Top critical review
43 people found this helpful
Only if you use a screen protector
on March 5, 2012
I love this phone, so much so that I was willing to leave the Apple ecosystem for it. The screen is beautiful. Web pages and movies pop. I tested some of the complaints about color banding and found the phone display to be fine. The 4G is super snappy. Pages that make my i-phone spin loaded quickly. Streaming HD movies over 4G look very good. Again, I tested some of the complaints about pixilation and didn't find a problem. The s-pen works well and is a cool feature that replaces the need for my sticky note collection. The camera takes great pictures. The phone is quite large, and is not a good one handed phone, but it does fit in your pocket.
It's a 5 star phone, so why 3 stars? Ironically, what I love most about it is what I like least about it. The gorgeous 5.3 inch screen collects scratches more than any other phone I've owned. I noticed the display model was scratched but chalked that up to abuse. However, when I asked one of the AT&T reps for a sample to walk around with to see how it felt in my pocket, she brought me the one she had been testing for 2 weeks. It had more than 10 small scratches on the screen. When the screen was brightly lit they disappeared, but when viewing dark images they were noticeable. She told me she had been careful with the phone and recommended a screen protector. In comparison, my `naked' 3 year old phone screen looked brand new next to her 2 week old Note. I researched online and found several reviewers who had owned the Note for more than a week saying the same thing. Scratch magnet. Get a screen protector.
I don't mind learning a new operating system, or repurchasing apps I already own. I'm even willing to give up one handed operation and the convenience of a smaller device. But I can't cover the feature I love the most with some cheap plastic that will make it look worse. Screen protectors inevitably trap air bubbles, dirt, and start peeling away. I prefer to use my device in its natural state. This doesn't seem practical with the Note. Samsung needs to come up with a more scratch resistant screen. If you don't care about using a screen protector or scratches, then I strongly recommend the phone.