Samsung Galaxy Note: Features, Release Date, Pricing

Yesterday, Samsung’s mobile division unfurled its first Super Bowl advertisement. The lengthy advertisement was for the upcoming launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, a device that is part smartphone and part tablet. Truth be told, it’s one of the most unique and most talked about mobile devices in recent memory and Samsung is obviously trying to capitalize on the buzz.

And while the advertisement was full of celebrities and music and hate for Apple, it didn’t feature a lengthy rundown of the Galaxy Note itself.  Sure, there were some specifics in there but we have no doubt that the commercial left plenty of people confused about the device Samsung is calling “The Next Big Thing.”

So, we wanted to run down everything we know about the Galaxy Note which we hope will then help you make a more informed decision on whether or not you want to buy AT&T’s hybrid device, a device that we gave our award for Best Versatile Mobile Device at CES 2012.

Galaxy Note

Ready?

Here we go.

Hands-On Video

The video below is a quick hands-on video from CES 2012 which will give you a good look at the Samsung Galaxy Note’s design and the software that comes along with it.

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Hardware

By far, the Samsung Galaxy Note’s hardware is what sets it apart from the rest of the Android pack. On a very basic level, the Galaxy Note is a part phone and part tablet. We say that because it will allow you to make calls or text like a normal phone would but it also boasts a screen that is 5.3-inches, Super AMOLED no-less. That’s way bigger than any other smartphone on the market including the the 4.7-inch display on the HTC Titan II, also for AT&T.

The Super AMOLED component of the display will ensure rich colors and a high-quality experience in well-lit environments.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note also features a speedy 1.5GHz dual-core processor that should be handle just about anything the average user will throw at it – web browsing, apps, you name it, and it also features a massive 2500 mAh to help get users through a day on AT&T’s relatively new 4G LTE network.

It also features 32GB of built-in storage – for your photos, music and apps, a solid 1GB of RAM to help you multitask, and two cameras. An 8MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera for video chat purposes.

And yes, it’ll have Bluetooth 3.0, Near-Field Communication (NFC) for use with services like Google Wallet, and GPS.

In addition, it will feature a stylus called the Samsung S-Pen which you can see in action in the video below:

What the S-Pen allows you to do is write directly on the Galaxy Note’s screen. Notes, reminders, etc, all in your own handwriting.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Note is a 4G LTE device for AT&T. That means that you’ll get speeds that are up to 10 times faster than normal 3G speeds if you’re in an area covered in LTE. Unfortunately, at the moment, AT&T only has a limited number of LTE markets here in the U.S.

They include:

  • Austin, TX
  • Athens, GA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Boston, MA
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chapel Hill, NC,
  • Chicago, IL
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas City; MO
  • Las Vegas; NV
  • New York City metro area
  • Oakland, CA
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Orlando, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Raleigh, NC
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • San Jose. CA
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Washington, D.C.

If you live outside one of those cities, you’ll have to use the Galaxy Note on AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network which, while still faster than normal 3G, is much slower than the carrier’s 4G LTE data speeds.

Software

While the latest version of Android out right now is Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, an operating system that supports both phones and tablets, the Galaxy Note is going to be powered by an earlier version of the operating system in Android 2.3 Gingerbread with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface over the top. Unfortunate, but that’s reality.

At CES 2012, we asked Samsung about the timetable for an upgrade to Android 4.0 and rather surprisingly, we were greeted with shoulder-shrugs and uncertainties. Far different then the “coming soons” that we got for other devices at the conference.

Luckily, Samsung a few days ago confirmed Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note in 2012 for sometime before the end of Q1.

As we’ve said, the version of Gingerbread on the Galaxy Note has support for the S-Pen stylus which means that it comes pre-loaded with a number of apps that will be optimized for the S-Pen.

One of them is called S-Memo which is exactly what you think it is. A memo pad where you can scribble down anything – doodles, class notes, important information from a meeting, all with your stylus.

Release Date

Fortunately, AT&T and Samsung made the release date for the Samsung Galaxy Note official just a few days ago and it will arrive later on this month on February 18th.

And, for those of you that can’t wait, the Galaxy Note is up for pre-order at AT&T and Best Buy.

Pricing

The Galaxy Note price on AT&T, like the release date, is set in stone. AT&T is going to be asking for $299.99 on-contract for the Galaxy Note. That’s a bit more then its asking price for the other 4G LTE phones on its network but again, this isn’t your typical smartphone.

Plus, you’ll get the stylus.

Keep in mind, AT&T recently changed its data plans. The carrier operates on a tiered data platform and it currently offers three options:

  • 300MB for $20/mo
  • 3GB for $30/mo
  • 5GB w/ tethering for $50/mo
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Choosing one can be difficult so you’ll want to take a look at your texting, calling, and data habits before you sign your name on the dotted line.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    WHY did they ONLY settle on a 5″ screen? Why not have a 7″ screen since the thing is not going to fit in a pocket, plus a STYLUS…are you serious! I was with 10 people watching the game and NOBODY could figure out what the ad was for, and PLEASE, 95%+ of the people who bought an iPhone (after version 2) bought it or reserved one online! Are there still people who are JEALOUS that people will wait in line for Apple products and not any of the Samsung/Google/HTC phone of the month stuff?  The TRUE measure of this or any Android phone is how much is it worth 1 year later? 3 year old iPhone3GS are still outselling many NEW Android phones, and almost 2 year old used iPhone4’s are still selling for $300 & $400 on eBay!My guess is by NEXT years Super Bowl, these phone will be selling for less than $100 on eBay and will be used as gaming devices or be bought by people who cried when their PALM PILOT died!PEACE!

    • Patanjali says

      It does fit in a pocket! It is only 23% larger than an S2, but it is so much better for web browsing.

      Ad education time!!
      Samsung is appealing to the great majority of mobile Apple customers who do NOT identify with those who would stand in line. It is the opposite of what you suggest.

      Most people would not care what their phone is worth at the end of their contract when buying another. True measure of what?

      What a lot of FUD you post.

    • Inked punk says

      Wow…..That’s quite a distorted apple fanboy reply if I’ve ever seen one. Technically android devices are more advanced then apples iOS devices, and more and more people are switching to them over an iPhone or iPad. I’m in the process of switching my iPad and iPhone to android devices. How many capacitive styluses do you see marketed for the iPad? Quite a few, and none of them out on the market offer the inking ability of an actual digitizing pen. Get your facts right, the note doesn’t come with a stylus, it’s a digitizing pen (Wacom).

      The simple fact is more and more people everyday are realizing that apple is quickly falling behind in both software and hardware fronts. By all means love your apple products, just do so with an informed view rather then just drinking the apple kool-aid blindly.

      • Anonymous says

        I guess will have to see how these sell in relationship to the iPhone 4S and the upcoming iPhone 5. My guess is that Android will start LOSING worldwide market share to iOS devices and that SAMSUNG will start feeling their margins suffer like HTC.

        I’m sure some user will find these fit their needs, but it’s interesting to see how many Fortune 500 companies are ditching their Blackberries for iPhones and iPads and NOT switching to ANDROID products. 

        http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/02/09/blackberry-loses-to-apple-again/

        This is because most businesses DON’T trust the Android marketplace, OR know that the QUALITY of Apple products is way above the cheap plastic stuff the Android phones and tablets are made of.

        I don’t ALWAYS drink the Apple kool-aid, but I’ve never had a VIRUS like the PC’s at work get, or had an Apple product fall apart like the PC’s or non-Apple phones (4 in 3 years) I have to use at work! 

        If the IT Support Dept wasn’t so afraid of losing their jobs I think they would recommend that EVERYTHING be shifted over to iOS and other Apple products. 

        So you see I do have an informed view and that is that the TOTAL COST & HASSLE of ownership is better with Apple products!

        PEACE!

        • Hunter says

          First off, Apple products don’t get nearly as many viruses or worms as windows, but they can. Android also can get some, but not as many. Secondly, the main reason a lot of people are moving to android is because of the connectivity to SD cards, usb drives and HDMI. Another great feature of Android is the fact that is can run flash.

          Also, dual core and other improved hardware is really nice.

          iOS is nice because it has a lot of safe apps and is pervasive worldwide. Both have a lot of advantages, (I only really stated android because it seems that you know iOS advantages), but I think it is unfair to say one is better than the other. They are just very different.

          As to the size of the device. It fits easily in all of my pockets, as well as my dads front shirt pocket. The price is a little steep, but it is actually the same price as iPhones.

    • Patanjali says

      I think you missed the point. No-one is jealous of the extreme few who would wait in line. If Apple was dependent on them, they would have gone broke a long time ago.

      I think you are the one who has the problem, because you seem to have a huge emotional investment in trying to denigrate a device that does have a whole lot of people that want the form factor and facilities. Is it as popular as the 4s? No, but does that matter? No, not unless your emotional wellbeing is dependent upon ‘defending’ your device form choice against any company and its customers who might want something different.

      Now, a smartphone is a personal device, but it is a sad day when it becomes a ‘necessary’ part of one’s identity. You are not that device. You are a human being capable of changing the world, but you choose to to limit yourself and try to limit others to such a small part of reality and a large part of a seeming collective fantasy!

  2. Matthew Brazle says

    Don’t expect Ice Cream Sandwich on the Note anytime soon. I have a Samsung Galaxy S (Captivate) on AT&T and even though the rest of the world has had 2.3 Gingerbread for a year on the Galaxy S, AT&T just now got it, a month later than even T-Mobile and Verizon. It has to get finished by Samsung and then AT&T has to process it too, for some reason that just takes forever. I would say it could be Q1, Q2 or Q3 of 2013 before the US Note sees ICS.

  3. N0ISV1 says

     Best Buy is doing there best to C.Y.A. and back stroke on the delivery
    of the G Note on 2/17, if you did the pre order to get it on this date?
    They have dropped the ball on some us big time?

    There C.Y.A. excuse now is the pre order of the G Note never meant
    anyone us would see it by 2/17, 2 days before the BB stores are
    scheduled to have it for sale?

    Most of us also received the sales order via e-mail from BB, in which it
    stated scheduled delivery of the G Note would be 2/10/12-2/15/12, but
    this date came and went, and NO G Note for most if not ALL of us? I
    questioned this false date with them, and got the same C.Y.A. BS
    answers

    What good did it do any of us, if you pre ordered from BB or AT&T,
    to have the G Note shipped after its available in the stores???

    Wayne-N0ISV

  4. Me says

    I really want the Galaxy Note, but I only want the tablet part of it. I don’t want the phone on it, other wise it would be like holding an iPad up to your ear.

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