267 of 271 people found the following review helpful
Great Hardware; So so software,
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note 4G, Blue (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
Mine came in Saturday the 18th so only one day later than promised. I'm OK with that. Spent the day playing around with it. I lead an enterprise mobility team and lab for a Fortune 500 company and have access to a lot of the bleeding edge technology coming from vendors these days (except Apple who doesn't share much).
I have to say this thing is excellent. It is big. It fits in one hand for me but being a musician I'm used to stretching my fingers and such so it was no biggie for me. I could see how someone with smaller hands might have trouble using it one handed. Even with my finger stretch I was worried about holding it just in one hand.
I live in an area where AT&T is just now rolling LTE and it isn't anywhere near me but I was getting close to 8Mb down and 1.5 Mb up yesterday in a few areas. The notification bar showed 4G but not 4GLTE so I'm assuming it is HSPA+. (???)
GPS is fantastic. Works like a charm. No problems with Wi-Fi at all and getting great speeds on it.
I really like the S Pen. So many have said "the stylus is dead". Well I have to say after using an iPad and iPad 2 with a capacitive pen and loving Penultimate to the point of no longer taking paper notes (until my work iPad bit the dust) I like taking notes electronically. I have tried every mainstream Android tablet out there in my lab or in stores with good pens and none are that great. Just not good. Until I tried the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. It has a "stylus" type pen (digitizer) and an app (Notes Mobile ... man I wish they would release for all Android devices not just Lenovo and iOS) that is just out of this world. it got me back to thinking that a stylus is the way to go for accurate note taking and ultimately got me thinking about the Samsung Note.
All that to be said I am fairly impressed. The S Pen is very accurate in its capture of my writing and drawing. It is fast and smooth with not "catches" or "snags" in the writing. Very well done hardware wise. Software wise I am NOT impressed. The handwriting recognition is so Palm. :-) It is only about 50% accurate with my handwriting when trying my best. The Notes Mobile with Lenovo was probably 90% accurate with my WORST handwriting and it converted LIVE on the page as I was writing. It was FANTASTIC. Bottom line on the S Pen ... great hardware ... not so great software.
The screen. Oooohhhhh the screen. I am in love. Yes ... the screen is simply AMAZING. The color is great, the viewing angles are good. I have a Kindle Touch for reading as I've never found another device as light, comfortable, yet big enough to read (as I am a prolific reader). I would have to say the Samsung Note is pushing the envelope. If battery life is good enough to get me through a six hour flight (in airplane mode) or several days of average use then I'm sold and might not need the Kindle. The text with the Kindle app (and in general) is sharp and very easy to read. Video is just astounding.
Performance wise the device is very good. I know there were concerns that the performance of the AT&T (US) Snapdragon 1.5 GHz CPU wouldn't hold up to the 1.4 GHz Exynos that was in the non-US devices. I can't compare the two but the benchmarks I've seen online do show that difference. All I can say is that this is my third Android (had iPhones and WinMobile before that) and it outperforms anything else and has handled all of the 3D games and such I throw at it so unless you are going to be doing massive 3D rendering on this thing (HA) I wouldn't worry about it.
Sound is good. Being a musician I like to take a lot of music with me and the sound has been more than sufficient so far. I haven't tried recording on it yet with my audio interface for Android but let's hope it is quiet. I do like the music app that is included better than others I've used on both Android and iOS. I have am not a fan of bloatware but so far the apps have been useful. I wasn't a fan of TouchWiz when I first saw it on other devices but as other reviewers have state with the extra screen real-estate I think this implementation is nice. I'm VERY much looking forward to ICS on this device if AT&T doesn't take a year to get it to us. I think the "phablet", "phoblet" or "phone tablet" (whatever you want to call it) implementation is nice and ICS would probably work well on this form factor.
Overall build quality is good. Even the plastic back feels OK compared say to the Infuse. I've ordered an oleophobic screen protector that has good reviews with the S Pen and a "case" that goes over the back to protect it but that's it for now until I get used to it. Just want to protect it at this point. The buttons for volume and power / sleep feel nice and solid and comparable to other devices I've had and tested in my lab.
So overall it seems to be a fantastic device. This will be my main device now so we'll see how she holds up under heavy use and handling. Very pleased with this purchase so far. S Pen software could have been better implemented and in a more modern way but it will suffice for now. Also hoping Notes Mobile might make it on the device ... grin. Nice job Samsung.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 20, 2012 4:02:12 PM PDT
The stylus pen is awesome but the button where it's located can be a pain because when you push on it while writing, it stops the writing. I hope they improve this button in the future of this phone but oh well. I got use to it though but 4 stars is what I give it too.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2012 3:24:26 PM PDT
Vince Arter Jr. says:
I agree on the S Pen button. I have a second that I bought which comes in a normal pen shell that is a lot easier. I can't wait for the Galaxy Note 10.1 ... might be the first tablet I've liked. :-)
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