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Discussion: Is the Galaxy Note Too Big? Does Anyone Really Want to Use a Stylus?

As we inch closer to Galaxy Note release day here in the U.S., we are starting to see some negative feedback over the size of it and its stylus accessory. CNET walked around New York City asking for quick responses from random people and most were not all that excited or interested. But first off, let me just say that none of these people had even heard of the device from what we can tell. So clearly, the Super Bowl ad that Samsung paid millions for, did almost nothing to help spread the word about their next-gen device.

Most of the respondees were not keen on the idea that the device could replace both their phone and tablet. They also tried to pocket the 5.3″ beast and came away torn – some were down as long as it fit, some were not excited about the added “bulge.”

There aren’t any public plans for Verizon customers to get this phone other than one random report that if we do, it will be called the Galaxy Journal, but that doesn’t mean bigger phones won’t come from other OEMs. We are already starting to see massive phones like the Spectrum with its 4.5″ screen and the HTC Endeavor with its 4.7″ screen. The Galaxy Note does not appear to be the only device that will have a larger than life personality. But when is big, too big? Is the Note pushing the limits? Some of you are thrilled with the idea of having this much screen real estate while others would rather companies hang around the 4.3″ range.

And on a related note, what’s with the stylus? Is it because the phone has a big screen that Samsung feels the need to re-introduce the stylus into our world? I have an HTC Flyer and bought the Stylus, only I’m struggling to find any real use for it. I can type faster using the on-screen keyboard that I can physically write out some chicken scratch. Is it an artist thing? Or am I missing the point here?

So tell us:  has Samsung completely missed the mark with the Galaxy Note and its stylus?

  • Anonymous

    Definitely not interested.  I think it was a step backwards for Samsung to make such a large phone, even if they only intended it to be for a specific group of users.

    A stylus will make any device seem dated, unless they’re going after the internal business market where you may need these devices for management positions that do a lot of walking around a company to check on progress ect… 

    I think everyone agrees it’s not likely that the average user could even use the phone because of it’s size, but phones like the Nexus/Rezound/Razr are very usable, even women with small hands are using these 4.3-4.65” phones.

    • You forget students, I for one would’ve loved this thing in college. I hated typing notes although I did use Onenote a lot before I switched to Evernote. But when it came down to it it was much easier to simply write out notes, and if this thing has the precision of a digitizer it would make for an awesome note taking and sketch book for a student. 

      Narrow minded people are the death of innovation. This is not a Palm of yesteryears where you HAVE to use the stylus, it is an option and one all current tablets should have.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not narrow minded, I’m a realist.  This would not be more beneficial to a student than a tablet would be, or a laptop for taking notes.  You can’t possibly think writing notes is faster than typing them?  I can type over 100 wpm, there’s no way I can write 100 wpm.

        Not to mention how important it is that you’d be able to read everything you’ve typed as apposed to trying to make out your scribbling through a quick lecture.

        • Anonymous

          Try typing out your math, physics, chemistry, or biology notes.
          If you can’t read your own writing on this device, you can’t read your writing period.

      • The Note has a Wacom digitizer for the stylus.

        And if the word “Wacom” doesn’t ring any bells…

  • Corymcnutt

    NO, it is not too big.  I want a larger screen for easier reading, but I really don’t want a phone AND a tablet, so this is a nice compromise.

  • I’d like to have the note…watching slingbox on that huge screen would be sweet

  • If they were smart they would market this to business to be able to get digital signatures.

    • Anonymous

      Now you’re talking.

  • BGR already had an extremely similar rant. Hmmmmm…. So much for originality.

  • Meister_Li

    I’m sure there are people who’d like it. I know one artist who’s really excited for it, as it’d safe her the sketchpads on the go and produce a digital sketch right away. But then again, most artists aren’t really that wealthy to afford one.

  • Lolo

    Yes too big and Yes no F*&**  stylus!

  • A.M.

    The whole debate over the Note is ridiculous. This isn’t the iPhone, where there’s one form factor for the entire platform – arguing over size in that case is inevitable and appropriate. There are dozens of Android phones on the market, and there’s a huge range in people’s preferences. Some of those people will buy a 5.3″ phone if it’s done well. 

    Seriously, the people who complain about the Note are little dictators. Why do they get so bothered by the existence of something they wouldn’t buy? When you get a burger, do you flip off the girl who got a salad instead?

    I think I would like this phone, and I’ve heard others say the same. I have a Droid X, and I wish it was bigger. Given that only Samsung is making a phone this big, I think the Note will be a success. Perhaps not their leading light, but a profitable prospect.

    • Anonymous

      “Why do they get so bothered by the existence of something they wouldn’t buy?” – Sort of like all those people that feel the need to b*tch whenever a new slider is released.

      I know exactly what you mean.

    • HAHAHAHA I love your quip: ”
      When you get a burger, do you flip off the girl who got a salad instead?”

      Great point, really. Why not appreciate the device for what it is to those who will buy it, and if you’re not planning to buy it, well, keep your mouth shut.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you, I don’t get all the “is it to big” and all the tech blogs questioning the device and it’s purpose in the world of gadgets. umm… didn’t we already read that it has sold over 1 million devices worldwide? why are there still questions?

    • Anonymous

      Completely agree. Would the Note-bashers go after 65-in HDTV owners because, you know, 32-in is pretty much sufficient for THEM?

      This debate is stupid. Choice is good. Moving on ….

      • Agreed.

        • J. Reuben Waltner


      • Thgolfer

        I agree with you, choice is good.  Unfortunately, my choice would be for a 4.0″ or smaller Android ICS device.  And there really is nothing in that category to choose from.  I don’t knock the bigger phones, or the people that like them, but I do dislike this trend of bigger=better.  It is leaving a segment of the market behind, and forcing many over to the (gasp) iPhone.

        • Anonymous

          Sure. There’s no one phone that fits everyone’s needs perfectly (well, unless you’re an iPhone user LOL). That’s why the more phones there are on the market, the better chance you’ll have the one that fits YOU.

          Kudos to Sammy to have the balls and produce the Note. Many people all over the world seem to like the phone and I am happy for them.

          • monk

            I have the international version and i can say that the size is not for anyone, but for me its just perfect. The best phone so far. It fits in all my pockets because its thin. Its fast, the screen is gorgeous, battery lasts all day. You need some days to adjust to the new size, but then you can’t look back. all other phones seem like a toy to me and my tablet is collecting dust. The pen is not just a pen, its a wacom pen with 256 levels of preassure and a button to do gestures. Perfect if you like to draw or make sketches.

          • Noyfb

            if i had known the note was going to vzw i would have waited and not got the gnex, but then it went to att. its a good phone and it will also have ics.

            but the stylus is like the 1990’s pda’s what’s the point of it now that the screens can recognize finger touch? 

            i guess the stylus is good for people with ocd and need clean screens

      • J. Reuben Waltner

        great response i agree

    • angermeans

      Your absolutely right, but sadly this will probably fall on deaf ears. I never understood the logic of putting down another phone. Everyone has different tastes and although this phone is big (too big?) Doesn’t mean it wont have an audience. I congratulate Samsung for daring to try something different. If it didn’t have touchwiz I’d probably be interested in something like this.

    • Anonymous

      I fully agree with you. I have a Bionic and an HTC Flyer. I would love to have one device that covers the functions of both.
      Just because others have no need for the stylus, does not mean that I have no need for one. I use it all the time to jot down notes, draw diagrams, and mark up pictures I take.
      Unfortunately, I am on Verizon’s network and I am not leaving my unlimited data plan.
      I got a kick out of the fact that it seemed to disappoint Brian Bennet when the Note fit in everyone’s pocket.
      My needs are not the same as yours and your needs are not the same as mine.

    • Dskneon

      “Why do they get so bothered by the existence of something they wouldn’t buy?”
      Same goes for all the bashing about the iPhone. Why ppls bash the iPhone when they know they not going to buy it or have even tried it

      • J. Reuben Waltner


  • ThatGuy

    It is huge. It is not a phone. I want a smartphone, not a phone tablet.

    • Deltaechoe

      Then don’t get this phone

  • Tommy Thompson

    It’s not too big in my opinion. I also think the stylus partnered with today’s smartphones offers abilities and functionality that exceeds what it was capable of in the past.

  • I cant wait to get the galaxy note, my inspire 4g isnt gonna last much longer, and i think this is as large as phones can get. I also think the sylus is an awesome thing to add to it! =D

  • Austinrgoebel

    The screen size is really getting rediclious 4.5 should be the max then go to tabs

    • Anonymous

      Hey guess what? The Note is a phone and a tablet.

  • Asmodai

    It depends on if it is supposed to be a large phone or a small tablet.  If it’s a phone then it’s too big and I don’t want to use a stylus on a phone.  If it’s supposed to be a tablet I’d say it’s too small but I DO want to use a stylus on a tablet.  Make it bigger and use the ICS Stylus API instead of a OEM developed one and I’m in.

  • Anonymous

    I’d trade my Gnex in if WZW had the Note

    • Josh Groff

      I’d buy the AT&T one and get it unlocked, or buy a pre unlocked one for t-mobile.

  • Granted

    I think it’s an artist thing and also a note taker thing. I have used just about every kind of stylus that had been made, to draw and work on art for the games I build and just for pleasure. I’m also equally adept at just using my finger to draw with, but using a stylus can give you more precision in the fact that it feels more natural like a pencil or paintbrush or pen. Plus I find it easier for detailed work. A few of the drawing/painting apps I use have offset painting, and when you need it and don’t have it a stylus is perfect. I even have a stylus paint brush by Nomad that had capacitive bristles and it’s so much fun. Also, from most of the reviews I’ve seen for styli. Most people are using them for note taking apps like Quill. The level of precision it gives you for that function is stupendous, and a must for a lot of people. And there are different kings of styli that are better than the next.

    I find the cheaper ones, the rubber will wear away super fast and start to mark up and smear across your screen. It is insanely frustrating. But id be willing to bet that whatever stylus they pack in with the Note, will be subpar. But I switch back and forth between drawing with a stylus and my fingers pretty regularly. But, if you want to keep a smudge free screen. A nice stylus is the way to go. I’ve been sticking with Boxwave recently, but really they all need replacing after a while and I really wish someone would make a longer lasting one.

  • i wish it was on verizon id go buy it today 

    • Josh Groff

      You mean AT&T? Verizon hasn’t announced a release date.

      • He said he wishes it was on Verizon, not that it actually is available on Verizon’s network.  I agree with him.  I’ve always wanted a phone/tablet.  

        • Josh Groff

          I thought he said I wish I was on Verizon. #readingfail I would love one as well, might get a GSM unlocked one and t-mobile’s new 100 minute/ 5GB data/ unlimited text prepaid (not bad for $30.) 

          Use skype/ GV for calling and have it as a backup phone for the same monthly price as a tablet plan (albeit with more data.) 😉

          • From my understanding the Note is not able to be used with t-mobiles bands. 

          • Josh Groff

            I thought AT&T and T-mobile were compatible at the 2/3G level and only their HSPA+ banding was different?

          • angermeans

            Its able to be used but only on edge (2G very slow) and wifi so you are right sir

    • Anonymous

       i though one of the tech blogs said that its coming to VZW as the Scribe ??

  • I want it. Period end of story. 

  • Anonymous

    It’s too big for average phone use, IMO.  However, if I needed one device to act as a tablet and a phone, this would be the choice for me.  Since I don’t need such convergence, it’s too big.  With that said, I love having a stylus for my tablet.  I write notes on that thing daily… no more paper for me.

  • Wade Wilson

    IMO, the Note is too big. I mean I’ll admit I thought the GNex was too big at first but I’ve adjusted to it. The Note on the other hand is pushing the limits. Way I see it is it’s a target market and it fills the small (or large) niche and it does it well. To each his own, but I think it’s too big.

  • Ahku Droid

    The ever increasing size of screens is ridiculous.  I still think 4 inches is the best size, though I am getting used to 4,3″ on my MAXX.  Hopefully the trend doesn’t go to the point where only mintabs get top tier specs.

    In regards to the stylus, it’s just something else to lose at the bar.

  • As far as the Stylus goes, for me its an artist thing. A proper working little digital sketchpad would be great for me. I tried getting a stylus for Transformer but anytime my palm touches the screen i get wild lines. Easily erased. But still a pain. With the note there isnt that issue. Since it has a proper stylus and screen. Just my 2 cents. Definitely not for everyone. But clutch for an artist.

  • Anonymous

    I do want a massive screen, but i dont like a stylus. its redundant. 

    • trevorsalienarms

      You don’t have to use the stylus; it’s not a requirement for use. As mentioned before, it just gives additional options. Amazing that the mere prescence of a stylus can cause such adverse reaction.

  • Stating El Obvious

    Come on, does anybody really believe this phone is going to be a success?  No one knows about this crap, and the people who do don’t want it.  Incredibly stupid idea from Samsung.

    • And that’s why they sold 1 million units so far. Right.

      • Stating El Obvious

        LOL, at 1 million units.  Yes it’s been out for what is it 3 months and they’ve sold one million units.  Awesome accomplishment…something only a fandroid would be proud of for sure.

        That’s probably why everyone is so excited that the Nexus sold like 600,000 right?

        • 1 million is a lot for a niche device.

  • I have a friend that likes to draw that’s excited about this phone. I can understand that. I personally think it is a bit cumbersome but the great thing about Android is that there are so many choices.  We’re not limited to a ‘one size fits all’ form factor.

  • Jason

    Is that a Galaxy Note in your pants or are you just happy to see me?
    Comically oversized. Not interested.

  • Me personally I dont care for a stylus but like the added size. 

  • Tim Swann

    Way too big. Not to be the one to bring the Nexus into this thread, but any bigger of a screen on it and it might be getting to big for that too. 4.5″ is really going to be the limit for a phone. 7″ will be the smallest for a tablet. There is no reason to make something in between.

    • Josh Groff

      I can see it having use as a pocketable tablet. Phone connectivity is a plus, I wouldn’t mind getting one of these for 99-199 on contract. Sure it’s a big phone, but it’s an all in one device. I’ll admit that it does have a small market potential, but it’s pretty nice.

  • Yeah, I don’t get the stylus either. If its for artistic reasons, then it should be branded and marketed as a artistic tool primarily.

  • DaveTea

    Yes. No.

  • Anonymous

    After playing with the RAZR, I think this will be too big.  I really love the giant screen, and would buy this, but the bezel just makes it too big.  I need to be able to hold it for making phone calls.

    I definitely welcome a stylus.  Most styluses (stylii?) available imitate a finger and do not give the precision of a pen and paper.  I think the steps that HTC and Samsung have taken are a step in the right direction.  Finger for most use, stylus when needed.  Neither required. 

    The other thing missing is interaction with the stylus.  It’s my understanding the device takes a screenshot and lets you write on the screenshot.  Things like character recognition and digitization need to become commonplace.

  • EC8CH

    I bet 90-95% of the population think it’s too big and have no use for a stylus, but then again for the 5-10% who are looking for a device like this, they finally have an option.

    ahhhhh, the wonder of Android.

    • Zein

      That is exactly how I feel. That is who they are selling too, not everybody. Enough will sell and they will make a profit.

    • ReturnofMctypething

      Yeah, I’m sure creating mass marketing campaigns that only cater to 5% of the population will drive the growth of Android.

      • As a marketer of huge volume online I’d much prefer to be the only option for 10% of the population vs. 1 of 15 options for the other 90%. Easy slam dunk on profits. I have more than once had great success writing my ads to appeal to the minority as a stand out for them while everyone else competes for the majority dividing them up.

        • EC8CH

          excellent point

          • ReturnofMctypething

            actually it was an idiotic point, like most of yours

          • EC8CH

            or all of yours…

            Where ya been? 

            Been banned bro?

        • ReturnofMctypething

          Why would Samsung spend millions on a Super Bowl commercial if that was their goal?

        • Thgolfer

          I’m wishing someone would make a great device for the 10% on the other end of the spectrum. Those wanting an android device that is 4″ or less.  Until then I will continue to use my original Droid Incredible until it dies.  I don’t want to switch to the iPhone like several people I know.

          • EC8CH

            this is probably going too far in the other direction 😛

            HP Veer…

    • angermeans

      Plus the smartphone market is big enough that those 5% to 10% will buy a lot of phones esp considerimg this is the only phone on the market like this.

  • Anonymous

    Yes itS too big. Most of the tech press are jizzing there pants over this be ause it has a bigger screen. I’m sure the screen looks gorgeous, thin, & nice build quality. But at the end of the day you still have to use it as a phone. Especially with texting, I type with one hand always, not two. And the stylus is ridiculous. Question how much is it if I lose someone loses it…..I get people use them for drawing or whatever, but come on anything beyond that is insane. I have a iPad & trying to write on that with a stylus I got from wal- Mart & trying to handwrite on that with certain apps is a hastle. I don’t think it’s gonna be a market success in the states, it fits a very small consumer crowd & that’s it. Ok, now y’all can flame at me calling me anti-google fan boy

  • Anonymous

    yup you need your built in stylus…it’s called the middle finger

  • Stylus makes me feel like we are going back to the PDA days and the size is well suited for NBA Players with their giant mitts. Average hand this thing looks like a brick

  • Usaret06

    At 6’2″ the size is not a deterrent for me. I tried the Galaxy Media player 5.0 and liked it, as a media device.
    I can’t speak to how it would fit as a mobile phone, but I do see issues with many due to size.
    I’m happy with my SGS2 Epic Touch 4G but wouldn’t mind checking out the performance of this beast.

    • Anonymous

      I saw one of those at best buy, those things are huge. But u right as a media device it’s fine, because you don’t have to worry about making phone calls or texting

  • Anonymous

    My requirement is pretty simple.  I want as much screen as possible that will still fit in my normal-sized pocket (even if it has to come with a tiny mallet to smash it in).  So, I’m thinking the upper limit will be around 6″ with approximately 0 bezel.  In normal-sized pockets, the Note is an easy fit (especially since it’s so svelte).  I love tablets, but I don’t want to carry a bag.  As far as the stylus goes…  Meh…  Might be fun for a few minutes.  (I imagine artists love it.)

  • John

    Too big for me at least but still pretty damn cool device

  • Anonymous

    It’s a digitizer. You can draw on it. ala Wacom Tablet. It’s a different segment of the same game. I think you missed the point. this is your wacom tablet with 256 levels of pressure, portable.

  • Worm

    Its too big & bulky. My Galaxy Nexus is as big as I want to go. Pretty big fail, IMO

    • Anonymous

      I love some people’s liberal use of the word “fail” when what they really mean is it doesn’t do anything for me.
      With 1 million sold worldwide, it’s NOT looking like a fail.

  • Anonymous

    I had a stylus with my Samsung Omnia, and HTC XV 6700. I don’t want another one with a phone.

  • Jake

    I dont think the size would be a problem for me. I would prefer having a huge phone, for web browsing and games. I would buy one but dont have an upgrade, and its not on Verizon. Ill just stick with my Galaxy Nexus.

  • viewthis74

    “is the Galaxy Note too big?” nope. i dig it. the Note is a good addition to idea of “option”. don’t take away from my options. i like options. in fact take this discussion down asap. i don’t want anyone thinking this is too big or having a discussion about it haha

  • I don’t have a real interest in the Note itself but I want to comment on the issue of the stylus.

    I’m a cad drafter by trade, have the autocad for android loaded on my d4.  I also have sketchbook mobile installed on my d4.  I purchased a stylus for use with those apps because I find it more precise and easier to work than trying to use these apps with just my finger tip.

    There are still uses for the stylus for some people, I do agree though that it’s not for everybody. 

    • Anonymous

       If the stylus was required for use then I could see the complaints, it’s there for handwriting and finer control like you do with sketchbook (I can’t wait for design review!).

      Which stylus did you pickup, I might consider one for my GNexus.

      • I got a fairly cheap one by Griffin from Target for around $20 for now, see how I do with keeping track of it. 

        I want to find a slightly bigger one that fits my hand better eventually.

      • Anonymous

        I want to chime in on styli recommendations.  I got an iFaraday RxII for note taking and it’s amazing.  It works well for sketching too.  It’s better than any other stylus I’ve used.  http://ifaraday.com/

      • Anonymous

        In my experience, the fatter capacitive stylus pales in comparison to a the much finer resistive pen like the Note’s or the HTC Flyer’s.
        The resistive pen is also useful for clicking on tiny links on a webpage without having to zoom in.(I am not trying to start a war.)

    • angermeans

      I don’t see the issue with having it. some might not ever use it but I would rather have it there in case I need it then not have it at all. I mean its not like your forced to use it or the phone won’t opperate successfully without it. I think its a great idea and will open up the market to a whole new line of smart phones for people that want a true all in one device without having to carry a smartphone and a tablet plus only one data plan is smart

  • Edwin M

    Why are companies going in the larger direction. I think people are ready for devices to get smaller with decent size screens. Once it gets over the G-Nex screen size, it starts getting in to tablet territory, and at that point you shouldn’t have anything less than 7″ screens. A phone is a phone and a tablet is a tablet. I don’t think there is a need for an option in between the 2.

    • Anonymous

      Cause no one makes phone calls anymore and uses their smartphone as a mini computer. I agree, this is getting a bit too large but if Nexus was a little bigger, I wouldn’t complain.

      • You know, if the Note was the Nexus, we’d see a flood of “no, the size’s perfect” and “whoa, the stylus is such a genius idea” comments.

        And really, I don’t understand the whole idea behind criticising available options. You don’t want a big screen? Don’t get it. Don’t want a stylus? Don’t buy this device.

        Simple as that.

  • Anonymous

    I can see how some People might like this but it’s a little too big for my taste. 4.5″ with HD Rez is the highest I want to go. But hey, if they gave m one I’m sure id be pimping this bad boy around town. Throw it in the back Pocket. Lol

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like the idea of using a stylus, but I like the screen size (for a small tablet)

  • it’s ‘practical joke’ big

  • Afox1208

    Great idea. I would buy if it had a bigger battery (screen with lte will destroy battery ) also needs quad core as dual core is old news.

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, it’s too big. I don’t want to have to use a stylus, I want to be able to use my phone one-handed. My Galaxy Nexus is pushing the limits as it is. 

    • Anonymous

       You realize the Stylus isn’t required… right?

      It’s there for tasks that require precision.

  • Iyongraphics
    • That is hilarious. 

      • Jer85008

        If I ever were to use the term “LOL” in a post (which I would not), it would be in response to that post.

        Yes, the Galaxy note is just to Damn big. Too big for a phone, too small for a tablet.

        Kinda hits the “sweet spot” of suck for me.

        • Anonymous


    • Karim

      They should’ve worked on getting the galaxy nexus on ATT, T-Mobile and Sprint, and used the super-bowl air time to promote the Nexus…

    • Anonymous


    • Thank you.