very arbitrary and sore. But detract all day for those crapdragon chips. I cant wait for the S3 to become trash... well.. in the trash.. because its already trash. on a side note, its nice to see more and more people saying crapdragon :) look at me, im adding new words to the lexicon! :) lololol.

10. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

you remixfa are awesome xD you and your fancy words lol but seriously crapdragons suck

7. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

my only concern about this phone is the price. I know that this sounds crazy, but i'll wait for the price to do down b4 i get it. I like everything else that comes with it and im waiting for LTE to come to st louis

14. theo14461 unregistered

You can thank Verizon for starting this $299.99 price point. It was just a matter of time before others followed suit.

11. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

I'm very excited about this phone. Yes it is disappointing about the snapdragon, but after seeing it in person at CES. I was truly amazed and sold on it. I'm predicting this can be amazing office device for many companies to utilize is multi-functionality. A lot of companies have been switching to tablets to save money and some companies often defer to company phones. It a lot of ways, this device can knock out two birds with one stone. Looking forward to picking mine up soon.

12. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

Too big. No way. S3 plz.

15. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1246; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

I remember the huge debates about whether of not the Droid X was too big when it was coming out... That phone would like tiny compared to this. Crazy how things change in such a short amount of time.

42. ghost__uwi

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 28, 2011

by next yeah iPad sized tablets will be the new phone :S I don't like where this is going now.

16. JGuinan007

Posts: 699; Member since: May 19, 2011

I want it bad have to wait 3 mo days Im jonezn for it gimme gimme gimme!

17. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

No ICS is not a big deal. Let Google get the bugs out of it first. The pathetic battery life of EVERY LTE phone is much more important. This phone should have a 4000 MAH battery. And every other phone should be another half as thick so a bigger battery can fit. Maybe Moto will start a new trend with the Droid Max.

18. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

oh so it's justified for AT&T to have a crapdragon powered phone cost $300 but it's just too much for Verizon's awesome high-end line up? lol okay. xD

19. maen555

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 04, 2012

299 2 year contract? that's about 7176 $ i prefer to buy it cash from any store it still a lot cheaper :D

20. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

I totally agree. im a big man (6'7" 235lbs) and this is the perfect phone for me....................but im not paying $300 for a 2yr contract when there are tablets that cost the same!! i'll wait for the price to go down

25. Alantef

Posts: 288; Member since: Sep 14, 2011

6'7 and 235....why aren't you playing WR for the Browns lol???????

34. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

LMBO!!! Had surgery on my knee playing basketball...great reply lmbo

22. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

were you not going to be with AT&T for two years anyway? xD

23. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

yeah, but I dont think that you should pay $300 for a 2yr contract phone. I thought it wouldve been $200 like the Skyrocket...which i would pay for to renew with AT&T. i know that the phone itself is over $600 retail, but i might change my mind later

* 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 Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 2500 mAh(10.00h talk time)

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