Samsung reveals sleek Galaxy Note II with 5.5-inch screen and Android Jelly Bean

30 Aug 2012

At IFA in Berlin last night Samsung caused quite a stir with its new Galaxy Note II smartphone device, which boasts a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with 16:9 screen ratio. The device is also thinner than its predecessor and includes Samsung’s S Pen technology.

A new feature called Popup Play lets users open an S Note instantly anywhere on the screen, including during phone calls so users could scribble notes, for example.

A new gesture pad feature called Quick Command lets users activate frequently used apps with the S Pen by swiping upwards. Users can also create pre-registered marks on the command pad to call up an app or a location.

Compared with its predecessor the Galaxy Note II is thinner and longer, designed for a better grip and a more natural writing and drawing experience.

Galaxy Note II specs

The new device is powered by a 1.6GHz Quad-Core processor and in terms of connectivity has radios for HSPA Plus or 4G LTE.

In terms of operating system it is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which Google demoed at I/O recently, including clever new map applications and voice capabilities. Jelly Bean includes new controls for sharing and reviewing photos, including a nifty feature that presents a film strip-style review of photos. With Jelly Bean users will be able to share videos and photos by just tapping one device off another.

The Galaxy Note II will come with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB memory options as well as an expandable micro SD memory slot.

In terms of cameras the Galaxy Note II has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.9-pixel front-facing camera with HD video recording.

The device will be available in two colours – marble white or titanium grey – and will launch in Europe, the Middle East and Asia in October.

“Last year at IFA, we launched the GALAXY Note, which opened a new category of smart mobile devices,” Samsung Electronics’ president of IT and Mobile Communications JK Shin said.

“This year, again at IFA, I am proud to announce the GALAXY Note II, which will encourage users to ‘unleash their inner creativity.’

“With a perfect viewing experience and unique and differentiated features, users can discover information and capture their ideas faster, express thoughts freely and manage tasks more efficiently. For anyone who wants to be creative, expressive and unique, the Samsung GALAXY Note II will be the ideal device, allowing users to live a life extraordinary,” Shin said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years