Earlier today Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 2 at a special event in Berlin alongside a number of new devices. The original Galaxy Note was released almost a year ago, and although the massive smartphone-tablet hybrid was met with initial skepticism it prove a cult hit with over 10 million units sold.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 improves on its predecessor with a redesigned S Pen stylus, even bigger screen, and great new software and features. Samsung has yet to reveal the official release date for their new 'phablet," but we expect the device to hit stores as early as October, though more likely it won't be available until November, in time for the holiday shopping season. As for the price, which too remains a mystery for now, it will likely range from $199 to $399 depending on how much memory you want.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2' boasts a 5.55-inch AMOLED screen with 1,280x720 pixels, making noticeably larger than the original 5.3-inch Galaxy Note. A bigger display mean more screen real estate to view more content and better enjoy your favorite visual apps.
The design is thin and sleek, and comes in two color choices (white or grey) for the time being.
Just like the Galaxy Note, the new devices screen is a pleasure to look at, displaying dark blacks and bright colors even from a wide angle. This may not matter much for your average smartphone user, but once you start thinking about the Galaxy Note 2 as a tablet as well, the benefits of a this impressive screen become clear. For one thing, watching videos and looking at pictures becomes a much more rewarding.
The Galaxy Note 2's 'Home' button is bigger as well, and sandwiched between 'Menu' and 'Back' buttons that light up when in use and then quickly fade away.
Samsung has also made serious improvement to the S Pen. The "smart" stylus is bigger, both in length and width, making it feel and act more like a real pen. The new stylus can do more as well, acting as a pointer and cursor. When not in use, the stylus fits snugly in a pocket on the bottom left corner of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
The S Pen works like a laser pointer and doesn't need to touch the screen to make selections. Hover over a photo or video and a preview window will open, offering more information. You can even "digitally "flip over" photos and write notes or reminders on the back of a picture.
Perhaps most impressive, the Galaxy Note 2 can even operate two apps onscreen at once, meaning you could watch a movie while surfing the web. It feels almost like using a real computer.
The Samsung Galaxy Note also offers a new feature called Screen Record. Turing it one means your smartphone keeps a record of everything happening on the screen, including stylus markings and audio.
Inside it's shiny exterior, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 holds a powerful 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM and a 3,100mAh battery. The American version of the Galaxy Note 2 will likely feature a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, mostly because it works better with LTE.
It operates the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean Android OS, meaning that objects on the screen move around faster and cleaner than ever. The American version of the Galaxy Note 2 will likely feature a dual-core.
The Galaxy Note 2 also comes with a main 8 megapixel camera, and a 2 megapixel front-facing sensor.
The Galaxy Note 2 will probably be a hit with current Galaxy Note owners looking to upgrade. Whether it not it catches on beyond its pre-established market is unclear.