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Hands-on with the Galaxy Siblings - Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus

Hands-on with the Galaxy Siblings - Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus

Samsung Galaxy Note - Split Personality?

Does Size Matter? 

If there is one thing that distinguishes between a smartphone and a tablet, it would be the screen size. Compared to their smartphone counterparts, tablets generally have larger display sizes ranging from 7-inches to 10.1-inches. Well, Samsung is set forth to blur the boundary between them with its Galaxy Note smartphone, which sports a mammoth 5.3-inch display. Is that all? Let's find out: - 


  Key highlights of the Samsung Galaxy Note 

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread with latest Samsung TouchWiz UX
  • 1.4GHz dual-core processor
  • 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED / 1280 x 800 pixels
  • 1GB RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, WiFi hotspot
  • 8-megapixel rear camera / LED flash + 2.0-megapixel front facing camera 
  • 16GB + microSD expansion(up to 32GB)
  • 2500mAh battery
  • 178g
  • 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm
  • Price and Availability: S$998 (from 18 November 2011) at all three telcos  


After seeing the Samsung Galaxy Note, you must be wondering which groups of consumers are Samsung targeting. Well, Samsung positions the Galaxy Note as a new product category which combines core on-the-go benefits of a smartphone and a tablet, to create a whole new user experience.

From our hands-on experience, we were duly impressed with the Samsung Galaxy Note. First and foremost, you cannot deny that it has one of the most beautiful screens ever with its 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED display. Multimedia content and web browsing experience have never been better on a smartphone. Second, the massive size of the display allows you to do more things as it allows split-screen operation for the most frequently used apps, hence saving the trouble of switching between apps.

Third, while styluses or pen inputs disappeared after the demise of PDAs, it has made a comeback recently with the HTC Flyer, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet and now, the Samsung Galaxy Note. According to Samsung, the S Pen on the Galaxy Note utilizes the most advanced pen input technology. Our experience with the S Pen was largely positive as it was quite accurate and responsive. You can use the S Pen in specially designed apps such as Soonr Workplace, which allows team collaboration through direct annotation on various file formats stored in the Soonr Cloud. 

The only drawbacks of the Samsung Galaxy Note were its larger than normal screen size and dimensions. While screen size does matters in some circumstances, it may turn off some users who are concerned about their privacy. Those around you can easily take a peek over your shoulder and see what you are doing on the Galaxy Note although you can address this with a privacy film. Dimensions-wise, you have to consider the daily usage of the phone, especially when conversing on the Galaxy Note. It does look weird to be seen walking around with a large phone beside your ear, which resembles close to being a small tablet!


How The Samsung Galaxy Note Compares with the Competition
Specifications Samsung Galaxy Note HTC Sensation XL Motorola RAZR Apple iPhone 4S
Operating System / User Interface
  • Google Android 2.3 / Samsung TouchWiz UI
  • Google Android 2.3 / HTC Sense 3.5 UI
  • Google Android 2.3.5 / Motorola RAZR UI
  • iOS 5
  •  1.4GHz dual-core 
  • 1.5GHz single-core
  • 1.2GHz dual-core
  • Apple A5 dual-core 1GHz
Built-in Memory
  •  1GB RAM
  • 768MB RAM
  • 1GB RAM
  • 512MB RAM
  •  5.3-inch, 1280 x 800 pixels, HD Super AMOLED Display
  • 4.7-inch, 800 x 480 pixels, S-LCD Display
  • 4-3-inch, 960 x 540 pixels, Super AMOLED Advanced Display
  • 3.5-inch, 640 x 960 pixels, TFT capacitive IPS touchscreen 
  • 8-megapixel / Autofocus / LED flash / 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 2.0-megapixel for Video Call
  • 8-megapixel / Autofocus / LED flash / 720p video recording
  • 1.3-megapixel for Video Call
  • 8-megapixel / Autofocus / LED flash / 1080p@30fps video recording
  • 1.3-megapixel for Video Call
  • 8-megapixel / Autofocus / LED flash /  1080p@30fps video recording
  • VGA front facing camera
  •  16GB + microSD expansion (up to 32GB)
  • 16GB + microSD expansion 
  •  16GB + microSD expansion (up to 32GB)
  •  16/32/64GB (no storage expansion options)
  •  2500mAh
  • 1600mAh
  •  1750/1780mAh
  •  1432mAh
  • 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm
  • 132.5 x 70.7 x 9.9mm
  •  131 x 69 x 7.1mm
  •  115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm
  •  178g
  • 162.5g
  •  127g
  •  140g