Android Central

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hitting select UK stores imminently, it's time for us to go hands-on with the finished product. We first tested out the Galaxy Note 2 at IFA in Berlin in late August, and it's taken just over a month to finalize the device. The original Samsung Galaxy Note has proved a surprising success over the past year. With the second-gen Note being bigger and more powerful than ever, Samsung will be hoping its efforts are reflected in even stronger sales this time around.

Check out our first hands-on video with the final, retail Galaxy Note 2 after the break, along with a quick overview of the device.

Powered by a quad-core 1.6 GHz Exynos 4 processor, the Galaxy Note 2 has some substantial horsepower behind it, along with a plentiful 2GB of on-board RAM. Combined with a whopping 3100mAh battery, we're expecting some serious longevity from this device. The Note 2 runs Jelly Bean out of the box, making Samsung's phone/tablet hybrid the first to ship with Android 4.1. And it now sports a 5.55-inch (non-PenTile) HD SuperAMOLED 1280x720 display, protected by Gorilla Glass 2. The extra size of the phone does add few of grams to its weight -- at 180 grams it isn't light, but it's not terribly heavy considering its monstrous size.

The rear camera remains at 8MP, and seems to be much the same as the Galaxy S3's main camera -- stay tuned for an in-depth look at the rear camera in our full review. The front-facer is a 1.9MP sensor, which is actually a small downgrade from the 2MP camera of the original Note, but we're sure the difference won't be noticeable. Full 1080p HD video is pretty much standard on high-end smartphones these days, and the Note 2 checks this box too.

Externally, the Galaxy Note 2 is a dead ringer for the Galaxy S3, with a similar finish, button design and curvaceous chassis. It'll be available in three models --16, 32 and 64 GB -- and you have the ability to add external storage space via microSD card. The "S Pen" Wacom stylus remains one of the device's killer features. The S Pen on the Note 2 has been redesigned to make it easier to grip, and its textured button is easier to find during use.

There are also numerous software enhancements, including the ability to command an on-screen cursor by hovering the stylus over the screen. This can be used to peek into gallery folders, calendar events expandable areas. And the usual selection of Samsung drawing and note-taking apps is included too, as are all of the software features of the Galaxy S3.

We will have a full review online in the next few days, but in the meantime if you are planning on picking up a Note 2, we hope this video will keep you pumped about the device -- it's quite a beauty.

Thanks to Clove Technology for providing the Galaxy Note 2 for review.