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Samsung Galaxy Note: Is It A Phone Or A Tablet?

samsung galaxy note review, gadgets
The current crave in owning the latest mobile device is probably the Samsung Galaxy Note. My closest encounter with a Samsung device was the Galaxy S Wi-Fi 5.0, onboard the Finnair’s Angry Birds Flight from Helsinki to S’pore.

samsung galaxy s, finnair angry birds flight
All passengers on that special flight got to play the Angry Birds game with the gadget. How cool is that! Like my tee? Well, all team members of the Angry Birds Asian Challenge gotta put on one of these tees for the flight too. Pretty awesome, huh?

samsung galaxy note review sg
I was exhilarated when I was offered the chance to own this awesome device & to do a review. People are currently snapping up this gadget & many places are out of stock. Lucky me, this special batch also comes with a free Flip Cover worth S$89, which I will be picking up at a later date.

samsung galaxy note workshop, harbourfront
To do this review, I had to attend a workshop organized by Samsung, with few other bloggers for a brief walk-through. Refreshments were also served at the event.

So, is the Galaxy Note a mobile phone or a tablet? Let’s take a peek inside the box…………

samsung galaxy note compare ipad size
Shall we start with its size? To give you a better idea instead of telling you it's 5.3", I’ve put the Galaxy Note together with my iPhone4 & iPad2. This powerful performance 1.4GHz Dual Core Android Smartphone has a large screen & holds the world's first 5.3” HD Super Amoled high-resolution touchscreen with an ultra light & slim design.

samsung galaxy note call or message function
For those who are always on the road, you’ll be delighted to know that texting will no longer be a hindrance. No hands off the steering wheel, or eyes off the road. Just instruct your Galaxy Note to “call” or “message” & it will dial the number or type out your text message for you. Messaging is now a breeze.

samsung galaxy note speech to text
I gave the instruction "Coming home for dinner?” & waited for it to work on my speech, as it converts into text almost instantly. It was as good as 100% accurate except for the Question Mark, which is negligible. I was impressed!

samsung galaxy note smartphone review
When you switch your device to driving mode, the Smartphone will also read alerts & incoming calls to you. Are you amazed?

Then I tried the voice feature on the S Planner. To key in an appointment, simply tap on the Microphone icon if you’re lazy to type & a "Speak Now" box pops out. I started my speech: “Meeting @ 1 pm”.

samsung galaxy note smartphone s planner
Bingo! It worked like a charm! My text was entered automatically under the header. From here, you can continue to edit details & save to your calendar.

So far, the voice sensor is quite sensitive & precise in picking up most English words. The S Planner provides you the tools, where complex schedules became simple. It's like having an efficient & intelligent personal secretary in your pocket.

samsung galaxy note smartphone calendar
In the S Planner, you can view your calendar from Year to Day, or in Agenda or Task mode with just a simple tap. To change the date of schedule, simply drag the old appointment to the new date!

samsung galaxy note voice talk
The Voice Talk feature is accessible via various manners in the pix above. You can easily start the commands by tapping on the blue tab & begin speaking.

samsung galaxy note smart pen
Pix Credit: Samsung
Samsung certainly deserves tribute for transporting the stylus back into the 21st century with an ambitious Advanced Smart Pen. The main idea of the S Pen & its integrated abilities, which include native art, design & note-based apps, is to allow for hand-written & hand drawn content. With it, you can sketch drawings or write notes effortlessly.

You can see from the pix a cropped section from a map & hand-written “Meet Me Here” using the S Pen. Save the work & send it to your friend & the meeting place will never go wrong.

samsung galaxy note s memo
Pix Credit: Samsung
Have an idea that just popped up? Scribble it down & string your thoughts to the S Memo with added graphics or voice recordings to share them with your clients. Communication is no longer limited to just text. With the Galaxy Note, enhance your thoughts & ideas with the host of multimedia available..

samsung galaxy note mini diary
The Mini Diary is another superb app for you to pen your thoughts for the day. I keyed in “Out At Sea” & included a pix to record my day’s activity. It’s as good as an electronic diary on the go. Just look at the rich colours displayed here!

samsung galaxy note polaris office
Experience business solutions with the built in Polaris Office that supports Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint. The Office works with the S-Pen too, allowing you to literally pen your thoughts.

samsung galaxy note 8 megapixel camera
Pix Credit: Samsung
With the Galaxy Note 8 Megapixel Camera, you can now capture stunning photos even in low light conditions with the built-in LED flash & Auto Focus camera.

This is a great 2-in-1 gadget for those who find it cumbersome to carry both a mobile phone & a tablet or laptop out.

As a phone, the device is a little flamboyant due to its size. If you feel a tat bit embarrassed fishing out the biggest phone in the market from your pocket or bag to chat, you can always use the ear-piece that comes with it instead.

Most importantly, the Galaxy Note comes with a MicroSD slot with further expansion up to 32GB. Plus, the pre-bundled S Pen active stylus adds a whole new dimension to the Smartphone experience. The powerful, light-weight, do-it-all Samsung Smartphone packs a punch, & promises to deliver!
Rating: ★★★★☆

BTW, I was thrown this question by a friend who’s always travelling overseas, “Can Galaxy Note work w/o SIM card?”

I tested it out. All the above functioned w/o me inserting any SIM card & it worked like magic. I just tapped on my home wifi connection to do the job. So if you’re abroad & don't wanna use your SIM card, just look for a hotspot to surf or check your emails.

Here are some of the Key Specs again:

Network: GSM Quad-band & 3G band, 3.5G [HSPA+ (up to 21Mbps)
Processor: 1.4GHz Dual Core Processor
Display: 5.3" 16M colours WXGA (1280x800) HD SUPER AMOLED display
Operating System: Android™ 2.3.5 (Gingerbread)
Camera: 8 Megapixel + 2 Megapixel (front-facing camera), 4x Digital zoom with Anti-shake ability
Video: HD Video Recording 1080p @ 30fps (1920 x 1080),
Audio: Multi-format Music Player, 3.5mm ear jack, FM Radio
Multi Input: + S Pen (Advanced smart pen)
Connectivity: Bluetooth™ v3.0 + HS, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, USB Mass Storage, GPS (via Google Maps™), Tethering & portable hotspot, TV-Out
Memory: 16GB Internal Memory, MicroSD slot (up to 32GB)
Size: 146.85 x 82.95 x 9.65mm, 178g
Battery: Talktime up to 26.2 hours (2G), 13.5 hours (3G); Standby up to 960 hours (2G), 820 hours (3G)
Messaging: Handwriting Recognition (English and Simplified Chinese)
Business & Office: Email, Polaris™ Office (Microsoft PowerPoint, Word & Excel), Voice Recorder & Voice Talk
Application & Services: Social Hub integrates all SNS, IM, email & calendar accounts. S Planner & Memo, Mini Diary, Alarm


  1. It is so tempting!
    for my birthday pressie!

  2. Beauty at work. I need to change my phone soon n this is clearly in my choice list

  3. i want that for christmas present. i heard a lot about Samsung it good?

  4. looks like a pretty awesome gadget to own especially for ppl who write a lot of notes and like big lcd screen for entertainment and game! me likey! :D

  5. Wendy, start dropping hints to your hubby! XOXO

    Jen, u're gonna fall in love with its features :)

    Loveforfood, I gave it a 4-star. So do u think it's good? Don't be naughty cause Santa may be nice & generous :) Hohoho!

    Henry, just realized how impt that feature is when I'd my lunch earlier & wanted to jot down my notes for my blog. Can't do it with my iphone :<

  6. This is awesome! Galaxy Note is good as phone and tablet!

  7. Seems like a great product esp after reading what you have shared Shirley but I am quite contented with my blackberry for the time being, maybe will consider in the near future.

  8. Wow! Cool! Like a mini PC in your pocket. Surely a choice buy.

  9. i wish sumone can give it to me one day.. hahhaha !

  10. cool...ahem...can i wish for that for my Christmas pressie ah? kakaka

  11. the gadget is awesome! really cool! ;D

  12. Sherrie, glad we're on the same page :)

    Isaac, it's simply awesome! Thks for dropping by :)

    Nava, my ex-boss is holding a Blackberry now but switching to Galaxy Note after seeing my review. Lol! Merry X'mas, dear!

    Charmaine, r u holding one too?

    Doris, very tempting indeed. Heehee!

    Teha, hope Santa will be nice to u :)

    Small Kuching, start dropping hints! U'll never know :)

    Xue Ren, glad u found my review useful!

  13. Samsung Galaxy is everywhere & i'm tempted to have one too! looks cool!

  14. Hi, Shirley! Ohh... I wish Santa would send me a Galaxy Note as well. The features are to die for, and being the geek that I am, I am lusting over it but... it's kinda out of my range so I got myself a Samsung Galaxy S2 for Christmas lol. But I can't complain, the S2 is so far, very pleasant and I am really psyched I finally upgraded to a smartphone ;)

    Have a Merry Christmas, love! Regards to you and your family!


    A Single Girl's Musings

  15. This is fab Shirley! I bought an Android over the summer but this looks like you could basically store everything you would ever need. Awesome that they had you attend a class too :)

  16. Shirley, this is a cool gadget! I think Santa must have switched to it already -- he showed up ahead of time at my house and left some Bailey's and ladyfingers on my kitchen counter... :)

  17. Pretty cool! I have the iPhone and iPad and carry both. I find that I pull my phone out a LOT for simple computer work - so this is a great idea!

  18. Aemy, if u can get a good deal by signing up with a telco, why not? I'm sure it makes a great xmas gift for yourself :)

    Wi, u're finally back! Didn't hear from u for a while. On vacation?? Merry X'mas, dear!

    Bessie, the workshop was a great intro for people new to Android. I picked up quite a few tips :)

    Kimby, I got the hint! Awesome, lady! Looking fwd........

    Ann, I'm totally fascinated even tho' I'm an Apple fan...

  19. Cool phone! Enjoy your new toy :) Merry Christmas!

  20. i sooo love it!!! am so gonna buy it... nice pics too,,, you are gorgeous... have a blessed christmas!!!

    join my christmas giveaway!!!


  21. hi hun! awesome review! my bro already got this a few weeks back! woaahh and you got it for free, so lucky! you are indeed blessed! i'm not wondering why, you're such a lady with a good heart:))

    take care always!

  22. Biren, thks & Merry Xmas!

    Dina, thks for visiting! Have a beautiful Xmas & will chk u out soon!

    Jay, I know u'll gonna love this toy!

    Charles, that's so cool! Do u get to play with it too? It's certainly a pleasure knowing a sweet blogger like u. Have fun & thks so much for supporting my blog!

  23. This is awesome!! Kind of regret buying S2 and didn't wait for this =(

  24. Evelyn, so sorry to hear that but SII is also a great hp. Merry X'mas, dear!

  25. Shirley, So sorry for not dropping by a so long but you are always in my thoughts Thanks for the Christmas and New Year Greetings. I wish you Merry Christmas to since Christmas is 12 days and A Very Very Happy New Year. This gadget look like that my Quay Lo may enjoy but for me, since I have the ipad2, and Macbook Pro, I will go for iphone 4S:D Enjoy your new toy! XOXO

  26. Veron, happy 2012 & have fun with all the gadgets!

  27. Shirley, i m already using this Galaxy Note for awhile n gers there, S2 is as good as Note, nothing to regret n also, the voice talk was there in S2 too, caused i was using S2 b4 Note, both are great phone frm Samsung, i love it so much !!!
    From: Uncle Jordan

  28. Jordan, looks like we've a Samsung fan here :) My hubby is also using the SII & is having a good time with his toy.

  29. Definitely a samsung galaxy fan here. It's sure better than the iphone.

    1. Thks for visiting & leaving your lovely comments! Will chk out your blog soon :)


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