- Reception and call quality Clear both ways. No drops. Have LTE in my city on Bell. Surfing websites and watching mobile TV heaven on LTE networks. Hogging it before everyone else has LTE.
- Display Not perfect and best for newer and HD viewing. Older websites show their deficiencies and fuzziness on a larger screen but can never go back to a 4 incher.
- Battery life Easily can get through the day which I couldn't say about my Milestone. Glad they used the extra real estate to put a honking beast of a batt under the hood.
- Camera It's not going to replace a Full HD camcorder or anything. As opposed to some reviewers this is the least important feature for me.
- Ease of use Upgrading from a Milestone with 2.1.1 so I'd probably be happy with anything. S-pen very cool and easy to use but only pull it out to impress geeks and ladies.
- Design and form factor I don't think I would have liked the original Note design with the big button and like that they ditched it for the North American version. Thin design awesome.
- Portability (size / weight) The limit for these. Anything larger is too big for making a call with one hand. Difficult for people with small hands, fine for me. So light for its size!
- Media support Underrated amount of codec support. I'm a FLAC man! Audio quality fantastic as opposed to iCraps. Decent headphones out of box but upgrade if serious.
- Durability Gorilla glass, extremely high quality build. Have already dropped a couple of times with no issues. Flexible back makes big differences on drops.
- Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) Only thing Apple has on Android is apps-number of apps and how they perform on iOS compared to Android. Can live with the promise of ICS but better come soon.
Phablets aren't for everyone but they are for me. This is what I've been waiting years for. Everything including a fantastic media player in one unit. I actually almost bought an iPad when they first came out because I thought that purchasing 3G models meant you could use it as a phone. Of course not, Apple would rather beat more money out of you.
After a week or so. the phone does not feel too big. It looks daunting at the store, I almost went for a Nexus, until you actually put one in your hand and realize it's not so bad.
I absolutely love it. Loved just instantly popping out the 16GB card from my Milestone and putting it in my Note for an instant 32GB phone and no need to transfer anything.
Other than issues with Android's OS (still always getting better,) my only complaint is the lack of notification light. It's nice to have in discrete situations. Am learning to live with vibration notifications when it's in my pocket. The idea of noLED is great but then it means your screen is on all the time. Only use noLED occasionally at work so I'm not obsessively checking my phone every two seconds for emails, texts, etc.
The quality of the media player in Samsung phones compared to Apple and the Motorola Milestone I used to have cannot be understated. It's video is the best I've ever used and its audio is just as good as a Cowon A3 I used to own and now no longer miss. People just look at PPI with these smartphones without thinking of things like convertors, color, contrast and most importantly for me-audio quality. It makes me laugh that people drool over iPhones (A 94 here for the 4S? Really?) when they sound like old transistor radios that your grandpa used to use with a single mono earbud. Through history we have learned that people will buy any iCrap despite the fact that they ALL have the worst fidelity sound in the history of smartphones and that they have no intention of ever improving it. Many of these people also probably own Bose speakers and systems and think that those are the best. Even funnier is that "audiophiles" will buy 600 dollar headphones for their iCraps when the biggest upgrade would be to just buy any other brand of smartphone if audio is important to them. Samsungs for one are worth the expensive headphones, iCraps are not.
Seeing that they're phones I think it's funny that people love iCraps despite my wife's constantly dropping calls. No dropped calls here yet.
The Note may not be for everyone. I bristle at all the major press reviews whining and knocking it down a couple of points solely based on its size but for some I guess it will be a valid complaint. Try one out at a store, buy one and if you don't like it return it within the return period for a Nexus. But it's for me and how I use technology. I absolutely love it. Time to Note-ify ICS and get it out, please!
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Updated detailed review
Updated detailed review