Samsung Galaxy Note Review
- Excellent display
- Power package does its job
- Thin and light, considering the display size
- Limited appeal due to size
It is neither the smartphone, as we know it. Nor it is the tablet, as we know it. This is the perfect example of the hybrid device - slots in perfectly between the smartphone and tablet. While it may not appeal to everyone, the performance boost is undeniable. The Note pricey, but at the same time it is a niche device as well. Meant for those who find a tablet too big, but at the same time, find the 4.0-inch smartphones a little too small!
In a world that is still grappling with the idea of how the smartphone and tablets will co-exist, Samsung has decided to introduce a a model in the slowly growing hybrid category. The limited demographic of tablet users aside, the masses still use their smartphone for most tasks the tablet would do. So where does the Samsung Galaxy Note fit in? Is it a bigger smartphone? Or is it a smaller tablet, walking the same path as the Dell Streak did sometime back. Is it really the perfect compromise between the tablet and the phone?
Look & Feel
As we had remarked in the First Impressions article we had done the other day, the Samsung Galaxy Note is BIG! Till now we had considered 4.0-inch display smartphones as big, but the Galaxy Note with its 5.3-inch display just puts them in the shade. Quite literally! Despite the bigger footprint, it doesn’t weigh too much, and manages to remain quite slim as well. Surprisingly, it is easy to use it with the same hand that is holding it.
Minimalist is a theme we have come to expect from Samsung, at least as far as the Galaxy range of handsets is concerned. And that same trait is visible here as well. Just below the display is the homescreen button, flanked by two touch keys for menu and return. We had seen this with the Samsung Galaxy SII as well, and thankfully that continues here as well - you can set the lighting behavior of these keys. Some smartphones crucially miss out on this nifty feature. The Samsung Galaxy Note has a front facing camera and a light sensor right next to the earpiece, but are a little difficult to notice at first!
The volume rocker is on the left side panel, while the power key sits towards the top of the right side panel. On the top is the 3.5mm audio jack, while the micro USB port is at the bottom. Flip the Note over, and there is the 8MP camera with the LED flash. While reviewing the Galaxy Note, we were disappointed with the battery cover opening mechanism though. The use-nail-to-prise-open routine doesn’t do justice to an expensive device like this. Secondly, the cover isn't very thick, and I would be paralytically worried of it breaking. And this is the same Samsung who made really classy mechanisms in the Omnia W and the Wave III. So Samsung, why this sudden madness?
During the review of the Galaxy Note, we discovered that the camera placement is a bit of a worry as well. When the Note is kept flat, the camera is touching the surface on which it is kept. It’ll inevitably get scratched badly.
These two flaws aside, the build quality of the Samsung Galaxy Note is very good. There aren’t any rough edges to the product, and most importantly, it has kept its weight and size in check. The very fact that you can type an SMS with the same hand that is holding the phone is a huge achievement in itself.
Features & Performance
An ARM Cortex A9 dual core 1.4GHz processor powers the Samsung Galaxy Note. The processor gets help from 1GB of RAM. The grunt on offer is just off the charts. We don’t want to bore you with how quickly the applications opened, and how the phone remained equally responsive even with multiple background apps open! Just take a look at some screenshots of the benchmark scores for yourself.
click to enlarge
Continue reading the Features and Performance of the Samsung Galaxy Note, and our verdict, on Page 2...
Listed under tags :