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AT&T Galaxy Note ICS leaked

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Fresh off the rumor mill – an Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.3) rom for AT&T Galaxy Note LTE version (i717) has leaked, and is now Rooted, Deodexed, and Zipaligned. Any band all bloatware (AT&T just loves to fill up their phones with useles and NON-removable apps) is still there, but you can sure expect these to be removed very soon – as soon as dev get some time to clean it up. Remember – this has just leaks a few hours ago.

image of AT&T Galaxy Note ICS leaked rom - app drawerimage of AT&T Galaxy Note ICS leaked rom - home screenImage of AT&T Galaxy Note ICS leaked rom


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Besides all the good stuff that very talented devs will do to this rom in coming days, this actual rom is already flashable with CWM (ClockWorkMod recovery), which will make it easy to do for anyone who has already rooted their i717 Note.

Another great news is that this ICS rom already has a flashable modem / radio which will allow your AT&T Galaxy Note to work on T-Mobile 4G HSPA+ network (which we reported back in March).

There is a number of CWM flashable files already available on XDA-developers. Links to ROM and T-Mobile modem files download and installation instructions, are at the end of this article.

AT&T Galaxy Note (i717) ICS rom compared to international Note (n7000)

The good news for i717 owners, is that this is an almost OFFICIAL AT&T rom – not the Chinese ICS leak for Galaxy Note n7000, which came out almost a month ago, and is still very much unusable as a daily rom.

I anticipate this Ice Cream Sandwich rom for Galaxy Note to be very stable. I assume it is almost ready for OTA update, and will be released soon after Samsung officially releases ICS for Galaxy Note N7000.

Most n7000 ICS roms are very unstable due to multiple bug, force closes, freezing, random rebooting (which I experienced with MIUI beta rom on my Galaxy Note n7000), etc.

Read my MIUI for Galaxy Note n7000 review, to see what it looks like, and for a full list of bugs that come with it.

Reference info, Rom and Modem files download:

ICS rom for AT&T Galaxy Note: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1581065

i717 ICS modem files for T-Mobile: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1581084

GALAXY Note – Car Mount hands-on Review (made by Samsung)

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Galaxy Note is a large and expensive phone, and you don’t want to use some flimsy “squeeze-together” phone mount with weak suction cup, that would be falling off your windshield while you are driving. For this monster of a phone, you need a monster car-mount. Samsung has created just that – an official Car Mount for Samsung Galaxy Note.

Below you can see a hands-on video review of this car mount and also what I think of it, after using it for a week. You can get this Galaxy Note car mount from Amazon.com for about $45 with shipping.

Galaxy Note car mount video review:


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As you can see in my hands-on video, this Samsung car mount for Galaxy Note is very well built, and takes advantage of all the features that a Galaxy Note can offer.

Thoughts after using this Samsung Galaxy Note car mount for 1 week

I’ve given this car mount a good “test drive” for about a week now. After trying and essentially breaking at least 3 other “universal” car mounts (from best buy and other stores) I realized, that those are not a good option as something will always break on them soon or they will just fall apart by themselves. I needed a quality car mount designed specifically for my phone.

Up until I got this Samsung car mount, I was using another very cool car mount by Clingo. The Clingo universal car mount has a sticky pad – so you basically just place the phone or GPS onto this pad and it holds very securely. However, the pad is reported to melt in the summer heat, so I’m a little leery about using it in the summer months (a full review if this Clingo universal car mount is coming soon).

image of Samsung Galaxy Note Vehicle Navigation Mount

Now that I have this Samsung unit, it’s proven to be very useful and easy to use. It is a bit on a price side (about $45 vs generic universal mounts costing about $20), but after going through 3 cheap car mounts in a matter of 9 months, and not that I learned my Clingo sticky mount may be a problem in the summer, I think this Samsung car mount is a great buy!

Pros and Cons of Samsung Car Mount for GALAXY Note

PROS – thing I personally like about it:

  • Well built, durable construction, with EXCELLENT suction cup, that does not fall off your windshield!
  • Built in charging port, that activate Car Mode, which makes it easy to use phone’s “car features” with voice control.
  • Fits Galaxy Note perfectly – you don’t have to worry about your phone falling out of the “cradle”
  • Make you Galaxy Note an excellent GPS Navigation unit
  • Durable design allows you to easily operate the phone with your hands, while it is mounted. DO NOT DO THIS WHILE YOU DRIVE!
  • Unit does not shake or vibrate when you are driving, so you can make very stable videos or pictures while driving.

CONS – thing I don’t like about it:

  • This car mount is rather pricey at $45, but it is a Genuine Samsung car mount designed specifically for Galaxy Note.
  • You will have to remove any phone case / cover, before you can place it into this car mount.
  • You cannot use this unit with any other phone, GPS or other device(s).
  • Instead of regular car charger, they could have included USB cable plus USB to 12-volt car plug adapter
  • It is difficult to adjust the unit vertically / horizontally, without loosening the “wheel” on the back. It may be dangerous to do it while driving.

Basically, this car mount is not perfect, but it is very very nice nevertheless, and is not far from perfect. Honestly, there is not many things that I would change about it, or that COULD be changed, given the design and features it provides.

Stay tuned for more Galaxy Note accessories reviews. Next on the list are Case for Galaxy Note by Elago ($10.99) and the BEST screen protector I have ever used, by Xtreme, which costs only $2, and has lasted me 4 months now, without any wear, bubbles or peeling edges.

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April 3rd, 2012 at 6:11 pm

MIUI (ICS) for Galaxy Note review (Custom Rom – ROOT required)

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MIUI has been my favorite rom, long before the Note was even announced. After trying out multiple other custom roms on my HTC Desire HD (Inspire 4G) I’ve fallen in love with MIUI. Some of the best features for me were Speed, Clean and Bright look, Easy Backup and Restore features, Music controls on the lock screen, MIUI themes, Light weight and low memory requirements, etc.

Image of MIUI 4 for Samsung Galaxy NOTE

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After getting Galaxy Note, I was almost happy with it. However, Samsung’s Touch Wiz interface is just horrible (in my opinion) and it’s too deeply integrated into the Android OS on the Note. So deep, that using other launchers is not a viable option – you are still stuck with all the Sammy’s system apps – dialer / lock-screen / contacts, and others.

And for the longest time ALL custom roms were just cleaned up versions of stock TouchWiz roms. However, ever since the first ICS leak for Note, a multitude of truly custom roms began popping up on XDA and other dev forums, including AOSP, AOKP, CyonogenMod, and MIUI!

This review is for a beta build of MIUI Revolution (Android 4.0.3) by Livewings. It is based on early MIUI build, and original ICS leak for Galaxy Note

As we reported in our early post, the official ICS with Premium S Pen Suite for Galaxy Note will come out sometime in Q2. However, great Android developers all over the world have been hard at work to give us first taste of ICS on Note, and now there is an almost fully functional MIUI rom that can be used as a daily driver.

MIUI 4 Revolution video hands-on:

MIUI Revolution for Galaxy Note – installation:

I will not go too deep into installation of MIUI on the Note, as it’s very technical, and is outside the scope of this article. Whatg you should know if you plan to try this yourself – your note must be rooted, and you will need to first install the original ICS leak repack by ChainFire, to install and preserve proper ROOT on you ICS rom. All the links to installation instructions and downloads will be at the end of this review. All in all, the installation takes about an hour, assuming everything goes well.

Features that DO NOT work yet (in MIUI Revolution V1B):

First, let me mention again that this is a BETA release, and some features still do not work, or need a work-around to function properly. This is in part because of AOSP bugs in Android 4.0.3, unfinished MIUI base, and lack of certain files, drivers, and kernel source code for the Galaxy Note (both ICS and GB). For this test I used MIUI Revolution V1B by Livewings. Later version will fix many if not all bugs, and as soon as official ICS for Note and final MIUI builds come out, things will get much better.

– HDMI Output
– Video Recording (AOSP BUG) – use
– Flash Video (Samsung Kernel bug)
– WiFi Direct
– No S-Pen apps from Samsung included in this rom (S Note / S Memo / S Planner, etc)

Also, since all current ICS roms out the are still based on the original Chinese Galaxy Note (i9220) ICS leak, the CPU is clocked at 1.2GHz, versus international Galaxy Note’s (N7000) standard 1.4GHz.

All other bugs (such as USB mass storage, etc) have been fixed in previous versions.

image of MIUI 4 (ICS) for Galaxy Note

MIUI Revolution – First impressions

WOW – MIUI for Galaxy Note is beautiful and fast… when on Nova launcher – MIUI lags, which can get annoying. Current MIUI launcher is ported from Gingerbread 2.3, and is not a native MIUI 4 launcher. Until MIUI team finishes native MIUI 4 launcher, we will be stuck with this one, and it can get VERY laggy at times.

While this beta is almost fully functional, it is still buggy, and I experienced MANY random reboots, as well as laggy MIUI launcher.

Reboots can be caused when you launch too many resource-intensive apps. In my case I had ScreenCast screen recording app running along with launching many other apps. However I also experience reboots without screencast running.

Despite bugs, this is an excellent rom, considering what the dev had to work with – an even bugguer original CL1 leaked rom, bugs in AOSP source, in Samsung kernel & unfinished MIUI base.

I can’t wait for official ICS for Galaxy Note to come out, along with official MIUI 4 builds, and then a fully cooked MIUI for Galaxy Note – that will be my everyday rom! But until then – I’m back to Gingerbread – DarkyROM 3.3 which has served me well for more than a month now! (I used to be an obsessive flasher, so > month is a long time).

Additional Resources for MIUI Revolution:

Below are links to installation instruction and download sources, if you want to try MIUI on your Note.

WARNING: Rooting, flashing new / custom roms and doing other modifications to you phone will void your warranty and can permanently damage your device. Do at your own risk – we take no responsibility if you damage your phone or loose data or anything else.

With that said, here is a link to Livewings’ thread on ICS Forums: http://www.icsforums.com/forum/showthread/502 – there you will find installation instructions and download links to all the files needed to install MIUI on your Note. Good luck!

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March 29th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

AT&T Samsung Galaxy NOTE now works on T-Mobile 4G (HSPA+)

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This is a great development for anyone who wanted to have an AWESOME Galaxy Note to work on T-Mobile 3G/4G network. As you may know, out of the box, AT&T branded phones do not work on T-Mo’s 1700 MHz network, and up until now you could only get EDGE / 2G speeds.

Yesterday, great folks over at XDA Developers have hacked AT&T’s Galaxy Note (SGH-i717) to take full advantage of T-Mobile’s 4G (HSPA+ 42 Mbps) network, by just flashing a new modem (radio) onto an unlocked / rooted Note.

This only works for AT&T Galaxy Note – international / European Note (N7000) owners are still out of luck on this – read below for explanation as to why.

So if you want to have a Galaxy Note on T-Mobile, what you will need to do, is head over to your local “friendly” AT&T store, and buy a new Note (for $650 + tax), and then root / unlock it, and flash the T-Mobile 3G/4G mod files.

XDA Developers user tomin.fhl has provided all necessary files and instructions in this AT&T Galaxy Note on T-mobile thread, and there is even a bounty of $690 (so far, with more folks committing money, for his great work).

Head over to XDA for instruction on how to do this, if you are interested in having your Note working on T-Mobile network. Keep in mind, that your Note must be unlocked and rooted first, before you can flash new 1700 MHz radio. Check out XDA’s AT&T Galaxy Note Android Development section for instructions and all necessary tools to root your Galaxy Note.


Also keep in mind, that roofing will void your warranty and you may also brick your phone if you do not follow the directions correctly.

Why European / International Galaxy Note (N7000) still does not work on T-Mobile 4G network?

The problem with N7000 Galaxy Note not working in T-Mobile 3G/4G vs AT&T Note (i717) is in the hardware. I717 has a Qualcomm’s 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and LTE modem, which was pretty much the only LTE modem available before nVidia released its new Icera soft-modem, paired with Tegra 3 quad-core chipset.

N7000 has Samsung’s own 1.4 GHz Exynos dual-core processor and 1900 MHz HSPA+ chipset (modem). In a nutshell, Samsung does not release the source code for it’s modem drivers, and this makes it very difficult to hack, compared to Qualcomm’s modem used in i717. Here is more info on hacking N7000 to work on T-mobile 4G network.

In the word of bedwa – a lead “hacker” behind making N7000 to work on T-Mobile 4G network:

I have mentioned from day one this was going to be harder. Despite having the same hardware as the G-Nex or other devices with the x-gold 6260 chip, unlike qualcomm’s chips, they are not coded similarly. Thus, I have to hack at a base hex level. Much harder stuff.

For more info on this development, head over to XDA’s Euro Note on T-Mobile US UMTS/3G thread.

When will Galaxy Note N7000 be hacked to work with T-Mobile?

Well – now one knows really. Hopefully very soon, and if or when that happens, I will definitely let you guys and gals know, as I myself am an N7000 owner, and would love to have an option of using T-Mobile. However, it is possible, that this may never happen, or will be too late, when Galaxy Note 2 comes out (most likely fall of 2012), and original Note will no longer be relevant. But let’s not lose hope!


In the mean time, you can get your Galaxy Note to work on Straight Talk $45 Unlimited plan, which essentially runs on AT&T HSPA+ network with “advanced backhaul” (non-LTE 4G) and still get great speed!

image of Straight Talk $45 unlimited plan Speed Test

And now you no longer need to buy the E71 and do SIM Card swap, as was described in our original article. You can now buy a Straight Talk SIM Card for $15 and put it into your unlocked Galaxy Note (or any other unlocked phone), and get same great deal, with fewer hassles and without the risk of being disconnected for not using “approved device”, which was always the part of sim-swap. We will have full coverage in this in just few days.

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March 13th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Car Mount for Samsung Galaxy Note

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Update: As promised, I’ve done a full review of this Galaxy Note car mount, after “test driving” it for a week – check it out here.

Also check out my video review of the Samsung Galaxy Note car mount:

Original article: When I just bought my Galaxy Note back in Nov. 2011 (International version of Note), there where pretty much no accessories of any kind available for it in US. However in just short few weeks, Amazon was filled with screen protectors and cases and pouches for the Note. There were also scores of car mounts available, for Note’s little brother – Galaxy S2, but nothing for Note, except for generic, multi-purpose mounts.

You can pick up Galaxy Note Car Mount from Amazon, for about $42-44 + shipping / handling (free in some cases, depending on seller).

Image of Galaxy Note car mount

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Finally, and only after Note went on sale in US and Canada officially (on Feb 18, 2012), did manufacturers get their act together, and now there is a native car mount designed specifically for the Note – both US and international versions.

I will be picking this baby up soon, and putting it through a bunch of test. After using over 10 different car mounts – I know what to look for.

Main thing I will be looking at, will be the suction cup. All other car mounts that i’ve used previously, had horrible suction cup, and the whole unit would just fall on the steering wheel while I was driving. The only exception was the suction that came with my old as earth Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS unit – that was the BEST suction design I’ve ever seen.

Another thing that I look forward to is the ability to easily insert the Note into the mout and have it charging immediately – if only my “oh so advanced” 3rd gen prius had a USB plug, so I could control the music from the steering wheel…

Look forward for a full review of the Galaxy Note wind-shield car mount in the next couple of weeks – stay tuned.

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March 9th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

LG Optimus Vu – this Phablet will be announce at WMC 2012 in Barcelona

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LG Optimus Vu is a new Phablet device to be announced at World Mobile Conference 2012 in Barcelona – the device features a 5″ screen with 4:3 aspect ratio (compared to 5.3″ screen with 16:9 aspect ratio on Galaxy Note – it’s closest competitor).

image of LG Optimus Vu phablet (tablet / phone) with 4:3 aspect ratio 5" screen)

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Other specs for LG Optimus Vu:

5″ IPS LCD display, with 1024 x 768 resolution and 4:3 aspect ratio
1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU
Android 2.3 Gingerbread (though, we suspect this may be running Android 4.0 soon after officially launching — LG promises within 3 months)
Stylus-input capable with stylus-friendly applications built in
8 megapixel rear-camera likely to come with 1080p HD video capture.
1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
650 nits brightness on the display, mirroring the super-bright display found in the ASUS Transformer Prime
32 GB built-in storage (no word on microSD slot)

LG Optimus Vu video teaser:

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February 24th, 2012 at 12:44 pm