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Samsung Galaxy Note II preview: First look


 The original Galaxy Note was a runaway success despite all the doubts that its size and stylus caused. It's understandable then, why the new Samsung Galaxy Note II was greeted with so much excitement. It brings a new and improved screen, boosts processing power significantly and makes the S Pen even better.
Samsung Galaxy Note II official photos
The screen of the new phoneblet is quite interesting - Samsung moved it to 16:9 aspect ratio, so it matches the Galaxy S III and extended the diagonal to 5.5". But the Note II Super AMOLED display isn't just the Galaxy S III's screen upsized or even that of the original Note.

Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 at a glance:

  • General: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps; LTE 700/2100 MHz, 100Mbps down, 50Mbps up
  • Form factor: Touchscreen bar phoneblet
  • Dimensions: 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
  • Display: 5.5" 16M-color HD (720 x 1280 pixels) Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, Gorilla Glass 2
  • Stylus: S Pen, 1024 pressure levels, functionality
  • Chipset: Exynos 4212 Quad
  • CPU: Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.6 GHz processor
  • GPU: Mali-400MP
  • RAM: 2GB
  • OS: Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) Memory: 16/32/64GB storage, microSD card slot
  • Still camera: 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with backlit sensor, face detection and Best faces feature, touch focus and image stabilization;
  • Video camera: Full HD (1080p) video recording at 30fps, LED flash, 1.9MP front facing camera, video-calls
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, standard microUSB port with MHL features (TV Out, USB host), GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio, NFC
  • Battery: 3100 mAh
  • Misc: TouchWiz 4.0 UI, Extremely rich video/audio codec support, built-in accelerometer, multi-touch input, proximity sensor, gyroscope sensor, RGB sensor, Smart stay eye-tracking, S Voice
A peek under a microscope revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Note II uses a completely new Super AMOLED matrix with three subpixels per pixel. It's an unusual matrix for sure, but it might be the sign of things to come for future Galaxy flagships.
The Galaxy Note II brings the second iteration of the S Pen. The new one is longer and thicker compared to the original, though not as big as the one in the Note 10.1. The new digitizer also offers a great deal of new features - better pressure sensitivity and hover detection of the stylus.
And there are some cool new software tricks to complement the improved stylus - the hover function triggers various previews (everything from email to video), the bigger button on the S Pen enables a variety of gestures and there's a new homescreen pane that automatically pops up when you use the stylus.
Speaking of software, the Galaxy Note II will be one of the first Samsung devices to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box (along with the Galaxy Camera). The combination of the latest Android and the fast Exynos chipset with a quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz makes the Note II a performance beast.
Samsung Galaxy Note II live photos
At this point it's clear, that we have one of the devices of the season on our hands here, so let's waste no more time and get down to testing.
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