Naturally, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 sports all the major Google apps that make the Android platform such a joy to use. Google Maps and Gmail need no introduction as the top map and top email apps around respectively.

Google Maps

You also get Google+, which is the company's increasingly prevalent (if only because Google is leveraging its other services to push it) social network. Hangouts forms its instant messaging and video chat solution, but has yet to really mature into a stress-free social environment.

Of course Samsung also provides plenty of its own apps. Some of these serve to duplicate what's on offer from Google, which occasionally feels as wasteful and messy here as it does with every other Android manufacturer that does it.

Is ChatON strictly necessary when Google already provides the aforementioned Hangouts app? Probably not. But in this particular case, I'll waiver the criticism.

Do you really need Samsung's scruffy Gallery app with the sharp Google Photos included? Actually, you may if you like the thought of your Dropbox images being closely integrated with your locally stored snaps rather than Google+. For general use, however, it's functionally similar without being quite as crisp or intuitive as the Google version.

Google Photos

Still, Samsung does provide a number of additional apps that don't step on Google's toes, some of which I mentioned earlier when discussing the S Pen's unique capabilities.

S Note is another that takes advantage of Samsung's versatile stylus. It's a note-taking app, but it allows you to scrawl directly onto the page, as well as import clipping from the Scrapbook app and, well, any type of stored media really.

It's powerful, though not quite as instant or intuitive for quickly noting something down as, say, Google's Keep app, which isn't even included here.

S Note

Speaking of powerful, the excellent SketchBook is a fully featured art app that really shows what the S Pen is capable of.

You can choose from multiple pen, pencil and brush types, colours, layers and more. It also demonstrates the sensitivity of the S Pen, as it responds to varying levels of pressure. It still doesn't match the real thing, but it's as close as I've seen.


Elsewhere you get things like WatchON, which provides a TV guide and - most interestingly - a remote control app. This quickly syncs up with your TV and allows you to change channel, adjust the volume, and switch off your TV from the comfort of your Galaxy Note 10.1 - all thanks to that IR port situated on top of the device.

In another nice touch, the remote then makes itself available to you from the notification menu, ready to be accessed at a moment's notice.


Other Samsung apps included here have an app icon, but actually require downloading. Story Album is one of those, allowing you to turn your stored photos into albums. You can even have them published as physical albums.

Speaking of creating, Video Editor does precisely what you'd expect, allowing you to add effects, create a video based on a theme, and generally tinker with your footage.

Group Play lets you share documents, images, videos, and music with your friends in the same room in real time - provided they all have Samsung devices too, of course.

S Voice, meanwhile, is essentially Samsung's version of Siri. You can add memos, search for contacts, add events to your calendar, initiate a search, open apps and more. It all works pretty well, and there's a shortcut to the facility by double tapping the home button.

S Voice

Polaris Office 5 is an office productivity app, which enables you to open, create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It also incorporates Samsung's S Pen technology, so you can sketch out tables and highlight multiple objects using the included stylus.

Android has come a long way as a gaming platform over the past 12 months or so, with the Google Play Store now home to hundreds if not thousands of the best mobile games around. Apple's iOS still has the edge when it comes to securing games first, but more and more top titles are appearing simultaneously or soon after on Android.

Google Play Games

As a gaming tablet, you'll struggle to find a more capable Android device than the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. Its quad-core Exynos CPU, which includes a potent Mali GPU, is pretty much the most powerful non-Apple chip out there.

It means that games simply fly on the latest Galaxy Note 10.1, despite having to shift a lot more pixels via that super-sharp 10-inch display.


My usual Real Racing 3 test resulted in super-silky performance, as did the recent first person shooter technical showcase, Dead Trigger 2, which ran on the 'High' graphical setting without issue.

Meanwhile more colourful games like Rayman Jungle Run and Subway Surfers look pretty much as good here as I've ever seen them.