Note: This is not your typical tech review with extensive specs lists and benchmarks, and are just opinions from an everyday user.
It was a phone that I was genuinely excited about.
The very first Samsung Galaxy Note heralded a new age where ‘phablets’ (phones larger than 5 inches) were deemed acceptable by the masses, so much that even Apple joined in during the post-Steve Jobs era.
And so with the release of of the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 7, I managed to snag myself a set, and off I went into the sunset – or so I thought.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Here’s what you get out of the box.
Upon opening the box, you will as usual, be presented with the phone itself. Go pass that is an envelope with the quick start guide and SIM ejector.
Way down at the base is where you will find a wall charger, USB cable, extra pen tips, an OTG adapter, a micro USB to USB C adapter, and standard earphones.
The micro USB to USB C adapter was especially a nice touch as since it is still the transitional period where most of the tech world are moving towards USB C, users can still use their micro USB cables and chargers.
Enough of the boring stuff, so what is it like using this phone?
A Frequent Travelers’ Dream Phone
Consider this, the hallmark of all Galaxy Notes is its battery life, and arguably, the best mobile phone camera in the market today is from the Galaxy S7, with top of the line internal specifications and dual SIM all rolled into one. If the culmination of these doesn’t justify it being a traveler’s dream phone, I don’t know what will.
To test that theory, I took it all the way to the country where it originated from – South Korea.
Completely Seoul-d On The Phone
If you’ve never known the convenience that a dual-SIM phone provides you when overseas, I suggest you try it out.
As with any traveler, I got myself a local SIM card, but because I can still leave my Singtel SIM card in my phone, I get the benefits of being able to use both at the same time.
Oh by the way, unlike most Note users, I actually use my S-pen.
I found it especially useful when jotting down notes in Korean, or just tracing the way on Naver maps to a place that is not listed.
Along with that big battery in the Note 7, I was easily able to go through a day on a single charge.
Imagine this: I was replying work emails and messages, being quite active on several social media and messaging apps, taking videos and photos…and a dying battery was the least of my worries!
That Camera, Though
As someone who enjoys photography, I am always on the lookout for the best device that could fit in my pocket, yet take awesome photos when I need it – and I may have just found a contender.
Some might say that the colours taken by Samsung mobile phone cameras can be a tad too saturated – I’d agree, but I guess that’s the kind of aesthetics that most people would be comfortable with
To be fair, any phone can take good photos in ample sunlight, but for the Note 7 (maybe because it’s my first time using a Samsung phone) I’m pretty impressed.
To be honest, it even came to a point where I was using the Note 7 more than the mirrorless camera that I had brought along for this trip.
As someone who swears by the quality of dedicated cameras, this is quite astonishing.
It is no slouch at night either.
While photos can be a bit noisy (normal for phones), they are definitely more than usable for uploads on social media.
What I especially liked was the ability to double tap the home button to immediately access the camera anytime that I needed it, enabling me to capture moments as they happen.
4K videos for smartphones have definitely come a long way, but from what I’ve used when taking videos, it is definitely more usable now more than ever. (Excuse the awful sound, I was standing quite near a speaker)
This was further into the night, and at high ISO video recordings, the noise will definitely be visible.
All in all, I was looking forward to make this phone a keeper.
I Like The Phone But…
Towards the middle of my trip, I saw the news about the Note 7’s battery problems, and somehow now found myself with a ticking timebomb on my hands.
However, I have never experienced any of the tell tale signs since I practice good charging habits by charging at 1A most of the time, and not be over reliant on ‘fast-charging’ as I am a believer that will deteriorate batteries in record time, no matter how good the technology – a point brought across by Linus Tech Tips in his review here.
Well, for now, until the battery issue is solved, I won’t be touching the phone.
Talk about bad timing.
If you are already an owner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, hit the link below to find out how to get it exchanged.