Samsung adds major functionality to S Pen in Galaxy Note II

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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