I test-drove Samsung's Galaxy Note II, a "phablet" (aka phone-tablet hybrid) that brings back a certain tech accessory, the stylus.
We'll see what the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has in store for the phone industry next week, but until then, the Galaxy Note II is the leading (and so far, only) phablet in the market, having shipped 10 million units worldwide. The phone ($300 with a two-year contract on AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon; also available for varied prices on T-Mobile and US Cellular) has 4G LTE-capability, 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and up to 64GB user memory, which puts it on par with most smartphones — but it's the Galaxy Note II's larger-than-life 5.5-inch display that differentiates it from competitors.
At first glance, the phone looks huge. Samsung released a promo video of the device being used by LeBron James, whose giant pro-basketball-player hands don't exactly put things into perspective. But despite its large proportions, the phone was surprisingly easy to handle and slim enough to slip into most pockets and purses. Take a look at why we'd get the Samsung Galaxy Note II for ourselves and some thoughts on where the phablet needs improvement.