Galaxy Note 2: the first Jelly Bean phone will reach your hands as early as this October

GALAXY-Note-IIAs rumored  (or expected), Samsung announced the second generation of Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, at IFA 2012 yesterday. Now, the first Jenny Bean(out of box, not through update) phone.

So, here is a short list of changes (from Galaxy  Note to Galaxy Note 2):

  1. Jelly Bean  (aka, Android 4.1), vs Ginger Bread (Android 2.3). So Galaxy Note is the first Jelly Bean phone.
  2. 5.5 inch display, vs 5.3 inch
  3. 16:9 ratio (1280*720, HD), vs 16:10 *1280*800, WXGA)
  4. Quad core 1.6GHz CPU, vs dual core 1.4GHz or 1.5 GHz
  5. 2GB RAM, vs 1GB RAM;
  6. dimension: 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm, vs 151.1 x 80.5x 9.4mm
  7. 3100mAh battery, vs 2500mAh
  8. NFC is included, vs optional
  9. Bluetooth 4.0, vs 3.0
  10. New S Pen, longer, thicker
  11. New feature: Screen Recorder (record a whole sequence of actions taken on their screen). most useful!!!
  12. New feature: Popup Note (open an S Note instantly as a pop-up window anywhere on the screen)
  13. New feature: Quick Command ( quickly activate frequently used apps with the S Pen)
  14. New feature: Easy Clip (quickly outline and crop certain kinds of content on the screen)
  15. New feature: Idea Visualizer ( provides illustration images that match the handwritten keywords), too fancy!!
We hope Samsung will port some of these features into Galaxy Note!!!
The shipment will start from October. So, just wait one month, you may start to try.
What do you think about this new generation of Galaxy Note?
Here is the full press release. For your reading pleasure, I quote it below.
Be Creative, Be Expressive with the GALAXY Note II
August 29,  2012


The most powerful smartphone sparks everyone’s creative inspirations
BERLIN, Germany – August 29,  2012 – At the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event held today at IFA, in Berlin, Samsung introduced the GALAXY Note II, a whole new level of innovation for the GALAXY Note category. The new Samsung GALAXY Note II enables unique experiences in personalized and expressive content creation, making it the ultimate smartphone for on-the-go creativity.


“Last year at IFA, we launched the GALAXY Note, which opened

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Why Galaxy Note 10.1 will fail?

Galaxy Note 10.1 was announced in last February to take the momentum generated by Galaxy Note.  This is a wise decision to create a unique tablet with S Pen (and productivity tools).  The initial specifications announced in MWC2012 were not impressive and the design was just another out-of-the-mill Android tablet.

galaxy-note-10.1-poor-displaySo, Samsung decided to re-work it. Now after more than 5 months, pre-order of this tablet was announced by Negri Electronics at $750 (No Jelly Bean, still ICS). Maybe the price will drop to around $500 soon.

After reading the specifications, my first impression is this is just another DOA (death on arrival) Android tablet.

The specifications were bumped up: quad core CPU (initially, dual core), 2GB RAM (initially 1GB), 5MP primary camera (initially 3MP), 2G/3G/WiFi/ USB/Bluetooth connectivity. It sounds nice. But when you read the display, omg, it is still 1280*800 (WXGA), same as your 9-month old 5.3″ Galaxy Note, 17-month old Motorola Xoom, or similar to 2-year-and-4-month old iPad, and 17-month old iPad 2. 

This poor display will destroy Galaxy Note 10.1. Two years ago, this was a decent display. But, now it is 2012, and  people expect higher pixel density (thanks to Apple’s retina display in the new iPad, aka iPad3).

Don’t blame Android or chipsets. Acer has been shipping the full HD 1080p Android tablet (Acer A700) since this summer at $450. Full specifications of this tablet is here. Another Asian PC maker, ASUS, also is offering full HD 1080p (actually 1920*1200, WUXGA) transformer pad infinity. You can get it at $500 (32GB) or $600 (64GB).

As a comparison, the new iPad (released about 5 months ago, 9.7inches) has a screen resolution of 2048*1536 and the pixel density is 264ppi (pixels per inch).  Our Galaxy Note boosts 1280*800 pixels on a 5.3-inch screen. So the pixel density is about 285ppi. This is one of the major reasons users like their Galaxy Note: sharp and vivid display!

Of course, there is a limitation of human eyes. Normally, pixel density higher than about 250ppi will make no differences for …

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Top 10 new features in Galaxy Note after ICS update

After the official release of ICS 4.0.3 update for Galaxy Note  in May and ICS 4.0.4 update last week, some users asked me what the new features are. Thanks to Samsung’s Touch Viz UI, most users will not visually find any changes after the update. Here I prepared the top 10 new features in your Galaxy Note after the ICS update.

Each update fixes some bugs and the performance should be improved, so we usually recommend users to apply the update, although some new problems may be reported, e.g. battery issues, RAM issues. Given the short lifespan (1-3 years) of samrtphones, it is impractical to wait for the perfect firmware.

In this post I will try to introduce you the features. I will create  tutorials for some of these features later.

1. Pop- up play (ICS 4.0.4 update is needed)

pop-up-play-galaxy-notePop up play was debuted on Galaxy S3  last May. In the Googl Play store, there are a few paid apps (e.g., Stick it! (Pop-up Player)) doing the similar job. What it does is quite simple, you can watch your video and use other apps at the same time. The video will be re-sized as thumbnail and you can move it to any locations on your screen. Pretty cool, right?

Of course, only the built-in video player support this. Once the video is open, you can find the re-sizing (or pop up play?) button in the top right corner. If you want to stop the video, just touch the video area and release your finger. If you want to go to full screen, you can long press the home button to get the task manager and open the video player.

Two limitations: 1). the size of the video cannot be adjusted, at lest I did not find any ways to adjust it; 2). If you want to go back to full screen, the video will be played from the beginning, not from where you stop in the pop up play mode. Thanks to julien for correcting me. (Tap the video,  it will go back to the full …

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ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note is arriving, globally

ics-4.0.04-galaxy-note-300After 2 months of the initial ICS update(4.0.3) for Galaxy Note, Samsung now quietly roll out ICS 4.0.4 globally. I was a bit surprised when I saw the update notification, because I just got the information the 4.0.4 update would be roll out gradually.

Apparently, immediately after releasing the ICS update for AT&T’s version Galaxy Note on July 11, Samsung also pushed out the ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note users in German. And today, more regions including most European countries and Asian countries get the Android ICS 4.0.4 update for Galaxy Note.

Hopefully, this update will solve some of the battery issues most users experienced in GB and ICS 4.0.3.

Now, all Galaxy Note users are expecting the next major update for Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). The information we have is that Galaxy Note  and S3 will get the Jelly Bean update, probably in Q1 2013.

Also, the coming Galaxy Note 2 (with ICS pre-installed, not Jelly Bean) will be very likely announced in the IFA 2012 (August 31-Sept. 5) and start to shipping in November (roughly one year after the release date for Galaxy Note) . So, hopefully, in the Q1 of 2013, both Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 will get the Jelly Bean (4.1) update.

Anyway,today’s minor update (from 4.0.3 to 4.0.4)  is about 100MB.  So, please try to download through WiFi or Kies if your mobile data is very limited.

Any questions? please post the  in the comments section below or in the Galaxy Note Forums.


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Why did I get less free RAM after the ICS update in my Galaxy Note?

Some users felt the sluggish immediately after the ICS update on the Galaxy Note. Some users even want to go back to Gingerbread, as commented by some users on the post of Top 10 questions on ICS update for your Galaxy Note and Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to your Galaxy Note

Of course, it is NOT necessary to go back to GB. Don’t over-react on the feeling. In this post, I will share with you how to read your available RAMs, and some tips to make your Note more responsive.

During the ICS update, for some unknown reasons, all apps will be started (we all know all apps will be re-installed by the updater, but I am not sure why they are started). So, after the update, your Note will not so responsive. A quick solution is rebooting your phone after the update. Most apps will not run automatically, so, after the reboot, only some apps started.

Now, you can check your memory (RAM) usage through Settings–Applications–Running. You should have 200-400MB free RAM. This is more than sufficient for most apps!! For example, for my note as shown below, it still have 299MB free RAM after running a few days.

This shows the actual available RAM.

But if I use the bundled Task Manager, it reported only 101MB free RAM as shown in the screenshot below. This is why a lot of  users get scared!. Do not trust any task manager or system info apps. Most of them suck. Most of apps report available RAM inaccurately.

This shows why most Task Manager suck!

Wait a minute, the specification says my Galaxy Note have 1GB ram, but it shows I only have about 800MB.  Is Samsung cheating us? Surely not. The about 200MB RAM is reserved by the system, mainly for GPU.  In your Galaxy Note, there is a GPU (Mali 400-MP, to be precisely) whose duty is to render whatever to be shown on the screen. All such embedded GPUs do not have “dedicated” memory: they have to share the system RAM (your 1GB …

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