*This is a sponsored post by Samsung Malaysia.
Last Thursday, on 11 October 2012, Samsung Malaysia Electronics (SME) launched the follow up to their incredibly successful (10 million sold worldwide) “phablet” – the Samsung Galaxy Note II here in Malaysia.
It was raining the whole afternoon (like every day here in KL these days), the traffic was horrendous heading to the event venue at Zebra Square. But I got there just 30 mins late.
After registering at the Media Registration desk and getting my goodie bag, I headed straight into the hall where the event just started. Perfect timing!
Media Launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note II in Malaysia
Hosted by the gorgeous Deborah Henry, Samsung executives immediately got on stage to announce the launch of the successor of Samsung Galaxy Note II for the Malaysian market.
In case you’re not already familiar, here are the quick specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note II:-
- 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED display (1280 X 720)
- 1.6 GHz quad core Exynos processor
- 16 GB internal memory + 2GB RAM (with expandable microSD slot up to 64GB) <– No plans to sell the 32GB one yet
- Available in 2 colours; Marble White and Titanium Gray
- Powered by Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean (with Samsung TouchWiz UI) <– 1st Samsung with latest Android OS
- 8 megapixel rear camera, 1.9 megapixel front facing camera
- 9.4 mm thin, weighing only 180 grams
- Li-Ion 3,100 mAh battery <–1000 mAh more than SGS3
To introduce some of the features and killer functions of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Malaysia’s Product Managers were on stage to run through the functions and do a bit of demo for us. On top of that, they introduced 3 celebrities to showcase some of the functions that they love about the Note II in their everyday creative life.
There were talks on how the Note II enhanced their creativity in their respective fields and did some live demo on stage as well. Although, there were some minor hiccups (oops), Samsung generally got to showcase some awesome functions that they’ve introduced to the Samsung Galaxy Note II.
Before the launch announcement ended, Samsung announced that they will be giving away 2 sets of the unreleased Samsung Galaxy Note II in a lucky draw with a twist. A congratulatory note is included in 2 balloons in a bundle of approximately 50 balloons at the ceiling of the hall.
I didn’t fight the crowd for it. After another round of hiccup, when some balloon with the winning ticket got stuck, they finally gave away the 2 sets of devices to 2 lucky winners.
Interesting note : Samsung Malaysia also launched their Samsung Galaxy S III on a Thursday in Malaysia. They really like Thursday launches, huh?
Hands-on Experiential Centre area
After the launch, we were invited over to their Experiential Centre for us to touch and feel the device for ourselves.
There are several stations, each with different themes, where willing promoters are happy to go through some of the features of the Samsung Galaxy Note II with the guests.
Killer features on the Galaxy Note II
After grabbing a quick bite and saying hi to some other fellow bloggers who attended, I got my hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Note II, playing around with some of their hyped up killer features.
This new Samsung Galaxy Note II is a gorgeous phone indeed.
Gorgeous 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED display
They’ve somewhat maintained the size of the phone to its predecessor by increasing the size of the screen by 0.2″ but slimming down the bezel. The 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED screen doesn’t disappoint, with a full 1280 X 720 display. It’s nothing short of another great display technology from Samsung.
With the tagline of “Be Creative“, the whole event sees Samsung showing us what great things one can do with the added features and functions that they’ve included in this 5.5” phablet.
Enhanced Writing with the new S-Pen
Yes, the S-Pen is updated here. It’s thicker than the one in the original Galaxy Note. The button on the S-Pen, which enables some additional functions, is now complete with grooves so it’s easier to locate by your finger’s touch.
Writing recognition is better with improved sensitivity. The usual functions that most are already familiar with on the original Note is still there, but now much better.
Photo Note – Bringing old school back
Demoed on stage during the launch, Photo Note is a function that brings old school back. Remember when you used to write notes at the back of your pictures? Notes to remind you when the picture was taken, who you’re with and where you were.
Now, with Photo Note function, you can easily use the S Pen to digitally “flip” your pictures to allow handwritten notes at the back of the pictures. Adding this personal touch, you can then send it off to your family and friends or share it on Social Networks.
The photo flipping action, writing a personal note – is truly nostalgic.
Air View – Hover actions with your S Pen
If you’ve ever seen any ads on the Galaxy Note II, you’d likely come across this Air View function, which is likely their killer feature of the enhanced S Pen.
Now, all you need to do it hover your S Pen just above the screen of the device, without really tapping on the screen. This brings additional functions depending on the app. What I like is Air View over an entry on your month view in the S Planner (Calendar) app will show you a pop-up detail of the appointment.
The other Air View trick I like is on the Gallery app. Hover over an album will show you a swatch of pictures within that album, without actually clicking to open the album.
That, and many more Air View function that I suggest you try for yourself, if you have the chance.
Easy Clip is screenshot functions with crop
Use the S Pen to crop content in any shape.
This is handy for so many use. Samsung demo-ed the use in online shopping, for example. You see a pair of shoes that you like. Use the S Pen to crop the shoe picture in its exact size, instead of taking the screenshot of the whole product page with other stuff you don’t want.
Imagine using this Easy Clip cropping function to crop a whole outfit of top, bottom, shoes, accessories, etc and compiling it in one note in the S Note app. Handy indeed.
Quick Command – Using the S Note for shortcut functions
I got to play around with this at the Experiential booths and I reckon this is a function I might use quite a bit if I have the device.
Basically, take out your S Pen, press the button on it, ta and swipe up on the screen. This brings up the Quick Command for you to write basic commands.
Example – write a “?” followed by “weather” will do a Google Search on weather. Or write “@” followed by a name will automatically open the Email app with the name of the person’s email address already in the recipient field.
Along with too many other enhanced functions on the Galaxy Note II
- Pop Up Play – Like with Galaxy S III, you can pop up the video (Picture-in-Picture function) while you use another app. Eg, watch a video and take notes or send a message.
- Multiwindow – You can now have 2 windows open and functioning simultaneously, just as you have in the Note 10.1 tablet.
- Pop Up Note – Handy when you’re in a call and need to take notes. This opens a light note app (a part of S Note) when you pull out the S Pen during a call.
- Best Face – This is an option in the enhanced Camera function. With SGS3’s Best Photo (where you snap a burst shot of pictures and it recommends the best shot of the bunch) which is also available in this Note II, the new Best Face function does the same by snapping a burst shot of pictures and recommending which picture has the best face of the subjects.
- Enhanced S Beam – Using the NFC functionality to share files and even website and Facebook profiles with another S Beam capable device.
Pricing and Availability
Samsung announced that the device will be available in 2 colours – Marble White and Titanium Gray.
The lighting was not perfect. But here’s the picture of both the colours I got my hands on.
With too many white coloured devices out there, more people are leaning towards the darker device again. Samsung stated that they will ensure that they’d have enough stock for the Titanium Gray to meet the market demand.
Samsung Galaxy Note II will be widely available for sale in the country starting Friday, 19 October 2012 for the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) of RM 2,299. It will be sold through Samsung Elite Partners and all 3 major telco – Celcom, DiGi and Maxis.
- (Updated) Celcom plans starts from RM1,498 HERE
- (Updated) has plans starting from RM 1399 HERE
- (Updated) Maxis plans starts from RM1,599 HERE or RM999 for Maxis One Club members HERE
Should You Get It?
Seeing how well the original Galaxy Note sold worldwide, I have no doubt that this one will sell like hot cakes as well. In case you’re still not too sure, check out this promo video below (or on my right sidebar)…
Personally, I am tempted. I don’t even want to put the preview / demo unit down.