On Monday, I picked your brains on the subject of 10 and how no phone is perfect. Of course, that matter is subjective, but there is no single phone available today that I would not change something about, given the opportunity. However, some are better in hindsight, and those are the ones added to our secret library of favorite classic devices.
On the list of phones I mentioned when talking about near 10s, I omitted one fantastic device: the Samsung Galaxy Note. Due to how fast the industry moves at times, the Note only had a couple months of stardom – at least here in the States. But its giant 5.3-inch display and S Pen set it apart from the crowd and gave users an entirely different experience from what they have learned to expect from modern smartphones.
When I had the Note, I imagined I wouldn't want anything else for some time. After making the jump from a 4.65-inch phone to a 5.3-incher, I figured dropping back down to anything smaller would be difficult and displeasing. But, over time, two particular specifications of the Note picked at my nerves the longer I had the phone: the aging S3 processor and HD Super AMOLED display. Along came the HTC One X, which implements a much clearer display and the latest generation Snapdragon chip, the S4. The differences in performance and actual clarity of the displays were quite difficult to overlook. Thanks to the S4, the One X could run circles around the Note, and the LCD display with the typical RBG subpixel layout (33 percent more subpixels and equal dependence on all three subpixel colors) yields a more balanced and crisp appearance.
In short, I was initially wrong and dropped back to the 4.7-inch phone with relative ease. But that doesn't mean I forgot about the Note overnight. I still have it, and every time I let my eyes drift towards the drawer it now lives in, I consider popping my SIM into it for a couple days. Alas, I know I will be disappointed by the incessant lag the S3 will bring, and the parchment appearance of the display at low brightness will drive me up the wall.
But I have been keeping an eye out for any and all new or rumors on the possibility of a successor to the widely-adored Galaxy Note. For a device everyone expected to be a niche device, the Galaxy Note was a huge success story. I recall people saying all sorts of things when seeing my Note: "That phone is entirely too big!", "That's not a phone, that's a tablet." or "How do you fit that thing in your pocket?" But, at the same time, they were just as intrigued by the beast as they were turned-off by its sheer size.
For me, the Galaxy Note II has been one of the devices I have been secretly anticipating. And yesterday, we finally heard a bit more about it. Some "industry sources" told MK Business News that Samsung is, in fact, working on a successor to the Note and it should be available by October. The Galaxy Note II will include an even larger display than the one featured in the original 5.3-inch Note, longer battery life (which Samsung vowed to focus on in 2012), sturdier build, a quad-core processor (likely Exynos) and the next iteration of the Android OS, Jelly Bean, which is expected to be unveiled next week. It will also feature precursor to flexible OLED displays, referred to as an unbreakable plane display or UBP.
First off, I have to say these rumors aren't outlandish or unbelievable in any way. The only things that seem to be a stretch would be the even larger display and pre-installed Jelly Bean.
Most found 5.3-inches to be borderline too big. Others found it to be entirely too large. But not once have I heard anyone refer to it as "too small". Granted, that doesn't mean Samsung wouldn't make it larger, but I don't understand why they would. Making it a higher-resolution display would make sense. But I'm not sure how I feel about it being larger. Then again, I thought 5.3-inches was too large before I used the Note.
As for Jelly Bean, it isn't even official yet. We know nothing about it. But we do know one thing. Gingerbread was released in December 2010. Ice Cream Sandwich was released mid-November. Even if Jelly Bean is believed to be a minor update, why would Google jump the gun and release it before the end of the year? And even if they announce it and make it official next week, which is entirely possible, source code likely won't be released for another couple months. And, even if it's released next month or even in August, Samsung might not have enough time to 'Wiz the Bean.
It's rumored that Google is working more closely with partner manufacturers this time to create a plethora of stock Android devices for launch around the release of Jelly Bean. So Samsung could have their hands on source code before it's released to the public. But I still don't see a TouchWiz device with Jelly Bean as soon as October happening. But, hey. I've been wrong before.
The question is: are you interested in a Galaxy Note II, even with a larger display?
Personally, I'm drooling just thinking about it. I can only hope the display isn't of the HD Super AMOLED type, or that Samsung finds a workaround to the unsightly grain that occurs in their displays at low brightness. But I absolutely cannot wait for the successor to the Note. I'm excited for quite a few gadgets later this year, especially the Leap Motion I pre-ordered and my Pebble Smartwatch. But the Note is unquestionably near the very top of my list of upcoming gadgets.
What about you, lads and lassies? Are you excited for the Note II? Do you hope it's even bigger than the original? Slightly smaller? What configuration do you hope it comes with?