in Gadgets & Gizmos, Personal Posts, Tech & Web

Samsung Galaxy Note Review


Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is due to be launched this 24th of October and I still haven’t written a review about its predecessor yet. This post is long past due but like they always say, it’s better late than never.

I received my Galaxy Note early this year as a Valentine’s Day present from my husband. I will be discussing in details about all the stuff I both love and hate about this phablet slash tabphone. I’m not a tech geek so please bear with me.




5.3″ Screen Display. I used to laugh at people using larger cellphones out in the street, but that was all in the past. I guess the era of pocket-sized phones have come to its end, thanks to the innovation of tablets. The evidence is right in front of our eyes – Galaxy S3 is slightly larger than its predecessor, and iPhone 5 is longer than iPhone 4S. It makes perfect sense actually. The more features added to a smartphone, the bigger it gets. When mobile phones were first introduced with only call & text features, and with not much anything to do, small screens were enough.

Galaxy Note’s large screen is just the perfect size for nearsighted gals like me. Now, I don’t need to stick the phone right in front of my face. I struggled during the first few weeks though. It won’t fit in my palm and there was a time when it slipped off my hand while I was walking. All I needed was to get familiar with it; after all it’s my largest phone yet.

Well, after almost 8 months of using the Note, I can’t help but wonder how I managed to survive using smaller phones in the past (see my Cellphone History post). I was even shocked when I used my iPod Touch once again. It seemed lilliputian compared to my gargantuan phone.

With a larger screen, I can also read ebooks comfortably – everywhere I am. Owning a Kindle will mean a lot to me, but I can still enjoy my Kindle books using the free Amazon Kindle app on my phone so I won’t bother saving up for one – for now.

I can’t technically describe the difference among the top smartphones with regards to graphics. All I know is, the viewing experience is better and the colors appear more vivid with a bigger screen.

Jelly Belly jellybeans live wallpaper



8 Megapixel Camera with LED Flash and 4x digital zoom. A phone and a digital camera in one. My recent blog posts include photos from my phone. Now, I seldom use my 12 megapixel Canon Ixus 100 IS. But of course my digicam is still my 1st choice for taking pictures during special events and occasions.

Read also:  Oliver's Super Sandwiches

I must admit that it’s hard to take photos using a large phone. It’s almost impossible to use only one hand without worrying that the phone might fall. Plus, the flip cover makes the job two times harder. But then again, constant practice makes perfect. 🙂

Here’s a sample photo using the Samsung Galaxy Note camera. Auto settings used (size, focus, resolution). All images are saved in large jpeg formats.


Samsung Galaxy Note Sample Photo



S Pen, S Memo, and S Note. Since it has both the capabilities of a phone and a mini tablet, it comes with a stylus. The S Pen is pretty useful for me, especially when I need to sketch something. The crop & capture and photo doodling features allow for easier personalization. However, creating a masterful work of art is a challenge for non-pro artists like me.

The S Memo looks like a notepad. I can draw doodles using the S Pen and touch-input text. It features a mini Photoshop where I can change the pen settings (style, size, and color). Here’s a dessert recipe doodle I created months ago.


S Memo - Samsung Galaxy Note


The S Note is a recent addition to the list of Samsung Apps. It’s an advanced S Memo with built-in productivity tools. It features ready-made templates for diaries, travel notes, meetings, and recipes.


 S Note Productivity Tools



Google Play Store. The iTunes store has better apps, especially in the Photography category. I miss Hipstamatic and Camera+. Anyway, some paid apps in iTunes are available to be downloaded for free in Android so I’m not complaining. 🙂 I also love Go SMS and Go Launcher from the Play Store. I can personalize the theme of my phone, something I can’t do with an iPhone.

2,500mAh battery. I’m a little disappointed with the battery life. It’s understandable that a large screen needs more power. I had to recharge every single day, sometimes twice. With the power saving mode turned off, the performance is better and faster but the battery life lasts for only a few hours (let’s say 6 hours maximum). I can always purchase a spare battery for emergencies and minimize the power consumption with system power saving, but I think that a mobile phone this good should include an excellent battery life. I’ve heard that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has improved in this area and I’m looking forward to know if it’s true.


My 8-month old Note dressed in her orchid purple flip cover.

 Samsung Galaxy Note Purple Flip Cover



Published: 2012-10-11 13:07:39

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