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Samsung’s ‘Note’worthy Adversary


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman with his underwear inside?

Hell, no. It’s the Samsung Galaxy Note. And, I have been lucky enough to receive a review device from Samsung India! :D

The Galaxy Note is quite an unique device to use.. This device is the second one in this genre; the first being the Dell Streak, which was quite frankly, an epic fail.

The Galaxy Note bridges the gap between the modern, ubiquitous smartphone and the neoteric tablet. This device is something which every geek dreams of at night and wets his bed in excitement. As soon as you pick up the device, you can see that this device has been drenched with details. Every nook and cranny of the device is extremely well-designed and feels quite solid, even though it’s bloody huge. This semi-phone-semi-tablet is filled with amazing features and has tech specs which will make Steve Jobs turn in his grave.

Display

Yes, the display is so awesome that I dedicated a whole frickin’ category to it. The Note has a 5.3 inch High Definition Super AMOLED screen. The display is drop-dead gorgeous. The beautiful screen is the star of the device. The crispness and the smoothness are so prominent throughout the device that you’ll never want to rest your eyes upon anything else. It has a resolution of 1280 X 800 pixels, which is as much as the Galaxy Tab 10.1! It has 285 pixels per inch, which isn’t quite as high as Apple’s Retina Display but, it gets the job done. Trying to view each pixel exclusively is extremely difficult. The display isn’t brusque and is smoothened till the very edge.

Reading e-books and newspapers and viewing HD pictures & movies on this device is an absolute delight! The colors are extremely vibrant, bright and so detailed that you can read the headlines of the ‘News & Weather’ icon in the app drawer. The exuberance falters slightly as the viewing angle increases.

Hardware

The Galaxy Note has all the furnishing that a modern smartphone has. And, so much more!
The Galaxy Note comes equipped with a special stylus made by Samsung. It is called the S-Pen and is quite brilliant! Till date, this is the most advanced pen-input technology ever invented. The S-Pen has a variety of functions which include pressure sensitivity, precision and most of all, speed. The S-Pen can be used to make doodles during boring meetings/lectures. The doodle can be saved and shared via email/Bluetooth/Whatsapp etc.
Here’s a sample doodle-

The hardware of the Galaxy Note is mind-numbingly awesome. It features a 1.4 Ghz dual-core processor, which is a tad bit faster than the Samsung Galaxy S2 (1.2 Ghz dual-core processor). It also features a hefty 1 GB of RAM. The Note weighs in at 178 grams.
The Note will be available in 16 GB & 32 GB variants. Its memory can also be expanded by 32 GB via a micro-SD card.
It has an 8-megapixel camera bundled with an LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Video recording is done in an effulgent 1080p, which just makes the video come alive. A plethora of options are available for getting the best shot possible. I sorely missed the lack of a dedicated camera button. But, I guess, they did that to keep the device thin and sexy. Another fault I noticed was the failure of autofocus in macro shots. The camera cannot focus on objects close to it and the phone has to be moved away so that the image can be captured. Nothing so complicated that’ll hinder you from taking an image, though.
The Note is HSPA+ compatible & can reach browsing speeds of up to 21 Mbps. The US variants will also be 4G LTE compatible. How I wish India could also have those amazing Internet speeds. If only people wouldn’t be embroiled in 2G scams. *sigh*

The Galaxy Note houses a 2500 mAh battery which lasts me a bit more than a day for me, at least.

Software

The Galaxy Note runs on Google’s crown jewel- Android. The Note is pre-installed with Gingerbread and is expected to receive an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich by early 2012. Samsung has also added their own ‘skin’ to the device- TouchWiz. Unlike the previous iterations of TouchWiz, this one is simply awesome. Touchwiz 4 adds a lot of functionality to the device. And, it looks and feels quite acceptable. It’s nowhere near the HTC Sense experience, though!
Vanilla Android would’ve been better, though. But, there’s nothing a little rooting and custom-ROMing won’t solve. ;)


This device will be retailing at Rs. 34990 and will be available in major electronics store by the end of November. This’ll be the perfect Christmas gift and a perfect birthday gift for me! :)
The Galaxy Note is a device which will garner a lot of mixed review from everyone. The humongous screen, people think, is absolutely ridiculous while placing calls. The size of the device just might be a barrier for people who like to have their devices small, sexy and svelte (like the Galaxy S2).
Can this be the next generation of devices?
In one word- Absolutely.

My 3 beauties.. :)

Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Note & Galaxy S

I have mashed together a small slideshow of hands-on pictures of the Note. Please go through it!

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14 responses

  1. Great review Yash!! Galaxy Note is an awesome device.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    • Thanks, Plaban! :D

      November 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

  2. Ankur

    The review seems great. Just a small correction. The resolution of note is 1280×800 and not 128×800.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:38 PM

    • Changes made. :)
      Thanks for reading & pointing out the error!

      November 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

  3. Now that’s an awesome review :D

    November 15, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    • Thanks! :D

      November 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

  4. Well written review, however, how easy Samsung Note is as a phone. Does it looks awkward to hold this phone. Does it fits easily in top shirt pocket. I would be thankful if you can comment on these too.

    November 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    • It fits quite easily into the shirt pocket.

      It looks EXTREMELY awkward to hold as a phone!

      November 18, 2011 at 3:43 PM

  5. Rakesh Shah

    Great job son. Great reviews. Lacks a small video demo if u cuold manage. Way to go. Cheers!

    November 27, 2011 at 1:12 AM

    • Thank you, Sir!
      I’m currently in the process of making one! Will upload soon!

      November 27, 2011 at 6:39 PM

  6. vimax

    Please tell me that youre going to keep this up! Its so great and so important. I cant wait to read far more from you. I just feel like you know so substantially and know how to make people listen to what youve got to say. This weblog is just also cool to be missed. Excellent stuff, really. Please, PLEASE keep it up!

    December 5, 2011 at 1:22 AM

  7. Its better to get a Tab rather than taking this…its not at all handy as a mobile…but really big as a notebook///

    February 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM

  8. Well Review , i think Samsung is going good in these Area..

    March 9, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    • They sure are! :D

      April 2, 2012 at 10:17 PM

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