The border between tablets and smartphones lies somewhere around five inches. Once crossed, large-screen smartphones become small-screen tablets, though the specific size line is not defined. This is what makes the rumored Samsung Galaxy Q “tabphone” so unique. This Android-powered hybrid with a 5.3-inch screen straddles that line moreso than its cousin-in-Android, the Dell Streak.
The Dell Streak was clearly a smartphone. The five-inch device was marketed as a smartphone along with a carrier data contract. It was designed to make and receive calls. At the time of release, it was significantly larger than the devices that preceded it, which topped out at 4.3-inches. But now, smartphones are creeping up in inches, with the HTC Eternity and others hitting 4.7 inches.
Q Something Different
Call it a tabphone or tablet/smartphone hybrid, the Samsung Galaxy Q seems to be something completely different. It might not have a calling feature, especially if it arrives in the States. TabletPCReview readers will remember that the original 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab had a calling feature, which Samsung disabled for the US version. Rather than a phone, the Q might be the device perfectly suited for the next version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich is the next major update for the Android platform. According to Google it will bring Gingerbread (the smartphone version) and Honeycomb (the tablet version) together into one scalable operating system. Ice Cream Sandwich potentially solves the Samsung Galaxy Q’s identity crisis by not making the device pick a side. Samsung will not have to declare it a tablet and port Honeycomb, nor will they have to declare it a smartphone and pop in Gingerbread. This also solves any technical issues with applying Honeycomb to such a small screen, or Gingerbread to such a large display.
Could be the Galaxy Note
We will find out more at IFA in Berlin next week, where Samsung is set to unveil a host of devices. The Samsung Galaxy Q is rumored to make an appearance, though Samsung’s own teaser made no mention of the device. Samsung did reference a previously-unheard-of Galaxy Note, which may be the official name of this tablet/smartphone hybrid – or perhaps another device all together.