Samsung announces Galaxy Note, 5.3-inch phone/tablet hybrid
This week has been quite busy one for smartphone giant Samsung. Earlier, they released the much-anticipated Galaxy S II smartphone for the US. However, no one was expecting to see what they released this morning: a huge smartphone (or tiny tablet) called the Galaxy Note.
The device's main selling point (and source of confusion) is the massive 5.3-inch HD display. It should certainly be an awesome display, with Samsung's Super AMOLED technology and a 1280 x 800 resolution. However, this great display also makes the phone huge, so much so that many will consider it too big to be a smartphone. The Dell Streak also tried to make the 5-inch display work, and while it found a home with niche users, it has never gone mainstream.
Samsung calls the Galaxy Note a "Smart Mobile Device," but the company still claims it maintains "smartphone portability." As you can see in the above image, a phone application appears to be included, which implies that this device is supposed to be as mobile as a phone. Still, it remains to be seen if the device's size is practical in normal use.
The remainder of the specification list is also impressive, including a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 8MP back and 2MP front cameras, WiFi, Bluetooth, and both HSPA+ and LTE 4G (although the announcement was not specific about whether there would be different versions of the device for different carriers). Samsung chose Android 2.3 Gingerbread to power the device, and as usual included their custom TouchWiz interface.
One of the most interesting inclusions is something Samsung calls the S Pen, a pressure sensitive pen that can be used with the Galaxy Note. A similar concept was previously used with the HTC Flyer, which many have found quite handy. Fortunately, Samsung made the good decision to include a slot for the stylus in the device, as it will be much more accesible and less likely to be lost that way.
Even though I don't know what I would use it for, I want to own one of these devices. I really like the huge, high-resolution display and the S Pen, not to mention the rest of the specs are very high end. However, the market may frown upon a device that is just a little too big to be a phone. What do you think about the concept?
[Samsung Mobile Press via Reddit]