Samsung Galaxy Note II hits U.S. mid-November

If you're a fan of styluses and giant screens, you'll be happy to learn that the Galaxy Note II—Samsung's phone/tablet hybrid—will be making its way to the United States sometime mid-November. The phone will be available through AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular on launch, though we'll have to wait on pricing and exact release dates.

The U.S. version of the Note II will be pretty much identical to the international model that was announced at the IFA trade show less than a month ago. The Note II sports a gigantic 5.55-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, is LTE compatible, and comes with a re-designed S Pen stylus that is easier to hold. Oh, and it will be powered by a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, making it one of the first quad-core smartphones to make it to the States.

I managed to get some hands-on time with the Note II earlier this month and was impressed with what I saw: The phone was fast and felt well-built, even if I did have some difficulty using it one-handed. The new S Pen didn't feel as flimsy as the one that came with the original Note, and I found it much easier to write with. There were several cool new pen-related features too, such as the ability to hover the pen over certain items to get a preview of that item's contents.

The Note II definitely won't appeal to everyone, but I can see it coming in handy for those times when you want to quickly jot down an idea or phone number and don't happen to have a pen and paper handy. Remember to check back here for more Note II-related news, as well as a full review of the phone in the coming weeks.

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