At this year’s IFA in Berlin Samsung has announced long awaited sequel to its popular “phablet” note, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as well as its first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S. The Galaxy Note II is marginally bigger than the original with a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED screen although, strangely, the screen resolution has been turned down a notch to 1280 x 800.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a lot of power under its wing with a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos processor and 2GB RAM, making this one of the most efficient phone / tablets on the market. All of this is supported by a 3100mAh battery which provides plenty of standby time despite the extra resource hogging hardware.

But aside from these increases in hardware specifications, which were always going to be inevitable, Samsung has added some excellent new features to make Samsung Galaxy Note 2 a much more enjoyable phablet to use than the original. Samsung realised with the Galaxy S3 that modern consumers want a lot more than to be dazzled with processor speeds and screen sizes. It is the novel features that really separate one device from another.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Official Hands-on video by Samsung Mobile

With the S3, Samsung introduced eye tracking features, the ability to watch videos while composing messages and emails as well as enhanced photographic features like Social Tag. For the Galaxy Note 2, many of the new features revolve around the stylus – also known as the S-Pen.

Air View

The S-Pen featured on the original, but the new Galaxy Note S-Pen is longer, more ergonomic and thus more comfortable to hold. One of the most interesting things about the redesigned S-Pen is the ability to hover over the screen to perform certain functions, with “Air View”.

For example, while you have your email inbox open, you can hover the pen over each email to get a preview of the message inside, without having to open up that email to read it. Air View can also be used to preview images and for scrolling through videos.

Easy Clip

Another interesting new feature for the S-Pen is Easy Clip. Easy Clip allows you to quickly and easily crop images using the stylus. By pressing the S-Pen’s button, you can draw around the content on the screen which you wish to copy or save for later and Easy Clip will do the rest. You can either paste this content elsewhere, share it online or simply save it for later.

Screen Recorder

For some time Android devices have had the ability to easily capture screen shots, but Screen Recorder allows you to record your actions on the Galaxy Note 2 and turn them into a video to watch back later or upload to YouTube to share with others.

Idea Visualizer

This is perhaps the most interesting new feature of the Galaxy Note 2. The phablet comes with a library of images which can be added into memos and notes using the handwriting recognition system. For example, to add a picture of a dog, you could simply write “dog” and an appropriate image will be added to accompany your work. As well as coming with a standard default library of images, you can create your own library and associate words with each image.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 includes an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording; 16GB, 32GB or 64GB internal storage with more available through microSD; DLNA and Wi-Fi Direct; HSPA and LTE (where available); and a front facing 2 megapixel camera.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be one of the first Android devices to be released with Android Jelly Bean. Its large size is certainly not to everyone’s liking and for most people it will simply be too big to replace their current smartphone. However, the new features included on the Note 2 really do make it worthwhile having a stylus and provide this phablet with much more to offer than standard smartphones. It is easy to envision that the Galaxy Note 2 will make the concept of a half phone half tablet “phablet” much more viable and desirable for many consumers.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be released later this year, most likely October, in a choice of “Titanium Grey” or “Marble White”.

Author bio : This was a guest post by Simon from the UK mobile phone comparison website Best Mobile Contracts.