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Hanson Hosein with his Samsung Galaxy Note.

OK, so in reality, Hanson Hosein doesn’t use his Samsung Galaxy Note as pictured here.

The director of the UW’s Master of Communications in Digital Media program makes calls on the giant Android phone using a Bluetooth headset. We cajoled him into posing like this when we met up last night.

But it makes the point: This thing is a phone, but it’s pretty much a tablet, as well, with a display measuring 5.3 inches diagonally. One guy walking by our table literally did a double-take when he saw the device sitting there. What is that thing?

By comparison, the iPhone’s screen is 3.5 inches, the Kindle Fire’s screen is 7 inches, and the iPad’s screen 9.7 inches.

We’ve already seen the tablet establish a market between the smartphone and the PC. Now, devices like the Galaxy Note raise the question: Is there a market for the “phablet,” a product somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet?

The Galaxy Note next to an iPhone

The Galaxy Note isn’t yet sold by a carrier in the U.S., but it’s expected to be available through AT&T in the future.

Hosein bought his on Amazon, and after about two or three weeks of use, he’s is a fan of the device. It has lightened his load, literally, by replacing both his iPad and his phone. He uses Evernote app and a stylus to take notes. And the device is still small enough to fit in his pocket.

“I think there’s a niche market for it,” he said. “I love having the screen real estate. If I’m going to be carrying a tablet, it might as well be this.”

Hosein, who also hosts the Four Peaks program on UWTV, will be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month, as will GeekWire, and we’re planning to connect with him there and share some of his reports on the site. Here’s Hosein talking about the Galaxy Note and other devices and apps on a recent appearance on KING5’s New Day program.

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