Big screen: The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a huge phone. Its screen, at 5.5 diagonal inches, approaches the size of the smaller tablets. It dwarfs the 3.5 inch screen of the old iPhones 3 and 4. Galaxy Note II is about halfway between the size of the iPhone and the new iPad Mini. It's also noticeably larger than the screen of the last big Samsung smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S III which measured 4.8 inches.
S Pen: Samsung Galaxy Note is paired with the S Pen, a pen that emits a beam of light which the touch screen recognizes. The pen fits nicely into a slot within the Note II and can be pulled out to use, similar to the way the stylus was stored in the old Palm Pilot. The S pen is very easy to use, and more effective than a finger for drawing and writing. With the S Pen, the Galaxy Note II is marketed as a creative tool.
Pricing: Samsung Galaxy Note II costs $299.99 at Verizon and Target. This prices assumes a new 24 month service commitment with Verizon.
Screen resolution: Galaxy Note II has HD -- high definition resolution -- with 1280 by 720 pixels, the same number of pixels as Galaxy S III and Droid Razr Maxx HD (see article). The Galaxy Note has less pixels per inch than the S III and the Droid Razr Maxx HD, because the Note II screen is bigger. Compare these to iPhone 5 with its 4 inch diagonal display and 1136 x 640 pixels, or 326 pixels per inch. These Androids have larger screens, yet fewer pixels per inch, than the latest iPhone.
Speed and response time: The Galaxy Note II has a 1.6 megahertz processor. That may be a little faster than the other recent phones; for example, both Samsung Galaxy S III and Droid Razr Maxx HD have a 1.5 gigahertz rating. Connectivity speed and processing speed should be great using Verizon's 4G LGE connectivity, now available in over 400 US cities.
Cameras: Both front and rear facing cameras are present along with video capability.
Battery: Specs say this phone will get up to 22 hours of battery life, which should be satisfactory for normal use. The demo versions were set to go dim after about 30 seconds of no use, which will help preserve the battery.
Operating system: Samsung Galaxy Note II uses Google's Android operating system version 4.1 nicknamed "Jelly Bean."
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