The Samsung Galaxy Note II: Bigger is Sometimes Better

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If anyone had told me a few years ago that I would lust after a phone with a 5.5-inch screen, I would have wondered if they had been hit on the head (probably by a really big phone). That being said, after having enjoyed the original Samsung Galaxy Note with its 5.3-inch screen, the new Galaxy Note II is looking pretty intriguing.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II was unveiled last week at IFA 2012 in Berlin – the largest consumer electronics show in Europe. While the first Galaxy Note introduced the world to the concept of the “phablet” – a hybrid between a phone and a tablet – and some mocked the concept, Samsung has sold over 10 million units of the original version thus far. Apparently the masses were ready for an over-sized smartphone.

As with any good sequel, the Galaxy Note II is trying to improve on the original. The screen has received a bump from 5.3-inches to 5.5-inches while still managing to trim down the overall width and depth. Even so, it has only gotten .16-inches taller. Essentially, if you were comfortable with the size of the original, you won’t even notice the change. Yet you’ll get a larger screen.

It’s the changes on the inside, however, that could be the most notable. While the original ran on a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, the Note II is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor. You’ll definitely notice the extra horsepower when you use this device. The RAM has been doubled from 1GB to 2GB, and it’s all being done with the most efficient version of Android yet — Jelly Bean — running on top of it.

After a brief opportunity to go hands-on with the Galaxy Note II, one of my writers simply said, “this thing flies.”

If you have not yet had a chance to try a Galaxy Note for yourself, you may wonder why you would possibly want such a large screen. Well, consider Samsung’s S Pen that allows you to handwrite notes, draw pictures, and more with this device. It really is a note taker, and has the potential to be a more central part of your digital life. The S Pen in the Galaxy II, works even better than the one in the original Galaxy, and that’s saying a lot. It was no slouch to begin with.

Sadly Samsung has not yet announced a release date beyond the fourth quarter of this year, or which carriers are going to be carrying it in the various territories around the world. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on the Galaxy Note II, and if you haven’t had a chance to try the original yet, you are in for a definite treat if you give this one a look.

What do you think of carrying a phone with a 5.5-inch screen? Tell me about it in the comments.

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