Generally speaking, people love to go on about how great Apple is, or how the iPhone and iPad revolutionized the industry. While it’s true that Apple did revolutionize things, there was a market they missed, which Samsung set the trend for. The thing is, when Samsung did this, no one was commenting positively about them or their new device. In fact, most of the comments were pretty hateful, with only a few places actually praising Samsung when they first launched this controversial device.
The device we are talking about, which set the new trend and ushered in the term “phablet”, was the Samsung Galaxy Note. When it was first released, most people said that it would not sell, or would do very poorly. Part of the reasons for this was the fact that Dell and other computer manufacturers had already released their own similar devices, and they did not do well. No one wanted a large bulky device that didn’t work. However, Samsung managed to get their phablet right, through a combination of features, marketing, and of course timing.
The timing was actually so good that from October 2011, when the original Note was released, until August 2012, just 10 short months later, Samsung had sold more than 10 million phablets. This revolutionised the industry, spurring numerous other device manufacturers to get in on the phablet market, although it took Apple two years to catch Samsung and release their iPhone 6 Plus, which is now competing against the Samsung Note 4. In fact, that competition is considered to be the fight of the year in the phablet space. However, there is a new contender entering the ring now.
That new contender is Google, and they’ll be bringing in their Nexus 6 device. It’s manufactured by Motorola, and bigger than either the Apple iPhone 6 Plus or the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It will also be running the latest version of Android, and retailing for about Â£400, which is quite a bit more than it used to cost, but is still less than the retail of either the Â£850 iPhone 6 Plus, or the Â£600 the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will cost. Also, since the Google Nexus 6 will be running a clean version of Android, without the Samsung TouchWiz overlay, it won’t slowdown, and is expected to be blazingly fast.
So, what is it that made the Samsung Note so popular when it first came out, as opposed to everything else out there? Perhaps more importantly, why does it still sell so well today when the market is saturated with phablets, and Apple has even entered the fray?
Well, it’s a combination of things, but these three features are what really lie at the heard of what made the Samsung Note shine.
1) The S-Pen Stylus. Samsung took a gamble when they released the first Galaxy Note, and included a newer stylus. Unlike the older models, which required regular taps, and were a bit limited, the S-Pen was a revolutionary advance in the world of stylus devices. It functioned like a standard stylus, but also worked exactly like a pen, letting you take notes wherever you were. As a bonus, the Note would also let you know when the pen was too far away from the phablet, which helped keep users from losing their S-Pens.
2) The form factor. More and more people were using their phones as tablets, because they either could not make and receive calls on their tablets (good work Apple), or their tablets that were able receive calls just werenâ€™t that functional. Because of this, these people would often have a large smartphone that wasnâ€™t really as pleasant to use as it could be. The Note changed all of that, bringing a larger screen, and including the ability to make calls. These features made it more pleasant to use, and it appealed to a much larger audience than anyone initially expected.
3) Standard Android phone features. The other three big features that kept people coming back for the Note, and even today for the Note 4, were the features people had come to love with their Android devices. First was the removable battery. This meant that in emergency cases, they could swap out batteries, or if there was a device issue, troubleshoot it themselves. Second, users were able to add their own SD cards, meaning they would be able to expand device memory as much as they needed to (within the limits of the device). Third, everyone loved the USB charger, because it meant all they ever needed to charge their phablet was an ordinary USB cable.
So, the Note was and still is an amazing device, despite some of the issues Samsung’s TouchWiz bloat ware can cause on it. Old school Samsung users and newer Android converts alike will find that it’s a pleasant device to use and hold, whether you’re holding the original Note, or the new Note 4. Of course, some may want to wait and see what happens with the new Google Nexus 6.