CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

Summary: Samsung's Galaxy Note could either represent a comeback for the PDA category -- or something entirely new.

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LAS VEGAS -- Samsung revealed on Monday that the Galaxy Note will be coming to the United States, via AT&T, at CES 2012.

But the 5.3-inch mobile device is curious because it falls within a category of its own -- or does it?

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverageCES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

Take a look at the image below of a Samsung advertisement on the side of a shuttle bus at CES this week:

Asking whether or not the Galaxy Note is a tablet or a smartphone, the ad nearly says it all. Obviously, the Android Gingerbread-based gadget does not fall within either category. Based on the average display sizes on tablets and smartphones right now, the Note doesn't really seem to fit either of those -- even if it does operate as a mobile phone too.

Perhaps, if successful enough, it could create its own "digital notepad" category of its own as it really is supposed to operate like that and more.

Maybe even the 5-inch Dell Streak could have had a chance here if it was marketed in that way. (Although probably not considering even the 7-inch version was axed too.)

Nevertheless, the stylus and respective software especially has the potential to pique the interests of designers, architects, artists, and other creatives who want a compact device for sketching and notes.

But really, with that purpose and especially the stylus, it just reminds me of a larger personal digital assistant.

Traditional PDAs back in the day, like those from Palm and Sony, among others, basically evolved into smartphones. Yet, note-taking and sketching on those monochrome screens on old PDAs were not exactly easy. The stylus was really just there for navigation.

Thus, maybe Samsung really is creating a new hybrid category here -- or it's just the evolution of something we've forgotten about. It's your call, but either way, the Galaxy Note is about to stir up the mobile device market.

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Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Samsung

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22 comments
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  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    Maybe they should change the headline to:

    Phone? Tablet?
    We just don't know!
    Englishmole
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    The Galaxy Note really does seem like both an i-phone and a tablet! This is a great <a href="http://www.irank.com/">invention</a>! :-)
    garym123
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    It's a large phone, not a small tablet. The way you're expected to use it, the version of Android it runs and how it works shows this off in spades.

    And as it's a stupidly big phone it will have a nice market.
    bradavon
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    I have the Dell Streak and I have compared it to the Note. The Note is made of plastic and the Dell Streak is made of metal. The processor is fast and the display is great. I don't see why the Streak has not been a success. I'm not even considering the Note.
    bandemann
    • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

      @bandemann<br>Nobody knew about the Dell Streak.<br>The first I knew about it was when I saw someone selling one on ebay.<br>I have the Streak in my pocket everywhere and can't imagine being without it.<br>The Note is nice but very expensive compared to what you can get a Streak for today.<br>The Streak is also way more elegant in appearance and feel, but the Note kicks butt in function and performance.
      warboat
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    who the heck writes anyways these days?
    erichon99
    • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

      @erichon99
      adults
      john-whorfin
      • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

        @john-whorfin Post of the day!
        jgm@...
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    With a statement like "The stylus was really just there for navigation", I am somewhat skeptical that the author ever owned a Palm Pilot. The Graffiti text conversion app was amazing. You could write faster than anything on there, and have it convert it to digital text. I had to hack the original version (found on my Palm 3) into a later version of the Palm Pilot I bought, as Palm had dumbed it down by that point. The earlier version, while being minutely more difficult to learn, was far more efficient. It was a form of shorthand, and you could enter text faster than printing on a piece of paper with a ballpoint pen.

    Samsung included a form of this text entry on a few of their early touchscreen phones, including the Omnia II. I think it was better than the conversion app that I've seen in the Note. If someone can create/convert a version of Graffiti for the Note, I will be forever grateful. I think that phone will rock with the right text entry software.

    The smart stylus is a neat advancement.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti_(Palm_OS) for more history/info on Palm Graffiti
    BigTipper
    • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

      @BigTipper I owned a Sony Clie :)
      Rachel King
      • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

        @Rachel King - I just *bought* a Sony Clie...for $12.50 at a thrift store (and a GoType keyboard for $2.50). Looking for a replacement for my data-plan-free Palm Centro...
        FrStephenS@...
      • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

        @Rachel King
        So did you ever get into using Graffiti to enter notes, contact info, calendar entries? That takes a lot more than just navigating (unless all your entries were extremely terse...).
        aroc
    • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

      @BigTipper:

      The stylus does a lot more than just aid navigation. One of the bigger capabilities of the Note is that you can write actual notes using the stylus. For those that get good at writing notes, it becomes useful in daily situations where you need to jot something down. It could become vastly useful to business professionals and to students.
      jlt0x
    • SWYPE for text entry

      @BigTipper
      I have been using stylus PDA phones since the HTC Magician/ O2 XDA Mini. I did like scribbling notes with the stylus. Then I got Swype keyboard on Windows Mobile and stopped scribbling. Now I can't use a phone or tablet without Swype. No Swype on iOS. No iOS for me.
      If you haven't used Swype, you need to check it out.
      warboat
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    I kind of liked the 5 inch Dell, but as it was only on ATT, it wouldn't work for me.<br><br>As far as drawing on an Anfroid device with either finger or stylus, there a a number of free apps on the Android Marketplace which support this. A few even support handwriting recognition. I downloaded a couple and use them on my 4 inch phone and 10 inch tablet. I suspect that ultimately something in the 5 to 7 inch range is going to win the hearts and minds of consumers as it is big enough to work with and still fits in pockets and purses.<br><br>While people keep commenting on large phones, for those using Blue Tooth, you don't hold the thing up to your head anyway, so what is the downside to a big enough screen?
    sbf95070
    • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

      @sbf95070<br>"...While people keep commenting on large phones, for those using Blue Tooth, you don't hold the thing up to your head anyway, so what is the downside to a big enough screen? ..."<br><br>It becomes normal to hold the 5" phone up to your face once you own one.<br>I don't really care what other people think, I'm talking on it!<br>And then I finish the call and go back to my e-book and you know what? People ask me about it and they are really really interested in it.
      Regarding locked Streaks, Dell online support will actually send you the unlock code if you request it from them thru the Dell site, FOR FREE! Search XDA-developers forum for the details
      warboat
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    Could they be testing the market for a 5" phone and hopeing to suceed where Dell didn't?
    CanadianTrooper
    • Dell put no effort in marketing the Streak 5

      @CanadianTrooper
      Dell Streak 5 was ahead of the curve. It was the ideal all-in-one device for a lot people. There are lots more people out there that would love the Streak if they knew it existed! Dell put in minimal effort to market the Streak.
      I only discovered the Streak when I saw someone selling it on ebay as a 5" Dell Tablet. Then I googled it and had to have one.
      If Dell had put the same effort as they do in advertising some of their laptop models, the Streak may have done very well. And if they had done well with it, then they may have given it a lot more support and software updates.
      It still is a very beautiful device and I love it.
      It is the device you want that you didn't know about.
      You just don't know what you are missing.
      warboat
  • Notepad category is where it's at!

    If you have never used a 5" phone you don't know what you are missing.<br>I have two Dell Streak 5 and just bought a 3rd one for spare.<br>I also have 3.2" inch phone, 3.8" phone, 7" phone/tablet and 10" tablet.<br>If I have to take just ONE device, it would be the 5" phone. Big enough screen to use as a tablet and small enough to fit in a pocket. With a 5" phone you really don't feel the need for a bigger tablet. I have my Streak with me EVERYWHERE.<br>5" phone too big to hold up to your face? who cares, I'm talking on it!<br>In fact, the first thing people ask when they see the Streak is "can you make phone calls on it?"<br>You offer me an iPhone 4S + iPad2 for my Streak 5 and I would say NO (unless I could sell the 4S +iPad to buy a Streak 5+profit which is proving harder now Dell has stopped selling it in my area)<br>I love the Streak 5 and had no idea what I would replace it with .... UNTIL NOW.<br>Thank you Samsung for seeing the light and offering the road warrior the notepad phone form factor. The stylus is a welcome feature for drawing diagrams and inking over photos. I often carry around my Windows 6.5 phone/PDA just for the stylus. Steve Jobs was wrong about the stylus, we still need them.
    warboat
  • RE: CES 2012: Samsung Galaxy Note heralds back PDA category

    My smartphone is a Dell Streak 5 for over a year! Yes Dell didn't market this way but is doesn't matter since everyone can use it this way.
    jmppgarcia@...