South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics on Tuesday launched the next version of its Galaxy Note phablet. The device will start rolling out globally starting with Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

In India, the device will be available shortly although pricing and the exact launch date is not known yet.

Samsung -- the world's largest smartphone maker by shipments -- in November introduced the first version of its Galaxy Note with a 5.3-inch screen. The device was then positioned between smartphones and tablet computers and was widely termed as phablet. But the new version with a much bigger screen makes it look like a tablet.

The launch comes even as Samsung and Apple are engaged in a bitter court battle over patent infringements. The latest launch by the Korean firm is being seen as an attempt to make inroads into Apple's market share. The new phone will released in the US on August 15, the biggest market for Apple.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is powered by Google's Android software -- features a touchscreen which is 10.1-inches measured diagonally. On the hardware front, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM. It will come in 16/32/64GB variants, all of which have a microSD card slot that can accommodate up to 64GB of additional storage. On the connectivity side, it has HSPA+, dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct, A-GPS and IR for remote control apps. It also has a 5-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.9-megapixel camera on the front.

Like its predecessor, it comes with a stylus called the "S pen" to write notes or draw on the screen. The new version allows users to split the screen in half to view two programmes at once. The new device is equipped with a quad-core processor that allows users to run multiple applications at a faster speed than the previous version, which had a dual-core processor.

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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