Samsung Galaxy Note review

Samsung's 5.3-inch Android smartphone is big in size but is it big in ability?

Reasons to buy
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    Stunning 5.3-inch display

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    stylish construct

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    S-Pen stylus

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Lack of physical camera button

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    Back button sensitivity

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    Flimsy back panel

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Samsung Galaxy Note review: Taking up a fair amount of real estate this 'phablet' lands with a 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display and heaps of potential

Update: Check out our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 rumours roundup

First things first, yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note is big, massive in fact. If Samsung had branded it a tablet we would have complained it was far too small, as a smartphone.

However, it appears comically large at first but quickly becomes a manageable size brimmed with high-end tech.

Looking to forge out a market from the fleet of potential business users the Galaxy Note is a confusing device at first that following a short period of use will have prospective users hooked.

Samsung Galaxy Note Design

Dominating first impressions of the Galaxy Note's smartphone/tablet bridging form is its monstrous and vibrant 5.3-inch 1280 x 800p HD Super AMOLED display.

Offering up beautiful images and video playback on a grand scale the Note's stunning display is a true leader of the mobile market combining crisp, rich images with a fast, responsive experience.

Despite its whopping 5.3-inch display the Galaxy Note is remarkable slim and light in the hand lining up at just 9.65mm thick and 178 grams in weight.

This ultra slim, lightweight design helps make the Note manageable in a single hand although a second set of digits will be needed in order to type on the expansive display.

Samsung Galaxy Note Features

Launching with version 2.3.5 of Google's Android Gingerbread mobile operating system the Galaxy Note comes with all the usual gubbins associated to the Android OS with Samsung's TouchWiz interface bringing the handset to life and making it a much more pleasant experience to use.

Further blurring the lines as to whether the Note is a smartphone or a tablet the inclusion of the Samsung S-Pen stylus is, surprisingly, a welcome one.

Combining with the 5.3-inch display the S-Pen opens up a host of new possibilities with document editing, note taking and image manipulation handled with ease and pressure sensitive accuracy.

Samsung Galaxy Note Performance

Whilst at first using the oversized Note as your day-to-day on-the-go phone might not seem the most practical or comfortable option, following a day or two of use you will be wondering how you ever managed to survive with the minimalist 3.5-inch iPhone display or even the dwarfed 4.3-inch Super AMOLED offering found on the Note's sibling the Samsung Galaxy S II.

Despite its power hungry display the Note's larger form means a bigger battery can be slotted in with the incorporated Li-ion 2,500 mAh battery ensuring the device can surpass the essential one day power hump and continue easily through the better part of days two and three.

Samsung Galaxy Note Verdict

Large in size, humongous in potential, the Samsung Galaxy Note might not be a first smartphone for the masses, what it is however, is a device that will enhance the experience of many a business user.

The Note's only downfall in popularity is in how much it has limited its prospective target audience.

One of the first modern mobile devices that makes a stylus not only work but further enhance the user interaction with the product, the Samsung Galaxy Note could well be the first in a new era of business minded hybrid devices with its strong all-round performances making it a must for those looking to get work done on the go.

Samsung Galaxy Note availability: Out now

Samsung Galaxy Note price: £589 SIM-free

Luke Johnson

Staff Writer on T3 Luke Johnson studied journalism at the Liverpool John Moores University and writes, news, opinion and interviews for the site. Topics of expertise include gaming, phones, photography, tablets and computing. Luke is a huge Apple fan, too, owning multiple Apple products and writing about iPhones and iPads frequently.