Samsung’s flagship phone of the fall finally has a release date. Sprint has just confirmed that the Korea-based company’s “phablet,” the Galaxy Note 2, will be available for customers on Oct. 25 at a price of $299.
In its announcement, Sprint emphasized its unlimited data plan, which is compatible with the Galaxy Note 2.
“Innovative Device Combines the Creativity of a Tablet and Productivity of a Smartphone with Truly Unlimited Data from Sprint,” read the sub-head preceding the statement.
Sprint’s Everything Data plan with Any Mobile Anytime starts at $79.99 and includes unlimited Web, texting and calling. Other carriers such as AT&T and Verizon have implemented shared data plans where users must purchase a certain number of gigabytes to divide among various mobile devices.
Sprint subscribers will be able to order both color options, which include Titanium Gray and Marble White, starting Oct. 25. For the carrier, the Galaxy Note 2 marks a few firsts: it will be the first device with a display larger than five inches, the first to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the first to feature a quad-core processor out of the box.
The forthcoming smartphone-tablet hybrid will feature a 5.5-inch screen, making it one of the largest smartphones on the market. This gives users a 0.2-inch bump in screen size from the original Galaxy Note, which made its US debut in February. Additionally, the Note 2 will feature a thinner and lighter body than its predecessor, a Super AMOLED display, an 8-megapixel camera, Near-Field Communication, LTE connectivity, and a redesigned S Pen stylus.
But the US wasn’t the only country to receive release date information concerning the Galaxy Note 2; according to Android Authority, Australian sources claim Optus will be the first carrier to offer the device on Nov. 5, with carrier Vodafone following on Nov. 19. Telstra, Australia’s largest wireless service provider, is expected to get the “phablet” on Nov. 26.
Samsung already saw a widely successful launch with its first Galaxy Note, and now the sequel is expected to surpass its predecessor’s launch. The electronics manufacturer's first large-screened smartphone broke five million sales within six weeks of its release.
At the end of September, Samsung’s head of mobile business JK Shin said he expects Galaxy Note 2 sales to triple that of the Galaxy Note. Shin didn’t give an exact number, but based on the sales figures for the original Galaxy Note, sales may reach 15 million.
Despite these ambitious projections, Samsung’s “phablet” will be facing increasing competition in the mobile market as the holiday season approaches. Microsoft will be rolling out its line of Windows 8 mobile products around the same time, with its Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets expected to launch in early November. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is also releasing its first self-branded tablet on Oct. 26 as the next iteration of Windows launches.
Apple is expected to announce its rumored iPad Mini at its newly-announced Oct. 23 media event, which is predicted to rival Google’s Nexus 7 and other smaller sized tablets on the market.
Samsung confirmed the Galaxy Note 2’s specs and features just before the IFA conference in Berlin this past August, but users are sure to have all questions answered on Oct 24. The company will be holding another media event that day to reveal more details about its “next big thing.”
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