Samsung's Galaxy Note II, which comes with Android Jelly Bean from the get-go, will hit UK outlets on Monday, the company has revealed.
The second version of the popular hybrid tablet-smartphone will go on sale at the Korean hardware maker's own store in the Westfield Stratford shopping centre in London, as well as at "all major networks", Samsung said in its announcement on Tuesday.
Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Note II is sized somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet, and comes with a 5.5-inch display. The hybrid is also unusual in that for some of its features, it relies on a stylus — the S Pen — for input, rather than finger swipes on a capacitive touchscreen.
"The introduction of the original Galaxy Note was a great success — we succeeded in creating an entirely new category and went on to sell more than 10 million devices globally," Simon Stanford, the local head of telecoms and networks for Samsung, said in a statement. "With the Galaxy Note II, we're not only expanding the category, we're also evolving the technology."
As well as upgrading to Android 4.1, Samsung has given new abilities to the device's stylus. The S Pen now allows people to preview emails by hovering over them and to make phone calls by making gestures, for example. The Note II is also slightly thinner, shifts the display's aspect ratio from 16:10 to 16:9 and replaces the original's 1.4GHz dual-core chip with a 1.6GHz quad-core.
No official UK pricing was given for the Galaxy Note II, which comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. However, a number of online retailers are listing network plans and standalone cost for the device, which they can start selling a day after the initial launch.
Retailer Clove is charging £528 for a SIM-free 16GB version of the hybrid, which comes in grey and white. Competitor Phones4U lists a range of plans from Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and O2. For example, the Galaxy Note II is free on a 24-month O2 plan with unlimited texts, calls and 1GB of data, costing £41 a month, or on a 24-month Vodafone subscription with 2GB of data, at £42 a month.