Samsung adds major functionality to S Pen in Galaxy Note II

Samsung adds major functionality to S Pen in Galaxy Note II

Summary: The Samsung Galaxy Note sold surprisingly well and Samsung just announced the Note II. The S Pen enhancements are huge and may have me taking another look at this device when it launches.

Samsung adds major functionality to S Pen in Galaxy Note II

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 Galaxy Note II 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.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung

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  • Good Things Here

    I'm glad to see Samsung taking Android toward the more business/productivity side of things. It is sad to me how many users overlook the lack of functionality in the iPhone and iPad because they are mesmerized by the "pretty". Apple is not truly held accountable.
    • It is sadder that a lot of users overlook the lack of image quality of ...

      ... Samsung high-end devices such as SGS3, SGN1/2, SGN10.1, SGT210.1 -- all of which either have fake PenTile resolution or have low resolution.
      • ?

        Both SGS3 and iPhone4s have 8 megapixel cameras. The Samsung has more than 3 times the screen resolution of the 4S. What are you talking about?
        • DDERSSS...

          ...just likes complaining.
        • SGS3/SGN have the same quantity of actual lighting dots as iPhone

          but with much bigger screen. This is what fake Pentile does to SGS3/SGN.

          Samsung will release honest SAMOLED+ screens of comparable to iPhone resolution only next year.
          • No Matter

            When both screens have more resolution than my eyes do, it doesn't matter which has more.

            a difference that makes no difference is not really a difference.
          • This should read

            Apple have same number of lighting dots as Samsung Note but with a much smaller screen. This is what squishing this many pixels into 3.5" screens does to iPhones.

            Apple will release honest size screens comparable to Samsung....... never.
      • Image Quality

        You keep telling yourself that while the rest of the ignorant world enjoys blacker blacks and colours that POP with razor sharp text with their "fake pentile resolutions".
  • I might pick one of these up.

    Though it'll have to definitely be an in-store purchase until I see how big 5.5 inches truly is. My Dad has a 4.3 inch phone and it looks massive, even compared to my 4 incher. I really do like the idea though.
  • Looks Great

    That's a wallop of specs and functionality baked in to one device. It would take a lot to tear me away from my Galaxy Nexus but something like this just might.
    Nathan A Smith
  • Bring it to the U. S. right away !!!!

    I hate to wait for so loooooong.
  • dissapointed note user

    great improvements everywhere except 1:
    note 1: 1280x800 screen
    note 2: 1280x720 screen

    10% less pixels. why did they do this when screen size is king on the note?
    slightly dissapointed.
  • wow definitely the season for cool phones and tablets

    It's going to be an exciting christmas season. And for the behind-the-curvers there will be a mountain of second hand pretty cool phones and tablets. Whatever your choice - android ios or windows. (Or rim or symbian etc etc). Cool!
  • careful Samsung ...

    ... i can see Bic and the owners of the B!ro trademark pursuing legal redress for infringement of the "pen-like" features ... especially the 'point & click' capabilities [sic].

    "Why don't you point that thing someplace else."
  • I knew it would be bigger...

    Anything greater than 200dpi is pure waste for 95% of the people out there.

    My current Note looks puny after a year of use. 5.5" or 6" would be nice. I wonder why they drop to 720. Now I have to zoom more often for my remote desktops.
  • E Reader

    It would be great to have real reading functionality built into these form factors. I am eagerly waiting for what the B&N/ MSF press conference will announce and the revolutionary screen hat has been talked about.