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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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  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    You're right! Steve would have probably fired someone as soon as they said:

    "Hm, what about a phone... thats too big to be a phone for actual human beings, since its not pocketable or comfortable... but also too small to be a tablet for actual human beings!!!"

    Sarnsung on the other hand? Oh boy, push that to production.
    Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    You do realize the Stylus is an optional add-on for those who want the more precise control and pressure sensitivity ? For all others, finger touch works like on all other phones.

    Also, people lauched at the size of my HD2, 3 yrs ago. Now it seems smallish. People are not even noticing my Note 1's size these days. It's a bit bigger than other phones, and a whole lot better.
    Reply
  • shaolin95 - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - link

    Cygni, either you are just another moron trying to start a flaming war or you are simply stupid.
    Do a bit of research of the things you can do with S pen before exposing yourself as a retard....but I guess that is too late now.
    Reply
  • brandnew234 - Friday, October 19, 2012 - link

    Well, yes.. But also gamers, people with creativity, power-users, high-media consumption, students, and enterprise. But yes, no one else could POSSIBLY be interested in the Note II's wealth of hardware, features, power, AND stamina. Reply
  • Pirks - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    You see this screen and you never look anywhere else. I even dumped my HTC Titan because the Note's screen is that good. Even though Android feels like a low quality choppy/laggy iOS clone. Reply
  • Jess131313 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Does it use a pentile like the Note1? HATE PENTILE! Reply
  • StormyParis - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I have no clue what the fuss about pentile is. I don't notice it at all. Reply
  • Magichands8 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Actually, it does NOT have a pentile screen. The screen is updated from the Note 1. Apparently, Samsung has addressed the issues they had with high resolution non-pentile OLED screen and short life-times. Reply
  • corymcnutt - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    No, it does NOT use Pentile. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I have been eagerly awaiting this phone. Reply

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