Its no secret. I love my Galaxy Note. It does everything I need a phone to do and everything I need a tablet to do. All in one unit. I love the s-pen which I use constantly to take notes in meeting, draw pics and just doodle some ideas when they pop into my cluttered head.
So when Samsung launched the Note II, I was obviously instantly interested to see what they could have done to improve on this already popular phone.
As part of the Samsung World Tour event held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, Samsung introduced the GALAXY Note II to the African continent. Literally. In front of a room of over 100 media representative from the African continent (complete with language translators) George Ferreira and Craig Fleischer revealed the magic and creative thinking behind the Note II.
Samsung instantly recognised the potential market after selling over 10 million of the original Note and expect sales of the Note II to outdo those numbers.
So what about the device itself ?
Whilst only having a limited time to play with it, I can say it is very sexy machine. It has the same feel as the Galaxy SIII and is very fast thanks to its 1.6GHz Quad-Core processor. Really glad Samsung has introduced a better battery for the Note 2 as one of my only complaints about the Note 1 is the poor battery life. Samsung has also announced an enhanced power management software on the Note II. It naturally comes with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) which just works with the phone’s hardware superbly well.
Some unique features to the Note 2:
- Air View – allows you to hover with the S Pen over an email, S Planner, image gallery, or video to preview the content without having to open it. Surprisingly handy when you just want to quickly check out where the next appointment is.
- Popup Note – open S Note instantly as a pop-up window anywhere on the screen to make a quick note. Even if you are on a call you can jot something down and it is linked to that phone call.
- S Pen has matured – longer, thicker and ergonomically designed to be gripped like a pen. It is more precise and feels more natural when writing on the screen.
- 800 illustrations – These are pre built in so you can add some life into your notes and “get creative with your content”
- Split screen – allows you to split the screen in half and have one app at the top and another at the bottom. If you are in landscape mode, the screen is split left and right. Really nice to be able to do that however it is noted that this can only be done with specific Samsung apps only. You can not customise those split screen apps and add your own. Not yet.
“We are further extending our GALAXY Note category with the GALAXY Note II and certainly as smartphones and tablets continue to dominate the market, the growth that is being witnessed in the mobile arena in South Africa is unparalleled, this is another way that Samsung are catering for diverse consumer needs and expectations,” concludes Fleischer.
The Samsung GALAXY Note II will be available in Marble White or Titanium Grey colour options, and is currently available in South Africa costing around R8000 but can be select as the “given” device on various contracts.
The Note 2 will also have an LTE version however this will be available towards the end of the year. With Vodacom’s LTE network and the other providers promising their own LTE network by year end, this is worth waiting for.
So in summary:
In three words: I want one!
The enhanced Note II functionality as well as the functionality that is inherited from the popular Galaxy S3 makes this a very attractive package.
Yes, it is still a big phone. Yes, people will still do the “jeans test” when they stick it into their front pocket and then look surprised at just how comfortable it fits in. Yes, people will still give me a hard time for “carrying a massive device”.
But you know what – I don’t care.
I can easily watch a video in High Def anywhere on the screen , whilst checking my spread sheet and reply to an email – what other “phone” can do that ? All at the same time. True multi tasking – not just running in background.
I recognise that the Note II is not for everyone. But for people like me who spend less time making phone calls and more time watching the screen, I can think of no other phone I would want.
I can not wait to get my hands on a unit to play with in the “real world” !
Note: it is available from MTN Anytime 200 contract at R429 per month which includes 250MB Internet bundles pm x 24
Also from Vodacom: On initial 24 month contract Handset: R170 PM X24 Subscription: R229 PM X24
Here are some pics of the Samsung Galaxy Note II World Tour from Cape Town: