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September 1, 2012

Should you grab the Samsung Galaxy Note II

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Arguably the single most interesting device announced at IFA in Berlin is the Samsung Galaxy Note II. As you can imagine, it beats the old Note in pretty much all aspects with screen arguably being the only worse component —it now has a resolution of 1280×720 (267ppi), which is lower than the original Note’s 1280×800 pixels (285ppi). However, the screen is bigger (5.5 vs 5.3 inches) and there’s more power under the hood thanks to the quad-core processor. Moreover, an additional gigabyte of RAM could also prove useful or at least make multi-tasking faster. So should you buy it?

Phablets are not for everyone: Phablet devices —which are described as too small for a tablet and too big for a phone and include Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Note II and LG Optimus Vu —are not for everyone. If you’re like me and keep your phone in your jeans pocket, you may want to avoid grabbing the Galaxy Note II. If you, however, carry your phone in your jacket pocket, you’re pretty much good to go. At 151.1×80.5×9.4 mm, the new Note is not exactly small and thus easy to carry around… at least that’s the way I see it.

Price: Big screen, quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM come with a cost. The Galaxy Note II won’t be cheap, quite the contrary –off contract, it will sell for north of $600, perhaps even $700. If you, however, want it with a contract, prepare to pay some cash upfront (like $300 in the U.S.) AND commit to a two-year contract of at least $60 per month. In Europe, I would expect the Note 2 to be available for free on contracts starting at about 40 EUR per month.

Can you wait? The Galaxy Note II will be available in October starting in major European, Asian and Middle East markets. Americans will get it too, though as I’m writing this the date is still unknown. I guess Samsung is still in negotiation with carriers…

So the question is –can you wait? If you need a new phone right now, your best bet is to go for the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X –that’s presuming you want an Android device.

So should you get the Galaxy Note II? If you like the size, have the money and don’t mind waiting –go for it. It’s an awesome device that you’ll love using with or without the S Pen. Heck, I would go that far calling it the best Android product ever made! What do you say?

By Jonny Polea

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Jonny Polea

Editor in Chief at Beginners Tech

I joined Beginners Tech as a Technical Journalist in July 2012 and have never looked back. I love tech, gadgets, games and electronics; whether they are retro, current or future concepts. My loving fiancé Sarah has said that when I receive new items for review I’m like a kid in a toy shop – unable to leave it alone for two minutes! Coming from a design background, I am passionate about the design and aesthetics of tech as well as functionality.