T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note Review

6
Introduction and Design
Introduction:

Months after AT&T customers managed to relish on the obnoxiously ginormous Samsung Galaxy Note, it’s finally T-Mobile’s turn to get a crack at it. Expected to arrive on the carrier’s lineup starting on August 8th for the 2-year contract price of $249.99, it’ll be on par to AT&T’s version with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the Premium Suite all on board out of the box. However, considering that there have been other recent attractive options on the market, will it still be able to entice conscious buyers?


Design:

Aside from the T-Mobile branding below the earpiece, this version is identical to AT&T’s version – meaning, its choice of materials, build quality, and size are unchanged. Even now, it’s still one unwieldy thing to handle with one hand, and instead, it’s best to be used with two. No doubt, it’s memorable for its sheer size, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.



You can compare the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.


Touring around the handset, we’re presented with items like its microUSB port, volume control, 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancellation mic, power button, standard mic, and the usual set of capacitive Android buttons.


In the rear, there’s an 8-megapixel snapper with LED flash, which has the ability to shoot 1080p video – while a 2-megapixel front-facing camera rounds things out. Once again, there’s a slot towards the underside of the handset that accommodates the S-Pen. Lastly, removing the plastic rear cover grants us access to its 2,500 mAh battery, SIM slot, and microSD card slot.



Display:

If there’s a single feature that stands out most with the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note, it’s undeniably none other than its gigantic 5.3” WXGA 800 x 1280 Super AMOLED display. Yeah, it’s ridiculously big, but it’s aided by its high resolution and iridescent color production – both of which aid to its polarizing attraction.



T-Mobile Samsung GALAXY Note 360-degrees View:





Interface:

Luckily there’s no waiting around with this one, as T-Mobile’s version is graced with the updated Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich experience with the accompanying Premium Suite. Honestly, it’s a welcomed sight, but as we’re all too well aware by now, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before. Nonetheless, the underlying core features of Android are all there – while satisfying our productivity side with its Premium Suite of apps.



Processor:

Not a shocker at the very least, this Galaxy Note is packing a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. Relying on the older S3 CPU, its age is starting to show as evidence of choppiness is evident when navigating around with a live wallpaper. Besides that, it manages to maintain a good amount of responsiveness with other basic tasks. It’s no speed demon when compared to some of the newer things on the block, but it’s enough to convince us that it still has some gas left in the tank.



Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note3417649135,1
Samsung Galaxy S III 53351201658,6
HTC One S4867701260,7
Google Nexus 73599055,7


Camera:

As a whole, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note is passable enough to use for capturing photos and videos. On the still shot side, it handles most outdoor scenarios with few issues, but indoors under low lighting, it strains the eyes with its noisy and bland appearance. Conversely, its 1080p video recording quality fares better with its sharper visuals combined with its smooth capture rate.





Samsung Galaxy Note T-Mobile Sample Video:



Multimedia:

There’s nothing out of the ordinary with its TouchWiz music player, but then again, it shouldn’t come to be a surprise to us. Thankfully, its speaker is able to belt out some powerful tones that resonate with a good amount of vibrancy at the loudest volume – plus, it helps there are equalizer settings to enhance its quality.


Movie watchers better listen up, mainly because the Galaxy Note is the perfect device for the occasion. Using out test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution, it comes to life on the smartphone’s massive display.



Internet:

Perhaps, we’re still reminiscing over the LTE connectivity attached with AT&T’s variant, but nevertheless, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ speeds are enough to load pages with minimal wait. Rounding out its lovely appeal in the web browsing department, it maintains a responsive rate with all of its actions – even when it’s confronted by Flash heavy sites.





Call quality:

Calling quality hasn’t changed with this one, as the earpiece still produces some soft tones – though, at least voices are clear, distinct, and noise-free on both ends of the line. Turning our attention to the speakerphone, it’s obviously strong, but tends to have some muffling with its output.

In high coverage areas, the handset receives a solid connection to the network – with no fluctuations or dropped connections during our usage.


Battery:

Unless you’re constantly using the handset to its limits, battery life with the handset is nothing more than average. In fact, we’re able to get a solid day out of normal usage.


Conclusion:

Let’s be real here folks, the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note is a wonderful device on so many levels, but taking into account its late arrival onto the scene, it no longer has the same appeal and allure when it first arrived. Unless you desperately love its large display and ideal note taking capabilities, it’s really hard to choose this one as opposed to newer offerings out there – namely the Samsung Galaxy S III. We fell in love with this smartphone twice already, but with this third time around, it’s hard to uncover those feelings once again with this version.


Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 4.0.4
Kernel Version: 3.0.8
Build Number: IMM76D.UVLF5

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note Video Review:





Pros

  • Extremely large display
  • Running ICS out of the box

Cons

  • Late arrival
  • Somewhat pricey

PhoneArena Rating:

7.5

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