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Traveling almost five months with the Note in China

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rlx, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. rlx

    rlx Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I got an international Galaxy Note N7000 in February a couple of days before leaving for China. I initially planned to take my tablet PC running Windows7 with me, but after playing a couple of days with the Note, I decided to leave the tablet PC at home.

    That was a great decision since I have been able to do everything I needed to do with the Note and it fitted in my jeans pocket so I had it with me all the time. The battery life of the Note is more than four times that of my tablet PC and that is enough to take me to mid afternoon (doing similar tasks on both machines).

    I bought a China Mobile plan with the phone, free SMS, internet and WIFI for 30 yuans/month. I got free incoming international calls but I could not dial international numbers.

    After using the Note in class for more than a month, mostly to search the dictionary, I realized that I could also use the Note in combination with Baidu IME, Jota+ and Hanping Pro to take notes directly to a file on the SD card. The teacher often did not write clearly and I did not get a good record with my handwritten notes. I found out that using the Note I could keep the record much more accurately than with pen and paper.

    At this point I had not used the S-Pen very much. In fact I was a bit disappointed with the results I got with the S-Pen on the Note as compared to what I got from my tablet PC running Windows 7. I almost did not use the pen for the four months an a half I spent in China. Fortunately after I upgraded the Note to Ice Cream Sandwich in mid July, the pen now seems to me more usable. The new pen cursor helps a lot with writing. I now use the pen regularly. I feel that the support for the pen in Android/Samsung Note still has some way to go before even being on par with Windows 7. The inking API used on Windows7 is very good.

    In February, when I bought the Note, the Samsung Internet site claimed that the Note supported handwriting recognition in both English and Chinese. Unfortunately the international model I got does not come with the Samsung Chinese IME so I can't use handwriting resognition in S-Note. I hope Samsung will realize that many consumers expect to use international and Chinese IME's and keyboards independently of which country they live in. Fortunately Baidu provides a very good Chinese/English IME and this is now the keyboard I use.

    I found out that using the GPS in combination with Baidu map and and an (even slow) internet connection allowed me to use city buses even shortly after I arrived in China and while I was still unfamiliar with the language. Baidu map is a must have application if you travel in China.

    The hardware is very reliable. The back-cover is not flimsy at all. I dropped the phone on the floor three times and there was no damage whatsoever. Maybe I was lucky.

    On the negative side I have a LOT of problems related to the button location. 1. In my view the power button should be on the top an not on the right as it is right now; I very often press the power button by accident and this is very frustrating to loose the screen at a critical moment (like when taking a picture). 2. The capacitive buttons should be on the top and not on the bottom of the unit; when using the pen I often loose the current program if the palm of my hand just touches the bottom area of the phone. I know that the capacitive buttons are deactivated when the unit senses the pen but again if there is a lot of action going on, my mind is not so much concentrated on the subtleties of how to handle the phone but rather on the business at hand. So I feel that those buttons should be on the top of the unit.

    I found myself traveling with nothing more than my money, my Note, and a light bag.
     


Samsung Galaxy Note Forum

The Samsung Galaxy Note release date was January 2012. Features and Specs include a 5.3" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, Snapdragon S3 processor, and 2500mAh battery.

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