Smartphone race is on
Published : Sep 26, 2012 - 20:17
Updated : Sep 26, 2012 - 20:17
Samsung Electronics launches new Galaxy Note 2 in Korea

The launch of Samsung Electronics’ latest digital gadget Galaxy Note 2 on Wednesday is driving fierce competition in Korea’s high-end smartphone market.

Samsung announced that it rolled out the new 5.5-inch quad-core smartphone, running on the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution networks, for the first time in Korea through the nation’s three mobile carriers.

The launch takes place shortly after its other two competitors ― LG Electronics and Pantech ― released their handsets in the local market and ahead of Apple’s iPhone 5 roll-out in the country.

“I have gained confidence due to the fact that the new gadget is getting positive responses in the global arena that have gone beyond our expectations,” said the firm’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun. “I believe we will be able to triple our unit of global sales for the Galaxy Note 2 in the first three months compared to the previous Galaxy Note.”
Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung Electronics president for mobile business, unveils the Galaxy Note2 smartphone during a press event at the company’s Seoul office on Wednesday.(Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

The new gadget ― in between the categories of smartphone and tablet PC ― is ready to be serviced by 260 mobile carriers in 128 different countries following the launch on Samsung’s home turf.

Equipped with a 1.6 gigahertz quad-core application processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM as well as a 3,100 mAh extended-life battery, the gadget runs on Google’s latest 4.1 Android mobile operating system coined Jelly Bean.

It is also built with a 5.5-inch High Definition Super AMOLED display and an upgraded S stylus pen that can clip images without capturing them first by pressing on a button.

The images can then be immediately shared through email, text messages and mobile messengers.

Another unique feature is the “Air View” function which enables its users to see content such as photos and videos without touching the display with the pen. The user must simply keep the S pen within 10 millimeters from the display screen.

The “Multi Window” also allows the user to run various mobile applications at once in a single screen. For instance, the user will be able to chat on a mobile messenger while reading emails.

“I dare to say today will be an important day that draws a new line in Samsung’s history,” said Shin. “The Galaxy Note 2 has been newly upgraded and it will live up to the firm’s reputation.”

The roll-out of the Galaxy Note 2 comes a few days after LG Electronics and Pantech announced the releases of their new flagship smartphones.

Although Pantech noted that its new 5.3-inch Vega R3 will not ultimately compete with the Galaxy Note 2, the competition will inevitably get fierce in the latter half of this year.

The owners of Apple’s iPhone 4 are coming close to ending their two-year mobile contracts with the U.S.-based smartphone giant forewarning a heated race with its new iPhone 5.

In an attempt to hold a better position in the smartphone race, LG has put together the best qualities of the company itself along with its affiliates’.

LG’s Optimus G is equipped with LG Display’s 4.7-inch True High Definition IPS display, LG Chem’s extended-life 2,100 mAh battery and LG Innotek’s 13-megapixel camera module. It was also the first handset that was unveiled to have embedded Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro processor.

The gadget will be launched here sometime this week with a planned release in Japan next month and in the U.S. and other Asian markets in November.

Pantech’s new 5.3-inch quad-core Vega R3 has already been released in the market on Tuesday. The new smartphone has applied Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro as well as the zero-bezel technology.

It also has a 2,600 mAh battery with its executives stressing its capability to be used with a single hand, which they say is impossible with other smartphones that have displays in the 5-inch range.

“It’s a good thing that consumers will have a bundle of gadgets to pick from for their next smartphones, but what I’m worried about is that the competition may get ugly again if the handset makers and mobile carriers again try to grab more consumers with over-the-top subsidies,” said an industry insider.

By Cho Ji-hyun (