IFA Berlin 29 Aug : Galaxy Note 2 Announced

Posted on August 30, 2012


The launch event that most gadget enthusiasts are waiting for – the successor to the current Galaxy Note at IFA Berlin on 29 Aug at 7 pm ( M’sian time 30 Aug, 1 am ). The Galaxy Note 2 was introduced in a 30 minute presentation. Prior to that, there was a 20 min , I would say a “senseless” presentation as a prelude to show Samsung’s  ” pure innovation, a demonstration of life, power and beauty, together in perfect harmony.”  Actually I am not impressed with it. Kicking off the announcement of the Note 2 was  Samsung’s JK Shin ,JK Shin, President of Mobile Communications Division. Each time I see this guy speak and present, I just pity him as he struggles with his broken and heavily accented English. Overall his presentation pales with Apple’s guys even Tim Cook. Samsung should engage a better presenter for such an important event. Well, just to give him face allow him on stage a minute just to say Hello !!

This post is based on the live blog reports from The Verge and Engadget : I have summarised the main highlights here



Well, most of the rumours about the Note 2 seems correct.

First , the design – just a bigger size Galaxy S III. I was disappointed as I believe Samsung could do better than that for a flagship smartphone. It is not that the design of the S3 is poor. Why the need just to copy the S3 when they could take the opportunity to give it a distinct new character.

No exact size specifications was shown except it is ” It’s slightly narrower and taller” than the current Galaxy Note” . Engadget had reported the Note 2 is slimmer than the previous Note by 0.3 mm at 9.4 mm against 9.7 mm. The device’s 5.55-inch screen is diagonally wider than the Galaxy Note at 5.3 inches. That translates into a display with a wide-screen 16:9 aspect ratio, which is, as Samsung puts it, “optimized for today’s visually oriented apps.”

The phone will  be available in Marble White or Titanium Gray colour , and will launch in October starting from ‘major European, Asian and Middle East markets’ , in 128 countries

No pricing is indicated, but I’d think it should be in same range as previous Note starting at RM 2199 ( 16 GB version )

Official specs :

Android Version: 4.1.1 – Jelly Bean.
Display: 5.5” Super AMOLEDHD with 1280×720 Resolution (720p – 16:9).
CPU: Samsung’s Exynos4412 @ 1.6GHz.
GPU: ARM’s Mali-400MP @400MHz.
Storage: 16GB, 32GB and64GB.
MicroSD Slot: Yes.
Camera: 8MP (1080p HD)Rear Facing Camera + 1.9MP (720p HD) Front Facing Camera.
Battery: 3,100 MAh.

The major hardware differences:
– a higher and more powerful quadcore processor Exynos 4412 ( same chipset as Galaxy S III) but at 1.6 Ghz vs the previous dual core 1.4 Ghz, while GPU remains the same. Those expecting latest Exynos 5250 will be disappointed
– a slight bigger display at 5.5 inch vs 5.3 inch but at a reduced resolution of 1280X720 vs 1280X800 previously.
– most obvious improvement is 2 GB of ram vs 1 GB of the Note
– bigger battery size 3100 mAh vs 2500 mAh of the Note
– supports up to 128 GB external micro SD card !!
– S Pen with  a better grip,and  a new rubber tip. Like the Note 10.1’s S Pen, it offers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
– most important of all, it comes with Android latest OS : Jelly Bean v 4.1.1. Having experienced this OS on the Nexus – it is indeed leaps and bounds ahead of the older Ice Cream Sandwich with very obvious improvement in UI’s slickness, smoothness and overall performance

Software Features :

Most obvious added improvements is in the S pen features –  Just briefly  :

–  Air View – which allows one to preview content by hovering the stylus over icons. For example, you could hold the S Pen over a day on a calendar, and a preview window of that day’s appointments will appear.
–  Best Faces –  which allows users to choose the most preferred face or pose of each person from group portrait photos.
– Smart Stay, which uses the camera to prevent the device from going into standby mode when it detects a user in front of the device.
– Quick Command: Just sweep the S Pen up and a blank square pops up where you can write customized commands that will instantly do things such as send an email to a specific person.
– Popup Note :  is a kind of multitasking ability, letting you call up a note from the S Note app as a pop-up window on the screen. This could come in handy when you get a phone call and need to write something down quickly.
– Easy Clip : a way to quickly outline and crop certain kinds of content on the screen. With the S Pen’s button, it intelligently figures out what you want to clip, then you can paste it into other content.

Samsung Hands On:

About an  hour before the official launch, web reviews and you tube videos on it was already up. Most of the reviews are very positive about the Note 2. Within the enxt week or two, we shold be able to see more detailed reviews and benchmarking results. These are some of them :

Android Authority :

Techno Buffalo

Android Central :


Reviews and Impressions/Hands on :