Trending March 2024 # Galaxy Note 2 Marshmallow Update: Cm13 And Other Roms # Suggested April 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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You must have seen plenty of Marshmallow update articles in recent time as regards official announcement and other unofficial ROMs, but there are still many devices awaiting Android 6.0 update. The Galaxy Note 2 is one such device, one that won’t get the Marshmallow update official from Samsung as it’s too old now for an OEM to maintain software support.

Thankfully though, you have custom ROMs like CM13 which get you taste of Marshmallow right away. Yes, you can install Android 6.0 update on your Galaxy Note 2 even though it’s not from Samsung. It’s safe and can be uninstalled easily too, just by installing Note 2 Samsung firmware back, in case you decide to go back to Lollipop.

Because CM13 is based on pure Android code, you get stock Marshmallow UI with it. This is great because stock UI is far more eye-pleasing that the TouchWiz UI, and performs way faster too.

Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G Marshmallow Update

Because of no bloatware, RAM is consumed less too. You will get more free RAM on these unofficial Marshmallow update for Note 2 than you ever got on your Samsung firmware on Note 2. Galaxy Note 2 shouldn’t have any problem running Marshmallow update as it’s power packed with good processor and cool 2GB RAM, enough to run Marshmallow easily.

The Marshmallow update brings many new features, and some great under the hood improvements that result in better stability of the device, and also increase battery life. You have a new Marshmallow feature called Doze mode, that puts the device into deep sleep at night (when not in use) to save battery by around 20% more compared to previous versions of Android. Apps that you don’t use frequently are also out into deep sleep so that they don’t consume precious RAM and battery juice.

Read:  Sony Xperia ZR Marshmallow Update

Note 2 Marshmallow update will also get you superior app control, wherein you can keep a tab on each app’s battery usage (remove those which each more battery, thus) and data used. Another highlight feature of Note 2 Android 6.0 update is Now On Tap in Google Search app, that brings information and suggestions on whatever you’re looking at screen, simply by holding down the home button. It’s one of much-loved Marshmallow feature.

Earlier, installing an app means that you are agreed to let it use whatever parts of your phone it asked to use. Now app permission will ask for access to parts of your phone when they need it. The App Permissions will allow users to decide which permissions they want to allow or cancel.

Note: Finding any difficulty for how to install TWRP for your device? You can install the TWRP recovery for Galaxy Note 2 from here easily.

Supported devices

Galaxy Note 2, model no. GT-N7100

Don’t try this on any other device whose model no. is different than the one specified above.

Download Marshmallow Custom ROMs

Find the Marshmallow ROMs along with their download link below. Also linked is ROM’s development page, where you could find that ROM’s latest download link, the current list of bugs (if any) and the list of features and all other info about the ROM.

1. CyanogenMod 13 (CM13)

2. Resurrection Remix

3. BlissROM

4. Temasek

5. Tesla

How to Install

Well, download the ROM of your choice from above first. Then check the link below to guide on installing a custom ROM.

Be sure to also download and install Marshmallow Gapps linked below as these contain Google Apps like Play Store, Maps, etc. that are missing in the ROMs by default.

You're reading Galaxy Note 2 Marshmallow Update: Cm13 And Other Roms

No Cm13 But An Aosp Rom For Galaxy S3 Brings Marshmallow Update Unofficially

There is an AOSP ROM based on Google’s Marshmallow update available already for Galaxy S3. This is particularly for model no. GT-i9300, and won’t work on other Galaxy S3 sets.

If you own a Galaxy S3 in US from T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, US Cellular, etc. then do NOT try this AOSP ROM on your Galaxy S3.

Read: Galaxy S5 CM13

This is unofficial Marshmallow update, as it’s not from Samsung, but is based on Marshmallow code in AOSP source. But if you love latest OS, you’ll love them even though they aren’t as stable as Samsung updates. On the plus side, you get to experience pure Android UI on Marshmallow, as designed by Google.

We’ve also covered Marshmallow update based CM13 for other Samsung devices, and that also includes a pretty old device like Galaxy Tab 7.7. Apart from that, Galaxy Grand 2 Marshmallow update is also available via CM13.

Read: Galaxy Note 3 CM13

CM13 is also releasing for non-Samsung devices too, and chief among them are Motorola devices. Many Moto G and Moto E devices have already scored an unofficial CM13 ROM, thus getting to taste the 6.0 even before Motorola comes with an official update, or even if Motorola ave no plans to release a 6.0 update for those devices.

Likewise, Sony’s Xperia SP has also CM13 and Marshmallow update this way.

For CM13 release date for other devices, check out the link below.

Read: CM13 Release Date

Note: Check the source page here (by brianelv) for details and download link of latest release. As the ROM is under heavy development and new features are added and bugs ironed out, we recommend you check out the details to know current bugs and become fully aware of what’s working and what’snot, before installing the ROM.

[On AOSP ROM, as on

November 2

, everything appears to be working fine, which is why we’d recommend the Galaxy S3 AOSP ROM to you, compared to CM13 in current stage.]

Supported devices

Samsung Galaxy S3, model no. GT-i9300

Don’t try this on Galaxy S3 from Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, US Cellular and Verizon.

Don’t try this on any device whose model no. is not same as the one specified above.

[On AOSP ROM, as on, everything appears to be working fine, which is why we’d recommend the Galaxy S3 AOSP ROM to you, compared to CM13 in current stage.]

→ Use the Droid Info app to determine the model no. of your device. If it is exactly the one specified above, then it should be compatible with the 6.0 custom ROM we have here.

Warning!

Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page. You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

Backup!

Backup important files stored on your device before proceeding with the steps below, so that in case something goes wrong you’ll have backup of all your important files.

How to Install

Step 1. Also make sure that you have installed a custom recovery like TWRP on your device. TWRP recovery is required to be able to install CM13 ROM. For help, check out page on Galaxy S3 TWRP recovery.

Step 2. Download the AOSP ROM and Gapps file from above.

Step 3. Connect your device to PC and transfer the ROM and gapps file to it. Disconnect the device then. Remember the location of the files on device.

Step 4. Boot your Galaxy S3 into recovery mode. If you are rooted, you can use Quick Boot app from play store. To manually boot into recovery mode, do this:

Power off the device. Wait for 4-5 seconds after screen goes off.

Press and hold Volume Up + Home + Power button together until you see anything on screen. Then let go of the buttons.

You will enter recovery mode soon, and should see TWRP recovery. If you see android with exclamation mark, or 3e recovery, then you need to install TWRP recovery for this.

Step 5. [Optional] Once in TWRP, create a backup of your device. Tap on Backup, and then select all the partitions for back. Now do the swipe action at bottom to start creating a backup for emergency cases. This backup is really a lifesaver!

Step 7. Now, install the ROM file. On TWRP’s homescreen, tap on Install, and then locate the ROM file and tap on it. Then do the Swipe action at bottom to begin flashing the update.

Step 8. Tap on Home button to go back. Now, install the Gapps the same way you installed Marshmallow ROM on your Galaxy S3.

Step 9. When it’s done, tap on Reboot system button to restart the device.

That’s it.

Need help with S3 CM13?

Let us know if you need any help with installing of S3 CM13 ROM for unofficial Marshmallow Update.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Lte Gt

  WARNING!

Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page.

You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

  GUIDE: PHILZ TOUCH RECOVERY ON SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 LTE GT-N7105

Before you begin with guide instructions below, make sure your android device is adequately charged — at least 50% battery of the device.

  STEP 0: CHECK DEVICE MODEL NO.

To make sure your device is eligible with this, you must first confirm its model no. in ‘About device’ option under Settings. Another way to confirm model no. is by looking for it on the packaging box of your device. It must be GT-N7105.

Do not use the procedures discussed here on any other Galaxy Note 2 (including the Galaxy Note 2 variant at Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket and other International variants) or any other device of Samsung or any other company. You have been warned!

  STEP 1: BACKUP YOUR DEVICE

Back up important data and stuff before you start playing around here as there are chances you might lose your apps and app-data (app settings, game progress, etc.), and in rare case, files on the internal memory, too.

For help on Backup and Restore, check out our exclusive page on that linked right below.

► ANDROID BACK UP AND RESTORE GUIDE: APPS AND TIPS

  STEP 2: INSTALL LATEST DRIVER

You must have proper and working driver installed on your windows computer to be able to successfully flash PhilZ Touch Recovery on your Samsung Galaxy Note 2. In case you’re not sure, follow the link below for a definitive guide for installing driver for your Galaxy Note 2 on your computer.

► SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2 DRIVERS INSTALLATION GUIDE

   STEP 3: INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS   DOWNLOADS

Download the Odin zip file and PhilZ chúng tôi file given below. Transfer both Odin and recovery tar file to a separate folder on your computer just to keep things tidy.

  ODIN ZIP FILE   PHILZ TOUCH TAR FILE

For latest version of the recovery, check the original chúng tôi page →

  STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Important Note: Backup important files stored on internal SD card of your device, so that in case a situation arises requiring you to do a factory reset after flashing PhilZ Touch Recovery, which might delete internal sd card too, your files will remain safe on PC.

Extract/Unzip the Odin zip file, Latest Odin3 v3.09.zip on your computer (using 7-zip free software, preferably) to get this file: Odin3 v3.09.exe

Move the PhilZ file, philz_touch_6.15.4-n7100.tar.md5, in the same folder in which you extracted Latest Odin3 v3.09.zip (Just for your convenience, that is). So, now you’ll have the following files in that folder:

Odin3 v3.09.exe

philz_touch_6.15.4-n7100.tar.md5

Disconnect the Galaxy Note 2 from PC if it is connected.

Boot your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 into Download Mode: (The image below of Galaxy S4 will help)

Power off your phone first and wait for 6-7 seconds after display is off

Press and hold these 3 buttons together until you see Warning! screen: Volume Down + Power + Home

If you don’t get the Added! message, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Make sure you have installed driver for Galaxy Note 2 as said above.

If you have already installed driver, then uninstall them and re-install back.

Connect using a different USB port on your PC.

Try a different USB cable. The original cable that came with your phone should work best, if not, try any other cable that’s new and of good quality.

Reboot phone and PC and then try again.

Load the recovery file (Step 2) into Odin as instructed below:

Now in the Option section of Odin, make sure that Re-Partition box is unchecked. (Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time boxes remain checked, while all other boxes remain unchecked.)

Double check the above two steps.

PhilZ Touch Recovery has installed successfully on your Note 2. To boot your Galaxy Note 2 into Recovery Mode:

Power off your phone first and wait for 6-7 seconds after display is off.

Press and hold these 3 buttons together: Volume Up + Power + Home.

If you see FAIL message instead of the PASS in Odin’s top left box, that’s a problem. Try this now: disconnect your Galaxy Note 2 from PC, close Odin, remove phone’s battery and put it back inside in 3-4 seconds, open Odin and then repeat from Step 5 of this guide again.

Also, If device is Stuck at setup connection or on any other process, then too, try this: disconnect your Note 2 from PC, close Odin, remove phone’s battery and put it back inside in 3-4 seconds, open Odin and then repeat from Step 5 of this guide again.

FEEDBACK US!

Your suggestions and queries, if any, are most welcomed!

Cyprus Galaxy Note 10.1 Gets Kitkat 4.4.2 Update: N8000Xxudnh2

  WARNING!

Warranty may be void of your device if you follow the procedures given on this page.

You only are responsible for your device. We won’t be liable if any damage occurs to your device and/or its components.

  CYPRUS GALAXY NOTE 10.1 GT-N8000 KITKAT 4.4.2 FIRMWARE: N8000XXUDNH2

Before you begin with guide instructions below, make sure your android device is adequately charged — at least 50% battery of the device.

  STEP 0: CHECK DEVICE MODEL NO.

To make sure your device is eligible with this, you must first confirm its model no. in ‘About device’ option under Settings. Another way to confirm model no. is by looking for it on the packaging box of your device. It must be GT-N8000!

Do NOT use the procedures discussed here on any Galaxy model (including the Galaxy NOTE tablets) or any other device of Samsung or any other company. You have been warned!

  STEP 1: BACKUP YOUR DEVICE

Back up important data and stuff before you start playing around here as there are chances you might lose your apps and app-data (app settings, game progress, etc.), and in rare case, files on the internal memory, too.

For help on Backup and Restore, check out our exclusive page on that linked right below.

► ANDROID BACK UP AND RESTORE GUIDE: APPS AND TIPS

  STEP 2: INSTALL LATEST DRIVER

You must have proper and working driver installed on your windows computer to be able to successfully flash stock firmware on your Galaxy NOTE 10.1. In case you’re not sure, follow the link below for a definitive guide for installing driver for your NOTE 10.1 on your computer.

► SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 DRIVERS INSTALLATION GUIDE

   STEP 3: INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS   DOWNLOADS

Download the Odin zip file and firmware file given below. Transfer both Odin and firmware file to a separate folder on your computer just to keep things tidy.

  ODIN ZIP FILE   FIRMWARE ZIP FILE   STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

Important Note: Backup important files stored on internal SD card of your device, so that in case a situation arises requiring you to do a factory reset after flashing stock firmware, which might format internal sd card too, your files will remain safe on PC.

Extract/Unzip the Odin zip file, Latest Odin3 v3.09.zip on your computer (using 7-zip free software, preferably) to get this file: Odin3 v3.09.exe

Extract/Unzip the Firmware zip file, N8000XXUDNH2_N8000VFGDNH2_CYV.zip on your computer (using 7-zip free software, preferably) to get this file: N8000XXUDNH2 _N8000OXADNE4_N8000XXUDNE1.tar.md5

Move the extracted file, N8000XXUDNH2 _N8000VFGDNH2_N8000BUDNG1.tar.md5, in the same folder in which you extracted Latest Odin3 v3.09.zip (Just for your convenience, that is). So, now you’ll have the following files in that folder:

Odin3 v3.09.exe

N8000XXUDNH2 _N8000VFGDNH2_N8000BUDNG1.tar.md5

Disconnect the Galaxy NOTE 10.1  from PC if it is connected.

Boot your Galaxy NOTE 10.1  into Download Mode (the image below of S2 would help you):

Power off your phone first and wait for 6-7 seconds after display is off

Press and hold these 3 buttons together until you see Warning! screen: Volume Down + Power + Home

If you don’t get the Added! message, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Make sure you have installed driver for Galaxy NOTE 10.1  as said above.

If you have already installed driver, then uninstall them and re-install back.

Connect using a different USB port on your PC.

Try a different USB cable. The original cable that came with your phone should work best, if not, try any other cable that’s new and of good quality.

Reboot phone and PC and then try again.

Load the firmware file (extracted in Step 2) into Odin as instructed below:

Now in the Option section of Odin, make sure that Re-Partition box is unchecked. (Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time boxes remain checked, while all other boxes remain unchecked.)

Double check the above two steps.

If you see FAIL message instead of the PASS in Odin’s top left box, that’s a problem. Try this now: disconnect your Galaxy NOTE 10.1  from PC, close Odin, remove phone’s battery and put it back inside in 3-4 seconds, open Odin and then repeat from Step 6 of this guide again.

Also, If device is Stuck at setup connection or on any other process, then too, try this: disconnect your NOTE 10.1  from PC, close Odin, remove phone’s battery and put it back inside in 3-4 seconds, open Odin and then repeat from Step 6 of this guide again.

FEEDBACK US!

Your suggestions and queries, if any, are most welcomed!

Samsung Galaxy Note For T

Not much has changed with the Galaxy Note for T-Mobile, but it ships with Ice Cream Sandwich and is slightly less expensive than the AT&T version.

The Samsung Galaxy Note ($200 with a two-year contract on T-Mobile; price as of July 30, 2012) came out on AT&T initially, but now T-Mobile customers get a chance to experience the phone-tablet hybrid sensation. With a 5.3-inch display, the Galaxy Note certainly isn’t for everyone, but its unique accompanying pen, which is a far cry from the pens accompanying the capacitive PDAs of yore, works quite well with the user interface. On T-Mobile, not much has changed from the AT&T version except for the fact that it runs on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network and has a few T-Mobile-branded apps preloaded. But with the Galaxy Note 2 rumored to come out next month, the Galaxy Note might be a hard sell.

(Editor’s Note: The Software, Display and some of the Design sections of this review were taken from the AT&T review, as the phones are almost identical.)

Tablet, Phone, or ‘Phablet’?

The Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inch display puts the Note in an interesting spot between a phone and a tablet. I have to say, however, that it feels a little silly to hold something of this size up to your face and make a phone call. It is light enough, but I found it a bit too wide for my hands, feeling uncomfortable and unwieldy at times. The Galaxy Note measures 5.78 by 3.27 by 0.38 inches, and weighs 6.28 ounces.

The Note has the typical touch-sensitive navigation buttons below the display (Menu, Home, Back, Search), plus a volume rocker and a power button. On the bottom of the Note, you’ll find the slot for the S Pen (which I’ll cover soon).

The Note’s aesthetic is pretty similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S II phones (though larger), with a rectangular shape, a piano-black bezel, chrome piping, and a textured “carbon blue” battery cover.

HD Super AMOLED Display

The Galaxy Note’s 5.3-inch display has a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution. The technology is HD Super AMOLED, not to be confused with Super AMOLED Plus, which we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S II line of phones. This is the same display technology as on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As I noted in my review of the Galaxy Nexus, HD Super AMOLED is based on the PenTile pixel structure, in which pixels share subpixels. Galaxy S II phones, on the other hand, have full RGB displays, in which the pixels each have their own subpixels. In comparison with Super AMOLED Plus displays, HD Super AMOLED displays supposedly have a lower overall subpixel density, reduced sharpness, and degraded color accuracy.

When I reviewed the Galaxy Nexus, I noted that I couldn’t really see a difference in sharpness between the two different display types. The Galaxy Note also handled image and text rendering well, producing sharp, clear text and details on both Web pages and high-resolution images. I noticed a touch of degradation on higher-resolution images, particularly when I zoomed in, but the image quality definitely looked better than on some other phones and tablets we’ve seen.

The main problem I have with the display is that the colors are oversaturated. Additionally, skin tones look ruddy, and whites have a slight yellowish tint. Oversaturation is a common problem among AMOLED displays, Samsung-made or not. Still, it isn’t always a bad thing: Colors on the Note look rich and bright, while blacks are deep.

Using the S Pen

The Galaxy Note includes a Wacom-made S Pen for note-taking and drawing. And as I mentioned earlier, the S Pen is very different from the old styluses you might remember. Wacom pens recognize both right-handed and left-handed users, and the S Pen also mimics the act of physically taking notes: The harder you press the pen on the Note, the thicker and bolder your lines will be.

As of July 10, the Note was upgraded to Android 4.0, “Ice Cream Sandwich,” with a version of TouchWiz that’s similar to the one on the Galaxy S II line of phones. As you might expect, the Galaxy Note also has built-in software and special gestures for the pen.

One handy app, called S Memo Lite, lets you jot down notes from pretty much anywhere in the phone. To pull up the S Memo Lite app, you hold down the button on the pen, and double tap on the display. If you have another app open, the notepad appears on top of it, allowing you to switch back to it easily.

A fuller version of S Memo, S Note Premium Suite, is accessible from the apps menu. In this app, you can add color to your drawing or text, or insert pictures (either via your gallery or from the provided clip art) and shapes.

In Premium Suite, you can now choose from seven different templates: Note, Meeting Note, Idea Note, Magazine, Diary, Recipe, and Travel. These templates let you easily add images, video, maps, and text for whatever you feel like creating in S Note. You can also now record and play back step-by-step details of your drawings and share it with others. While this feature is cool, I don’t really see the purpose of it. I suppose if you want to show somebody step-by-step directions on a map or the like, it could be useful.

Premium Suite also has an automatic shape correction feature, which will straighten any lines and create perfect circles or rectangles. That seems useful for drawing flow charts on the fly. You can also enter basic mathematical equations, and S Note will solve them for you via Wolphram Alpha.

You can also take screenshots by pressing and holding the pen to whatever item you want to capture. Your shot then opens in a simple photo-editing app that lets you crop the screenshot in either lasso or rectangle mode.

Writing on the Galaxy Note takes some getting used to. At first, I was appalled at how horrible my handwriting looked. Once I got the hang of using the pen, though, I started to enjoy it. As somebody who is constantly doodling and prefers writing down notes to typing them, I liked being able to jot down ideas or reminders. Also, the keyboard has a pen mode that will convert your handwriting into text. I thought it did a pretty good job of recognizing my handwriting, though a few times, it misinterpreted what I was trying to write.

Pen gestures involve a learning curve, as well. To go “back,” you hold down the pen’s button and swipe to the left. To go to the home screen, you drag the pen from top to bottom while pressing the pen button. And if you want to open Menus, you swipe from bottom to top while pressing the button. Once you get accustomed to relying on the pen rather than on the hardware buttons, navigating the Note is a breeze. You can, of course, use the hardware buttons at any time if you don’t like the pen gestures.

If the S Pen feels too wimpy (or gives you horrible flashbacks of your capacitive-touch Windows Mobile phone), you can invest in the S Pen Holder Kit (sold separately). The accessory is basically a standard writing-pen shell for the S Pen, complete with a pocket clip.

Pen-Friendly Apps and Other Software

The selection of pen-friendly apps feels a bit anemic. Samsung says that the SDK for the Galaxy Note and S Pen will be available to developers soon (though the company doesn’t specify when). I see a lot of potential for creative programs and productivity apps, as well as games that incorporate the S Pen (think Nintendo DS-style games).

You’ll also get a new app called My Story, which lets you create multimedia letters and cards. As far as I can tell, you can share these notes only with other people who also have the My Story app—basically fellow Galaxy phone owners.

Of course, you also get a slew of T-Mobile-branded apps including Bobsled Messaging, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV, and a suite of apps called T-Mobile 4G Pro App Pack. This is essentially a curated list of productivity apps (like Evernote, Dropbox, Square, and so on) with links to those apps in the Google Play Store.

Performance

The U.S. Galaxy Note is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S3 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 a few benchmarks on the Galaxy Note, including the third-party Android app Andebench. Andebench measures CPU and Dalvik (the virtual machine in Android that runs many of the operating system’s core functions) interpreter performance. The Galaxy Note got a score of 2469. By comparison, the Galaxy S III on T-Mobile got a significantly higher score of 5109. On Sunspider, which tests Javascript performance in the browser, the Galaxy Note got a score of 2.6 seconds, while the Galaxy S III on T-Mobile was faster with a score of 1.91 seconds.

After using so many phones with Qualcomm’s newer, faster S4 chip (the Galaxy S III, the HTC One X and the Motorola Atrix HD), I though the Galaxy Note felt a little poky. Native apps, like the S Note and S Memo apps, lagged a bit when I tried to launch them. It isn’t all that noticeable, but it does illustrate that the Galaxy Note is a bit dated.

I also ran the FCC-approved Ookla app to test the Galaxy Note’s data speeds over T-Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network in San Francisco. In my neighborhood, I got an average download speed of 6.92 and an average upload speed of 1.04. We’ve seen faster speeds over T-Mobile’s 4G network in other parts of the city, however. For comparison, I got an average download speed of 24.64 megabits per second, and an average upload speed of 8.78 mbps on the Galaxy Note over AT&T’s LTE network.

Call quality was good over T-Mobile’s network in San Francisco. My friends’ voices sounded clear over the line with a good amount of volume. My friends reported that my voice came in perfectly—even when I was standing in a highly trafficked area.

We haven’t yet formally tested battery life, but the Galaxy Note lasted through a full day of heavy testing before I had to plug it 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, and details appeared sharp. Honestly, though, the phone’s dimensions make it a little awkward to use as a camera. Have you ever tried shooting a photo with a tablet? It just feels strange.

The Galaxy Note can capture HD video at up to 1080p resolution. The device also has a front-facing 2-megapixel camera for making video calls or taking self-portraits.

Bottom Line

The Galaxy Note is a unique phone and unlike anything else we’ve seen in the United States (I say that, though the LG Vu is quite similar, but it’s available only in Korea). I like being able to whip the Note out to jot down ideas, and I love being able to doodle during a meeting or while riding the bus. But is the Galaxy Note on T-Mobile outdated? The Galaxy Note came to the United States back in February, but it debuted internationally almost a year ago at the IFA Conference in Berlin. With rumors of the Galaxy Note 2 coming out at this year’s IFA next month, this older version might be a hard sell. Even so, we likely won’t see the Galaxy Note 2 in the United States until next year. The Galaxy Note is a perfectly good phone for T-Mobile customers itching to try out this phablet wonder.

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Hands

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra hands-on: You can preorder, but you shouldn’t

Samsung has a new flagship, though the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has the feel of something pretty familiar. Largest of the company’s phones with its 6.9-inch Super AMOLED display, the S Pen enabled handset doesn’t stray too far from last year’s Note 10, only pausing to dip liberally into the aesthetic of the Galaxy S20 Ultra released earlier in 2023.

That is, thankfully, no bad thing unless you wanted revolution not evolution. You’d have been out of luck there generally with the Note line-up anyway; the past few iterations of Samsung’s Android workhorse have been about refinement, it’s fair to say.

With its $1.3k+ price tag, it’s also fair to have high expectations for the Note 20 Ultra. I’ll put aside the wisdom of Samsung opting for a plastic back on the $999.99 Note 20 until I’ve had a chance to play with it myself, but its full-spec’d sibling has no such compromises. Though the Mystic Bronze color looks a lot more pink than you might expect, the frosted finish to the rear glass works nicely against the highly polished metal frame.

Samsung’s attention to detail has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, which is a good thing considering how in-your-face the Note 20 Ultra’s camera bulge is. I can understand the urge to accommodate a fancy periscope zoom – which folds the optics across the Note to manage its 5x optical magnification – but the resulting protrusion is no mere bump. It looks unwieldy, but more annoying still is how it leaves the Note 20 Ultra rocking as you use it on a table.

That’s all the more frustrating when you go to use the S Pen. Samsung’s stylus supports the same 4,096 levels of pressure, but some refresh magic – including AI prediction of where you’re likely to swipe the nib next – leaves it feeling that little bit more fluid to write or sketch with. It’s truly a lovely sensation, up until the point where the Note tips to the side on the desk because of that accursed camera barnacle.

Pick it up, meanwhile, and it’s a reminder that those with small hands might want to look elsewhere. The 6.9-inch screen may be pushed to the edges as best Samsung’s engineers can, but it still leaves the Note 20 Ultra at 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm. The downside to the premium construction is a 208 gram weight, too. Yes, that’s a little under the iPhone 11 Pro Max (at 226 grams) but then again it’s hardly like anybody said Apple’s phone was lightweight either.

All that gets easier to stomach when you actually see the display, however. Its WQHD+ resolution is detailed and its AMOLED tech is bright and color-rich. A 120Hz refresh rate – which can automatically ramp down when such rapid speeds are required, to save on power – leaves it silky-smooth in scrolling. Samsung’s Infinity-O hole-punch camera is small and easily overlooked.

Pull out the S Pen from its silo – moved, for 2023, from the right to the left side – and you get new Air Actions that allow you to control more of the phone wirelessly. You can navigate through a PowerPoint using just wand-like swipes, for example. It has the potential to be useful, but with DeX having gone wireless there’s arguably more chance you’ll be holding the Note 20 Ultra in your hand anyway, even when presenting to a remote screen.

As for power, it’s early days with the phone – and my full review will have to wait for now – but the combination of Snapdragon 865+ and 12GB of RAM doesn’t exactly leave me concerned the new Note will be lacking in grunt. You get a 4,500 mAh battery with fast wired and wireless charging, too, plus 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and Ultra Wideband which will be useful for Android Nearby Share when UWB is more common.

All in all, the Note 20 Ultra is shaping up to be just what we’ve come to expect from the Note series. Power, form that follows function, and a beautiful Samsung display on top of it all. Camera performance and the rest will have to wait until the full review too, but Samsung’s decision to cherry-pick sensors from the well-reviewed Galaxy S20 Ultra seems like a sensible one.

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