Samsung Galaxy Note: is bigger better?

Written by: Mobile News
Samsung Galaxy Note: is bigger better?

The heftiest phone in the world has arrived: a super-powered mobile with an added stylus, which is designed for those who want a tablet but in phone form – just be prepared for some odd looks in public

When you first clap eyes on the Samsung Galaxy Note you could be forgiven for wondering what exactly it is: a phone or a tablet.

Technically it’s the former, but its massive 5.3-inch screen pushes it firmly towards the tablet sector – and that’s a very conscious choice from its makers.

With the Note, Samsung is trying to fill a gap in the market, catering for people who want a larger screen than your run-of-the-mill smartphone can provide – but crucially don’t want something as large as an actual tablet. And it just about fits, because it just about fits in your trouser pocket (though it looks rude). It’s thin and very lightweight too.

Big-screen star
The screen is the undeniable star of the show here. Not merely large, it’s also sharp: the resolution is 1,280×800 pixels and the pixel density 285ppi (only slightly less than the fabled 326ppi Retina Display on the iPhone 4). And because it uses AMOLED technology, the quality of colour reproduction and contrast is incredibly high. Black looks black here, deep and inky, rather than the slightly washed-out grey you generally see with LCD screens.

This makes the Galaxy Note one of the best phones we’ve ever used for watching videos and web browsing. When it comes to the latter, the screen is so detailed that viewing proper, full-size web pages rather than the mobile versions is actually a pain-free experience.

Stylus trials
But there’s more to the screen: Samsung has also included a stylus, and in conjunction with the S Memo app included, this turns the Galaxy Note into, well, a notebook. The screen is large enough that you can jot down handwritten note, sketch diagrams  and so on.

The stylus isn’t perfect however, and if you use it as a replacement for your finger it can feel a little inaccurate.
Browsing the aforementioned full-size web pages, for instance, and trying to click a link with the stylus often results in you selecting the one above or below it by mistake.

Gingerbread homes
The Galaxy Note runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Samsung’s own TouchWiz interface overlaid, and it’s a joy to use. There are seven homescreens available, and you can customise them with your own selection of widgets and app shortcuts, flicking between them with the merest movement of your finger. The multitouch controls, such as pinch-to-zoom on photos and web pages, also work beautifully smoothly.

The phone comes preloaded with a huge number of apps, and while you might see that as a positive, we suspect a large proportion of them will go unused by the average owner. While we’d stop short of saying the Galaxy Note is stuffed full of bloatware, we’d prefer a ‘less is more’ approach from Samsung: why not let the user decide the apps that he or she wants?

Samsung does feature a handful of its own apps, and some are noteworthy. Social Hub, for example, draws all your messages and emails into one tab and all your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates into another; it’s handy. There’s also Voice Talk, which works like a poor man’s version of the iPhone 4S’s Siri: you can speak to send messages, update Twitter or open apps.

Full article in Mobile News issue 504 (December 19, 2011).

To subscribe to Mobile News click here

One Response to “Samsung Galaxy Note: is bigger better?”

  1. the Note certainly hits the right chords. I will surely one for myself. for those complaining about the huge size, remember that it eliminates the need of buying a separate tablet.kudos to Samsung for this innovative product!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

To advertise on this site, call 0203 122 0872

Recent Comments

To all the people who queued up outside a store to get a new iPhone! What a bunch of sad, lonely and very pathetic losers you are. You really do need to get a life – it’s a mobile phone!...
It would be good if they focused on increasing network capacity, rather than technology that decreases the poor capacity Vodafone already sports....
Suggest you seek help for the distress we have caused you. In the meantime, it has been corrected. Best of luck....
Will the author of this article please note that the "it's" at the beginning should be am "its". WITHOUT THE APOSTROPHE. Dreadful to see on GOOGLE NEWS....
Er...is he also responsible for EE being down - eeek! There is a lot of current ill feeling depth from your customers, I hope he has an understanding of - a lot of feedback on internet about poo...
Only had my SIM a month paid thru Paypal, disputed it an got my money back after a few days :-) Moved to 3 and used the PAC code from OVIVO with no problems. Shame such a good deal has gone...
"Microsoft Devices taunted its rivals". You mean in the same way that Caterham taunts Ferrari and Bugatti?...
Corrected. Thank you...
this company is the worst company ever. they have refused to terminate a contract saying there is a no returns policy. orange have advised me otherwise. the level of customer service this com...
Are there any updates on this effort? Has Ofcom made any decisions about policies to help manage numbers to ensure they don't run out?...

Social Media Feed