The Note manages to combine the best features of tablet and smartphone. This Android device boasts a brilliant Super Amoled HD screen, an impressive range of apps and a useful stylus.
Brilliant Super Amoled HD screen, HSPA+ support, S Pen is useful, Adobe Flash support, great camera
Might be too big for some, ICS update depends on Samsung, expensive SIM-free price
Free from £41 per month or £560 SIM-free
Processor: 1.4GHz dual-core
Display: 5.3in Super Amoled HD with 800x1280 resolution
Storage: 16GB/32GB internal + micro SD card support
Camera: 8-megapixel rear-facing with LED Flash and 2-megapixel front-facing
Operating system:Android 2.3 Gingerbread with upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich confirmed
Samsung has gone all out in the mobile device market, releasing a seemingly endless list of products in an attempt to become the dominant player. The Korean firm's latest model comes in the form of the Galaxy Note, a hybrid handset that aims to mash together the best features of a tablet and a smartphone.
When you take it out of the box, the first thing that hits you is its size; the Note looks enormous – think a larger version of the highly popular Samsung Galaxy S II. The 5.3in display dominates its rather minimalistic design. There is just one home button on the front that is flanked by touch sensitive menu and back buttons that light up when tapped.
The device, which measures 147 x 83 x 9.65mm, just about fits in the palm of your hand, and should be able to squeeze into most trouser and jacket pockets. In terms of weight, the Note tips the scales at 178g.
This might seem heavy compared with other devices but the flat-back design means the weight is distributed evenly, and it doesn't feel bulky.
The Note is closer in size and weight to a smartphone than a tablet, weighing 18g heavier than the HTC Titan with its 4.7in screen, whereas 7in tablets usually tip the scales at around 400g.
Samsung's new model has a solid gun-metal grey frame that gives it a solid feel. A 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top edge and on the base there is a micro-USB port and a slot to slide the stylus into. Like most other high-end Samsung devices, the Note has an ultra-slim plastic cover on the back, which feels a little fragile when you snap it off.
Display: Giant Super Amoled screen gives the best of both worlds
Samsung's Super Amoled screens have been very impressive, with devices such as the Galaxy S II giving the Retina display on the iPhone 4S a run for its money. The Note goes one step further, with its Super Amoled HD display boasting a resolution of 1280x800, which is something usually only found on Android tablets double the size such as the Motorola Xoom 2 or Samsung Galaxy 10.1.
On paper, the 3.5in screen on the iPhone 4S has a higher pixel density of 330ppi compared with 285ppi on the Note. However, higher density does not give Apple's device too much of a visible advantage, and the Note is close to 2in bigger, so we prefer it.
The colours really jump out at you, and we found the device to be the best pocket-sized device we have used for browsing the web and watching videos. Content appears very well proportioned and extremely clear so even the busiest home pages are displayed well. It is great for the daily commute and will meet a variety of needs.