Samsung sticks to its guns, gives us more Android
A follow-up to the incredibly popular “phablet” that came out earlier this year, the Note II is a beast to be reckoned with, and it boasts an even larger screen than its predecessor. Like the original Note, the Note II comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus for taking notes and drawing on the phone’s screen.
During Samsung’s Wednesday presentation, however, I had to remind myself that the Note II is still a phone, and I questioned how its larger screen would affect its portability. There’s no denying that the Note II looks good; I’m just concerned about being able to fit the phone into a pants pocket without feeling like I have a plank of wood strapped to my thigh.
There’s also the question of what processor the phone will ship with should it ever come to the United States. The international version of the Note II will have a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, much like the one that was in the international version of the Galaxy S III, but that could change once the phone makes its way to our shores.
The fact that the Note II is LTE-compatible could mean that we’ll finally get a quad-core LTE device, but ultimately it will be up to the carriers to decide if they’ll want such a phone on their networks. After the popularity of the first Galaxy Note, there is no doubt in my mind that the Note II will eventually be sold here as well, but whether it’ll be supported on LTE networks in the United States is still up in the air—at least, at this point.
But the Note II wasn’t Samsung’s only Android-related product to go on display Wednesday: The company also took the wraps off of the Galaxy Camera—a point and shoot camera that comes with the latest version of Android and runs apps from the Google Play store.
Samsung claims the camera will let anyone take professional-looking photographs, though the inclusion of Android as the camera’s operating system seems just a tad gimmicky in my eyes.
I’m no camera expert—I leave all of that fancy thinking to Tim Moynihan, our camera editor—but I’ve been around Android enough to know that the operating system’s still has its fair share of bugs. I can very easily see how something could go wrong with the OS, and cause your camera to freeze, or worse yet, randomly erase your photos. These fears could just be severe hyperbole on my part, though, so I’ll reserve any further judgement on the Galaxy Camera until I’ve seen on up close and in person.
Samsung may have given us an Android phone and a camera on Wednesday, but it didn't give us a new Android tablet. Samsung made a point to further promote the already-released Galaxy Note 10.1 during its press conference, but the company didn’t say anything about future Android tablets. With rumors of a 7-inch iPad heating up as we get closer to that rumored September Apple event, Wednesday would have been the perfect time to unveil an improved Galaxy Tab.