Our Score


User Score

Review Price £649.00

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2: Software and Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 runs Android 4.4 with the TouchWiz interface laid on top. It’s pretty similar to what we saw in the Note 10.1 2014 Edition, but with a few elements given a spruce-up so they look less ugly.

As ever Samsung’s custom interface is less than beautiful. However, Android on large tablets never looks or feels perfect, and Samsung has made some sensible changes.

The notifications bar is also different from the norm. There are nice, big feature toggle buttons up at the top, and the usual notifications below. We’d ideally like to see Samsung make better use of the screen space here, but it is certainly clear regardless.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 also has a pair of extra home screens that you won’t find in Samsung’s previous phones. You access these by swiping beyond your normal home screens.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 – Magazine UI

These are pages of Samsung’s new Magazine UI, used in addition to the standard Android home screens. They arrange your favourite content as sharp, stylish-looking blocks that are reminiscent of Windows Phone (or the touch interface of Windows 8) and Flipboard, a hugely popular news aggregation app.

You can choose all sorts of 'blocks' including feeds from websites, your Twitter account, your email and your calendar. And they can be arranged in all sorts of ways.

Tapping on one of them takes you to another screen that shows you all the content from that source, again arranged attractively.

This is what Magazine UI looks like

And this is the screen where you choose what goes into it

In pure functional terms, Magazine UI works very well. However, its 'auto opt-in' prescriptive nature is entirely contrary to what the best tablets are all about – the Nexus 7 2 and the various iPads are blank slates you can fill with whatever you want. The Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is a bit like moving into a lovely new flat only to find it comes with a live-in butler who asks you if you need anything every five minutes.

Some people will love Magazine UI, we’re sure, but the assumption that everyone who buys a tablet like this will have a remote interest in such an interface is overly presumptuous. And a symptom of Samsung’s OCD-tinged approach to including every feature it can think of.

Unlike some other, smaller Samsung tablets, though, the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 doesn’t feel cramped, cluttered or particularly confusing if you forget Magazine UI exists. But it does reinforce that this is not a tablet for those just getting into gadgets.

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February 14, 2014, 12:28 am

Thank you for pointing out the pentile screen. Makes me feel so much better I have the higher DPI pentile with the 10.1. I thought on the off chance Samsung might not go pentile because it was going to be so much more apparent. I guess not.


February 15, 2014, 2:12 am

The problem with Samsung is their non friendly user interface. They add so much useless staff and the real staff we need are almost hidden. Example, I bought the Samsung galaxy note 2014 edition for the pen. When using it I couldn't just open a new page on the software to draw something new. It took me hours to figure it out. It is common sense to have a, new page, or save and delete on the main screen, but unfortunately not on their device. A real shame, I love their device for price, style and components but they really have to work on user friendly interface and remove all the unnecessary tools that probably just a small fraction of us uses.
Samsung, please make things simpler, and make all these add up tools as extra for people who wants them, not as the main features.
I would buy this new cool 12.inch tablet but I'm afraid it's going to be just an other nightmare to use as the 2014 tablet edition.
I will have to wait for Android to make one. I now use the LG Nexus 5 and I must admit the best in the market so far. I can't wait for them to make a 12 inch tablet. You really feel in control with the 100% Android interface. I want it, I keep it. I don't want I, I remove. Not like Samsung.


February 15, 2014, 8:05 am

Why not compare this tablet to Surface Pro 2? It looks like they are both aimed at the same market.

Alcino Major

February 17, 2014, 10:54 pm

Sorry but you have calculated wrong the overall score
if the final score is based on the average scores then the result of the final score is: 7.5/10 and not 8/10 (60/8=7.5)


February 18, 2014, 7:46 am

I doubt it... These are more the type of people looking to replace iPads at work. Where the Surface Pro 2 is more of a laptop/desktop replacement with excellent touch and stylus input.


February 22, 2014, 2:36 pm

If you hate it, root it and get rid of all the feature you dont like. Then you dont have those extra stuff anymore.

I dont understand what you mean by saying "... waiting Android to make one." The tablet is an android device with Android KitKat.


February 23, 2014, 12:21 pm

Is there a phone model too? As far as I know, I read it that you can make phone calls too (gsm) but then, I asked about it from a retailer because they had wifi and 4g/lte models but they hadnt gsm networking on the specs, and they said that this is only a tablet. Well, 4G/LTE model is just a tablet without gsm handling? Gsmarena-site says that it has also gsm networking. What is true?

My Note 10.1 can handle gsm calls too - and if this is true that the notepro is just a tablet, Im not going to upgrade my present tablet to be forced to buy a separate phone too... But Im not sure will I even upgrade my beast at all. Notepro 12.2 sounds a perfect device but if it is just a tablet, then I have to say, no thanks...

Sounds 6/10 - compared to what?
So bad sound quality, much worse than other tablets?

Lisa has made, again, a nice vid review about this tablet. Check it (youtube, mobiletech...)


February 23, 2014, 12:27 pm

Maybe they use whole numbers and 0,5 is rounded up...


February 28, 2014, 1:49 am

Still dreaming of a new line of tablets.. If Notes are aimed at writing down notes with stylus, they could call new line Art and aim it for - guess who - artists. I already use my Note 10.1 as a digital sketch pad&light digital painting pad. Sure it ain't good as full weight photoshop with 1000€+ Wacom Cintiq, but it's still far easier to carry around. I even used to doodle with a 4" PDA some 10+ years ago..

Heck, make them at sizes of 10/12/14" at 16:10 ratio.. I'd buy the 14" in instant. Weight isn't a concern, it's not like I'd stretch arm out to hold a sketch pad in air with one hand while drawing on it with another. 14" would be roughly A4 worth of screenspace to work with. I'd toss out those under-screen buttons, add couple of physical sliders on the outer rim, such as disable touch (since you got stylus to work with) that'd work better than "palm-rejection".. Toss the fake leather crap out as well and cover the whole thing with rough textured rubber or silicon for better grab - be that from holding or stop it from sliding on table - as well as more scratch resistance. I cringe everytime I look at the scratches on my 10.1 it gets from attempts to draw on table. Sometimes carrying a wet towel around to clean surface first just doesn't work, and the hard plastic just loves to slide around.

Didn't Qualcomm reveal Snapdragon 805 a while ago? One of those, please. 4gb+ ram, 2560x1600 for the smaller pads. 4096x2160 for the 14", since Snapdragon 805 is meant for 4k displays, that shouldn't be much of an issue. Might as well add a docking port too, so that'd make quite interesting "laptop" with a keyboard attached. Maybe even fit some proper USBs and other connectors to it. Hm. Keyboard dock with charger, that'd be actually interesting..

And then Samsung could cough up way to connect to PC* (bluetooth, wireless usb, maybe even WiFi, if latency doesn't kill it) to use stronger hardware&limitless choice of software. Stream clone of screen from PC to tablet - and stylus/touch/kb data from tablet to PC. Although I bet Wacom would have something to say about using their tech for making a what's practically a wireless Cintiq..

Eh, one of these days I'm going to practice my technical drawing&rendering skills and just send Samsung a design draft to consider. /industrial design student

*I know there are these things called "Mac"s, but as if anyone still uses them.


March 5, 2014, 7:33 am


Yet another typically uninformed reviewer! The comment...

"The obvious missing thing here is a way to turn the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 into a laptop. There are no docking points on its bottom or its sides that might open the doors to a keyboard accessory that would turn the Note into a Android laptop."

Does not even mention the Samsung accessory keyboard and mouse "designed" for this product. It does not mention the amazing Logitech keyboard/cover. It does not mention that the Galaxy Note pro will work with any BlueTooth accessory device. It does not mention that using an OTG cable with a USB hub you can connect a USB keyboard AND a USB mouse and OTHER USB devices.

Why does it HAVE to HAVE a dock - has this reviewer never heard of wireless communications?

It does not mention that it can power and use (directly from its own USB3 port, a TERRABYTE drive for file read write of ANY file TYPE (not limited to music and photos via iTunes). I already do exactly this on my Galaxy Note 3. Yes, a PHONE that can power and use ONE TERRABYTE of external storage plus 96 gb internal storage.

It does not mention that it works (via an OTG cable) with Logitech unifying receiver, to allow the use of a Logitech Keyboard and Darkfield Laser Tracking mouse.

It does not mention that (via an OTG cable) it recognises and operates with a Logitech Presenter for the provision of PowerPoint presentations. It can actually directly present PPT presentations (using Open Office or similar software) and these can be FULLY controlled by the Logitech Presenter. I already DO THIS on my Galaxy Note 3. In fact I have done this on my original Galaxy Note One!! Using the MHL to HDMI or VGA adapter you can connect the device to a projector for these presentations.

Of course if you use a USB hub, you can connect all these devices at the same time. With a USB hub you can connect multiple USB memory sticks and they are all treated as separate drives. You can read, write, delete or transfer files of ANY TYPE between them.

It does not mention that using an OTG cable attached to a card reader, you can read, write, delete or transfer files of ANY TYPE, to and from and between disparate memory cards, e.g. from SD to Sony Memory Stick, microsd and any other memory device for which you have a usb adaptor.

There are videos on YouTube showing the ORIGINAL Galaxy Note One as a gaming PC with its gaming output on a large tv screen. This Galaxy Note One has a mouse, keyboard and gaming controller attached to it.

This was available TWO YEARS AGO! The power and capability has only improved since then.

Come on reviewers, get your act together. Realise there is more to life than just an iPad. There is REAL power available if you choose the right product.

My best wishes to all future buyers of the Galaxy Note of your chosen size! Me, I'm waiting for the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 64gb. Oh, and don't forget, (with the GSM/LTE wireless models) these devices can also operate as a FULLY functional phone.

Meanwhile I can manage very well with my Galaxy Note 3 and its 96gb of memory.

Kind regards



March 10, 2014, 5:45 pm

It's an overall verdict, not an average. It doesn't really matter what the other categories say.


May 4, 2014, 12:10 am

what david means is he can't wait for samsung to pull their finger out and make a 100% Android interface which is designed and developed by google, sadly Samsung are a bunch of money grabbing thieves just like most of the mobile tech manufacturers and they are trying to push their dumbass stock software on customers because the phones on contract are usually "free". Not sure but I think the carriers must pay the manufacturers for their stock software as a tradeoff for supplying "free"
phone as far as I am aware these phones get manufactured in the millions and the components are actually a pittence, that together with the cheap labour in the east and they cost next to nothing to manufacture, then add the fact that android is essentially linux and we should all know by now that linux is opensource which means of course that it is freely available to joe blog to edit etc. however Samsung quite rightly does not want you to edit their product, hence the bloatware. If you want a 100% android phone you are going to have to buy it and then get a sim only contract or as you say root it if you are confident enough not to end up bricking the phone.

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