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Preface Samsung recently made the announcement that they sold 10 million Notes worldwide. While the device's 5.3-inch screen seemed a questionable choice at first, the Note has proved to be a genuine success for Samsung so much so that it is planning to launch a successor with bumped up specs later this month. Competitor LG attracted by success of Note launched LG Optimus Vu which was also well received. The Note deserves kudos as being the device to popularize this new size. Galaxy Note has been given the status of a hybrid device between a tablet and a smartphone. It has the specs under the hood that can match any top of the line smartphone, but its gigantic proportions is what makes the Note deeply intriguing in the first place. I'm opening this topic to review the Note (N-7000) which I bought last month, upgrading from Motorola Photon 4G. The Basics 1.4GHz dual core Exynos CPU, Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera in the rear (with flash) and a 2 megapixel camera up-front. And the usual suspects are present - Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, accelerometer, digital compass, proximity, barometer and light sensor. 16GB internal memory which can be extended up to 32GB via microSD card. S-Pen makes debut with the Note. Hardware This review will mainly focus on the defining feature of Note i.e. form factor and the monstrous display. Aesthetically, Note is a prodigious version of the Galaxy SII. If the SGSII looks agreeable to you, then you will positively like the appearance of the Note. The Galaxy Note might have borrowed some features from the Samsung Galaxy S II, but the screen definitely isn't one of them - the latter's Super AMOLED Plus display has been switched for a new HD Super AMOLED screen. The biggest change is in the resolution, which has sky rocketed from 800 x 480 pixels on the earlier one to 1280 x 800 pixels here. Yes, that's the same resolution as 10.1'' tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and comes just short of the resolution of my 15.6" HP pavilion 2103TU laptop (1366 x 768). This translates to 285 ppi pixel density. The only downgrade here is that the 'Plus' moniker has now been dropped from the end of Super Amoled which means they have shifted from the regular RGB to PenTile technology (i.e. with two sub-pixels in each pixel rather than three subpixels, which lowers the effective resolution). But with Note you will be hard pressed to spot evidence of the Pentile matrix causing jagged edges and pixalation. The screen is gorgeous and watching HD movies, browsing webpages and playing HD games is simply a joy. size comparison - Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3. Is this the best display? No, IMO the HTC One X deserves the top spot as the SC-LCD2's color balance, clarity and viewing angles is better and the Note's display looks washed out and the brightness is relatively low at times. Again this is all subject to individual's perception. In spite of its gigantic 5.3-inch display the Note is remarkably slim measuring just 9.65mm and weighs 178 grams which is thankfully evenly spread. Samsung has also kept the bezel to a bare minimum. This trim, lightweight form helps make the Note manageable in a single hand although a second set of digits will be indispensable when you are typing as our thumb won't be able to encompass every corner of its humongous display. Software Out of the box, we have TouchWiz interface running on top of Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread. An update to ICS is now availble which also brings in extra multimedia features and a range of new S Pen optimized apps. S Memo and S planner are two apps that should be mentioned. S-Memo is the special notes app, which will allow you to leverage the possibilities of the included S Pen. S Planner is a facelifted calendar app. Performance The Galaxy S2 has a 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor. In use the phone feels incredibly quick – whether you are browsing heavy web pages or swapping between applications it never feels slow. It can play full HD videos without breaking a sweat, though I found the Home screen lagging sometimes after closing an application and returning home and while applying graphic intensive live wallpapers. Benchmarking, though not fully reliable, is a good way of measuring the overall performance of a smartphone's internal hardware components. I personally prefer Antutu as it is a comprehensive Android benchmarking app that produces consistent results. Antutu measures an Android device's CPU performance, 2D and 3D graphics performance, memory speed and internal and external storage read/write speeds. It combines the results for each test and gives the device a final score. The Note scored an impressive 6185. In the more popular Quadrant Standard test, Note hit 3087. Under moderate use (which included 70 mins of voice calls, 2 hrs of watching HD movies, an hour of browsing/readers hub, numerous mails/texts. The auto-sync and auto brightness setting was turned on) the 2,500 mAh battery struggled to last a day and half. The Bad Pocketability is an issue due to its XXL size. Using the Note as your day-to-day, on-the-go phone doesn't seem to be the most practical or comfortable option. The phone suffers from occassional lag which is simply unacceptable considering its premium positioning. The battery life is just mediocre and particularly so when you are on 3G network. The S-Pen (stylus) is not very responsive. No dedicated camera key. Not exactly a defect but hot swappable microSD card would have been a welcome addition. After updating to ICS many of the users are facing low free RAM and battery drain issues. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Thanks to my friends Saiesh and Gokulan for letting me play with their Tab, S3.