The latest iteration of the hugely popular Galaxy Note smartphone has a 5.5-inch display in a thinner form factor, a faster quad-core processor, Bluetooth 4.0 and LTE, and more enhancements.
Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note II LTE at a glitzy event held at the Ritz Carlton Singapore on Wednesday October 17, 2012. Though not officially available until Saturday October 20, 2012, I had the opportunity to get my hands on the production units that were present at the display showcase.
- Network: 4G LTE: 100Mbps/50Mbps
- Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
- Display: 5.5-inch HD SUPER AMOLED (1280x720)
- OS: Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean)
- Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel Camera
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0 Host, NFC
- Sensor: Accelerometer, RGB Light, Digital Compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer
- Memory: 16 GB User memory + 2 GB (RAM) microSD (up to 64GB)
- Dimension: 80.5 x 151.1 x 9.4 mm, 180 g
- Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh
- Color: Ceramic White or Titan Gray
- Price: SG$998 without a contract
Enterprise readySamsung is leveraging the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend to the hilt with its claim that the Galaxy Note II is ready for the enterprise (Figure A). According to Samsung, "hardware device encryption is available upon request," though it did not elaborate beyond this statement. According to the briefing sheet, the Note II will work with VPN solutions from F5, Cisco, and Juniper, while Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions from Sybase Afaria, MobileIron, SOTI, and Good have already been certified. Figure A
Samsung says the Galaxy Note II LTE is ready for the enterprise.
The Multi Screen feature that first appeared in the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet also makes its way to the Galaxy Note II. Despite the comparatively smaller display of the Note II smartphone compared to the Note 10.1 tablet, I found it to be a very handy feature on the 5.5-inch screen.Tapping and holding on the Menu button brings up a deck of apps that support the Multi Screen feature. Using the stylus or your finger, you can drag the apps into the desired half of the screen. The divider is adjustable and can be made to favor one side. Since this is a proprietary Samsung feature, Multi Screen support must be manually baked into apps. The list of supported apps seems longer; I spied Facebook (Figure B) on top of Samsung-created software such as the built-in Web browser, email client, photo viewer, and the S Note app. Figure B
Facebook side-by-side with a photo displayed via the photo viewer app.
Another very useful feature is Air View, which is essentially the ability to take screenshots using the S Pen to draw out the portion to be captured. This can allow workers to quickly circle pertinent information, such as an address book entry, part of a photo, or a portion of a spreadsheet. Then this can be emailed or shared via social media with just a few taps of the stylus.
Samsung implemented many tweaks in its hardware and software to make the Galaxy Note II a much better buy over the original Galaxy Note. The software refinements in particular, such as Multi Screen, make it a far desirable choice for business. The Galaxy Note II is the smartphone to have.