back to article 'Unbreakable' Samsung Galaxy Note II to take on iPhone 5

Samsung will launch a Galaxy Note successor with an "unbreakable" screen this autumn. The Korean giant is said to be readying its Galaxy Note II for a release this October in a bid to directly compete with Apple's next big smartphone offering, local site MK Business News reports. According to industry sources, the Note II …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    I really, really love the galaxy note

    Seriously, have you seen somebody use one as a phone? It's hilarious! It's like a real-life version of Dom Joly. More of these please - and remember to shout as loudly as possible when on the phone!

    1. Turtle_Fan

      Re: I really, really love the galaxy note

      Queue dark cinema scene in climactic suspense, the immortal and unsurpassed Nokia tune on extra loud and....


      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: I really, really love the galaxy note

        Been there when I had an x7500, yes it was silly! Handsfree kits made it much better.

      2. Dotter
        Thumb Up

        Dom Joly

        I liked the one in Trafalgar Square with the giant flock of pigeons that fly into the sky when he shouts HELLO!!!

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: I really, really love the galaxy note

      I had considered combining a blue-tooth headset with the stylus... but on second thoughts you would't be able to make handwritten notes whilst taking a call (just qwerty notes). But on second second thoughts, you can't do that with the handset against your ear anyways, so maybe it'd work.

    3. Code Monkey
      Thumb Up

      Re: I really, really love the galaxy note

      My boss does - though he's a giant of a man and it's to scale. On everyone else I agree it's laughable.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I really, really love the galaxy note

      I hear rumours, through a witchdoctor and an alchemist friend of mine, that there may possibly be this ancient and most rare of artifacts that lets one communicate, through spirits and demons I belive, with a phone, AND it doth require NO wires! Ca you believe it?!

      It is believe to be called Bluebath or Bluetube or something like that.....if these tales are anything go on...could just be hearsay..who knows.

  2. Rampant Spaniel

    Make it a 1080p screen and I'll have one. I rarely use a phone for calls and when I do I tend to use a yuppie earing anyway. I'm probably in the minority there, but a crossover phone / tablet with a high resolution / high density screen would be great (for me). Add in robust usb file handling for moving images and video from usb connected cf to an external hdd and I'll love it even more!

  3. Callam McMillan
    Thumb Up

    Bring it on

    Having had a chance to play with the Galaxy Note, I was all ready to get one but couldn't bring myself to put the cash down, now though I guess I'll wait for this which is going to be even more awesome, especially if they manage to get a quad core processor in it, I have also seen rumors that it'll have a 5.5" 1660x1050 display.

    I may also about the same time get myself a Microsoft Surface Pro which should be funny when I sit next to someone on the train with an iPhone and iPad!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bring it on

      It'd look even funnier if you used the surface pro as a phone :D

      1. Peter Storm

        Re: Bring it on

        "It'd look even funnier if you used the surface pro as a phone"

        Only marginally .

    2. jai

      Re: Bring it on

      yep, it'll be hilarious watching you trying to type on the cover keyboard as the kickstand keeps slipping off the ends of your knees.

      which is not to mention at all the clowns trousers you'll need to be wearing to put a 5.5" screen in your pocket

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bring it on

        It's not designed to be used on the lap, use it on a table or desk like a sensible person. When you're on the move use it like a tablet. It's easy to poke fun by using anything in a silly way.

      2. Azzy

        Re: Bring it on

        I have the current Note, and I converted one of my friends to it as well. It doesn't look nearly as silly as you'd think it does to use as a phone. I hope the new one isn't so awesome that I'm left out for being stuck in the 2 year contract. Phone technology is moving so fast right now.

        jai - It fits in the pockets of all my pants (normal work pants, as well as casual pants and shorts) without any problem. It's closest to the limit in the upper pockets of my new shorts, but I'm confident even those could take 6 inches, and it's not like they don't have additional pockets. I would love to see someone trying and failing to type on the MS Surface though, I imagine it would be easy (the failing part).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bring it on

          That's because nobody can see you behind it.

  4. Andy 36

    A word of caution

    The Galaxy Note is a great phone, even if you do look like a dick using it as a phone in public.

    However, the battery life is just damn right sucky! It takes 2 charges per day to keep it alive and I never leave apps running. The screen is just so big it consumes about 70% of total power usage. Then, packet data takes the rest.

    Samsung need to double the battery capacity as more than likely they will increase all other hardware specs which will just further drain power giving you a standby time of approx 758 milliseconds

    1. chriswakey

      Re: A word of caution

      "I never leave apps running"

      There's your problem.

      Repeatedly opening and closing apps uses more juice than if you'd let Android decide for itself whether to leave them running in RAM or not...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A word of caution

        "Repeatedly opening and closing apps uses more juice than if you'd let Android decide for itself whether to leave them running in RAM or not..."

        Huh? Sorry? You actually said that? The amount of "juice" used to open or close a (well programmed) app is trivial on an SD card. Running that same app over time will consume much more especially when using WiFi, Bluetooth or cell data bandwidth.

        You sound like one of those "experts" who say leaving your fluorescent lights on all night in an office building is more energy efficient, because turning them off and on uses more power than leaving them on. It isn't. Turning them off saves thousands of pounds in leccy.

        Is your car is sitting in your drive idling right now because you use more gas starting it up in the morning??

        Give me strength...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A word of caution

 it. Even Google's engineering team recommend leaving apps running. It's down to the app to play nice with Wi-Fi connections etc. Apps can tell when they are foreground or background and act accordingly. Google Finance is a good example. I have that running all the time and it knows to update when it's foreground or brought to the foreground.

        2. lotus49

          Re: A word of caution

          Your'e wrong and he's right.

          You can read all about this on xda-developers. Closing applications does indeed increase battery usage.

      2. skipper

        Re: A word of caution

        Seconded - unless you know an app is going to go crazy and hammer the CPU when you're not looking, leave 'em loaded.

        You're not alone in wanting to kill all your apps in the belief that'll keep things running longer. From the people I know it seems to be a hangover from supporting Windows in the early days when more processes running meant more chance of your PC/Server grinding to a halt,

        That said, you'll probably only get an extra 5 mins out of it

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: A word of caution

      My sidekick 4g lasts about 5 hours, I just carry an external battery. I hammer the hell out of it, video, vnc, email etc. I would happily accept a thicker phone with a bigger battery. Seriously, with the screen being so big an extra 5mm of depth won't cause the end of the world (December apparently, until they find part 2 of the Mayan calendar).

    3. Bluewhelk

      Re: A word of caution

      Most of the time my 'Note' manages on a single charge each day (I just plug it in overnight) and even then it's nowhere near fully discharged when I do so.

      However sometimes it can get a bee in its bonnet and it drains the battery, I suspect it's a misbehaving app running a service in the background or somthing not letting the thing go to sleep. I find power cycling cures this.

      Packet radio can be a drain if you're in an area with bad signal as it struggles to get even the small amounts of data through that happen when on the network, turning it off is best in this situation.

      The screen does sap power though, when playing games it seems more power goes to the screen than for processing but running with lower brightness helps, not as pretty though.

    4. Andrew Peake

      Re: A word of caution

      Really? twice a day? I often get 2 days use out of my Note - maybe about 30 mins of calls a day, reading about 40 emails a day and replying to about half of them, an hour or so of web browsing, an hour of ebooks and about 3 hours a day listening to music while at work.

      If the battery is sitting below 40% of a morning, I find an hour's charge will keep it going for the next 24 hours at least.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Re: A word of caution

        I normally charge mine every night, but when I've forgotten it's not a show stopper. I normally only do 20 mins calling, but normally a good few hours surfing on 3G or if lucky WiFi. I've got a spare battery (£10 from Samsung), but not actually used it yet.

        Only time I seemed to have a problem, a rogue app was constanty asking for location updates; turned out easy to find out what using the built-in task manager and battery gauge. uninstalled, restarted problem solved.

        Oh and I never close apps either

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A word of caution

      Double the battery capacity and the thing would be even more of a monster - the battery in it is already huge - you may as well strap an iPad to your head (almost).

  5. jai


    ...perhaps, but is it unblendable??

  6. Fuzz

    "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

    "...Google's next Android platform 'Jelly Bean' should also be available"

    is there somewhere I can place a bet on whether on not my Motorola xoom will have been updated to ICS before JB is released?

    Google need to get a grip on this, there's no point releasing new software versions with new features if most devices are unable to use them. Phones are still being released with 2.3 on them.

    My Xoom is a perfect example of how stupid the situation is, if I was in the US I could have ICS but because I'm in the UK so I want a UK English dictionary on my device I'm still waiting.

    People will get tired of this, they'll see the Apple users who receive updates as they come out. Apple are still updating their 3 year old 3GS

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

      XDA. Why wait, just google xda + zoom + ics and update it yourself. It's not as complex as it might seem to manualy do it yourself following the guides. I have non geeky friends that have managed to uprgade Androids using cooked ROMs from XDA. The guides are very detailed and there's plenty of help in he forums.

      1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

        The fact that you need to Google for guides (and the fact that these third party guides exist) rather demonstrates the point.

        Most end users wouldn't think to Google this subject, let alone be comfortable enough to follow a blog guide to a process not supported by the manufacturer of their £200 handset.

        Either the OS needs to be truly independent of the hardware and Google manages the upgrades themselves, or the hardware vendors need to take this more seriously. In this sense, Apple have gotten things right, where few Android peddlers have.

      2. Miffo

        Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

        It's true you can get some custom ROM for most devices - I've got my Defy running 2.3 (I'm so ahead of the curve) thanks to CM 7.1. I'm sure I could put ICS on there with a nightly build of CM9.

        But - most people are not going to do this.

        Then again - if people want an iPhone experience in terms of updates then you have to compare like with like. If you buy the phone and the OS from the manufacturer when you buy Apple, do the same for Android and get a Google Nexus phone. Then you'll get updates just as quick.

        Of course - my suggestion doesn't work for tablets. Yet...

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

      Very well said. MS used to do a half decent job of updating their phones, Apple do it very well (although non core features are sometimes not functional on older handsets, at least the core gets updated). Whilst it is more likely the manufacturers to blame rather than google, it is android and by association google, that gets the blame. Google needs to get its manufacturers by the short and curlies and make sure updates happen. Whilst ios is a little limiting for my tastes (although I acknowledge it is a supurb product) I will be looking very hard at WP and IOS when my next upgrade comes around.

      Nothing says **** you like ignoring customers who just dropped a couple of hundred bucks and a 24 month contract on a pretty new phone, to spend the next two years seeing a flurry of newer phones and os upgrades. Not to mention not being able to download apps because your os version is too old. Muppets.

    3. BitDr

      Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

      Agree. Why the vast difference in releasing upgrades? I'm in Canada (where we use the UK dictionary (yes we spell colour and centre correctly... although you won't see many Tyres) and only received the ICS upgrade a few weeks ago. I can't say I like the new unlock screen but "young minds... fresh ideas"... *sigh*. Other than that Ice Cream Sandwich is a tasty treat for my Motorola Xoom.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

        To a large degree it depends on the phone makers approach to design. Approximately every year apple makes a damn fine phone. It comes in maybe 3 capacities but otherwise it's all one platform. They may keep an older model on sale as well. Every year or so ios gets an update. Apple tests this on maybe 7 or 8 (I lose track sorry) different phones and maybe 3 tablets?

        Now let's take an android phone and tablet maker. They have to compete against other companies using the same basic os. So they differentiate on hardware and bundled junk. So rather than one bloody good phone and tablet a year, they are making phones for photographers (with insane mp counts, diffraction must be hell on those), phones for music loves, phones for taller people, phones for luddites, phones for people with 6 toes. Then they go and make a tablet for each group as well. Very targetted and specialised phones, that way they can be 'better' for any specific group. This means when a new os is released, instead of opening a drawer and charging 7 phones, they'd have to test it on 30-40 phones and tablets. They'd actually have to build an individual image with the appropriate drivers, bundled software and any additional gui enhancements, then test it, for each product.

        It seems like htc has figured this out with the htc one, although they couldn't resist making a few variants. Plus apple has higher profit margins so can invest in supporting older phones, whereas in the android market, where there is considerable competition, it is cutthroat and that would add more cost. I don't like it but that's my guess.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

          Samsung / Android is just a mess - ICS only just came available for the Note (after being promised for 'how long') - I would not actually be surprised to see Samsung drop Android for their own platform.

          I've seen plenty of decent hardware becoming junk as you can't get updates for it - at least Apple support their stuff better / for longer - I know people still happy with their 3GS which must be about 4 years old now yet still runs the latest software (albeit missing a few features) - but my point being it's still a perfectly useable phone.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

            True, but this is to be expected from a company that pays such attention to detail. Seriously, an unboxing experience team? I don't know about others but my unboxing experience lasts about as long as a 12 yr olds first encounter behind the bike sheds. Having been forced to wait 24-48 hours for the courier the box is dismantled, destructions and all, with a fervour only matched by a starved bear attacking a picnic hamper. I do not do waiting well.

            Mind you, an indestructible screen, that sounds almost like a challenge. Its a welcome quality but a brave statement to make. I wouldn't say I abuse phones, I do use the heck out of them.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

      >if I was in the US I could have ICS but because I'm in the UK so I want a UK English dictionary on my device I'm still waiting.

      Its not just the dictionary, there are hardware differences - MZ604s have been slated for ICS in Q2/12 since the off in EMEA.

      Motorola publish their update schedule and firmware development status here:

      >Google need to get a grip on this, there's no point releasing new software versions with new features if most devices are unable to use them

      Not going to happen, doesn't matter - 3/4 of Android users neither know nor care what version of the OS they're using......

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: "By the time it hits shelves, ..."

        Whilst most users may not know, google play etc does know and care, people then care when their device isn't compatible.

        Releasing more up to date o/s's with some features disabled is beneficial. Simple things like being able to use a front facing camera etc. That isn't really cpu limited.

        My biggest bugbear is bloated apps I don't need that cannot be moved to the sd card or uninstalled. Even windows mobile in the 90's supported that. It also didn't take 5 minutes to scan the card on reboot. The amount of junk (think free office, 5 or 6 different google apps) that not only cannot be removed without rooting but that constantly grows is seriously annoying. I don;t want google music or books etc. Get that junk off my phone!

  7. BitDr


    First off, I am not affiliated with any of the companies that make these products.

    I think the large 'I'm-not-quite-a-tablet' screen of the Samsung Note is brilliant. Granted when held to the ear it looks silly, but add two more devices (the Pebble smart-watch and a blue-tooth headset) and that large screen can be put to good use while not weighing down your backpack, or laptop bag.

    While the large form-factor of the Galaxy-Note looks silly when held to the ear and used as a phone, a bluetooth headset quite neatly eliminates this problem (although they can look pretty silly too). The large screen then becomes useful for taking notes (perhaps during a telephone conversation), reviewing documents, or remotely connecting to your office (VNC || RDP). When someone calls and the phone is tucked away, the pebble provides the info needed (caller ID) to make the decision to answer or not. The pebble can also vibrate to remind of appointments and other notifications as well as display text messages etc.

    The Samsung Note (unlocked please) and a Pebble are my next two major purchases.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely this should be seen as an iPad competitor? its too damn big for a phone!

    I have an SGS3, and I have to say it whips the current iPhones arse (can't say what it does to the iPhone5 as its not out yet)!


    SGS better than iPhone 3G

    SGS2 beat the iPhone 4S

    Now there are plenty of other android phones out there which I also think are better than equivalent iPhones,

    Ive tried a Note, and its good but too big for a phone really. the SGS3 is pushing the limit of screen size for phones I think...

    I'm looking forward to the time when phones shrink and screens are pull/fold out

  9. Tempest

    Question: Will Jelly Bean handle Quad Core hardware?

    At a recent release of an Android smartphone, tech writers questioned the absence of a Quad processor.

    Therefore, the question. Will Jelly Bean be up to it?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any bigger and you'll be able to type on the screen using your forehead. Headbangers everywhere will love that.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I break it

    Can I sue?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Unbreakable? Color me skeptical

    As far as I'm aware, Gorilla Glass 2 is the best stuff out there, but its hardly unbreakable. Just less breakable than other glasses. Is this using some sort of polycarbonate? If so, unbreakable yes, unscratchable, not hardly.

    If there was a screen material that was unbreakable, unscratchable and didn't cost a fortune (so there's sapphire as used in Vertu out the window) then it would have been used before. If Samsung invented something totally new that allows this, there will be a lot of SGS3 owners mightily pissed off!

  13. Nights_are_Long

    I am glad we have big phones back, the trend for tiny phones war rediculous when your 6ft 6in tall like me and your using a phone that small you hold it with your thumb and for finger through no choice of your own makes you look like a prat.

  14. John Sanders

    The Samsung Galaxy note is awesome

    It is a pleasure to use, to play games on it and to read on it.

    The fact that some people find it ridiculous as a phone has to do more with the built-in envy detector than the size.

  15. Peter Galbavy
    Thumb Up

    I love my Note

    I had a Dell Streak before and I am not a small guy, so the size fits fine. Been to Hong Kong for work in May and the Note is as popular as the SII and almost as popular as the iPhone. Lots of petite ladies with nice leather covers on their Notes using the Stylus likes it's meant to be.

    In fact, the 10" tablet version, if it ever ships for a normal price, might make a nice replacement for my ASUS TF201 which is starting to get real boring quick in the performance stakes.

  16. Adrian 10


    I catch the MTR (The Tube) in Hong Kong every day. It was funny watching people try and use a tablet when they were popular, because there is just no space to hold one. It wasn't funny when I tried it myself with my spare 2cm of spare space between people. Anyway, I've noticed all the iPhones disappearing, while most people now use Galaxy Notes (or Galaxy S). Even if you didn't sell one phone in UK / US - there is an enormous revenue stream in space constrained Asia for a phone / tablet hybrid like the Note.

  17. N13L5

    ok, so TheReg is forcing you to make posts now, before letting you read the existing ones?

    I was just trying to read what people said..

    But no, the site keeps auto-forwarding me to this little posting page. I hit the back button like 5 times, only to get forwarded again after ~30 seconds...

    Lets see if it will let me read after I place this post.

    On the subject of the Glaxy Note, I think the size is useful and so is the pen. For someone who doesn't want a tablet to clog up my bag or pockets, this is a good phone being able to handle all the tablet duties I care to use, which isn't that much. I'm a touch typist and keyboard lover, so Apple's tablets are just a waste of space to me... (unless you're purely a content consumer, using it like an interactive TV, go ahead and knock yourself out, just watch for open manholes while you walk around)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Approximately every year apple makes a damn fine phone...


    Apple recycle the same old shit they been pumping out for the past 5 years, tweek the curve or size a little (sue the competitors for false patent infringements) and rake in the money.

    Apple "made" a damm fine phone, once, one time only, now they make the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over...ok now I'm bored...

    That is the only reason their updates are not so fragmented, because they only have to update the same old shit they invented waaaaay baaaahhhhhh

    Apple need to grow some balls and get inventive again, the world+dog has caught up and they risk losing their lead with every v3 v4 v5 of the same old same old they unleash on you sheep.

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