On Thursday, Samsung announced that its supersized Galaxy Note smartphone will be receiving a “Premium Suite” upgrade in the second quarter this year. The update will deliver a number of new S Pen-optimized applications along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. “GALAXY Note continues to delight customers all over the world with its incredible versatility and unique user experience. With the Premium Suite upgrade, we wanted to add features that enrich users’ Note experience even more, including the great advantages of Android 4.0 and innovative applications for S Pen,” said JK Shin, Samsung’s president of IT & Mobile Communications. “We are committed to providing extraordinary experiences for consumers, and we will continue to provide new features and upgrades to enrich our offering.” As with any update, Samsung warns that “the availability and scheduling of the software upgrade will vary by market and wireless carriers’ requirements.” Samsung’s press release and Premium Suite video can be found after the break. More →
If you were looking to get your enormous hands on a Galaxy Note in the U.S. but have no interest in switching to AT&T’s network, you may be in luck. AT&T’s “phablet” was previously limited to EDGE speeds on T-Mobile’s network, making the device a much less appealing option. XDA-Developers forum members have managed to figure out a way to enable HSPA+ support for AWS bands, however. After performing a SIM unlock, a user can flash one of three radio files that will allow the phone to access T-Mobile’s network with the proper SIM card. There are obvious risks involved, but T-Mobile subscribers in search of a supersized smartphone now have access to the king of the crop. More →
Samsung on Tuesday announced an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available in Europe and South Korea for the Galaxy S II. An update for the Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy R,Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Tab 7.7, Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1 will follow in the near future. Samsung is also planning firmware updates for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab 7 that will remain on Android 2.3 Gingerbread but will include Face Unlock, Snapshot, Photo Editor and other features. “We expect that our customers will enjoy an enhanced experience with their GALAXY device through this upgrade. Samsung is committed to satisfying our customer needs”, said JK Shin, Samsung’s mobile boss. The availability of the updates will vary by market and are subject to wireless carrier approval. Read on for Samsung’s press release. More →
Samsung confirmed earlier this week that the company has sold 2 million Galaxy Note handsets since the device launched last October, according to Forbes. The South Korean manufacturer has high hopes for its “phablet,” and plans to sell another 10 million units by the end of 2012. The Galaxy Note was introduced in the United States with a $10 million anti-iPhone ad campaign during the Super Bowl. BGR reviewed the Samsung Galaxy Note last month and while the vivid display absolutely blew us away, we found the device far too large overall to be used comfortably as a cell phone. More →
You know what they say about guys with huge phones… They’re compensating for tiny data plans. Samsung’s Galaxy Note is a giant smartphone. Or a teeny tablet. After using AT&T’s version of this device for several days now, I’m still not quite sure which is the case. It handles voice calls like a cell phone and it runs Google’s Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread smartphone operating system, but it feels very much like a tablet and it includes a stylus, which hasn’t been seen alongside a smartphone in this hemisphere for quite some time. Somehow, however, Samsung manages to pull it all together into one interesting package that might not have been worth the $10 million introduction, but it could certainly find a niche in today’s supersized smartphone market. Maybe.
The most massive Android phone Samsung has ever built is now available in AT&T stores across the country for $299.99 with a new two-year service agreement, or $649.99 contract-free. Positioned somewhere between a tablet and a smartphone, the Galaxy Note features a 5.3-inch 1,280 x 800-pixel Super AMOLED display, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8-megapixel camera, embedded 4G LTE connectivity and Samsung’s “S Pen” stylus. And did we mention it’s huge? BGR’s full review of the Galaxy Note will be published later this week, but AT&T subscribers looking for the biggest dose of Android money can buy should look no further. More →
It’s no secret that BGR Editor-in-chief is not a fan of the direction Samsung took with its latest smartphone, but he may have been looking at the mammoth handset all wrong. ”The Galaxy Note’s tagline asks if the device is a tablet or a smartphone, but like a girl in Spanx, it’s so much more,” The TechBlock’s Abdel Ibrahim and Jon Dick said of Samsung’s giant Galaxy Note phablet. Smartphone popularity continues to explode around the globe and while these converged devices offer tremendous utility compared to feature phones, no other smartphone on the market can match versatility of the Note. Hit the break for a few images of some of the many functions Ibrahim and Dick found for the Galaxy Note, and follow the read link for a hilarious account of one man’s switch from the iPhone to Samsung’s supersized smartphone. More →
Although Samsung confirmed that it will not be holding a press conference at this month’s Mobile World Congress, the vendor is still expected to unveil new devices at the show. New evidence suggests that the Galaxy Note 10.1, which appears alongside the original Galaxy Note in a MWC Developer Day invitation, could be among Samsung’s announcements according to The Verge. To throw fuel on the fire, a casting call for a Samsung commercial was also discovered that invited a “teen student” to audition for the role of a Galaxy Note 10.1 user. The casting call — which is no longer active on the site — mentioned an early February shoot, which supports the idea of a MWC debut. BGR exclusively reported in December that Samsung will also unveil an 11.6-inch tablet in Barcelona this month. The device would be equipped with an 11.6-inch 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display and a dual-core Exynos 5250 CPU clocked at 2GHz. Screenshots of the developer invitation and casting call that mention the Galaxy Note 10.1 can be found after the break. More →
Samsung and AT&T are getting ready to launch a new smartphone, superphone, phablet or whatever else you want to call it, and I picked one up earlier today. It’s the first time I have used or even held the device personally, and I really need to share some immediate thoughts even though a full review is forthcoming. This is a phone, after using it for a few hours, that feels like it is too big to be taken seriously. That’s the end of it. I don’t care if you like large screens on mobile devices, I don’t care if you love Android, and I don’t care if you love 4G LTE — this is a device fit for use only by such a small subset of the human population that I can’t fathom how AT&T and Samsung are putting so much marketing resources behind it. Check out images of the Galaxy Note in the gallery below, and the rest of my thoughts follow after the break.
The Galaxy Note essentially has everything you’d want in a smartphone: a great dual-core processor, a solid camera, a beautiful display and good build quality, and it runs on AT&T’s new 4G LTE network that delivers incredibly fast downloads speeds. Plus the battery seems actually decent so far, which is a triumph for modern smartphones.
Throw all of that right out the window.
The phone is too big. You will look stupid talking on it, people will laugh at you, and you’ll be unhappy if you buy it. I really can’t get around this, unfortunately, because Samsung pushed things way too far this time.
You can’t use it one-handed, and I can’t even type on it easily with two hands. I’m almost offended by this product, and I love a lot of what Samsung is doing — in fact, the company’s current flagship is my favorite Android smartphone in the world. But the Galaxy Note just feels like a joke. And the worst part? Look at the display and how it’s manufactured and designed. See any resemblances to anything else?
I feel like no one else is saying this, and since I’ve not ever been one to hold back what’s on my mind I absolutely will — enough is enough. I’ve had it with incremental updates to Android smartphones every two weeks, I’ve had it with the super-sized ridiculousness, and I’ve had it with all of these marketing gimmicks. Just focus on a quality product, and you won’t have to release eight “flagship” models a year.
But you have a stylus that comes with it, so I guess that makes up for any similarities with rival devices. Kind of like those lollipops you’d get at the dentist after someone just went Mike Tyson on your tooth.
An Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note is slated for a March 1st release, according to mobile industry insider Eldar Murtazin. Murtazin posted a tweet claiming the official update would roll out next month, though availability will vary depending on country and carrier. He also said that the Android 4.0 update will be made available over the air or using Samsung’s Kies software. Samsung previously announced that an Android 4.0 upgrade would be coming to the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy Note, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. More →
As the world champion New York Giants fought to hold New England scoreless in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, another battle was raging off the field — Samsung’s string of anti-Apple commercials culminated with a 90-second TV advertisement that cost the South Korea-based vendor more than $10 million for the airtime alone. Following a series of ads that depict Samsung smartphones as the cool alternative to Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s new commercial showcases the vendor’s new supersized Galaxy Note, due to launch later this month on AT&T. In this latest spot, a dreary scene of iPhone fans waiting in line for the launch of Apple’s latest handset erupts into a massive block party when Samsung Galaxy Notes begin falling from the sky to the tune of The Darkness’s 2003 single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” The full 90-second commercial can be viewed below. More →
Samsung announced on Monday that the company will be launching the Galaxy Note smartphone with a 90-second Super Bowl commercial, which will be the first-ever Super Bowl ad in the technology giant’s 71-year history. “During the past six months we’ve launched the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus and now the Galaxy Note super phone in North America bringing unparalleled innovation to the marketplace,” said Todd Pendleton, Samsung‘s American Chief Marketing Officer. “The Galaxy Note ushers in the era of truly personalized communications, allowing people to capture, share and create like never before.” Samsung chose Bobby Farrelly — who created “There’s Something About Mary” and other popular comedies with his brother Peter — to direct the commercial. The advertisement will air during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th, the same day the device is made available for pre-order from AT&T. Read on for Samsung’s press release. More →
AT&T announced Monday that the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone will be available in stores on February 19th for $299.99 on contact, a day after we recently reported. Pre-orders are set to begin this weekend with delivery promised by February 17th and two color options will be available: carbon blue and ceramic white. “The Galaxy Note brings a new level of efficiency to busy customers who would normally rely on multiple devices,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president of devices at AT&T. “This new breed of smartphone helps consumers accomplish more with a single device than ever before. The unique all-in-one experience can simplify daily life while tapping into AT&T’s 4G LTE network to let customers work even faster.” The handset features a massive 5.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with Samsung’s S Pen stylus for increased productivity and 4G LTE connectivity. AT&T’s full note to the press follows below along with a video. More →