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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android Smartphone Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Android Smartphone Review

Samsung Galaxy Note II Android Smartphone Review


With a design ethic that is clearly similar to the Galaxy S3 and Note 10.1 Samsung impress with the Note 2. It looks great in white with the silver trim and matches the rest of the high end devices in the brand well. A Gorilla Glass 2 covered screen is always great to see and the quality of the display is a touch above the S3 in terms of smooth edges to items.

It was also great to see the inclusion of high end CPU, decent GPU and 2GB of memory in the device, ensuring that it sits right at the top of the market, something which will appeal to power/business users who need to maximise their performance… but also equally benefitting the gamers and media enthusiasts out there.

Once again though not everything is as we would like on a Samsung handset with the key issue being the plastic back which feels flimsy when compared to other handsets… though we do note that Samsung have come a long way since the paper thin backing on the S2. We would also love to have Samsung move to a textured or soft touch back as their handsets tend to feel a little slippy due to the extreme smoothness of the finish.

Back to the positives, where the Note 2 does shine is the stylus. It stores away neatly in the body of the phone and when in use offers as good an input experience as we have had. Handwriting recognition is excellent on this device and it makes quick note taking or messaging easy. With the added fact that this stylus can sense pressure for varied input and even work hovering above the screen if the app supports the feature the experience is further enhanced.

The sooner Samsung enable split screen apps, as seen on their original Note and the 10.1 the better but we do like the other tweaks which have made it across from the other new devices such as gestures, placing the handset face down to mute and face recognition so the orientation of the screen is always correct.

The Note 10.1 isn’t all about productivity and work though, it is also a very good device for consuming media. As noted earlier the screen is good, maybe even better overall than the S3 and the Note 2 will happily play back HD content without issue. As a result of the larger size the video content is also nice to watch. General navigation around the OS is fluid without any noticeable lag and throwing the latest games at this phone causes no problems.

Value is also a mixed experience with a contract free handset hitting £500+ but given the right contract the price can be more reasonable… and we do have everything we need to get started in the box along with the Dropbox storage and the ability to go for the entry level storage volume then upgrade via cheap MicroSD card later on.


UPDATE 5th October 2012: Samsung today released the firmware update to enable multitasking as shown above. Adding this excellent feature further enhances the user experience and productivity of the Note 2.

Two handed operation is pretty much a requirement for the Note 2 but at no point when testing did we find it too big. In fact the larger size ensures web browsing, productivity use, gaming and media consumption are all enhanced over smaller handsets. We wish Samsung would move to different (metal/soft touch) backs on their high end devices but this is a minor issue in an otherwise excellent device. Long battery life, great performance, good manufacturer support and a flawless OS experience… a great device.

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Stuart Davidson

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