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Is the Samsung Galaxy Note too big? Here’s our actual hands on!

EDIT II: Want to see the Galaxy Note UNDERWATER? Check it out.

EDIT: Hands on with the Galaxy Note here.

I have a conspiracy theory about the worldwide consumer IT industry. Every year, all the manufacturers (except Apple — coz they’re not fun) add 1 inch to the screens of their smartphones to make consumers look more and more ridiculous when using these devices.

OK, but no, that’s probably too far from the truth but you have to admit that on paper, having a device that has 5.3″ of screen real estate can barely be called a phone anymore. In theory it all sounds bizarre, but this is one of those times where actually holding the device gives you that “aha!” moment. In short: The Samsung Galaxy Note works.

Top: Side by side with the Samsung Galaxy S II (4.3″ screen vs 5.3″ screen on the Note)

Read on for more photos and comparison.

SPECS:
5.3″ Hi-Res SUPER AMLOED HD Display
HD WXGA 1280×800 resolution
1.4 Ghz dual-core processor
1GB RAM
Android v2.3 Gingerbread
SRP: PHP 34,xxx

As a hybrid device, the Galaxy Note feels more like a smartphone than an actual tablet. I think this is mainly because the Note takes the exact form factor of the Galaxy S II even in terms of its thin footprint. Which is why despite it being bigger, it’s still rather easy to hold with one hand (but impossible to type with one hand).

Q: I own a Samsung Galaxy S II. Should I switch?

A: No need. You already have a good smartphone! The main differences between the two devices are (1) an extra one inch of screen real estate and (2) the stylus which allows you to do “graffiti” handwriting. For fans of Windows Mobile and the Palm OS the stylus works very similarly. However, since the Galaxy Note has a significantly bigger screen, it also means that the keyboard is large enough to type comfortably and I must say that I like typing with this hybrid device compared to my S II.

To be honest I’m not a huge fan of the stylus config. I am more efficient with the big keyboard and the stylus only reminds me of the legacy days in smartphone computing. Letters get jumbled up. The stylus however is good for doodles and taking screen caps to add notes to them. That’s a definite plus!

For me, the main selling proposition of the Galaxy Note has nothing to do with the stylus. An extra inch of screen gives me a lot more room to type, browse and watch movies. There’s nothing like reading Facebook or Twitter on a bigger screen.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

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