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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hands on (photos)

Samsung is hoping a smaller sequel with a bigger screen will make its super-large Android phone more popular. Here's a look at the new phablet.

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Stephen Shankland

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Jessica Dolcourt

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1 of 25 Josh Miller/CNET

Meet the Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Ladies and gentlemen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The successor to the original Note unveiled at IFA last year, the Note 2 (or Note II) has an even larger, 5.5-inch screen and the look and feel of the Samsung Galaxy S3 (or S III).
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Large and in charge

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a 1280x720 Super AMOLED screen. The phone will ship in the fourth quarter, but Samsung hasn't disclosed pricing yet.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Double-tapping on the screen with the stylus pops up a quick-access note-taking application that hovers over the top of the active task.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 back

The back of the Galaxy Note 2 shows its 8-megapixel camera, LED flash, and speaker.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and S Pen

The S Pen is a bit longer and thicker than the first-generation model for easier use, and it's got a rubbery tip for a better feel.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 pop-up video

You can now punch and zoon to enlarge pop-up videos, up to the width of the screen, if desired.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 resizing video

Pop-up videos can be resized as they play to take up more or less room on top of whatever other task is active.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2

You can also drag them around with a finger.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a front-facing camera, too.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with S Pen stylus

Samsung hopes people will be more creative with the S Pen, a pressure-sensitive design from Wacom.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with Chrome browser

The phone comes with Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, and includes Google's Chrome browser.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 side view

The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit slimmer than the first-generation model that debuted at IFA a year ago.
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Holster your S Pen

The S Pen slides into a dedicated holder bored into the body.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Google's Chrome browser in action.
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Specs and stuff

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a quad-core 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of RAM, and 3100mAh battery. Flash memory storage options are 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, and the Note 2 supports up to 64GB of expandable memory.
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How's this for meta?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, photographed with another Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
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Camera quality

The Note 2 took very good, crisp photos and video that mostly looked terrific on the phone's screen and on larger screens.
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Camera test, take 2

Samsung's 8-megapixel cameras are generally very good. Here's proof.
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The Galaxy Note 2 is smart enough to know when you've removed the S Pen from its holster. When you do, it gives you this start screen. You can also enable settings to see the same contextual menus when you plug in a headset, dock the phone, and so on.

The Galaxy Note 2 is smart enough to know when you've removed the S Pen from its holster. When you do, it gives you this start screen. You can also enable settings to see the same contextual menu, called a Page Buddy, when you plug in a headset, dock the phone, and so on.
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Quick Command

S Pen gesture support is a welcome addition. You can use a gesture to call up this quick command interface, and go from there.
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Enlightened highlighting

Press the S Pen button while dragging over lines of text will quickly select it. Genius! Too bad there are a few rules, like you have to drag from right to left.
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Gallery grid view

It isn't life-changing, but the photo gallery gets some new interactive views, including this layered grid view...
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Spiral view

...and this spiral view, which you can advance, like a corkscrew, with your finger.
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Carriers and colors

A closer look at Sprint's Galaxy Note 2 in white (top) and T-Mobile's version, in titanium grey. Both colors will be available from both carriers, in multiple storage capacities.
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Chilling on the grass

Here's one last look at the phones, in all their gigantic glory.

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