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I am a tall girl and was tired of the tiny phones. I got my Note II a few weeks ago and I love it. Its faster then any phone I have owned. Lots of fun apps and apps to use the S-Pen. The only Con I have about it is the signal i not great. I can be standing outside and I only have 2 bars. You can keep it in some pants pockets but normally I just put it into a jacket pocket since it is big.
Let's start with a statement: If you want a phone that just does the basics then this Godzilla of a phone is not for you. This is not an understated phone that will slide in and out of your pocket or purse with the basic aims of supplying you with a device that receives calls and messages from your family and friends, and maybe allows you to listen to your all time favorite tunes along the way. No, this phone lures you into a world where you suddenly find yourself looking to it to do practically everything for you. The beautiful 5'5 screen makes for a tablet like experience. You have your music, your texts and your phone, but imagine that you can also read from your kindle app, on a screen that is not much smaller than the kindle itself, or browse the internet and view the WWW as it should be viewed, not some mobile friendly but clumsy view that leaves you longing for your laptop.
While we're at it, we need to talk about the S pen. The pen itself tucks away nicely but is easy to remove also, as long as you have some semblance of a nail. When you do the phone morphs itself beautifully, bringing to the front of the screen all those apps designed to put the pen to its best use. In landscape, the writing "pad" is wide enough to take it seriously, and once phone and owner get used to each other's quirks, you become the best writing partnership since pen-and-paper. I use this function all the time, preferring to scribble my notes than type. The Note also morphs when you plug your headphones in, and you again get the best apps to use your headphones with. This is a phone that wants to help you get the best out of it. It is here to serve, and it does it, oh, so well!
Finally, people may be turned off by the size of the phone. All I can say is that it is a lot less bothersome than it might first appear. It is wide but surprisingly slim, and it slides into the pocket without creating an unsightly bulge. For the on-the-move business person it will provide an on-the-move office environment without messing up the tailoring.
This phone is a great example of where smart phones are heading in the future. The 5.5" display provides ease of use, the ability to actually watch videos without squinting, and great screen quality. And yes, it does fit in your pocket!
The phone has been branded a 'phablet', i.e. Phone/Tablet crossover. This is pretty much on the money, and shoppers are steadily coming around to the concept that bigger is better! As a previous iPhone 4 user, I cannot believe that I was able to cope with such a small screen. Now I find I have an e-reader, tablet, phone and video player truly in one device with no compromise to any of the functions.
The Samsung Galaxy Note when it first emerged and was an almost silent success, sales were slow to begin with but now in it's second incarnation its one of the most popular phones on the market. The overall quality is impressive, it's very sturdy (and has been dropped many times by myself and son). The device boasts a screen quality which almost equals that of the pictures produced by the 8MP camera.
Other features that enable shots to be taken only when the subject is smiling. Face transposition means that if one person isn't smiling, has eyes closed etc in a photo, their face can be easily swapped out from another photo - great for families!
I personally love spending time amending photos with creative and colourful features included in Paper artist. These include sketch artist, comic book, pastel sketch, mosaic, felt pen etc. Sharing these photo's with friends leads to hours of fun coming up with funky and creative designs.
None of these features would be possible without the S-pen, a stylus designed to enhance the phone's capability and features. For me, it makes texting so much quicker, especially using the Samsung feature, Swype. I also use the pen for writing quick notes, my shopping list, even a romantic message that I send to my partner.
On a technical note, this phone is impressively fast. The quad-core processor and graphics are incredible, the task manager feature allows you to manage the way apps use the memory and keep the device running smoothly even after weeks with no reboot.
The storage memory can be upgrade with a memory card up to 64GB, which is impressive, but pretty standard amongst the newest range of smart phones.
Overall: This phone isn't going to win your mates over in the style stakes because there is still a lot of resistance to a phone of this size. But for use-ability, functionality and technical capability it wins hands down. Plus, it's a reasonable price for such a powerful smart phone.
In all likelihood you already know about the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 if you are reading this review. You may be undecided whether this is for you (or your loved one). I hope I can persuade you to go for it. It is an awesome (that awful word!) piece of engineering. Now, if you are like me, the one thing that may make you take a pause is the size. This, as you may know, is a 5.5 inch screen-sized slab but what a gorgeous slab it is. The Galaxy Note 2 is seriously desirable. It has been dubbed a 'phablet' in reference to its size, suggesting that it is a phone-tablet crossover and that is arguably on the mark.
I came from an iPhone 4S, all 3.5 inch of its screen real estate, so the size was a radical departure. However, looking back, I cannot now believe how I put up with that small screen, great as it may have been in its time. This has been a revelation. Having had this for a few months now, I find the large size to be the Note's most important and useful assets. I can use it to read online content, downloaded books, watch movies and use it as a satnav (with the excellent Google maps) without feeling that I'm compromising on anything. It is such a relaxed and fulfilling experience. I really cannot imagine myself going back to the sub-4 inch mobile devices now. Beyond the aesthetics, the Note 2 works so smoothly with that vivid screen and gorgeous colour production. You have all the apps you can possibly need from the android stable so no issues there. If you are a mobile gamer, you will be hard pushed to find anything better than this device. The phone is so quick it does not appear to struggle at anything.
What about the call quality? It may be a multimedia device but primarily it is a phone. On this core function I have had no reason for any complaint. Call clarity is excellent, no dropped calls, voice commands work every time, speakerphone functions are superb. As a phone, it's just perfect.
I have described all that without even touching on the one most distinguishing feature of the Galaxy Note 2; the S-Pen. This is the annotating stylus that is part of the device. If you get this device, do please take the trouble to familiarise yourself with the S-Pen. It is a revelation. There is an app called S-Note to facilitate the use of the stylus and this is impressive. The handwriting recognition is very good; you can do quick hand-written emails and text messages, add pictures and even videos and, if you are the boffin type, perform your calculations taking advantage of its Wolfram-alpha integration.
A lot of people are interested in how good the camera on their phone is. Not a big thing for me as I almost always carry a 'proper' camera. However, I have to say the 8MP snapper on the Galaxy Note 2 produces amazingly beautiful pictures. This is even indoors in subdued light conditions. This was a pleasant surprise for me. You can also record videos in HD and with its storage expandability (up to 64Gb) using a microUSB, that is something you can do without worrying about running out of storage space.
The human race: We are a race that feels comfortable with what is familiar. As such, with its size, it may prove to be an inch or two too far for some. That is understandable. Even now, I can sense the strange looks when I hold it on my ear in public. Doesn't bother me much as I know this sort of size is inevitably the future of mobile telephony. Even Apple are inching, ever so reluctantly, in that direction. Another factor to consider when looking at this is that, in its current iteration, the Note 2 is not 4G capable.
When smartphones have been dubbed as mini-computers, there has been an element of hyperbole. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, that description is certainly apt. It is, indeed, an amazing piece of engineering. For me, there is little doubt in my mind that, when it is time for an upgrade, it will almost certainly be the next generation of this (Galaxy Note 3?)