Samsung Galaxy Note Smartphone Review

Introduction & Specifications

While many of today's better smartphones offer dual-core processors and 1GB of RAM, alongside plenty of onboard storage, one of the easiest differentiating points between smartphones today has become the screen--size, resolution, and screen technology are all considerations. Samsung is pushing the former limits of smartphone screen sizes with the introduction of the new Samsung Galaxy Note. This smartphone offers one of the largest screens we've seen from a phone yet – 5.3 inches. In addition to being large, it is also a gorgeous display which uses Super AMOLED technology and offers a resolution of 1280x800.

Click to enlarge

Another feature that sets the Galaxy Note apart from other smartphones is its pen input functionality. With the S Pen, you can draw on the Galaxy Note's display, similar to how you would with an ink pen and paper. This functionality may give some users flashbacks of Windows Mobile, but don't judge too soon – there's more than meets the eye with this pen and touchscreen display.

Because it offers a larger screen than we've seen on most smartphones, some people are starting to call the Galaxy Note a small tablet rather than a smartphone. The S Pen functionality adds to the tablet feel as well, since you're more likely to see a stylus or pen for a tablet than a smartphone these days. Still, AT&T and Samsung are marketing the Galaxy Note as a smartphone and certainly it has all of the features and functions to make this device a fully capable smartphone.

As of this writing, AT&T is offering the Samsung Galaxy Note with 16GB of onboard storage for $299.99 with a two-year contract and other discounts. As is the case with any smartphone today, you'll also need to sign up for a compatible data plan.

Certainly the Galaxy Note has a lot of compelling features and attractive specifications. But is it too big for its own good? While people around the world debate the answer to this question, we'll give you our thoughts in this full hands-on review...

Samsung Galaxy Note
Specifications & Features

850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE
850/1900/2100 MHz 3G - UMTS/HSDPA
LTE Bands 4 and 17
4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ (with enhanced backhaul) or LTE, where available
World phone

Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread)
5.3-inch WXVGA HD Super AMOLED (1280x800)
Dual core 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor
1GB of RAM
16 GB Internal storage

Up to 32 GB microSD card
Talk and Standby Time
Talk time: Up to 10 hours
Standby time: Up to 10.4 days
5.78 x 3.27 x 0.38 inches
6.45 ounces
2500 mAh
Bluetooth 3.0, microUSB, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3.5mm headphone jack, aGPS
8MP Rear-facing Camera with HD 1080p record @30fps
2 MP Front-facing Camera
Other key features
Integrated S Pen, Accelerometer, Light, Digital compass, Proximity, Barometer, Ready2Go
$299.99 with contract and discounts


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