NOOK Tablet vs Galaxy Note: Tablet versus Phoneblet

by: Paul NuñalNovember 18, 2011
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One of the hottest devices out there, the Galaxy Note and the NOOK Tablet (formerly codenamed NOOK Color 2) are two exceptional devices heading their way to store shelves for the holiday season. Samsung’s flagship phoneblet (phone-tablet), the Galaxy Note, promises to be a showstopper, considering the device is both a phone and tablet rolled into one device. On the other hand, Barnes & Noble has surprised many consumers with its latest announcement of the NOOK Tablet.

As we pit the Galaxy Note and NOOK Tablet, let’s catch a glimpse of how these two great gadgets stack up against each other. It’s a contest between a powerful phone-tablet hybrid and a beautifully crafted colorful tablet.



Pushing the boundaries out from the ordinary, the Galaxy Note is absolutely gorgeous with its 5.3-inch Super AMOLED display capable of rendering 1280×800 resolution. That’s like holding a pocket-size monitor in your hands.

On the NOOK Color, expect to see a larger, 7-inch display capable of handling 1024×600 resolution. The 169 ppi on the NOOK Color is quite low compared to the 285 ppi on the Galaxy Note.

Certain factors like density greatly affect the display. But, considering the NOOK Tablet being a tablet, you probably won’t need that many pixels as the images are already sharp enough to be appreciated.

Design and Dimensions

On paper, obviously the Galaxy Note is much smaller than the NOOK Tablet. Both devices are easy to hold as they are compact and lightweight.

Thin enough to grasp in your hand, the Galaxy Note is perfect as an everyday companion, as it can easily slip into your pocket. One possible difficulty that some users could potentially grip about would be taking calls on the Galaxy Note. The gigantic size of the device might feel a bit awkward during your first call, but once you get the feel of it you certainly won’t mind its size. And, there is always the option of using a separate Bluetooth headset.

Galaxy Nexus on the left, Galaxy Note on the right

The revamped design of the NOOK Color is almost actually the same compared to its predecessor with the exception of the device being trimmed down to have lighter and thinner feel. Covered with a plastic coating, this may be the reason why it has that lighter feel.

Processing Power

Just by looking at the specs, both devices have dual-core processors, with the other one slightly clocked higher. The Galaxy Note’s 1.4-GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor is as powerful as it can be, capable of parallel processing without expecting glitches.  In contrast, the NOOK Tablet’s 1.2-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP4 processor is also powerful, although running at slower clock speed.

If you ask me, the slightly faster clock speed doesn’t make a difference unless it is paired with great and optimized software.

Both the NOOK Tablet and the Galaxy Note sport the same amount of RAM–1 GB. The only thing that separates the devices would probably be their internal storage capacities. The Galaxy Note comes in two offerings, the bite-size 16 GB model and the massive 32 GB model. Either way, whatever version you choose is definitely a winner. The NOOK Tablet, on the other hand, comes in onlya 16-GB model.

Both devices have microSD card expansion slots capable of up to 32 GB.


Packed with an 8-MP camera, the Galaxy Note has a fabulous shooter with autofocus, image stabilization, and face detection features. Unfortunately (or maybe not), the NOOK Tablet doesn’t have a rear camera built in. The NOOK Tablet was designed as a budget-friendly e-reader tablet, and Barnes & Noble didn’t include a camera to trim down costs.

Battery Life

Running on a full charge, the NOOK Tablet has enough juice for 11.5 hours of reading and 9 hours of video playback. With a massive screen comes great battery consumption, and the folks at Samsung managed to resolve the problem by offering a whooping 2,500-mAh battery that could provide 13 hours talk time and about 370 hours of standby time for the Galaxy Note.


In a nutshell, the Galaxy Note has two outstanding qualities; it’s a phone and at the same time a tablet. Although, it’s really hard to compare apples and oranges, the Galaxy Note is clearly the winner in this comparison with the NOOK Tablet. The Galaxy Note is Samsung’s response to the challenge of bridging the gap between the smartphone world and the tablet world.

With both devices having the same characteristics as a tablet, the competition is way out of reach. The Galaxy Note has enough features that could satisfy anyone’s craving for a smartphone.

If you love reading eBooks, browsing pictures, and streaming HD videos, the NOOK Tablet won’t disappoint you. It may not phone powers, but it does live up to its name as a compact, lightweight tablet for everyday use.

What’s your take on the Galaxy Note and the NOOK Tablet?  Which one is a more suitable device for you?

  • Brandon Brown

    Why in the world would you compare these two devices? If I need a phone, then the NOOK is out, if I already have a phone, then the NOTE is out. Even if the size is a little similar, they fall in two completely different categories. It’s not the size that places it in a category, its the functionality – are you going to be making calls or playing around on it?

  • Wqqw

    as you have said, it’s silly to compare an apple with an orange

  • The Galaxy Note seems an awkward size to me. Too big to be comfortably used as a phone, too small to be a functional tablet.

    Also, unlocked, it costs a lot more than a 7″ tablet.

  • Dave in Taiwan

    I am going to buy a 10 inch tablet for use at home, when travelling, for my daughter to use educational software, etc. But I won’t always have it with me.

    Today I have the original Google Nexus phone which is in serious need of an upgrade. I use this phone day and night everywhere. I live in a Chinese speaking country and rely on Google map, Google translate, news, etc. I would be literally lost without it.

    I am seriously considering the Galaxy Note as my next phone. Having an “almost ” tablet in my pocket and with me all the time really appeals.

    The only reason for holding off purchase is that a Tegra 3 powered unit is probably not far away.

    • alto_sax1968

      Hi there..
      I owned iphone 4 for about a year and was going to upgrade to iphone 4s but decided not to for a number of reasons and made my mind to get galaxy note as it has many advantages over iphone. I was bit worried about the size but I got used to it after one day…. I am really amazed with the features and specially it has amazingly crisp colour screen… I got mine from online from UK as it is not available from here in Australia and I suggest to get one from UK … If you want to know where I got it from just let me know …. they are very prompt in service as it only took 4 days to be shipped…

  • jose

    No Brasil ha uma loja muito boa que vende uma grande variedade de tablets, confiram pelo site.