The iPad mini isn’t the only newly-released device that has gadget shoppers considering stranger screen sizes, as the Samsung Galaxy Note II goes on sale today in Canada.
A sequel to the original Galaxy Note that won attention with its Superbowl commercials, the Galaxy Note II has an even larger 5.5-inch screen. That really puts the device in between most smartphones on the market (typically a four inch screen) and a small tablet (about a seven-inch screen). Many have dubbed such devices as “phablets” representing a cross-over of two mobile form factors.
Some may find such a large screen size awkward for a phone. Others who can’t decide if they want to work from a tablet or a smartphone while on the go may find this the perfect solution. It’s big enough to easily view content and work on for longer periods without straining your eyes, but still small enough to slip into your pants pocket.
The Galaxy Note II also comes loaded with the latest version of Android, 4.1 or Jelly Bean. It also boasts some quite modern technical specs including a quad-core 1.6 Ghz processor, a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, an 8-megapixel camera, and 16 GB of internal memory with a microSD card slot to expand that. Compare that to the iPad mini, and you have a more compact tablet that offers a higher resolution screen, faster processor, and better camera. Plus it’s a smartphone.
Financial Post’s Steve Kovach has a hands-on review of the device posted. He writes that the Google Now service, a voice assistant, is reliable and useful. Some of the fancier features are hard to find, buried in the settings menu, and you’ll probably want to remove a lot of Samsung apps that come pre-loaded on the device.
The phone will be available on the Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility networks in Canada. Telus is selling the phone for $199 along with a three-year term contract, and $730 with no contract.