Android Central

If you've got an the international HSPA+ version of the Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000), then your months of waiting for Android 4.0 are finally over. The "Premium Suite" for the device, which includes ICS along with a range of other  enhancements, is now pushing out to unlocked German Notes. The update to version XXLPY weighs in at over 300MB, and is currently available through Kies, as well as over-the-air via an automatic update.

As we discovered during our brief hands-on session with the North American ICS update, the Note remains fully TouchWiz'd, even on the latest version of Android. So if you're familiar with the look and feel of the Note's Gingerbread-based firmware, then you'll probably notice only a few minor visual changes. Of course, ICS brings improved performance all-round, which should help Note owners get more out of the device's beefy hardware. And the addition of the Roboto font gives the Note an added touch of class.

As for actual software enhancements, the "Premium Suite" bundles a new S Memo app with support for even richer content, including voice recordings. There's also an enhanced handwriting-to-text feature, and improved sharing capabilities for S Memo content.

If you're rocking an unlocked Note, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to grab the latest OTA, or plug your phone into Kies to see if it's waiting for you. Remember that only German models are getting the ICS update for the time being, though if you know your way around ODIN, you can directly flash the German ROM regardless. (If you don't know what that means, it's probably best to just wait for your country/carrier's OTA.)

If you're already updated, be sure to drop by the comments and let us know what you think.


Reader comments

International Samsung Galaxy Note gets Ice Cream Sandwich


Dont like TouchWiz at all. :( icons just look too old school !
will probably still ROOT, and itstall any ROM that looks like GNexus !
BUT AM HAPPY ITS FINALLY HERE !!! btw i have a i717 hehe...still waiting !

What's the best way to install this I have heard I previous issues if you just update rather than do a fresh install and re add everything you had previously

It's finally there after 7 monthes of wait. How such a big company like Samsung on the Android market, with a top worldwide selling smartphone like the Note, can be so late on this ? And there's still so much Samsung devices (tablets) waiting for their update too. It's just incredible.

Because Gingerbread and ICS are 2 different codebases, it's not a simple upgrade like Froyo->GB was.

Sure, I can understand a technological explain, but we're talking about Samsung, giant leader on the Android smartphones, not a simple developer working in his garage. They had internal ressources to do it if they wanted.

As a customer it's easy for you to say "Big company with money, why cant' they spend money for this this and this?"

Think about your own situation when you budget your money for food, rent, gas, etc every month.

Samsung has to do the same. They have their researchers split up researching and developing the Samsung Galaxy S IV, Note II and other tablets coming out soon. It's not easy pulling resources to push out and force an upgrade.

Lastly, ICS came out in November and the Note in October. The lead time is actually pretty reasonable compared to other updates in the past.

HA! You must be a fairly new Samsung user or just don't remember how slowly they have been getting updates to their previous flagship phones. Go read about how many phones they stranded on Cupcake & Donut after marketing them that they would be updated beyond that. Ask someone in the US who had one of the Galaxy S1 phones how long it took them to get Froyo. The Galaxy S2 has been out longer than the Note, do they ALL officially have ICS yet?

Samsung still hasn't shown me that they are going to continue to support their phones after they walk out the door enough for me to spend $ on buying ANY of their offerings. It's a shame too because they use nice hardware, but they are a nightmare on the software side.

So weren't the Galaxy S II's among the first to get ICS, the USA Note soon after, and now the international Note getting it? I don't want to be a Samsung apologist, I do think however they are doing pretty damn well compared to others. Sony has just started updating the phones in mid-April, so has HTC, we're still waiting on Motorola and others...

And it all comes back down to the carrier. Original Galaxy S came out with Gingerbread in Japan while many people here were blaming Samsung for never upgrading it past Froyo... Just goes to show how each market does things different and at different speeds...

Can someone please explain to me why Samsung doesnt just release the update to all? why update country by country making us wait additional weeks for no reason. iPhone update is pushed to all countries on the same date. PLEASE can someone explain!!

I feel your pain, It's the Carriers fault

Every carrier must "Test The Update" first & they take their sweet time doing it & OEMs ends up with one of 2 choices

- Release in a specific countries first where the Carriers finished testing like HTC & Samsung

- Wait for all Carriers to finish their things & then release it to everyone at the same time like Motorola

That's how its done in Europe & the middle east ... as Motorola call it EMEA region

I'm sure carriers are very much a big obstacle for the delay, let's not forget CrapWiz is probably the big problem. Looks at what Sony did - they released un-skinned ICS upgrades for the devices. So suppliers like Samsung and HTC are causing as much delay as carriers by imposing their shitty skins on ICS.

Damage Control is mostly the reason, if they launch in one country at a time and say the ICS rom goes on the fritz, then they can recall the ROM make changes and only the least important markets are pissed about the non functional ROM. If they launched in the USA (one of their biggest markets) and the ROM floundered! There would be a PR nightmare and hell to pay, and they would have upset their most important customer bases, the damage being that potential and current customers may have returned the phone or just never buy another Samsung product again...

The iPhone is a single device, with a bunch of Apple clout, made with little or no variation from country to country, or carrier to carrier.

Android OEM's don't share this luxury so they have to wait for country and/or carrier approval before rolling out an update.

Don't worry the update is coming, and it will be worth the wait I'm sure.

As I've said before within the forums, for me personally, I didn't buy the Note because I'd be getting an upgrade. The Note is fine just like it is, and so for me, if it never happens I still believe this is the best, and only, all-in-one device on the market.

What is it with Samsung & Kies ?
I never thought that I'll come a cross a PC suite worse than Nokia PC Suite , but Samsung did it !!!

They should've ditched Kies & started fresh, like Motorola when they Ditched Motorola Media Link & brought MotoCast , the difference between MML & MotoCast is unbelievable.

Just to be clear : I'm a Motorola guy , but I used Kies before to set my father's Tab 7 plus

It makes me laugh how naive so many of us users are and I am including myself. Microsoft doesn't have a problem releasing updated o s is in multiple countries on multiple pc configurations.

Handset manafactures do not want to update your phone, they want to sell you a new phone, period.

How is it that our home grown developers can make roms for devices and they do not even have the source code, but samsung is taking so long?

Whatever, I'm just happy this device got an update at all

The benefits of buying the Note from Amazon Germany - best price and quickest update to ICS. Too bad I'm expecting an important phone call, so will have to wait till later in the night to update.

I might try out one of those ICS only launchers to get a feel for the stock look.

Odd, I've had ICS on my international Note for close to two months now. Thought it was already "officially" released..

Hate to be a spoiled brat but i don't really care about the update since it looks the same i wish they gave me the option without voiding the warranty to change to stock or Rom.

I have a note great device and hardware but software. ..... Have been thinking of new phones outside of Samsung.