Last week we were able to spend some time with Samsung's new Galaxy Note 2. The device is a largely updated version of the original Galaxy Note, that enjoyed surprising success with over 10M units sold since its introduction.

The Galaxy Note 2 grows the display size to 5.55" and uses the latest iteration of Samsung's 720p Super AMOLED display. Internally you get a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos SoC with four ARM Cortex A9 cores and an ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU. Although US versions haven't been announced yet the international version boasts HSPA+ 21.1 and LTE support. You can expect similar specs when the US versions are eventually announced if Samsung continues the trend set by the Galaxy S 3.

The big feature of the Galaxy Note 2 is its digitizer that stores away nicely inside the unit. The S Pen, as Samsung calls it, allows you annotate on top of emails, photos, etc... Handwriting recognition works better on the Galaxy Note 2 than on the Galaxy Note 10.1, although I'm not entirely sure why. A major improvement to the S Pen in the GNote 2 is the ability to detect the pen at around 10 - 12mm above the display. This increased hover sensitivity allowed Samsung to enable a bunch of neat hover-over features. E.g. hovering over the subject of an email will expand it in a window.

The Note 2 runs Jelly Bean, and the OS felt extremely smooth even with Samsung's TouchWiz UX layered on top of Android. The hardware was similarly well executed. Solid build quality, good in-hand feel - the usual we've come to expect from Samsung. 

We'll have a full review later this year once review samples are available, until then check out the video and gallery below:

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  • warisz00r - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Does it have an LED notification light?
  • corymcnutt - Friday, September 14, 2012 - link

    Yes, it does have a LED light. Upper left.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I cant wait to try one out. Loving the screen. I played with a Note1 in the local Best buy a few weeks ago. OMG, the screen it just spectacular.
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    YAY return of the stylus, this looks like a fantastic phone for your nostalgic mother who remembers the days of pocket pc devices, or for your grandfather with parkinsons who cant use a touchscreen effectively and precisely nobody else.

    Also goddamn look at the size of that thing. Easily the funniest phone of the year. Can't wait to see a greasy nerd wipe his hand on his cargo jorts before pulling this thing out and watching anime off an external HD on the A train.
  • Pessimism - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Not everyone has tiny, delicate, childlike hands. Some people appreciate something proportioned for someone other than mister 5'8 human average.
  • redchar - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Hands are one thing, but there's also a matter of where you put it when you aren't holding it. Seems like certain pants might not cut it. Purse or cargo pants only?
  • teiglin - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I can fit a 7" tablet in most of my pants' pockets. It depends on your size and clothing preferences. The original Note, though I only had one for a few weeks, was never a pocket issue.
  • Cygni - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Funny, I've seen plenty of 6'6 people use a 3.5in phone just fine! Maybe you should try wiping the cheetoes crumbs off your hands first?
  • abrowne1993 - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    Interesting, I'm a relatively small man and I'm getting pretty sick of my 3.5" phone's lack of screen real estate. Guess there's a thing called personal preference, huh?
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - link

    I just upgraded from the LG Optimus S to the SGS3. 3.2" to 4.8". I can tell you that these big hands are much happier. My only regret is not waiting for the Note 2.

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