Six weeks with the Galaxy Note and I’m in Love

April 1, 2012

Vista busy cursor  Well it has been six weeks since my Galaxy Note arrived but I was hooked after 6 minutes. I really do not care if reviewers think it is too big for day to day use as a phone. The display is gorgeous. Performance is way better than my old Galaxy S and so is build quality.

The size is noticeable but does not stop me enjoying the phone. It fits in my jacket or trouser pocket. The worst it gets is that it can be a bit uncomfortable in my trouser pocket if I am tying up my shoelaces or sitting in the car. In the latter case I just leave it on the console while I’m driving.

People complain you can’t use it one handed. I can, just about, with care, but very rarely need to. I was well used to using my old Galaxy S with both hands anyway. I prefer to use it that way.

All in all, the downsides to the size are way more than offset by the benefits. I think all the furore about the size comes from iPhone users who have been conditioned by Apple to regard a 3.5″ screen as the “right” size for a phone and have never had the experience of living with anything bigger. It is not an Apple product and Apple does not offer anything comparable so they feel obliged to make fun of it. People who actually try the Galaxy Note tend to fall for it. The 5 million sales in 5 months show there are enough people who have cottoned on to how good it is.

The big wins for me are:

Video – the screen size and quality mean I can really enjoy films or video podcasts very conveniently, say on the train or a plane, without having to worry about bringing a full size tablet or setting up a laptop.

eBooks – the Note’s screen is only a little bit smaller than say a Kindle Keyboard, and just as easy to read.  Even in bright sunlight because the screen can be turned up very bright, and all from within the Kindle Android app. I have a Kindle Keyboard but no longer really need it.

Note taking – is for real, not just an excuse to give the phone a catchy name. I use the S Pen a lot more than I expected to. On my recent cruise I was using it to take screen caps of the ship’s GPS position on Google Maps and annotating the map so I could identify where my pictures were taken and suchlike.  I used it to take and organise notes at port lectures before each port of call.  And more mundane things like handing the phone to fellow passengers so they could write down their email address for me.

And all the attention the phone gets from other people. No-one bats an eyelid at an iPhone any more, but people get excited about the Note.  This ranges from waiters in the bars on board ship to security staff at airports. The final leg of my journey home was a BA flight from Heathrow to Manchester and I was using the BA Android app to display my boarding card.  This meant handing the phone to BA staff who tended to want to play and ask interested questions before handing the phone back.

The Note is a winner and deservedly so. Say nay to the nay-sayers.




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  5. Thanks for writing such an easy-to-understand article on this topic.

  6. The ability to think like that is always a joy to behold

  7. Talking about Kindle…
    This week I discovered, after having it for two months, that my Galaxy Note is better than my Kindle 3G for reading ebooks:
    Can use it with one hand
    Portable at all times in your pocket
    All functions of the Kindle, but more efficient
    Full synchronization with the Amazon account
    Easier to search inside the book
    Easier to search for words or terms on the Web
    You do not need external light
    Almost the same number of words per page than in the Kindle 3G (medium font size)
    Along with the eReader you have a tablet and a phone, for everything else
    Can not be used in full sun
    Battery lasts only 5 hours of continuous reading (solvable with a spare battery or using the cable for recharging)

    Kindle for Android features: http://goo.gl/wFRC

    • I find I can read the Android Kindle app on the Note even in bright sun if I go to view settings and turn the brightness all the way up. I managed this even on holiday when the sun is quite strong.

      And I’m sure I can get a lot more than 5 hours out of my Note reading a eBook. Even with heavy use I can start with 100% battery in the mornings and still have about 50% by the time I plug it back in at night. It takes something fairly extreme like 3 hours continuous video to make an appreciable dent in the battery life.

      • I seldom leave a reonspse, but after looking at a few of the remarks here Want a Samsung Galaxy phone? Have a Ps3 for free! | mobiles with free ps3. I actually do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Is it simply me or do some of the remarks appear as if they are coming from brain dead individuals? And, if you are posting on additional places, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Would you post a list of all of your shared pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

      • I don’t know who you wrote this for but you helped a broehtr out.

  8. Also of note is the cover (see image in the post above). In the UK the phone comes with the official cover which is very neat and simple. It replaces the back of the phone with an almost identical back except there is an attached flip cover for the front, with a soft side hinge.

    The main benefit of this design is that it protects the screen while hardly bulking up the phone at all. The Note still feels slim compared with my previous phone, the Galaxy S, which was thicker to begin with and then encumbered with a luxurious but bulky Krusell leather case.

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