Samsung has produced many great handheld devices in its time, but few have reached iconic status. The company builds its success on great adaptability, an eye for trends and a knack for improving on others' successful formulas. And yet, every now and then it pulls off a truly inspirational device - like the Galaxy Note last year.
The 5.3" half-smartphone half-tablet carved a whole new niche in the mobile market, which many have tried to tap into since. Competition, it seems, was caught off guard though. A year later, it's yet to produce a real Note killer. But Samsung is showing no signs of complacency - even though the first of their phablets is yet to be properly challenged, they're ready to go to number 2 and set the bar even higher.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II brings twice the processing power, a brand new screen (of even larger size) and a bigger battery. Those alone make the second-gen Samsung phablet a worthy upgrade, but it's just the tip of the iceberg - here's a sneak peek of what's going on under the hood.
So, the Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 got a proper screen upgrade, getting rid of the PenTile matrix. It comes with an extra powerful chipset and an improved S Pen. The slim and slender body should be easier to handle than the predecessor. That addresses just about every shortcoming of the original Note, but is it where the progress ends?
Of course not - the Note II comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, making it a member of a very elite club at this point. Even more impressively, Samsung has thrown in a few neat software tricks of its own to sweeten up the deal - Direct call and Smart stay already impressed us when they debuted on the Galaxy S III and now we get Smart rotation too.
So it appears the Koreans really gave the Galaxy Note II N7100 their best. But was that enough to make it the world-beater they were hoping for? Well it all boils down to the real-life performance and the synergy of all those features listed above.
Let's find out then what kind of difference the Note II makes - join us on the next page for the hardware inspection.