Tech Fondle: Galaxy Note Phone, Again

All photos taken yesterday Thursday, April 12, 2012. Resampled and resized to VGA; click any to enlarge.

On my way back, I was passing another AT&T store, so I thought, why not? Let’s see if I can get some more time on a Samsung Galaxy Note again.

I could and did:

Unlike the first AT&T store, this one was jumping and the staff didn’t have the demeanor of being under siege by potential terroristic shoplifters (or seeping contagious boredom).

The greeting staff member made his obligatory pitch for the new Lumia, but I said I wanted to try the Galaxy Note.

On this Note, I was able to take some time to actually look at what apps it had. I wanted to try an eBook. I spied the oddly-named “Play Books” app. It turns out that’s an abbreviation for “Google Play eBooks.”

And here it is:

Again, ignore the moiré-like artifacts from the camera sensor.

The text was sharp and gorgeous but the damn Play app was a problem. These eBooks reside in the Cloud, not on the device. But even that is no excuse for the shortcoming of the app: There was no way to resize the text! I looked everywhere possible in the app and could find nothing that would adjust text size, margin size, line spacing, the typeface itself (even something basic like Serif versus San Serif), or even switch from black-on-white to white-on-black (night mode). You got the eBook and that’s it.

Even the icon for the Play Books app is weird. See it second from left in fourth row:

It’s just a generic blue book, with no indication whatsoever that this is a Google Play app with, you know, something that looks like the Play logo design — or at least has its trademark colors!

The back of the Note:

It has a textured surface that feels OK. No part of this device feels cheap or flimsy.

And the camera focus failed me again:

The Note is wickedly-thin. Look:

Palm LifeDrive: 4.76″ x 2.87″ x 0.74 – 6.7 oz
Galaxy Note: 5.8″ x 3.3″ x 0.4″ – 6.4 oz

The weight spec isn’t that much different, but it feels far lighter in my hand because of the larger surface area. My LifeDrive feels like a heavy and dense brick. And although the thickness measurement puts it little over half of my LifeDrive, by sight and in my hand it feels like one-third as thick.

This is a spectacular device and I’m not surprised that Samsung has sold five million of it in such a short time. It’s the first phone out there that goes its own way and doesn’t try to mimic the iPhone (the second phone to do that is now the Nokia Lumia, but I don’t think anyone cares — nor should they!).

I don’t know if Apple would ever go so far as to create an iPhone with a five-inch screen. But I’ll say that they really should do that with the next generation of iPod Touch.

The only thing lacking in both of my Note fondles was the stylus. Both had empty silos and I didn’t bother to ask the staff about it. Next time I’ll have to ask because I need to feel it in my hand and try it on that screen.

And that concludes yesterday’s massive Tech Fondle Safari. I skipped going to the Apple Store to re-try my earlier PDF tests and also skipped Best Buy to see what was happening over there. Another time for those.

Prior posts in this series:

Part One:
• Motorola Xyboard
• Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
• Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Part Two:
• Samsung Galaxy Note (one of two)
• Nokia Lumia 900

Part Three:
• Coby 9.7″ Android 4.0 tablet
• Archos 8″ Android tablet

Part Four:
• Barnes & Noble odd happenings

Part Five:
• New iPad ad campaign
• Nokia Lumia ad campaign

2 Comments

Filed under Android

2 responses to “Tech Fondle: Galaxy Note Phone, Again

  1. Pingback: The Digital Reader - The Best News and Info on eReaders and Tablets

  2. Tyler

    I have the phone. Its great except for battery life.

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