So, its official. We're live in Berlin at Samsung Unpacked where the next generation Galaxy Note has just been announced. The 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 is a definite bump on last years original, and we know there's a lot of you guys out there that have been waiting on this one. We've had a little time to play with the device and see what's what.
The Note 2 has a 5.5 inch HD SuperAMOLED 16:9 display at 1280x720, a 1.6GHz Exynos quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16, 32 or 64GB of storage. Powering the whole show is a pretty sizeable 3100mAh battery, and we also get NFC and Samsung's latest Touchwix Nature UX based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. At only 9.4mm thick and weighing in at 180g the Note 2 doesn't feel as large in the hand as its massive screen would possibly lead you to believe. The overall design of the Note 2 lends very much from the smaller Galaxy S 3, which in turn sets it apart from the 2011 Galaxy Note.
The Note 2 will be available in a choice of two colors, Marble White and Titanium Grey, and is pegged for a Q4 2012 launch date. There is also support for 4G LTE as well as 3G/HSPA+.
It feels pretty good in the hand, but lets not forget that this is a big phone. A really big phone. As with the original, you aren't likely to be one handing the Note 2 all that often. The key component once again is the inclusion of the S-Pen. For the Note 2, the S-Pen has been redesigned a little. It's now taller and thicker, has a textured button on the side and a rubber tip on the end now which creates a subtly different interaction with the screen from its predecessor.
The tagline for the Note 2 is "Be Creative," and as such there is a big push towards creation and productivity software with the Note 2. The first generation of S-Pen apps such as S-Planner and S-Note are still present, but have been tweaked and given some additional features. The S-Planner application now has Facebook integration, providing the ability to manage Facebook events within the S-Planner app itself.
A really interesting feature in the Note 2, is what Samsung is calling Air View. In its simplest form, Air View allows you to interact with the Note 2, without the S-Pen having to actually touch the display. In the gallery for example, hovering over folders will preview the content within without having to open the folder. When watching a video, the pen can be held over the video timeline and will show a preview frame from that particular point. Email contents and attachments can also be viewed in the same way.