Tag Archive | "samsung galaxy"

Samsung Pushes 12-inch ‘Pro’ Tablet, Running Android

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Multi windowing, collaboration, ‘full size’ virtual keyboard, digitizer, and performance with a 12-inch screen. Sounds like an Windows Tablet right? No, Samsung have launched the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro, a 12-inch tablet running Android.

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro

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Samsung Galaxy Note Confirmed for AT&T, Available in the Coming Weeks

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The ever-interesting Samsung Galaxy Note has finally been officially confirmed for release on the AT&T network. AT&T announced the Note in a press release yesterday, alongside several other devices. According to the release, the Galaxy Note is “planned for availability in AT&T stores and online in the coming weeks”. Hopefully, those “weeks” won’t slip into months! Pricing information has not been released, but based on the MSRP of the phone, $299-$399 is a safe bet. It’s unclear at this point if Verizon will eventually offer the Galaxy Note or if this is an exclusive for AT&T.

The Galaxy Note, which is the first modern Android phone to incorporate an active digitizer and stylus, was announced what seems like ages ago at IFA in September.  Since then, the Note has gone gone on sale in Europe and elsewhere, but US folks have been unable to get their hands on the phone except through pricey importers.

The Galaxy Note’s active digitizer allows the user to input highly accurate hand-written text. Such functionality has long before been seen on tablet PCs and a few Android tablets, but the Note is the first to include the technology in an Android phone. Chippy has a mini-review of the Galaxy Note alone with photos and videos if you’re interested in the device.

When the Note was first launched, I was a bit annoyed at the massive 5.3″ screen. I still feel like screens beyond 3.75″ or 4″ negatively affect the ergonomics of a phone, but I will admit that in the case of the Galaxy Note, I’m singing to a different tune. The stylus means that you’ll be using the phone with two-hands regardless (one to hold the phone, one to write with), so the argument against a huge screen is somewhat averted. The compromise to enable a large writing area is also one that I might be willing to make (and I know plenty of others who would be happy to make).

Interestingly, in a video accompanied by the AT&T press release, the stylus and active digitizer almost went unmentioned, save for a few seconds at the end. In most of the European advertising material, the stylus was front and center as the most important part of the phone. It seems that AT&T knows that most US consumers (that doesn’t include tech nerds like myself and you!) are looking for an iPhone experience, otherwise they’d be pushing this unique feature much harder.

 

 

 

 

Samsung Confirms Galaxy Note US Availability, Announces 1 Million Units Shipped

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The Samsung Galaxy Note finally has official confirmation of an eventual US release. I don’t think many of us doubted that it would happen at some point, but Samsung had been outwardly indecisive about a US release of the Galaxy Note ever since some initial confusion over a statement made during IFA in October when the Note was announced. Since then, we’ve seen the Galaxy Note pass through the FCC, which bolstered our confidence that the stylus-touting Note would reach the US. Now Samsung has cleared things up once and for all, we’ll see the Galaxy Note in the US in 2012.

According to CNET, who cites a pseudo-press release that was posted as a photo description on flickr, “Samsung has confirmed that a U.S. launch is in the works for next year but hasn’t yet revealed a specific date”. Given the excitement surrounding the Galaxy Note, and the proximity of CES, there’s approximately a 99.9% chance that we’ll see the Note touted by Samsung at the event. We hope to hear more specific news about the Galaxy Note US release date then, stay tuned!

In addition to confirmation of an eventual US release date for the Galaxy Note, Samsung noted in the press release that over 1 million Notes have been shipped. CNET points out that “shipped” in this case means how many have been sent out to resellers; fewer than 1 million may actually be in the hands of customers.

The Galaxy Note has been holding firm in the top 10 popular devices in our mobile device database since it’s initial announcement back in November. I would call the massive 5.3″ screen way too big except that the Galaxy Note comes with an active digitizer stylus which allows the user to write naturally and accurately on the Note’s ‘Super’ AMOLED display. You can see it in action here from our very own Chippy:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvdDDTUGJDo

The only option for obtaining a Galaxy Note in the US currently is to go through an importer, but you’d better not be expecting to pay under $600! Once the device reaches US carriers, customers will be able to get their hands on it much more easily, thanks to subsidies that will bring down the $850 MSRP reported by a number of importers.

Hat tip to Chuong over at GottaBeMobile for pointing out this story.

Notion Ink Adam to Get Ice Cream Sandwich, and Samsung Says THEY Can't Manage?!

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The Notion Ink Adam was launched just about a year ago, and while it didn’t quite live up to the hype, the company is working on getting the one year old unit up and running with the latest version of Android, 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). Notion Ink has been posting regular updates to their blog about progress in porting ICS to the Adam tablet. Their latest update included a video which shows the Adam quite easily navigating through ICS:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTwaPj7y_jU

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If you’ve got an Adam and the stomach for installing pre-alpha software, see here for more details about ICS on the Notion Ink Adam.

So far, Notion Ink says they’ve got accelerated graphics, GPS, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, SD Card and ADB working, while the camera, sound, 3G, bluetooth, remaining sensors, and a sleep bug remain to be fixed.

This progress is surely a slap in the face of Samsung who have recently announced that the original Galaxy S phones and original Galaxy Tab will not receive upgrades to Android 4.0 / ICS. The reason for this, according to Samsung, is that the TouchWiz interface, applied by the company to all of their devices (less the Nexus S), takes up too much memory that an ICS upgrade would not be feasible for these devices. Instead of ICS, Samsung is apparently considering offering a ‘value-pack’ wherein the company would update these forgotten devices and shoe-horn in some of the ICS features, without actually upgrading to ICS itself.

The obvious outrage here is that, if TouchWiz is really the only thing holding them back from updating to ICS, Samsung should offer a vanilla update to ICS if the customer chooses.

Notion Ink is working on that very thing right now. The tablet originally launched with a completely skinned (far more than TouchWiz) version of Android 2.2, but the company will apparently still be offering an ICS upgrade to their customers, even if it means they have to let go of their proprietary interface.

Samsung obviously believes that TouchWiz is important to their customers and that’s why they won’t simply cast it aside and offer a vanilla ICS install. For some customers this may be true. For me, and most of the people reading this site, I’d say that they’d be willing to drop TouchWiz to get the latest performance, feature, and security updates out of ICS, and I think it’s Samsung’s duty to offer them at least that, especially when a company as tiny as Notion Ink is managing to do so.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Price Settling in Around $650, Room to Drop?

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 was made official way back at IFA in early September. Since then, the premium tablet has been a hot topic (holding the #2 position in our mobile product database popularity rankings), especially considering the circumstances of its odd removal in the midst of IFA. It’s been months since then, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is still not officially available, and it’s unclear exactly what regions it will be available in once a release date is announced. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been spotted in the FCC, so a US release is expected, eventually.

Importers have begun to list prices for the Galaxy Tab 7.7, and it looks like the price is settling around $650. Here’s a sample of Galaxy Tab 7.7 16GB WiFi prices that I’ve been able to find:

  • Mobile City Online: $699
  • Negri Electronics: $668
  • Chat and Vision: $622

For a device featuring a 7.7″ AMOLED display, one of the fastest CPUs we’ve seen on such a device, and sizing up at only 7.8mm thick, I think we could call that price justified. Still, at $650, only those gadget lovers with money to spare will be able to pick up the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Anyone without a premium gadget-budget would likely be much more attracted to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, which can be had starting at $399.

But, there’s some good news. If we take a little trip down memory lane, we find that the original Galaxy Tab 7 had a suggested retail price of a whopping  €799 ($1023 USD). However, as Chippy realized, much of that was a buffer for Samsung to give their retail partners room to play. Chippy predicted that the street price would start at €700 then drop to €600 over the next three months, and that’s very close to what we actually saw. The Galaxy Tab 7 could afford to have such a big buffer because it was the first 7″ Android tablet on the market. The Galaxy Tab 7.7 doesn’t have the convenience of such exclusivity. Still, the importers are likely setting their Galaxy Tab 7.7 prices in accordance with a retail price suggestion from Samsung, which several sites are listing at $799. As with the original Galaxy Tab 7, I think we’ll see the Galaxy Tab 7.7 get a lower street price once the official release date is made (probably around $600), and drop to around $500 over the next few months. Much of this depends on how well the AMOLED display production scales.

Whatever the case, Samsung better hurry the Galaxy Tab 7.7 out the door before another company releases a substitute device and puts it on the market before the 7.7. They definitely don’t want to wait into February when iPad 3 rumors start cropping up.

CES is coming up in just a few weeks, and it’s likely there that we’ll hear more official info about the Galaxy Tab 7.7. Stay tuned for updates!

To see out latest Galaxy Tab 7.7 stories, click here.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Officially for Sale in the US, Finally!

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The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced almost two months ago (a fairly long time in the tech world) and though almost all of the details of the device had been spilled by Google and Samsung, one bit was kept from us: the Galaxy Nexus release date. Until now that is.

After weeks of speculation the Galaxy Nexus is officially on sale in the US, as of today, from Verizon, Best Buy, Wirefly, and directly through Samsung. All of these outlets are selling the 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Nexus, so those hoping for an AT&T/T-Mobile/Sprint compatible version still have some waiting to do.

Of the four stores currently selling the Galaxy Nexus, Wirefly has the cheapest price by far: $189 — that’s $110 less than Verizon, Best Buy, or Samsung who are all selling it for $299. The WireFly page claims that this is the same 32GB version as sold by the other sites, but if you’re going the WireFly route, definitely double check on this as it seems a little too good to be true (chances are, they are selling a 16GB model of the Galaxy Nexus). These prices are of course for those who qualify for an upgrade or are purchasing new service. If you’re curious, the official MSRP for the Galaxy Nexus is listed at $799.

While the Galaxy Nexus isn’t the most powerful or feature-rich phone on the market, it is the first ever to run the latest version of Google’s Android OS: 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to bridge the gap between Android phones and tablets which have been running forked versions of Android ever since the release of Honeycomb. With Ice Cream Sandwich, phones and tablets will share a more consistent interface and feature set.

European folks were able to begin purchasing the Galaxy Nexus nearly a month earlier than in the US. Importers were bringing the phone into the US initially, but now that it is available through the usual channels, those looking for the Galaxy Nexus will probably end up buying it right on US soil.

Now the wait begins for ICS tablets!

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Comes out of Hiding in New Video

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 is one of the most hotly anticipated devices currently in the tablet sector. Despite being announced way back at the beginning of September, it is still not officially available; pricing and release date info about the Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been quite hard to come by.

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During the IFA show where it was announced, Samsung literally removed the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from their displays; it’s been theorized that this had something to do with the Apple/Samsung lawsuit, but that’s not ever been confirmed as far as I’m aware. Presumably, the reason that the device was removed from IFA is the same reason why the Galaxy Tab 7.7 seems to have been in hiding ever since its initial unveiling.

Fortunately, Ritchie of Ritchie’s room is bringing the Galaxy Tab 7.7 out of hiding. He’s calling it the best 7″ tablet yet. At 340 grams and 7.9mm thick, Ritchie is very impressed with the weight and thickness, especially given the premium build-quality. He’s prepared a nice video overview of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, check it out here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzvLmTZrTOY

In addition to the video, Ritchie has a much more thorough inspection of the Galaxy Tab 7.7, along with some great photos, over at his blog. Go check it out!

Update: Sold Out! Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for $320, Today Only

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Cyber Monday deal shopping may have been yesterday but my favorite deal-a-day site, Woot.com, still has the deals rolling. Today they’ve got a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal for a reasonable $320 (+$5 shipping). That’s $130 ( 29%) less than you can get the same Galaxy Tab 10.1 new from Amazon, and $179 (35%) less than buying it direct from Samsung. This is the 16GB WiFi-only version, so don’t expect to hook this up to a cellular provider for 3G or 4G internet access.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is currently the lightest 10″ tablet on the market, weighing in at 564 grams. It’s also the thinnest at 8.63 mm, which slightly undercuts the iPad’s 8.8 mm thickness.

Woot only offers on deal per day, so once 12am Central Time rolls around, this Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal will be gone. It could also sell out before then; be decisive!

Here are the Galaxy Tab 10.1 specs if you need a quick refresher, for more detailed specs, see the Tab 10.1 tracking page in our mobile device database:

Operating System: Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
Display: 10.1″ WXGA TFT Capacitive Touchscreen
Resolution: 1280 x 800
Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core
Storage: 16GB
RAM: 1GB
Camera: Front: 2.0MP
Rear: 3.0MP Auto Focus with Flash
Wireless: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz, 5.0GHz)
Bluetooth: 2.1 + EDR Connectivity
Battery: 7000 mAh Li-Polymer
User Interface: Widgets, Smart Unlock, Accelerometer, Bilingual: Spanish/English
Audio: MP3, OGG, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WAV, AMR, MID, IMY, WMA, Vorbis, RTTTL/RTX, OTA
Video: 1080p Playback; 720p Capture
Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, XviD, WMV7/8, VP8, MP43, VC-1
Format: 3GP(MP4), WMV(asf), AVI
Dimensions: 10.1″(W) x 6.9″(H) x 0.34″(D)
Weight: 19.9 oz

One thing you should be concerned with when considering this Galaxy Tab 10.1 deal is the lack of connectivity. Sure, it’s thin and light, but the Galaxy Tab 10.1 lacks MicroSD, MicroUSB, and any sort of HDMI. Connectivity relies entirely upon wireless options or the proprietary adapter.

There’s also those new-fangled Tegra 3 tablets that are expected to hit the market in the next few months. However, the first of which (Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime) has a starting price of $499 which may be beyond your budget. Choose wisely!

Galaxy Nexus Now in Product Database, CPU Details Revealed — UK Availability on the 17th?

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The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced last month by Google and Samsung as the first phone to run the latest version of Android, 4.0 AKA Ice Cream Sandwich.

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While we knew of the large (4.65″) high resolution (1280×720) Super AMOLED display, the 5MP camera, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, and most of the other details, Samsung stayed oddly quite about any information regarding the CPU and GPU, giving us nothing more than “1.2GHz dual-core CPU”.

Thanks to the Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo, the beans have been spilled on the Galaxy Nexus’ CPU. The 1.2GHz dual-core CPU is indeed the Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 platform which also includes the PowerVR SGX540 GPU. TI claims that the PowerVR SGX540 has up to 2x better performance than the previous SGX530 GPU. OMAP 4460 also has support for 1080p encoding (capture) and decoding (playback) at 30 FPS. Samsung’s last Nexus phone, the Nexus S [review], didn’t even record 720p video. This time around, Samsung is taking full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.

You can see full official specifications at the Samsung Galaxy Nexus tracking page in our mobile device database.

Samsung UK has confirmed Galaxy Nexus availability for November 17th, but it seems that retailers aren’t so sure about that. Amazon UK has moved the shipping date for the Galaxy Nexus from the 17th of November back to December 2nd. Amazon UK currently lists the 16GB Samsung Galaxy Nexus unlocked for £519.99, which converts to a pricey $837 USD.

Most phones in the US aren’t bought off-contract, so when it comes to typical US pricing, Android Central has shown what appears to be a leaked Costco inventory screen which prices the Samsung Galaxy Nexus at $289. The phone is expected to be available across both AT&T and Verizon in HSPA+ and LTE flavors, respectively.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus Reviewed, Now on Sale Starting at $399

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 Plus has taken us on a serious roller coaster ride. A permutation of the device was announced almost a full year ago at CES 2011. This improved 4G-equipped Galaxy Tab 7 doesn’t seem like it will ever make it to market, but from its ashes rose the device that we now know as the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. Instead of a small bump in processor speed, an improved camera, and 4G LTE, Samsung ended up slapping in a dual-core CPU, Honeycomb 3.2 with Touch-Wiz, Bluetooth 3.0, and an IR blaster.

The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus starts at $399 for 16GB of storage, and naturally jumps to $499 for a 32GB version. You can actually buy the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus as of today from Amazon. Samsung has an official product page for the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, but it doesn’t seem to have the device for direct sale just yet. It seems that Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus as an economy version of the anticipated Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Whatever the case, there are a lot of happy original Galaxy Tab 7 owners that I know will be happy to trade up to the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus for the Honeycomb and processor improvements. As a bonus, the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus is only one of two Android tablets on the market that include an IR blaster which allows the tablet to be used as a smart remote. This also isn’t just new components stuffed into an old box. The Galaxy Tab 7 Plus has a redesigned chassis that’s thinner and more curvy than the original.

CNET has a detailed review of the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus that’s well worth a read. I’ll give you their synopsis, but please, go visit their full review if you’re interested in the Tab 7 Plus:

The good: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has a sleek design, a high-quality screen, and well-integrated smart remote-control functionality through the Peel app.

The bad: Peel [the remote app] has limited usefulness if you don’t have cable or satellite, and the tablet’s screen brightness is comparatively low.

The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is pretty and sleek, with well-implemented remote-control functionality, making it the best 7-inch Honeycomb tablet yet.

Yes, that’s right, they’re calling it the best 7″ Honeycomb tablet yet. That statement may change once the Galaxy Tab 7.7 hits the market, but for the time being, it sounds like they were quite impressed. Still, there is concern with Honeycomb — the reviewer experienced “freezing, crashing, and hanging frequently in multiple apps”. Unfortunately, this seems to be the state of Honeycomb at the moment; this isn’t an isolated incident.

Samsung Galaxy Note Tests (Very) Well

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Galaxy Note (4)

The Samsung Galaxy Note has been available for a while here in Europe so it made sense to get some more hands-on time with it. My first hands-on at IFA was done just minutes after it was announced and I have to admit, there were lots of key features I knew nothing about. The video hands-on was a bit of a mess!!

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This time I had 3 hours, an owner and a decent video camera for you!

Note: The street price in Europe is as low as €520 now (inclusive near 20% private sales tax) which is €180 less than the MRRP.

First-impressions were excellent. This is a class-leading Android 2.3 device with convergence, productivity and mobility at its heart, great battery life, a good camera, quality screen and, in my opinion, a good price. The Ice on the cake is of course the news that it will get Ice Cream Sandwich in 2012 (Q1) that will bring out the best of the dual-core CPU and add some key features that, by now, quite a few people will be missing in Android 2.3

Unfortunately, for the Honeycomb-experienced, version 2.3 of Android makes it appear a little dated and the speed isn’t what I would have expected with my 1yr old Galaxy Tab not far behind in the browsing tests we did but I suppose we shouldn’t really be comparing against a 7” device because if you want convergence at 5” this is probably the best choice on the market.

I have a personal problem with convergent devices in that, especially when they are this fast, you tend to use them too much and find yourself struggling with 15% or less battery life in the final part of the day. Forget to charge it overnight and you’ve lost your phone and tablet for the morning hours. But that’s just me.

I had a very long chat with the owner, Nils (@thunderstrom99 on Twitter) and took a lot of notes. Firstly I want to tell you about the screen. It uses a PenTile Matrix screen which screen afficionados will know as a sub-optimal technology. OK, when you take a macro picture and zoom-in, you can see the effect…

PenTile on Note

 

The sub-pixel smoothing (and anti-aliasing I guess) results in some harsh jaggies. Here’s the Galaxy Tab…

Galaxy Tab screen

Less jaggies.

But it’s a non-issue for most people because those two images are blown-up to the same size. In reality, the Note has a higher pixel density and you simply can’t see this effect unless you’re tuned-in with near-perfect vision. As someone that can detect out-of-phase stereo speakers by ear, yes, I know there are some people out there that will have a major issue with this but the reality for most people, including myself, is more like this:

Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Note Screens

 

Click the image to see the original. On the right is, to my eye, a better reading experience. That’s the Note. [The PenTile screen tends to have some strange hues when viewed off-center. See more images in the gallery]

Outdoors the brightness is nothing to write home about but the viewing angles and glass clarity are better than my Galaxy Tab. It’s good enough.

One thing I instantly noticed was the ability to use the device one-handed. It’s not perfect – a little unstable reaching over for the menu button or top left (for right-handers) but it’s possible to, carefully, do most things. I didn’t try swype but I suspect it would work OK with the thumb – an important mobility advantage over tablets.

I took a fairly detailed look at the battery graph and asked Nils what he was getting in terms of real-world usage. It looks like a full 8hrs heavy use is possible which would equate to a standard days use of 10-15 hours in my opinion. As a phone, it’s not ideal. As a tablet, not bad at all. You have to decide how that fits your usage scenario.

On to performance. Android 2.3 isn’t going to return the best dual-core performance figures and a Sunspider test result of 3238 (Galaxy Tab with 2.3.5 = 7450) isn’t as good as I’d expect. A real-world browsing test showed a slight speed improvement over the Galaxy Tab but nothing really significant. You’ll see it in the video below.

One point of note here though is that the Note is quite capable of some heavy multitasking and loading without it impacting the fluidity of the experience. 1GB of RAM and faster CPU cores mean there’s more overhead.

It’s interesting to know how Nils is using the Note. I’ve been in contact with him for about a year after he made enquiries about a UMPC. It turns out that the Note is satisfying all his requirements and he’s got no desire for a ultra mobile PC now. In some situations, he’s doing more on his Galaxy Note than he would be on a UMPC. He’s using it at University for note-taking in an interesting way. He says he cant ‘write’ notes about his physics lectures because it makes more sense to take a picture and annotate it. He showed me a few graphs and diagrams on a whiteboard. Yup, that makes sense!

A chat with a a Galaxy Note owner

I took the chance to record 10 minutes of Q&A with Nils. Here’s the result….

Keyboard

Is the on-screen keyboard good? Yes. We did a little speed test between the Galaxy Tab and the Galaxy Note. We swapped devices and did the same test. We were better on our own keyboards but the difference was minimal indicating that the Note could be used for some portrait-mode typing. For a bigger typing experience, obviously the Note can be held in landscape mose and still used successfully. That’s something you can’t do on a 7”er although you’ll lose masses of screen real-estate in the mode. As the Note is only 180gm, it’s almost unnoticeable in portrait mode too.

The Pen, Annotations and Handwriting Recognition

You’ll see the pen being used for annotation and handwriting input in the video below. Although I don’t think it has the level of pen integration that the HTC Flyer has, because the pen is stowed, it’s probably more useful. Annotating an image or screenshot is easy and fun. I’m sure you can add ‘send to PDF’ via a third party app or share. See the video below though for more on the pen, touch, multitouch and gestures. I think you’ll like it.

A few other notes

  • Sound quality: OK
  • Gestures for mute and screenshot: Useful
  • Minute amounts of color banding noticed in a video: Potentially annoying for video purists
  • Plastic back – Feels cheap but it’s grippy
  • Photography – Fast, good touch-focus and quality is acceptable. [Sample photo + Exif here.]
  • MHL port for MicroUSB cable provides charging and HDMI out. Excellent choice. HDMI cable is about €12 apparently.
  • Swipe across top to brighten/dim the backlight

Video

Summary

What an excellent bit of kit the Samsung Galaxy Note is and it’s the best converged phone/mid/tablet that I’ve ever tested. When Ice Cream Sandwich comes along, it gets even better! I wasn’t a big fan of converged phone/tablet products before this hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note and although I still think it’s risky (and battery-draining) to put all your eggs in one basket, I’d certainly be happy to take a Galaxy Note and to hand over my Nokia N8 and Galaxy Tab. I’d miss the N8’s camera for sure and wouldn’t find the Note as comfortable to type on, but I think I’d get over it, especially as I’d be getting a phone and a tablet for around €520

The model tested here is the Samsung GT-N7000

Full specifications in the database along with links to other reviews, articles and our full Gallery.

Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 to be Available for US Purchase from Expansys

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Samsung Galaxy Note

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The curious case of the Samsung Galaxy Note, and it’s larger sibling, the Galaxy Tab 7.7, is one that we’ve been following closely. These two awesome devices were announced to great enthusiasm a few months back at IFA, but their official launch dates were left unspecified. Although I was put off by the Samsung Galaxy Note inititally, I must say that the idea of a pocketable device with accurate digital ink input is rather appealing, even if it wouldn’t work so well in one hand. The real issue, however, is how do we get our hands on one?

At the moment, the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 go completely without mention on Samsung’s US site. Back during IFA, GottaBeMobile reported some dubious news from Samsung — that the company had “no plans” for a US launch of these devices. Some have interpreted this to mean that Samsung didn’t yet have specifics nailed down for the region, and others think Samsung is saying outright that they won’t be launching in the US. Whatever the case, it’s clear that they are taking a regional approach to distribution of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

In the US, it doesn’t seem like the Samsung Galaxy Note, or the Galaxy Tab 7.7, will be launching — not immediately anyway. I’ve got a good feeling that Samsung knows that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 would be good in the US, after all, the original Galaxy Tab is considered to be one of the best selling Android tablets to date, and it was widely available in the US. As for the Galaxy Note, it would seem as though Samsung doesn’t want to push it into the region so soon after they made a big deal about the Galaxy S II which has recently become available across all major US carriers. There’s also the Apple patent cases to consider.

While we can’t be sure that it’s any indication of availability, a brief survey of some of Samsung’s regional sites shows that the device is at least sufficiently featured on their Germany, Finland, Netherlands, and Denmark sites.

For those of us in the US, we’ll need to rely on importers until Samsung decides that it’s time to bring the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab 7.7 to the US for an official launch.

Tech importer Expansys has both devices available for pre-order, but neither are likely to be cheap enough for anyone but extreme early-adopters and ultra-niche users. The Galaxy Note is currently listed by Expansys at a steep $945. Expansys has not yet announced a price for the Galaxy Tab 7.7, but is accepting pre-orders.

I’m hoping to see these prices come down some by the time they are actually shipping imported and unlocked units to US customers, but without official sales channels (and thus carrier subsidies), it’s going to be hard to push the prices down on these bits of top-end hardware.

A quick search for some other imports reveals cheaper prices, however, you should always do your research before buying an import!

Are you willing to pay premium import prices for either of these devices, or are you holding out hope that they’ll be released in the US with reasonable pricing and timing? Let us know in the comments!