This week, “my best friends at Rogers” have provided me with the Samsung Galaxy Note. Is it a tablet? Is it a phone. It’s billed as the best of both. Here’s why. It’s bigger than your average smartphone. So big in fact that when I used it as a phone, I felt like I had got a thinner version of my first cell phone from Motorola which was a best described as a brick. It also makes pocketing the phone next to impossible. However it is wafer thin and won’t take up a lot of space in your bag. Just get a case for it.
But size does matter and the size of the Galaxy Note gives it a really clear and sharp 5.3″ screen with vivid colors. It also includes a stylus called the S Pen that allows you to bang out quick memos, make screenshots, do annotations, and general navigation through the user interface. All of this while also serving as a precise text input and drawing tool. You can also use an on screen keyboard just like any other smartphone to enter text. I found this easier to use than say an iPhone or a lot of other smartphones. I credit the larger screen size for that. It also has haptic feedback so that those who learned to type on typewriters (like me) can be comfortable with typing on the phone.
The Galaxy Note runs Android 2.3, but Rogers has customized it with a number of apps that allows you to check your account, get music, watch Rogers On Demand Online for example. But being an Android phone or tablet depending on your view, you can get your own apps from the Android Market. It supports ActiveSync so that you corporate types can ditch your Blackberries and use this as your smartphone. Besides the Rogers supplied apps, you get the usual array of navigation, browsing and e-mail apps. Speaking of browsing, I found the browser to be impressive. There didn’t seem to be anything that it couldn’t handle. Another thing that I should mention that is that this phone is an LTE phone, and it’s FAST from a data perspective. I don’t think I’ve tested a smartphone that was faster at surfing the web. As long as you’ve got LTE coverage and the right plan, you’ll love surfing on this phone.
Tomorrow, I’m going to cover the camera which is an 8MP model that also does 1080p video as well as stills. I’ll also talk about things like battery life and give you my impressions of the smartphone along with some closing thoughts.