Samsung Galaxy Note Review and Test Report

By Cody Burke on 1 April 2012
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Ever since smartphones added touch displays and ditched physical keyboards there has been a steady trend towards increasingly large screens.  With the Galaxy Note, Samsung has presented a serious challenge to all other companies who would dare to compete with them in the phone size race.

It is in many ways a well designed and executed smartphone, but ultimately it is one of the most frustrating mobile devices I have had the pleasure of reviewing because its sheer size limits its appeal and utility.  It is a phone for people who really want a Kindle Fire but don’t want to carry around two devices, or those who never actually put their phones in their pockets, and huge handed giants (NBA players maybe?).


To be clear, the Galaxy Note is huge.  Its 5.3” screen is crystal clear, and shines when used in an environment that allows for two handed operation.  The screen is a 1280 x 800 Super Amoled, and is stunning when you are using a game or app that showcases its bright colors and deep contrasts.

The Galaxy Note is relatively light (178 grams) and slim considering its size.  The dimensions are 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65 mm.  For comparison, the Galaxy Nexus S II, its predecessor, is 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.49 mm and weighs 116 grams.  While the Note is significantly larger than the iPhone 4S , it is actually only 0.35 mm thicker.

The weight and slimness of the Note is admirable, however, the device ultimately feels somewhat fragile.  The back panel of the Note is a practically paper thin plastic panel, which, although lightweight,  does not give you much confidence in terms of durability.  I can easily imagine the panel breaking if you are not careful when removing it to get at the SIM and SD card slots.  Dropping a smartphone is never a good idea, but the Note in particular, feels as though it would have trouble surviving anything but a light impact.  This is unfortunate, because it also very hard to operate one-handed without risking an accident.  Held in the hand, offerings from Motorola and Apple feel much more solid, but considering its size there is no denying the sleekness of the Galaxy Note.

Click here to continue to Page 2Size, Hardware, User Interface, and Software

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