Samsung Galaxy Note is a series of Android-based high-end smartphones and high-end tablets developed and marketed by Samsung Electronics. The line is primarily oriented towards pen computing; all Galaxy Note models ship with a stylus pen and incorporate a pressure-sensitive Wacom digitizer. All Galaxy Note models also include software features that are oriented towards the stylus and the devices' large screens, such as note-taking and digital scrapbooking apps, and split-screen multitasking.
The Galaxy Note smartphones have been considered the first commercially successful examples of "phablets"—a class of smartphone with large screens that are intended to straddle the functionality of a traditional tablet with that of a phone. Samsung sold over 50 million Galaxy Note devices between September 2011 and October 2013. 10 million units of the Galaxy Note 3 have been sold within its first 2 months, 30 million were of the Note II, while the original Galaxy Note sold around 10 million units worldwide.
At IFA Berlin in 2011, Samsung announced the original Galaxy Note. While some media outlets questioned the viability of the device due to its 5.3-inch (135-mm) screen (which was, at the time, considered extremely large for a phone), the Note received positive reception for its stylus functionality, the speed of its 1.4 GHz dual-core processor, and the advantages of such a large screen size. The Galaxy Note was a commercial success: released October 2011, Samsung announced in December 2011, that the Galaxy Note had sold 1 million units in two months. In February 2012, Samsung debuted a Note version with LTE support, and by August 2012, the Note had sold 10 million units worldwide.
Galaxy Note II
On August 29, 2012, at IFA Berlin, Samsung unveiled a successor to the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note II. The new model, released September 2012, featured improvements to the original Note's hardware (with a quad-core processor and a larger 5.5 inches (140 mm) display, a revised stylus and an upgraded digitizer with 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity for more precise pen input, a new hardware design based on that of the Galaxy S III), along with new features such as pen gestures, split-screen multitasking, Air View (which allows previews of content to be displayed by hovering the pen above the screen), and other new features also introduced by the S III.
Galaxy Note 3
On September 4, 2013, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 3, which introduced a more "premium" design with a plastic leather backing, a 5.7 inch (145 mm) 1080p display, USB 3.0 connector, and expanded stylus pen functionality.
Galaxy Note 3 Neo
In January 2014, Samsung for the first time released a "downgraded" version of the Note 3, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo. It features the S-Pen stylus, 8 MP camera, 5.5" Super AMOLED HD 720p display, 16 GB storage, 2 GB RAM as well as all of the Note 3's software features. For the first time, it has a Samsung Exynos Hexa 5260 (6 core) processor with a quad core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 CPU and a dual core 1.7 GHz Cortex A15 CPU with support for HMP and a Mali-T624 GPU.
Galaxy Note 4
On September 3, 2014, at IFA Berlin, Samsung unveiled a successor to the Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy Note 4. The new model, released October 2014, introduced a new design with a plastic leather backing and metal frame, a 5.7-inch (145 mm) QHD display, a 16 MP camera with OIS, improved S-Pen stylus, an upgraded digitizer with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and expanded functionality, fingerprint scanner, and other features taken from the Galaxy S5.
Galaxy Note Edge
Alongside the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Note Edge, which features a display with a curved portion that wraps around the right bezel of the device. The curved area can be used as a sidebar to display news and information tickers, application shortcuts, and other tools.
Galaxy Note 5
The Galaxy Note 5 was announced on 13 August 2015. It is based upon the specifications and hardware design of the Galaxy S6, including its metal frame and glass backing, a 5.7-inch 1440p display, Exynos 7 Octa 7420 system-on-chip, as well as a new spring-loaded stylus slot. As with the S6 and unlike previous Note models, the Note 5 does not offer a user-replaceable battery or expandable storage. The new "Screen off memo" feature allows the phone to be awoken directly to a note screen when the stylus is removed, and the camera app allows public and private livestreaming directly to YouTube.
Galaxy Note 7
The Galaxy Note 7 was announced during a press event in New York City on 2 August 2016. It is largely based on the hardware of the Galaxy S7, inheriting its processor, camera, and the restoration of IP68 water resistance and expandable storage. It is also Samsung's first device to feature a USB type-C connector. The Galaxy Note 7's display is curved across the sides of the device, and its stylus features higher degrees of pressure sensitivity and a finer tip.
In September 2016, safety regulators announced a formal recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after a spate of fires led to injuries and property damage. Samsung already initiated a voluntary recall.
Samsung Galaxy Note
Galaxy Note 8.0
At the Mobile World Congress 2013, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. It has an 8-inch display and uses a quad-core 1.6 GHz processor and, like the Galaxy Note 10.1, supports the Samsung S-Pen stylus.
Galaxy Note 10.1
Main article: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
At the Mobile World Congress 2012, Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 10.1, as an alternative to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. It has a 10.1-inch display and uses a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor and supports the Samsung S-Pen stylus input as seen on the original Galaxy Note phone.
Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition
At the 2013 Samsung Unpacked Episode 2 event on Berlin and New York, Samsung announced the successor to the original Galaxy Note 10.1 inch tablet dubbed as the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. Like its predecessor, it has a 10.1 inch display and now supports the improved Samsung S-Pen stylus input also seen in the Note III and it copies the design cue of its lower-end sibling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 which sports the unified Samsung design first used on the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung Galaxy Note Pro
Galaxy Note Pro 12.2
At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung announced the first Pro line of tablets which included a bigger Samsung Galaxy Note Pro tablet with a 12.2 inch display and also comes with the same S-Pen stylus the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is sporting which is the standard on the Note Series. Its design is similar to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition which has the Samsung standard simulated stitched-leather back.
Other Samsung Devices equipped with S-Pen stylus
Subsequently, released together with the first regular Tab A 8.0 and 9.7 models in 2015, Samsung released a model of the Tab A 9.7 equipped with an S-Pen stylus making it the first Samsung Galaxy device to be equipped with the Samsung stylus outside of the Note series.