CNET Crave

CNET Australia Podcast

Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

About The Author

CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Loud and Clear

Goodbye, Galaxy Note

(Credit: Samsung/CBSi)

It's not something I often speak of, but sometimes it's hard to let them go. Too quickly time rolls by and before you know it, they're leaving you. Off to the next stop in their short lives, usually the grubby mits of another technology journalist.

It's understandable, right? After all, a smartphone is an integral part of a busy, modern life. It's among the first things I see when I wake up in the morning, it's with me throughout the day and it's an arm-length away when I go to bed again at night. A smartphone reviewer, testing a new phone each week can sometimes be a trying experience. If a phone is below par, I feel shackled to it until I have finished my tests. But every so often, a phone comes a long that just makes me smile.

The Galaxy Note will be hard to say goodbye to. For starters, the Note is a great Samsung smartphone. Measure for measure, the Galaxy Note is as good as the popular Galaxy S II, with a similarly fast web browser, the same TouchWiz user experience and a good collection of pre-installed apps. The S II has the edge in the photographer department, but otherwise they are very comparable devices. It's dual-core processor handles all the graphics-intensive apps we threw at it, as was more than adequate at providing a slick, seamless everyday user experience.

But there are three elements that make the Note a better phone than its predecessors, however, and they all work in unison to create a rather unique experience. The screen, the stylus and its 2500mAh capacity battery are all features of the Note that place it slightly ahead of the curve. Samsung chose an HD resolution panel for its 5.3-inch screen, with 1280x800 pixels. When you do the maths you find it offers 285 pixels per inch and if you remember that Apple's "resolutionary" iPad screen is 264 pixels per inch, you get an idea of how sharp images can look on this display.

To compensate for a screen 25 per cent larger than its previous smartphone displays, Samsung stuffs a 2500mAh battery into the Note. Luckily, for users, this turns out to be overkill. In our battery tests, the Note managed seven hours of constant video playback and five hours of web browsing, where the screen is set to 100 per cent brightness for both tests. These results, especially for video playback, are better than for most smartphones we've seen lately, where four to five hours video is the standard. For me, this equates to an easy two days of use between charges, though your mileage will surely vary based on how you use your phone.

Finally, the stylus will be missed, and yes, I'm surprised to be writing this. It was only two or three years ago that we were bagging stylus use with smartphones, mostly because those phones forced us to use them. With the Note, it's a welcome optional extra; not essential for everyday use, but nice to have when you need it. It's purely chance that the hit game Draw Something launched on Android at about the same time that the Note hit stores in Australia, but it certainly helped to show me how the stylus could add enormously to the smartphone experience in certain situations.

There are downsides, too, outlined in detail by my colleague Jessica Dolcourt in our review of the Note. For some, the size will be a problem — there is absolutely no way of using this phone one-handed while aisle surfing on a bus, for example. But for me, the times I've had sitting with the Note and using it with both hands far outweigh the others. If you're someone who only uses your smartphone for calling, messaging and email, the Note is probably not for you. If, like me, you add constant web browsing, video playback, games and social media to your everyday tasks, then the Note is definitely worth considering.

So it's adieu little Note. Thanks for the good times. You won't remember me — I'll be wiping your memory shortly — but I will remember you.

Add Your Comment 14

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mary 7 posted a comment   

This company is a Registered Company with about 62 Staffs and 36 R


Studley posted a comment   

Hi Joe
Sounds good though what of call quality and music player,without headphones?


Im Batman posted a comment   

Glad to see that the Note has left its mark... was it a skeptical start to the relationship, or just intrigue from the first announcement until you got in your hands to confirm all these wonderful things.

Farewell Note.


peter patina posted a comment   

The galaxy note is quite simply the best phone that has ever been produced. There is no equal. If anyone says other, they have never used the phone for longer than a hour. Once you have one, you'll never use a smaller screened phone again. My friend has the gs2 and even though I love it dearly,I could never own one due to the screen being way too small. Yes, after having the note, a 4.3 inch screen is really small. If you haven't got one, buy one immediately and within a couple of hours, you'll be hooked for life. Maybe in a few years when they have fold out screens on phones, I'll pry the note out of my hands. Until then, I will just smirk at anyone with their tiny screens. Will be interested to see if Jo can resist going back to the greatest phone ever made.


AntonioC posted a comment   

Everyone in my family is converting to Galaxy Notes. I started with mine in November 2011 and everyone went eeeew ! it is so big. A couple of months later they all signing up for Notes. My wife, my sister, my friends. I have used cutting edge tech since the early nineties. The Note is probably the most innovative mobile communication tool released in the last 5 years. Try find one buyer that after 2 months of solo use is disappointed or that can even conceive going back to a under 5" device ever again !!


eDDie posted a comment   

All I understood from this was the Galaxy Note is not gonna go on sale anymore, but it only just went up on the shelves why would it stop? Am I missing something :/


Joseph Hanlon posted a reply   

Huh? What part of it says not going on sale any more? eDDie, did you just read the headline....?


YousufK posted a reply   

Hi...I agree with eDDie...the article is not it discontinued...has Samsung dropped it from its range....what was the reason for saying goodbye...


Will1505 posted a reply   

Because Jo was reviewing it and now had to give it back to Samsung. How is this a hard concept for people?


Will1505 posted a reply   

Did you seriously just read the title and just post and not read the article? lol

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