Mobile Technology

Samsung's Galaxy Note supersizes the smartphone with 5.3 inch screen and stylus

Samsung's Galaxy Note supersizes the smartphone with 5.3 inch screen and stylus
The Galaxy Note next to Tim's Galaxy S II
The Galaxy Note next to Tim's Galaxy S II
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Samsung Galaxy Note camera
Samsung Galaxy Note camera
The Galaxy Note next to Tim's Galaxy S II
The Galaxy Note next to Tim's Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy Note browsing
Samsung Galaxy Note browsing
Samsung Galaxy Note home screen
Samsung Galaxy Note home screen
Samsung Galaxy Note browsing in landscape
Samsung Galaxy Note browsing in landscape
"This is great" said Tim after ten minutes with the Galaxy Note.
"This is great" said Tim after ten minutes with the Galaxy Note.
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Samsung showed its new Note smartphone today at IFA, just 12 months after it showed the Galaxy Tab to great acclaim, and when history judges the 5.3" supersized smartphone it just might play a much greater role in the development of the personal computer form factor. The incorporation of a stylus and the 1280×800 high-resolution Super AMOLED screen give the thin Android phone additional functionality by way of both sketching and note-taking and when Gizmag's Tim Hanlon tried the phone with its 1.4GHz dual-core processor, he's now thinking of trading in his Galaxy SII.

"It might look like the awkward stepchild of a phone and tablet, but as soon as I went from my iPhone to the Galaxy SII, I became used to the additional screen-size instantly", said Tim.

"My old iPhone now seems like a toy compared to the SII and although the 5.3 inch Note looks awkward, it just might be indispensable once you get used to it. It is bigger than the Galaxy SII, but because it's thin, at 9.65mm, it's still small enough to slip into my jeans pocket."

"I wasn't crazy about the note taking feature as there was a slight lag, but it's likely to be a lot quicker than typing for a lot of people. The Note also loads web pages very quickly, and the camera seems much snappier than the Samsung Galaxy SII."

"It's funny, but I think the odd form factor is the type of thing that people might mock until they try it, then they'll have their opinion turned around like mine was. I pull out my iPad or laptop noticeably less with the Galaxy SII in my pocket, and I expect this would be amplified significantly if I had a Note...and although the Note won't replace my iPad, it will probably replace my Galaxy SII."

"Last but not least, it's surprisingly comfortable to use as a phone."

Computer research done on desktop computers has shown many times that the amount of screen real estate is almost directly proportional to productivity, so it may well be that the 5.3" HD Super AMOLED display offers considerable productivity advantages over existing smartphones.

Samsung also demonstrated two apps which leverage the Note's large screen and are sure to be sought after. One is the S Planner, a cross between a personal organizer and a management planning tool which integrates a To-Do list and schedule and will make a very useful life organizer. The other is a multimedia app named S Memo, which can take any form of user-created content (pictures, voice recordings, typed text, handwritten notes and sketches) and combine them in a memo which can be edited, annotated and shared. Those two apps alone will make the Note a very useful tool.

Samsung Galaxy Note home screen
Samsung Galaxy Note home screen

There's also a really easy-to-use screen-capture which means you can capture any screen and make notes on it before being filing or sharing - a genuinely useful tool .

There are several other trump cards associated with the Note. Firstly, its connectivity speed is exceptional as it has both HSPA+ and LTE, making it fast enough to stream video in real-time or participate in online gaming.

The other is via the use of Juniper Networks' Junos Pulse SSL VPN which enables secure remote access to corporate networks. This last one could prove to be a killer app as large enterprises have until now had very little choice in the smartphone arena and the SSL Virtual Private Network meets high-volume secure access and authorization requirements. By offering a smartphone that enables IT managers to centralize control and protect corporate data, Samsung has produced a device which can finally go head-to-head with the iPhone.

The Note will also no doubt sidestep most of Apple's legal complaints about "look and feel" too, as it's entirely different to either the iPad or iPhone and hence it looms as a real competitor to both as Apple is unlikely to be able to block its arrival in the marketplace.

The Note has enough smarts to significantly influence the form factor of the personal computer once more.

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I BELIEVE that most websites are of the 980 pixel wide format. If they can increase the pixel density to that and vertically by the same ratio, they\'ll be pixel-perfect for web viewing. Still, a scaled 800 is much better for full-page web viewing than when scaled to the standard 480. It certainly looks comfortable in the guy\'s hand. It\'ll be interesting to see if it catches on. I might give it a try.
Ron Tucker
Any one of the millions of presbyopic, mid 40 year olds will find this size most usefull. I hope it can be used without reading glassses .
Charles Bosse
Nice. When I saw Samsung\'s other offerings I was underwhelmed, but this looks like they finally got the point. Now let\'s hope they keep the apps that actually contribute to usefulness (like the SSL app mentioned above) and don\'t overload the phone with their own personal organizer, netflix app, hacked version of Google\'s pack, etc. they might have a winner. For me, that will make the difference between going with the amazing screen on this phone, or going with something that I don\'t have to root (or that will still look good after I root it).
Gautam Gupta
Why doesnt Samsung do something better? Ever since iphone got popular every phone company has been releasing all kinds of ridiculous devices!
How wide is it? Can you still rach across with 1 thumb?
If this comes to AT&T I\'m getting it!
Most definitely want one, but worried about the comfort of single hand use. Galaxy S fits just fine in one hand while allowing navigation with the same hand
Joseph Shimandle
With 128GB memory and no phone, it would make a great Android version os the i=Pod Touch.
John in Brisbane
Cool! Although I just got a galaxy s2 today and its pretty awesome. It makes my already awesome HTC Desire look like a toy - similar to that quote in the article.
I remember when the Dell Streak was coming out thinking that 5inches could be a good size. My mate who was using an HTC touch HD thought the Dell was excessive (he should talk!) Now that the tech is so shrinkable, I wouldn\'t be surprised if this kind of device started coming out as the same hardware but in a range of sizes. Bigger isn\'t always better - the HTC fitted in my hand better - but I\'d definitely test a larger unit down the track.
BTW - I\'ve skipped the tablet thing pretty much. Between the old HTC and a netbook, I didn\'t see the point, although I have a very cheap 7\" one as an mp3 player for the car. Now with the Samsung, I reckon a tablet is even less likely for me.
Deqoun James
WOW!!! I think I\'m gonna really like this phone!
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