Need to know

Steve Dinneen
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Samsung last night released the hotly anticipated successor to its genre defining “phablet” the Galaxy Note, catchily dubbed the Galaxy Note II. The Korean firm is still reeling from the ruling that could yet halt sales of some of its most popular smartphones. The Note, though, is not on Apple’s hit-list – and that makes its success more important than ever. Here is what you need to know.

The basics
The new Note will be bigger than its predecessor, at 5.5”, true 16:9 aspect ratio, making it ideal for watching movies on the go. It also shaves a fraction off its width, coming in at just 9.4mm. It will be packed with a superfast 1.6GHz quad-core chip. It retains the same HD Super AMOLED panel screen from the original Note.

The “S-Pen”
Those used to handling the original Note will instantly spot the longer, thicker pen, which is also supposed to be more comfortable to hold. A completely new feature allows users to hold the pen directly over an image file or email to preview it without having to actually load it, which could be a great time saving device.

And one last thing...
One of the most hotly awaited announcements was which operating system the new Note would be running. Android fans can breath a sigh of relief – it will come loaded with the latest Jelly Bean version of the software. It should go on sale in Europe in October – in plenty of time to stock up for Christmas. And, of course, you can also get it in white.