Sunday, November 10, 2013

8 Days with the Galaxy Note 8

Last week I stopped by my local Best Buy to look at the Galaxy Note 8. I fell madly in love with the stylus and within a few hours I had set up an account with AT&T and had a new Note in my hands. I made a pros and cons list  and the high points were the stylus, micro USB charging (i.e. now all my devices could use the same charger), and newer features. The negatives were the color (ugh- Fisher Price white), high rate plan (with the Next plan I'd be at about $55 a month) and the larger size. But, I had an S-pen! Really, that was all I needed to know. 

The first few days were glorious. I jotted all my notes by hand, highlighted them freely and shared everything to Evernote. I couldn't get S-Notes to sync directly with Evernote but it was easy enough to use the share feature and upload a jpeg file. 
I made some solid investments to my device- I bought a black skin from Decal-girl to hide the stark white bezel. I bought a Zagg full body to add some grip. I wouldn't let the negative voices in my head win. 
But finally, last night, I had to come to grips with reality. The weight of this Note was literally and metaphorically too heavy. I made a list of the things I could no longer overlook:
1. The size was just too unwieldy. Even though my 7.7 seemed negligibly smaller than the Note 8 on paper, in my hand the difference was insurmountable.
2. The cost of the operation was too high. I went with the Next plan from AT&T which would cost me $55 per month ($25 for the installment payment, $30 for the data plan).  My current plan for my Tab 7.7 is $10 on top of my Verizon phone plan. 
3. Build. From the excessive use of plastic, to the large bezel to the white I just wasn't thrilled. The physical home button also gave me some pause. And my main grievance was that intermittently the screen would simply stop taking input for a second or 2. No reason, just happened. 
I pulled out my Tab 7.7 last night and fell in love with the smooth lines, muted tones and solid build all over again. And right then I knew I was going to have to take the Note back. 
I learned a few lessons from this excursion- the main one being that the S-pen experience alone is not enough to override all the other shortcomings. Yes, it's nice to have a pen periodically but even that was a double-edged sword. Most of my workflow during working hours involved Due Today and Evernote. Switching between those and the pen app made things more complicated than they needed to be. Usually after I make general notes on a meeting in Evernote I copy and paste the actionable portions into tasks. With handwritten notes that wasn't able to do that. 
As I returned the Note 8 to AT&T I waited for the pang of remorse...it never came. That told me all I needed to know.

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