CES 2012: Samsung Note Hands On.

CES blasted into full swing today as the convention opened to the masses. We started our day at the Samsung booth with a nice tour and some hands on time with a couple of the new devices Samsung has on the market. The main reason I wanted to walk through the sea of people at the Samsung booth (read: city) was for the Note. Samsung crushes the smartphone competition with a gorgeous 5.3″ HD Super AMOLED that will please the tablet and smartphone users alike.

My first thoughts about a phone with a 5.3″ screen were that it would burn the entire side of my face and be horribly uncomfortable. But after greasing up the Note’s screen for a few minutes I have some completely different thoughts on the device.

Hop past the break for Gadgetsteria’s officia hands on with the Samsung Note…


The Note runs exclusively on AT&T’s LTE network, and even though we weren’t connected with it today we still had a great time using the device. Packed with a snappy 1.4GHz Dual-Core Processor, we found navigating throughout the menus and apps was seamless and gave no lag at all. The device had Android 2.3 (Ginger Bread) installed, but that didn’t drag the device down any. Samsung’s latest miracle fit perfectly into our hands. I personally loved the way it felt. It wasn’t too big, but also wasn’t too small. When using a tablet, sometimes it’s nice to be able to hold it in one hand and do your business, and the Note does just that. Armed with a stylus (we used the sold-separately S-Pen accessory), holding the device and writing is a breeze. I hit the Android buttons at the bottom of the phone a couple of times while writing, but not something I would see myself not being able to overcome.

The Note features a very nice 8mp rear facing camera and a decent 2mp front facing counter-part. After taking – and editing – any pictures you are given so many different ‘Share’ options right from the phone. The Note also records in full 1080p HD for some large and beautiful home movies. There is a built in 16GB of storage + an extra 32GB of external memory allowed via microSD. As for the actual size of the Note and using it as a phone, I was glad to see that plastered to the side of my face didn’t yield any awkward looks from the passerby’s and on-lookers. It is big, but not too big. It is just the right amount of big to still make sense as a phone.

I really enjoyed playing with the Note. If anyone out there picks up the device, be sure you make the investment into the S-Pen. This pen style devices houses the Note’s stylus in an actual pen form. It fits nicely in your hands and will allow for easier ‘writing’ on the device. The pen uses some gestures to control different features on the phone. For example, while holding down the button on the pen, and holding the stylus to the screen, it will immediately take a screenshot and open in the photo editing app. You’ll then be able to crop, edit and so much more. With the built in note taking app, you can create voice, video and hand written notes and send them over the interwebs and AT&T speedy LTE network to friends and family.

The Note was a gorgeous device and we are hoping to get more time and do an in-depth review in the coming months. Tablet? Phone? You decide. We loved it and can’t wait to spend more time with it! I can say for sure that if you aren’t gung-ho about the tablet market, or if you hate the thought of having two devices on-the-go, the Samsung Note will be an outstanding compromise.