Aug 29 AT 1:19 PM Sean Riley 38 Comments

Samsung Galaxy Note II is official, arrives in US this year


Well, hopefully, you aren’t tired of hearing about the Galaxy Note II yet; Samsung has finally made their announcement and released the official details. The leak earlier this morning pretty much had it nailed, but let’s go through the list now that it’s official.

Naturally, the screen is the highlight here. It’s an enormous 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display at 1280×720. Early hands-on are showing that, while it is perhaps not quite up to the caliber of the HTC One X screen, it is a vast improvement over the Pentile displays we were seeing previously.

The other signature feature is the S pen. The handwriting experience in general and that has been upgraded, as well. The pen itself is a bit larger, making it easier to handle, and the digitizer in the Note II supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity–4x that of the original.

Powering the Note II is a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor with 2 GB of RAM. I can’t imagine that won’t be sufficient to keep things humming along.

The battery is 3100 mAh (just shy of what Motorola crammed into the RAZR MAXX), but of course, with this kind of screen real estate, you’re going to need every bit of that battery.

As for the cameras: it’s a backside illuminated 8MP on the rear and a backside illuminated 1.9MP on the front. For the camera software there are some functions already familiar to us from the Galaxy S III including Buddy Photo Share, Burst Shot and Best Photo. But the Note II is also getting a feature called Best Faces, which will let you “choose the most preferred face or pose of each person from group portrait photos.”

As far as storage goes, we’re looking at the same options as the Galaxy S III: 16, 32 and 64GB models and a microSD slot to boost that even further if you wish.

The Note II will launch with Jelly Bean (as you would hope by now) and, of course, will have the TouchWiz overlay.

The two pieces that had been missing this morning were pricing and availability. We’ve now got half of that covered. The Galaxy Note II will go on sale in European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets in October with US availability coming “later in 2012.” Obviously, that doesn’t leave them with a huge window, so those of us in the US shouldn’t have to worry about waiting months before seeing the Note this time around.

Any original Note fans salivating over this update? Or, if you weren’t convinced by the original, are you finding yourself tempted this time around?

Galaxy-Note-II-Post-Image galaxy-note-ii-1 galaxy-note-ii-2 galaxy-note-ii-3 galaxy-note-ii-4 galaxy-note-ii-5 galaxy-note-ii-6

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • thekaz


    • Sean Riley

      God I hope so, I can’t switch carriers, but I really want this phone.

      • Thomas Biard

        I feel the exact same way. This has everything I want and more, and possibly just out of reach. Fingers are still crossed though.

        Oh by the way, anything that LG comes out with that is the answer to the Note II will not suffice.

        • The Omega Man

          What about HTC?

    • ajonrichards

      I’ve been considering leaving Verizon, but if they come out with this phone, it may be enough to keep me around. I would’ve bought the crap out of a Verizon Galaxy Note, and I will buy the crap out of a Verizon Note II.

      • thekaz

        my wife is looking for a new phone, and in her line of work, I think this size (and functionality!) would work great for her…

        • cb2000a

          The Note is a great phone. My wife and I both have one (hers white and mine black). I have been quite pleased with ATT’s network (including speed) and support. Don’t miss Verizon at all.

    • Me

      Verizon sucks balls.

      • tottyrice

        yep they do that’s why i left them (why pay a whole lot more if other carriers offer the same service with a lower price tag. i know it won’t be as fast but that doesn’t matter i’m usually on wifi anyway)… i had att before verizon, not going there ever again couldn’t even get reception in my room. so, now i’m thinking of trying t-mobile (for their new UNLIMITED data plan) or go with a prepaid carrier like simple mobile (does anybody know how well their 4g works? i’m in stockton, ca).

        • HiyaBuddy

          To each his own I guess. Verizon rules for me, I have always had kind and prompt customer service. Better yet, I’ve rarely had to place a call unlike the other 3 major carriers. AT&T did not work to save its life in my house ( in the middle of a frickin city with “good coverage”). That was two years of hell. T-Mobile started getting shady with billing practices despite complaints via customer care. That whole pricing fiasco where they promise you a certain rate and the bill is much higher all the time. Then they had crappy phones (5 Samsung Vibrant replacements and payed full price for a G2x which was a horrible experience to own). Went to Sprint, started out great but then the iphone came out and ruined the 3g speeds. Had internet at 1x speeds, netflix failed. Evo 3D was problematic with software/hardware issues. Finally went to Verizon with a Droid RAZR. Battery life is decent, could be better, but service my goodness its wonderful. Their service always just works. No dropped calls, no signal issues. As a Sprint customer I couldn’t count how many times I was roaming in the city of Boston, piggy backing off Verizons network. Sure there’s no unlimited data but i only use 3gb a month and thats with LTE. Since I am around wifi so much I barely use 2gb of data.

          • HiyaBuddy

            Edit for grammar: sometimes I barely use 2gb of data.

  • jaxidian

    I really wish the international version just had T-Mobile’s AWS support! If they had that, then I might actually consider replacing my GS3 with the international version of this. Too bad…

    • Taylor Wimberly

      T-Mobile is going to support HSPA+ on the 1900 MHz band later this year in most markets. Any of the AT&T or international phones will get fast 4G speeds on T-Mobile soon.

      • Andy_jr

        Thanks for that info. I’m sure I already read that, but I can’t keep all this stuff straight. ;^)

        I am extremely tempted by this device! It looks like they didn’t make any compromises (screen, CPU, RAM, SD slot, OS version), which is rare, and unlike some people, I really like the pen idea.

        The only missing piece of the puzzle is price. If the price is right, I’m, in!

        • Tojen

          Id bet on $249 16gb,299 32gb,&349 64gb on a two year contract, assuming carriers decide to carry each version.

    • cb2000a

      T-Mobile will probably get this phone around Jan. with AWS support.

  • R.S

    I was tempted by the original Note which was finally released on T-Mobile. However, knowing the Note 2 was around the corner, I decided to wait. Weirdly enough, I didn’t see the Note on T-Mobile’s website the other night.

    Like I wrote in a different post, hopefully the Note 2 will be released simultaneously on all major carriers like the GS3.

    • Sean Riley

      T-Mobile pulled the Note for reasons not entirely explained. Not a huge leap to assume they just realized very belatedly that the new hardware was so close that marketing the Note was pointless.

  • Stella

    Overall, I’m impressed with the updated features. The only concern I have is the battery life. I want to see it tested for normal usage. My brother is upgrading his phone next month and I’m recommending this one and the GS3 to him.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Hopefully battery life should be pretty good with that 3100 mAh battery. The RAZR MAXX had a 3300 mAh battery and it lasted for days.

  • Nate B.

    I can see people rooting this and slapping ROMS on it, but that would be taking away from the awesome native features it has. Unless you have a stock TouchWiz rooted ROM.

    Samsung did very well with the announcements. I was watching it all on my Series 9 first gen notebook. Also, I’m running the Windows 8 consumer preview build. I can’t wait for the official update. Then I might as well get a newer laptop that came optimized and loaded with it.

    I’m really feeling the Galaxy Camera. I like the back design of the Windows 8 phone they showed. But it’s Android for life.

  • Adryan maldonado

    I love the improvements to the spent
    The giant battery,supped up processor, but why the change in resolution? Why didn’t they keep the 1280×800? Is the 1280×720 better for the resolution? Can someone explain how Was that resolution not very good to begin with? Also Sean Riley does anyone know what kind of screen technology they are using? Since they did not announce it I’m assuming its going to be gorilla glass or Samsung own brand.but.I was really hoping for the.unbreakable pane glass.

    • jonathan3579

      They did it for a proper 16:9 aspect ratio.

    • Raptor

      Yes, RAM, processor, flash and battery got a boost, but the screen PPI and brightness became even worse : 189ppi for red an blue….pity…

      May be HTC will finally make better phablet.

    • Sean Riley

      I have to imagine it’s Gorilla Glass 2 as I think they would have made a point of it if they were using UBP, but I’ll try to follow up and get a definitive answer.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Beautiful in white :).

  • WlfHart

    Hopefully Christmas comes early this year! I can’t wait to play with one.

  • uzunoff

    It is really nice, the only thing missing is the Vanilla Android with the rest of the belts and whisltes as downloadable apps.
    So how about a Nexus Note. I will get that in a heart beat.
    I am still curious to see what HTC will come out with in that category.
    I am sure by the time the Note 2 is on the US market we’ll have a pretty good idea.

    Also how would it compare with the next batch of Nexuses.

    • Dave Clary

      I believe that should be Nexi. :-)

  • jonathan3579

    I’m seriously contemplating just going unlocked on this one.

  • Dave Clary

    Just as I swore I was jumping off the upgrade bandwagon. :-) I gave up my international Note for a Galaxy Nexus for the TMo HSPA support. I love the Nexus with Jelly Bean, but I do miss that big screen when I’m surfing the web. I also like some aspects of TouchWiz–particularly the way Contacts work on it. I guess I won’t worry about it until it actually shows up in T-Mobile’s inventory.

  • skyflakes

    Nice! Options, options.

  • bryanizmir

    I am a fan and owner of the original, but not necessarily salivating over the update. I think the increased screen size will make it relatively impossible to use with one hand. I am not a tiny man, I’m 6’ with big sausage fingers, and I can barely manage one handed operation with the 5.3”. I think the extra 0.2 would push it over the edge for me. Also, I have come to be intimate with my spare Anker 2700mAh batteries because under my “normal” use, I have to change the battery three times over an 18 hour day. I imagine even with 3100 mAh you are still going to have battery issues with that nice display and quad core. That being said, I would definitely get it if I hadn’t bought my Note 1 only a few months ago :)

  • KennyL

    If this thing comes out on Verizon I will buy this. As goofy as it might look, that stylus is a killer feature for me.

  • jamal adam

    Samsung, unfazed by Apple. I really like what they’ve done with the S Pen and it looks like an awesome addition that has been greatly improved. The future of S Pen looks brighter and brighter with each iteration.

  • Esoth

    This looks amazing, and the specs are all buffed up. It makes me wonder how they dropped the ball so badly on the Note 10.1…

  • Nathan D.

    It a pretty good update for a follow up to the original. Unless you want a huge screen space and already have one of the latest phones then it is not worth it.

  • HiyaBuddy

    BREAKING NEWS: Apple has patented the shape and form factor of the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note. Their Statement “We were planning to use that form factor for the Iphone 12! We change the screen size in 6 year cycles.”

    In other news, I like the new form factor and the Galaxy Note seems like a beast. I don’t think I would mind shelling out the dough for this. But I would rather hold on and wait for my upgrade for a Galaxy S IV or a Note III.