TechSpot: Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3-inch Smartphone Review

Samsung's new Galaxy Note is a unique device in the smartphone market. Straddling the line between a smartphone and a tablet, the Note features a massive 5.3-inch display, which is considerably larger than the screen on any other smartphone available today (just see the image below sitting alongside an iPhone). Because of this, the Note is rather unwieldy in the hand, and nearly impossible to use one handed.

Trying to make the most of the smartphone's larger footprint, Samsung has attempted to add functionality to the Note with its "don't-call-it-a-stylus" S Pen input device. But once again the Note's dominant feature is its 5.3-inch, Super AMOLED display that packs a dense 1280 x 800 pixel resolution. The form factor alone will place many potential buyers at odds, while others might appreciate the hybrid nature of the device. Read on to learn our findings.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note Review

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Androidslave said,
I'm a monster so size is important with massive hands!!

Agreed. Big hands here, so this would be excellent. But I have converted to WP7, so hopefully Sammy will release this hardware in mango flavor.

This device is way too big for a phone. I thought the Galaxy Nexus was big, and stepping up from a Droid Incredible, I was afraid. However, it's a perfect fit in size. This just looks ridiculous when someone holds it up to their face.

tsupersonic said,
This device is way too big for a phone. I thought the Galaxy Nexus was big, and stepping up from a Droid Incredible, I was afraid. However, it's a perfect fit in size. This just looks ridiculous when someone holds it up to their face.

It's not just a phone ... that's why it's called "Note". This is not for anybody.

2xSilverKnight said,

It's not just a phone ... that's why it's called "Note". This is not for anybody.

What else does it do that no other Android superphone can't do? If you're referring to the stylus (sorry S pen), then it's just a silly little feature. There are keyboards that can mimic that feature. Yes, it's not for everyone, but when you do have to put it to your face, it just looks ridiculous...

I've had one about 3 months, coming from the Dell Streak...this thing SMOKES the streak.
Size isn't an issue for me either, since I wear a BT headset 100% of the time.

naap51stang said,
I've had one about 3 months, coming from the Dell Streak...this thing SMOKES the streak.
Size isn't an issue for me either, since I wear a BT headset 100% of the time.

I bet that's really uncomfortable when sleeping, and how do you get on when showering?

Disappointing conclusion in the article. Was hoping to get one, but given what they said about it in the review, I may have to reconsider now

I have one and I absolutely love it! I used to have iPhones and the Galaxy S2, but now I`m in love with this one. The only problem I find with it is when using Google Maps when driving, because the phone is so big that it usually falls down from my thigh.

Luis Mazza said,
I have one and I absolutely love it! I used to have iPhones and the Galaxy S2, but now I`m in love with this one. The only problem I find with it is when using Google Maps when driving, because the phone is so big that it usually falls down from my thigh.

You use sat nav with your phone resting on your thigh? Wow.

[quote=UndergroundWire said,]Invest in a car mount.[/quote]

[quote= You use sat nav with your phone resting on your thigh? Wow. [/quote]

Actually it is not that comfortable, but São Paulo is a VERY dangerous city and I don' use a car mount because I'm afraid of being robbed. This is sad, really. :'(

Luis Mazza said,

Actually it is not that comfortable, but São Paulo is a VERY dangerous city and I don' use a car mount because I'm afraid of being robbed. This is sad, really. :'(

I remove my mount after use

Luis Mazza said,

Actually it is not that comfortable, but São Paulo is a VERY dangerous city and I don' use a car mount because I'm afraid of being robbed. This is sad, really. :'(


You can get an air vent mount... it just holds in your air vent. The benefit is it takes about 2 seconds to put on/take off, but when I was using it, my phone did fall once when going over a big bump... so then I switched to a windshield mount.

My contract is up in August (currently have an SGS) - not sure if I want this, SGS2 or hopefully SGS3 by then!

As I mostly use my phone to browse the net, the big screen would be handy... Any news on the ICS update for the note (due Q1 this year)?

At this point its more than a phone considering its size. Wont bother me since I use a Bluetooth headset when I'm working as for this phone would sit on a dock.

It's terrific! In any store where it's displayed here, it's the most difficult phone to get to - there are always people crowding to try it out.

Astra.Xtreme said,

It's no more a phone than the GSII or an iPhone. It's just annoyingly huge.

So is my 32" monitor. Should I go back to my 19" as my main display because 32" is too big?

Astra.Xtreme said,

It's no more a phone than the GSII or an iPhone. It's just annoyingly huge.


Ah, kids these days have no concept of markets, yet they still run around with these little opinions of theirs.

When I saw this, I just had to have it.. I sold my GS2, and bagged this little beauty.. im not concerned about the size, it by no means a brick as some describe, as its not 4" thick, would be perhaps best described as a tile! I can only imagine the people who say this weren't around in the 80;s when phones were more like breeze blocks!

Yeah, its big next to an iphone.. but then Ive always thought they were too small! I wouldnt swap if for anything, unless of course the GS3 equivalent of a Note was due out!

Its bigger than most phones, but then you do get more with it!