Back when Samsung announced that, as of March 2012, it had sold 5 million Galaxy Notes (a period of roughly 5 months), much of the tech journalism world was a little taken aback. Myself included. How could a ridiculous 5.3" phone be selling in the millions? It was a device that was absolutely destroyed by critics in reviews - called ridiculous, cumbersome, and niche. It was destined to be a geek's phone, and a subset of geeks at that.
U.S. Cellular customers, if you've been chomping at the bit to get your hands on the latest behemoth phone from Samsung, today's your day. The Note II is now available directly from the regional carrier's website, as well as in stores.
Of course, to grab the latest flagship from the Korean manufacturer, it's going to cost you. Three-hundred dollars worth of cost you, to be exact. You'll also have to commit to being exclusive with the provider for the next two years, but you probably already knew that.
We've seen a lot of news surrounding Samsung's Galaxy Note II in the past 24 hours, from T-Mobile's official launch all the way down to Lebron James' custom Note II cover. We've got one more piece of news before the day's done though – pre-orders for the Note II's AT&T and Verizon variants have just gone live.
Those looking to grab the AT&T-connected Note II will need to shell out an unsurprising $299.99 with 2-year activation, and can expect their devices to ship out on November 6th, just in time for the network's November 9th launch date.
Back at the beginning of September, we got our first glimpse of the Note II on Verizon... and it had a branded home button. Initial thoughts after seeing this were unanimously along the lines of "eww" and "omg why." We all hoped it was some stupid thing they tried while the device was in testing.
Samsung just released some press shots of the Verizon Note II variant, complete with the absurd home button branding.
We've been patiently waiting for US carriers to start announcing the availability of their respective Galaxy Note II variants. While Sprint was the first to step up to the plate, AT&T has now committed to something that you can pencil in on your calendar: pre-orders begin on October 25th, with November 9th as the confirmed launch date.
Much like the other variants that we already know about, AT&T's Note II will hit the wallet fairly hard at $300, which is of course the subsidized price and requires a two-year agreement.
This one goes out to those of you who buy your phones off-contract. The international GSM Galaxy Note II is available today from eBay Daily Deals for a comparatively affordable $589. The model comes with 16GB of on-board storage in a marble white shell.
The normal price is $799, however it can be found online in the area of $680, so this is still a nice $100 or so discount off the normal price.
Device-specific hardware tends to get overlooked by the third-party development community, but the S Pen from Samsung's Note phones might be the exception. There are a lot of Note users out there and it has a stylus that's actually worth using. Samsung is now offering game developers a way to better utilize that feature with the Unity Extension SDK, which can be downloaded from Samsung's developer site.
In case you're not aware, Unity is a 3D game engine that's used by a number of popular titles.
Residents of the great white north have a special treat coming up soon. The Galaxy Note II is coming to Mobilicity the day before Halloween. If you know you're going to want it on day one, though, you can sign up for a pre-order right now and get $50 off. Unfortunately, the ad doesn't specify just what price you'll get $50 off of.
One tipster sent in an email that he received after placing his order.
Now that the Galaxy Note II has been released in select European countries alongside a few other places around the world, Samsung has released the kernel source code for the device, along with other open source software components.
Although the kernel source will be of little use to regular consumers initially, ROM developers may be able to use it to ensure that their software performs as well as it can do on the phone.