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Galaxy Note 9: Here’s how Samsung’s phablet phones have evolved over the years

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 is here. The new Note continues the legacy of almost a decade-old iconic smartphone series from Samsung. While the latest Galaxy Note 9 comes with the best from Samsung, let’s take a look at the evolution of the series, which made “phablets” popular.

tech Updated: Aug 10, 2018 13:24 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Samsung Note 9,Samsung Note 9 Launch Date In India,Samsung Note 9 Launch Event
Here’s how Samsung Galaxy Note phones have evolved over the years(HT Photo)

Almost seven years ago, when Samsung unveiled the very first Galaxy Note, both users and experts were amused by the choice of a large 5.3-inch screen — considered to be very big for a mobile phone at that time. The original Note brought the best of the old and modern times (then) by offering top-notch touchscreen experience and a bundled stylus, which was usually associated with archaic PDAs. The Galaxy Note set a new trend of big screen phones, making the term “phablets” popular. Years later, Apple would later launch its own large-screen iPhone Plus models.

The first Samsung Galaxy Note was a refined version of Galaxy SII. Packed in a plastic body, the phone had minimum physical buttons. It had a large 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display with 1280x800 resolution, 1GB RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera — features that impressed users then. But in 2011, it was pretty much the best you could get on an Android.

The Samsung Galaxy Note featured a slot to house the complimentary stylus, dubbed S Pen. The stylus has its own coming-of-the-age story. The original S Pen, with its limited functionality, could do various things such as take screenshots, scribble on the screen and take quick notes. It could even recognise the handwriting. Over the years, S Pens have become more advanced, capable and slimmer to deliver a real-life writing experience. Today, Samsung is wooing artists around the world to use the stylus to create and share their artwork. A dedicated PENUP app now has over 3 million users. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 launched, with extra cooling for gamers and power users

In 2012, Samsung launched Galaxy Note II with even bigger 5.5-inch display and faster processor under the hood. The S Pen came with new advanced features such as Air View that allowed users to hover the stylus on an app, without opening it. A Quick Command feature allowed one to access recent applications using the stylus.

Evolution of Samsung Galaxy Note phones (HT Photo)

Both the Galaxy Note and Galaxy II were immensely successful for Samsung, helping the Korean giant become a formidable competitor to Apple. Samsung in March 2012 said it had sold 5 million units in just five months of the launch of Galaxy Note.

In 2013-14, Samsung’s Note models continued to improve in terms of design, performance, and camera. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 3 Neo, launched in September 2013 and February 2014 respectively, came with lighter form factor and enhancements to the software. ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy Watch with LTE support launched, takes on Apple Watch

The 2015 model, Galaxy Note 5, came in for a major upgrade over its predecessors with a special emphasis on modern ergonomics. Featuring a 5.7-inch QHD Super AMOLED display, the phone sported 7000 series aluminum for sturdiness. Another improvement was the way the S Pen was housed in the phone. The stylus would come out now by simple tap on the back, instead of prying it out using your fingernails.

Samsung Galaxy Note phones have become smarter over the years (HT Photo)

Samsung Galaxy Note’s history will be incomplete without the mention of the fateful Galaxy Note 7 — the ambitious phone that skipped one generation to join then Galaxy S7 phones. With multiple users around the world reporting about the phone catching fire and exploding, the Galaxy Note 7 was ultimately recalled and suspended, causing Samsung to lose millions of dollars in revenues. READ: Remembering the Note 7 battery fiasco and turnaround

Samsung Galaxy Note 8, however, saw a delayed launch, but was a big turnaround for the company as it was an excellent performer. Design wise, it borrowed the best of the Galaxy S8 series and offered a highly capable S Pen.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 09:44 IST