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.
Now that we've seen Samsung's Galaxy Note II go up for grabs at T-Mo, Sprint, and US Cellular, it's time we began expecting to see Samsung drop kernel source code for the carriers' respective variants. That's just what Sammy has done, recently releasing the open source kernel files for SGH-T889, SCH-R950_USC, SPH-L900_SPR, and a bonus device – AT&T's Galaxy Rugby Pro, lovingly called SGH-I547_ATT.
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.
As promised, the Galaxy Note II is now available for purchase on Sprint for $650 less a $350 instant rebate, for a total of $300. Though T-Mobile was first to the punch by a day, Sprint is offering it for a not-insubstantial $70 cheaper.
$300 may seem a bit steep for a smartphone, but keep in mind that this isn't your typical device. It's got a 1.6Ghz quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM, LTE, 5.5" 1280x720 Super AMOLED Plus display, plus that infamous S Pen stylus to help you get the most from the ginormous screen.
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.
If you're a US Cellular customer and also interested in the Galaxy Note II, good news: the Note II will be available on the southern regional carrier starting Friday, October 26th, in stores and online. The price remains the same as it has since the pre-order, at $299 on a new 2-year agreement. Today is also the last day you can pre-order the Note II on USC, and those orders will begin shipping tomorrow.
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.
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.
Did you know the Samsung Galaxy Note II does things? Well, Samsung's here to remind you of that with a brand-new video. Here it is.
So, have you imagined enough yet?