Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – everything you need to know about the Jelly Bean phablet before launch

by: Chris SmithSeptember 9, 2012

The last two weeks have been very busy for the Android universe, with most players announcing all sorts of new smartphones and tablets, whether we’re talking about the German IFA 2012 trade show, or Motorola’s and Amazon’s recent media events. Samsung’s Unpacked event, which we attended in person last week in Berlin, was of course one of the most expected events of the show, as the company unveiled the Galaxy Note 2, its second-generation phablet.

In case you’re considering the device as your next Android purchase, then we’ll remind you we have thoroughly covered the device for you, from specs and features, to release dates and pricing, to hands-on videos, interviews with Samsung execs and comparisons with the hottest Android devices in town. In what follows, we’ll remind you everything you need to know about the Galaxy Note 2 ahead of actually purchasing the device.

Galaxy Note 2 specs and features

The Galaxy Note 2 is a bigger Galaxy S3 version. We have the same design lines that you’ve seen in the company’s 2012 flagship handset but at a bigger scale. The insides are also very similar to the Galaxy S3, but the Note is not just a phone, as it has plenty of tablet-like functionality. And, in case it matters, it comes with a stylus on board.

As for actual specs and features, here’s what you can expect from the handset: 5.5-inch Super AMOLED HD touchscreen display with 1280 x 720 resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio, 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB of RAM, 16/32/64GB of on-board memory with support for up to 64GB microSD upgrade, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with Auto Focus, LED flash and HD video recording, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, HSPA+ and 4G LTE support (where available), Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, A-GPS, and Glonass support, 3,100mAh user-removable battery with faster charging, S Pen support and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board with TouchWiz UI on top and new S-Pen features.

The Galaxy S3 measures 151.1 x 80 x 9.4mm and weighs 180g, and will be available in Marble White and Titanium Grey– these are the only colors announced for the device, at least for its launch.

Galaxy Note 2 release date and pricing

Ahead of IFA 2012, Samsung was rumored to be interested in releasing the phablet as fast as possible in order to have the device in stores before Apple launches its sixth-generation iPhone this fall, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore. The iPhone 5 is set to come out in mid- to late-September in various markets, while the Galaxy Note 2 will be launched in October in Europe and other international markets, and by the end of the year in America.

Samsung failed to reveal actual launch dates for the device, but confirmed the device is coming out this year. We’ve already seen European carriers confirm the phablet: Three and O2 in the UK and Vodafone in Germany, with the latter also offering off-contract prices for the device – yes, Samsung didn’t tell us how the Galaxy Note 2 will be priced once it’s available.

More interestingly, three out of the four Big Four carriers in the U.S. are rumored to carry the device, with only Verizon being left out for the moment. We have seen leaks that suggested T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T will get the phablet in the future, although release dates are yet to be leaked.

Galaxy Note 2 hands on and Comparisons

We didn’t just attend the Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin where the company unveiled the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy Camera and other new products, we also took the device for a spin. We have an image gallery, a hands-on video preview, but also an interview with a Samsung exec about the Galaxy Note 2 for you. We also showed you Samsung’s own Galaxy Note 2 hands on video, while those of you interested in seeing the whole Samsung event (again) can check out this link here.

A 5.5-inch tablet is great for enjoying content, but also creating content – which is one of the most important takeaways from Samsung’s show, the Galaxy Note 2 is content creation-friendly, just like other Note-branded devices. But will a 5.5-inch phone be pocket-friendly (and I don’t mean that metaphorically)?

We have compared the Galaxy Note 2 to some of the most interesting smartphones and tablets out there to help you out with your buying decision. We pitted the Galaxy Note 2 against the original Galaxy Note (we also compared the displays of the two devices in a special post), Galaxy S3, HTC One X, LG Optimus HD 4G LTE, but also against the iPhone 4S and the Google Nexus 7. Check out the following fights that include our hands-on video comparisons:

There’s no final Galaxy Note 2 vs everyone else verdict, as the device will not appeal to all Android device owners out there – head on to the links above to see some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying a Galaxy Note 2 vs buying one of the devices mentioned in those comparisons.

But considering that the Galaxy Note became quite a successful product for Samsung, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Galaxy Note sell in the millions in the following year.

Galaxy Note 2 international giveaway

Last but not least, we have an international Galaxy Note 2 giveaway that you can still sign up for, and win. So don’t make any Galaxy Note 2 buying plans at least until our competition is over. You may end up walking away with a free Galaxy Note 2 in the following weeks.

  • Its a truly amazing smartphone! :)
    I want to get it so badly!! ;3

  • I’ve got my phone upgrade ready to use this with T-mobile as soon as I get some cash and it’s released! Can’t wait!

  • Kim Christiansen

    I am sold this time around. Saving up for this badboy. Sold my tablet, since I hate having such a big device with me for work. This Phablet will suit my needs much better I think. Awesome device!


      I got the original Galaxy Note a few months back & a week after having it I also sold my tablet. I had a Acer Iconia a500 10.1″ tablet & really liked it when I first got it but it wasnt till I got my Galaxy Note that I found out just what loving an Android device really meant. I @m constantly getting yelled at by the wifey for paying more attention to my Galaxy Note then I do her, Im on it probably 85-90% of my waking hours. I highly recommend getting either the original or G-Note 2 for anyone who loves gaming & watching videos on the go. Youll also be surprised at just how often you start using the S-Pen in your every day life. If you do get either G-Note you really should get a good protective case as the edge to edge glass is very fragile, which I found out when I dropped my first one from a mere 4″ & smashed tge galss into about 12 pieces. I got the Otter Box Defender as soon as my replacement Note came & I highly recommend it as it really protects the entire device better than any case Ive seen & with the rubber on the outter of the case its extremely comfortable during hours of gaming/browsing. It does make the device much bigger but I actually love it. GET A GALAXY NOTE or GALAXY NOTE 2 TRUST ME YOU WONT WANT TO PUT IT DOWN, ITS THAT AMAZING. – KID ANDROID (Team.Android.Canada)

  • I want it so bad, but Im still under contract for another year. So Im holding out for the Galaxy Note 3!

  • Sufian

    I noticed some errors there:

    – The [Galaxy S3] measures 151.1 x 80 x 9.4mm and weighs 180g, and will be available in Marble White and [Titanium White] …

    =Galaxy Note 2
    =Titanium Gray

    • Thanks, updated.

      • Akif

        actually still shows up as titanium white ;-)

  • TechGuy

    I think you’ll find that it is not available in two versions of white as you state….”Marble White and Titanium White” – It is actually Marble White and Titanium Grey (or for those of you in North America ‘Gray’!)

    As for “Everything you need to know” – I still can’t find out if it has an alert led/indicator (preferable multi coloured) as this was something I miss on my Note 1

    • Thanks for the heads up. Updated. About the LED indicator, as far as we know, the Note 2 doesn’t feature one.

      • Kurama.k

        It does have one i’v seen it on YouTube :)

        • TechGuy

          From various rummaging around the net, it would seem it has the same multi-coloured indicator like the S3.

          The standard Android settings allow very basic settings but apps are available for custom alert settings for colour and vibration. Although the following is a link to a youtube demo for the S3, I believe this will be the same for the Samsung Galaxy Note II alert indicator.

  • Martin “Lawliet” Amuesi

    1.9 megapixel front facing camera. I really look forward to this phone, it’s a BEAST! Imagine all the tweaking, overclockinng, rom swapping, troubleshooting, and benchmarking you can do with all that amazing power under the hood. ~drools at the thought~ This is the phone hardcore Android users have been waiting for.

  • [email protected]

    Actually Verizon will carry this…