Samsung is the most popular company on the smartphones market, right after Apple, and even though they lost a lot of money in lawsuits to the latter, they’re still going strong. This year has been quite good for the company (well, except for the whole having to pay $1 billion to Apple for allegedly infringing on their design), and they’ve released yet another batch of devices that are already becoming the next fad.
And just last week, they’ve announced the Galaxy Note 2 – the successor to the popular Galaxy Note, which is still one of the bestselling Android smartphone/tablet hybrids that also touts a very useful stylus inside its housing. The new device brings just enough features to make it worth considering even if you have the previous model, so let’s take a closer look at it.
The Galaxy Note 2 looks a lot like its predecessor, even though it’s kinda sorta trying to be a bigger Galaxy S3. It’s more of a mix between the two designs, but the square-ish design is inevitable due to the large display crammed inside. The sides and back have a metallic finish, which looks quite convincing even though you realize the phone is mostly plastic right away after holding it in your hand. It’s still very durable and I don’t think anyone’s going to have any issues with the build quality.
Hardware features and performance
The biggest changes are on the inside of the device, as is the case with most second generation products. The 5.3 inch display of the Note has now been replaced with a 5.5 inch unit – the kick is that it’s not that much better than its predecessor. It’s still a Super AMOLED panel with a great image quality, but it now has a 1280×720 pixels resolution as opposed to the 1280×800 resolution on the Note. However, this does make the phone less wide, which makes it easier to hold with one hand.
The other internals are everything you would expect from a new high end smartphone: the device is powered by a quad core Exynos processor running at 1.6 GHz, with the most powerful Mali-400MP GPU and 2048 MB of RAM in tow. It’s more than enough for anything.
There’s also 16, 32 or 64 GB of onboard storage space depending on the model and a micro SD card slot, Wifi N, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS, NFC, HDMI, HSPA+ and LTE and more – this thing is loaded. Of course, the stylus is still there and it’s just as good as its predecessor’s, nothing to say there.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 2
|5.5 inches, 1280×720 pixels, Super AMOLED LCD, 267 DPI
|Exynos 4 Quad, 1.6 GHz, quad core
|Mali-400MP, quad core
|16/32/64 GB models, microSD card slot (up to 32 GB cards supported)
|Front – 2.0 MP camera with HD video; Back – 8 MP camera with Full HD video support
|Wifi N, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC, micro USB, HDMI out, DLNA, Wifi Direct, HSPA+ 21/5.76 Mbps, 4G LTE 100/50 Mbps
|Gyroscope, accelerometer, light, proximity, magnetometer, barometer sensors
|Li-Ion, 3100 mAh, up to 10 hours of continuous use on 3G
|Dimensions and weight
|151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm, 180 grams
|Operating System and Software
|Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Samsung TouchWiz Nature UX, Samsung Hubs, Live Panel UX, S Note, S Memo, S Planner, S Choice, On-Device Encryption, VPN
The Galaxy Note will be shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is the smoothest, fastest and most feature rich Android version to date. It’s got pretty much everything you’d expect from a mature OS – a nice interface, lots of apps on the market plus Samsung’s own UI customizations and apps (especially for note taking). There’s really not much to complain about when it comes to the software besides the learning curve – it took me a while to figure out how to edit widgets in Android 4.0, for example.
Price and Availability
There’s no word on the availability of the Galaxy Note 2, but Samsung says it will be out by the end of the year – I believe it will be here by the end of November, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking. The price will most likely be high, as well, but that’s to be expected – overall, the device is worth a look no matter what phone (or even tablet) you’re looking for.