Samsung Galaxy Note Review: Size Does Matter

The Samsung Galaxy Note is of particular interest for three reasons: it has a ginormous screen, it's designed to be used with a stylus, and it sits in a category of devices that has seen more than its fair share of failures. It may sound like a niche product on paper, but Samsung designed the Galaxy Note for the masses, and it's already moved a ton of them. It turns out there's a lot to like about the Galaxy Note, and it all starts with the shamelessly large screen.

Why It Matters

The Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) is Samsung's attempt to fill what it thinks is a 5.3-inch hole in the market that consumers don't realise exists. The world's largest smartphone maker has created an unconventional stylus-wielding device that aims to replace all your single-purpose gadgets and become "the ultimate on-the-go device". In this respect, the Galaxy Note does a fine job, but it's very much a smartphone first and a tablet second.

After admitting that it wasn't doing well in the iPad-dominant tablet market, Samsung appears to be hedging its bets with the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note and a 10.1-inch Galaxy Note tablet. The news has been good so far: Samsung shipped two million Galaxy Note devices in six months and plans to sell 10 million units by the end of the year. That's nowhere near iPhone numbers, but it's doing better than expected considering the Galaxy Note's unusual proposition as a hybrid device that's neither this nor that.

Mobicity and Kogan have been selling direct imports since late last year, but the Galaxy Note was only officially launched in Australia with Samsung's blessing two weeks ago. Optus and Vodafone were first off the block, although Telstra will have the advantage with its HSPA+ dual-channel tech once it gets the go-ahead to sell the Galaxy Note in April.

This category of 5-inch devices is yet to tell a success story — the Dell Streak 5 bit the dust less than a year after it was released, and the LG Optimus Vu has been relegated to the South Korean market. What can Samsung do that the others couldn't?

What We Like

First of all, it's enormous. The Galaxy Nexus, which we thought was a big phone, is positively dwarfed by the Galaxy Note. It's by far the biggest smartphone I've ever used. But it's not so much the size of the device itself that gets us excited — it's the size of the screen. The Galaxy Note boasts a giant 5.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels at 285 pixels per inch. Sure, it's no retina display, but it will seduce you in a similar way.

Technically, it's a PenTile display. I'm not usually a fan of this cost-cutting subpixel arrangement, but the resolution and pixel density is high enough that my eyes can't tell the difference. Teeny tiny text renders clearly, images are bright and well saturated, and there's not a hint of dimness in the display. Samsung's included a setting in the Galaxy Note to change the saturation level (dynamic, standard and movie), but I'm very happy with the default colours I see on the screen.

The larger screen means you can see more on the screen in one go, which in turn means you have less scrolling to do. You spend less time hitting the back key on the on-screen keyboard because it's covering something, and reading long documents of text becomes easier on the eyes.

The capacitive touchscreen is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, which is not to be overlooked on a phone that's too big for the jeans pocket and likely to end up in the handbag with the keys.

Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy Note has a plastic body that makes it look like an oversized Galaxy S II, but it has plenty of other things going for it to justify its premium price tag. And it's not altogether a disappointment since it offers the kind of durability that will ensure its survival through minor bumps, unlike another certain phone.

The Galaxy Note's slate form factor weighs in at 178g, which feels heavy in your pocket but light in your hand. In terms of hardware buttons, there's the home button sitting as expected underneath the screen, the power button is up on the right-hand side, and the volume buttons are positioned high — perhaps a bit too high — up on the left-hand side. If we had anything to grumble about here, it'd be the lack of consistency when it comes to positioning volume and power buttons on Android smartphones. But that's not the Galaxy Note's problem to deal with alone. There's a headphone jack on top, a microUSB port on the bottom for charging, and the S-Pen fits neatly into the underside of the phone, out of the way, minding its own business. It's integrated so well into the chassis, you'll miss it if you're not looking for it.

Photo taken with Galaxy Note, vintage filter applied.

The back is taken up almost entirely by the battery cover, which is subtly textured for a better grip and understated look and feel. The rear camera that sits up the top shares the same specs as the camera on the Galaxy S II, taking superb 8MP photos and 1080p video that rival the performance of my Canon point-and-shoot. The camera software lets you adjust exposure, set a timer, apply effects, change resolution and ISO, enable anti-shake and blink detection, plus there's a panorama shooting mode that performs better than any panorama app I've tried in the Google Play store, both paid and free.

There's also a 2MP front camera for half decent self portraits and video chat images — a nice change from the crappy VGA secondary cameras that we've learnt to make do with over the years.

The Galaxy Note comes packed with a relatively large 2500mAh li-ion battery, and it's yet to completely die on me from a flat battery, even with all my constantly updating widgets, push notifications and compulsive social networking. It's not the biggest battery to be ever put in a smartphone, but it's big enough for a full day's worth of work and then some. On the days when I only use the phone intermittently, I won't even bother charging it overnight; instead I'll connect it to my computer via USB when I wake up for a quick top up. I've even gone ahead and adjusted the menu and back button light duration to 'always on' — it turns off after 1.5 seconds by default and you end up blindly stabbing at where you think those buttons are positioned. Most days, however, the battery will get down to about 25 per cent and demand to be plugged in.

I have noticed that the battery depletes faster when I'm using the S Pen to draw and muck around with the S Memo app, but that's probably a combination of the CPU working overtime to render my random drawings, convert my handwriting to text, and having the display on continually while I'm doing all the above.

If I had to pick one thing that makes the Galaxy Note stand out — aside from the ginomous screen — it would be all the different combinations of shortcuts and gestures you can use to improve your workflow. There's an unavoidable learning curve in mastering all the little tricks and tips, but it's pretty cool once you get the hang of it. Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 skin plays a big part, and the Galaxy Note is probably one of only a few cases where I'm willing to agree that the OEM's custom UI enhancements benefit the user.

There are heaps of shortcuts and gesture-activated controls you use, whether you're using the stylus or your fingers. There are shortcuts to system settings in the pull-down notification menu, and being able to zip through the different home screens by holding down the indicators above the dock is more efficient when you're accidentally tapping on widgets as you're trying to swipe past them. You can also swipe left and right on contacts to call and send text messages, there are three different ways you can take a screenshot and much, much more. TouchWiz 4.0 also introduces motion-activated shortcuts that let you tilt to zoom and pan to edit. It's definitely worth your while making note of all the different tips and tutorials that pop up on the Galaxy Note along the way.

TouchWiz isn't perfect, though. Not being able to move the home button from its fixed position on the right-hand side of the dock is presumptuous, and I'm confused as to why the application menu's Grid View is not sorted alphabetically.

The Galaxy Note lets you choose between the default Samsung keypad (with optional XT9 predictive text) or the popular Swype. The default keyboard makes the most of the extra screen real estate and adds the numbers 0-9 above the keyboard. You can even optimise it for one-handed operation, but it's only worth it if you have big hands to begin with, since it just shrinks the keyboard's width by one-sixth. Hardly enough to make a difference.

S Memo is the Galaxy Note's flagship app and this is where the S Pen's purpose becomes apparent. Its range of functions and customisation is impressive: you can add images from the gallery or by taking a photo, add clip art, paste items from the clipboard or even insert a map. There's a range of different backgrounds you can choose for your notes. You can add a voice note to any memo, lock the note, share it, export it, print it, add tags, link notes to your calendar, or set it as wallpaper or widget. You can type text into notes using the on-screen keyboard, draw using a variety of writing implements, including ballpoint pen, market, paintbrush or pencil, in any colour and width.

Pressing the button on the S Pen and tapping twice on the screen pulls up S Memo lite for instant note-taking. Pressing down harder with the S Pen causes it to draw a stronger line, just like it would if you were using a real pen. You can shade drawings by pressing lightly with the pencil tool.

Samsung says you can annotate websites and PDFs, but short of installing third-party apps, the only way we could get this to happen is by taking a screenshot and then using the built-in editing tools. We suggest you download Soonr Scribble, optimised for the Galaxy Note, to annotate other documents, like spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides.

The Galaxy Note comes pre-loaded with Polaris Office and a game called Crayon Physics Deluxe, but Samsung's app store is worth checking out for apps and games optimised for the Galaxy Note. The apps that you see in the ads for the Galaxy Note needed to be downloaded from the Samsung app store, like Zen Brush, OmniSketch and iAnnotate PDF. Some are free, some are freemium, and some will ask for a few bucks up front.

If you're on a PC, you can use Kies to transfer files from the Galaxy Note to your computer. There is a beta version of Kies for Mac, but at this stage it doesn't appear to support the Galaxy Note.

What We Don't Like

The Galaxy Note is not 4G enabled in Australia, which is a shame since it would have made for a truly compelling buy given the device's modus operandi. The next best thing would be to use the Galaxy Note with a Telstra SIM so you get dual-channel HSPA+ connectivity — a slightly faster version of 3G on the Telstra network.

It also only ships with Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread). Samsung said that Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy Note, which will include native stylus support, has been pushed back to Q2, and the update is expected to include a 'Premium Suite' that will bring new productivity apps and upgrades to the existing S Memo app.

The sheer size of the device will turn off a lot of people. It's over an inch wider and longer than the iPhone 4 (but only 0.4mm thicker). And once you make the commitment to the Galaxy Note's 5.3-inch screen, going back to a something smaller for whatever reason will probably leave you feeling dissatisfied.

Using the Galaxy Note one-handed was intolerably awkward in my lady hands, but it was the perfect size for using with two hands since each of my thumbs only reaches about halfway across the screen comfortably. And if you like to put your phone in your back pocket, it's not a good idea with the Galaxy Note — in my jeans it only just fits width-wise and sticks out over the top of the pocket prominently.

Handwriting on the Galaxy Note, whether you're using your finger or the S Pen, can be a disappointing experience. My handwriting is more neat when I'm using my finger, not the stylus; it's too thin and short to use comfortably. And there's nothing that the S Pen can do that your finger can't. Fitting more than a couple of words on one line isn't easy, and writing legibly takes practice. Handwriting recognition is nice and quick, but it gets it wrong most of the time, so you just end up not bothering with it at all. It also won't work if you try to convert something you've handwritten in landscape mode. It's really one of those things that sound cool in theory but doesn't translate well in real life.

The dual-core 1.4GHz processor lags occasionally, but it's consistent in where it happens. The built-in video editor loves to crash, the 3D gallery can get jerky, and sometimes it will take a couple of goes for it to register your swipes when trying to unlock the phone. But every device suffers hangups, and these ones aren't so bad all things considered.

What I'm really shaking my head at is the Galaxy Note's weird 5x5 home screen layout, thanks to the wide screen aspect ratio. There are some widgets that won't fit to the width of the screen, unless you install a third-party launcher, and to me that's a big oversight on Samsung's part. Y U NO FIT?!

Should You Buy It?

The Galaxy Note is a great smartphone by itself, even if you don't use the stylus, but the screen is just a little bit too small to call it a worthy tablet replacement.

The kind of people who will benefit most from the Galaxy Note are creative types who draw as part of their day-to-day workflow and aren't afraid to use a stylus. S-Pen functionality is well-integrated into apps like the S Memo, but you can do everything using just your fingers as well.

We strongly recommend that you have a play with the phone before purchasing one. If you're in Melbourne, you can get some hands-on time at the new Vodafone store on the corner of Bourke and Swanston St, or ask staff at any Optus or Vodafone store.

If it turns out you are willing to take on the challenges of learning how to use the Galaxy Note and its S Pen, then you're in for a rewarding and productive experience, not to mention a smartphone that gives you functionality like no other smartphone out there.

You can pick up one of these babies from Mobicity for $649, Kogan for $539, or Optus and Vodafone on $79 caps. But it may be worth waiting until Telstra puts it up for sale in April if you want dual-channel HSPA+ connectivity. Or you could buy one outright and bring your own prepaid Telstra SIM.

Specs

OS: Android 2.3.5 (Android 4.0 expected Q2) Screen: 5.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen (1280x800) Processor: 1.4GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 RAM: 1GB Storage: 16GB internal (up to 32GB microSD) Dimensions: 146.9mm x 83mm x 9.7mm Camera: 8MP rear (1080p HD video), 2MP front Battery: 2500mAh Weight: 178g


Comments

    The difference in the treatment of this by Giz AU and Giz US is stark - Giz US - "lol, look at this huge thing, its not the same size as Apple's devices at all, plus a stylus rofl" v Giz AU "here are the good things, here are the bad things".

      Did Jesus Diaz write the Giz US review?

        At this point, it's a given that any Mat Honen or Sam Biddle 'review' will be coloured in pretty much the same way as Jesus Diaz's.

      Indeed, Elly has gotta be one of the best AU editors too <3

    I think these things will go gangbusters. I've already seen several out in the wild, something I cannot say about WinPhone7 - 18 months after its release, I've only ever seen one other person with a WP7 phone and it turned out he works for MS and it was provided by work.

      haha yeah WP7's market penetration has been pretty pathetic. *sigh*

      Galaxy Note is a wicked machine. My sister is looking to upgrade to one from her SGS.

        I don`t know. You can get the phone with 32 gb and then buy another 32Gb which will give you 64 gig.I have never seen a 64 gb micro Sd card, but maybe there is one. Why not go check aounrd yourself?

      I had a couple friends with WP7 phones at launch, one knew what he was getting into. The other was a civilian, who brought the phone to me, asking how I could get all the apps he saw people use on their iOS/Android phones on it.. then I had to give him the bad news. He's now on an iPhone 4 contract.

      All the Ops Guys who have 'on call' support phones now have wp7 phones. The UI is really pretty and the phones work quite well. but one simple thing has them all up in arms. There's no customising any ring / alert tones. They need these phones to go off loud and annoying when an alert comes in and there just isn't any way to get any tones other than the stock 10 pissy ones. When contacting the manufacturer they got the reply that "yeah, sorry, that hasn't been implemented yet. If you find a work around can you let us know". nice one.

        @ Mr Kips
        The ability to customise Ring tones was made available to all WP7 device last year with the Mango update. Tone Alerts are still ordinary (unless you buy a Nokia device which has Nokia custom alerts as well as the MS ones). Custom tone alerts are coming with the next major WP7 update. In my house we have 5 WP7 devices, and yes it is annoying, but the OS is so smooth and easy to use that no one really minds. It took Apple about 5 years to get custom alerts on the iPhone - it won't take MS that long :)

    i love my gnote :) Got it from kogan! been using it for a week and makes all other screen look so tiny (even my old GS2) Either way, this is future proof (even without ICS) for me.

      Jayzorz,
      I would love to know if the Note from Kogan works well with the Telstra network. I am always very happy with the way the SGS2 is super zippy on that network.

        I bought my Note from Kogan and run my works paid for Telstra sim. no problems at all and it downloads much faster than my old HTC. The Note fits fine into my shirt pocket or my suit trouser pocket.

        Best handset I have ever used!

    I think the most interesting thing was that you said you're more likely to throw it into your purse rather than your pocket. One of the things I like about my iPhone is that it sits paralell with my wallet so I don't get a strange bulge on the side if my pants (jokes aside).

    Is it practical to be a day to day, shove in your pants phone?

      As long as your pockets are big enough and sit tight on your hips.

        That's what cargo pants are for!!

          Motormouth just because you lack style does not mean the rest of us need to be punished by wearing cargo pants.

      I wear size 34 jeans and it fits in your jeans easily and is actually lighter than my work iphone 4s, love the Galaxy Note, had it since xmas

        Not lighter, but far less dense, so that it feels light. It is 28% heavier (42g) than a 4s, but is 80% larger in volume.

        I sometimes have to check that I have it in my pocket, it feels so light.

    I've had my galaxy note for 4 months or so now, and I can say its the best phone I've had (and I've had way too many haha). Battery life is amazing for a smartphone (usually lasts a day and a half of proper use), the s-pen is a nice addition, although I don't use it that regularly, and the screen is amazing.

    Also, be aware that the screen actually IS considered a retina display! It is not as high pixel density as the iphone, but it has a HIGHER pixel density than the ipad3, and they called the ipad3 a retina display. Therefore the note has a retina display screen ;p

    "Apple now changed (updated?) the definition of their "Retina Display" term to some viewing distance / ppi equation, that they seems to be able to pretend has meaning scientifically (I am a researcher in vision and tech, so I hate to see marketing just crap on science). Can't Apple just stick with size/res at ppi like everyone else. Or maybe science (hence us geeks) should be able to use the term for anything that fits Apple's now new pseudo equation -- Hmm doing the 'math' it looks like the Samsung Galaxy Note would generally fit in the wishy washy definition of retina display:

    iPhone 4s: 3.5-inch 960 x 640 pixels, 326 ppi
    Galaxy Note: 5.3-inch 800 x 1280 pixels, 285 ppi
    New iPad: 9.7-inch 2048 x 1536 pixel, 264 ppi"
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1540738

    Its also worth noting that its possible to get it for around $550 AUD at the moment from overseas which makes it an insanely cheap phone, considering it has some of (if not THE) best specs of any phone out at the moment...

      It also fits in my jean pockets with no worries...

      Or we could just stop using the term "retina display" altogether since, as you explained, it's pretty meaningless.

      'Retina Display' is just a brand name. It's just a meaningless term Apple used to market their screens, in the same way 'Facetime' is just a brand of Video-calling. The '300 ppi+' number is a completely arbitrary, wholesome round number that's completely fictitious since it doesn't take into account eyesight, differing display technologies etc.

      1. Can someone please email me and tell me if the NOTE or any of these hand held devices will allow you to name picture files and then sort and search for a file name. It needs to be able to search for other file types also. In other words something similar to the Finder feature on a MacBook. I am confused why this has not only been omitted but excluded purposely.

      2. These "devices" could be so useful if they were extensions of a laptop... as in a second screen,,,, a compatible processing for a second running program etc..... Instead,, please correct me if I am wrong,, these are basically one tune input devices. Much like an 8088 processor (yes I know you were not born then, but look it up). I use an itouch for input and then have to go through contortions to use the information on my laptop. Am I being silly or realistic?

    Elly - While I appreciate that the Galaxy Note is intolerably awkward in your "lady hands" - I'm rather more concerned that you appear to only have 3 fingers...

    Perhaps the Note is far less awkward for those with a full suite of digits...

    ... Just sayin'

      Hilarious. They're all there, I promise.

        All I thought when seeing the photo was "My my, what big hands you have" :D

      interesting... the note is big enough to obstruct a finger from holding it. i guess the 5.form definitely a two handed device. do you see a lot of slippage happening when you try to single-handedly use it?

        No, not really. I've yet to drop it. It's just hard to get around the screen with the one thumb when it only reaches halfway across the radius of the screen.

      I counted 4. She must have chewed one off. Haha, I kid. Okay back to programming... thanks for the laughs, needed that!

    I recently got a LG Optimus 7 Windows Phone for $180 outright and it has since exceeded all my expectations considering I hadn't seen a single one in the wild before mine. A couple of friends and family have all bought the same phone after being so impressed....

      haha yeah, I see those on "daily deals" sites for even cheaper, and pimp 'em like crazy. WP7 needs moar love!

    My whole family has Gnotes and we love it. Parents love it for the screens. I love it for the apps
    and my brother loves it for the simple fact that his "private videos he watches are so big

    I think id prefer the Galaxy S2 4G. Faster connectivity, faster processor. Big phone but not super big.

      that's where you'd be wrong.

      the 4g uses a 1.5ghz SNAPDRAGON processor which is slower than the Exynos even at 1.2ghz on the original Galaxy S 2.

      The Note N7000 (non LTE) uses a 1.4ghz Exynos which is faster than the Snapdragon

    Love the first photo. Makes the phone look even bigger than it actually is against the iphone. Nice angle.

    Dell called, they want their form factor back. The only real difference between this and the Streak is a stylus and we all know that a stylus is soooo Windows XP.

      Look at the Streak and this phone side-by-side. It's night and day.The Streak is extremely thick with very wide bezels, which make it feel even larger than its screen size suggests. The Gnote has a large footprint, but minimised bezels and thin enough to juuuuusttt possibly pass as a normal phone.

    I'm surprised by the number of casual users in the comments talking about their SG Notes. My first thought was that this device would be snapped up by businesses for their sales reps etc out in the field. A little bit more screen real estate compared with other phones without having to provide employees with additional tablets, plus a handy stylus for those 'sign here' occasions. I'm curious now! I'm very happy with my Galaxy Nexus, but maybe I'd be even happier with this gargantuan phone/tablet! Phoneblet? Tablone?

    Whats it like to talk on tho?? Does it feel awkward putting something so big to your ear?
    Everyone goes on about how people look like tools taking a photo with a tablet......

      Feels perfectly fine making calls, each to their own i spose, wish there was some way people could road test a phone for a few days as I think most people would be pleasantly surpirsed at how brilliant this phone is, I have had all the iphones and after buying this phone I won't be going back to an iphone

      Agreed! What's this thing like to talk on?! I mean, it is a "phone" after all.
      What's it like holding something the size of a chopping board (ok, hyperbole alert) to the side of your noggin?

      It does feel weird. Like I'm putting a book up to my head.

        Weirder than this?
        http://www.bruceongames.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/ngage-taco.jpg

        I use hold mine with open fingers when making calls, which is alot less stressful than gripping the 4s tightly with fingertips, for fear of dropping it.

        That also seems to largely hide it (though I don't care if someone notices it, but no-one has). However, it is only 28% larger than an SG2, so it is nowhere near like holding a 7".

    The good part about this phone Elly is that you can just use it as a normal smart phone, you do not need to whip out the stylus to do anything, only thing I use mine for is the app "draw something" :)
    I also like the fact i can swap out one of my spare batteries and have a fully charged phone in 3 secs unlike having to plug in my iphone everywhere for fear of it running flat and taking too long to charge for the task at hand
    One of the better reveiws I've read anyways !

    hi! a very well written review. i find the US reviews mostly trying to prop up the iphone against the G-Note, you'rs was well balanced. this is better than the iphone for doing office work, watching movies and normal stuff. and once you get used to its size, there's no going back. once accessories like external keyboards etc start appearing for this, it be even more productive.

      External keyboard? Just use any bluetooth keyboard. Even a nice Apple one. Anything should work fine :)

    You won't be regret until your device has issue. You will be tired and end up giving up to fix the issue. Samsung doesn't do well release patch and just blame customer for the issue. You will learn soon.

    The thing I miss most about resistive screens is precision, especially for editing: getting a precise text selection or photo crop with a fingernail was easy on my N97 mini. Does the S-Pen provide that precision to the capacitive screen?

      You'll be disappointed if you're after precision. I found I got better results with my finger.

        The S pen needs a calibration setting, as it's highly dependent on what angle you hold the pen. Everyone writes differently.

    Good one.. Giz Au.
    I own a galaxy note GSM version for two months, i would say the thing i satisfy most is its battery life.
    unfortunately the S pen doesnt take advantage of Draw something which is a shame. the accuracy of the S pen is also questionable and yet it doesnt come with any pen calibration.
    Gingerbread and touchwiz are bad for it, delivering poor android experience on its 1280 x 800 screen, and yet samsung will only update it with ICS on Q2 this year.
    hardware wise, it is absolutely brilliant.

      the pen can be used with "draw something"
      Shame the pen calibration is missing, rooted mine and running ICS and it's great so far, I liked Gingerbread alot though even though it was my first Android experience, very stable for me

      There is actually some sort of "Calibration" if you run the pen around all four corners of the screen while holding the S Pen button

    Looks like a bit of a mess of features for a phone. Still a bit intrigued though-- might check it out as a test/dev device.

    Great article.

    Great balanced review Elly.
    Some good comments and civil discussion in the comments section too.

    Still not sold on the Note but I might have a play with one when I next walk into Optus/Vodafone.

    Im waiting for the note 2.0

    We are in the mobile data software business, and the Samsung Galaxy Note is probably the best 'value for money' device yet for business mobile data solutions. Big screen for data entry, with or without stylus, and fits in shirt pocket between use. Stylus is important for signatures and sketch on camera images. GPS is fast to fix, and camera interfaces reliably for projects that require image capture alongside data. The battery covers more than a full day of heavy use, unlike some HTC smartphones.

    If the iPhone is 'retina' at 12in, the Note IS at 15in, which is the distance I normally look at it.

    I can get 10 to 16 lines of writing on a page using the stylus. You need to go to a finer line!

    The latst OTA update (LA6) gives the option of a smaller keypad that can be biased to one side for one-handed operation. It is for the phone pad, calc and the Samsung keyboard.

      That smaller keyboard sounds nice, but how do you grip the phone tightly enough with one hand while also typing? I am a normal sized man and I still found that trying to use the screen with one hand didn't leave me enough grip on the phone to be fully confident. It just felt like it might slip out of my hand if I stretched my thumb to reach particular buttons/menus.

        I hold the right side into the crease of my right hand, grip the left lower side with my middle and ring fingers slightly apart, and use my little finger to rest the bottom on. The pointer finger just rests against the back.

        I feel a lot more comfortable holding the Note than my wife 4s using my fingertips (though since she got a case for it, it feeel a little more secure - 1mm extra).

    "And there’s nothing that the S Pen can do that your finger can’t"
    Elly, do you really expect us to take you seriously? Don't justify your finger-klutzness with such silly statements, that show you have NOT done your due diligence.

    Just a cursory glance at what some people have done by drawing with the S-pen would show that that level of detail and accuracy could not have been been done with a finger.

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