Samsung Galaxy Note preview: First look

GSMArena team, 30 September 2011.
Pages: 12345

Introduction

They used to be big, later they became redundant. As soon as smartphones were ready to offer the same features, PDAs were on the way to becoming extinct. With a device like the Samsung Galaxy Note though, one can't help but wonder if they're making a comeback.

It's got a big touchscreen for reading and entering text, with a stylus for jotting down notes and sketches, with powerful hardware that beats most phones in processing power and features. Sounds like a new-age PDA to us.

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Samsung Galaxy Note official photos

The screen is part of the new HD SuperAMOLED line and boasts the impressive 1280x800 pixel resolution. It uses a PenTile matrix, but with 285ppi you can't really tell. Stretching over a whopping 5.3 inches, it makes browsing those web pages an almost tablet-like experience.

The Samsung Galaxy Note shares the Exynos chipset with some of its Galaxy siblings, but it's the one with the 1.4GHz dual-core CPUs. We've already had a look at its performance and we can say it's blazing fast.

If it's becoming hard to keep track of all the features, here's the gist of the Galaxy Note specs in summarized form:

Samsung Galaxy Note at a glance

  • Form factor: phone/tablet crossbreed
  • Dimensions: 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm
  • Weight: 178g
  • Display: 16M-color 5.3 Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels)
  • OS: Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, TouchWiz UI
  • Chipset: 1.4 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU, Mali-400MP GPU, 1GB of RAM, Exynos chipset
  • Camera: 8 MP autofocus camera, 1080p video recording, LED flash, 2 MP front-facing camera
  • Memory: 16/32 GB internal memory, expandable via a microSD card slot
  • Connectivity: quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE and quad-band (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) UMTS with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA support, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi direct, Assisted GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, microUSB connector
  • Battery: 2,500mAh
  • Misc: S Pen, Gyro sensor, accelerometer sensor for auto rotation, ambient light sensor, Adobe Flash Player 10.3 support, DivX/XviD support, TV-out (adapter required), optional GLONASS, optional NFC

The Samsung Galaxy Note packs the same camera as the Galaxy S II, giving you 8MP stills and FullHD video recording. If the image quality is on par, the Note should easily beat its tablet competitors in the photography department.

One important area is portability - Samsung have made the device as small as possible (there's hardly any bezel around the screen) but 5.3" is pretty big. Figuring how to carry the Galaxy Note around will be a challenge, but if you find a way you can leave your phone at home - the Note has top of the line droid specs and full phone functionality too.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note at our office

Well, we've got our cargo pants on and we'll try and find room for the Samsung Galaxy Note. But first, we'll go over the hardware, join us on the next page.

This test unit was kindly provided by CT MIAMI, a Samsung distributor for Latin America. The Galaxy Note will be available at CT MIAMI for wholesale customers on October 24 for $699.

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