The Samsung Galaxy Note has seen an impressive amount of popularity worldwide, considering its unique design and quirky stylus interface. It’s the first truly successful phone/tablet hybrid and many believe that it is proving to be a real game-changer. Based on the success of the Galaxy Note overseas we’re already starting to see companies like LG throw try their own hand at the “phablet” game, hoping to grab up some of that surprisingly large niche market while the pickings are still slim.
For the meantime, however, the Galaxy Note is really your only choice if you were looking for something with just a bit more functionality than a phone, but aren’t willing to lug a tablet around with you everywhere you go.
We talk a lot about how we love it when manufacturers try outlandish designs with their smart devices. Although most fail, like the Kyocera Echo and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, if OEMs didn’t attempt something outside the box every once in a while we wouldn’t get new products like the Galaxy Note.
Measuring in with a whopping 5.3 inch screen the Note is immediately recognisable as something outside the normal smartphone market. The larger screen makes for great video and gaming experiences, but its intention is more aimed at making life easier for simple tasks like browsing, note-taking and general interfacing.
Not only that, the 5.3 inch display lends itself well to Samsung’s revival of the good old stylus. Don’t let that turn you off, the touchscreen is still capacitive and in no way requires the stylus for standard use. The stylus is instead intended to expand the functionality of the Galaxy Note beyond the digital in order to merge with the analogue.
Basically, the stylus lets you treat your screen as if it were a sheet on a notepad. It’s not just some boring old ring-bound booklet of paper though, this notepad remains just as much a screen when it’s in use; it’s just a screen that you can draw all over.
Samsung has gone to great lengths to succeed where HTC failed with its HTC Flyer tablet. The Note allows the user to highlight and copy text, to draw on a screen and then screen capture, write notes and a whole lot more. Nothing has been removed in order to make this stylus technology work, it’s just an extra added perk on top of what is already a solid Android smartphone.
Once Australian Note owners get access to Ice Cream Sandwich the experience will be updated to the new Premium Suite, which offers a broader range of options such as intelligent auto-formatting and embedded videos within your hand-written notes.
As always, a device like this isn’t going to appeal to everyone. But anyone who takes a lot of notes, loves to doodle or just wishes they could draw on their screen every once in a while should definitely give the Galaxy Note a careful look over. It’s not the kind of device that will completely revolutionise the industry, but it’s certainly already made an impact and that’s more than you could say for most smartphones.