They have gotten slammed in the comment sections, but I am feeling the need to pile on a bit. Here's my problem with it; when you write, personal/anecdotal evidence can only get you so far. At some point, you have to look for real, provable facts. 5M people have bought the Samsung Galaxy Note, it's available worldwide (just like the iPhone) and is only available on a few networks. I personally have one, and it is completely different than any other smartphone I've ever used.
It is a truly polarizing device. Everyone who sees it (love or hate) is intrigued. I find the Note superior to any other handheld device for gaming or video watching. The screen is great for web browsing, stumble upon, reading and more. Replying to texts/emails is easier for me (larger buttons, and works great w/ SwiftKey Tablet X in landscape mode) - but I have larger than regular hands. I agree it is not for everyone, but should we not have some variety to choose from in our devices?
Apple's 3.5" screens are not for everyone, the 4.3" standard Android screen is not for everyone, and the 5"+ screens are not for everyone. But that's entirely why we have choice, you find the device that fits you best. Blasting Samsung and LG for creating "larger than life" devices is ridiculous. There is clearly demand, (5M is not a drop in the bucket). Just because YOU do not like a device, does not mean it has no value to offer others. These writers clearly need a reality check. Too many writers are putting technology in a box - they only accept new gadgets that fit into their personal schema of what technology should be.
While I am undoubtedly biased towards the Android/Google ecosystem, that does not mean I refuse to accept those of other ecosystems. I have often recommended Apple products to friends if I think they fit their needs. I've bought iPods, Kindles and Nooks for family members - because I felt those devices best fit their technology capabilities and ambitions. At the end of the day, smartphones (especially) and other technology choices need to be calculated and informed decisions, and that is part of what I aim to do.
Technology competition is what has made Android 4.x and iOS 5.x what they are today. It is why we are getting smaller, lighter more capable devices - because everyone has to innovate to stay in the market. Competition improves all hardware and software capabilities, while providing better devices to the user.
I, for one, welcome the new and zany devices that OEMs come up with (even if I think they are wasting their money). We should all welcome new technology platforms, because they give us, the consumer more choice.