updated 10:10 am EST, Mon January 30, 2012
Galaxy Note gets US launch details
Samsung and AT&T quickly followed up details of the Canadian launch with word of American launch plans for the Galaxy Note. AT&T will have the device at roughly the same time, February 19. The large-screen, LTE-equipped device will cost $300 on a contract and will be up for pre-orders February 5.
The phone and tablet hybrid is the same as the international version except for the additions of much faster 4G and a standard, four-button Android navigation layout instead of the consciously iPhone-like center button available elsewhere. AT&T hasn't said what if any custom software it's loading on its version, although a handful of carrier-specific apps are considered likely.
Both versions of the device share a 5.3-inch, 1280x800 screen that mates with the included S Pen stylus for relatively precise drawing and handwriting. A 1.4-GHz dual-core chip provides a slight speed upgrade, although the eight-megapixel rear camera, two-megapixel front camera, and 16GB of space echo the Galaxy S II that the Note is based on.
We tried the device at CES (linked above) and found that it might be appealing for those who use their smartphone primarily for data and don't mind the size. The pen doesn't have many practical uses, however, and we think some might be better off with the Android 4.0-based Galaxy Nexus if they're willing to pick Sprint or Verizon; it's smaller and has a stock OS that won't see upgrades delayed for months.