Review: Samsung Galaxy Note is unique and impressive, but not for everyone

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a refreshing departure from the rest of the smartphone pack with its large display and stylus-like pen

By Ginny Mies, PC World |  Consumerization of IT, Android, Samsung Galaxy Note

Right now, the included apps that support pen mode are Polaris Office, S Memo and a game called Crayon Physics. Polaris Office lets you create documents, spreadsheets and slideshow presentations. You can insert drawings or screenshots in a presentation or use the pen to insert text. Crayon Physics is a cute game where you draw objects to get a ball to from point A to point B. This verison of Samsung's TouchWiz interface has a few interesting features including resizable widgets for the homescreen and a revamped calendar app. The calendar app takes advantage of the larger display with a tabbed interface that lets you view the whole year, a week, a month, three days, a day, etc. There are quite a few AT&T- and Samsung-added apps like AT&T's Live TV, AT&T Navigator, YPMobile, Samsung Media Hub and more. You can remove some of these apps, however, by hitting the Menu key and selecting "Edit." Performance The Galaxy Note is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor. The European version, on the other hand, has a 1.4GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos processor. I tested a few graphics-heavy games on the Note including Osmos HD and World of Goo. Both ran smoothly without any glitches and looked terrific on the Note's large display. Video also ran flawlessly without any issues. I ran the Vellamo benchmarking app on the Note to test graphics and browser performance. We take these scores with a grain of salt since the app is made by Qualcomm and the Galaxy Note has a Qualcomm processor. Surprisingly, the Note didn't do that well with a score of 773. This benchmark puts the Note behind both the Droid Razr (1040) and the Galaxy Nexus (803). I also ran the FCC-approved Ookla app to test the Galaxy Note's data speeds over AT&T LTE in San Francisco. The LTE signal strength in my neighborhood in San Francisco must be weaker than where PCWorld's offices are. In my neighborhood, I got an average download speed of 24.64 Mbps and an average upload speed of 8.78 Mbps. These are ridiculously fast speeds and you can see the power of AT&T's LTE when downloading apps (takes seconds), browsing the Web and watching streaming video. Call quality was good over AT&T's network. My friends on the other end of the line reported that my voice sounded clear and natural. I couldn't detect any distortion or static in my friends' voices though a few sounded a bit distant. We haven't yet formally tested battery life, but the Galaxy Note lasted a full day of heavy testing before I had to plug in again. We'll update this section once we run our battery tests. Camera The 8-megapixel camera snapped good pictures indoors and out. The colors in my indoor and outdoor photos looked accurate while details were sharp.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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