Note: Our original review was of the unlocked, £499.99 ($784) GSM Galaxy Note. We've updated the review to reflect our impressions and tests of the $299 (with contract) AT&T model as well. Check out the Connectivity and Software sections, in particular, to see the biggest differences between the two devices.

There once was a time, commonly referred to as the pre-iPad era, when people questioned if there really was a gap between laptops and smartphones for tablets to fill. The two established device categories seemed to have too many overlaps in functionality to permit a separate product type to exist between them. Today, that question has been answered emphatically by the wildly popular tablet market, but the challenge of trailblazing new form factors remains and has been taken up by Samsung with the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note. Too small to be considered a tablet and too large to be deemed a phone, this new Android device seeks to demonstrate the value of its unconventional size as well as its own credentials.

Samsung has built the Note atop its extremely successful Galaxy S II platform, though much as it did with the Galaxy Nexus, the company has added some significant upgrades. The Galaxy Note has a higher-resolution display, a much larger battery, and a new S Pen stylus, making it more potent and versatile than a simple oversized GSII handset. So it’s bigger, badder, and carries a small stick — does that make it Samsung’s next great mobile device?