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Galaxy Note U.S.: AT&T, Samsung Confirm 'Phablet' At CES 2012

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On Monday, AT&T and Samsung both announced that the Galaxy Note "phablet" (a device that fills a size niche between smartphone and tablet) will be coming to the U.S.

The Samsung-branded Galaxy Note has seen success overseas since its launch in September.

According to Gizmodo's and Engadget's live blogs of AT&T's announcement, the Note will feature a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with 1,280x800-pixel resolution, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It will run Android Gingerbread and will sport both a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera and a front-facing 5-megapixel camera. The device will also feature AT&T LTE connectivity.

The Note comes with an S Pen stylus, which Samsung U.S. Senior VP Kevin Packingham describes "a precise instrument with 256 levels of pressure sensitivity," according to Engadget's live blog of a separate Samsung event on Monday. You can use the stylus to navigate through the phone or open the note-taking application and it will translate your handwriting into typing, though Gizmodo found during a hands-on test that some words were lost in translation.

The Galaxy Note phablet combines the calling abilities of a phone with the larger screen size of a tablet. But some say the size is too large. Gizmodo's Brent Rose, who has self-described "ape hands", found the 5.3-inch screen usable, but barely. He writes, "I was able to type on it one-handed, but even for me the far side of the screen was a bit of a stretch."

Engadget described the phone as "snappy" and said it is a "dead-ringer" for its overseas predecessor. One of the major physical differences is that the U.S. version sports four buttons along the bottom bezel below the touchscreen, whereas the global device has only three. Most of the other differences aren't visible on the outside of the device.

AT&T has not yet announced either the release date or price.

For complete coverage of CES 2012, visit our big news page.

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