S Memo Stylus Review – A Closer Look At The Galaxy Note [Video]

November 6, 2011
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The Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the latest devices from Samsung. It comes with the revolutionary S Pen – which allows users to use the “stylus” as as input devices to create content and media, previously unavailable to swipe and touch interfaces.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the S Pen, the device that comes together with the Note.

With the S Pen, the user will able to create notes and memos, through Samsung’s proprietary app called S Memo.
The S Memo is integrated into TouchWiz, and the icon appears in all homescreens as well as within the App drawer.

The are several ways to launch the S Memo app from your device:

  • by simply tapping the S Memo icon in the homescreen or app drawer.
  • by holding the click button on the S Pen, and performing a quick double tap (with the pen) on the screen.
  • by tapping any note widget you currently have on your homescreen.

Inside the memo, you will have the option to use 2 types of memo.

  • text based memo
  • stylus based memo (doodles)

Also, you can combine these 2 input methods above to create a memo that has both text and stylus inputs. This works naturally through the app.

Next, there are several backgrounds you can choose from for your inputs; ranging from a grid mode, to graph mode, blank paper mode, lined mode, as well as an interesting music note mode.

Straight off, I could immediately tell that this memo will be a major need for users who “work” with their device. The memo app also has voice recording integrated – making it a dream come true for musicians and writers alike.

Memos created with the app can also be organized in folders, and locked to prevent accidental modifications and deletions. The memos can also be moved from folder to folder – which is nice.

In the memo, users can choose 4 different types of brushes – pen, brush, pencil and highlighter. There are also several preset colors, as well as an option to pull down the menu to access a full range of colors. The size and opacity of the brush can also be tweaked – allowing you to create different tones and hues with ease. The eraser size could also be change. There is also an undo and redo button for you to quickly make amendments of your memo.

Users can also import pictures from the gallery to include in the memo – allowing users to interact with their snapshot, or simply taking notes on things that they see from their eyes.

As a person who constantly take notes, I find that this allows me to capture my environment with the camera, and immediately note the changes or comments in a memo, then sending it out via multiple channels to my contacts. Not only is this flexible, but file formats stay in JPEG, which should be viewable on other devices without a problem. You can also sync your notes to Google Docs and store them in the cloud.

Another astounding feature of the S Memo is its ability to convert handwriting to text. This feature will require a bit more legibility and accuracy from the user – hence random scribblings will be hard to capture – but it still works quite well in practice. Out of five tests, the Note manages to capture all 5 scribbles – provided that the original memo was written in a legible manner to begin with. This is brilliant, but will require effort from users to write in a nicer handwriting.

Video

Overall, I found the S Memo app an interesting addition to the Galaxy Note. Personally, i find this best for people that plan to do actual work related stuff with the device itself. This includes individuals who are:

  • business people & entrepreneurs who are constantly working on PowerPoints, Excels, and office work.
  • designers, illustrators – basically anyone who would find photoshop in a phone useful.
  • copywriters and writers who write a lot – while needing to do jingles and record themselves on the go.
  • musicians and artists who require a device to not only write their lyrics, but also to record the song or hums.
  • Interior and fashion designers who need to snap samples from the real world to convert into a digital masterpiece.
  • students who require a tool to help them take superior notes/memos.
  • the occasional attention seeking individual who just wants to inspire envy from fancy looking facebook or google+ posts.

That said, I personally find that it works best for business people. The last six days with the Note certainly got a lot of sharp looking business people asking what the device was, and when it was being launched, as I usually surf the web over lunch. Using it in the office has also inspired envy from colleagues who wished they had a tool to utilize their work without having to transfer pen and paper to the screen.

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