Definitely a tweener, the Galaxy Note straddles the line between phone and tablet. Coming to AT&T later this year, this 4G LTE device has a ginormous 5.3-inch display that’s literally a canvas. The included pen, which docks on the underside of the device can be used to jot down notes using the S Note application. We spent a few minutes with this phone-tablet and wanted to share our hands-on impressions.
First off, the Galaxy Note is barely a one-handed device. While you could slip this handset in a pocket, you’re going to notice it. The screen is certainly sharp and vivid at 1280 x 800 pixels, and the Super AMOLED responded well to touch and pen input–thanks in part to the 1.5-GHz processor. We were pleasantly surprised with the responsiveness of the pen, which while light lets you apply different levels of pressure to achieve the desired effect. In fact, Samsung had a graphics artist on hand doing caricatures.
The pen has a button built in that lets you perform various gestures. For example, you can press and hold the screen while pressing the button to take a screen shot, then annotate it or crop it. From there you can send off your creation via mail or social networks. Its a pretty neat way to share ideas, but navigating the menus didn’t seem all that intuitive.
We’d have to spend more time with the Galaxy Note before we decide whether it’s good or a gimmick. In order for it to succeed, third-party developers are going to need to step up with apps that are optimized for pen input. And that’s a pretty tall order for a pretty tall and wide device.