Samsung’s Galaxy Note, the 5.3-inch smartphone (or is it a tablet?) will launch on T-Mobile’s U.S. network in the coming weeks, according to the company. In a statement on Tuesday, T-Mobile finally addressed the many rumors of the device availability as it’s been one of the worst-kept tech secrets this year, save Google’s Nexus 7(s goog). New to the discussion, however, is justification by T-Mobile: Consumers want bigger screens on their phones.
Quoting its own survey of 1,031 U.S. consumers over the age of 18 who already own a smartphone, T-Mobile says that 77 percent “would prefer a device with a 4.5-inch display or larger.” With its 5.3-inch high-definition screen, the Galaxy Note surely fits the bill for those consumers. Interesting to me is the phrase “or larger” in the answer. Apple(s aapl) is rumored to finally be moving to a 4-inch display — up from 3.5-inches — on its next iPhone and yet that size may still not suffice for some.
Those not familiar with the Note can look to my video overview in April, using AT&T’s(s t) version of the handset. Instead of focusing on the typical features, I approached the often-asked question: “Is the Galaxy Note a smartphone or a tablet?” My conclusion is that’s the wrong question to ask, as the device offers features of both form factors. Instead, to see if a 5.3-inch slab is right for you, the better question to ask is: “Are you a one-handed or two-handed phone user?”
After answering that question, you can decide if Android 4.0 on a 5.3-inch handset is what you want, because the Galaxy Note will ship with the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android. The software also supports advanced applications that take advantage of the included digital pen. Additionally, T-Mobile says the mobile broadband radio in the Galaxy Note supports the operator’s 42 Mbps HSPA+ network; great for downloading content on the large display.