LAS VEGAS — Is it a phone or a tablet that makes calls? One look at the Samsung Galaxy Note and you’ll see that the line between slate and smartphone is definitely blurring. Officially heading to AT&T in white and black, this handset, unveiled at CES 2012, sports a huge 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with a class-leading 1280 x 800 pixels. (That’s the same resolution found on Android slates.) That display isn’t just for touching. Samsung bundles a digital pen for taking notes using its S Memo app.
What else can you do with all that real estate? The HD screen on the Galaxy Note lets you view more content sans scrolling. And Samsung has reworked the calendar app so that it combines both your appointments and tasks. Read on to get more details and photos of this curious hybrid.
This beast also packs a 1.5-GHz processor with 16GB of memory, as well as lightning-fast 4G LTE connectivity. Given that a 5.3-inch display can consume a lot of power, Samsung wisely equips this Android phone with a 2500 mAh battery.
The Galaxy Note is definitely aimed toward the business set, which is why the company says it is Samsung Approved for Enterprise, or SAFE. That includes mobile device management capabilities, on-device VPN and secure access to corporate data. The S-Note app should also be convenient for business users, because it combines voice recordings, drawings and typed memos in the same software.Other features include an 8-MP back camera and 2-MP front camera.
While we’re intrigued by the Galaxy Note’s pen capability, we have to wonder how many smartphone buyers will bite. We don’t know the size and weight of the U.S. version, but the overseas model weighs 6.3 ounces and measures 5.8 x 3.3 x .38 inches. That’s significantly heavier and larger than the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon (5.3 x 2.7 x 0.37 inches, 5.2 ounces)–and the Nexus is a big phone. AT&T and Samsung have not yet released pricing or availability information.
Stay tuned for hands-on impressions of the Galaxy Note to find out if it’s a big deal or just too big.