Samsung has finally launched its Galaxy Note Android phone in Australia. The half-tablet, half-smartphone device will be available through Optus and Vodafone this week, followed by a Telstra launch sometime in April.
The Galaxy Note was officially unveiled at media event in Sydney last night. The device is best described as either an extra large smartphone or a small tablet, though Samsung is officially declaring it a new category of device that sits in between the two.
The key features of the Samsung Galaxy Note are a large 5.3in screen and a stylus called the "S Pen" that allows users to take notes, draw onto the screen, and annotate images and PDF files.
"The Samsung Galaxy Note represents a new category of Samsung portable devices for Australian consumers," said Tyler McGee, vice president of telecommunications at Samsung Australia. "The product combines the freedom of a paper notebook with the connectivity of Samsung's smartphone technology and services, providing consumers with great flexibility all-round."
The official Galaxy Note micro site says the Android smartphone intends to "consolidate the core tasks of multiple devices" including the smartphone, the tablet and a physical pen and paper.
"There is an emerging desire for a primary device for on-the-go use that could consolidate the core tasks of multiple devices as well as recreate the ease and simplicity of using a pen and paper," the site reads. "The Galaxy Note is a primary device that will minimise the need to switch to other devices while on the go and open up the potential of your mobile experience."
Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note will be sold through all three Australian telcos, though Optus and Vodafone are first off the bat and are expected to begin selling the device this week. A Telstra launch will follow sometime next month. Full pricing is yet to be revealed though Optus will sell the phone for $0 on its $79 cap plan over 24 months, while Vodafone will stock it for $5 on its $59 cap plan over 24 months. The phone will also sell for $899 outright and unlocked.
The Australian launch of the Galaxy Note comes months after the device went on sale in various European markets late last year, and weeks after it launched in the US. Online mobile phone store MobiCity was the first online retail outlet to sell the Galaxy Note in Australia back in October, but the phone was a grey import model rather than an Australian one. It currently sells the same model for $699.
The Samsung Galaxy Note is powered by a dual-core, 1.4GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, has 1GB of RAM and will come with 16GB of internal memory. There's also a microSD card slot for extra memory, an 8-megapixel camera that records HD 1080p video at 30 fps and a 2-megapixel front facing camera for video calls. The phone currently runs the 2.3 Gingerbread version of Google's Android operating system, though Samsung has promised an upgrade to the latest 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version in the coming months.
Last week, Samsung announced it has sold over two million Galaxy Note devices globally. The company expects sales of the device to reach over 10 million by the end of 2012.