Review: Samsung Galaxy Note is unique and impressive, but not for everyone

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a refreshing departure from the rest of the smartphone pack with its large display and stylus-like pen

By Ginny Mies, PC World |  Consumerization of IT, Android, Samsung Galaxy Note

I have to say, however, it feels a little silly hold something of this size up to your face and making a phone. It is light enough, but a bit too wide for my hands, making it feel uncomfortable and unwieldy at times. The Galaxy Note measures 5.78-by-3.27-by-0.38 inches thick and weighs 6.28 ounces.The Note has your typical touch-sensitive navigation buttons below the display (Menu, Home, Back Search), a volume rocker and a power button. On the bottom of the Note, you'll find the slot for the S Pen (which we'll cover soon).The Note's aesthetic is pretty similar to the Galaxy S II phones (though larger) with a rectangular shape, piano black bezel, chrome piping and a textured "carbon blue" battery cover.HD Super AMOLED DisplayThe Galaxy Note's 5.3-inch display has a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution. The display technology is HD Super AMOLED display, which isn't to be confused with Super AMOLED Plus, which we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S II line of phones. This is the same display technology seen on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. As I noted in my review of the Galaxy Nexus, the HD Super AMOLED display is based on the PenTile pixel structure in which pixels share subpixels. Galaxy S II phones, on the other hand, have full RGB displays in which the pixels have their own subpixels. HD Super AMOLED displays supposedly have a lower overall subpixel density, reduced sharpness and degraded color accuracy than phones with Super AMOLED Plus displays.When I reviewed the Galaxy Nexus, I noted that I couldn't really see a difference between the two different display types in terms of sharpness. The Galaxy Note also handled image and text rendering well, with sharp, clear text and details on both Web pages and high resolution images. I noticed a little bit of degradation on higher resolution images, particularly when you zoom in, but the image quality definitely looked better than some other phone and tablets we've seen.The main problem I have with the display is that the colors are quite oversaturated. Additionally, skin tones look ruddy and whites have a slight yellowish tint. This is a common problem among AMOLED displays, however, Samsung-made or not. Still, oversaturation isn't always a bad thing. Colors on the Note look rich and bright while blacks are deep.

Using the S Pen

As I mentioned earlier, the S Pen is a far cry from the old styluses you might remember. The Galaxy Note uses a Wacom-made "S Pen" for note-taking and drawing. Wacom pens recognize both right-handed and left-handed users. It also mimics the act of physically taking notes: The harder you press the pen down on the Note, the thicker and bolder your lines will be.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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