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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Smart Cell Phone Shopping Starring the Galaxy Note (A Galaxy Note Review) (A Best Buy Review)

      It was the most amazing coincidence in my cell phone buying history. A few weeks ago I cracked my screen on my Samsung Galaxy S4. Yes nerds, I said the S4 which I tell you is still a very capable phone. But this isn't a review on the S4 so I continue with my story. When I cracked my phone I went online (I am a Verizon subscriber) and found out my upgrade date is 8-19-2016. Alright I can deal with the cracks in the phone for a few more weeks then I'll upgrade, not a big deal. As the magical day approaches I realize this is also the release date for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, amazing!
      Now most reviews are day of, they are un-boxing but you can find those anywhere on the internet. They are not special and very boring. What I want to give you is the "normal" mans experience so I decided to wait until the end of the weekend to place my review. It is only fair. How can I review something that hasn't gone through my day to day operations.
      So he we are on the big day. I come home from work and head to my nearest Best Buy. Screw going to the Verizon store, you leave that place walking funny and they never even tell you your pretty. Buying a phone at the Verizon store is about as fun as buying a car, I would rather , well you get the point, it sucks. To beat my Verizon Store worries I used to go online but of course to receive it the same day it has to be "site to store" then we are back at square one, would you like a coverage plan, a Bluetooth some extra 4G's and maybe a Wifi for good luck? NO! So now I got to Best Buy, they treat you good and they tend to have some deals hiding around, so this is where it gets really exciting. Hang on to your chairs, your about to go for a wild ride.
      I get in and I can't believe it, I am third in line on a major phones launch day, sweet. I'm waiting in line when of the friendly associates greet me. Are you here for a new phone. "Damn right!" I proudly exclaim. The associate tells me that is wonderful and takes me to a table for signing up, oh ya there is a 2 hour wait. Ah well its all good I'm in Best Buy I can walk around for hours. After playing the demo of the Samsung VR for the 4th time, that shark is too cool, I hear my name called. I take my rightful seat in front of the computer and Mike, the friendly associate. "What phone are you here for today", Mike asks as if he didn't already assume. He already sold countless Note 7's today. "I'm going to take the Note 5 today please". That simple sentence sent shock waves through the store. I assured him I was sure, and that I realize that it is last years model.
      My reasons for the Note 5 over the 7 is common sense. Again this is the "normal" man's review. If I had unlimited resources, sure I would prefer the Note 7. But in reality there is not that much of a difference. The phones are so similar in fact the only reason I actually would want the 7 is for the extra memory card you can install. But that doesn't even matter these days with the Note 5 having a 64 GB edition (which is what I chose) and all the cloud storage you could ever want. The 7 has a slightly better processor of course, which is not noticeable, and a slightly better battery. Oh but how could I forget the new retina scanner, what a load of garbage. If you have such top secret stuff on your phone that you need a retina scanner you might need to rethink a few of your life choices.
      I talked about price being a factor in my decision. I also brought up the deals that Best Buy often have in their mobile department. With the purchase of a Note 7, you could receive a Galaxy Gear, or a memory card. Meh. That deal was also online so it didn't catch me by surprise. But what did get me was a sign I saw while waiting. $250 Best Buy gift certificate with the purchase of a Note 5. That is amazing. The 7 gave you the chance to have a fancy pedometer or a memory card, with the purchase of my Note 5 I received the following: My tax on the phone was paid for (which has to be paid up front on payment plans), a free Otter Box Defender, and a 32 inch Smart TV which happened to be on sale and all was covered under the gift card. I am the big winner here. There is always a deal, you just have to find it. Needless to say I had an amazing phone buying experience at Best Buy. (I assure you this is not a paid ad, just have to give credit where credit is due.)
      Now for an actual review of the phone. You can get all the specs and garbage on any other site, but I am going to tell you what really matters. This phone is a beast. I cant talk about the first night, Friday to much as unfortunately the phone did not come with a full charge. This review starts 8:00am Saturday morning after receiving a full charge. I start every morning listening to Tune-In radio and from then the phone almost never stops running. I am either listening to pod casts, Pandora, or Spotify, literally non stop. The music did have to stop to do a few of the software upgrades for the phone including marshmallow operating system. There was a 3 hour Pokemon Go session followed by more tunes and an hour or so of YouTube. It was pretty much a normal nerdy day. At the end of the night i still had about 35% battery. I couldn't believe it. I went to bed and forgot to charge it. Sunday I play another hour of Pokemon and listen to some pod casts. Finally around 2:00pm I receive the low battery warning and decide to plug in my phone. I beat it up pretty good and can't believe how responsive it is and the life of the battery. I did not use any of the battery saving features, haven't figured out how to use them yet. It was an amazing first weekend with my Note 5. One of the best things is the Samsung screen recording program in the game launcher app, so good, so fast, what a great phone.

-SJ