Here holds the beast. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, it is one hell of a device. Over time it has accumulated many buyers and lovers, and also those who simply can’t conceive how anyone would want something so huge. I’ve had it for a while and even now the thing that I can never get over is it’s sheer size — at least it feels more natural now then when I first held it.
Which I first received it, I felt like it was just a bigger Galaxy S 3 (and sometimes still feel that way) but several things have pushed that mindset away. For one, you now have a stylus (S Pen) that helps you do more with more precision, at least it’s supposed to. I could never get the stylus to work well when it came to writing, I’d always see scribbles from when I didn’t raise the pen high enough thanks to it’s air technology. Also there’s multi-view which is only somewhat available for the S3 (only for international versions at the moment).
Other than those features, you have hardware differences, such as upgraded processor and bigger battery. First up the battery, I never felt that I NEEDED to charge this device like I do with my other phones. I wouldn’t feel the need to charge it every night, or after class, or after playing a game. I’d often forget to charge and would wake up surprised at the amount of the battery I’d have left one the device. Next the processor makes this thing fly! No stutters, or stops, and definitely no random reboots (thanks to the 2gb of RAM).
If you’re looking for a bigger phone, or on the borderline between a bigger phone or a small phone and a tablet, I’d definitely suggest the Note 2. With it’s over 5” screen and multitasking is perfect for doing many things at once, and still keep up performance. Along with Samsung general Touchwiz features and the S Pen, this is a real powerhouse device. Now it wasn’t the device for me, but with Samsung selling millions, I think that will let you know that they’ve done something right.
Now to the nitty-gritty
Thinner and lighter boy
1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor
1280 x 720 display resolution, the same as the original Note
Super AMOLED display
‘Magic Wand’ sub-homescreen
Near Field Communication
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Two color choices: Mountain White and Titanium Gray
Three storage options: 16GB, 32GB and 64 GB
2GB of RAM
Upgraded battery with 3100mAh
Air View, which allows users to hover the stylus approximately 10mm above the screen and the device responds
Screen recorder, which records on-screen actions to be shared with others
Pop-up Play plays local video in a little window overlay, a feature first seen on the Galaxy S3. The window in which the video is viewed can now be resized on the Galaxy Note 2.
Best Faces feature, which lets users create a composite image from multiple pictures
Photo Note creates handwritten notes on the back of pictures
Screen- The screen on this phone, is impeccable (that is if you never saw the DNA’s screen). The HD Super Amoled is uber vibrant and you can especially see all the details on the huge screen. The colors paired with the size and details almost make you seem to actually touch what you are pressing. Also, to get technical, the screen is no longer Pentile (if you care) and has a density of 276ppi.
Hardware/Performance- Looks at all the specs above. Now look again. The phone is not one you’re going to be looking to upgrade from before your two years are up. Future proof is an understatement with the 2Gb of RAM, Quad-Core, NFC, LTE and more. Add an 3100mAh battery with the hardware improvements to make sure this phone last forever. I think it may even last longer than the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, even though the HD has a smaller screen and bigger battery. Plus you won’t experience any lag thanks to the RAM and quad-core processor.
S Pen- Although this wasn’t one of my favorite “features” i know it has the potential to work very well. It can help with picture editing and also with business project. Also, you can use it to take notes (on your Note, hah) and really feel like you are handwriting instead of typing.
Camera- The 8mp camera equipped to this device is second to none. It has many features to it such as 2 modes of HD, best face, panorama and more. You can then use the S Pen from above to alter with the pictures after you’re done taking them.
Features- The Note 2, just like any Samsung phone, is jam-packed with features. More features than anyone could ever conceivably get used to in my eyes. This adds to the appeal for the general public who intend on keeping TouchWiz on the device. These feature include the notification toggles, S Pen features, and gestures.
Size- Now the Note is supposed to be big and blur the line between a tablet and a phone, but sometimes big is just too big. A 5.5” phone may not carry the biggest title anymore but it’s hard to comfortably use this device at times. Calling someone? Forget it just use a bluetooth. One hand use? Just go ahead and use two. Pocketability (I may have just made that word up)? Not without showing some of the device or hearing the inevitable “Is that a Note 2 in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”
Bloat- The Note 2 comes with many excess carrier bloat applications I think I counted around 20 on the Verizon version and have heard 16 on T-Mobile’s version. Maybe carriers and manufacturers should take a poll to see what bloat is necessary and what they can go ahead and axe away.
Features- Even though this was in the “Good” section I felt the need to add it here as well, as some of the features either don’t work well or just suck in general. The multiview being one of the biggest simply because it was one of the more noticeable features over the S3. Yet, you can only use select applications for it with completely defeat much purpose. Then the other features like Smart Stay, the eye tracking one, hardly works to a good standard.
Root: Even though Verizon tried to fuxk with the bootloader to make rooting and unlocking impossible, developers have gotten around it. You can have custom kernels, ROMs, and just general root for this device. The biggest ROMs I hear available for the Note 2 include: AOKP, CyanogeMod, and Carbon.
I would definitely suggest this device for a lot of people looking to upgrade now, and don’t find the size of the device intimidating. Hardware plus software plus features just make this device hard to beat and a great choice from Samsung, especially coming from the S3’s success. I would even push it over the S3. You can get this device for any of the big four carriers, just be aware that the T-Mobile version doesn’t have LTE.