T-Mobile has just revealed that it will carry the 5.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Note in the coming weeks.
No pricing has been announced yet for this extra-large 1.5 GHz dual-core Android smart phone that’s making its way to T-Mobile after debuting with AT&T in February 2012. AT&T sells the Galaxy Note for $249 with a contract.
Samsung will be issuing the phone with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on-board and the Premium Suite, which features the S Note and S Memo apps with enhanced productivity features that take advantage of the pressure sensitive stylus. The Galaxy Note feature an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera along with a stylus Samsung calls S Pen.
If the 5.3″ Super AMOLED screen is not quite big enough for you, rumor has it that Samsung will introduced the Galaxy Note II with a 5.5″ screen in the Summer or Fall.
Samsung Galaxy Note initial impressions after two days of use
- First thing to do is create/login to Gmail and sync your contacts. This will also give you the required access to Google Play which is the Android app store.
- Swipe typing is really cool. It allows you to type with one finger by simply moving your finger from one letter to another.
- Two GPS navigation apps are included. Don’t use AT&T Navigator. It’s only free for 30 days and then it’s $10 per month after that. Use Google Maps Navigation (beta) instead. It’s free and very accurate. It does voice turn by turn directions and will even take your destination input by voice.
- Battery life is decent enough for normal use for a day but heavy users will find going a full day without a charge challenging. In 8 hours of moderately heavy use, 80% of the battery was depleted. The good news is the device will charge with most usb ports including those on computers.
- AT&T 4G LTE is blazingly fast and strong (if you can get it). In areas where Sprint had no coverage, AT&T 4G LTE was able to operate. In the same area, 4G LTE had a stronger signal than AT&T 3G. Of course your results will vary. Download speed vary from 7.9 Mbits to 22.15 Mbps. For those who prefer kBs, that’s 1,010 kBs to 2,835 kBs. As a point of comparison, AT&T home dsl speeds start at 160 kBs which is also typically the fastest speed you’ll see at a Starbucks. Comcast cable Internet is usually around 22 Mbits. Of course, the faster speed, the faster you’ll eat up your allotted bandwidth.
- Pre-installed apps do not show up in your phone’s installed app list. If you’re having problems with an app, search for the app and uninstall it.
- Skype video quality was very poor despite 4G LTE speed. Now you know why manufacturers put such a low resolution camera on the front. Bandwidth cannot keep up with such apps. Maybe other video chat apps will fare better.
- The Galaxy Note shows up in Windows 7 was a device but images could not be copied even though they were visible. Samsung offers a desktop application called Kies to perform import/export as well as backup and sync. It can also be used to update the Note’s firmware.
- S Memo (a note pad app) can be activated in any phone mode with a double tap of the pen while holding down the pen button to take handwritten notes. Helpful if you want to jot down some notes while on the phone.
- Social site integration is well-integrated into Android, something Apple’s iOS has only begun to tackle. What this means is that you can pull up and picture and pull up a menu to decide where to share it. As opposed to first going to Facebook to share the picture, then going to Twitter to share the picture, then going to Instagram to share the picture, and so forth and so on. This requires integration on the OS level so app developers cannot do it. An included app called Social Hub allows aggregating Microsoft Exchange, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter feeds.
- The larger screen size is not off-putting at all, perhaps because I’m already used to using a tablet. I would welcome an even larger 5.5″ version. Besides, who makes phone calls with phones these days?
- The stylus is not just a gimmick. Samsung demonstrated the Galaxy Note at an event at the de Young Museum. San Francisco artists Jesse Hayes and Diego Gomez did sketches of guests using the Galaxy Note and you can see some of the results in the gallery below.