Samsung Galaxy Note (original)

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This article is about the smartphone/tablet introduced in 2011. For later devices, see Samsung Galaxy Note series.
Samsung Galaxy Note
Galaxy Note logo.svg
Samsung Galaxy Note.png
Samsung Galaxy Note in White
Manufacturer Samsung Electronics
Series Galaxy Note
Compatible networks (GSM/GPRS/EDGE): 850, 900, 1800, and 1900 MHz
UMTS: 850, 900, 1900, and 2100 MHz
HSPA+: 21 Mbit/s;
HSUPA: 5.76 Mbit/s;
TD-SCDMA (China Mobile) & EV-DO Rev.A (China Telecom)
First released October 29, 2011; 4 years ago (2011-10-29)
Units sold 10 million (as of 15 August 2012)[1]
Successor Samsung Galaxy Note II
Related Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1[2]
Type Capacitive touchscreen smartphone / phablet
Dimensions 146.85 mm (5.781 in) H
82.95 mm (3.266 in) W
9.65 mm (0.380 in) D
Weight 178 g (6.3 oz)
Operating system Android 2.3.6 "Gingerbread"
Current: Android 4.1.2 "Jelly Bean" (Android 6.0.1 "Marshmallow" via unofficial ROMs)
System on chip Samsung Exynos 4210 (3G model)
Qualcomm Snapdragon s3 APQ8060 (T-Mobile US & LTE models), MSM8660 (LG U+ models)
CPU 1.4 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9
1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Scorpion APQ8060 (Qualcomm models)
GPU ARM Mali-400 MP (Samsung model)
Qualcomm Adreno 220 (Qualcomm model)
Memory 1 GB RAM
Storage 16/32 GB flash memory
Removable storage microSD[3] (up to 64 GB SDXC)
Battery 2500 mAh
Internal rechargeable Li-ion
Data inputs
Display 5.3 in (134.62 mm) Super AMOLED with RGBG-matrix (PenTile)
800x1280 px WXGA (285 ppi)[4]
Rear camera 8 Megapixel Back-illuminated sensor with auto focus, 1080p 30 fps Full HD video recording, LED flash
Front camera 2 Megapixel video recording (VGA), and stills
  • Intl. model:
    Head: 0.3 W/kg 1 g
    Body: 0.5 W/kg 1 g
    Hotspot: 0.58 W/kg 1 g[5]
  • US model:
    Head: 0.16 W/kg
    Body: 0.96 W/kg[6]

Samsung Galaxy Note is an Android smartphone produced by Samsung Electronics. Unveiled at IFA Berlin 2011, it was first released in Germany in late October 2011, with other countries following afterwards.[7] The Galaxy Note was distinguished by unusually large form factor—later referred to using the term "phablet"—which straddled the size of the average smartphone at the time, and that of a small tablet: it features a 5.3-inch display, and is bundled with a stylus branded as the "S Pen", which can be used to navigate the device's user interface, and write or draw in supported apps.



A screenshot annotated on a Galaxy Note, showing a picture comparing the Galaxy Note's size with other smartphones and tablets (Order from top to bottom: Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Titan, the Samsung Galaxy Note itself, LG Optimus Pad, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1).

The Galaxy Note's hardware design is similar to the Samsung Galaxy S II, with a plastic-based construction, a hardware home button and capacitive menu and back keys. It was made available in "Carbon Blue", "Ceramic White",[8] and pink colour finishes.[9] [10][11] The device is 9.7 mm thick with a weight of 178 g.[11] Power and volume keys are located on the horizontal sides of the device, the headphone jack is located on the top, and a compartment for the stylus is located on the bottom corner.[11] The rear cover can be exposed to access the battery compartment, as well as SIM and microSD card slots.[11] The device includes a removable 2500 mAh Li-On battery.[11]

The Galaxy Note features a 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED Wide XGA display, with a display resolution of 800 x 1280 (285 pixels per inch).[4][11] It is sized between smartphones such as the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 tablet; this form factor was nicknamed a "phablet" by the press.[12] The Galaxy Note uses a dual-core Exynos system-on-chip, with two ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores clocked at 1.4 GHz, a Mali-400 MP graphics core, and 1 GB of RAM.[11] It includes either 16 or 32 GB of internal storage expandable via a microSD card.[11] The Galaxy Note includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera.[11]

The Galaxy Note includes a stylus branded as the S Pen, which is stored in a compartment on the lower panel of the phone. The Galaxy Note's display includes an active digitizer by Wacom, with 128 levels of pressure sensitivity.[10][11][13] The pen can replace the use of a finger in situations where precision is needed, but the device is also bundled with apps designed for use with the stylus. A button on the side of the pen can be used to activate special pen-oriented features and gestures in the system software.[11]


The Galaxy Note originally shipped with Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" and Samsung's proprietary TouchWiz software suite. The home screen was tweaked to take advantage of the larger screen size, using a five-column grid for app shortcuts and widgets rather than four.[11] The software includes features designed for use with the stylus, including handwriting input, and "Quick Memo" (accessed by double-tapping the screen when holding the stylus button down), which opens a virtual sticky note in a window on top of the current app. Quick Memo notes are saved in the S Memo app, which allows users to type, write, or draw notes and drawings, attach voice messages, and annotate screenshots.[11][14] The device is also bundled with Polaris Office, and the game Crayon Physics Deluxe—which can leverage the pressure sensitivity of the stylus.[11][14]

In May 2012, Samsung began to distribute an update to Android 4.0.4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" (which itself added system-level support for pen input)[15] to the Galaxy Note. It upgrades the TouchWiz software to match the version introduced by the Galaxy S III.[16][17] In October 2012, Samsung began to distribute Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" for the Galaxy Note in South Korea.[18]


Galaxy Note with some of the standard accessories

Several different model variants of the Galaxy Note were sold, with most variants differing only in support for regional network types and bands. In some regions, the Exynos system-on-chip was substituted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 model, while an LTE-capable model was sold in North America that also contains noticeable design changes.

Model Country Carrier Network AP Other
GT-N7000 International WCDMA + GSM Exynos 4210 FM radio
GT-N7000B Australia
UMTS 850/2100 + GSM Exynos 4210 FM radio
GT-N7005 Hong Kong
LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 FM radio, 4-button
SHV-E160K South Korea KT LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 T-DMB, 2 batteries, battery charger
SHV-E160S South Korea SK Telecom LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 T-DMB, 2 batteries, battery charger
SHV-E160L South Korea LG U+ LTE + WCDMA + GSM + CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev.A Snapdragon S3 MSM8660 T-DMB, 2 batteries, battery charger
Japan NTT DoCoMo LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 1-Seg TV, NTT DoCoMo Palette UI
SGH-i717 United States AT&T LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 No Headphone, 4-button
SGH-i717i Canada LTE + WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 4-button
SGH-T879 United States T-Mobile US WCDMA + GSM Snapdragon S3 APQ8060 No Headphone, 4-button
GT-i9220 China China Unicom WCDMA + GSM Exynos 4210 No Google Service, FM radio
GT-i9228 China China Mobile TD-SCDMA + GSM Exynos 4210 NO Google Service, FM radio
SCH-I889 China China Telecom CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev.A + GSM Exynos 4210 NO Google Service, dual-SIM, R-UIM SLOT (CDMA2000 SIM-card), FM radio

Samsung have made available a collection of accessories such as a clip-on screen cover (which replaces the back panel), a docking station, and spare chargers and styluses.[7]


Another variant of the Galaxy Note capable of LTE connectivity was released exclusively in the United States and Canada. The variant was first released on AT&T on 19 February 2012 in the US,[19] while being simultaneously released on Telus, Bell, and Rogers on 14 February 2012 in Canada.[20] Although commonly referred to as the Galaxy Note LTE, the official model number is SGH-I717, differentiating it from the original N7000 and the Korea-exclusive LTE variant.[21] In addition to LTE connectivity, Samsung made several modifications to the phone. Externally, the physical "home" button and the two touch-sensitive buttons on the front of the phone were replaced by four touch-sensitive buttons. Internally, the chipset was changed to the Qualcomm MSM8660 Snapdragon, which is significantly slower than the original Exynos 4 Dual 45 nm (4210) chipset.[22] The Snapdragon 3 SoC features a dual-core 1.5 GHz Scorpion CPU and an Adreno 220 GPU.[21] FM radio was removed.[22] All other phone specifications remained identical to the original N7000.


The Galaxy Note received positive reviews, but with critics divided on user acceptance of its polarizing form factor; Pocket-lint remarked that the device was "positively gargantuan" in comparison to an iPhone 4S and that users would look "like a tool" if they held it to their face to take a call. At the same time, the HD Super AMOLED display was considered one of the best that Samsung had ever used in a device—praising its increased resolution and clarity over that of the Galaxy S II, its "vibrant and searing" colors, and its convenience for watching video whilst travelling. The presence of a stylus was compared to PDAs and early Windows Mobile devices, but with the addition of pressure sensitivity and the "versatile" S Memo app. However, beyond bundled apps and others in the S Choice portal, the device was panned for not having enough software designed around the S Pen on launch. In conclusion, the Galaxy Note was considered to be a capable device and potentially "the best handheld games console around" due to its screen size, but showed concerns over whether it would appeal to a mainstream audience. However, it was argued that the Galaxy Note could appeal best to enterprise users, as it can "[replace] a tablet with gusto. As useful as a larger device, yet more portable."[14]

GSMArena felt that the Galaxy Note "may be out of many people's comfort zone", but prasied the device's high-end performance and large screen, and felt that the stylus and TouchWiz UI were added "value" to the device. In regards to its market positioning, it was felt that web browsing felt more comfortable on the Galaxy Note's 5.3-inch screen than watching video (in comparison to a 10.1-inch screen), explaining that "not necessarily the perfect choice for any situation, the Note will have you covered for most of the applications of modern day smart devices." The Galaxy Note was considered to be a niche device distinct from other recent attempts at large phones (such as the Dell Streak and HTC Sensation XL), concluding that "we don't think all phones will look like the Galaxy Note any time soon. Samsung are just pushing a little bit further than the rest. Stretching the comfort zone. The Galaxy Note is not what you're used to. You can take it as a warning. Or an invitation."[11]

In a follow-up review in October 2012 after the release of the Galaxy Note II and the update to Android 4.0, Techradar praised the quality of the Galaxy Note's display and Samsung's "intuitive" system software. The camera was praised for its quality and number of options available, but it was noted that the large form factor made it trickier to use the camera one-handed. The lack of a dedicated shutter button was also panned, as well as the extrusion of the camera lens itself, which made it susceptible to scratching. The S Pen was considered "handy", but was panned for having inconsistent performance, while the design of the stylus itself was panned for feeling "like writing with a twiglet for people like us with shovel-like hands." Techradar concluded that there "aren't many things we can complain about with the Galaxy Note", but showed concerns that the size of the device may alienate users who are not used to the concept of a large phone: it was argued that the device would appeal best to users more interested in web browsing and multimedia consumption as opposed to those who primarily want to use their phone as a communications device. Noting that the device's marketability was questioned on launch, it was felt that the success of the Galaxy Note II proved there was a legitimate consumer interest in the concept of a phablet.[16]


In December 2011, Samsung announced that one million Galaxy Notes were shipped in less than two months, and that a North American variant would be available in February 2012.[23] In January 2012, the US model of the Galaxy Note was featured at the 2012 CES in Las Vegas, allowing press to get an early look at the new device.[24]

As of the first quarter of 2012 from January to March, 5 million had been sold.[25] As of 1 June 2012, Samsung announced that 7 million had been shipped.[26] As of 15 August 2012, Samsung announced that 10 million devices had been sold.[1]


  1. ^ a b Cheng, Roger. (2012-08-15) Samsung: 10M Galaxy Notes sold in nine months | Mobile - CNET News. Retrieved on 2013-07-10.
  2. ^ Samsung announces Galaxy Note 10.1 at MWC
  3. ^ 32 GB
  4. ^ a b "Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus sport HD Super AMOLED - is the PenTile matrix bad for you?". PhoneArena. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  5. ^, ID=1550585
  6. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note N7000". GSM Arena. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  7. ^ a b "Samsung announces Galaxy Nexus and Note roll-out schedules". GSMArena. 2011-10-27. 
  8. ^ Chris Davies (2011-10-27). "Samsung's white Galaxy Note revealed". SlashGear. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  9. ^ Zach Honig (2012-03-05). "'Berry pink' Galaxy Note coming soon". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  10. ^ a b "Samsung Galaxy Note review". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Samsung Galaxy Note N7000 review: Power play". GSMArena. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 
  12. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note Android phone". PC World Australia. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  13. ^ "Samsung Galaxy Note review". Trusted Reviews. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c Rik Henderson (2011-11-03). "Samsung Galaxy Note review". Pocket-lint. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  15. ^ Donald Melanson (2011-10-21). "Android Ice Cream Sandwich includes native stylus support". Engadget. AOL. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  16. ^ a b Dan Grabham (2011-09-01). "Samsung Galaxy Note review". Techradar. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  17. ^ "How to update your Samsung Galaxy Note to Ice Cream Sandwich". PC World (AU). IDG. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Ionut Arghire (2012-10-09). "Android 4.1 Arrives on Galaxy Note in South Korea". Softpedia. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  19. ^ Chris Davies (30 January 2012). "AT&T Galaxy Note LTE hits stores Feb 19 for $300". Slash Gear. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Florin Troaca (14 February 2012). "Samsung Galaxy Note launched in Canada by Rogers, Telus and Bell". Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  21. ^ a b "Samsung Galaxy Note I717". Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Samsung Galaxy Note I717 review: Pushing the envelope". 19 February 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  23. ^ Mat Smith (2011-12-29). "1 million Galaxy Notes shipped worldwide, US fans throw money at their screens". Engadget. Retrieved 2011-12-30. 
  24. ^ Myriam Joire (2012-01-09). "AT&T Galaxy Note with LTE hands-on at CES 2012 (video)". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-01-19. 
  25. ^ "Samsung hits a high Note". Toronto Sun. 2012-04-05. Retrieved 2013-07-10. 
  26. ^ Over 7 Million Samsung Galaxy Note Units Already Shipped. (2012-06-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-10.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None—first model
Samsung Galaxy Note
Succeeded by
Samsung Galaxy Note II