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Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on

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Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Just when you thought the Note’s display couldn’t get any bigger, Samsung has done it again. We got a hands-on look at the Samsung GALAXY Note II - this device is alllllllll screen.

The Samsung GALAXY Note II is slated to make its U.S. debut in two choices of paint jobs – Titanium Grey and Marble White. The physical body design takes cues from the GALAXY S III, which makes it minimalistic and clean. It sports a headphone jack at the top, USB charging at the bottom, volume rocker on the left and a power/sleep button on the right edge. All the buttons have a nice tactical response and their locations felt intuitive.

On the rear of the device is an 8-megapixel camera that also shoots 1080p HD video at 30 fps. The devices is expected to be available in stock configurations of 16, 32, or 64GB, but the backplate of the device is removable, which gives you access to a microSD expansion slot if your need for storage increases. Also under that cover is a 3100 mAh battery that should keep you powered for a full day.

Taking a look at the front of the device we have a 1.9-megapixel camera for video chat, the home button, earpiece, and, of course, that huge display.

Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on


In comparison to the original Note, this display kicks up to 5.5 inches. Now if you felt like the form factor of the first Note was pushing the boundaries in terms of physical size, you’ll be happy to know that Samsung slimmed down the bezel while enlarging the screen. The result is the Note II is actually a tad thinner width-wise than its predecessor and weighs the same even with the larger battery.

This time around the Note II sports a Super AMOLED 16:9 True HD display. The colors are bright and beautiful while text is nice and crisp. When snapping photos and video and playing with some of the new editing and playback features on the Note II, the larger display coupled with a generous resolution makes this device a joy to edit and view various types of media on.

The Samsung GALAXY Note II comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the overall user experience is fantastic. Being powered by a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 quad-core CPU with 2 GB of RAM really lets you fly. We weren't able to test the data connectivity, but Samsung promises that this device will be "LTE Optimized" therefore, depending on carrier, you should have a super fast Internet experience as well.

Some of the really exciting things about the new GALAXY Note II are the improvements to the S Pen. Let’s face it, most people commit to a device for 2-years. While the bells and whistles are nice, it's the day to day usability that really counts during those long contracts. Samsung really made some great improvements to the S Pen that will benefit the average user in everyday tasks.

Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on
Samsung GALAXY Note II hands-on


As you can see in the video below, when you remove the S Pen, the device actually wakes from sleep and goes to a special S Pen screen. It also utilizes the onboard accelerometer to determine when the device has been moved away from the S Pen and will sound an alert to notify you that the S Pen was left behind.

The physical design of the pen itself has changed as well. It is thicker, longer, and asymmetrical, which makes it much more comfortable to use. The tip material has also been re-engineered to create more friction, which in turn gives the user a closer experience to a pen on paper rather than plastic on glass.

The GALAXY Note II uses a technology called Air View that allows it to detect the S Pen when it is hovering over the screen. This now allows you to hover over the screen to scroll through lists and text fields such as your email, as well as preview various types of media such as emails, calendar events, photos, and videos, without actually launching them.

Samsung S-Pen Demo Video:




Overall the Samsung GALAXY Note II is a great device. It’s biggest downside is that its size makes it almost completely unusable with one hand, but those that enjoy the stylus experience – particularly with the new S Pen improvements - will love it. We don’t have specific carrier information just yet, but hope that Samsung will reveal more details regarding carrier availability and launch dates soon enough.

Samsung Galaxy Note II Hands-on:

146 Comments
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posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:22 41

1. imsickwithphone (banned) (Posts: 76; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Cant wait!!!!!

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 15:54 9

111. Jelly_Bean (Posts: 109; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Be mine asap :( can't wait

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:25 33

2. Mightymack (Posts: 74; Member since: 16 Jul 2010)


GREAT!

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:27 40

3. unbiasedcommenter (Posts: 11; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)


shut up and take my money

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:22 5

37. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Waiting for reviews first..

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:28 28

4. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yep this device is looking VERY sexy. I just need to see this rumored HTC 5" phablet so I can make a decision.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:58 10

24. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


All I know is that I'm out of Kleenex at this point.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:16 6

35. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


i'm out of iKleenex at this point.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:59 6

25. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the feature demo is really cool. I could see myself using a lot of that regularly.

Im still turned off by the gargantuan size though... I'll have to play with it extensively before making a decision.

What's intriguing to me is that they say its "LTE" but they make no mention of chip switching for the US version.. hopefully they really are not just forgetting to mention that part and are bringing Exynos to the US finally.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:27 5

43. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I think your dream of an Exynos that works with U.S. LTE towers is about to be realized.

From what I am making of all these rumors the Samsung Galaxy Note II will have the 1.6GHz Exynos 4 & will play nice with LTE here in the good old U.S. of A.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:30 3

44. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that gives me a lil happy tent. :)

What would make me even happier is if they got one of those SGS2+ devices in the US with exynos and the newer HD screens. A 4.3-4.5 inch SGS2+ / SGS3 would be fantastic.

Crap I was just on Ebay looking at SGS2 international devices. Not gonna actually throw money down on international until i know for sure that Tmo has 1900 3g/4g up and running around here.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 13:34 3

84. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


just wanted to mention, that until we have confirmation of US exynos quad, I'm going to assume the traditional chip switch out. Thankfully, if the rumors of quad persist, that means it should be the S4 quad Pro if not the exynos.. which is an acceptable trade instead of the normal horrid crapdragon power downsizing that the SGS2 and SGS3 got.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 13:39

87. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


But the T-Mobile version is said to be equipped with quad Exynos remix.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 14:06

95. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


that is all rumor at this point with zero substantiation. the rumor is that it remains "quadcore with LTE". nothing has ever pointed to one chip or another. I'd love for it to be Exynos, but I'm just assuming its the traditional Qualcomm chip switch until we hear something official from samsung.. At least the Krait quad pro is a decent chip. it runs the same if not slightly better in the GPU aspect anyways. Still not as strong in CPU though.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 21:30

123. lsutigers (Posts: 821; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


Actually, the Sprint SGS2 got to keep the dual core Exynos processor and the big 4.5" display. Seriously though, can you please stop it with the crapdragon stuff, we all know you're a Samsung fanboy and that the Snapdragon processors aren't crap, it's just getting really old, you say it on every spec post.

posted on 12 Sep 2012, 01:18 2

129. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


yea sorry but you are who?

we know who I am.

The AT&T got the exynos as well.. what is your point? Neither were "big sellers". The Skyrocket came out shortly after with LTE and made the SGS2 irrelevant the the traditional buyer that has no idea of the benefits of a stronger processor.. and no on cares about Sprint.. sorry.. its true. Besides, they got the i4s shortly after which hurt all sprint phone sales.

You dont have a fact. You have an opinion. Your opinion is baseless and stupid. Period. Whatever opinion I espouse is backed up by fact verified by multiple sources.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 13:23

78. Sprintfan (Posts: 68; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


Same here. HTC needs to deliver on this. Once people go to a larger screen they usually won't turn back. *from my own experience*.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 21:34

124. lsutigers (Posts: 821; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)


The HTC phablet may be a better choice, if the screen comes in between 5" - 5.5" it will be for many. As much as I like the Note II, it looks way too big. I guess I will have to reserve my final judgment until I see it @ the store but even with large hands, I just don't see myself getting used to it.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 12:37

144. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1118; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


Id assume that you have Verizon SO your decision may have to depend on actually looking at the device. I dont know how Verizon operates because I have AT&T, but i think that the concept on choosing the right phone remains the same

I dont like HTC anymore so im biased towards Samsung, but i think that both phones will do you justice

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:31 16

6. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


DAT s**t CRAY

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:33 8

9. SamsungFan (Posts: 201; Member since: 16 Apr 2012)


Samsung rockzzzzzz

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:35 3

10. shnibz (Posts: 388; Member since: 18 Sep 2011)


Too big for me. I really can't imagine people carrying around such a giant phone. My Gnex us borderline to big

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 13:22 6

77. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10457; Member since: 14 May 2012)


It's the same size as the OG Note. This may seem to shock you a bit, but the Note can fit into pockets.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 22:21 2

127. shnibz (Posts: 388; Member since: 18 Sep 2011)


OG note seems ridiculous in person to me as well. not saying it isn't a great phone, I just can't imagine talking on it or carrying it all the time. I'm just a bit surprised at how popular the Notes are is all.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 22:23 1

128. shnibz (Posts: 388; Member since: 18 Sep 2011)


Especially people that are smaller. I'm 6'0 but my wife is 5'4 that thing would look like a Nexus 7 in her hands!

posted on 12 Sep 2012, 01:19

130. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


My wife is 5'1 and she loves her n7. Its no quite "that big"... but yea.. its pretty darn big.

posted on 14 Sep 2012, 11:00

139. Ric1511 (Posts: 26; Member since: 28 Dec 2011)


I'm 6'1" and wife is 5'3", she has seen the note and says it's too big for her. Perfect for me though! I agree it looks silly talking on it, but I use hands free headsets most of the time. I'm definetely getting either the Note 2 or the HTC Phablet.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:39 3

12. hosker (unregistered)


Doesnt this phone looks to you a little bit (just a little) like the galaxy s3?

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 11:54 2

19. YaIphoneiscool (Posts: 27; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)


More like a iphone than any thing.

posted on 11 Sep 2012, 12:01 14

27. SmartGadgetS (Posts: 20; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)


You can like apple... but dont be a dumb...

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