While the Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the most unique smartphones on the market, there are also differences between the internationally recognized model and the AT&T variant. These differences run deeper than just the LTE antenna which is compatible with AT&T 4G network. So before you decide to spring for an AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note, there are a couple of things you need to know about its international GSM variant first.
AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note vs international GSM model
Better chipset: Dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor instead of the 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor (the former is more faster).
Physical home button: While this may not seem like a big deal given that the AT&T variant has a capacitive home button, given the sheer size of the Galaxy Note you will immediately find that having the option to just double tap the physical home button is much easier during single handed operation. If you relied on the side power button to unlock it, you will find your fingers first click there, and then have to reposition your hand to use your finger to slide to unlock across the 5.3-inch screen.
No crapware: In addition to having an FM radio, you will find the usual AT&T crapware not present.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich coming quicker: If you’ve had a glimpse of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Premium Suite update then you will know that June is too far away. Unfortunately, if you’re on AT&T then you can expect the wait to be even longer than that as it will need to go through another approval stage with the carrier. This could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months.
There are of course a couple of disadvantages other than lack of LTE. We’re talking about no NFC chip or subsidized pricing. However if you don’t use an LTE data plan or NFC, nor like to be tied up with a two-year contract, then the international Samsung Galaxy Note model is a better choice.