It's official! As expected, everyone's favorite giant superphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note, is finally making its way to the US -- and with a dash of LTE, no less. The mini tablet will be available on AT&T in both carbon blue and ceramic white for an undisclosed price sometime in the near future. Specs are almost identical to its global sibling -- 5.3-inch 1280x800 HD Super AMOLED display, S Pen, Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread), 1GB of RAM, 16GB of built-in storage, up to 32GB of additional storage via microSD card, 2,500mAh battery, eight-megapixel 1080p AF camera with flash and two-megapixel front-facing camera. Like its stablemate, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, AT&T's Galaxy Note receives a brain transplant with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU (presumably a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3) replacing the 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos processor. Beyond support for AT&T's speedy LTE network, the device includes UMTS/HSPA+ (21Mbps) and GSM/EDGE world radios. This US variant will also be available with a number of accessories, including a desktop dock, a spare battery charging system, flip cover cases (available in multiple colors) and the Galaxy Note S Pen holder kit.

We took AT&T's Galaxy Note for a spin, and it's a dead-ringer for the global model in terms of size, weight and general layout. The most obvious differences are the carrier logo just below the earpiece, and the four capacitive keys replacing the three-button layout (physical key flanked by capacitive buttons) common to non-US Galaxy handsets. Pop the battery cover and you'll notice subtler changes, with the plastic SIM and microSD card holders being replaced by thinner metallic ones in order to accommodate the additional thickness from (presumably) an LTE the NFC antenna mounted inside the battery door with matching contacts on the phone's chassis [see update below]. Another difference is with the S Pen, which now features a contrasting grey side-button instead of the same black color as the pen's body. While the key is still just as difficult to locate by touch, it's now trivial to find at a glance. Performance wise, during our brief time with it, this version of the Note felt just as snappy as its predecessor, despite the aforementioned chipset swap. Unlike the other Galaxy S II-class devices on AT&T, there's no sign of NFC here. We'll keep you posted as we learn more, but until then check out the galleries below and hit the break for our hands-on video and the mandatory PR.

Update: We've been able to confirm that AT&T's Galaxy Note features NFC. The antenna is located inside the battery cover, just like on the Nexus S.

AT&T Galaxy Note LTE hands-on

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AT&T Galaxy Note LTE press shots

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Richard Lai contributed to this post.



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SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE™ LANDS IN U.S. WITH AT&T

Galaxy Note combines HD Super AMOLED display, supreme portability
and advanced S Pen™, creating a new type of smartphone

LAS VEGAS - January 9, 2012 - Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), the No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S. 1, today announced the Samsung Galaxy Note™ will be available in the United States with AT&T in carbon blue and ceramic white.

Bringing a new category of smartphone to the U.S. market, the Galaxy Note has a larger screen, and new user input technology, while retaining a pocketable design. The Galaxy Note combines the core mobile benefits of various devices and utilizes AT&T's 4G LTE* network, to create a premium user experience.

The Galaxy Note is designed with a 5.3" display with HD Super AMOLED™ technology, a high-resolution screen that provides a bright, rich, colorful viewing experience. The Note includes a creative tool called the S Pen™, which delivers fast, responsive and precise control to create fine lines and detail on the device display, much like an ink pen and pad of paper.

"We welcome the Galaxy Note to the U.S. and are pleased to expand on our popular Galaxy™ family of premium products," said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. "The innovation in this product including the capabilities of the S Pen continue to show Samsung's leadership in bringing cutting edge design and features to our customers."

State-of-the-art Display
The Galaxy Note's 5.3" HD Super AMOLED display provides vivid clarity for the best viewing experience for videos, photos, documents and Web sites. The superior screen also offers a 180 degree viewing angle, allowing videos and images to be seen .

Full Screen Utilization
The high resolution display ensures that documents, presentations, web-pages, news apps and e-books can be viewed comfortably with minimal scrolling or zooming. Samsung has also included a smart professional planning tool that makes full use of the device's large screen. The calendar integrates the phone's to-do list and schedule; control and navigation is intuitive, helping users to comprehensively organize their lives.

Capture, Create & Share
The Galaxy Note features S Memo™, a multimedia application designed to capture all forms of user-created content captured by the S Pen. Pictures, voice recordings, typed text, handwritten notes or drawings can all be combined via a single application, converted to a 'memo', and shared as desired.

An easy screen-capture function also allows users to instantly save any screen, then these screens can also be personalized with the S Pen before being saved or shared.

Superior Usability, Powerful Performance
The 1.5GHz dual-core processor ensures the device is incredibly fast and a smooth user interface ensures seamless usability. Lightning fast network speeds on AT&T's 4G LTE allows for the device's super-fast connection, ensuring a quick and seamless browsing experience.

SAFE
The Galaxy Note has met extra rigorous security criteria to be categorized as a "Samsung Approved for Enterprise" or SAFE™ device. The addition of SAFE certifications ensures that any organization's mobile work force can be remotely managed and securely connected to corporate applications and data while away from their desks.

The SAFE program is comprised of multiple components that outline Samsung's business-to-business foundations for its mobile devices. These "pillars" of SAFE are designed to offer customers essential enterprise functionality and security and include: Mobile Device Management, On-Device Virtual Private Network (VPN) and secure access to Corporate Email/Calendar/Contacts.

Accessories
The Galaxy Note is outfitted with a premium accessories portfolio designed to highlight the product features and device functionality. Docking solutions include a Desktop Dock to get the most out of your Galaxy Note at home, while the Spare Battery Charging System allows for a convenient backup charging solution. Galaxy Note owners can also customize the Galaxy Note to fit their personal style with a protective Flip Cover Case, available in multiple colors.

Additionally, the Galaxy Note S Pen Holder Kit offers a solution for users in need of a more traditional writing instrument. With a spare S Pen included, the S Pen Holder secures the navigation tool inside and offers a comfortable grip and allows for more detailed use.

The Galaxy Note is also compatible with the following universal accessories: Micro USB Adapter, HDTV Smart Adapter, Car Power Charger W/ Detachable Data Cable (Micro USB), Micro USB Data Cable, Travel Charger (Detachable W/ USB to Micro USB Cable), and the premium Refined Sound wired headset.

Key Product Information:
• 5.3" HD Super AMOLED touchscreen (1280x800)
• Integrated S Pen
• Enabled for 4G LTE
• 1.5GHz dual core processor
• Android™ 2.3, Gingerbread
• 16GB onboard memory
• Expandable memory up to 32GB with optional microSD™ card
• 2500 mAh battery
• 8MP rear facing camera
• 2MP front facing camera
• Mobile HotSpot capable
• SAFE – Samsung Approved for Enterprise

Visit www.samsung.com for more information on the Galaxy Note.

Number one mobile phone provider in the U.S. claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics, Q3 2011 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Reports.

*Limited 4G LTE availability in select markets. 4G speeds delivered by HSPA+ (with enhanced backhaul) and LTE, where available. Compatible data plan required. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. Learn more at att.com/network.

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AT&T Galaxy Note with LTE hands-on at CES 2012 (video)