Samsung Galaxy Note 2 up for pre-order at £545 SIM-free ahead of mid-October release

The Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's flagship smartphone-cum-tablet, has been given a sketchy UK release date as well as speculative pricing, following its release late last month at IFA 2012.

The Korean electronics giant's new "phablet" was officially unveiled in Berlin on 29 August, though in typical IFA fashion few details were revealed on the night.

Now, the Note 2 has started to appear on select mobile retail sites, with both Clove Technology and Unlocked Mobiles offering the oversized mobile for pre-order.

The 5.5in hybrid device is ostensibly being peddled SIM-free for around £545, a not inconsiderable sum in the same price bracket as the current-generation iPhone 4S - and, presumably, Apple's new-generation iPhone 5, set to be announced in the near future. Both of the Internet handset sellers say that their first stock of the Galaxy Note 2 is "due mid-October."

Consumers who don't want to cough up the sizeable sum for the product will also be able to acquire it through UK mobile networks O2 and Three.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 succeeds 2011's original Galaxy Note phablet and boasts a vastly improved spec sheet. In addition to the larger, Super AMOLED HD touchscreen display, the new device also boasts a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, microSD slot, and the latest Android OS, version 4.1 Jelly Bean.

For more on how the monster new handset matches up to its predecessor, check out our Galaxy Note 2 vs Galaxy Note spec comparison. Also of interest may be the recent Galaxy Note 2 vs Galaxy S3 contrast.