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It’s a fabulous word – phablet – and it describes Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, which blends the functionality of a phone with that of a tablet. This hybrid helps users organise life on-the-go, fits in a good-sized pocket and syncs information with your other compatible Android devices.

Its biggest feature, apart from a large 5.5-inch diagonal screen, is its S Pen stylus. Simply take the S Pen out of its cubby hole and the Note II will detect its removal and open the handy Popup Note, letting you draw a picture or jot down notes even in the middle of a phone call. No more fumbling around to find pen and paper.


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Then there is Easy Clip. This fun little app cuts out pictures. Just click on the desired picture, trace an outline, clip it, then send or save it.

Even when texting, the S Pen comes in handy by interpreting handwriting: Simply open the ‘writing pad’ and handwrite a message, which will then be converted into digital text. Larger fingers will love this.


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Or, raw handwritten notes can be emailed or penned in the S Planner; the calendar lynchpin of the Notebook II.

 

Another worthwhile additive is the Best Photo function. It aims to capture the perfect group shot sans blinking eyes, awkward expressions or unsmiling faces. Simply set the 8 megapixel camera to ‘Best Shot’ and it automatically shoots a burst of eight shots. Simply select the best face for each person in the series of shots to create, well, the best photo.


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Two last bits of good news: first, the S Pen is hard to lose. Simply activate a preference called ‘S Pen Keeper’, which is designed to ‘Sound alert and show pop-up when you walk with the device without attaching the pen’.

Second, and interestingly, the Note II adapts to its owner’s individual handwriting style, interpreting some fairly outlandish scrawls.

Keeping it tight

Samsung’s Galaxy Note II has an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, a fast 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, and a High Definition (HD) screen with a 720p resolution and Super Amoled display with a 16:9 ratio.

 

It has 2 GB of RAM and can store up to a maximum 80 GB external memory (by using a 64 GB microSD card – microSD card sold separately) with the 16 GB model and a solid 3,100 mAh battery.

It multi-tasks by enabling two apps to run simultaneously in split-screen fashion; for example, playing a video while sending an email. Additionally, it can transform into a GPS with the pre-loaded Navigon app, providing voice-guided navigation and maps.


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