Phablet Green
May 11, 2012 5:12 PM   Subscribe

How should I buy a Galaxy Note? Any opinions about its form factor?

I've mostly decided to buy a Galaxy Note now that Samsung has started rolling out the Android v4.0 ICS update. Any comments or concerns about the phablet form factor? Should I give the Galaxy Nexus or another ICS device another look?

I live in Scotland. How should I buy one? I could buy the phone on a contract, but..

How difficult is the phone to unlock, jailbreak, etc.? I'm honestly leaning towards just buying an unlocked one. I'll definitely install CyanogenMod, LUKS, etc.

I've almost no need for a fancy contract : wifi access enough places, only spend only about 10 £ per month on my prepaid, frequent extended travel outside the U.K., zero travel inside the U.K., etc.

If I buy one unlocked, where should I buy it? I'm currently in Atlanta but passing through NYC late next week. Online somewhere? Swappa? I haven't found any way to buy direct from Samsung?
posted by jeffburdges to Technology (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The special parts of the note are somewhat under developed, and there is a chance that Samsung will abandon the device. I don't recommend it.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:36 PM on May 11, 2012

I work at a company that makes mobile applications for a variety of platforms. Even the Andriod guys were making fun of that thing as being a bit too much of a cartoon novelty phone. We can all basically get any iOS or Andriod device we like for free, and the only reason anyone has a Galaxy Note is for testing on.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:30 PM on May 11, 2012

Also I can't type "Android", or my iPad is auto-correcting it to be wrong on purpose as a joke.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:43 PM on May 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Note is enormous. It really is. If you aren't intending to carry your mobile phone about in a briefcase or man-bag, it's probably impractical.

The newly announced Galaxy SIII has a 4.8" display in a form factor very slightly larger than the SII and might be worth looking at instead, as it comes with ICS out-of-the-box and will undoubtedly get the mods and ROMs that are available for the SII toute suit.
posted by benzo8 at 10:31 PM on May 11, 2012

I've got a friend with the note. She loves it. It fits in her jeans pockets easily.
posted by jennstra at 10:56 PM on May 11, 2012

Will you use the note taking ability? I bought a flier for school but I don't really use the note taking .it works well, but not as convenient as a own and note book.

The HTC one is many to be really good
posted by mattoxic at 11:39 PM on May 11, 2012

I've got a note. I got it on contract in the UK. I like it for its huge screen. Web browsing, photography, satellite navigation, viewing photos and watching movies are all so much more satisfying than on something with a smaller screen like an iphone. You look a bit of a dick holding it to your face to talk but so what?
posted by londongeezer at 1:54 AM on May 12, 2012

Response by poster: Can anyone suggest stores that sell unlocked phones in Atlanta GA?
posted by jeffburdges at 7:32 AM on May 12, 2012

I notice a few hits on Atlanta's Craigslist. Would you consider a used one?
I'm thinking of getting the same device in a few months, so I'd love to see an update once you source one.
posted by monkeymadness at 12:41 PM on May 12, 2012

Response by poster: Just fyi, I found one serious critique of the form factor. It appears the phone has been designed with men's pockets in mind, but women's clothing often sports smaller pockets, meaning women might need to carry a purse more often.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:37 AM on May 13, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy SIII isn't out quite yet but has a slightly smaller form factor -- screen is between Note and S II. I'm waiting for that one.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:03 AM on May 16, 2012

Response by poster: I've started using the phone now, obtained from amazon. I've experienced no trouble with the form factor, definitely fits any standard pocket in men's clothing.

I dislike onscreen keyboards but the large screen size makes it far less obnoxious than smaller Android phones and the iPhone. I'll track down a bluetooth keyboard eventually anyways. I believe the only hardware issue thus far has been the stylus not pressing the back and edit buttons, very minor.

I'm slightly more annoyed with Android's desire to associate all your activities with your Google account, especially maps. Any tips on associating maps and search to a different google account from email and messaging?

I've only just begun reading about rooting, but sounds like existing rooting directions are not quite sufficent to Note's running stock ICS.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:39 AM on May 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I've noticed tow other minor annoyances : The screen doesn't dim anywhere near enough for lowlight or darkness. If you tap the off button to shut down the screen, which you must do when inserting the phone into a pocket, then it'll lock the phone, requiring you reenter your password. Ideally, they should merely disable the touch screen but wait for the timeout before locking the phone.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:01 PM on May 21, 2012

Response by poster: Rooting was completely trivial, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:17 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Linaro has just created a big reason to switch to CyanogenMod. Anyone know if the pen applications work under CM9?
posted by jeffburdges at 4:05 PM on June 10, 2012

Response by poster: Just fyi, they fixed the screen locking issue in Android 4.0.4, which the Note lacks currently, but presumably arrives eventually. Screen Filter helps with the poor dimming, but not enough, fucker is bright.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:09 PM on June 10, 2012

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