Phone Scoop

printed November 23, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note for AT&T

Form Basics Extras Video Wrap-up Comments  6  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's Usability S-Pen  

This is the most important section of Phone Scoop's review of the Galaxy Note. As attractive and stunning as the Galaxy Note may be, it is simply too large for most people. As I've noted, I have large hands, and I cannot use this device one-handed.

Holding the device in my right hand, I cannot stretch my thumb across the Galaxy Note to reach the all-important Menu key, which is on the bottom left. I can reach it only if adjust my grasp to the point of nearly dropping the phone. And it's not just the Menu key. My thumb cannot reach perhaps 30% of the Galaxy Note's display unless I adjust my grip on the device. Constantly adjusting my grip, in addition to the weight of the Galaxy Note, led to muscle fatigue in my hand.

You have to resort to two hands to effectively use the Galaxy Note -- and that negates the Galaxy Note's usefulness as a phone to a large degree. Here's why: Imagine you're traveling. You land at an airport and need to hurry to another gate or to the car rental counter. You have a roller-bag or other luggage with you, so one hand is occupied. Using the other hand to check emails, messages, the weather, whatever, is nearly impossible. This is especially true if you want to send a message. Even the presence of Swype doesn't make one-handed typing practical.

I found myself constantly bringing up my left hand to help with making on-screen selections, or to interact with parts of the user interface because my other hand couldn't reach those elements. I want to be able to everything with my phone one-handed.

Don't get me wrong, overall I really like the Galaxy Note and what Samsung is trying to do here, but after using it for a few days, my hand hurt, I was frustrated that I often had to use two hands, and I was pining to use a smaller, lighter, easier-to-use phone.

I've included a look at usable the Galaxy Note is in the our video tour of the Galaxy Note.

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