For a while Samsung couldn’t decide whether to call its Galaxy Note tablet or a phone. Considering that its 5.3-inch screen splits the difference between an iPhone and a Galaxy Tab 7, that’s not surprising.
But why get caught up on labels? Let’s just call the Galaxy Note what it is: a giant, hulking, mammoth, fatty, hybrid freak machine. A shiny jumbo Pop Tart. With a stylus. Here’s how it looks — and feels — in hand.
As you can see in the phone-porn video above, the Galaxy Note really is big. It’s over an inch wider than the iPhone 4 and almost an inch longer (though it’s almost the same thickness). The Galaxy Nexus is a pretty big phone, but this thing has almost half an inch on it at in height and width. But numbers schmumbers, how does it feel?
For my reasonably large hands, one-handed operation was possible, but certainly not easy or comfortable. I could thumb-type, but just barely. I needed to slide my pinky underneath it to keep it from dropping. Reaching the top of the screen with my thumb required me to shift the entire device down in the my hand.
Two-handed usage was smoother. But for our Kyle Wagner, who has the tiniest, most adorable hands ever (seriously, I want to chop them off and keep them in a jar), the Note was all but unusable. He couldn’t really reach the far side of the screen, and you can forget about the upper-left all together. Even two-handed, he had trouble typing — the keys in the middle required some stretching. He would probably have to use Swype (which thankfully comes pre-installed) with his finger or the stylus, but I’d still be nervous about him dropping it.
So what is the Galaxy Note, exactly; phone, tablet or other? I think the word Samsung was looking for is “awkward”.
Check back soon for our full review.