Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The device's S Pen stylus is surpsisingly useful, with an update from Samsung

Samsung's newest iteration of the Galaxy Note smartphone-tablet hybrid has a large, bright screen, more powerful battery and a snappy processor. One of the few drawbacks found in using it at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin is that it might not fit in your pocket.

To see a hands-on demonstration of the Galaxy Note II, watch a video on YouTube.

The screen is a generous 5.5-inches, which is 0.2-inches larger than the first generation device. It has a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution and streaming YouTube videos looked great on the display.

The phone is powered by a quad-core 1.6GHz processor and runs Android 4.1. There was no problem switching between applications and the device seemed very responsive in the few minutes I had time to use it.

With an improved processor and screen, Samsung also upgraded the battery from 2500 to 3100 mAh. Whether or not it actually extends the battery life of the device remains to be seen.

One of the biggest criticisms when the Galaxy Note came out last year was the addition of a stylus. Many likened it to Palm Pilots, which had their heyday in the '90s, but I found the stylus, called the S Pen, surprisingly useful. It's now thicker than its predecessor and stows in the bottom corner of the device. It had a good heft to it and was more than a piece of flimsy plastic. As soon as you pop it out, the device registers it and certain stylus-driven functions are enabled. When you hover the S Pen a few millimeters from the screen, you can preview emails, calendar entries or videos.

There's a single button on the S Pen, which can be used to cut out images, text, or just about anything in any application and save it to your gallery or text it to a friend.

If you leave the stylus behind, the Galaxy Note II will start to vibrate, reminding you to retrieve the pen.

Of course, you don't always need to use the S Pen, as the Note II can be touch-driven as well.

The Galaxy Note II will start shipping in October, beginning with Europe and Asia.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?