Another hot device from this month’s Consumer Electronics Show is about to hit the market: AT&T announced a Feb. 5 pre-order date for the Samsung Galaxy Note. The LTE device arrives in AT&T(s t) stores on Feb. 19 and will cost $299 with a 2-year service contract.
Earlier today I noted that Samsung’s Galaxy line-up was getting bland and bloated. But the Note is an exception because it attempts to bridge the gap between a large smartphone and a small tablet. The Galaxy Note uses a 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen at 1280 x 800 resolution and supports inking on the capacitive display thanks to an extra digitizer under the screen.
I took a peek at the Galaxy Note at CES and shared my video thoughts here. I’m just now getting used to the 4.65-inch Galaxy Nexus in my hand and found the Note to be a tad wide. Although the hardware is excellent, I’d recommend potential buyers to use the device in a store for a bit, given the unique size and form factor.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a phone / tablet effort; Dell(s dell) tried this strategy and failed with the Streak back in 2010. But there are some key differences that tell me Samsung may find an audience for the large slab. The Streak used an 800 x 480 resolution display; stretched out across 5-inches, that made for low pixel density and fuzzy display.
It also arrived long before Android had a viable tablet operating system, although the Note comes with Android 2.3, which is meant for smartphones. Still, the OS is much improved and Samsung’s TouchWiz software helps hide Android’s warts. Samsung has also promised Android 4.0 for the Galaxy Note in the first quarter of this year.