Saturday, February 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note

Yesterday I got a new phone, a Samsung Galaxy Note. I had been using a Motorola FlipSide that I got to have something inexpensive with a keyboard. It was underpowered with a tiny screen. Even with those limitations though, it showed me that Android was what I needed because it integrated so nicely with Trinity's Google based T-mail.

The last month or so, the FlipSide started doing some unhappy things like drying a few times each day such that it needed the battery removed to be able to reboot. That prompted me to look for alternatives. AT&T had a nice pre-order offer on the Note (I wasn't up to the point where I could get a normal upgrade) so I went with it. I've read a bunch of the reviews and the general conclusion is that this is a phone/tablet that you will either love or hate. I'm less than 24 hours in, but I love it right now and I don't see that changing.

The name Note refers to the stylus like S-Pen that comes with it. I've taken it out a few times. I won't use it often. However, I do occasionally do symbolic math on paper. Often that goes on little slips that get lost after a while. My plan is to move that to the Note using their SMemo software. That's a small deal for me though. What really matters for me is the screen, both is size and in resolution.

The Note is getting press because the 5.3" screen really is quite big. When I extend the FlipSide with the keyboard out it has a significantly smaller area than the screen of the Note. For some, this will be a problem. One of the reasons I felt confident buying the Note without having seen it is that I'm 6'4" with hands (and clothing) appropriate for that fact. If you are under 6', you need to play around with the Note before buying unless you intend to use it more as a small tablet than as a phone. It works great for me though. I have been putting it in the pockets of my Jeans even. They are a Levi's 560 Comfort fit. Because of my proportions I typically wear a relaxed or comfort fit jeans. The Note probably won't go so well in skinny jeans, but the phone itself is skinny so even jean pockets are fine if you have larger jeans.

IMO, the real gem of the Note is the 1280x800 OLED screen. There are lots of laptops and even desktops that don't go above that resolution. The result is a crystal clear display that is great for surfing the web or reading. It also means that the lack of a physical keyboard isn't terrible. In profile orientation, the on-screen keyboard is sufficiently large that I don't have a problem with it. The landscape keyboard is downright big and I found that I could type with it error free significantly faster than I ever could on the little physical keyboard of the FlipSide.

All-in-all, I'm extremely excited about this device. It makes me wish that much more that my car could drive itself because spending time driving really is wasting time I could spend doing something else.

I haven't been posting much, but I expect a rush of things early next month. I hand off the book to the publisher at that point and I have some ideas I really want to get out on this blog, but they have taken a back seat to writing the book.