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Taking Note of the Galaxy

February 12, 2012

Vista busy cursor  Just a few days ago I had more or less resolved not to upgrade my end-of-contract Samsung Galaxy S, instead hanging fire until the rumoured Galaxy SIII is on the market, something which will probably not happen until the summer.

But I have started to come to the view that there is a truly great option available right now, the Samsung Galaxy Note. When it was first announced I dismissed it as a curiosity, an oddball device for a very niche market. Somewhere between smartphone and tablet and with, of all things, a built-in stylus reminiscent of my Windows Mobile devices of old.

I may have been too hasty. The Note is creating quite a buzz. People who actually spend any time with it seem to fall in love.  It is not the stylus (sorry, S Pen) that is of particular interest, thought it might be useful for occasional quick note taking.  It seems to be the fabulous screen, just big enough to make browsing, watching video and reading e-books a delight, while still just portable enough to carry everywhere as your day to day phone and music player.  And the performance is streets ahead of anything else on the market, all with quite passable battery life thanks to the souped up 2500 mAh battery.

The fundamental question is around the form factor. Is it the best of all worlds, combining the benefits of a smartphone and tablet in a single device? Or might the opposite be true, that it is too big for sensible use as a phone while still being too small to serve properly as a tablet? The reviews from the Verges, Engadgets and TechRadars of this world all fail to give the Note a ringing endorsement. They are charmed by the screen and the performance but all feel the device is too big to fit in your jeans pocket so not really suited as a regular day to day phone.

If, though, you read the user comments on those reviews you get a different picture. People who have bought the phone seem to get used to the size quite quickly and they all think it is great. No-one appears to regret buying it.  It is bigger than typical smartphones but not too big to carry in a trouser or jacket pocket. For women it is even easier as it will fit in their purse, indeed Samsung have been quoted as suggesting they planned to market the Note primarily to women in the UK because of the purse compatibility.  Not that this will stop many men being just as keen on the Note.

My current phone contract is up on Tuesday and there is no longer any doubt in my mind. I won’t be waiting for the Galaxy SIII when I can have a Note right away.


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One comment

  1. I did a very geeky thing. I printed out a life size image of the Galaxy Note and stuck it onto a piece of card with Pritt then cut out to exact size. I could then try out the full size facsimile in my jeans pocket, in my jacket pocket etc. Maybe I should have allowed some margin for a case but, what the heck.

    So what did I learn? That it will still be safe in my jacket or in my trouser pocket when I’m walking around. Bending over to tie a shoelace with the Note in my trouser pocket may not be possible, but I’ll cope.



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