In what I am tempted to say may be the stupidest news I've read all morning (give me an hour, though, I just grabbed my coffee), the US Army's Special Operations Command is allegedly dumping its current Nett Warrior embedded tactical smartphone solution - a 4-year-old Galaxy Note II - for an iPhone 6S. Because, and I quote DoDBuzz's source here, the iPhone is "faster; smoother. Android freezes up." Wait, you're telling me a smartphone that's four years old trying to run a specialized government app isn't very fast or stable? I am shocked, sir - simply taken aback!
This staggering conclusion has led the US Army Special Forces to decide that, after testing those same applications on an iPhone 6S - a phone benefitting from four years of technological advancement over its replacement - iPhones are simply better.
The Galaxy Note 3 has a massive screen, plenty of battery life, and a ton of power. Unfortunately, it also has matching price tag. This has left the device inaccessible to some who would gladly wield it. Word on the street has mentioned a more affordable "Lite" version that would alleviate this problem, and now GSM Arena has gotten its hands on leaked spec sheets that give this device a name, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo.
The pages reveal a device that is somewhere between the Note 2 and the Note 3. The Neo will allegedly have an 8MP camera, 3100mAh battery, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal memory, all specs that put it in line with the former handset.
Verizon has a thing for carrier branding. Lately though, they've really been going overboard, particularly on the Samsung Galaxy Note II, which had a Verizon logo on the home button. That easily won the award for most obnoxious carrier branding ever on a phone.
In Vegas though, Verizon has topped themselves. David and I were wandering around the "CES Digital Experience" pre-show event and we saw THIS:
This thing Is the Verizon Galaxy Note 10.1. Now you might look at that picture and think that's not a big deal, but keep in mind this isn't a phone, or a 7 inch tablet, this is a 10 inch tablet.
I panned the Note 10.1 in my review. It was subtitled "An Embarrassing, Lazy, Arrogant Money Grab" and, for my conclusion, I took a picture of it in a trashcan. I did not like it. It had erratic performance, a squishy, creaky back, and a bunch of gimmicky features that didn't work. Now, I've got a Note II!
I'm happy to report the Note II is not as crappy as its bigger brother. It's much more solidly built in comparison, really fast, and god help me, some of the TouchWiz features are actually good. They greatly improved the split screen app feature of the Note 10.1, and I think Samsung has finally found their huge, differentiating software feature that they've been searching for.
For the first time, Samsung's largest flagship line will be landing on Sprint with the Galaxy Note II. During the initial launch, though, you better know you want it as this device will come with a whopping $300 price tag with a new two year contract. This isn't unheard of for some major devices, but it still ranks as one of the most expensive handsets you can buy.
The Note II will be launching with Android 4.1.1, LTE, and the same Exynos processor as the international version. As we know, devices that use the Exynos 4 processor require a discrete LTE chip outside the SoC itself which can add thickness to a phone.
So, the other day, in New York, Samsung gathered up a bunch of bloggers and showed us the international Galaxy Note 2. They wouldn't tell us anything about their North American plans, only that the international version would be pretty close to the NA version, and that they'd be sending out NA review units soon. So, while we're waiting for the real one to get here, we thought it'd be fun to take a quick look at the international version.
The Note II is a crazy piece of hardware - just holding it is an experience. It has to be the biggest screen ever released on a phone.
PocketNow has gotten its hands on what very much look like some leaked press images (and specification details) of the Galaxy Note II, which is expected to be announced in just about an hour. First, to the pictures:
The specifications have basically lined up with a lot of what has been rumored already, including:
1.6GHz quad-core processor (probably a clocked-up Exynos 4412 from the Galaxy S III)
5.5" Super AMOLED panel (1280x720 - true 16:9 compared to the original Note's 1280x800)
HSPA+ and LTE (depending on model - we'd put our money on a Snapdragon S4 version with LTE for the US)
Blue and white colors at launch (same as GSIII)
8MP rear / 1.9MP front cameras
PocketNow also discusses some of the new features of the Note II, including the improved S-Pen.
The existence of the successor to Samsung's surprise hit Galaxy Note is hardly a secret. And if they're going to display it anywhere, it'll be at the IFA in Berlin, where the original was first shown off last year. It looks like Sammy is done with subtle insinuations (not to mention tablet adaptations) and is ready to formally tease us: they've posted the first video for their Unpacked event at the show later this month. What makes us think that the fleeting glances in the video are the Galaxy Note 2? Take a look for yourself.
Aside from the fact that it will once again have a stylus S-Pen and is apparently favored by obscure German art film directors, we're still very much in the dark on what the Galaxy Note 2 (or whatever it might be called) will look like.
We've been hearing rumors of the Galaxy Note 2 for several weeks now, and a pretty believable image of the device has now made its way onto the net ahead of Samsung's August 29th event where we fully expect the device to be announced.
What makes this picture all the more believable is the fact that a previously leaked image of the purported Note 2 digitizer perfectly matches up with what we're seeing today.