The purpose of this article is to present my assessment of the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 to help you decide on its acquisition or for your personnal interest on this type of technology. Other documents in this collection provide implementation and useful advises to help you get the most out this new device.
The current technology
In recent years, the cell phone market has been flooded with new smart phones by all manufacturers. 2011 was the year of the proliferation of tablets following the introduction of the Apple’s iPad, in 2010. From the start of the smart phone revolution, Apple has taken the pole position and kept it until the fall of 2011. That is, until the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 operating with Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”.
At that point, the Grand Prix race for the leadership in this arena has become competitive. Google’s Android open architecture approach versus Apple’s iOS5 rather closed architecture. As a reminder, Apple has paid dearly in the 80’s for a closed approach when it tried to create a captive market for its Mac computers while Microsoft with its open approach started dominating the PC market. I’m afraid Apple may suffer the same fate if it does not change its approach, even though it has a strong lead right now. Humans try to avoid being trapped into a closed technology supplied by one manufacturer who tries to force them into only doing business with them and charge dearly!
In addition Apple is using Samsung, which competes with Apple in its own markets, to manufacture a lot of its technology. How can Apple hide part of its future technology from Samsung? Samsung dominates the glass display technology for HDTV and the new smart phones / tablets. Furthermore, Google with Android is not without financial resources in addition to being a dominant player in the Cloud with its lineup of products such as: Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Google Maps, … Samsung and Google will certainly be major competitors for Apple without a Steve Jobs. You draw your own conclusions!
All this to say that technologically, I consider the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 a Market Leader in its own category. Let’s see why.
Below is a picture of Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000.
Detailed specifications can be found on the Samsung UK WEB site since it is not yet announced in North America even though it can be bought on-line at Amazone.com and other sites. Here’s a reference to the Samsung UK web site: http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/smartphones/android/GT-N7000ZBAXEU
For a more comprehensive assessment of the Galaxy Note go to the following website:
Since a lot of details are available on the above web sites and on the internet, I will not go into more details on the description of this smart phone/tablet.
Having acquired such a device in November 2011, I had to invest a considerable amount of time to learn and understand the applications that came with the device and to select the most promising ones available on the Android Market. I also had to restructure my technology environment to take advantage of the new opportunities. I strongly suggest that you first read the first four documents of the evaluation collection to puts into perspective the technologies and applications discussed in the current article.
Never purchase a “locked” Samsung Galaxy Note or any other powerful smart phone with a multi-year contract from a cellular provider, unless you never get out of your coverage area for the duration of the contract. In other words, you never travel outside your country. All these locked phone plans, where they sell you a locked unit for a reduced price with a 2-3 year contract are not your best choice, in my opinion. With a “locked” unit you cannot go to another country, buy a local SIM card and use the phone locally at low costs. You are “locked” in.
You can get an unlocked Samsung Galaxy Note on the Internet. Suggested retail price of $ 899, but was available for between $ 650 and $ 700 on Amazone.com after Christmas 2011.
Accessories for the Samsung Galaxy Note
Like with any other smart phone you need some accessories. Here are the ones I bought and recommend. All of these can be purchased on the internet.
- Cases: DPair leather model ($ 39.99) and Elago Design resin model ($ 12.99). The leather model protects the glass screen of the device if you dropped our phone on the ground, but it makes the whole package bigger. The second only protects the fragile back, but it is much slimmer and lighter. I have the leather model and I have ordered the resin model. I will use both depending on my need and the potential risks. For the leather case, I have first purchased the flip bottom cover. I found it not natural to open. So I have ordered the open book type cover which I think will be more natural to use.
- Screen Protector: 2 x FX-CLEAR from FoliX Antireflective antiglare screen protector for Samsung Galaxy Note.
- Car Charger: in car charger and holder for the Samsung Galaxy Note by Cellapod Chargers.
- HDMI adapter to connect to an HDTV: MHL Adapter Micro USB to HDMI TV-Out HDTV for Samsung.
- Micro SD memory card: I bought the 32GB Class 4.
The above will help you protect your smart phone investment and facilitate its use where ever you go.
Applications to operate the Samsung Galaxy Note
As I had been looking for the Samsung Galaxy Note technology for the past two years, I had not bought any smartphone during that period. This is to say that the technology shock was more important for me when I turn on this unit for the first time. I write this because some of my comments may seem trivial to those who already have used this technology in recent years. On the other hand, with the extensive work I’ve done, I believe that my recommendations will be useful for the majority of people who perhaps do not put the time and effort that I have put in.
Here is a copy of my list of applications files in which I have documented each application that is operational on my Galaxy Phone for my personal reference:
Because of the large number of applications, I have classified and documented each one into the following categories:
- AAA – For basic applications that I access often.
- Entr – “Entertainment” related applications for: FM Radio, Music,…
- Files – For my personal data files.
- Finance – For my stock market applications.
- Games – For games.
- Info – For information related applications: News, Weather, …
- Nav – For navigation related applications using the GPS.
- Office – for office work type applications, such as: Word, Excel, …
- Phone – For telephony applications: cellular providers, Skype, …
- Pict – For photo and video applications, …
- Talk – For voice related applications.
- Travel – For travel applications.
- UtilApps – For utilities that I have purchased.
- Utility – For utilities provided with the unit.
Coding parameters for the above files:
- When there is a date in the filename, it indicates that the application was not on the device at the date of purchase and was download.
- When the second identifier is Android, Google and Samsung and there is no date, it identifies the applications received with the device and the provider of this application.
I classified all this to be able to find myself after a while and structure my menus.
After using the phone for a while, I redid all of my phone’s menus in order to find on the same menu screen all the elements on the same subject. Now I only have 4 screen menus:
- All my applications, as cataloged above, were regrouped into multiple application icons, to reflect the above categories, using the application “App Folder Pro”.
- On my second menu, I have displayed my most used Bookmark / Favorites to directly access my favorite Web sites. I also added the Evernote taskbar to access its functions directly.
- The third menu contains: E*TRADE’s Live Quotes, the indicator that shows the number of active applications, and the taskbar that allows me to activate or disable the following features: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, Sync, Brightness, Screen Timeout, Tips, Settings. Those can be found in the taskbar widgets.
- On the fourth menu, I have six open notes that I update manually directly on the screen using my S Pen as if it was on paper. For example, my current notes are: To Do List, To Buy List, Boat (to do on the boat), Invest: for investment actions to take, Phone: for my work studying my new phone, notes on the architecture of the Cloud for my current research. These subjects reflect my current concerns and will change over time. They represent what I used to scribble on paper. All this to become Paperless by removing the notes that I use to put paper before. I love this feature! Previously, I never ceased to recopy the items that I had not completed on a new piece of paper adding the new things to do. Often, I found myself in a store, but I had forgotten my list of items to buy paper at home!
At the bottom of each menu the following functions are always displayed: Phone / Contacts / S Memo / Messaging / Applications or Home. This completes the reorganization of my phone menus showned below.
I will write articles on specific applications in the coming week in the Apps collection. For the time being, I will highlight some key applications to get you going.
As I have mentioned in other articles, I highly recommend to all my friends to use Google applications as much as possible. To me it is STRATEGIC, because Google is already an undisputed market leader in this field and will undoubtedly maintain and even increase its lead over its closest rivals. In addition, it’s free. In particular, the following applications: Gmail, Gmail Contacts, Calendar, Google Maps, … because all these applications are well integrated into Android and available on Apple. For example, when I activated Gmail on my new Samsung Note, my Gmail contacts have become my Contacts on the Note. Very efficient! I update a contact on Gmail on my PC and see the change in my contact information on my Note. Fantastic! One thing to consider: you may have, as in my case with hundreds of contacts, to group your contacts into logical groups for easier access.
As recommended in the Cloud collection, if you have multiple devices (PC, tablet, smart phones, etc.) implement DropBox for your active files. DropBox will automatically keep your information synchronized across all your devices.
If you have one or more computers, one of the best backup applications is Acronis True Image Home 2012 with the Sync function. I consider a good backup application a must if you want to recover quickly and easily from a disaster.
Here are some of the applications that can be found on my Galaxy Note:
- Settings – to configure the Note to your specific requirements.
- Task Manager: to see the applications currently running on the Note and terminate those not required.
- My Files: The Note file manager for accessing and managing your files.
- Android Market – to identify and download the applications you need.
- Polaris (MS Office) – to create and update documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, …
- The various voice recognition applications to communicate verbally with the Note.
Here are some comments on some key applications that I have purchased and / or downloaded on my Note:
- PdaNet 3.02: This application facilitates “tethering” to use your phone to access the internet with your PC, when there is no direct Internet access or WiFi access and you only have cellular internet access. This eliminates the need to purchase cellular internet service for your PC. Great for travel. Here’s a video to guide its implementation: http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Tether-Your-Android-Phone-with-PdaNet-254323330
- AVG Antivirus – AVG Antivirus protection is what I use on all my PCs. Since it’s a good free apps and to keep things simple, I installed the same on my Note.
- eWallet – Since I use many different usernames and passwords, as everyone should do for increased security, I cannot remember them all. This Cloud type application is used to document and keep secure all your passwords for easy access on all your devices: PCs, Note, …
For the other applications, that I have not yet described specifically in the Apps collection, just do some research on the internet to learn the functions and use of each application. Starting points: my application list above, the Android Market applications on your PC and the Note. Once you have opened an Android Market account on your phone, you can do all your research on your PC and give the command to download the App on your Note directly from your PC. You will see your phone ID on your PC and the application install itself on your Note.
This article covers the Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000 functionality. The list of features allows us to appreciate the fact that it combines in A SINGLE PORTABLE device (pocket or handbag), everything a person may need wherever she goes, and especially while traveling.
Since, like for everything, there are trade-offs:
- The Galaxy Note is currently the most powerful PORTABLE phone/tablet that fits in your pocket, but it is also the smallest tablet (with a screen of 5.3 inches) to work on compared to the 10-inch tablets.
- The Galaxy Note is a big phone to transport compared to other smartphones, but it offers a much larger screen to view your emails, access the Internet and write or take notes.
- The screen is more difficult to read in the sun than a regular camera, but you don’t have to carry around a camera with you.
One could go on and on weighing the pros and the cons like this for a while.
The question everyone should ask themselves is: considering all the devices available, is there any other device that offers so much in a PORTABLE in your pocket format that meets all your needs? In my case the answer was clear: NONE at the time I purchased my Note. Which begs the second question: do I think I am going to find, in the near future, another device that might better suit my needs? In my case, even if there were to be a new device with similar functionality, can it bring more worth compared to what I have now? I don’t expect it soon since the Galaxy Note fulfills all the needs I can think of. I have waited two years for such a device; now that there is one available, why wait anymore?
For you to decide!