These days, most people are pretty much tethered to their smartphones. They do so much more now than make and receive phone calls: they text, tweet, schedule, take you to Facebook and Google, and so, so much more.
The companies trying to make big bucks off our dependence on technology find themselves locked in a constant feud, trying to make the consumer choose: iPhone, Android, Windows? And then there are the phone brands: Apple, HTC, LG?
But Samsung recently released the Galaxy Note — the newest version of its Galaxy series — and this mobile device may have just changed the game entirely.
Introducing the Galaxy Note
Samsung originally designed the Note to be a 5-inch smartphone that essentially functioned like a tablet and a phone (complete with stylus pen). They also designed the Note 10.1, which was a 10.1-inch version of the original Note that would seem closer to a standard tablet.
Now Samsung has split the difference and introduced the Galaxy Note 8, which is an eight-inch version of the Note 10.1. The Note 8 comes with a WiFi-only option, as well as WiFi plus mobile broadband 3G connection. The device weighs only 12 ounces, and most people can hold it comfortably in the portrait position.
Its design is similar to the original Note and the Note 10.1. Much like Apple, Samsung has found a design that its users like and have become familiar with. Quite frankly, this enables the company to build the brand. There is comfort in knowing that, as a consumer, I could transition from a Samsung smartphone to the new Galaxy Note 8 without much difficulty.
The home, menu, and back buttons are all in their usual place, and the Note 8 also has Samsung’s distinctive shine in its all-white, silver-rimmed chassis.
Although I already mentioned this, the size and weight of the Galaxy 8 are among its strongest selling points. People live on the go, and they need a device they can carry without much trouble.
They also need something they can hold for an extended period of time. The Note also has a higher resolution than the iPad Mini, as well as a smidge more viewing room (8 inches on the diagonal compared to the iPad Mini’s 7.9). The screen has a 1280 x 800 resolution, which is good quality for its size, although more pixels is always better.
One of the key features of the Note 8 is its ability to record handwritten notes with the stylus pen. Just like with the preceeding Galaxy Note smartphone, the added bonus of the digital pen is a huge marketing point. No matter what note-taking style the user prefers, it’s nice to be able to use a stylus pen in class, during meetings, or just to jot down a to-do list. It is easier than typing on the screen and reduces the need for an external keyboard.
The Note 8 has lots of internal features as well, including one that utilizes the front-facing camera to detect if the user is looking at the screen or not. Also, the screen is adjusted for e-books in an effort to make reading less harsh on the user’s eyes.