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Samsung Galaxy Note review

A great hybrid for those who don't want a standalone tablet
Fri Dec 16 2011, 14:30

Product Samsung Galaxy Note
Web site
Specifications 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 5.3in Super AMOLED HD display with 800x1280 resolution, 16GB or 32GB internal storage plus microSD card support, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash and 2MP front-facing camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread with upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich confirmed, 147x83x9.65mm, 178g
Price £560 SIM-free or free on contract from £41 per month

KOREAN SMARTPHONE MAKER Samsung has added yet another device to its Galaxy range in the Galaxy Note, a hybrid handset that aims to mash together the best features of a tablet and a smartphone.

When you take it out of the box, the first thing that hits you is its size - the Galaxy Note looks enormous - think a larger version of the highly popular Samsung Galaxy S II. The 5.3in display dominates its rather minimalistic design. There is just one home button on the front that is flanked by touch sensitive menu and back buttons that light up when tapped.

Samsung Galaxy Note frontThe device, which measures 147x83x9.65mm, just about fits in the palm of your hand, and should be able to squeeze into most trouser and jacket pockets. In terms of weight, the Galaxy Note tips the scales at 178g.

This might seem heavy compared with other devices but the flat-back design means the weight is distributed evenly, and it doesn't feel bulky.

The Galaxy Note is closer in size and weight to a smartphone than a tablet, weighing just 18g heavier than the HTC Titan with its 4.7in screen, whereas 7in tablets usually tip the scales at around 400g.

Samsung Galaxy Note side onSamsung's new model has a solid gun-metal grey frame that gives it a solid feel. A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top edge and on the base there is a microUSB port plus a slot to slide the stylus into. Like most other high-end Samsung devices, the Galaxy Note has an ultra-slim plastic cover on the back, which feels a little fragile when you snap it off.

Giant Super AMOLED screen
Samsung's Super AMOLED screens have been very impressive, with devices such as the Galaxy S II giving the Retina display on the Iphone 4S a run for its money. The Galaxy Note goes one step further, with its Super AMOLED HD display boasting resolution of 1280x800. This resolution is usually found only on Android tablets double the size, such as the Motorola Xoom 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

On paper, the 3.5in screen on the Iphone 4S has a higher pixel density of 330ppi compared with 285ppi on the Galaxy Note. However, higher pixel density does not give Apple's device too much of a visible advantage, and the Galaxy Note screen is close to 2in bigger, so we prefer it.

Samsung Galaxy Note internetThe colours really jump out at you, and we found the device to be the best pocket-sized device we have used for browsing the web and watching videos. Content appears very well proportioned and extremely clear, so even the busiest home pages are displayed well. It is great for the daily commute and will meet a variety of needs.


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