The Galaxy Note 2 was reportedly benchmarked over the weekend. If the stats are correct, it’ll pack the same quad-core processor as the Galaxy S3, but clocked higher. The Note was the sleeper hit of the last 12 months, and with phone screens getting bigger, the sequel looks like it’ll just build on the original’s success.
The S3 is flying high at the moment, surpassing 10 million sales over the weekend. And it hasn’t peaked yet: Samsung predicts it’ll top a phenomenal 19 million by the autumn, too. You might think the next iPhone is the biggest challenger to the S3, seeing as it’s rumoured to be due this October, but you’d be overlooking the Galaxy Note 2.
The Galaxy Note made its debut at German trade show IFA last year, so we’re expecting the Note 2 to do likewise. According to the benchmark, the Note 2 will run the same Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core processor as the S3, but clocked at 1.6GHz to the S3′s 1.4GHz. So it’ll be faster than the S3. And as anyone who’s used one will tell you, the S3 is no slouch.
When the Note appeared last year, the screen divided opinion. At 5.3-inches, people clamoured it was too big to use as a phone, yet too small to be a tablet. The phrase ‘phablet’ was even bandied around, though we’re glad to say it doesn’t seem to have caught on. Well the sequel is said to feature a larger 5.5-inch screen.
Now while some will repeat the same calls as last year, claiming the Note 2 is too big to be classified as a phone, I think it’s just ahead of its time. The trend of late has been for bigger handsets: the S3 has a 4.8-inch screen, the HTC One X a 4.7-incher, and even the next iPhone is expected to make the jump from 3.5-inches to 4-inches. So 5.5-inches isn’t really that much of a step-up. The popularity of the Nexus 7 will help acclimatise people to a screen that’s midway between a big tablet like the iPad and a regular mobile. So non-techy types will be able to get their heads around using a larger device.
Hopefully we’ll see an end to people pretending to be Dom Joly in Trigger Happy TV when they make calls on it as well.
With faster downloads speeds – 4G could even be with us by the end of the year, after all – and cloud storage, devices are increasingly being used for games and films, which both demand a bigger screen. So the Note 2 will just be spearheading the trend for larger phones.
The camera is also expected to get an upgrade to 12- or even 13-megapixels, which to be honest would be slight overkill on a device like this. But still, it’s nice to have. And while the camera on the original Note wasn’t a game changer by any stretch of the imagination, it was better than most tablets, which are notorious for their poor imaging skills.
So, a bigger screen, faster processor, improved camera… the Note 2 is shaping up to be quite a beast. There’s just one niggle.
According to the benchmarks, the screen resolution on the Note 2 is actually lower than the original – 1,280×720-pixels, compared to 1,280×800 on the Note. This could well be a mistake, given the fact the Note 2 isn’t official yet. If not, it wouldn’t make any sense. A sequel with a lower resolution screen? It’s surely madness.
Though it would bring it into line with the resolution of the Galaxy S3′s screen, so maybe compatibility is the issue. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see how that would look stretched across 5.5-inches.
Conclusion: Take Note
While it divided opinion, the original Note has sold a mammoth 7 million units, which is mighty impressive for something first seen as a bit of a novelty. Such was its success, Samsung announced a 10.1-inch model, which is expected to launch on August 15th.
Phones are getting bigger, there’s no denying it. When even the notoriously late-to-the-party Apple starts beefing up its iPhone to the 4-inch mark (as all signs point to), you know a trend is here to stay. The S3 may be expected to sell 19 million units by this autumn, but mark our words, the Note 2 will be the really big blower this year.