Samsung Galaxy Note Review
It's tempting—oh so tempting—to lead off a review of Samsung's Galaxy Note by mocking its enormous size. So I shall.
The Note is big enough to give me a sense of empathy for our toddler when she picks up our phones. Its 5.3" display is the largest I've used in a pocket-sized gadget since 1998's MessagePad 2100.
But at $299.99, with a two-year AT&T contract, it has bigger problems than being the SUV of smartphones. Although it offers good ideas and could fit well for people who want a credible tablet-phone, it embodies the least appealing trends in the Android ecosystem.
LTE first, battery life second. The faster speed of Long Term Evolution means short-term usage away from an outlet, to judge from the numerous LTE phones I've tried that didn't make it through a full day without a recharge. The Note has a higher-capacity battery than the scrawny hardware on other Android phones and so managed to last through over six hours of Web-radio playback. That said, standby battery life was still subpar.
Specs before experience. Enough about the Note's screen—let's talk about the camera on the other side of the phone from it. We're supposed to be impressed by its eight-megapixel resolution, but I'd gladly trade a lower resolution for less lag after pressing the shutter and between shots.
Carrier bloatware. The Note is not as bloated by with somebody else's idea of a good time as other Android phones, but it needs a cleanup. I would start with AT&T's $9.99/month AT&T Navigator—except that you can't uninstall it. Ditto for the CityID, Social Hub and YPMobile apps here. Why do carriers still think this is a good idea?
Proprietary, user-hostile input. The onscreen keyboard Samsung built into the Note, to allow for input with its "S-Pen" stylus, is excruciating for thumb typists. Its errant autocorrect changed "tweets" to "sweets" but left a standalone "i" uncapitalized, but refused to butt out when I was trying to delete its mistakes. You don't type on this thing so much as you duel with it. By default, it vibrates with every keypress, as if we haven't already been using touchscreen phones for the last five years.
Uncertain software updates. Like almost all other Android phones, the Note ships with Android 2.3, not the current 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version. AT&T says it will ship 4.0, but hasn't said when. AT&T also offers no assurances about further updates for this phone.
It, Samsung and other Android vendors did pledge in May 2011 to offer 18 months' worth of Android updates for new phones. But the commitment's "as long as the hardware allows" clause renders it meaningless. How can we trust them after such a sad history of abandoning earlier models?
As an Android user, I hope other manufacturers and carriers are taking notes. But I worry that they're only doing so to make sure they don't miss out on any new obnoxious habits.
This handheld magnifying glass has two bright LEDs and is powered by 3 AAA cells (not included). The manufacturer says the magnification is 40X. I think it is less than that, but it is still plenty powerful for my needs – mainly, reading the markings on tiny electrical components and checking the layer fusion on […]
The European Commission is probing whether Samsung televisions’ sensed when they were being tested for energy efficiency and changed their power consumption to get better ratings than they deserved.
The curved bottom of the cup peeks through your drink as the level drops down, moving the “moon” from full to a fingernail-paring sliver. Of course, it works better if you drink something cloudy and white — it’s designed some cloudy Korean rice-wines, but would also work with Pernod and water, I’m thinking.
SitePoint Premium is the ultimate e-learning library for web developers, designers, and digital professionals. Famous for their web development books written by industry leaders, they’ve expanded their content library to include in-depth video courses and short, handy screencasts partnering with A Book Apart and UX Mastery. Whatever you want to achieve in your web career, […]
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]
Power up your gadgets in the most unexpected places with the extremely compact SolarJuice battery pack. SolarJuice charges up at home like your average battery pack, but also lets you add extra juice on-the-go using its built-in solar panel—so you’ll never be left unplugged from the digital world.4.5 Stars on Amazon!Simultaneously charges 2 devices at […]