- Samsung Galaxy Note Review
By Rob Boggan
Every time I hear the phrase “It’s a phone and a tablet” I shudder from nightmares of Dell Streak’s past. The Dell Streak completely and totally turned me off from the Smartphone/Tablet crossover market. It was a sweet idea and I thought it would work wonderfully, but one of the biggest downsides was the Streak, as awesome as it was as a mini tablet, was a crappy phone. Underneath it all was a beautiful premise that never really lived up to the hype. Samsung has taken that premise and built out a device with their now infamous “Galaxy” stamp on it, and released it to the masses under AT&T’s 4G LTE data network. Does having the Galaxy branding and an LTE radio make this Phone/Tablet a must have? Or is it simply another pipe dream that will ultimately get lost in the shuffle? Read on for my review of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
First thing first, the Galaxy Note is actually BIGGER than the Dell Streak. With a massive 5.3 inch display, the Note definitely boasts more than enough screen real estate for the casual user. The massive screen is accented even more by the extremely high resolution Super AMOLED display that Samsung stuffed into this bad devil. Nay, this is not just your average Super AMOLED display however, it’s actually a Super AMOLED HD display which means colors are gonna pop, and overall will be much more robust and vivid than any other screen you’ve ever used. Ever. Seriously, the display on this thing really surprised me as I was not expecting it to be as nice. The design of the phone itself falls right in line with most other Samsung phones as of late, meaninig it does leave a bit to be desired. The casing itself is made almost entirely of plastic which kind of cheapens the feel of the phone quite a bit, and the only thing that leads to the phone feeling as solid as it does is the massive Corning Gorilla Glass display that was crammed onto the Note. The battery cover is super thin and literally feels like you’re going to snap it in half while trying to remove it. With the back off, you’ll notice the circuitry for an NFC chip, and the massive 2,500 mAh battery. The battery happens to be the anchor of this phone and just so happens to be what really makes it stand out. One of the biggest complaints I have with a lot of smartphones, is that the battery just doesn’t cut it. I was afraid that not only would this be the case with my Galaxy Note, but it would be worse than anything I could imagine due to the functionality of the phone and the largeness of the screen. I was LARGELY wrong, as the battery on the Galaxy Note has taken me from one day to the next, all week long. Literally taking my Note off the charger at around 8 AM and not having to charge it until 3 PM the next day is not only great, but it’s a blessing. Finally the smartphone Gods have given us something we has all lusted after for a while: Great battery life. One bit of information I was a little disheartened to hear was that the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note was dropping the fantastically performing Samsung Exynos processor in favor of the more LTE friendly Snapdragon. Not to say that the dual core Snapdragon system is trash, because it’s not, it just simply under performs when compared to the benchmarks of the Exynos processor. With mostly anything that I tasked the Galaxy Note with, it took in stride and pounded out productivity. Emailing, Facebooking, Tweeting, texting, and phone calls were all superb in quality, with absolutely ZERO lag. Speaking of phone calls, call quality was great on the Note and the speaker was solid as well. I did walk away underwhelmed with the audio quality of the speaker phone when it came to playing back movies or music, as it sounded amazingly quiet by comparison to my Galaxy S II, or the iPhone 4S.
Running on Android 2.3.6, the Galaxy Note packs the latest version of Android, at least until it gets updated to Ice Cream Sandwich later on this year. In addition to Gingerbread, the Galaxy Note also runs Samsung’s TouchWiz interface, with a bit of a twist. To go along with the included S Pen peripheral, Samsung has updated TouchWiz to support gestures using the S Pen. For example, users can long press on the screen to instantly perform a screen capture that is uploaded into the S Memo(See a theme there?) app where you can then draw, crop, or write on the screen capture before sharing it via messaging or social networking. Need to quickly open the S Memo app without doing a screen capture? Simply double tap on the screen and the S Memo app pops into view over any app you’re currently using for quick note-taking access. In addition to the S Memo app, the S Pen can be used in virtually any app that uses a keyboard, and for basic navigation which essentially allows for a completely hands-free (or finger-free) experience. I’ve seen and heard a lot of people complain about not being able to use this phone one handed, and that’s something I won’t waste my breath trying to dispute. The Note is huge and it totally would be nearly impossible to use one handed, unless you can palm a regulation sized basketball. The beauty behind that however, is the fact that the Galaxy Note isn’t designed for one handed use. It’s designed to literally be a go-between for those who want a smartphone with tablet functionality, minus the extra commitment that a tablet would carry. Rounding out the feature set is the rear 8MP camera, and the front facing 2MP camera for video calls and self portraits. Both cameras performed exceptionally well, and the 1080P video capability worked like a dream.
All in all, I can honestly say the Samsung Galaxy Note is kind of like my dream phone. The only thing that holds it back from being absolute perfection, is the fact that the size of the handset actually does take away from the complete usability of it. Outside of that, it has a great screen, Great battery life, Great cameras, and all around great features. The S Pen may be the one thing on this phone that could get over looked as I didn’t find myself using it as much as I probably could have. At $299.99 the Galaxy Note is a bit steep with the pricing, but given everything that’s packed into it, I would feel more comfortable dropping that much on a Galaxy Note versus a Droid RAZR, or Samsung SkyRocket. Available right now from AT&T, the Galaxy Note is waiting for you and your hard earned cash. For those who like options, it does happen to be available in two color styles, Ceramic White or Carbon Blue.
Anybody out there planning on picking one up? Any hesitation? Let us know in the comments below!*See the original post at nerd-news.com
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Samsung Galaxy Note Review By Rob Boggan Every time I hear the phrase “It’s a phone and a tablet” I shudder from nightmares of Dell Streak’s past. The Dell Streak completely and totally turned me off from the Smartphone/Tablet crossover market. It was a sweet idea and I thought it would work wonderfully, but one [...]