'Tis the season -- for an insane amount of Android device launches.
With the start of September just days away, we're starting to see the first signs of the annual preholiday tech rush. And for Android fans, that means a dizzying array of announcements, updates, and hot new products to drool over.
Already this week, we've seen big Android news from Samsung, Sony, and LG -- and plenty more is still to come. Heck, it's only August!
Here are the highlights of what we've seen so far and a peek at what's still on tap for the weeks ahead.
Samsung Galaxy Note II
Finally giving us a break from all the Apple vs. Samsung news, Sammy took the wraps off its new Galaxy Note II smartphone at the IFA electronics show in Berlin today. The Galaxy Note II is the successor to the 5.3-in. Galaxy Note phone launched in the U.S. just six months ago (hey, Samsung's never been known for its conservative approach to device releases).
At a glance, the Galaxy Note II looks like a supersized, stylus-toting version of Samsung's Galaxy S III. It has a 5.5-in. 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED display with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM under its hood. The new Note has an 8-megapixel camera on its back and a 1.9-megapixel lens on its front. The phone runs a heavily modified version of Android 4.1 with Samsung's custom TouchWiz user interface.
The Note II is said to have a significantly upgraded stylus -- S Pen, as Samsung calls it -- compared to its predecessor. Namely, it's longer, thicker, and more ergonomic (and as an added bonus, it gives you a valid reason to use the phrase "longer, thicker, and more ergonomic").
The Galaxy Note II will be available in 16, 32, and 64GB models. Samsung says the device will launch in "major European, Asian, and Middle East markets" in October and in the U.S. "later in 2012." Thus far, no specific dates, pricing, or carrier details have been announced.
Samsung Galaxy Camera
In a somewhat surprising twist, Samsung is also showing off a new Android-powered camera. Dubbed the Galaxy Camera, the device runs custom Samsung software based on Google's Android 4.1 OS.
To be clear, the Galaxy Camera isn't a phone; it's a camera. But it can run Android apps, accessible via its 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display. The device is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core processor. It has a 21X optical zoom lens and 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor.
The Galaxy Camera will be available in 3G/4G and Wi-Fi versions. No specific pricing or availability info has been released.
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