Phablets for Business: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
One of the interesting trends currently impacting BYOD programs at many Canadian businesses is the ever-increasing amount of consumers that are making the choice to buy a large smartphone rather than a small tablet. These ‘phablets’ typically have screen sizes of 5 to 8 inches and many users find that they offer the communication advantages of a smartphone and the productivity of a tablet.
Phablets were first introduced in 2012 with the Samsung Galaxy Note, and in that year alone, the Note sold 10 million units – making it one of the most successful launches in history. Recent research from Barclays indicates that phablets are projected to grow 70 per cent annually for the next three years and become a $135 billion market by the end of 2015.
If your business is looking at equipping employees with phablets, or at least supporting phablets in your BYOD program, you’ll want to read on. We’re taking a look at some of the features and attributes of one of the hottest devices on the market – the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – to see how it can help your business.
Samsung’s ‘Multi Window’ feature allows you to take full advantage of the 5.7″ screen on the Note 3. Users can easily run two apps side-by-side in a split-screen view and drag and drop content from one window to the other. Shortcuts can also be set to simultaneously launch two apps side-by-side. This is great for business users who want to keep an eye out for new emails while browsing their social media profiles first thing in the morning.
Users on the Note 3 can also now run the same app in both windows. Having two web browsers open can be very helpful during online research or comparing prices on two different websites.
What separates the Galaxy Note 3 from other phablets is the included S Pen stylus. Now in its third generation, the stylus has evolved to become an essential tool for business users. Sliding it out from the bottom right corner of the phone triggers a special ‘Air Command’ menu for easy access to a range of five quick actions:
- Action Memo brings up a little notepad which is great for quickly jotting down a number or note. If you accidently bump into an old customer, you can add quickly add their contact details by pulling out the S Pen.
- Scrapbook allows you to save content into virtual scrapbooks. This can range from a screenshot generated via an app, to a web page or video clip. Each scrapbook can be categorized with different folders, and tags can be added to each clip. This is a great tool to capture relevant mobile research ideas when commuting to and from work.
- Screen Write is a great way to grab a screenshot and make some annotations on it. For example, if you’re explaining to someone how to get to your business, you could draw a couple of route options to your location from a Google Maps screenshot and share it via text messaging or email to a customer.
- S Finder will search for anything on your device including text and handwriting in Scrapbook and Notes. This is perfect for professionals constantly adding notes on the fly but forgetting to organize them later. S Finder only needs a search term for a system wide search of all your content.
- Pen Window allows you to draw a rectangle anywhere on the screen and choose an app that you want to appear inside the window. For example, business users can have the calculator app open while checking for prices of a product using the Internet browser. This is an excellent feature for professionals who frequently multitask between a couple of apps on a daily basis.
Having a big display often requires an equally big battery. The Note 3 uses a 3,200-mAh battery which is one of the largest smartphone batteries on the market today. With light use, users can expect to go almost two days without needing a recharge. And because the back case is removable, business travellers can buy an additional battery to further extend battery life during long flights and road travel.
The Note 3 comes with 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for up to an extra 64GB of space. As other phablets sometimes forgo expandable storage, this is a useful feature for professionals who need to store and access large files on the go.
The bottom line
For visual users who enjoy collecting digital clips for scrapbooking or analytical users who need to multitask and organize content, the Note 3 offers more productivity features than most other phablets on the market. For those looking for a top-tier smartphone/tablet hybrid with good battery life, built-in productivity features and software, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is hard to beat.
Have you tried the Galaxy Note 3? If so, tell us what your favourite feature is in the comments section below.