It was at IFA that Samsung announced the new Note I. We were on-location in Berlin to give you an early hands-on preview of Samsung’s updated phablet. But as is usually the case at trade shows, three minutes of hands-on time might not be enough to show off the really cool functionality of the device, or to compare it with other devices. Pocketnow was invited to New York recently by Samsung to take a closer look at the Galaxy Note 2. We used it as an opportunity to compare the Galaxy Note II to the first Galaxy Note, plus to show off some of the cool things you can do with the S-Pen that you couldn’t do before. For example, you can now write directly into an email and into the calendar. Not only that, but there are several more uses of Samsung’s “pop-up” technology where you can hover a note, video, and even a web-page above the current app. There are also many places where you can hover the S-Pen on the screen and see email previews, access hover menus on websites, and peek inside of photo galleries. We didn’t get to cover all of the new S-Pen features in this video, but in the upcoming weeks when the Note II starts shipping, we’ll be sure to show you everything that the new Note can do.
- The Note II makes the first Note feel like a prototype. Based on the Galaxy S III, the Note II feels very similar to its smaller cousin: it’s got the same finish, a similar home button, thin bezels, and a substantial (but airy) in-hand feel.
- Performance on the Note II, with its quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos CPU and 2GB of RAM, is absolutely better than the original Note, but not a huge leap beyond anything else we’ve tested. We noticed a couple of hesitations, but the Note II we tested was using non-final software.
- The new S-Pen features finally start to tap the usefulness of having a stylus, but they don’t go far enough. The intuitiveness is just not there yet.
- The screen on the Note II is beautiful and feels like an upgrade from the original Note, despite having lower resolution (the Note II has 80 fewer columns of pixels). It’s clearer, brighter, and has better (more natural) color saturation.