The first quad-core LTE smartphone in the U.S. is almost here, and it comes to our shores extra-large. In launching the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsung is hoping to repeat its own success with sales on the Galaxy S3 just a few months before, while also setting a record for the first quad-core smartphone to reach U.S. retail shelves.
The Korea-based manufacturer announced today that it will kick off the 5.5-inch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean "phablet," a smartphone with tabletlike proportions, on the same five carriers that initially offered the Galaxy S3 this summer. Moreover, the smartphone will carry Samsung's 1.6 GHz Exynos processor.
U.S. Cellular announced that it will sell the 16GB titanium gray color in late October for $299.99 -- for those who preorder the device. It will cost $299.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate after the Note 2 arrives in stores.
Sprint said that it will offer 16GB versions of the Note 2 in white and grey, but will announce specific pricing and availability at a later date. T-Mobile said in a press release that it, too, will share more details in the coming weeks. CNET has reached out to AT&T and Verizon about their plans, but expect more details soon. Samsung announced that the Galaxy Note 2 would come to carriers by mid-November.
Since Samsung is positioning the Galaxy Note 2 as a more powerful and larger version of the GS3, we can expect it to be pricier than the GS3 is now, or the same price, with the GS3 dropping to promotional figures.
The Note 2's S Pen stylus makes it a different product than the Galaxy S3 (GS3) in many respects, but in others, the Galaxy Note 2 is a continuation of the GS3's young legacy -- the Note 2's design builds on the same physical form as the GS3, but larger, and with the more flexible S Pen and attending software extras.
Like the GS3, the Note 2 will feature an 8-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera, and support for 1080p HD video. The screen is also HD Super AMOLED. The Note 2 will also hold 2GB of internal RAM; and will come with 16 GB of onboard file storage, plus support for up to 64GB of expandable memory through a microSD card.
We'll offer more details when we get them. In the meantime, get to know the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in our hands-on take.
Update September 19, at 8:09 a.m.: More details on pricing and availability were added.