Can't stop looking at this screen November 21, 2012
Reviewer: John B. Moran "BUGSY" (New York City) -
JUST A REVIEW OF SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ON THE NOTE 2, NOT A FULL BLOWN CRITIQUE:
Switched, after many years, from APPLE to SAMSUNG. It took guts, my friends.
I am totally immersed in all things APPLE, have been since my first Apple IIc computer.
Owned desktops, Mac clone Power Computing desktops, every ipod, several imacs, mac minis, iphones....you get the picture. I live in that "closed" but very efficient environment.
I was, as of two weeks ago, a Samsung/Android virgin.
I got my samsung galaxy note II from Best Buy (they offered a $75 coupon which may, at this writing, still be available), but online purchases were backed up a month so they found me a store in my zip code that had one: 86th and Lex in NYC. Salesperson there, in a huge a crowded store, told me it was the first Note II they had sold.
I was afraid that I wouldn't have access to the many apps I had grown to love on my iphone. I have found them all, and more. I was nervous that the criticisms of the "plastic-y" build would be true. Although the snap off back of the Note II is ridiculously thin and flimsy, once it is snapped into place, the phone feels solid.
I was warned that it's too big! blah blah blah....It is not too big. After two hours of playing with the Note II, I picked up my iphone and....laughed. Yes, it is THAT easy to become accustomed to the perfect (for me) size of this phone. If you can't reach the dial pad, keyboard, shortcuts with one hand....just go into settings and select "One Handed Operation". Brilliant.
It feels great, slips into top pocket, or jacket, inside coat pocket. (although it will fit, don't sit on it in back pants pocket) I think it needs a cover, ordered one for 10 bucks on ebay. The back of the phone is way too slippery and slides too easily. Get a cover that offers some friction but minimally increases the size of the phone.
Apparently, Samsung fixed all of the gripes from the original Note. I don't know, but they have thought of a lot of great stuff.
Ordered a 64GB SD card on which I will store mounds of music, vids, and pix. THat's a lot of storage space. They say that Apple does not offer memory upgrades on the iphone because SD cards are too slow and would compromise the speed of the machine. Yes, but the new microSDXC Memory Card Ultra Class 10 UHS-I from SanDisk is rated FAST and built for this phone. $60 at B&H Photo. I have to say that snapping off the back of my phone to reveal battery, simm, and SD card slot is an incredibly satisfying experience for an iphone guy.
Battery capacity is huge, but don't get too excited. With 4g, bluetooth, 5.5" screen, etc....it lasts a day, just like any other phone. The thing I've discovered that does improve battery life somewhat, is getting yourself an app killer. I have ADVANCED TASK MANAGER. Just kills the unused but running apps and widgets. Also incredibly useful: the pull down notifications window. From any screen, swipe down from top to reveal a list of notifications from all sources: email, Facebook, app updates. Just view them, swipe them to the right and they are gone. Notification light on upper left hand corner of phone reminds you to check. It's instantaneous and handy.
Transferring CONTACTS from my MacBook took some investigation, but they are all there. There are also apps to help you retrieve all of your SMS messages, which was very helpful. I haven't figured out the calendar transfer yet...but I will.
Updating/syncing happens OTA all the time. You can, of course, control this.
Samsung offers KIES and KIES AIR, a program you place on your laptop to facilitate transfers to and from your phone. Also available, Android File Transfer, much more basic but useable. I had trouble when both were on my laptop at the same time. There are loads of options in the PLAY STORE.
SUM: Note II is beautiful, sleek, and fast. I have not become proficient with the stylus so you will have to look elsewhere for opinions on that part of this phone.
Camera is cool, but do I think the pictures are great because of the luscious screen? I don't know. Everything looks good on this phone. It's fun and I'm glad I took the leap.
An Evolution of the Original Note December 19, 2012
I sold my original Note to obtain this and I have to say that this phone is an evolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note, but this evolution is mainly due to the software.
I understand that the hardware internals have been given a refresh, such as the Exynos CPU. But much of it doesnt differ too much from the original Samsung Galaxy Note. It is still the same camera, screen looks relatively the same also the pixel count is LOWER than the original Note. The form factor is much more pocket friendly as well as more hold-it-against-your-ear acceptable. Instead of the original Note's blocky bulk, this one is longer and sleeker instead of wider.
What really sets this phone apart from the original Note and from other Android phones is the software and the S-Pen. Samsung really has listened to its users in the S-Pen dept by make it more ergonomic (I understand this is subjective). Many user's have also probably cried out about the constant loss of the S-Pen as my voice is part of that group. And at last, the phone will notify you if the S-Pen is too far from the phone.
Software-wise, I have to say it is both an revolution and an evolution. Taking out the S-Pen will trigger an S-Note widget where you would then choose a template for notes. My imagination goes off on a journey about other possibilities with the S-Pen. Maybe trigger a few events when the S-Pen is taken out or placed back in. A nice touch is the haptic feedback when taking it out as well as putting it back into the holder.
What makes the software a revolution is Multiwindow. In one word, INCREDIBLE. In the past, I would need to read my email, highlight selected phrases, copy, open up S-Note, and then paste or write down my ideas. Now its all on one screen. I can scroll my email and then jot things down without all the additional steps in between. My only minor gripe is that Samsung should include a native multi-DPI setting so that the Note can have the resolution of either a tablet or phone. This would increase screen real estate (or decrease for the latter) so that more information can be viewed. Imagine being able to view Google Maps and typing up an email about location and direction without constant scrolling/zooming.
For those that are hoping that there are numerous ROMS available, unfortunately that is not the case. There are a handful of ROMS at the time of this writing. Certain ROMs are not stable or have missing functionality while others are a more slimmed down (de-bloated) version of the stock ROM. I miss my original Note mainly because of the number of ROMs available.
As stated, the phone is an evolution of the original Note hardware wise. Not much has changed internally but the form factor is a bit more palm and face friendly. Its the software that really makes this phone.
All in One Gadget you will ever want. November 22, 2012
I just did a price matching and got this phablet from a local best buy store for 199.99.
I will start off by saying that I am a phone nerd. Since I started earning, I have had all the phones out there, starting from Windows 6.5 (HTC Tilt, Tilt 2, Pure) then iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and also all the android phone that I thought were attractive (Nexus S, Moto Atrix, HTC One X, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 - both international and US version, Galaxy Nexus - international version, Galaxy Note and i don't even remember what all phone i have owned...)
Now that we have that list out of way, I will say that this note 2 is 'THE' best phone I have ever owned! It has everything you will ever want. You will not regret buying this phone. Quad core processor and 2 GB ram is amazing. LTE is blazing fast. You will get a lot of roms from XDA soon. The phone is already rooted and has custom recovery available at XDA.
Close your eyes and get this phone!
Galaxy Note 2, coming from Windows Phone November 23, 2012
Reviewer: J. West "I thought I was watching a dream I would never awaken from. Before I knew it, the dream was all over." (USA) -
My first smart phone was the Samsung Focus. At first I thought it was kinda cool, having access to all of my Xbox stuff, but all of that got old when there just wasn't much to do, especially when all of my friends an co-workers had Androids and iPhones.
Enter the Note II... I didn't have much experience with the Android environment, except for fiddling a bit with my wife's phone. First, this phone is huge. My hands are fairly big, and I can handle it pretty well. Being so wide, the thinness of it makes me feel like I have to pinch it to hold onto it. (My Ionic Guardian case just came in and fixes this.)
Just to hit the high points - big screen, fast processor, and I've been using it off and on all day (6:00 now) and I'm showing 69% battery. Seems that the battery will last all day, which nowadays (with fairly heavy usage) is all that should be expected.
Camera takes great shots, and slow/fast motion video is pretty cool (even if a little lower quality).
SVoice works great as far as I can tell. I told it to "Remind me to check Amazon at 7:40" (for a lightening deal) and it confirmed and created the task on my calendar. Then I told it "Remind me to watch the game on Saturday at 2:30." It confirmed the date and time and created the task "watch the game"
Haven't used the SPen much, so can't comment too much on it.
At this point, I don't have anything bad to say about it. It is a bit awkward to hold because it is so wide and thin. My wife has small hands, and she says she couldn't use it. If you have big hands, you should be ok, but will likely want a case, not only for protection, but also for better handling.
The only other thing that I notice, there seems to be a delay when you push the unlock button and when the screen comes on...more than a second. That is a bit aggravating.
I also haven't connected it to the bluetooth in my car yet, so I can't comment on that either. I plan on testing that soon, as well as S Beam. Will update at that time.
Nice mini tablet January 7, 2013
Reviewer: A. H. Klein
Got this as an alternative to a tablet. The screen is fantastic, but the device is so big that it's just on the verge of too awkward to use in my men's-medium sized hands: according to my wireless carrier, I've sent about five hundred texts on it since I got it, and it's still uncomfortable. I wonder if I'll ever get totally accustomed to it. Galaxy SIII makes a much more comfortable phone. On the other hand, it's a lot easier to navigate within text boxes on the Note 2 and the screen is incredible: excellent for news reading, pic and video viewing... And that's the biggest part of what I use it for--that and listening to music uninterrupted by phone calls (Samsung 'phones' play flacs better than my 'mp3' player). When I want to do something more serious, I grab the SIII, which is a nearly perfect phone. I leave room for that to change, but it will take some quantum leap in my ability to type on the Note 2.
Amazing phone except for a couple slight issues March 20, 2013
Reviewer: Brandon Dalton (Temple,Tx USA) -
First off let me say I purchased this phone about a month ago from a Best Buy in my area. Having come from a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 I was very happy with the transition. Now lets get to the nitty gritty shall we?
Women usually come to me and go OMG its so big! (just a little joke to get the guys laughing(sorry ladies))
This model of the note was perfected as far as the pen and the operating system goes. The s-pen on this model is so much more responsive and the android operating system is silky smooth. Also, this being the first Note that I have used I will have to give props to Samsung. They engineered it perfectly. The sound is just as amazing as it is on the Samsung Galaxy Player and on a day of heavy use I get a days worth of battery. Recharging once a day works for me, and dispite what apple users say, this is where it is at. I can easily connect this to my Asus G74SX via bluetooth and play music directly from my phone and it is crystal clear! In my experiences I haven't been able to get an iphone to work with a Windows 7 computer with bluetooth (leave it to apple to mess that up!). If you haven't already check out FLOSSYCARTER's videos on youtube and you can see his video review.
Unfortunately this is the part of the review that I am hating having to do because I love this phone!
You can't use the s-pen on the menu and back buttons.
You cannot transfer apps to your sdcard (as of 3/20/2013 this may change).
For those who have had problems space problems on your phones, if you have anything on your google magazines unpin them and delete the movies off your device. You can always re-download them at any time. I hope this resolves your issues.
Thanks for reading and if you like this review be sure to say it helped and leave a comment below. I may revise this review at any given time when I get a chance.
Good day and God Bless
Love this Phablet! November 28, 2012
Reviewer: Adam Edwards (Draper, UT USA) -
A phone an a tablet in one! I'm now a former iOS user. I was holding out until the iPhone 5 came out and was disappointed with the size increase and lack of upgrades to the operating system. I had been looking at the GalaxyS3 but my brother-in-law had a Note I and told me about the Note II. I picked it up and must say I really like the size of the phone as well as the Android OS.
Beast of a phone. Best one out on the market November 28, 2012
Reviewer: High Roller (DC) -
Like others, I have been in Apple land for the past several years. Been using iPhone since the 3G and I got bored of my iPhone 4. As I was looking for the latest and greatest, I kept hearing a lot of buzz about the Note 2 and gave it a look. What immediately attracted me was the 5.5' screen. It's very nice, very nice indeed. For those of you accustomed to the Retina Display of the iPhone, you will notice it's not quite as crisp as the RD but it still is an impressive screen especially considering the size of it. The S-Pen takes a little while to get used to and, once you do, it can be a very useful tool unlike other smartphones that have a stylus. The specs on this live up to the hype. The quad core processor is fast and the 2GB of RAM do help out a lot. I've noticed no lag or hiccups when viewing movies or anything like that. The only time I do notice any lag is when I'm viewing my photo galleries. The processor is trying to thumbnail over 8000 pics and its reading from the SD card so it's no issue with the phone itself.
Currently, Amazon has this for $175 which is a steal. I paid $300 for mine and, even then, I feel it's totally worth it. If you can snap this phone up for almost 50% off normal price, DO IT.
Galaxy Note 2! Best Phone Period! March 8, 2013
I didn't review it for awhile because I want to use it first. I actually got this phone on Launch day. So here is my review after 4 months of use. There is no doubt anywhere why Samsung is the number one phone manufacturer over taking Nokia in Sales. I have had different phones windows, Blackberry, you name it I had it. Than when the Google G1 came out I switch over and never went back. This phone is absolutely amazing. I had the evo 4g and the battery life was horrible. The Galaxy Note II has an extremely long battery life for my real world application. I run a business and can't afford to run out of batteries. I had 4 batteries when I owned the evo 4g. This phone I own one battery! It gets me through the day and I converted to Qi wireless charging for less than $100 bucks. The galaxy S3 don't get me wrong is a great phone but the screen on this phone is big enough to view videos but small enough to carry around.. The phone is extremely light even lighter than smaller phones. You don't have to carry and MP3 player, a recorder, or even a laptop. I can take Notes for school, listen to music, record my class oh yeah its a phone :) Its not only a tablet, phone but pretty much a mini computer!
What do you want on a phone? This is my list let me know yours!
1) Great Screen Check --- 5.5 Super-Amoled Gorilla Glass
2) Fast Processor Check --- Quad Core
3) Memory or Storage size Check --- 16 GB and I have a 64GB San Disk Class 10 Bringing it up to 80GB biggest space you can get on a phone!
4) Internet Speed Check --- 4g LTE
5) Battery Life Check --- From my heavy usage last 1-2 days
6) Signal Strength Check --- Southern California area ATT, I don't have an drop calls.
7) Apps Check --- Lots of useful apps.Voice to voice Navigation, call recording, NFC Tap to transfer etc and most are free
Love this phone! February 16, 2013
Had the Samsung Note II for about 3 weeks and love everything about it, especially the battery life.
Normally my HTC Inspire would be drained after 6 hours of streaming audio and web surfing. I used the Note II for two normal days (42 hours) and it still had 12% battery charge left. (with GPS and Wi-Fi left on the entire time)
* I have ATT and the cell signal seems better Vs. the HTC (maybe since the phone is bigger the note II has a better antenna system)
* The speakers are awesome for smartphone.
* I like the larger screen for texting and using apps.
* I like the S-PEN for taking notes on the fly.
Yes, it's a big phone and a handful at times, but the advantages of this phone more than make up for this minor annoyance.
I Love this phone November 18, 2012
Reviewer: D. Divelbiss (Central CA USA) -
I upgraded from the Samsung Captivate, and i was pretty happy with that phone, but it was getting 'old', and slow.
This Note is large, but I have medium to large hands, and i can use this one handed for some functions.
This thing is fast, and has a lot of functionality.
A Great Phone with Inherent Flaws November 29, 2012
Reviewer: Johnny Saigon® (Sydney/Saigon/Irvine/Waikiki) -
Let's get to the nitty gritty:
1- It's BIG. Big for gaming, big for videos, big for web browsing. Simply put, if you want a phone with the most real estate on the screen size, then there is no alternative. Don't be so mesmerized on the 1080p screens that will come out soon. Unless you want to destroy your eyes and use the phone from an inch away, you will not notice the difference in everyday use.
2- It's fast. Yes, the Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core beats this Tegra 3/Exynos 4 CPU in most benchmarks, but again, unless you are a hard-core geek that is OCD on numbers, you will not notice any difference in everyday use. There is no discernible lag anywhere (it's probably just your slow Internet connection).
3- It's beautiful. Not HTC or Sony beautiful, but this is one sleek and stylish phone. The white is classic, but this Titanium Gray is awesome. Just check out the back cover and you will see what I mean (yes, even with that cheap-feeling plastic material).
4- Did I mention the screen? It's BIG, it's bright, and it's beee-ay-eeww-ti-ful! AMOLED screens have awesome color saturation and contrast (most times even overkill, actually). Some people say it's not good in daylight. Um, have you tried cranking up the brightness??
5- The Samsung/Android touch. Not everyone may like Samsung's Touchwiz user interface compiled onto Android, but I dare you to find a phone with more features than this one (and similarly the Galaxy S3). Here are the main highlights:
a. Samsung utilizes the front facing camera almost to perfection. You can use it to control your music player; it has facial recognition to sense you are directly in front of the screen so it won't dim and turn off the screen (for reading, web browing, video playback, etc.); it recognizes your facial orientation so that when you are lying down sideways looking at the screen, the accelerometer will not kick in to auto-rotate the screen in the wrong orientation. That is something that has always bothered me with other phones and FINALLY someone has added that feature! Granted, not all these features work flawlessly, but it's a great start.
b. Integration with Google is finally starting to show off in good ways. It was always once that Apple had the superior ecosystem. But now we see the future is bright indeed. Not just evolution, but finally innovation!
c. The S Pen and all the neat things you can do with it. Preview a point in the movie before skipping to that point, and other things like going old-school back to the PDA days!
6- It accepts up to a 64GB microSD card. That turned out to be the dealbreaker for me. Explanation in "cons" section below.
1- It's BIG. With my tiny hands(hey hey), I can hardly do anything one-handed with this phone. Pocketability rating: -2. Putting it up on your face to make a phone call is also a big fail if you're sensitive to public ridicule like me. Have your Bluetooth earpiece ready.
2- It's quite heavy. I really wanted to switch to the Verizon Droid DNA - for a 5-inch screen, it was remarkably svelte and light. And if it wasn't for the fact of pi$$-poor Verizon customer service at their call centers, and that it only had 16GB of memory with no microSD card option, I would have made the switch. The Droid DNA is superior in every way except those things mentioned. I have absolutely no doubt that the Samsung Note 3 (and maybe even the Galaxy S4) will be a 1080p screen with the Exynos 5 quadcore - can't wait!
3- The screen may be bright and colorful, but it's way over-saturated and unnatural. Fortunately, you can go to the screen options and set it to "Natural." "Dynamic" is overkill, and even so is "Standard."
Even with its inherent flaws, I can't help but love it. It's not even a phone, it's a cellular tablet(cablet, anyone??). I'm going to keep it. Until the next big thing is already here....
Best phone for busy business people April 26, 2013
This phone allows me to work and play from just about anywhere. It is my alarm clock and reminder for very important things. I can see a full size calendar anytime, view my agenda list is just a few steps away. I can take pictures, view photos, listen to music, watch movies, and surf the Web -- all on a big enough screen so I don't have to squint. People who are not technology savvy just don't understand why you'd pay so much for a phone, but this phone is not just a phone, it's a computer, too. I can edit documents, save files locally or to the cloud and never miss a beat when I'm off from work or at work. The S Pen allows me to jot notes; instead of typing, I can just write. The phone knows when I have removed the pen and beeps if I have left it behind.
Excellent/Incredible phone April 25, 2013
Reviewer: rpv (San Francisco, CA) -
I have an unlocked phone and use with ATT and T-Mobile.
When one opens the box, there is a sense of awe. People ask "Is this really a phone" was one reaction I got. It is an amazing piece of hardware. I have used Android devices starting from Cupcake version, used iPhone, HP Veer with webOS, Windows 7.5 HTC Titan 2. This phone is the sleekest and one of the best so far. It is fabulous! I find the big size to be very good and not a problem at all. Will the Galaxy Note 3 be 6" ?!
The manual pdf is definitely a must read, there are lot of tips in the manual that comes in handy. For example motion based sensors are extraordinary. Closing the phone with palm silences it. Sliding palm takes a screenshot. There are several such examples. Read the manual.
Out of the box, connect to wireless and get the phone logged into Google account. The advantage of Android phones is that once you are logged into Google universe, everything gets synced up especially if you have been using Android. The position of power button is at an excellent position for your hand on this Note 2. The additional LED for notification on top is very handy. Listen Apple? The camera serves some really futuristic ideas also. It can check if you are looking at the phone and disable screen lock (even if you set timeout to say 30 sec). Also it can serve as password unlock. Amazing! These can be set from Settings Menu.
The Android version as of Oct 26 2012 is Jellybean 4.1.1. Kernel version is 3.0.31-259982. Model GT-N7100. I got the 64 GB microSD card. Get this mobileUltra, it is the latest as of Oct 2012. ([[ASIN:B005V7WIA2 SanDisk 64GB Mobile Ultra MicroSDXC Class 6 Memory Card with SD Adapter - Retail Packaging]]. Settings show an available space of 59.45 GB. So along with 16 GB built (system shows only around 10.46 GB), my Note 2 has 80 GB memory. With music in the Google Music cloud, I intent to use the memory for video/pictures as a camcorder/camera.
I strongly suggest going through Settings and customizing many things as per your desire. I did Voice Input, Keyboard (this comes with English(UK), change to English(US) for example. Fiddle around the settings and you will be amazed how much you can customize. I also did Battery % to appear in notification bar.
One thing I found the default keyboard did not show Mic button. I realized it was next to Sym button. Long press it and choose Mic. And then on, it will appear in default keyboard. Also customize the accent. It can do magic for typing. I type paragraphs at a time effortlessly. This is Google backend servers at work. The Mic on Samsung Galaxy Note 2 does a fantastic job!
S-Pen, Ah.. I was truly impressed. You have to use these to believe it. The note taking was very fluid. Samsung seem to have nailed it. I wrote up an equation in Equation mode - x^5 = x^2 + 2x + .... Something completely random, another one d/dx(an equation) and it recognized perfectly and asked it to search, it went to Wolfram Alpha and solved it. It is at first unbelievable and then it starts to sink in this is a computer program made well. Like it should be in first place! Export to pdf is very good. The main thing is the pen is very fluid and feels like a fountain pen writing.
Overall, the phone feels very smooth and snappy. The screen is crisp and clear. Apps can even be multi screened. Samsung approved apps can be placed two in a screen. Eg. Maps on top and email on bottom portion. I doubt I will use this, but handy.
One gripe I have with this phone is speaker is on the back. Typically if you lie the phone down, the speaker is blocked on bottom. I wish the speakers were in the side. This is a design decision and not sure why phones have speaker on back. But the speaker volume is very high, so I am not complaining too much.
One big pain point with Android is once you purchased/downloaded for free Apps, they cannot be permanently deleted. So even if you get a junk app, and delete immediately they are permanently there in your Google Play store. From the phone's play store I got 300+ Apps. One cannot choose 50 apps and say get all these. You have to do one by one. After getting one, the screen resets to beginning. So I went to a computer browser and pushed apps to pone. This is easier and faster.
UPDATE: In Jelly bean, you have a circle with a / and pressing it prompts a pop up to delete. After delete it reverts to top of the list again. Why dont they go to same spot. I have hundreds, so it is a pain, nevertheless good feature. I will delete few every day!
Some of apps I have as of now :
[[ASIN:B004GJDQT8 Amazon Mobile]]
Android Status : Android Status app shows ARMv7, Max Freq 1.6 GHz, BogoMips 1592.52 Memory 1.79 GB, Free 365 MB, Internal Storage 10.46 GB Free 7.18 GB. Total Process running 271! Kernel 159/User 112 Interface has IPv6 as well as IPv4 address
Angry Birds (Space/Seasons)
Amazon App Store
[[ASIN:B004TU1AGU Car Maintenance Reminder Pro]]
Google Currents (nice way to read News)
FM Radio (needs headphone)
[[ASIN:B00850NK6I OverDrive Media Console: Library eBooks & Audiobooks]] (public library consumption of media)
Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good)
[[ASIN:B006LRRIJ2 Subsonic Music Streamer]]
Terminal Emulator (still need to use vi, yes this is it)
[[ASIN:B004KAL2BC TweetCaster Pro for Android]] (excellent twitter client)
Plenty of Widgets
Ask questions, the review cannot do justice to Note 2, I find something new always. I will be glad to answer any questions.
No complaints - which is saying a lot April 15, 2013
Reviewer: Customer 4583029 (NYC) -
My recent phone history: iPhone 3G to Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic/iPhone 4s (simultaneously) to iPhone 5 to Note 2
Home button broke on 3G - rendered phone useless. From a co that is supposed to be known for usability...
The S2 had a less than stellar battery life and I had to hack it to get a decent OS. I found the screen size to be near perfect. I had Sprint and that's really the reason I moved on from the S2. Also, the GPS was known to not work well for a TON of ppl. At the same time, I had an iPhone 4S from work. Screen was way too small. I liked the build quality, though I didn't dislike the S2's plastic frame. The S2 was dropped many times and not a scratch. I actually prefer the feel in hand of IP4 over IP5.
The iPhone 5 was just cool. Almost too light. I wish the screen was a little wider. Battery life is way worse than iPhone 4. Both Apple products lived up to the "it just works" motto.
Now, the Note 2: no complaints at all. I was really against the idea of such a big phone but my friend happened to be selling an extra he had and I needed a new Android phone for work dev, so I bought it off him. Everything on here also just works and there's more features in Jelly Bean than iOS (obviously, iOS is stagnant even to Apple fanboys). Battery life is much better than IP5 in my usage. I'd say I would usually have to charge the IP5 every 36 hrs while the Note can go ~50. I surf the web maybe average 2 hrs / day on the phones. Manually check email twice an hour roughly. Mostly 4G but some WiFi. Listen to music about 2-3 hrs / day. 5-10 texts / d. Not much phone calls at all. No BT. Random other usage (small percent).
The Jelly Bean that comes stock here (AT&T) is so much better than any ROMs I found for my S2 late last year.
Very impressive. You just want to use it even though you have a computer and tablet nearby.
I still have the IP5 but haven't felt like switching back (it's just a SIM pop out and in).
I keep the Note in my jacket inside pocket but on occasion have used my back pants pockets w/o issue.
Haven't really used the pen.
AH-MAZING. March 29, 2013
Before purchasing this phone (which took a few months of saving up to afford), I was using a 2+- year-old Galaxy S Captivate, one of the originals in the Galaxy S line. While its size was about the same as most other smartphones, it felt so dinky next to the Note 2.
For the first few days, it felt like holding my Kindle Fire up to my ear whenever I was talking on it. But, it's surprising how quickly you get used to the size. If that's something that's holding you back, then stop it. You're missing out. After only a week or so, this phone makes every other phone feel like it's too small. One-handed texting is a little bit harder, but there's a great option for scooting the keyboard over to either the left- or right-hand side of the screen when using it in portrait mode, which helps.
One of the main things that I had to get used to after the switch was the durability of the phone. The Captivate was built like a hockey puck. Several falls without any case only put minor scratches on the case.
About a month after getting my Note 2, it was dropped on concrete while in a leather wallet-style case. It landed on the corner and the screen shattered. Even if you have insurance through AT&T (and the hassles with that are a whole other thing to be reviewed), I would highly suggest a protective case. Right now, I have mine in a [[ASIN:B00B46XS8U Urban Armor Gear UAG-GLXN2-WHT/BLK-VP Composite Case with Impact Resistant Bumpers and Screen Kit for Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - White]]. No other drops so far, but this feels like it would be much more protective.
Another selling point, especially if you plan to use this phone for business purposes, is the split-screen app ability. Not every app is compatible, but it's great for having your email open simultaneously with S Note, or many other useful combinations.
Loving this phone, no complaints so far. I have the iPhone owners in my office jealous.
Note 2 is epic March 20, 2013
Reviewer: FraterMus "FraterMus" (75081) -
BN: this review is written about the TMO variant SGH-T889, but other than radio and carrier branding they are equivalent.
I am a long time smartphone user. I've run Palm Treo (270, 600, 650) Windows (Dash, SDA, MDA) and Android (G1, Optimus T, Inspire 4G) and this is the best phone I have ever used or even seen.
* battery life is a revelation. No more Android Charging Anxiety. I use the phone however I want and charge it when convenient. It's just not an issue anymore.
* the screen is not just big, it changes the way I use a phone. I find myself using a PC less and less.
* quad core w/2GB RAM never struggles. This thing is a beast.
* Jelly Bean works quite well. Fulfills the promises made by ICS.
* the stylus is functional rather than a gimmick. I use it for boring stuff like selecting text, picking out small bits on the interface, etc. Like I used the stylus on the Palm devices. It even pops an alert if you walk off and forget the stylus. Smart!
* there is a feature you can enable that checks to see if you are looking at the phone before shutting of the screen. Seems like a small thing but it really improves the experience. No constantly turning the phone back on or having to use very long screen timeouts.
* HDMI out (have to buy an adapter) so you could hook it to a monitor, get a BT keyboard and conceivably use it as a minimal desktop for light duties. Google Drive docs, Netflix, social media stuff, kindle reading, whatever.
* the phone is big and it's not for everyone. I bought mine at a steep discount from someone who found it was too big for her in day-to-day use. It took me about a day to get used to the size. It does fit in a shirt pocket easily even in a case, BTW.
* the internal/external sdcard thing is annoying. Some apps don't let you save data to your SD card so it becomes mainly a repository for media files, etc.
* I've never been a fan of Touchwiz and other branded TUIs from the various manufactures. I dropped in the freebie Nova launcher and am much happier.
* Lots of bloatware, as is unfortunately to be expected these days.
* the Exynos CPU is not overly friendly to CyanogenMod devs, unless Samsung decides to get generous with their proprietary code. But the phone cleans up so well (see below) that I am keeping the stock ROM.
Ideas to improve battery life even further:
* turn off animations except for when you need to show off :-)
* run a simpler launcher (I use Nova)
* use static wallpapers and widgets when possible
* adjust the wifi sleep policy
* root the phone so you can do things like freeze apps with Titanium Backup or hibernate them with Greenify. Use Better Battery Stats to find out what's actually consuming power.
* use the phone's Power Saving Mode found under settings.
* use dark themes in apps when available
* set app syncing to longer intervals as appropriate
* use apps like Tasker or the free Llama to disable syncing completely when you are asleep.
I charge 1x/day if I remember to and the lowest I've seen my battery go is 83%.
Great Phone once you get used to the size January 30, 2013
Reviewer: S. Pughsley (Largo, MD USA) -
Once you get used to the size, you'll ask yourself, how did you ever manage using the smaller sized phones. On this phone you can read the pages (i.e., from the news apps) normally in portrait mode rather than having to turn the phone side ways (as we did with the smaller phones). And, what makes this phone, and the Galaxy S III so good, is the (Jelly Bean) operating system. The only negative for the G Note II, is the cost, which is higher than the Galaxy S III, but still cheaper than the latest IPhones. In my opinion this phone is superior to the Iphone because at least I can carry a spare battery, or upgrade my Micro SD card if I so desire. I suggest you go to any store that has the NOTE II on display and just test it out, you'll be amazed and impressed.
UPDATE: 2 Noteworthy Standard APPS - (1) The Voice Search APP is outstanding, you just ask any basic question (i.e. show me pictures of Abraham Lincoln) and it will come back in less than 10 seconds with a display or links to displays. (2)The Navigation APP has literally replaced my regular GPS system when I need a fast reply. Also, with the large 5.5'' screen, I can see the route display very easy while I'm driving.
AMAZING! December 1, 2012
Reviewer: Skullywag "Skully" (Texas) -
I was kinda worried when I opened the box...this phone IS big. After hitting the power button, all worries went away. This phone looks awesome.
New features galore, quick , snappy speed, TERRIFFIC sound. After about an hour of use, no other phone "looks right". If you hate web browsing on phones because of the limited screen and size of text, this phone is the cure. S-pen features are way cool to say the least. Having a 64G SD slot is almost worth the price alone.
Funny thing when showing this phone to Apple users... (a different breed in constant denial)they all are quick to say "It's too big", "I could never use a phone that big"....BUT...they can't keep their hands off it. If you happen to be browsing the same web-page, they want to see it on your phone. They ask A LOT of questions about the phone, "does it do this?", "Does it do that?"....and the answer is always the same, YES. They always end with "It's too big"....but they can't keep their hands off of it.
My opinion is the Note is the first step in the way ALL phones WILL be. New phones never boast about how much smaller they are, they boast about every 1/4" added to the screen. Phones are getting bigger. I never got how people would determine the "right" size of a phone by whether it would fit comfortably in their front pocket, and yet expected it to do everything that the smaller size only crippled. The Note 2 still fits well in the back pocket, is still portable in every sense, and makes all other phones (including the iPhone 5) look like a Trac-phone. Look for the Note 2 to be considered "average size" within 2 years.
If holding a 6" phone to your ear makes you feel way more self-conscience than holding your current 4-1/2" - 5" phone....you are WAY TOO SENSITIVE. What you SHOULD feel self-conscience about is walking around Wal-Mart with that cute, bluetooth "Star-Trek" ear-ring clamped to your ear as you LOUDLY carry on a conversation ("mommy, that crazy man is talking to himself!").
NOTE 2 is just an unbeleivable thing! December 12, 2012
When I saw it in the shop for the first time, I understood that this is the phone I always needed. Took it home few days later, and after that my life really changed. Although my wife hated it since the first minute, as she understood that I won't be bored for a week, now she actually hates it much more. More than month already passed, and I must admit - NOTE 2 has stole my hart from my wife. Must tell you, that before NOTE2, I was user of apple - 3GS, 4, 4S, but now i phones look so ridiculous to me... Hah, I sure that some reader will say now - that's PR, but no more words, the moment you will put NOTE2 into your hand you will understand what I meant. Get it no matter where, but its THE thing and you will say exactly what I've said right now. Thank you Samsung for such a perfect product.
P.S. By the way, now I do understand why apple spent so much money in try to cease NOTE2 & SGS3 sales, they just don't have other choice, as direct competition already impossible for apple. They lost this battle, and I really hope they will create even more exciting product as we are, users, will clearly benefit, but as far as they are competing in courts instead of laboratories, Samsung will continue to conquer more and more market share.
Marketing Strategies Expert.