As expected after weeks of leaks, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy Note II, and this version reflects subtle changes for the better rather than a massive redesign.
Starting with the bodyshell, the new design takers obvious cues from the Galaxy S III with a new HD Super AMOLED display at 5.5 inches, which is actually .3 inches smaller than the display found on the recently announced Galaxy Player 5.8 with an even denser pixel density, as the Note II’s display is set at 720p resolution compared to the qHD resolution of the former.
Aside from the new display, the S Pen capacitive stylus has also been redesigned, taking into account feedback from original Note customers with a softer rubber nib to better simulate pen and paper, along with more changes to its companion software suite, such as S Pen compatibility for the built-in S Planner calendar app and email client, as well as a new quad-core Samsung Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz.
The phone otherwise retains the same 8.0 megapixel camera assembly as the Galaxy S III and adds a larger 6,000 mAh battery while being as thin as the Galaxy S III, if just a bit tallter due to the larger display. While the new Galaxy Note II will launch soon in Europe and Asia, Samsung had this to say regarding plans for a US launch:
“Samsung Mobile is planning a U.S. version of Galaxy Note II, which will be available later in 2012. Building on the success of the original Galaxy Note, we’re confident that the Galaxy Note II continues to redefine what consumers should expect from their smartphone and delivers a powerful, innovative and unique experience. Exact timing and retail channel availability is not being announced at this time, we will continue to share information as it becomes available.”
That Samsung also chose to base the Note II off of the Galaxy S III is no mere coincidence either, as the current flagship for the manufacturer was designed specifically to avoid the type of litigation that it ultimately found itself on the wrong side on after last week’s court verdict on patent infringement, though as will be covered later on, the Galaxy S III core design will only apply to new Android devices going forward.