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CNET First Look
Samsung Galaxy NoteThe Samsung Galaxy Note's huge 5.3-inch HD screen is ideal for streaming movies and reading e-books. Plus, its S-Pen stylus packs a few tricks worth seeing.
It's big, it's bold and it has a stylus. That's right. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET and I'm talking about the Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T here. You've heard the rumors about this Behemoth with this honk and HD display and and they're all true. It's a sort of awkward 5.3 inches for my hand and I can say about the Note is sticking a chubby toe into Tablet territory here. Otherwise, it pretty much looks like somebody overfed the Samsung Galaxy S2 phone. The Note does step it up a notch though with Samsung's HD super (Amlet?) screen technology that's makes for a bright and very pretty display. So I do have to say, it's not quite as bright or sharp as the 4.65 inch screen on the Galaxy Nexus. What it is really good for is everything mulitmedia. Like looking at photos and watching videos. Browsing without having to (squint?) so much and reading e-books. The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread with (Hodge Wiz?) on top and then has a couple of fun extras like being able to take a screen shot with your hand and flip over the phone to pause or mute. You could also perform a few tricks with the stylus which lives in a snug little tunnel on the back of the phone. Its official name is the S Pen and I have to say, it's pretty small and very thin. I personally find the S Pen accessory known as the S Pen Holder Kit much more comfortable. So for 50 bucks, you have to be really dedicated to using a pen to draw and write. Both drawing and writing are pretty fun on the Galaxy note but I won't lie to you, there is a little bit of a little curve with the handwriting app, which turn my already stunted writing into total chicken scratch. Unless I really concentrated hard on my penmanship. I do like that you can hand write in almost any text field and that there is a tool for converting handwriting to text or at least attempting to convert handwriting to text anyway. It won't work perfectly ever time. I also like the navigation tricks and other shortcuts that are built into the stylus like taking a screen shot and pulling up the menu. Drawing is pretty fun as well and there are support for over 150 levels of pressure. The rest of the phone specs are also good especially the excellent 8 megapixel camera and the 2 megapixel front facing camera. There's a 1.5 Giga Hertz dual core processor as well and an extra large batteries helps with that huge screen. The Galaxy Note is one of AT&T's 4G LTE phone. So it really is quite the extra large package. I think that $300 is a fair price for all the top notch features and for the S Pen extras. However, if you're not into jumbotron phones, then stay far away from this one. And if you do like them big but you don't see yourself using the pen, I say give it a try anyway. You're not missing out on the general Smartphone experience if you never slip out the stylus. That pretty much does it for the Samsung Galaxy note. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and you can read all the pros and cons in my (phone review?) on CNET.com