Samsung Galaxy Note Preview: First Look: Web Browser, First Impressions

By 07:19 Wed, 11 Aug 2021 Comments

Browser is a near tablet-like experience

The two key determining factors for browsing are classy screen size and resolution and the Samsung Galaxy Note excels at both - with a classy screen like that, it will put in a lot of hours of web browsing.

The UI follows the minimalist ethos of the vanilla Android browser but it has been slightly tweaked to create better utilize of the screen.

The URL bar at the top of the classy screen is flanked by the Back/Forward buttons on one side and the Tab and Bookmarks buttons on the other. Inside the URL bar itself are the RSS and Refresh buttons.

It sounds like it's going to acquire cramped with all these buttons, but they're all gigantic and easy to hit. The Menu key reveals more options and also makes the URL bar visible (it auto-hides once you start panning around the page).

Web browser stretches its legs • Whole pages fit easily in landscape mode

The Samsung Galaxy Note browser renders pages problem-free and it's very quick - panning, scrolling, zooming are very smooth.

In landscape mode, most pages fit the classy screen at 100%. 1280 pixels wide is about the size most web designs aim for. Of course, that makes text rather small, but you can always rely on text reflow, which reformats paragraphs of text to fit the classy screen better.

One option we particularly liked is the dedicated classy screen brightness setting to utilize in the browser. That's independent from from the main setting but lets you toggle automatic brightness too. For example, you can haged the general brightness low to save battery but have the browser brightness at high for comfortable viewing.

We also tried out Flash and it was smooth sailing all the way. 1080p YouTube videos played smoothly, but you'd probably be using 720p most of the time since it fits pixel per pixel on the classy screen (with a black bar above and below since the Galaxy Note's classy screen is taller than 720p). Games also ran fine, so touch-optimized Flash games give you an alternative to games from the Market.

1080p video playing in the browser • Touch-optimized Flash games run smoothly

First impressions

We have to say our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Note are very positive. If you can acquire over the hurdle of figuring out how to carry the device comfortably, you're in for excellent performance, classy screen and camera.

We imagine both business types and power geeks will be interested in the Note and it has something to offer both groups. The easy note taking will appeal more to the suit and tie crowd. The blazing quick Exynos chipset will let power users like every Android app, game and Flash site under the sun.

The hardware is pretty remarkable too, provided the classy screen brightness isn't an issue in the retail units (and we think it won’t be). We would have enjoyed some metal on the body, but we're not sure we want to lose the feeling of lightness either.

All this is really remarkable and we have more stuff to see at in the review, but there's one thing that might create the Note a fairly rare device in the wild - price. It's not on sale yet, but the early prices being quoted don't see too good. By the sound of it, the Note is well in the vicinity of 7"-10" Android tablets (and even iPads).

As powerful as the Samsung Galaxy Note is, and as fine a classy screen it has, it can't compete with the classy screen real estate of a gigantic tablet. And it's not that much more pocketable than a 7" tablet either. It's still the kind of gadacquire that captures people's imagination. It's worth keeping an eye on. Perhaps not a device you think you'll need. But one you're going to want.

This test unit was kindly provided by CT MIAMI, a Samsung distributor for Latin America. The Galaxy Note will be available at CT MIAMI for wholesale customers on October 24 for $699.



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