TechRadar's list has become one of the most viewed parts of the site - and changes at the top indicate big shifts in what the experts and the public are saying.
The Note 2 has landed just a single place behind the Apple iPhone 5 to take fourth spot, with the Samsung Galaxy S3 still holding top place from the HTC One X in second.
Even since the first Samsung Galaxy Note the big screen has always been divisive with some feeling that the extra room is exactly what they want from a phone, and others suggesting that a handset should be more pocket-friendly.
Niche to know you
"Ultimately, there's no getting away from the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a niche device," suggests Phil Lavelle in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review.
"But it does almost everything it sets out to do perfectly, with grace, class and maximum functionality."
That explains the four-and-a-half stars the phone was awarded – a key score in an increasingly competitive phone market.
With the HTC One X+ incoming, HTC's Windows Phone 8X and the widely mooted LG Nexus phone on the horizon and the iPhone 5 selling like hot cakes – phones are the most fascinating market in tech right now.