Samsung Galaxy Note – Phone, Tablet, or Worthless Piece of Junk?

Mobile phones started out resembling bricks. They were monsters, with the internal components necessary to make them work taking up so much space as to make early examples look ludicrous in hindsight. And then they shrank until the smaller they became, the better they were supposed to be.

But that trend has now reversed, as we’re all doing much more than just phoning and texting on our mobile devices. Some of us are living our lives through these things, and that trend is only going to increase as smartphones are effectively able to do everything we would ever want them to do.

With that in mind it’s time to welcome the Samsung Galaxy Note onto the stage.

Samsung Galaxy Note

The Samsung Galaxy Note is a smartphone/tablet based on the Android operating system. It’s powered by a 1.4Ghz, dual-core processor, boasts 1Gb of RAM, has up to 32Gb of memory, and two cameras; 8MP at the rear, 2MP at the front. And it looks fantastic.

The one problem is the 5.3-inch screen size, which means even the product itself is confused as to whether it’s a phone or a tablet. Perhaps it’s just a worthless piece of junk instead.

As A Phone…

The Samsung Galaxy Note works as a phone, barely. It has all the necessary internal gubbins, naturally, but whether you’d actually feel comfortable holding it up to your ear to take or make a phone call I’m not so sure. I’d advise Galaxy Note owner to get used to wearing a Bluetooth headset very quickly.

The sheer size of this thing makes it look unlike any phone you have ever seen in your life. The screen size is huge compared to anything that has gone before. Bear in mind that the iPhone has a 3.5-inch screen and the Galaxy S2 a 4.3-inch screen. These are both dwarfed by the Galaxy Note. With the screen measured diagonally the difference is wider than you’ll ever imagine.

As A Tablet…

The Samsung Galaxy Note works as a tablet, barely. It has been created as a kind of hybrid phone/tablet, or phablet. It comes with its own special stylus, which actually goes against the grain of using nothing but your fingers to type, dial, and write on your mobile device of choice.

Is 5.3 inches a big enough screen size for a tablet? I’m not convinced. Remember that the iPad has a 9.7-inch screen, and even cheap Android slates such as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet boast 7-inch screens. You’ll struggle to use the Galaxy Note as a tablet, and it certainly won’t be a comfortable proposition.


Personally speaking I’d rather own a smartphone with a decent-sized screen which handles phone calls really well and everything else adequately. Plus a 7-inch to 10-inch tablet which handles everything else apart from phone calls really well. And I suspect I’m far from alone on this.

The Samsung Galaxy Note isn’t a bad product at all. In fact its specs are pretty damn awesome; certainly for a smartphone, and even for a budget tablet. The problem is it’s trying to be two things at once, and struggling to be either.

It cannot therefore be branded a phone, a tablet, or a worthless piece of junk. It’s none of the above and yet all three at the same time. So I guess it wins the battle in terms of multi-tasking at the very least, just not in the way Samsung must have envisioned.

Image Credits: Retinafunk, Stuart Fleming



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9 responses to “Samsung Galaxy Note – Phone, Tablet, or Worthless Piece of Junk?”

  1. Sophronis Mantoles Avatar
    Sophronis Mantoles

    Nice Article dude.  I agree with you.  A phone has to be a phone first of all and handle everything else adequately.  Maybe this is another technology experiment.  Who knows will wait and see what happens.

    1. Dave Parrack Avatar

      Thanks, Sophronis. It’s definitely experimental. I wouldn’t buy one personally but if it does well enough I suspect Samsung will keep the line going for a while.

  2. Jiří Herník Avatar

    I use an android phone and windows laptop, I usually travel with both. I cannot find any suitable reason why to buy a tablet…  And I really tried to find one 🙂

    1. Dave Parrack Avatar

      That’s the problem. There are very few people who can claim to NEED a tablet. They’re a desirable purchase but hardly a necessity.

  3. Tim Brookes Avatar

    I saw someone using one the other day and I must say I did laugh out loud.

    My advice: If you’re going to buy a terribleAndroidphone at least buy a terribleAndroidphone that won’t make you look ridiculous doing just about anything on it. Nice article Dave.

    1. Dave Parrack Avatar

      Thanks, Tim 🙂 I have yet to see someone using one… I’m awaiting my opportunity to guffaw in their face.

      Not all Android phones are terrible though, OK!!! 😉

      1. Tim Brookes Avatar

        I’m going to have to trust you on that one 😉

        But yeah, they’re absolutely massive in terms of phone-size. I’ve still only seen one, and that’s in a city of about 5 million people (Melbourne) so I don’t think they’re quite selling like hot cakes.

        1. Dave Parrack Avatar

          I think you’re right. We’ll soon see if Samsung carries on with the product line or not later this year. My brother has bought one but I haven’t seen him since to laugh at him for doing so!

          Pfft, get hold of an S2 and tell me you aren’t impressed.

  4. Podiz Avatar

    You got it quiet wrong. The phone or tablet or phablet what you call it, is quiet handy and packs utility value on the move especially with the wonderful customized integration of S-pen. That the Note has sold more than 2 million units in 4 months, clearly proves there is a market and people who appreciate it. Definitely am one among the numbers. Yes, initially you find it bit ackward but as you start using the value and functionaitly of the Note outwits any drawbacks it has.

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