If You Can Get Past the Size Issue, The Note Has Its Advantages

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2012-02-17 Print this article Print


That's plainly spoken, but if I don't get over the Note's size issue€”call quality was fine on this 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) phone€”I won't be able to finish my review, so let's put it to bed.

As a piece of tablet-style hardware, the Note is svelte. It's 0.38 inches thin, making it super-slim and portable. It weighs only 6.28 ounces and is less than 6 inches long. However, it is more than 3 inches wide, which meant my average hands couldn't grip it properly for calls. Okay, so maybe I couldn't get over the Note's proportions. Oh dear.

Here's what I did like or even love about the Note. It's blazing fast for downloading apps, watching Netflix or YouTube video. The 4G LTE from AT&T paired with the phone's 1.5GHz dual-core chip made for a speedy processing machine.

Another hallmark of this handset is it's got great note-taking, sketching and drawing capabilities, thanks to the S Pen digital pen, which looks and feels like a real ink pen in the hand, and the accompanying S Memo application, which you use to take notes or jot down other stuff.

The S Pen wrote fluidly for me, and I have terrible handwriting. In fact, the S Pen and S Memo app worked better for me than the rival HTC Scribe technology for the HTC Jetstream, and Motorola's subpar digital ink and stylus technology for its Droid Xyboard slate.

I made notes and grocery lists, and edited photos, but you can also annotate Microsoft PowerPoint presentations through Polaris Office if you're so inclined. You can also do a nifty multi-tasking trick. While on the phone, you can hold the S Pen's button down and double tap the Note's screen to take notes with the S Memo Lite version of the app.

There is also a preloaded Crayon Physics game, and Google's Android Market also offers additional apps for the S Pen, including games such as Sudoku, crossword puzzles and word search.

But you don't need the note-taking app and S Pen to enjoy input on the device. Thanks to the display, typing on the virtual keyboard is a joy for texting or even just entering credentials to get into apps.

The Note's 8-megapixel camera worked well for pictures, and video recorded and played back in HD 1,080p. The front-facing 2MP shutter also played well with the Qik Lite video calling for face-to-face chats.

As you'd expect in a device this size, the battery is pretty good. The 2,500mAh power supply lasted a full day on a charge, even when I watched whole TV episodes or movies on Netflix. The device also comes with 16GB of memory, expandable to 32GB with a microSD card.

Can I recommend the Galaxy Note? Good question. It depends on what you want to use this device for. I can recommend it as a small tablet for note taking, gaming or watching video. But it's less than ideal as a phone or a communications device for the hand.



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel