In August 2016, Samsung unveiled the latest iteration of its Note line up, the Note 7. After a few days, there were raving reviews on how this was the best phone ever made and it was set to be the top Android smartphone for 2016. Then tragedy struck when news broke of Note 7 going up in flames while charging (not exploding as some media reported). Eventually, the lineup had to be cancelled and recalled. But the device was still a great device, so by reducing the battery size, Samsung has begun selling these Note 7, re-branded as the Note FE (Fan Edition).
- Display: 5.7” Super AMOLED Display (1440 x 2560p) Quad HD
- OS: Android 7.1.1 with Samsung Experience UX
- Chipset: Exynos 8890 octa core processor
- Camera: 12 MP Rear Camera 5 MP Selfie Camera
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- Battery: 3200 mAh
- Features: ( Fingerprint Scanner, Stylus Input, Iris Scanner, Slow Motion Video, Edge Display, Water Resistance, USB Type C 3.1 )
- Colours: Black Onyx, Blue Coral, Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium
This phone is literally the Note 7 with a smaller battery. There were no design changes from the original Note 7 except for the battery. The phone has a glass back and curved display that feels incredible to hold and look at. Though it may be an old design I prefer the FE’s design than the S8’s design, if only because it has the fingerprint scanner placed at the front, so I can use it on a table without having to pick it up. The camera has a minimalist bump and the buttons are slightly lower, due to the device’s size.
The camera on this phone is simply outstanding! Colours may look a bit unnatural but they certainly pop and draws amazement, even when in auto mode the HDR on this phone is sharp. The video recording is amazing as well with slow motion mode, it allows you to go up to 30fps at 2160p. Stabilization is pretty good as well when recording. There is also a second camera for the Iris scanner.
This phone ships with Android 7.1.1 out of the box running Samsung Experience, Samsung’s in-house overlays. It is a feature packed device made even greater with the S-Pen, which has been improved from the Note 5. First of all, the note taking abilities of the S-Pen hasn’t changed. The pen tip is now narrower so as to improve accuracy and is used instead of using your fingers. Moving on to the software, the Note FE actually allows you to reduce the screen resolution all the way down to 720p in an effort to save battery. There is the always on display, which shows notification on the screen utilizing the low power usage of the AMOLED display, which controls pixels individually. Of course, the curved display has it’s function too as it has the Edge shortcuts, which allows quick access to apps by swiping from the right edge of the display. There are many features that cannot be discussed here, which includes the extended snapshot that allows you to scroll down when taking a snapshot, making a longer picture and capturing more of the screen.
The battery was reduced to 3200 mAh from 3500 mAh that was on the Note 7. The reason for this was because the battery on the Note 7 was curved, making layers of cell touch and resulting in the fires. By reducing the size of the battery, the curve on it is not needed and the device would not lose too much capacity. That said, Battery life on this phone should be around four and a half hours screen-on time, which is not a bad rating though this is relative to how much you use your device for. Additionally, battery saving from Android and Samsung’s Ultra Power Saving Mode makes this a great phone, that is, if battery is your main concern.See Also: Samsung Galaxy J2 Review
This device is one of the best performing device today, despite running a System on a Chip (SoC) from 2016. The Exynos 8890 is a solid SoC and even outperforms the Snapdragon 821. Games on this device are smooth, though at times the frames may drop, mostly due to Samsung’s bloatware running in the background. It can handle multiple big applications and games open simultaneously and memory management is good as well. However, the phones gets a bit warm but nothing to really worry about.
This phone may not appeal to many people because of the fires that were associated with it, but this is one of the best devices on the market presently. It may not be on the cutting edge of mobile technology right now since it uses last year’s SoC, but there is 2 years software and security support, promised by Samsung. There are folks who will have to buy this or wait on the new Note 8 which will be released this August. Of course it makes sense to wait and buy the Note 8, but if you are not a fan of the new infinity display, I recommend this device.