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Samsung Galaxy Note II To Get Broad U.S. Launch

DALLAS – Samsung plans a broad U.S. launch of its new Galaxy Note II smartphone/ tablet in time for the Christmas selling season through carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular.

The hybrid smartphone/tablet with a 5.5-inch screen, unveiled last month at the IFA show in Berlin, will feature 4G LTE and HSPA+ 42 cellular technology, Samsung said.

Chicago-based regional carrier U.S. Cellular priced the Samsung Galaxy Note II smartphone/tablet at $299 after a $100 mail-in rebate, and it announced plans for late-October sales of the 16GB Titanium Gray version. It will be equipped with 4G LTE, which the carrier offers in areas reaching 31 percent of the people living within its network footprint.

The other carriers at press time hadn’t announced Note II pricing, but Sprint said the Note II on its LTE network would require activation on one of the carrier’s Sprint Everything Data plans starting at just $79.99 per month. Sprint also said its version will include international voice and data roaming on GSM/UMTS/CDMA networks.

The Note II will be Sprint’s first device to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the carrier’s first smartphone with display larger than 5 inches, and Sprint’s first device to launch with a quad-core processor.

Sprint will make the Note II available in both color options: Marble White and Titanium Gray.

For its part, T-Mobile said the Note II would be its first smartphone with quadcore processor and its first with Android 4.1. The company also said it will offer the 4G HSPA+42Mbps version of the phone but didn’t offer additional details about its version of the phone or launch date.

The Note II, which can be used with supplied stylus to input notes, is slightly smaller and lighter than its predecessor but offers a slightly larger screen, bigger battery, and faster processor. In addition, because of a narrower bezel on all four sides of the screen, the screen is larger even though the overall device is narrower. The U.S. version of the Note II will be among the first cellphones available to combine a quad-core processor with 4G LTE. The device features Samsung’s own Exynos 1.6GHz quad-core processor compared to its predecessor’s dual-core processor. The new device also features 2GB of internal RAM, 16GB of onboard file storage and ability to accept 64GB MicroSD cards.

The Galaxy Note II features a 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED 1,280 by 720 touchscreen with 16:9 aspect ratio, up from the original Note’s 5.3 inches. It comes with a 3,100 mAh battery, up from the original Note’s 2500mAh.