The Samsung Galaxy Note officially falls into the "weirdly sized" category. Photo: Jim Merithew/Wired.com
LAS VEGAS — There are limits to what pants pockets can do. And Samsung is pushing them hard.
Enter the Note, Samsung’s new smartphone-cum-tablet hybrid. At nearly 5.8 by 3.3 inches it’s a beast of a device, large enough to strain the stitches of the baggiest of cargo pants pockets. I played with one on the CES show floor Wednesday, and my tight-fitting jeans pockets will never feel the same.
Technically, yes, it is a phone. But in execution, it’s more of a what I’d call a journal-sized PDA — like a Moleskine with an LTE radio strapped to it.
I say this primarily because of the smart stylus that comes bundled with the Note, a throwback to the Palm devices of days past. It’s paired with Samsung’s note-taking app, which allows for writing-to-text transcription and on-the-fly illustrations. And you can share your notes with others, of course, via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
I was impressed with the Note’s ability to, well, take notes. The device took my terrible handwriting in stride (seriously, my penmanship is comparable to a doctor’s), transcribing my scribbles to text without any trouble. I doodled a little in illustration mode, but I wasn’t that into it. And, honestly, I see more tech-savvy business types buying the Note than any budding artists.
My only quibble with the stylus: There’s a button toward the tip that, when pressed, accesses different features on the Note. Unfortunately, due to its placement and my grip, I found myself pushing the button unintentionally while trying to write. And when pressed, it stops writing. Sort of a bummer.
Otherwise, the Note has what we’d expect from a Samsung phone: dual-core processor bumped to a speedy 1.4GHz, HD Super AMOLED screen with great contrast and brilliant color saturation, and a 4G LTE radio for speedy data connectivity.
I dig the Note in principle, but I’ll hold off on recommending it until Samsung releases the pricing information. If it’s too costly, I’m sticking with paper and pen.