Feeds

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Note

Definitely a big phone, not a small tablet

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

IFA 2011 Samsung's Galaxy Note Android Gingerbread-based device is undoubtedly an oddity. The South Korean giant claims it brings the best of the smartphone world - cellular comms, a relatively compact casing - with the best the tablet offers: a big (ish) screen.

Whether you agree will depend on whether you see the value in a notepad-style machine that has a big enough display to view content clearly and to jot notes on but won't tug on the pockets the way a 9in or 10in tablet will.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

Big phone or small tablet?

Of course, you may well say the opposite: the Note is too big for a phone and too small for a tablet. The Note's 5.3in OLED screen runs to 1280 x 800, and it is wonderfully crisp.

That's a higher spec than you get on phone, and the Note is clearly much bigger than a phone too, even one with a 4.3in or 4.7in screen. But the Note is nice and thin so it's not uncomfortable to hold. The edges curve round to the back in a manner very reminiscent of the original iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

That gadget didn't come with a stylus, but this one does - it slots into a bay at the base of the Note.

It's the nylon-tipped stylus that gives the Note its digital scribble-pad quality. Jotting notes, and sketching charts and pictures does feel more natural when you use a stylus rather than your finger.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

The pen has a button, a press of which takes a screenshot. Samsung reckons users will be grabbing such images left, right and centre, cropping and tweaking them in the Note's easy-to-use photo editor app, and email the results off with pen-jotted annotations.

"Very useful for businessmen," said the lass who gave me a guided tour of the device, before finishing off the demo with an app created by enterprise data management software specialist SAP.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

The Note is a full phone, though it feels slightly odd when held up to your ear - it's just too large. A Bluetooth headset solves that, though calling up contacts one-handed is tricky unless you have an unusually long thumb.

But this is a tool for folk who need a bigger phone screen than most handsets provide. Think of it as a big phone, not a small tablet, and it makes sense.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

The camera on the back is 8Mp

There ought to be room in the market for such a form-factor. It won't suit everyone, of course, but it will suit someone.

I could see myself using such a gadget as an e-book reader, for instance, one way more portable and pocketable than my iPad but requires less squinting than my phone's screen does. Or I could just carry a regular e-book reader around.

Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone

One-handed thumb typing is do-able but not ideal

And that's the difficulty for Samsung: persuading potential buyers they can carry the Note around instead of two or more other devices. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.