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

    wow... you are a special kind of douchebag arent you? I agree Apple is the best product for someone like you.

    Someday when you grow up, you may want to try something else. Until then, enjoy your "starter phone".
    Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Yes, one truly has to grow up to appreciate the beauty of twin-clocks and pre installed bloatware.

    *twirls wine in glass* I find that HTCs preinstalled garbage skin has the most tannins for my strong adult pallet.
    Reply
  • CygniMother - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    This has started to sound like some teenagers trying to reason with a grandma. And the grandma just refuse to reason with facts and figures, or something tangible, instead, she keep coming up with words like faith,'I believe', 'I think it is' and 'my point of view',etc.

    So, please grow 'YOUNGER' , be logical, and Do yourself a favor, just list down 15 functions and usages you usually perform on your Iphone. Then find a friend who use Android phone, and compare those feature with his phone. Like watching a movie,make a call, saving a contact,using multiple apps simultaneously,toggle between them,etc. Then you judge logically which is better. But you don't have to always switch to the 'winner', nobody is forcing you, because you might already taken an oath to never touch an Android, I can understand, many does. This whole exercise is just to learn some humility, and respect.
    Reply
  • alcalde - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    >usability and
    >polish.

    That's the last defense of an Apple fan when they get owned on objective facts (I say this as a neutral party who doesn't own a smart phone). I've yet to have an Apple user give me a specific example of one of these generic "usability" issues, such as it takes 3 taps to get to this on Android, but 2 taps on iOS, etc. They start yammering on about subjectivity and just because they can't explain why or how iOS is more usable doesn't mean it isn't. I insist that they need to quantify it or it doesn't exist.
    Reply
  • alcalde - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Linux runs this world and pretty much everything in it. Reply
  • corymcnutt - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    EASILY fits in a shirt pocket (I won't buy a shirt without a pocket for this reason) or a case on your belt. Reply
  • thirdshop - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Yeah, maybe you should go back to monochrome screens, 1meg of ram, and 2D graphics. Reply
  • redchar - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Is this the same poster that previously related anime to large phones to being unhygenic? Oh, yeah it is. I guess people can't have different preferences without being dirty. Reply
  • brandnew234 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Yes, I'm 6' 6" too. I have a 3.7 inch screen, and I f**king hate it. Bad battery life, and just way too tiny. I can type using the touch screen, but it's a pain. Media is terrible, and it feels like a dinky little toy in my gigantic hands. I could use the Note II just as easily as a 3.7 inch screen, and I'd enjoy it significantly more. Reply
  • fr33h33l - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    You'd be surprised how many people these days (thankfully) don't believe in, or re-iterate, everything Steve Jobs says... Reply

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