Samsung Galaxy Note II

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If you thought the Galaxy Note couldn’t get any bigger, it did. The second-gen phone-cum-tablet, which had its specs leaked a few hours early, has jumped up from a 5.3-inch screen to 5.5 inches.

Speaking of specs: The new Galaxy Note II is powered by a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The device will support either HSPA Plus or LTE connectivity. Buyers can choose between 16GB, 32 GB and 64 GB of storage, and it has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.

Samsung is boasting that the Note II’s HD Super AMOLED screen offers a “perfect viewing experience”. That’s a bold claim, and I’ll have to see it to believe it. The company has also redesigned the S Pen to be longer and thicker.

There’s no release date for the device yet, though Samsung has confirmed that it will launch in Europe, Asia and the Middle East in October and will arrive in the U.S. by the end of this year. The original Note gained significant traction in Asia, especially in China and its home country of Korea.

In its extensive coverage, The Verge was quick to draw comparisons between the design of the Galaxy S III and the second-generation Galaxy Note. In fact, Samsung itself didn’t shy away from making the comparison. Ryan Bidan, director of product marketing for Samsung Mobile U.S., told the publication in an interview:

“The best way to think about the Galaxy Note II is that we took kind of that experience that we created with the Galaxy S III, both in terms of design and software experience, and brought that to the Note platform. So, you’ve kind of got the refinement and evolution of what we did with the original Galaxy Note, along with all of those great sharing features and the power of the Galaxy S III device. So thinking about it along the lines as the Galaxy S III I think is absolutely fair because it does feel and act a lot like that, but now you’ve got the further advantage of having the S Pen and the Note characteristics with that.”

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