Tablets are cool. But they have a purpose too. Larger screens, higher resolution and more mileage out of the battery make them better suited for certain tasks. That’s why people are not only fascinated by them but do end up actually needing one. What’s not so cool is the need to carry two devices all the time, especially when one of them won’t fit into any reasonable pocket.
Samsung Galaxy Note official photos
That's where the Samsung Galaxy Note comes in. It aims to squeeze the high-res screen and battery longevity of a tablet into a package that is still pocketable. And it does - but success is by no means guaranteed. There's nothing between the Galaxy Note and 7" tablets. And while it sounds good to have all that room to themselves, Samsung need to fill it with meaning. The right kind of users will be easily convinced of the advantages of an enlarged Galaxy S II. Not so sure about a compressed tablet.
But there's no reason to go into this with a skeptical attitude. Just look at that specs sheet!
Quad-band GSM and quad-band 3G support
21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
5.3" 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (800 x 1280 pixels)
Android OS v2.3.5 with TouchWiz 4 launcher
1.4 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400MP GPU, Exynos chipset, 1GB of RAM
Pre-bundled with the S Pen active stylus
8 MP wide-angle autofocus camera with LED flash, face, smile and blink detection
Video recording of up to 1080p@30fps
Dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b, g and n support; Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi hotspot
GPS with A-GPS connectivity; Digital compass
16/32GB internal storage, microSD slot
Accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
Charging MHL microUSB port with USB host and TV-out (1080p through optional adapter) support
Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
FM radio with RDS
Great audio quality
9.7 mm slim and weighs a reasonable 178g
2MP secondary video-call camera
Full Flash support and GPU-acceleration for the web browser permit 1080p flash video playback
NFC support (optional)
File manager comes preinstalled
Extremely rich audio and video format support
2500 mAh battery
Won’t fit comfortably in every pocket
Much harder for one-handed use than a regular smartphone
No dedicated camera key
HD screen uses PenTile matrix lowering perceived resolution
Non-hot-swappable microSD card
Sub-par loudspeaker volume
There aren’t many smartphones around that can instill an inferiority complex in the Galaxy S II, but the Galaxy Note does a pretty good job of it. The Exynost chipset's got a faster CPU, the AMOLED screen has a million pixels and, most importantly, there’s more of it. And even the notoriously power-hungry Android will have a hard time pushing through the 2500 mAh battery in a day, which is what many modern-day smartphones will do more often than not.
Samsung Galaxy Note at ours
And there’s the S Pen, which promises to add a whole new dimension to the smartphone experience. Good old-fashioned notepads haven't been having a blast lately, but the Note threatens to put another nail in their coffin.
Quite a beast we have on our hands here and it won’t be easy taming it. We'd better get to it then and keep the Galaxy Note busy. The hardware inspection starts right after the break.