Overnight at IFA, Samsung announced the successor to its unexpectedly popular Galaxy Note. It’s basically what we expected – a (slightly) larger 720p screen, faster processor, Jelly Bean, and some cool new pen-related tricks.
Specifically, the Note 2 has a 5.5-inch, 1280 x 720 screen (as opposed to the 5.3-inch, 1280 x 800 screen on the original Note), and a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos chipset, which is faster even than the Galaxy S III, which clocks in at a paltry 1.4 GHz.
Engadget went hands-on with the new device, and remarkably, they said that it feels ‘solid’ and declared it ‘impeccably well-built’, especially considering the criticisms of the build quality of Samsung hardware recently.
The differentiating factor of the Note 2 is of course, the S-Pen, and it sounds like Samsung really stepped up their game here. The stylus has been made longer, and the tip has been rubberised to make it feel more like a real pen. Extra levels of pressure sensitivity have been added to give the S-Pen 1,024 levels of sensitivity, rather than the 256 levels on the original Note, adding so much extra to games of Draw Something on the Note 2.
As if by magic, the Note 2 can detect the position of the S-Pen, allowing the phone to detect where the stylus is hovering over the screen, which Samsung has put to use as a way to easily preview media content. What is really cool though is that the phone can detect if you wander away, leaving the stylus behind and alert you so that you don’t lose it.
Like Samsung’s other recent devices, notes and video applications can be run in pop-ups on top of other applications. I’m not convinced of the utility of this feature on a phone, but the Note 2 is pretty big, so it could work.
Samsung have not announced pricing yet, but apparently the Note 2 will be available in Europe, Asia and the Middle East by October.