Like the Galaxy S III before it, Samsung has just announced that the new Galaxy Note II will indeed hit all five major U.S. carriers — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon Wireless — by the middle of this November.
Fine, I admit it, the company’s still being pretty vague here. As usual, Samsung has left it up to the carriers to announce exactly when the new-fangled phablet will hit their respective store shelves, but rest easy — those announcements are bound to start trickling out any minute now.
There’s also no official word on pricing (on-contract or otherwise), but if the original is any indicator the Note II should launch with a price tag between $249 and $299.
Before we get too wrapped up in the details, let’s consider the hardware for just a moment — the Note II’s 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display and redesigned S-Pen may count among the device’s biggest draws, but its internals are worthy of some extra scrutiny here. While plenty of international handsets tend to get neutered once they make their way stateside, that thankfully doesn’t seem to be the case with the Note II. Samsung’s 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos chipset still runs the show here, while 2GB of RAM and an LTE radio help keep things moving at a snappy pace.
What’s more, the device is Samsung’s first to ship pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, though the Korean company’s liberal application of TouchWiz may make that fact a tough one to discern at first glance. Of course, Samsung’s additions don’t end there: the full slew of S-Pen applications is present too, as are plenty of modifications and updates seen in the recently-launched Galaxy Note 10.1 (think increased S-Pen sensitivity, greater hover distance, and more).
It’s also worth noting that Samsung’s timing really couldn’t be any better — LG opened the doors to its latest press conference/domestic phone unveiling just an hour ago, and now its rival has announced availability for its newest top-tier Android handset. To top it all off, LG also just recently launched its own hulking handset — the LG Intuition — which was largely panned by critics. The poor guys just can’t catch a break.