Galaxy Note – The Unboxening

I knew I was going to get it, but I had wanted to torture myself first. I wanted to handle one, test it for size and feel, see how the digitizer pen worked (even if it’s basically identical to the one on this computer), generally just… stall. But when I called the local Vodafone outlet – who had told me on Saturday that they might, just possibly, have one in on Tuesday – they said they had indeed got one in. For someone else.

No! I was going to be first, dammit! For no very clear reason, I went into town to sort this. I was not actually determined to be the first on my block – consciously at least – but I did want clarification on when I would be able to try one.

When I got there, it didn’t take too long to work out that the other person it had been gotten in for was me. But – they couldn’t let me examine it first. And if I bought it unseen, I wouldn’t be able to return it no matter how unlike my expectations it turned out to be. I am about 99.67% certain that consumer rights say otherwise, but that’s the official line. (One reason I would have preferred to have stayed with O2, who don’t piss about in this respect, but it would seem Vodafone have an exclusive distribution deal here.) So I was faced with a dilemma: Commit myself, taking the risk that the phone was as unwieldy and flawed as a minority of reviewers claimed, or… or not. The alternative was to simply be patient until I could try it somewhere, whenever that may be.

And I had less than an hour before the shop closed.


I had a coffee and attempted to do some more expense-justifying calculations. But it was clear that nothing except an almost perverse effort of will could stop me now. Not having seen it there, so close, in its box. And at least from that I knew it could not be so unfeasibly huge as in the legends.

It’s not. Let’s fast forward. I bought it, I brought it home. There.

Basically, everything you’ve heard about its vasty vast vastness is excitable nonsense. Yes it’s big for a phone. It’s the biggest phone. But it fits in the hand well. And I have small hands – with short fingers even.

It just… works. Quite brilliantly. More details tomorrow, the excitement has quite exhausted me.


9 thoughts on “Galaxy Note – The Unboxening

  1. I don’t quite understand complaints about it being huge and unwieldy, even though I’ve never seen it. The reason I don’t understand is because the Galaxy Note is 5.78″ x 3.27″ x 0.38″ according to their website, and the Droid Razr I have is 5.15″ x 2.71″ x 0.28″ – only about 16mm difference in the biggest dimensional change. Granted, I have large hands (I’m a little over 2m tall) and I can touch my thumb to middle finger if I try while holding my phone, but I have seen people much smaller than me using the Razr incredibly comfortably.

    Is the problem fitting it in your pocket? Because that’s really not a safe place to carry an expensive piece of electronics with a glass screen – you can’t tell what you’re doing to it in your pocket. I put my Blackberry in my pocket with a penny once, and the screen ended up getting scratched to almost unreadable – because of a piece of change I couldn’t even feel. If you’re purchasing a device with an MSRP of over 500USD, shouldn’t you take measures to protect it such as a protective case and belt clip?


    1. It is big, but incredibly thin and light considering its capabilities. Screens on these are pretty tough but I agree, not a device for just shoving in your pocket with your keys.


  2. I put my phone in my pocket all the time. However I follow a strict rule of phone (and NOTHING ELSE) goes in front left pocket. I usually have 3 other pockets to put things in so it’s not so big a deal.


  3. The glass of the iPhone 4 is surprisingly scratch resistant. Keys, change, it’s made little difference. In the beginning I enjoyed freaking out by deliberately running my keys over the rear glass (yeah, I was a pussy and used the rear glass).

    And if I bought it unseen, I wouldn’t be able to return it no matter how unlike my expectations it turned out to be

    If you buy stuff online, there’s actually a European directive (Consumer Rights directive) which allows you to return a good bought online within 14 days of purchase, without requiring any explanation whatsoever.

    And yes, this means that you’re allowed to take it out of the packaging. It’s a try-out, not a “look out” period.


    1. Ugh. I need to preview before I post.

      To be clear: I enjoyed freaking people out. Not simply enjoyed freaking out as an actvity by itself.

      Also, I keep thinking this form will accept bb-code and hence the [quote] tags. Apologies.


      1. Yeah I wondered when you’d notice I was following you around tidying up…

        I didn’t buy this online, but I am pretty sure there’s also a cooling-off period for any contract to buy goods. Fortunately I won’t have to test this though. It’s a keeper.


  4. No it’s fine for the pants. As you say James, it isn’t that much larger in any one direction than others of the latest generation. The cumulative effect is striking, but at least in part that’s just visual impact because it’s nearly all screen. In volume it isn’t so far out of the ordinary. In fact I reckon it takes up less actual space than the thicker phones of not so long ago. It certainly makes a less unlikely bulge than the ancient Motorola M3688 I mentioned.

    Incidentally, Galway readers: Though Vodafone may not have a display dummy of the Note there’s one in Fonez, just opposite them in Corbettcourt. This of course I only noticed afterwards.

    A belt clip would not be my style, but like Aslum I have a strict nothing-but-the-phone policy for the front right pocket, a habit I’ve inculcated ever since my first smartphone. Well, ever since my first smartphone first got scratched. I’m still wondering whether to get a screen protector though. I always have one on the N900 because it’s a plastic screen, but this is Gorilla Glass like the iPhone. Am I as brave as Azijn?

    One advantage though is that it’s possible to get matte-finish screen protectors. I’d like to try those. Not for the anti-glare qualities though, but for the feel. Paper gives you a resistance that glass doesn’t, and my muscles have trained for years to work with it. I’ve long wanted to get a matte screen protector for the Tablet PC, but no one makes them.

    I want some case for this though. I’ve never had a phone I didn’t drop at least once, and I think the size of the Note does make it more likely to slip from your grip – especially with those pretty shiny rounded edges. Of what I can find available so far, I’m liking this best.


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