Mr. Price, Samsung Canada’s Director of Mobile Marketing, is referring to the Samsung Galaxy Note, the company’s half-smartphone half-tablet – called a “phablet” by some – expected to be released in North America mid-February (it was unveiled in Europe and Asia late last year).
We’re sitting in a small seventh floor suite of an opulent and sophisticated, though not ostentatious, hotel in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood. For a company whose mobile marketing slogan is “the next big thing is here”, this event is remarkably low key – focused more on demonstrating the device rather than unveiling it with pompous splash.
Mr. Price’s remark was well warranted, as the device certainly packs a punch: it is powered by a 1.4GHz dual core chip and is ready to run Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS (due as an upgrade in March). The phablet’s screen is as beautiful as the processor is powerful; the 5.3-inch HD Super (1,280×800 pixels) AMOLED display makes text look sharp and images vivid and rich.
As Samsung intends the Galaxy Note to be an “all day device”, a 2,500mAh battery is included. This should give the phablet a notably longer battery life than other smartphones on the market.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note isn’t the first device to attempt a midrange, or phablet, size. In 2010, Dell tried its hand at the phablet game with the Dell Streak. While reviewers praised the Streak’s hardware, it was ultimately relegated to the ash heap of consumer-electronics history because of its clunky UI and crash-happy OS. Dell tried to market the device as an iPad killer, though its sword lacked the strength to slay the Leviathan.
While some, like Wired Gadget Lab’s Christina Bonnington, may ask if the world really needs something that isn’t quite a tablet or a phone, Mr. Price says that the Galaxy Note will “help define a category”.
“Samsung has pushed boundaries before,” he says.
Mr. Price explains that in this case bigger means better, and this device, complete with its included stylus, can be seen as something similar to an “evolution” of the smartphone.
One of the catalysts of this evolution will be the inclusion of a stylus, says Mr. Price, illustrating his point on the device’s screen. Unlike the tablets of yore that included a stylus, the Galaxy Note responds well to the input of the pen. The stylus isn’t a requirement to operate the Galaxy Note, as was the case with a Palm Pilot, but rather is a handy addition to the device’s overall functionality.
“It’s value added; nobody before has captured the convenience of a pen and paper.”
The Galaxy Note has a launch date of February 14, and will be available on all of Canada’s major carriers.
Check back next week for Hardware Canucks’ review of the Galaxy Note.