Note: Supersize is good

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 05:00 hrs

If you are one those who took to the largish-looking original Samsung Galaxy Note, then you will love the new Galaxy Note II even more. The latest mobile-tablet hybrid is an evolution of the original Note that debuted last year, and even though at 5.5 inches, the size of the device is big but not inconvenient. At 5.9 x 3.2 x 0.4 inches, it fits in just fine in your hand and at 180 g, you don't mind lugging it round, too.

It's absurd to hold a 5.5-inch block of plastic and glass to your ears, given the Note II's stand-out design.

It's hard to take your eyes off the HD super AMOLED display and, credibly enough, Samsung manages to better its smartphone displays with every launch. The 720p display on the Note II stands out as it packs a new type of AMOLED screen technology where arrangement of sub-pixels makes for a sharper picture than in Samsung Galaxy S III and S II. It is predictable that Note II's screen offers a much more satisfying movie-watching experience than on an iPhone 5's four-inch one.

Powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and paired with 2GB of RAM, it is indeed one of the fastest Android devices around. That's partly also because of the latest Jelly Bean version of the Android operating system. An eight-megapixel camera at the back and a 1.9-megapixel webcam at the front should be just fine for snapping pictures and video chats. Whereas the original Galaxy Note came in just the 16GB version, the Note 2 will have 16, 32 and 64GB editions. Battery, too, has been upgraded from 2,500mAh (powers for seven hours) on the original Note to 3,100mAh (powers for 10) on the Note that really thwarts the rival devices from Apple. This could be a real headline-grabbing spec for the Galaxy Note II.

  • This 5.5-inch touchscreen device has a non-unibody chassis that allows one to easily swap SIM cards, batteries or expand storage via a microSD slot. Also sports a stylus 
  • Powered by a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM
  • Arrives with the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, most updated and fastest version of Android
  • Inclusion of stylus; Samsung has added new features sucha s Air Note, a way to see extra information while hovering the pen over the screen, and Pop Up Note, a notepad that shows on screen if the pen is pulled out while on a call
  • Eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera 
  • Has the upper hand, not only because of the 5.5-inch display, but also because it plays every format you throw at it, up to 1920x1080 pixels
  • iPhone 5 comes with a slightly larger (than previous iPhones) display size of four-inch, but the uni-body design means a tightly closed unit with no replaceable batteries. Requires a nano-SIM, not available in India
  • Powered by A6 processor, which Apple claims is two times faster than the A5 chip in older iPhones, along with 1GB RAM 
  • Arrives with iOS 6, the latest version of iPhone software from Apple with Apple maps, Facebook integration and other features
  • iPhone still retains the upper hand in terms of new apps and all App Store apps working on the iPhone 5 at release
  • Eight-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera for FaceTime HD
  • Decides what is best for the scene in front of it on the fly and sports a fast HDR mode for tricky lighting situations. There is also a new option for panoramic photos that stitches several megabytes of photos (up to 28 megapixels) quickly 

An important accessory is the re-designed S Pen stylus that comes with improved ergonomics, tech specs, a rubber tip and even has a select button on side. The stylus slots at the bottom of the device, and is always within easy reach. The AirView feature allows the user to hover the pen over the screen without touching, and this can reveal the contents of emails, text messages or calendar appointments without leaving the page. It works across the OS, including the gallery, video and calendar apps. Dedicated apps like Popup note, a multi-tasking notepad app, activate by default when S-Pen is pulled out during a call. This sticky note allows to scribble down phone numbers or important reminders, without having to launch a separate application.

Samsung has also tweaked and improved the keyboard's text prediction capability. The keyboard also allows to enable Swype-style sliding input and activate one-handed mode as found in the original Note, among other features. In nutshell, for those with large hands, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is a comfortable device to type on. And while gaming is not really a standard benchmark for a smartphone, with quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor, Note II handles most games with ease. The large screen leaves plenty of room for controls, showcasing some neat graphic that, in turn, makes the Galaxy Note II a multimedia powerhouse, head and shoulders above the rest.

What we think
If you have to strictly compare the new iPhone 5 and the Galaxy Note II, it will be elegance competing with prodigiousness. We have to concur that a 5.5-inch display is going to appeal to an evolved smartphone base, or those who want tablet-like features on smartphone. But the original Note was a hit for Samsung and the company has refined the design and software further with Note II. This hybrid smartphone is a must-have for those who are not held back by its size and not to forget the host of useful tools that have been built into the operating system to suit many creative professionals.

Samsung Galaxy Note II will be available for Rs 39,900 and the company is also offering a zero-per cent finance offer at Samsung Smartphone Cafes and Samsung Plazas

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