Alongside their upcoming line up of Windows devices, Samsung saw fit to reveal the successor to their Galaxy Note at their IFA press conference. The Samsung Galaxy Note II shares much of the same form factor as its predecessor with significant silicon and software updates. The screen remains a massive 5.5" 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED ordeal, and the S Pen has gained a few tricks in the year that passed. The processor is now the same Exynos 4 Quad (Exynos 4412) that premiered in the international Galaxy S III. When the SGS3 landed on these shores it swapped Exynos for the trappings of Qualcomm's MSM8960, and its LTE baseband. Since then Korean variants of the SGS3 have cropped up that include both the Exynos 4412 and LTE. If the Note 2 mirrors the Korean SGS3 LTE variant then it's likely to have the same CMC221 baseband, also seen in the Galaxy Nexus. 

On the software side, the stylus-centric TouchWiz variant on hand is actually running on Jelly Bean and will come with a few tricks not even seen on the recent Galaxy Note 10.1. Popup Note takes the hovering widget concept, which we've seen in other TouchWiz UIs, stretched to include S Note; so notes can be taken with other apps visible and on screen. Air View introduces a new hover behavior, that previews videos and attachments in e-mails or links without the user having to open the appropriate app. There's also a few new functions users can perform within S Note, including Idea Visualizer, which inserts images based on what handwritten keywords. 

Samsung's approach to evolving the Note has a lot of potential, and we'll be interested to see how it shapes up. The Note II will launch in Asia, Europe and the Mid East in October; with pricing and US launch to be determined. 

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  • StormyParis - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    "The screen remains a massive 5.5" 1280 x 720". Nope. The Note 1 is 1280x800, so actually more DPI, and more square. Which is why I won't be upgrading my Note: squarer is much better for reading, which I do a lot of. More elongated is better for videos, which I don't do that much on it.

    Plus I'm very happy with the Note 1 as it is, I'm not craving extra performance yet. Luckily, it seems the format has been proven a success, so I can count on a Note 3, by which time an upgrade will probably be worth it, and maybe they'll have realized that squarer is better ^^
  • bennyg - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    Nice idea, but Apple patented squarey rectangles. Sorry.
  • jiffylube1024 - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    Hmm good pointing that out about the aspect ratios. I forgot that the Note 1 was 1280x800 (and thus 16:10)

    So, given those specs and some handy dandy math, here's the screens of the two displays:

    Note 1 (5.3" diag):
    4.49" x 2.81"
    area: 12.62 in^2

    Note 2 (5.5" diag):
    4.8" x 2.69"
    area: 12.91 in^2

    basically the new Note is .1" less wide and .3" taller. It may be slightly easier to hold due to being a bit less wide.

    I like the consistent design language between the Note 2 and the SGS3. New stylus, new SoC (28nm). This could be a real winner! I will be very curious to see battery life specs of this phone. I read they could be including a substantially higher capacity battery (slightly thicker), which, coupled with a 28nm SoC could mean a solid jump in battery life.

    Plus, if this ever comes out in the US (at the very least it will be import-able), it's got the nice clicky home button instead of the confusing 4-button layout like the North American Note.
  • baldo - Saturday, September 8, 2012 - link

    If what you are saying is true, then the screen(by that I mean the iluminated screen) has been thinned and elongated? Essentially the screen surface is practically the same!
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    I bought an SGS2 back when it came out and am also skipping this generation of devices. While I would have gotten a resolution increase in the SGS3 and some other smaller improvements, the SGS2 is not missing anything for me at the moment (running CM10) and I am much rather waiting for even higher resolutions and a new chip generation. I'm adopting the same biannual update cycle I have for graphics chips. Even with "hyper Moore's Law" as Anand said it, the software often doesn't make full use of it, yet.
  • kyuu - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    Wish Samsung would release a Note with WP8...
  • jiffylube1024 - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    So you get a similar experience with fewer apps??

    Samsung's already making a 4.8" WP8 phone coming out this fall. They'll test the waters with that one and see if WP8 is any more successful than WP7.
  • kyuu - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    Not sure what you mean. In any case, I'm not interested in Android. The so-called "freedom" of Android is a joke. Yeah, you're free to a fragmented mess of an ecosystem and free to be at the mercy of service providers who have no interest in providing support and updates for your phone after you've already forked over your cash and got yourself in a 2-year contract.

    Granted, WP has it's own issues, as does iOS. None of them are the perfect platform (I'm looking to ditch iOS for WP8). And the app market is a non-issue -- I don't use thousands of apps, and I already know that the core ones I'm actually interested in exist. The few that don't will likely come as WP8 picks up marketshare (which I'm confident it will) and as WP8 makes development and porting of apps easier.

    I'm aware of the 4.8" Samsung phone... but that's not a 5.5" Note.
  • n13L5 - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    another one of the 60% of paid "opinions" we see on public forums?

    oh yes: "Granted, WP has it's own issues, as does iOS."

    LOL.. *catches breath* Right, just at a different scale... iOS, is a well oiled machine, the walled garden loved by all for keeping them safe and cozy.

    WP is just one abortion after another, as Micro$oft tries to fist its way into having their own walled ghetto... forget our past openness, we'd like to be exactly like Apple.

    I'm afraid all the suckers are already with Apple, there might be none left for M$.
  • jabber - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    I always say to get a true idea of how many useful to vaguely useful apps there are in any app store, divide the total number by 1000.

    The rest are junk or lesser copies.

    In terms of essential apps it probably boils down to around 15-20.

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