Samsung Galaxy Note II – First Impressions and Hands-On

The Samsung Galaxy Note II was just announced at IFA in Berlin last week. We recently got to spend some brief hands-on time with the Note II, and are happy with the improvements that Samsung has made with S Pen technology since the original Galaxy Note.

As a matter of fact, this time around the S Pen for the Galaxy Note II is just as pressure sensitive as the S Pen that works with the Galaxy Note 10.1. That means that it’s a lot more responsive to use. Another neat new trick of the S Pen and the Note II, is the ability of the Note to detect the S Pen when it’s within 10MM of the screen. This allows for all sorts cool U.I. tricks, and is especially convenient when surfing web sites with drop downs as it works as a hover behavior.

But it’s not just the S Pen’s functionality that Samsung has improved upon. This is also a Galaxy class device, and along with that comes the same Super AMOLED HD display technology that can be found on the Samsung Galaxy S III. But this time around, Samsung has managed to pack in 5.5″ of display real estate in a form-factor that is even thinner than the original Samsung Galaxy Note, yet the phablet still manages to have the same weight as its predecessor. The Note II also runs on a powerful Quad-core 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and it packs in a long lasting 3100mAH battery

But it’s not just the hardware that has been improved. Samsung has tweaked Android with a whole slew of neat U.I. improvements. That includes the ability to play certain tasks in a pop up window over other apps. This feature was first introduced on the Galaxy S III as a Popup play feature for videos, and on the Note it has been extended to other apps like the web browser and S Note, which can also work as popup windows over other apps.

Finally, the camera on the Galaxy Note II also has some neat tricks up its sleeve. The camera packs in a neat best group pose feature which picks the best faces from multiple shots in a group photo, and combines them into a single group photo! It almost seems like sorcery when you try it.

We’ll have a full review up of the Samsung Galaxy Note II as soon as we can get our hands on one.