With the Galaxy Note line, Samsung pioneered the concept of the phablet - a hybrid between a tablet and a smartphone. Each successive release has brought added features and greater versatility. The unique innovation of the phablet concept is the combination of cellular service with a user interface more closely resembling a tablet than a traditional smartphone. Samsung also offers multiple tablet lines, including the Galaxy Tab S and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. For many consumers, the question is not whether to go with a Samsung smartphone or tablet versus one of their corporate rivals’ products. Instead, the pertinent concern is whether to purchase a Samsung tablet or a phablet.
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note phablet line and the Galaxy Tab tablet line receive good industry reviews and enthusiastic testimonials. The right product for the consumer comes down to expected use - specifically, whether the primary purchasing goal is finding a smartphone replacement or a mobile laptop. Both the Galaxy Tab line and the Galaxy Note phablets are offered in a variety of sizes and specifications. Searching options vigilantly while remaining open to both the tablet and the phablet maximises your chance for a great deal.
Size and Function
The Galaxy Note 4 will be available in four sizes - 5.5“, 5.7”, 8.0“, and 10.1”. Each of them comes with the S Pen, allowing the user to toggle between smartphone and tablet-style navigation. High-tech new features imported from Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, include a fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor. The Galaxy Tab S comes in 8.4" or 10.5" sizes. The tablets are limited to Wi-Fi, while the phablets offer 4G service. At 12.2“, Samsung also offers the Galaxy NotePRO, which has 4G service and a screen larger than the tablet. The question arises, though, about the comfort of using a 12” device as a phone.
The biggest functional advantage of the tablet line is its processor speed. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has a processor speed of 1.9 Ghz, utilising a Nvidia Tegra 2 Processor to deliver speeds comparable to high-end laptops. It also comes with 3 GB of RAM, guaranteeing that you can run high-demand software (including audio and video editors) on a mobile device. The phablet line holds its own with its camera, and from the first Galaxy Note release, the line has offered an 8 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p HD video. Each new release increases in lens quality and megapixel count.
With the release of these new models, it’s possible to find solid deals on the older releases in the Note line. As both the tablets and phablets come with customisable options on storage and size (not to mention colour and, for the phablets, a cellular plan), it’s hard to generalise about the best price-to-quality product. Taking only the Galaxy Note line as an example, prices can range from a couple hundred dollars for a first-generation Note with 16GB storage to more than a thousand for a 32 GB Galaxy Note II. Similar variability is evident in the pricing on the Tab line. A search for Samsung tablets reveals a huge range in price and quality, from early Tab models for under $100 to the newest NotePRO release. In general, the tablets run cheaper than the phablets, and they don’t saddle you with a monthly data plan. It’s worth considering, though, that when you’re using a tablet you will almost inevitably also be carrying a smartphone on you as well. With the phablet, you can leave the house with your phone and mobile computing device combined in one package. The need to only maintain one mobile device puts the phablet’s higher price in context.
The phablets offer cellular service and the flexibility of turning your smartphone into a work-ready device with the use of the S Pen. The tablets offer better processing speeds and are, generally, available at lower prices (though, as the case of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 makes clear, not always). Samsung’s design flair has improved dramatically since its clunky early devices, and both the Tab and Note models rival Apple for user-friendliness and sleek style.
As a customer, the final decision may come down to whether you are currently satisfied with your cellphone. If you have a smartphone that you’re happy with, the fast speeds and clean design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Tab S can grant you a flexibility to efficiently complete tasks on a larger screen with an adaptable and fun interface. If you’re looking to replace your phone, the Note line offers quality smartphones that double with the added functionality of a tablet.