Last week we were able to spend some time with Samsung's new Galaxy Note 2. The device is a largely updated version of the original Galaxy Note, that enjoyed surprising success with over 10M units sold since its introduction.

The Galaxy Note 2 grows the display size to 5.55" and uses the latest iteration of Samsung's 720p Super AMOLED display. Internally you get a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos SoC with four ARM Cortex A9 cores and an ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU. Although US versions haven't been announced yet the international version boasts HSPA+ 21.1 and LTE support. You can expect similar specs when the US versions are eventually announced if Samsung continues the trend set by the Galaxy S 3.

The big feature of the Galaxy Note 2 is its digitizer that stores away nicely inside the unit. The S Pen, as Samsung calls it, allows you annotate on top of emails, photos, etc... Handwriting recognition works better on the Galaxy Note 2 than on the Galaxy Note 10.1, although I'm not entirely sure why. A major improvement to the S Pen in the GNote 2 is the ability to detect the pen at around 10 - 12mm above the display. This increased hover sensitivity allowed Samsung to enable a bunch of neat hover-over features. E.g. hovering over the subject of an email will expand it in a window.

The Note 2 runs Jelly Bean, and the OS felt extremely smooth even with Samsung's TouchWiz UX layered on top of Android. The hardware was similarly well executed. Solid build quality, good in-hand feel - the usual we've come to expect from Samsung. 

We'll have a full review later this year once review samples are available, until then check out the video and gallery below:

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  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Size matters. I now have a 4.8 inch GS3 and I will NEVER go back to anything smaller. Anything lost to easily fitting into pockets of tight jeans is gained back 10 fold in screen real-estate. Tiny hand iPhone users have no idea what they are missing out on. Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    No I'm pretty sure they see them in other peoples hands and laugh, like the rest of normal people. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    "No I'm pretty sure they see them in other peoples hands and laugh, like the rest of normal people."

    Do yourself a favor. Go to your local wireless store and test drive an old Note1. Browse the web for 10 mins or so and then decide.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Oh I have. The thought that somewhere, someone looks at this and goes 'yeah sure, I'll hold this thing up to my head in public' is just a delight. Also, other than a woman with a purse, where does this thing actually fit?

    Ah, cargo jorts from walmart, got it.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    What does "public" have to do with anything?

    Honestly, the iPhone, or any Android or Winmobile for that matter does so many things. Any smrtphone today has incredible functionality and connectivity. To have all that in a tiny screen is just a waste. Why do you think screens are getting bigger and bigger? People are realizing that they want it. Even Apple "Nno-one wants a phone with a larger than 3.5 inch screen" is going bigger. Get used to it wee man.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Public has everything to do it. Because it's stupid, and the vast majority of humans possess this thing called shame, and as such, don't want to do dumb things in public. Like use a comically large Android phone.

    And screens are getting larger because they are cheap, because they have to have SOMETHING bigger than an iPhone to offset the comedy operating system that is Android, and because bad consumers apparently don't have the foresight to see a bad product and not say things like "WOW THE SCREEN IS SO BIG!!" instead of "why do I need this? Why is this OS so bad?"

    So as always, the answer for bad consumer electronics is bad consumers. Stop buying bad phones.
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    You are pretty clueless in your Apple haze. Android 4.1 has not only caught up, but WAY surpassed IOS. Android phones are bigger, faster, higher res, better battery life, better OS, clearly ahead in all areas. Not a surprise that its outselling IOS by 4 to 1 and climbing fast. Apple hasnt innovated at all in the past 4-5 years and the competition passed them by.

    Enjoy your small phone and small world though.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Small phone + small world sounds just wonderful compared to a large, shitty word comprised of badly designed phones and badly designed operating systems. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    LOL,.. As if the iPhone even compares. Its not even in the same league with todays high end Android phones. Not even close, not in hardware or OS. Hell, the iPhone 5's 2 biggest features are a 4 inch screen and 4G both of which were available 2 years ago on Android.

    OK, troll, I am done talking to you since you clearly have absolutely no idea WTF you are talking about.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    It's almost as if phones aren't just a collection of specs arranged in a grid, and are in fact cohesive productivity devices! Amazing!

    Android is better than it was a few years ago, but thats essentially like saying "this piece of shit on the ground smells less now". It's still miles behind iOS in usability and polish.

    And yeah, you should probably end this convo before your battery drains out in 5 minutes and you're forced to do a battery pull.
    Reply

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