It is a very large phone and a small tablet, but the Galaxy Note appeals to millions of consumers and stands by itself between a phone and a tablet. Today at IFA in Berlin, Samsung revealed the long rumored and the most compelling aspects seem to be on software enhancements to encourage use of the S Pen.
I bought and returned one since I rarely ever used the S Pen and figured I would just stick with the Galaxy S III instead. The Galaxy Note II has a longer and thicker S Pen, which apparently feels more natural than the stylus feel of the original Galaxy Note pen. In addition, you get a new feature called Air View that brings up previews of content such as emails, image, and videos when you hover the pen over them. The S Pen can also be used to easily copy text or crop and share content. S Pen functionality has also been added to the calendar and email apps.
One the handiest new utilities is the feature where pulling the S Pen out of the silo during a call launches the S Note application. This is exactly the type of usage scenario that makes sense for the stylus and I have to say I may reconsider it when it comes to the US. Another coole feature I read about is that your phone will inform you if the S Pen was left behind, which is fantastic as I know I left it on the table a few times when I was reviewing the original Note.
Specifications for the new Galaxy Note II (likely to be different for US models) include:
- 5.55 inch HD (1280x720) Super AMOLED 16:9 display
- 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB to 64GB storage capacities, much like the GS III
- microSD expansion card slot
- 8 megapixel rear camera
- 1.9 megapixel front facing camera
- Android Jelly Bean OS
- 3,100 mAh battery
- Thickness of 0.37 inches and weight of 6.2 ounces
The Galaxy Note II looks mostly like a larger Samsung Galaxy S III, which isn't a bad thing considering the GSIII is a great device. With these S Pen enhancements, I know I will be taking a look at it again when it launches in the US.