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.
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.
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.
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.
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.