Fortunately Samsung has just released the next-gen Galaxy Note, called the Galaxy Note 2 N7100, which is one of the most powerful devices on the market. The Galaxy Note 2 features a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED 1280x720 display, 1.6Ghz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP 1080p rear camera and a 1.9MP 720p frontal one. It comes with either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage and it weights 180 grams, being quite a behemont.
The Galaxy Note 2 N7100, just like the original Note N7000, definitely isn't for everyone due to its enormous size, though it proved to be very successful. Both devices come with the S-Pen, along with Premium Suite, which consists of a bunch of apps designed especially for the S-Pen.
Now let's see why should we pick one or the other.
The original Galaxy Note N7000 has a really simple design, being made in Samsung's old style, which is a black or white front with gray aluminum margins. The new Galaxy Note 2 looks mostly like the Galaxy S3, which is "inspired by nature," according to Samsung.
The new device comes in Titanium Gray and Marble white, while the original Note is available in white and dark blue.
But what's most important is the way they feel in hand. While they are both really bulky devices, there is a difference between them. The new Galaxy Note 2 is less wider, but taller than the original Note. It's also a bit thinner and 2 grams heavier. Here's their measurements and weight: Note 2 measures 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm and weights 180 g, while the older devices measures 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm and weights 178 g.
It's considerably easier to use the Note 2 with only one hand, though you won't be able to reach the top of the screen.
Both devices feature the same kind of Super AMOLED display, though the older Note has a better resolution and PPI ( 1280x800 with 285 PPI vs. 1280x720 with 267 PPI ). While the old Note's display is slightly better, you won't notice any difference between them and I could say that Samsung made a good decision by making the device less wider.
In terms of display, the N7000 definitely wins,though I could really declare the Note 2 a winner due to its better usability. While the original Note is protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass, the Note 2 features the 2nd version, which is slimmer, which is one of the factors that helped Samsung to make the device slimmer overall.
In terms of hardware there really are huge differences between the two devices and the original Note stands no chance against its newer alternative. The Note N7000 features a dual-core Exynos 1.4Ghz processor, while the Note 2 comes with quad-core Exynos 4412 1.6ghz processor. They both feature the same Mali-400MP GPU, so there aren't any differences in terms of graphics.
The Note 2 sports double the original Note's RAM ( 2GB vs. 1GB ), both come with the same internal storage options ( 16GB, 32GB and 64GB ), which are expandable through a microSD card. The original Note supports microSD cards up to 32GB, while the Note 2 can take 64GB cards.
In terms of connectivity, both devices are basically the same. They feature USB 2.0 support, Bluetooth 3.0 ( old Note ) and 4.0 the new one, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot and the Note 2 comes with dual-band. The Note 2 also has NFC support.
We have a really big difference in terms of software too, considering that the Galaxy Note N7000 comes with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread out of the box, while the Galaxy Note 2 N7100 features android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean.
An Android 4.0 ICS update is available for the original Note on all carriers, though we will have to wait for the Jelly Bean update, unfortunately. Both devices come with the Premium Suite, which is a pack of apps designed especially for the S Pen.
These apps can be very useful, as they let the user annotate photos and apps, along with a good handwriting recognition and note taking apps. Math operations can also be made by using the S Pen. The app sends the operations to Wolfram alpha, which solves them for you.
Between Android 4.0 ICS and 4.1 Jelly Bean there aren't huge differences. What the latter has added above the older one is Project Butter and a new notifications system. Project Butter tries to guess what the user is going to tap next and preloads that app or page.
The new Jelly Bean notifications system allows the user to interact easier with notifications. You now have a "call" button on missed calls, "reply to sms" for received SMS messages and much more useful things. An API is also available, so developers starting using this buttons to make the users' lives easier. An option to block an app from sending notifications is also available, which can get rid of those notification ads sent by some apps.
Both the Galaxy Note 2 and the original Galaxy Note feature the same 8MP rear camera, which can record 1080p videos at 30fps. The difference is that the Galaxy Note 2 can take photos much faster and it comes with a few more camera features, like burst photo and an improved panorama mode.
The Note N7000 frontal camera has 2MP and can record 720p videos, while the Galaxy Note 2 can record the same videos with a 1.9MP camera. There isn't any noticeable difference in image quality on any of the cameras.
The Galaxy Note N7000 features a 2,500 mAh battery, while the Note 2 N7100 comes with a 3,100 mAh battery. We didn't get to compare the batteries in use yet, though considering that the Galaxy Note 2 has a much more powerful CPU and a slightly bigger display, it might drain more battery that the original Note. And while the difference between the battery capacity isn't huge, we can guess that the Galaxy Note N7000 is going to be a winner in terms of battery.
Based on most battery tests, the original Galaxy Note holds the second position in terms of battery lifetime among all smartphones, being defeated only by the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX. You won't probably see a huge difference in battery lifetime between the old and new Galaxy Notes, though the new generation will probably last a little shorter.
In conclusion, the new Galaxy Note 2 is much more powerful and has a better form factor, which makes it easier to use, especially with one hand. The old Note only has the advantage of a greater screen resolution, which definitely can't make it a winner all-alone.
The form factor, bigger display, more powerful CPU, more RAM memory and international 4G support, along with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, definitely make the new Galaxy Note 2 a winner. The only thing that can make you get the old Note is its much lower price, which will go down even more once the new beast reaches stores.