Nov 30 AT 3:52 PM Nick Gray 316 Comments

Over the past year, Samsung has pushed its way to the top, becoming the most dominant force in the Android marketplace. While HTC, Motorola, Sony and LG struggle to maintain or gain market share, Samsung’s been busy creating a whole new category of phones that make even the Samsung Galaxy S III feel and look small. Last year, many had their doubt about the Galaxy Note and how consumers would react to its massive size, but there’s no denying that the phone has been a huge success. Now the question is whether or not Samsung can keep its winning streak alive with the Note II.

1. Hardware

Internal hardware is definitely not the most important thing to the general public, but it certainly differentiates a good phone from a great phone. If we were judging the Samsung Galaxy Note II based on specs alone, this device would be crowned as king of all smartphones. Samsung has equipped the Note II with a quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 Exynos 4412 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, microSD card slot (up to 64GB), 8 MP main camera, 1.9 MP front-facing camera, microUSB (MHL) v2.0, USB Host support, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct and a removable 3,100 mAh battery–all wrapped up inside a 151.1×80.5 x 9.4 mm shell that weighs in at 183 grams (6.46 oz). Those specs are certainly impressive, but the cherry on top of the Note II is its massive 5.5-inch, 720×1280 pixel (267 ppi) Super AMOLED capacitive display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 2 . Not to mention the all-new S Pen for taking notes and sketching pictures to your heart’s content.

2. Design and Build Quality

If you’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy S III, we wouldn’t be surprised if you happened to mistake the Note II for its larger sibling. Samsung has taken the same design language it used in its flagship Android phone and scaled it up a few notches for the Note II. Besides the size difference, there are only two real distinctions in design between the Note II and the Galaxy S III: 1) the reduced amount of space below the screen on the Note II and 2) the slot for the S Pen on the bottom of the device. The Note II’s power button is conveniently placed half way up the right side of the phone with the volume rocker placed on the left side. Like the S III, the Note II features a large home button beneath the screen. This button can be used to turn the screen on, and it also displays recently used apps when long-pressed. Samsung has done an amazing job of optimizing space on the Note II, but we’re not all that impressed with the overall design and build quality of the phone. The plastic casing holds up well in day-to-day use, but it simply doesn’t have that high-quality feel I expect from the most expensive smartphones on the market.

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3. Display

I’ll be completely honest: the thought of a phone with a 5.5-inch display does not sound appealing. The beauty of a phone is that it is a portable device that can easily slide in and out of a pocket. Unfortunately, the Note II is one of the more unwieldy phones I have ever used. And that’s all due to the size of the display. That being said, the  5.5-inch display on the Note II is one of its most attractive features. The 720×1280 pixel Super AMOLED panel used on the device actually looks slightly better than the one used on the Galaxy S III, most likely due to its slightly warmer color tone reproduction. The 267 ppi pixel density may not compare to the 440 ppi of the new HTC Droid DNA, but it’s certainly more than acceptable. Having a 5.5-inch display is a necessity if you plan on using the S Pen with this device, but that’s not all it’s good for. Browsing the web, playing games and watching YouTube and Netflix are all more enjoyable on the Note II than any other Android phone I have sitting on my desk.

4. Software

Like any other Samsung phone on the market, the Note II comes with the latest version of TouchWiz. What makes the phone stand out is that it runs Android 4.1 right out of the box. That means you get support for Google Now, Project Butter, enhanced notifications and a few other tweaks that most Android users have not yet been able to sample. While it would be nearly impossible to find more than a handful of readers on this site who would recommend TouchWiz over Android’s stock UI, I have found very few issues with Samsung’s custom UI. As we pointed out in our review of the Samsung Galaxy S III, TouchWiz is probably the best among OEM skins. TouchWiz allows users to add their own apps to the launcher dock. In turn, this  adds those same apps to the lock screen so that they can be launched with a simple swipe. TouchWiz is much lighter than it has been and offers quite a few customization options. The down side is that Samsung has chosen to overload the phone with its own array of custom applications. There are roughly a half-dozen various Samsung Hub and S apps loaded on the device. Realistically, this could probably be consolidated into 3-4 more robust apps. And then there’s the look of the UI; whoever dreamed it up seems to have no experience in UI design. TouchWiz will get the job done for most people, but I’d still recommend installing a third-party launcher and a handful of other apps to replace Samsung’s stock offerings.

5. S Pen

The massive 5.5-inch display on the Note II may be the initial feature that sets it apart from the competition, but the S Pen is really the factor that puts the device in a class of its own. The Wacom Electro-Magnetic Resonance (EMR) technology used in the S Pen is simply phenomenal and provides extremely accurate input without needing a battery-powered pen. If you use Samsung’s Touch Wiz launcher, removing the S Pen from the phone will automatically launch an S Pen screen that presents a variety of different tasks for which the S Pen can be used. If you’re not really sure what you would want to do with the S Pen, Samsung has put together an extensive set of demo templates. While the templates are great for getting ideas, I never actually used any of them. Instead, I found myself opting for a plain white note pad to do some sketching or lined paper for taking notes. The original S Pen that came with the Samsung Galaxy Note was good, but the Note II’s S Pen is a huge improvement. Samsung has made the S Pen longer and wider, which makes it a lot more comfortable to use for longer periods of time. It’s still not as comfortable as a regular sized pen, but it’s hard to complain about that since the S Pen tucks away into the body of the phone for safe keeping.

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Having a digital pen to take take notes on your phone is fun, but Samsung has added a few extra features to make the S Pen even more useful:

  • Easy Clip: outline and crop any content on the screen in any shape to save, share or paste. Clips can be pasted and edited with a note or shared via Android’s media sharing protocols.
  • Air View: hover with the S Pen over an email, calendar entry, image gallery or video to preview the content without having to open it. Also helpful in identifying unrecognizable icons in various applications.
  • Quick Command: open the command pad with an upward swipe on the screen with the S Pen button pressed down to access the apps or services you use most.

While the S Pen works as advertised, I found that I seldom used it. I’m a big fan of active pen technology and own the HTC Flyer, which I use to take notes during meetings. My thought was that I’d love the S Pen on the Note II since it would allow me to take notes without having to carry around my Flyer. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out that way. The 5.5-inch display on the Note II is huge for a phone and works fine if you’re doodling with the S Pen, but I found it to be too small for my note taking needs. I could only get two to three words on a single line, and I had to constantly scroll the page after only writing half a sentence.

As for the new, more triangular shape of the pen? I preferred the roundness of the S Pen from the original Note, because it was easier to wiggle the pen into place. The current model’s corners require more of your attention to decipher which edge should face the back, whereas before you could just mindlessly twirl it a bit as you pushed.

6. Performance

If you’re looking for a phone with exceptional multi-tasking capabilities that will tear through the latest 3D games, the Samsung Galaxy Note II may be exactly what the doctor prescribed. The quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 Exynos 4412 processor and 2GB of RAM inside the Samsung Galaxy Note II deliver exceptional performance across the board. Unfortunately, incredible hardware doesn’t always guarantee glitch-free software performance. As fast as the phone is, we did run into stutters and hiccups in the Samsung TouchWiz UI from time to time. Fortunately, none of that was carried over to third part apps or games. Benchmark scores from the Samsung Galaxy Note II are among the best in the world, but don’t be too surprised if it gets knocked down a few pegs as more quad-core Qualcomm S4 phones hit the market in the coming months.

Benchmark Test Score
AnTuTU 13,527
Quadrant 5,861
Nenamark 2 60.3 FPS
Vellamo 2,439
SunSpider 0.9.1 1,038

7. Cameras

It used to be that smartphones were all about getting things done, but 2012 has been the year when camera performance has been pushed to the very top of people’s priority lists. The Samsung Galaxy Note II is equipped with an 8 MP camera, featuring an advanced BSI (back side illuminated) chip that allows for brighter shots in low-light situations. If you’re familiar with the camera features on the GSIII, the Note II doesn’t hold any surprises. Overall, image quality is impressive and falls in line with the HTC One series and other high-end Android phones. Like all other OEMs, Samsung uses its own camera application, which adds a few extra tricks on top of the stock Android 4.1 camera app. Some of the more useful features include burst mode (capture up to 20 rapid-fire pictures by holding down the shutter button), a modified panorama mode that helps capture better shots and HDR image processing. The Samsung Galaxy Note II isn’t going to replace your mid-range point-and-shoot camera any time soon, but the image quality is definitely good enough that you might actually want to print some of the shots you take and hang them on your cube wall at work.

2012-10-25 00.19.59 2012-10-25 09.00.27 2012-10-25 09.30.28 2012-10-27 16.45.33-2 2012-10-27 17.15.18 2012-10-27 18.03.29-2 2012-11-01 15.35.35 2012-10-24 23.28.28 2012-10-25 00.04.36 2012-10-25 00.05.08 2012-10-25 00.06.26

The 1080p video capture on the Note II is, again, on par with other high-end Android phones. Videos shot in bright daylight look great, but graininess settles in once the sun goes down. However, even the grainy video captures by the Note II are a lot better than most videos captured by those pocket HD video cameras that were all the rage a few years ago.

Anyone who’s obsessed with taking self-portraits will  love the Note II.  The front-facing camera on the phone is actually one of the best on the market. Samsung has blessed the phone with an unusually sharp 1.9 megapixel chip and a fairly decent lens. We found the high-quality of the front-facing camera extremely pleasing when using the Note II with a few video chat apps and Google Plus hangouts.

8. Battery

Power users will find it extremely hard to fully drain the 3,100 mAh battery in the Note II. On average, the battery has been able to keep the Samsung  Galaxy Note II up and running  for a little over 14 hours with at least 3 hours of screen-on time. In that time period, I used the Note II to stay on top of multiple email accounts, browse the web, listen to Pandora for a few hours, tweet, and snap 10-20 pictures. When I handed the Note II off to my wife for a few days, she was able to easily get 24-30 hours of up time before plugging the phone back in to recharge. Naturally, battery life will vary based on how you use the device, but we’re pretty sure battery life won’t be something you’d complain about if you owned this device.

9. Call quality and sound

We all like to use our phones for surfing the web, playing games and browsing Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, but we often forget that they also make phone calls. Fortunately, the Note II can manage your calls with ease. The device does not seem to suffer from any reception issues, and calls come through loud and crisp for users on both ends. Our only minor gripe is with the slightly tinny tone of the speakerphone, but it’s not something we’d notice if weren’t listening for it.

Buying a high-end smartphone these days without 4G is like buying a sports car to drive on narrow cobblestone roads. It works, but what’s the point? Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Note II comes equipped with LTE and HSPA+ radios, giving it access to amazing data speeds on all major carriers. While T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network isn’t technically 4G, we still managed to get download speeds that exceeded 12 Mbps in a handful of different markets, making it one of the fastest HSPA+ phones we’ve tested this year.

10. Accessories

I’ve never been a big fan of buying hugely popular devices simply because I like to think that I have a unique style, but I can say that there’s a huge benefit in buying a phone that has already sold more than 5 million units: accessories. Samsung’s official accessory list for the Note II includes the Flip Cover, Universal Smart Dock and the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub. But if you’re not interested in what Samsung has put out, you have dozens of case, dock and multimedia accessory options available from countless well-established accessory makers.

Samsung Galaxy Note II9 / 10
If you add up all the features of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, you’d find it very hard not to see that it’s the most unique Android device on the market. There are a few phones that are slightly most powerful, but none of them offer active pen integration or a 5.5-inch display. That being said, the size of the phone isn’t for everyone. The Note II is bulky and a bit awkward, but that certainly wouldn’t keep us from recommending the phone to our friends and family.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • Gus

    Like the new format of reviews =D

    • eveliotc

      Before looking at branding I thought was reading a review from The Verge, love it!

    • Rovex

      Given that its selling by the millions id say it was your opinion that was trash.

      • Walter

        Millions also voted Mitt Romney…trash people imho

        • kaser

          Hey I voted for the president but calling nearly half our citizens trash because they voted for mitt Romney is ridiculous. I think they’re uninformed but that’s it. No reason to be hateful. That’s especially a core principle of being a liberal /progressive so you should be ashamed.

        • redraider133

          Voting and buying a phone are two completely different things. In that case you could say the millions who wait in line to buy apple products are “trash people” since the iphone isnt anything special anymore. Silly troll

        • ihatefanboys

          Id rather have voted for Romney then the deadbeat president the majority of americans..brainless dumbasses in my opinion….voted back in again. Get back to me in 4 years when the country is even more messed up and tell me how great this lame duck inexperienced loser was. He will go down as the worst president in United States history….yes even more than Bush. Just gonna be more for Hillary to clean up once shes president…bet we will be back at 0 deficit in 4 years cuz Bill will be bck in the White House….cant wait.

    • rr2009

      I agree. It gives overview of all the features.

    • yankeesusa

      Why don’t you sign up for an androidandme account and then comment. Jack Donkey!

    • Richard Yarrell

      Without question for me this is the BEST android device i have ever owned. I get 17 to 22plus hrs of battery life daily and that’s heavy use. I also get 8 to 11hrs of on screen time daily on my Galaxy Note 2. Nothing on the market today as of December 3rd 2012 tops this with a ten foot pole. I have owned my Note 2 since November 15th and it’s simply the best productivity/all purpose device ever made period. Features and software alone make this device head and shoulders above anything in the tech game. The Spen is smooth and consise, gaming is night and better than any current device on the market. And content without question is king on the Galaxy Note 2. Hulu Plus, Netflix, YouTube, as well as browsing is the best experience ever on any device. This will be the first device i will keep for the two plus years out of any android device i have ever owned. And all of this without the multi Window feature which will be coming very soon to the tmobile and [email protected] Galaxy Note 2. So far Sprint and Verizon have the multi Window feature already. The camera is excellent and all the accessories available makes this the BEST ANDROID DEVICE these past 3yrs easily. Yes i will pass on the Galaxy S4 in July 2013 because the only i will be purchasing from now on will be the Galaxy Note devices. Next November 2013 i will purchase the Galaxy Note 3 without fail. Never again will i have the basic smartphones that exist on the market today. The Galaxy Note brand is on a entirely different level and the only thing that will match the Note 2 will be the Note 3. Nothing coming out in the next 6months will top this device unless it is coming from Samsung. After all Samsung is android plain and simple.

      • R_Leslie

        I really like what this device can do but when I compare it to the size of my Skyrocket, I get nervous about how I would keep it on my person all the time. Due to its size, how well does it travel with you?

        • PromoEddie

          Actually, since Samsung made it thinner then the original, less wide, and taller.. it fits fine in any man’s front pants pocket or jacket breast pocket. Although, if you wear skinny jeans, it will be next to impossible jamming it in your pocket. It is really lite as well.. not as lite as the S3, but for a mini tablet, I find it extremely useful.

      • avijaunty

        I use note 1 n i am pretty sure note 2 is awesomest :)

        • PromoEddie

          The Note 1 was very nice and I was tempted to get it at first.. But that super smooth and fluid new S Pen, and all the new Samsung Touchwiz added software features.. I have to agree about the awesomeness you speak of. :)

    • jamal adam

      I find your guest name to be offensive.

    • sbala

      Sammy is always a terrible market jumper.

  • alexanderharri3

    Basically, the hardware is great, the case feels cheap and plastic like many Samsung devices, yet costs a lot. The screen is really nice, but the S-Pen is so-so and the screen isn’t big enough for true note taking. It has a nice camera.

    Galaxy Note II: Yeah, it’s better than the DNA, but there is room for improvement.

    • Nick Gray

      I’m using testing the DNA right now (should have a review up next week). The DNA is definitely not in the same “phablet” category as the Note II mainly because it doesn’t have pen support and also because it’s a lot closer in size to the HTC One X and SGSIII.

      Which one is better? Give me a few more days and I’ll let you know.

      • alexanderharri3

        Tough crowd doesn’t respond well to a one-sentence overview of the review. I suppose the extra half inch of screen real estate makes enough of a difference (ie 4″ vs iPhone’s original 3.5″). Finger-wise (without s-pen), 5.5″ isn’t enough for notes, and it doesn’t come with ASUS standard SuperNote. The DNA isn’t meant to be a phablet, but 5″ plus hardware keys is really pushing the boundary of phone when you ignore the software phablet addons.

        I know the note is big, and bigger screens are a huge help for using the phone….but when is big too big?
        *disclaimer: Have 4.3″ Thunderbolt and have hands rivaling the size of a NBA player. I also have experience with a Transformer. I like the tablet-phone separation a lot.

        • tanman888

          Compared to the original note, the revised screen ratio has helped the Note 2 feel more acceptable in hand despite the larger diagonal screen spec.

          You’re right though, the 5″ range is on the upper limits of being comfortable from pocketable point of view.

      • linkinmark5

        Nick, any update on your testing, on the DNA vs. Note II ? I trust your opinion. Thanks

      • phaet2112

        What about battery life on the DNA?

        • jaysun420

          Battery life is compared to the original Motorola razr. You will never make it thru the day with any kind of use. It’s basically a stripped down phone and this came straight from a verizon reps mouth. No micro sd card slot and no hdmi out. Nothing new under the hood either.

    • Rovex

      The back is the only plastic on the phone, and its glazed polycarbonate. Please drop this ‘cheap’ meme, its simply wrong. The material is much better for making phones out of than glass that cannot be replaced.

      • alexanderharri3

        LG and Apple went very wrong with their glass on the N4 and iPhone 4/4S. That’s a well known fact. Glass back is a folly.

      • cb2000a

        Thank you for that Rovex. I am tired of people complaining about the plastic on the Samsung phones. Drop am iphone and Sammy from waist height on concrete and see which one does better. The back is made from a super thin extremely flexible material which is incredibly durable (much better than glass).

        • PromoEddie

          I notice that too.. some people do complain about the back plastic backing on the Note 2. However, people don’t understand that when they drop it and it hits the ground, that extra flexibility is what helps keep the device from straining the screen and prevents it from snapping/cracking. Also, NFC chips can’t penetrate metal.. Having that thin durable proprietary plastic back will be more beneficial to us productivity-wise, which I’d prefer over something that might be heavier and look nice.. something I’d probably end up putting a case on anyway the new iPhone 5′s back is so easy to scratch up.

          • omar


      • freddiefan

        yes, totally agree.

      • Patanjali

        Original Note was 28% heavier than a 4s, but only 80% larger!

        There is a reason to make phones out of quality plastic rather than metal. Most people would not buy a 300g phone!

    • lean6

      The screen isn’t big enough for true note taking? Lol. I’ve got about four co-workers who are going to show up with new G-Notes this week after me showing what you can do in a meeting with an S-pen and Swype.

    • Samsuck asian garbage

      The perfect phone for hood rats!

  • PhysiX

    Galaxy Note line are really impressive devices. I am the owner of first generation – N7000. When I held it for my first time, it was too big, but I quickly got used to it´s size and now everything, which has less than 4,5″ looks so tiny. I hope, that third generation won´t be even bigger, although my hands are not small, more than 5,5″ would decrease usage comfort for me..
    Main differences between generation are battery, RAM, display is 0,2″ bigger but has less resolution, CPU and GPU are also improved, pen is better also..
    Do you think, that upgrade from N7000 to N7100 is worth additional cca $250?

    • Nick Gray

      If you’re happy with the N7000, I’d recommend holding on to it. The Note II is an impressive device, but the improvements aren’t enough to justify the upgrade.

      • PromoEddie

        the Note 2 with.. 4x more sensitivity on the S Pen for signing contracts with a more “write on paper” experience, a front enhanced camera that can take slow motion or fast motion video, instant facial editing in “Best Face” mode, the ability to use the Swipe keyboard with your thumb one-handed either with your left or right hand, the super fast Quad Core engine with 2 GB of RAM, the ability to work more productively on the device because of the 3100mAh battery.. being able to WiFi directly share files up to 1 GB over it’s own Peer to Peer network to devices that have the same technology, a new All Share feature that lets you stream to not just Samsung Smart TV’s but any DLNA laptop, stereo, or monitor on the same WiFi.. and much much more.. yea.. I see your point.. THOSE things might not be enough for you to upgrade.. but it might for others :)

      • Patanjali

        I have a Note 1, but when setting up my wife’s Note 2 (for which I wanted to wait and see), I found so many things just work better:

        1) S-Pen is very accurate for left handers. On the Note 1, I had to hold it leaning to the right to be able to draw anywhere near the right place when adding to drawn objects.

        Also, the shapes option helps draw boxes et al that look like they should.

        2) Overall sharper screen, though it is slightly less res than the Note 1.

        3) Smoother operation. Sort of feels like Win7 compared to Vista. Lots of little things that just makes things flow.

        4) Narrower width makes it easier to hold.

        5) And the rest!!

    • Sever

      there are more differences

      whilst the battery is ~20% larger, the battery life on the same apps is much better because the SoC has been manufactured on the 32nm process (as opposed to the 45nm process on the n7000). so this means lower power consumption.

      ram is a big improvement. on my note 1, i constantly ran out of ram when multitasking. heck, if i was web browsing and then i decided to check an sms, i’d go back to the browser to find that its dumped all its ram and now has to reload all the web pages that were open. this not only slows things down, but it uses up extra download data needlessly. quite annoying when you’re on youtube. having 2gb ram easily solves this problem.

      as for the display, whilst it is bigger with a slightly lower resolution, the main difference is in the subpixel resolution. whilst the n7000 had a pentile display, the n7100 has a full RGB matrix display. this means that whilst the display has 10% less pixels, it actually ends up with 35% more subpixels, which makes the display on the note 2 much much sharper! and because of the full rgb matrix, colours end up being more accurate as each pixel does not need to borrow from adjacent subpixels (although that being said, its still amoled so colours are still a bit oversaturated).

      CPU and GPU differences are quite big as well. this chip is manufactured on the 32nm process as opposed to the 45nm process used in the original note. so this means that apps that only use one or two cores will actually use less power on the n7100, and apps that can take advantage of all 4 cores will end up performing much faster. in the web browser, battery life doesnt take much of a hit because 4 cores will render a page in half the time, so the cores can go back to idling a lot faster. the GPU also ends up some 60% faster in benchmarks, which makes it quite good for anything you’d throw at it for the next year or two (at least until tegra4 mixes things up).

      so yes, i’d say its worth the upgrade.

      heck, i just ordered a note 2 because in australia, its actually $350AU less than the price i paid for my n7000 this time last year, and its only around $130AU more than the current price for the n7000, so i figured, why not?

    • redraider133

      I think they will make the bezel even smaller for the next note and probably bump up the resolution and internal specs and once again refine the s pen and it’s features. I don’t think they will make it larger with each generation.

      • PromoEddie

        I would like a 7 inch improved Note for 2013.. hint hint Samsung :)

    • Raptor

      Too late for upgrade, 1080p phones with hurricane speed, wait now for SGNote3

      • brandnew234

        The note 2 is still within the top 5 fastest phones on the planet. And besides, does it even matter? You won’t notice the difference. The only notocable issue I can imagine is pixilation but only if you really look hard.

    • brandnew234

      If a battery lasting extra long is important, yes. If you experienced lag&would like to elominate it completely, yes. If an improved camera is something you’ve been seeking, yes. If you wanted more realistic color reproduction, yes. This phone is amazingly fast from downloading to gaming to typing and writing, heck this is faster than my netbook! Also, how important is 250 $ to you? I’d strongly suggest the upgrade if you’re a tech enthusiast with 250 $ to spare, but if you’re budget is tight, probably not.

      • PromoEddie

        I saw it on sale as low as $99 on a 2 year value plan contract with T mobile around Black Friday.. so here’s to hoping more of these promotional sales keep coming for all the carriers..

    • cb2000a

      I would like to see a Note mini (5″ screen with pen).

    • tanman888

      PhysiX, in the same boat as you. I’ll be trying to stick the the N7000 for as long as they can keep the OS updated. It does everything I want it to right now, just not in the slick responsive manner the GNote2.

      Unless you can offload your GNote for a decent price or you can afford the cost of the upgrade then I would stick by it…. for now.

      • Patanjali

        I’m keeping my Note 1 as a GPS (bought a visor mount) and hotspot (put the year long pre-paid SIM in it from an iPad) for when we go away (to avoid blowing our month’s quota).

    • Balaram Vineeth Venugopal .P

      The screen is .5 inches bigger, faster processor, longer backup.
      The screen is non pentile so the perceived sharpness is better though the resolution is lower.
      But is it worth the extra? No, Note 3 will be though.

  • nivekkev

    I have to admit, I am highly impressed with this phone so far. Only had it about 2 weeks but I can tell already that it is going to be a good one. Looks like Samsung has gotten their act together and listened to the people.

    Have not used the S Pen much yet but plan on doing that more soon. Battery life is AWSOME and I now have to break myself of the habit of always keeping my phone plugged in somewhere.

    Love the screen size and color reproduction but it does seem a bit dark, not as bright as my other phones but so far I have not had any problems seeing it in the sun.

    Call quality is great, my mother even said I sound clearer, and I can actually use the speakerphone and hear what’s being said.

    The camera is very usable for me too, my last phone had issues when it came to taking photos and videos.

    That is about all I have tried so far besides listening to music and watching movies, both worked fine without any issues.

    So as you can tell I am digging this phone big time and glad I chose Galaxy Note II.

    • Zeta8

      Jovan Belcher wasnt impressed as he purchased his Note 2. Terrible smartphonme, he said, Fvck it he yelled and killed himself. Samsuck should be ashamed.

      • cb2000a

        An EXTREMELY tacky response. Jovan suffered from head trauma as a lot of NFL players do. In any case you win the reward for the most insensitive and inappropriate response of the year.

    • tanman888

      Which phone did you previously have prior to the GNote2?

    • PromoEddie

      I’m just wondering what Carrier Service you are on.. :)

  • Chris

    I love that fact this phone has a removal battery. I like to charge spares and just swap them out so I never really have to worry about how much I surf the web. Having expandable memory is great too. It’s Samsung so hopefully reliable. Good screen. Plasticity body but at least it’s lighter because of it and cheaper. 2GB of ram and a pretty damn good processor. If u go HTC then you give up so much. You get a nicer looking device I guess and a more premium feel but they STILL put relativey small batteries in their phones. No micro SD. Battery life is a huge issue. For example: Motorola Razr, pretty subpar modern smartphone. Razr Maxx quite respectable because it has a massive battery, which is awesome. I just think maybe Samsung is doing so well because they better understand what the android crowd wants, which is utility.

    • Kevin

      The 3100 mA battery may be the phone’s best feature and considering the other superphone hardware features that is saying something. First of 6 Android phones I’ve owned that last an entire day. I’ve never had an android device that I wasn’t typically plugged in by 2 pm. I can’t kill this thing.

      • PromoEddie

        Tip: You know you can tweak it to last longer right? Use that Super Amoled screen technology to your advantage.. Put a black background like “Black Null Wallpaper” on it to save even more battery.. since, any where it is black on the screen, those pixels will be off. :)

    • Patanjali

      I have a spare battery for my Note 1 as I sometime blew a charge just playing a game for a few hours.

      However, the Note 2 doesn’t blow battery anywhere near as much when playing the same games for the same length of time, notwithstanding the extra 20% battery capacity.


    Im loving mines !

  • stenzor

    Looks like a solid device.. If only it had stock android.. Speaking of which, a “Note Nexus” would be sweet

    • Kevin

      While I’ve always typically migrated to CM’s AOSP it just doesn’t work on a phone with Stylus functionality built in to UI, in this case TW. If you never use the pen then yeah, go stock once it’s out there but if you do then you probably should have chosen another phone since the S Pen is such a big part of the overall N2 experience.

    • PromoEddie

      If it was stock Android, it would not have all of Samsung’s added features.. like Multi Windows.. all that is added on top in Samsung’s Touchwiz overlay.

  • Sammy

    Just like every other idiot reviewer, the canned comment “the Note is too big and unwieldy” sounds silly. People who purchase the Note 2, do so BECAUSE of it’s size and the ease of using the stylus on it.

    • Nick Gray

      I think you took my comment out of context. I write “the Note II is one of the more unwieldy phones I have ever used.” If all devices are rated on a standard scale, the Note II would be one of the most unwieldy phones currently on the market. The only device I consider more unwieldy than the Note II is the LG Intuition.

      Calling the phone unwieldy does not mean that it’s not a good phone, it simply means that it’s more “difficult to carry or manage because of size, shape, weight” than smaller Android phones.

      • kelltrash14

        Ignore that guy, your logic is sound there. There’s no denying that larger objects are harder to hold than smaller objects…

        • Patanjali

          I deny that!!

          With the Note (either one), I can hold it to make calls by simply holding it against my ear with open fingers, whereas whenever I used my wife’s 4s, I found it awkward as I had to hold it tightly with my fingertips and was always afraid of dropping it.

  • Dave Clary

    Nick didn’t say it’s too big–just said it was big and unwieldy for him. I don’t think that rates being called an “idiot reviewer.” That’s different from the Adroinica review where size was listed as a “CON.” Now THAT to me is bizarre. You know going in that this is a big phone, and for me that’s a PLUS.

    • Angie Wimberly

      Agree! The size is preferable to me.

      • awundrin

        I concur. I really like the big screen and the removable battery.

  • Kevin

    Unwieldy? I disagree. I’m 6’2″ with hands that match my frame and I have no problem with the phone at all. It’s a big phone, no doubt and not for the majority of women or men with smaller hands but for the over 6 foot set, it’s not unwieldy in the least.

    • Rovex

      I agree. I saw a guy who must have been 20 stone and 6’4 with an iPhone the other day. It looked stupid! He could hardly use it because it was hardly any bigger than 2 of this fingers.

      • brandnew234

        Ha, I know. I’m 6′ 6″ and I had a qwerty with a 3.7 inch screen, it took me 8 hours to get used to the size of this phone, now it makes even a SGS3 seem small. I can reach all 4 corners of the screen one handed. My hands are 8 inches long though.

      • PromoEddie

        i saw a petite young woman using it just fine texting with one hand, bag in the other on public transit.. I admit it’s not for everyone though.

    • melloburger

      I agree the phone is not for everyone, but fore the people the phone IS suited for, it’s a fantastic device. I don’t think the rating and reviews of the Note 2 should suffer just because it’s not for everyone

      • Patanjali

        I cannot understand why reviewers cannot put themselves in the shoes of those to whom the phone is targeted.

        Sort of reminds me of a record critic many years ago who, reviewing a Rolling Stones LP, stated “they did not have the musical skills of a pea”. This was really silly as they obviously do much more. The critic may not have liked them, and so shouldn’t have reviewed the LP but instead given it to someone who would have done it justice in the eyes of those who would be interested, but trying to belittle them just made him look stupid.

        A person looking at a phone this large (not any other silly adjectives) will want to know what it is like to use, but not simply glossed over with emotionally charged biased words, of which ‘unwieldy’ is one. It is more a word to be used when trying to hold a desktop to one’s ear, conveying the impression that it is extremely difficult to hold in one’s hand for the desired purpose! Even using a 10in tablet for a to-the-ear phone call is not ‘unwieldy’, but more like ‘awkward’ (which is a separate issue from what it looks like!). Interesting that the reviewer chose ‘bit awkward’ in the summary at the end. Sort of highlights the silliness using ‘unwieldy’ in the first place.

        Any person buying the Note for its primary designed purpose would find a way to work around some of the issues (much less inflammatory word that) that they MAY encounter in using it.

        At least this time round reviewers are not spewing downright stupidity as they did about the Note 1 when it came out. Huge popularity of a device among their readers will do that!

        Generally, I find reviewers are good for finding out if a device is a real lemon, but users, because they have more hands-on time doing real things, are more useful for finding out whether a device lives up to its hype.

  • Dave Clary

    And my wife is 4’11″ with hands that match, and she’s using my Note I. Everything is a two-handed operation for her. I’m like you, 6’2″ with big hands and I love it. So this is a subject that’s worth pointing out in a review. The size is not bad in of itself, but it could pose a problem for some. I, however, have bought a phone that should temper my upgrade fever for awhile.

    • lean6

      Sadly, I’ve set such a precedent for switching phones whenever the next big thing comes out, that i had to stop kidding myself saying, “this is the one” and simply start embracing it as a hobby. This helps me make better decisions to at least minimize costs…like factoring in resale in purchasing decisions, or being intimately aware of carrier and retailer contacts and policies, or making smart choices on accessory purchase that don’t contribute to resale. If you are likely to buy another phone in the next 6 months based on past behavior, it makes more sense to put it into your budget too. I created a junk account just for this and other slop. If you’re bold, “Hobby Expenses“ can even be itemized on your taxes..

      • Manuel Melgar

        I know that feel bro…

  • SK

    What a gadget…..

    So glad I opted for this over Iphone 5.

    Only 1 issue – no auto correct on the absolute keyboard.

    • SK

      “Samsung keyboard”

      • PromoEddie

        try the Beta version of Swiftkey Flow.. I know you will have to switch back to use S Pen functionality but.. try it, I think you will like it. :)

  • Aaron

    There is nothing I don’t love about the Note 2. I think this review is nitpicking in a lot of areas. The size is a great advantage and the battery life is insanely good. The review seems like you don’t like the device and then you give it a 9/10. Strange. I love the feel of the device and don’t feel the plastic makes it cheap at all. You forgot to mention that it’s almost impossible to get fingerprints on the screen (or did I miss that).

    • Nick Gray

      Personally, I do not like the device. It’s too large for me, but that’s a personal issue that consumers will have to judge for themselves. The “nitpicking” I did was on purpose because there’s really nothing bad about the phone. I want readers to know that it’s great (thus the 9/10 score), but there are some issue which keep it from being perfect.

      • Aaron

        Fair enough. That’s why I love this site. The score makes the review even more honest. BTW, best mobile site for any Android blog I read.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Since i have purchased every smartphone on every carrier in these almost three years. From the Evo 4g, Evo 3d, on Sprint. The Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket on [email protected], The Lg Revolution and Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, To now the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 on Tmobile. There is no such thing as a perfect android device not even stock Nexus devices are perfect. But one thing is for sure nothing on the market today touches the Galaxy Note 2 with ten foot pole. Battery life,Software, and overall features alone makes this the best device in 2012 hands down. Maybe the best Android device ever especially these past three years. Anyone would be hard pressed to name a device that has come to maeket withing these last 2yrs that’s has better. Their is none.

        • sa71

          Almost perfect phone! Great statement, but I guess it all comes to personal preferences and the way one uses the device.

          My wife owns Note II for a month, I can not get enough digging through the phone every day she comes from work.

          To be perfect for me, I would just make it 5″ screen, no more no less, I would like the S Pen out of the case, normal pen size, ergonomically designed, sitting in my pocket just like any other pen until I need to use it. 0,5″ smaller screen, S Pen out of the case would make it significantly smaller device with the screen still larger than Note 1 and the S Pen much more comfortable to use it.

          • PromoEddie

            try using the “outside” S Pen.. which is longer like a real pen and the top tip registers on the screen as an eraser.. it feels really good in the hand.. much more natural. :)

      • Patanjali

        Then why didn’t you go into more details about the good stuff?

        Otherwise your 9/10 rating doesn’t gel with the relating weighting of your details.

  • Emanuel Burgos

    I just love, love my Note 2 I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My best phone ever!

  • Sameer

    Rather being a bulky phone..Galaxy Note is Choice of user because you can do almost everything on this because of its larger screen and strong hardware feature. 2 GB Ram will allow to us to run faster even in multitasking feature. I am in love with this phone. From the day i got it i do not use my PC

  • txbluesman

    Samsung has surely taken the lead in Android phones. They have a pretty good variety of styles and hardware. I am not a phablet type of person, but it has a niche for certain people and that has been captured by Samsung as well. I will stick to the new Nexus 4 for now. It is very hard to go back to something other than a Nexus device once you get a taste of stock android.

    • Rovex

      Not really. Install Apex or Nova and you are most of the way back to stock anyway, with the advantage of more features. Personally i find the Nexus’ rather lacking.

      • PromoEddie

        I have a Nexus 7, and I agree with you about the feeling of it lacking something. It’s fast, but I don’t get a whole lot of productivity out of it, like I do with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

  • Aj

    Personally, i hav never used a samsung phone but i lik d touchwiz ui more dan sence nd stock version. Stock version has so many problems such as u cant kill d runnin apps wid a simple Kill All button. Touchwiz nd sense hav sum features dat mak operatin dese phones a little easier dan stock droid. HTC has sum damn gud hardware out dere but d sense ui just doesnt appeal to me. D bland black colour of d app switcher nd d boring colour schemes mak it aldready luk outdated. On d oder hand, d touchwiz ui inspired by nature has a pretty ui wid beautiful colour scheme, d 3D home screen changer (also found in sense) just kills d boring scrollin found on d stock android. I noe dat dere r pretty many themes out dere to enhance d ui but i always lik to go wid d chef’s taste nd choice nd to add sum more pepper nd spices to it doesnt mak me feel dat i ate somethin worth d bucks i paid. In d same way, i wouldnt feel gud nd would think dat i bought somethin inferior nd wasted my money. I noe dat touchwiz is a lil more complicated dan stock droid nd d sense 4+ but i guess dat i vil get used to it widin a day or to. Actually i havent bought any droid b4 nd use an ip4s nd i bought it for d same reason dat it luked more elegant nd simpler but wod android version ics nd aboke, d phone is becomin prettier nd elegant. At dat time android seemed to be more raw just lik d touchwiz back den but a year later it has so much more to offer dat i just hav to chng to it. Im sorry dere for dis was a very long post nd some of u might hav difficulty understanin it (i would hav had) but everybody deserves a chance to express dere opinion.

  • Nathan D.

    Cool review, hadn’t had one in a while :-)

  • Eric Wilborn

    My Droid DNA is the perfect size for me.. I couldn’t see wanting to go larger.

  • 00quantameister

    It is precisely for all the points made in the review that I currently own a Samsung Galaxy Note II as my phone of choice. It is simply by far the best phone on the market. It really makes any iOS device regardless of generation look absolutely obsolete. I also have an iPod Touch 4th generation running iOS 6.0.1 & it simply doesn’t have all of the abilities or the imagination of the Galaxy Note II.

    I thought that I might find the TouchWiz either bloaty & intrusive? On the contrary; I find the TouchWiz Nature UX to be crisp, stylized, & helpful. The phone feels ultra fast, lightweight, elegant, & absolutely long lasting battery life. I’ve yet to even come close to draining the G. Note II’s battery. For my particular use, the battery life on the G.Note II last approximately 2 days.

    For those complaining about the size? That argument shows ignorance of the device’s feature set. Any Samsung Galaxy Note 2 user will show you that going into the settings will show a “One Handed Operation” setting. This takes care of the of those who want or need one handed operations. Also, there are plenty of touchscreen gestures to help those who need support.

    For the rest of us, two handed operations is definitely the sweet spot. You’ll easily get use to the size. I don’t even think about that anymore. The holding issue becomes old hat in about a few weeks.

    I can’t wait until we get a version of CyanogenMod working for the Galaxy Note II.

    It blows people away when they see a Galaxy Note II in person. They definitely love it. I thought that I would miss stock Android? I don’t. Being at version 4.1.1 is good enough to be on the Jelly Bean path. I have a Nexus tablet & I don’t feel my Galaxy Note II is missing out. Stock is just a little bit overrated in my opinion. Samsung has proven that you don’t need stock & you don’t need Nexus to have a seriously epic device.

    • ordio

      Great points! I’ve been waiting on the Note 2 since I heard rumors back in May just before the s3 was released. Once I heard of the specs I was sold.
      I got the phone 2 weeks ago and love having it.
      I even compared it to my friends Iphones (3 4 and 4s) and the phone is smaller than the Note 2′s screen.
      Comment had always been about holding it but I’ve gotten used to it and like you say I’m sure everyone will.

    • PromoEddie

      Actually, I’ve talked to a LOT of people who own iDevices and most of all of them have said that they like the larger size of the Note 2. I’d say maybe 30% of everyone I’ve surveyed said that it’s hilariously BIG.. and those people always say the same thing though.. that it would look funny putting it up to your ear.. so I’m wondering if they are regurgitating the same ideas from what their friends or blogs say..

  • ozetadev

    I’ve always loved pen support, hope it comes to the iOS family eventually.

    • PromoEddie

      some how i really doubt that.

  • Emmanuel

    To be honest I didn’t think you liked the device either based on what you said in your review. I was very surprised to see give it a 9/10

    • Nick Gray

      As I mentioned in the comments above, I don’t like the device. But I chose to leave personal feelings out of the review score because I know that it is a good phone with some incredible features. My dislike for the phone mainly centers around the software and the size, but both of those points boil down to personal preferences as opposed to shortcomings of the device itself.

      • PromoEddie

        yeah i understand.. personally, i don’t like the iphone 5 because of the software and technology limitations.. but honestly i like the way it feels in the hand, and it does look smart and nice on the table.. but it’s an expensive paper weight for me.

      • Patanjali

        The review was very much personal as you kept referring back to your personal preferences for why you didn’t like something, but didn’t go on to actually write about the positives or the utility of the Note’s features.

        Overall, I don’t see how you justified giving it 9/10. As a reviewer, I would expect you to explicitly justify your ratings.

        In my opinion, you would have been better to describe how easy the facilities are to use, but only using your personal experience to highlight differences or limitations that some users may be used to with other devices.

        Instead, I get the impression that you were more interested in telling us your preferences than telling us about the device.

  • Anthony44

    Well ive have my note2 from day one.
    The Note2 blows everything out the water but if its too big the s3 kills everything else.
    The touch wiz isnt bad at all it has alot of cool. Features.
    I had every single nexus phone and purchased each on first available date.
    I gave up on the nexus fiasco since the galaxy nexus preferential treatment to Verizon after that nexus was no longer nexus.
    The problem ive always had with the nexus is it simply didnt deliver meaning Nexus should come with killer specs across the board. The new nexus4 looks great but it doesnt drop the jaw. The idea of it being Googles flagship is a joke see galaxy nexus.
    The Nexus has its day and thats about it.
    The Note 2 simply crushes it .
    I did have that urge to purchase the nexus4 since ive owned them all it bothers me to break tradition but picking up my note 2 baby no worries . Nexus4 nice phone ill simply love a Nexus note 3 cheers

    • Rahul Verma

      No SD on nexus 4.. No buy for me. :)

      • PromoEddie

        No OTG USB either.. which doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • Richard Yarrell

      The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 makes the Lg Nexus 4 as well as the Lg Optimus G and Htc Dna all useless…

  • jefflarkin

    A friend of mine just bought one of these and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The Note2 seems like an amazing phone!

  • lokidokie

    GN2 is the best phone I’ve ever owned. Bar none.
    How’s that for a review.

  • brandnew234

    I think this phone should get a 10. Speaking from personal experience this phone is amazing. I got 16mb/s down and 14.5mp/s up on Verizon’s LTE. it can stutter sometimes, but it plays any game you could hope for, from NFS Most Wanted to Angry Birds. The battery is phonominel. Thats all I can say to describe it. There is a lot of bloatware, but this just flys! And the size of the screen makes even a Galaxy Nexus feel small in the hand. Also this uses RGB not PenTile, so it has a higher perceived ppi than the S III or Galaxy Nexus.
    Written on my Galaxy Note II!

    • PromoEddie

      and that 50 GB FREE Dropbox space comes in handy too :)

  • Anna

    This phone is just too big. A posers phone. I made the right decision and bought the iPhone 5. Its the right size and the best phone. Everyone has the iPhone, it must be the best.

    • brandnew234

      Quit trolling, you suck at it. You posted a steriotype comment, giving away that you likely don’t know what your talking about. I don’t quite ubderstand why though, do you WANT your comment to get a thumbs down? PS most android fans are smart enough not to fall for troll bait like yours. Better luck next time :D

    • golfpedaler

      Anna…why are you here on this forum if you are such an iPhone 5 fan? Go back to your iFlock…!!!

    • Anthony44

      They said the same thing about that dismal 3.5 screen now 4 inches is perfect SMH
      Most people having it doesnt make it right dont be a follower. Education is the key

  • Leo Young

    I am happy with my S3 but now that I have it and have adjusted to the size, I would be willing to try the 5.5″ screen. I would also be interested in the S Pen.

    I wonder if Samsung has fixed what they broke in the S3 that makes it not usable with a Mac?
    For reasons known only to them, the took out the stock USB software and replaced it with broken software. Sigh, it has been very difficult getting my 64GB chip loaded with music. Much more complicated and difficult than it would seem on the face of it.

    • PromoEddie

      Leo that’s not a Samsung problem. That’s an Apple not being open kind of thang. If you have iTunes and want it easily loaded on to your S3, try using Samsung’s Media Hub. Check Samsung’s official website for more information. :)

  • zolikaaa666

    Great Phablet!!!…But I personally….Dont like this category!

    • Patanjali

      I know some people think that stating an opinion is important, but it is only important to them unless it adds value for potential readers, like WHY the Note 2 is not suited to your usage scenarios.

      The context here is the Note 2. People who come to this article would generally want to know about that. Other commenters’ personal opinions need to be useful to them, otherwise they will be ignored or dismissed.

      Just like for the reviewer, I expect commenters to justify their opinions.

  • rbordley

    The Note II is one of the best Samsung phones on the market; along with the Galaxy 3. I can’t decide which one to purchase. Can anybody tell me which one they prefer? Thanks.

    • Anthony44

      @rbordley I actually purchased two s3 phones and was amazed by the screen size. The s3 is simple awesome. I purchased the note2 just to try it out figuring hey if I dont like it ill take it back.
      The note is hugh really hugh but after a day or two feels normal until its next to another pbone.
      I loved the s3 but simply cant compare to the note2 . The note 2 is simply the shit think s3 on growth pills.
      The spen I avoided like the plague but recently started using it and its really great

    • DROID Sam

      If you’re not sure you “want the Note II, you’ll probably be much happier with the SGSIII. Software is practically the same and there’s not a noticeable difference in performance. People who “want” the Note II are giddy about the size and the pen. If you don’t realy care about those, the SIII is a better option. l

      • Richard Yarrell

        Negative on that. I owned the Galaxy S3 from June 28th to November 14th. The Samsung Galaxy S3 here in the states is dual core processor made by qualcom. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is quad core made by Samsung and trust me jellybean on the Galaxy Note 2 is better than jellbean on the Galaxy S3 because of the exynos 4412 quadcore processor clocked at 1.6ghz instead the 1.5 dualdual core snapdragon s4 processor on the Galaxy S3.

        • Patanjali

          Why so many down arrows for any posts by this commenter?

          His comments may exhibit some enthusiasm, but they are not stupid, negative or derogatory and he does make some valid points.

    • PromoEddie

      If you don’t need a larger size phone for the tablet, you will enjoy using the S3. Depending on which Carrier Service you are on (Sprint and T mobile got 4.1.1 already).. it will get the official Jelly Bean OS.. and then it will be able to do almost everything that the Note 2 can.. except some functions including the S Pen.. If you are coming from a dumb phone or an iPhone sized smartphone, I see a lot of people getting the S3.. which is a gradual step up to a larger screen.. I’d say try that before you decide the bigger screen.. there will always be different sized Androids in the future.. so no rush in needing to go BIG if you don’t really need it. Also, Samsung stated that the S3 is the #1 phone they want to concentrate on for updates.. so that’s another reason you might want to veer toward that model. :)

  • phssthpok

    Nice review. Having been bitten by the Galaxy Nexus’ horrible reception and dubious battery life, it is hard for me to consider another Sammie product. And don’t get me started on the lack of updates on America’s #1 cell provider.

  • JonJJon

    I love my GS3 and this Note is essentially a bigger GS3 with a stylus, I think Samsung has got a good thing going here by creating a two tier flagship model, catering for two niches, people who want a decent android phone with a big gorgeous screen and those who want an even bigger phone with a “clever stylus” feature. The Note model stratagy isn’t my thing but that’s what choice is for :) everyone has a phone for them in Android.

    • redraider133

      If samsung could have stuck their exynos in the US versions of the sgs3 I think many would have stuck with that if they had any doubts and went with the note 2. Hopefully now that samsung got it playing nice with lte we will see exynos in their phones here in the states and not just some of their phones.

      • JonJJon

        I agree I was a little suprised at the lack of Exynos in the US versions, I know people give all the praise to the Qualcomm S4 chips these days but I enjoy good battery life and excellent performance in anything I do on my phone here in the UK, so getting wider use and recognition of it is always a good thing.

      • PromoEddie

        at the time, the technology wasn’t there for a Quad Core Exynos processor with 4G LTE so that wasn’t possible. that’s why Samsung had to opt for the dual core..

  • donger

    Best samsung phone to date, excellent review.

  • Martjn2

    Badass review on a badass phone. And also i must say this mpbile website is on of the coolest i’ve seen. Keep up with your great work

  • Joseph_Pass

    pretty sweet phone!

  • unwiredmedic

    This is the phone style I’ve been waiting for. Too bad I am now hearing the casing is plastic and not too robust.

    • Anthony44

      The casing is over hype reality is simply put case on the phone if its that much of a big deal.
      The note 2 is the real deal all others get to the back of the bus

      • cb2000a

        I have the original Note and the case is very tough.

      • unwiredmedic

        I suppose if I were to invest in something this expensive, I’d get a protective case for it anyway.

    • PromoEddie

      you are only hearing people complain about the case and not knowing the reality of why a manufacturer would do that.. just like a car bumper on impact it flexes so that the impact does less damage to the frame.. this is so with this phone.. the plastic flexes on impact so that the screen does not break as easily as another device.

      • Patanjali

        Also, no-one would buy a metal phone this large, as it would weigh too much.

        The Notes are 80% larger than a 4s, but only 28% heavier. Making them out of the same material would make the Notes 250g instead of 180g.

  • Sith-Republican & white

    Gaylaxy Note2, another cheap plastics toy from the chinkies. No thanks.

    • Anthony44

      Sith ur a racist basted

    • yankeesusa

      What phone do you have? Instead of making a baseless comment why not actually put some thought into it and explain why you commented.

    • overclockthesun

      iphone 5 another cheap metallic toy by who else….the chinkies.

  • ezc

    Tested on out in the store. Its on the large side for me.

  • mcsk8r

    Fantastic review. My partner is getting this phone this week. I will have a play with hers before upgrading my phone to it. The only thing I am not sure about is the size.

  • sunrise

    Wish Santa would bring me one of these for Christmas.

  • O.J. Simpson, live statement from jail

    This phone is suited for lebron James, but not for normal people. I tried it and was shocked how clumsy and over the top this smartphone is, pass on this.
    Customers want 4-4.5 inches devices, this one is a fail. I returned it to the jail guards.

  • Danny Calderon

    I think the galaxy line has taken over android the way motrola did a couple years ago with the Droid line, I myself don’t want a 5.5 inch screen on a phone but 5 million units sold speaks for itself.. I’m just waiting for my Nexus 4 to arrive

    • luke888

      the Nexus 4 is being made by …… LG !! Id steer clear if I was you, not a good company at all, tbh I wouldnt walk away from LG …. I run like hell !

  • njcoutinho

    Well this certainly is a phone for “large” men and women but I really need it .Current phones feel like I am holding a pocket calculator . Really love the huge screen real estate space an the S-Pen which is a real improvement from the earlier Note .

    • yankeesusa

      After about a week you get used to the size. With the 15 day return policy from most companies its more than enough to know if you want to keep it or not. I am very happy with my purchase. Plus so far the next big thing coming is not the note 3 but the gs4 in march probably so for now I’m good with that. I use this phone on a regular basis and the size is not even on my mind anymore. I held my evo 3d the other day and it felt like a toy.

      • PromoEddie

        yes, it’s after being spoiled by the large 5.55″ screen that makes everything else feel subpar :)

  • Rahul Verma

    I have been using this since Day 1 of release and I am super happy with the product.

  • bgssilva

    to me, is the best solution for mobility. I need one for myself! The screen is perfect! 2GB of RAM make the applications work perfectly. Multitasking is incredible and the use of spen is fantastic.

  • luckykrrish

    The tegra contest should include Galaxy Note 2. But GN2 isn’t made out of tegra I guess :(

  • yankeesusa

    I hate all these comments about the platic feel of the phone and the phone being too big. If you don’t like the size then DONT BUY IT. Just because its bigger doesn’t make it a bad phone. In fact right now its blowing almost any other phone out of the water. At first I thought it was too big but now I’m used to it. When I hold my wifes iphone I get lost because the icons and text are so smal compared to my note 2.
    About the plastic feel, yes it does feel like if I dropped it one time it would shatter into a million peices but you can’t base a phone on feel alone. The speed, smoothness, awesome features, screen quality, sound quality, lte all these other features make you forget how it feels. Plus with a good case you forget about it.
    If you don’t like the phone then don’t buy it. In the end this phone is still getting amazing results in testing and comparison with other phones.

    • Lexi_long_legs

      @yankeesusa Lol I always say all other phones feel like toys compared to it lol. But you’re right you do get used to it.

  • decker

    This phone is overkill in all the best ways.

  • luke888

    Best phone ever …. just a shame that its just that little bit too big for general use, I use mine very heavily and it still gives me the min of 24hrs standby time ! …. why cant other mobiles of a normal size have this amount of power and battery life ? …. im waiting for the day when hologram touch phones come out ?? now theres a though for all of the major phone company’s to work on :)

  • Dana86

    The designers of this behemoth phone should be fired! Why such a clunky phone? I want a smartphone and not a gigantic phablet. Phone + tablet (ipad mini e.g.) and you have all what you need.

    And i have to add, this note looks very cheap (thumbs down)

    • Boots

      Glad you’re not running Samsung. The millions of units sold clearly show that there is demand for this amazing device. You would rather have a phone + tablet on you? Great, go for it. I want a big phone and to leave my tablet behind. Awesome, here it is. Android is about choice. What works for you. What works for me. It’s different for everyone … and *gasp* it’s okay to be different from others! Do we all have the exact same car? Same size TV? Same size monitor? Blaaaaah.

      This phone kicks some serious butt. Fast, huge SD slot available, and the big screen is wonderful for surfing, reading, watching movies and playing games. I personally find the build quality to be very high.

      If you’re on the fence, this is one fantastic piece of hardware. If you’re in the market for a pick-up truck sized phone, this is it. If you want a mini-cooper or a sedan sized phone, get that instead. Who cares?

      I think I could even go bigger now that I have been using this phone for a couple of months.

  • thechad

    what a cool phone.

  • Moises Rivera

    I want this phone so badly.

  • kelltrash14

    Love this phone. Wish Samsung got more credit for the innovations on it, though it seems to be improving as it gains in popularity.

  • Pravas

    I always loved note for it’s S-Pen feature…simply superb.

  • bdub

    Really like the idea of this but as it is right now my Gnex is pushing the boundries of what my hand size is comfortable with. Buddy of mine picked one up and it really does look great.

  • Huggie87

    I want this phone so bad

  • Lexi_long_legs

    Great review. But I would say that as I have the device :-D though will say i have managed to get 48h out of the device on the odd day and I certainly wasn’t being conservative! This was aided with juice defender however but none of less very impressive. Think my only gripe is the space at the bottom of the screen for the back button. If you’re holding the device in one hand, in my case my right hand, pressing the back button is precarious. But other than that can’t argue with the review! :-D

    • PromoEddie

      if you stop using juice defender you should get more battery life out of it, since the on-board task manager and JD conflict with each other.. the phone doesn’t know which one to work with.. how you can tell.. in JD when you shut apps down, do those apps come back on?

  • Zagdroid

    Great review! I love my Galaxy S III and since this matches up nicely, I will likely be purchasing this for my wife come upgrade time.

  • Samuel Hurd (drug dealer, prisoner, ex-NFL player)

    $hitty phone, iphone 5 is much better

  • tkitty93

    I currently own an international Galaxy SII (bought last year) but galaxy note 2 will be my next smartphone!

  • alexleonard

    It’s a device that definitely intrigues me but I am hesitant mainly due to the software question – I get driven mad by the delays in Android updates.

    Currently using my SGS2 still and it has been a solid dependable phone but I was so disappointed with their implementation of ICS that I put CM9 onto it and have been very happy since then.

    I have a feeling I’d get annoyed by the software question on the Note as well.

    • PromoEddie

      buy the S3 then.. Samsung has stated that the S3 will get total concentration when it comes to updates. try not to dwell on older technology and the older Google OS software.. look to the future by upgrading and feeling more at ease with the updates on the S3. I do not recommend updating the S2 to ICS, it uses too much resources. I recommend staying on Gingerbread, it’s much more efficient for the S2. I’ve gotten an average of 24 to 53 hours of use per charge on a China battery on the S2 with GB.

  • acidone

    Had one for a few days. I Think I like the 10.1 Note better….

  • Vanilla Ringer


  • sundip

    bring on the international htc deluxe, the new king of smartphones!

  • nebelriss

    what a great phone…

  • thymeless

    My friend has one of these. Uses it more for tablet-like duties around the house, but it is her phone on the go as well. The form factor is quite nice if you get a chance to play with one in person.

  • auspider98

    My date can’t get here quick enough…

  • zolikaaa666

    Galaxy Note II!…I Like It but it’s so expensive :SSS

  • teamwoot

    The battery life is a huge plus and when in a group we always pull out the Note II for YouTube. A great device.

  • xKatsumix

    Awesome mobile! I still don’t understand why people insist on buying iphones when you can have stuff like this. Iphones are overrated!!!

  • xKatsumix

    Oh… and great review by the way!

  • prime_optimus

    Perfect for me, but stills so expensive…

  • mares927

    Great device, love the multitasking, but the price is too high :(

  • Blaatschaap

    Can’t wait to get my hands on one of these!

  • doublin

    Great great article!

  • kabos

    not bad at all

  • juno23

    Great review!

  • microsurgery

    Nice product

  • bgssilva

    The Galaxy Note 2 already was my dream consumer. After this review, I can only think of one thing … I have to buy it for me!!

  • Dorkstar

    If they sold this phone with the ability to fold it in half, i’d love it!

  • jhagerup

    I love my Samsung Galaxy Nexus, but I kind of wish I had one of these.

  • ccn_cristi

    Forget about bigger screens, and slimmer phones…how about better batteries ?
    2012 was the year of screens with 720p and above 4inches, 2013 seems to be all about 1080p and over 5inches…

    I just want a phone to fit in my pockets, no lag and a battery than can give me 2days of always on data/wifi with medium/heavy usage.

    Is that so hard to figure out ?

  • tylerfoy

    I’ve been very pleased with my S3, I would like to give the Note II a try. Nice piece of hardware.

  • tehCylex

    I recently bought me the Galaxy Note 10.1 and I love it. Next step will be the Note 2 :)

  • Repinphilly247

    Using SGSII now, due for an upgrade in June. Will have to choose between nexus, SGS3/4?, Note 2/3?, and whatever superphone HTC will have then. Good choices to have.

  • overclockthesun

    I just love the pictures you guys take. They just look so good. Unlike other places they really feel warm …. the display actually does look more better here than in other reviews I have seen of the Note 2.

  • Brickerhaus

    I should have gotten a Note. But I got a One S instead. :’(

  • marcus1518

    I think this is a nice product…definitely think it could use some improvements though

  • kookeetree

    You got your phone and you got your tablet… this should be in its own category – phablet.

  • Moises Rivera

    Definitely someone hating on this post, seems to really dislike the Note II smh.

  • kelltrash14

    This seems like just about the perfect phone for Verizon at the moment, can’t see why any hating would be in order. Only complaint of significance I’ve been able to find at all is the sound quality is a step down from GSIII.

  • malayaleeremo

    awesome phone tablet combo

  • Dorkstar

    My wife wanted this phone after seeing the commercial with… lebron james I think? Dawayne wade… whatever, the basketball player. I had to explain to her that his hands must be massive, because the phone is 5.5 inches. Of course she doesn’t want it now, but my point being, did Samsung intentionally under exaggerate the size of this in the commercial?

  • impromark

    I’m a little confused why some people say that the build is creaky. Sure it’s plastic, but the first thing I’ve ever done with my smartphone is put it in a slim, lights, boink-resistant case. My original Galaxy Note is so-protected, as is my Galaxy Player 5.0. Most people I know also go for some sort of case to protect their investment. I’m with Samsung, why should it matter?

  • Beeve

    Wish there was a Nexus version of this. Maybe by the time my contact is renewable next year:)

  • smwinn7

    I must say that I always thought the Note/Note II was a really odd beast, a coworker just picked up the Note II on VZW and it seems like Samsung really stepped it up on this, to bad TW ruins everything

    • Patanjali

      Why does TW ‘ruin everything’? Please explain!

      I have Go Launcher Ex, and it basically extends TW functionality in some areas, rather than being a complete replacement.

  • shyam299

    Amazing Phone….A must Buy…..

  • Himal Limbu

    my dream phone.

  • mightynaf

    This phone looks amazing, but I’m not sure I could justify having such a big phone as well as a nexus 7

  • rc213

    My friend picked one up and it’s pretty amazing.

  • linkinmark5

    Friend of mine has Note 1 and absolutely loves it. I asked his opinion of the size. Im not a small guy. He said it seems big at first but u quickly get used to the extra real estate. Besides that he uses a Bluetooth ear piece. I have GS3 and love it. The only downside is im with Sprint. However I have to say with their network LTE upgraded in Chicagos south burbs….its become much better than the last 6 months. Whos looking for a blue GS3 32GB…im going to buy me a Note 2!

  • melan26

    This could absolutely be the next device that I would want.

  • TheStig

    I used my friends its awesome! The pen is absolutely amazing!

  • Ezy03

    It’s really an amazing phone!

  • Ilyse Rose

    I have the Galaxy S3 and the bf is thinking about getting the Note 2 soon, we’re just going to be one big happy Samsung family.

    I’m really impressed with Samsung recently, they’ve won me over and they were my least favorite Android manufacturer just a couple of years ago.

  • bigserve

    I definitely need to try out this phone to see if bigger is really better.

  • gumbyshu

    I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these! This is the phone I’ve been waiting months for…..

  • mrkymrks

    Very attractive device. Would definitely consider it for my next upgrade, if it’s available for T-Mobile (hopefully!)

    • sweet

      i have it for tmobile

  • sweet

    i have one and i love it

  • celo175

    I kind of want to trade in my evo 4g lte for one of these!

  • Atheistic

    Good review

  • omprsingh

    This is by far the best product. Apple do not stand a chance here! Thanks for the review

  • RoMoon

    I don’t understand why plastic = cheap, when to me it just seems like a smart thing to do. I know a vast amount of “glass phone” users who’s beautiful, “high quality” phone is in pieces after one drop. I’ve dropped my S2 without a case millions of times and it has a few time chips, and other than that is fine, because it is light and made of a flexible, light plastic. Likewise I’ve also dropped my Note 2 a couple of times (though it’s in a case now) and it’s spotless. Stop bashing plastic, the Note 2 is a premium phone and it both looks and feels like one.

    Secondly, unrelated to the plastic gripe, does anybody else find that the S Pen is not accurate when used at the edges of the screen? While pinpoint accurate in the centre of the phone, when I try and draw/write in the bottom centimetre or so it’s out by about 1mm or more, which is infuriating. Similarly, when I write on the edges of the phone the sensitivity bottoms out and my line becomes faint and thin. I’ve tested it and this isn’t just the way I’m holding the pen, it is a genuine artefact of the phone’s software/hardware. Anybody else found this or have a fix?

  • Felkis

    Once again Samsung has done some great things with the phone… which no doubt Apple will clone a model or 2 later and all the Apple Kool-Aid drinkers will claim as their “innovation”

    Love this phone

  • ArticulateFool

    I went to a store go hold one.

    I’m still not sure a phone this large is for me. But I sure did love that huge beautiful screen!

  • jaimevazquez

    this is the phone that I’ve been waiting for

  • Rakan

    Great device

  • avijaunty

    I own Note GT-N7000.. Its a great device..
    Although i have not used Note 2 but i am pretty sure its many steps ahead.. no doubt awesome device.. would love to own one :)

  • Luv_android

    It’s just too big for hand to handle lol :))

  • aarontam

    I want a Nexus Note 2 7-inch!

  • johndcoy

    Best feature I’ve noticed is the battery. It is new for me not having to charge it at bed time each night; it’s more like every other night I plug it up. Great Review

  • staryoshi

    If I weren’t already indentured with my SII Epic 4G Touch, I’d own a Note 2. Perhaps I can jump on the Note III or an equivalent competitor in 2013 :)

  • rbcameron1

    Looks like an awesome phone, but at some point I’m sure stuffing a 5″+ screen in my pocket might make my pants look like there’s something in there that doesn’t belong. Nothing like asking an old lady for directions on the subway with a bulge sticking out. ha!

  • KingCrow02

    A terrific phone but too big for me

  • ConfuciusTse

    So tempted to get this but really wish they had the upgraded Sony camera. It’s really not that large, I’ve held one at a Samsung store.

  • KennyL

    I might pick this up. It’s between this and the Nokia Lumia 920.

  • misael

    wow.. its an incredible phone but the size it killing it, galxy s3 is the best option

    • jonstle

      misael — I opted for the s3 for the same reason. Just a little to big to fit in my pocket.

  • thymeless

    Would be cool to see this with a full HD screen and a mini HDMI port as well.

  • Snowman81

    The more I see the Galaxy Note 2, the more I like it. Doesn’t even seem big to me anymore.

  • Huggie87

    Can’t wait till i can get one this phone will easily last me for 2yrs

  • Antonio

    a bit too big, but surely better than apple’s sheeple shit

  • dbcher

    Wish my carrier had this….. oh well I will just wait until the next best thing

  • kr.ray.kaushik

    I own a note 2 and within 3 days I found my spen over sensitive..Even if i hover over some apps, they automatically gets clicked and open..Samsung ppl dont have any specific solution. Many others face same issue. Please let me know if any solution for same..!!!!!!! :( :(

    • PromoEddie

      hi.. there is a fix.. the phone is fine.. it is the s pen. take it back to where you bought it and let them know that the s pen is overly sensitive. you will get a new one. ~cheers :)

  • kli

    Mobile and pen in the past, like Palmtops. Then, mobile and fingers. And now, again, mobile and pen. It’s delightful to see how ideas are created nowadays…

  • Kilgore Trout

    I want this but I love my Droids full keyboard.

  • balram

    awsm creativity by samsung

  • Procyon

    I’m still not sold on the need for a stylus.

  • Shazam

    Just got my note recently, hoping to give it my own review soon.

  • humidity

    Such an amazing phone!

  • Bozz019


  • jaysond

    ya stylus isn’t for me either

  • cflo

    Cant wait till galaxy s6!

  • Flapjack7

    It’s a great piece of hardware.

  • Burzie

    looks like the best phone samsung has put out until the sg4 or note 3

  • nobile

    It is the best android phone. I want it :)

  • aeronaut

    I’ve had it in my hand in a shop – its so big :D but I somehow like it.

    how does the touchWiz rom behave on such a big screen?

  • dacatalyst41

    Best phone I’ve ever had!

  • scubabum

    Too big for a phone, a little small for a tablet.
    But I like it.

  • dacevedo

    I have the Note 1. Its a beautiful device! But im not sure to upgrade right now or wait for the Note 3

    • donger

      Wait for the note 3, which is rumored to have a bigger screen size.

  • Himal Limbu

    this is the best phone out there….my dream phone !

  • cypresscliff

    this is what i want for christmas this year

  • cuteandrew21

    I want one of those

  • nobile

    Samsung takes over Apple :D

  • BrotherBloat

    Samsung FTW. nice review :)

  • klcow92

    technology, never seem to be able to catch up with it :\


    Samsung rules the Mobile Industry. F HAters

  • Snowman81

    If I ever got the Note II, I’d have to get the Flip Cover. Honestly, its one of the best accessories I’ve seen in a long time.

    • dacatalyst41

      It’s a great accessory. It gets in the way a little bit sometimes, but for the most part, I love it.

  • aBax

    Great phone. I wish I could have it. But I would probably choose the DNA over this, just because it’s more my style and has better build quality.

    The Galaxy Note II is still a great phone.

  • radaan

    Great phone

    • radaan

      Cyanogen instead of touchwiz would be perfect

  • klcow92

    saw somebody carrying it out today, looks a bit big and obnoxious for him hahahaha

  • Inuk Jung

    I thought the size was a bit big for me cause of the my small hands but i have to say after playing with my boyfriends Samsung Galaxy Note II I think the phone that I have is too small….i have a samsung captivate (yes i know its old..but still good ^_^)
    LOVE the Note II <3

  • gabrielfeo

    Samsung puts their plastic devices at the same price as HTC’s aluminum ones. I don’t get it…

    • dacatalyst41

      Because for many people, the difference in build quality is not a deciding factor. Appearance and functionality are people’s focus and Samsung has been innovating in those departments as of late.

  • TheyCallMeZ

    You know I love all my android Devices just added a sixth to the list today (Another Tablet) but something I have noticed is that Android phones are getting bigger or adding more features whereas the iPhone just keeps getting smaller, and I can’t help but think… Is size a feature?

  • Stig03


  • Ezy03

    Great review !!

  • TheStig

    i love all these devices but nexus is just better!

  • Tiuri

    Thanks for a useful review

  • Viequense

    Great job with the review.

  • dutrak

    Good review

  • kenbr1960

    Excellent review.

  • Viequense

    This phone is nice i just played with it.

  • marcus1518

    I liked this review….well written…

  • melan26

    I would really love to test this one out.

  • BellissiMatt

    Disney design WTF :}

  • c1liu

    the s pen works surprisingly well. and samsung phablets/tablets allows you to write while your palm is resting on the screen, which the ipad 3 does not. do you have any idea how useful that feature is??

  • datiecher

    Great review, guys! I’m not too found on the size of this beast but I can see some people digging it, specially for work.

  • gramps50

    I like the pen idea, wish I could use the Note II pen on my GS#

  • cuteandrew21

    I want it

  • dacatalyst41

    I’ve had my Verizon Note 2 for a few weeks now and I LOVE IT! But……I’m about ready to root it because of VZW’s “augmentations” of the device. Anyone know of any stable roms that still maintain the S-Pen functionality?

  • fingers26

    Excellent phone it has a bunch of stuff to learn… still a lot to learn but great phone…!!!!

  • Bill Mitchell

    No offense to the reviewer but you are seriously an idiot.

    You could only get 2 or 3 words to a line when taking notes? Did it occur to you to turn the Note II in landscape mode and take notes that way? When you do the writing space is just as wide as the Note 10.1 in portrait mode.

    Kind of amazed and a little scared something that obvious didn’t occur to a technology reviewer. I can easily get 8 to 10 words on a line, just like my Note 10.1.

  • Bill Mitchell

    As far as the size, people, unless you have tiny hands you will quickly get used to it. I have big hands and the size feels much more natural than tiny phones like the iPhone 5.

  • ihatefanboys

    This is the first Samsung offering im even remotely interested in, most of their phones have been disappointing and mediocre at best. The GS3 and Note 2 have raised the bar, clearly.

  • Ed Penney

    I’m a graphic artist by trade, and whether exploring an idea or sketching for a client the 4GLTe speed comes in handy (I have it in New York City with AT&T). I imagine it might be the same for architects, mechanical or aerospace engineers, or anyone else who deals with visual ideas on a frequent basis

  • aufan1

    I really like my S3 but it’s a pretty big phone. I can’t imagine going to something larger. On the other hand, after a few months I tried to go back to my HTC G2 and I couldn’t use it; the screen was WAY too small.

  • rbcameron1

    Wow, saw this thing in person. Its huge.

  • quicky

    One of my friend just got one…. and it’s really to big!!! I have to use both hands to be able to touch certain part of the screen

  • chethu

    If Nexus 4 is not releasing in India then I will go for Note II

  • JaneBales

    I never thought about my cell phone for the camera so much but then I heard about the Note II’s camera. As a real estate agent in Atlanta, the thought of taking pics of properties I sell, then sending them to my desktop via AT&T’s 4G LTE so I can put them on the sales template is tempting. What an awesome feature, too, to be able to write on the pics.

  • g1user

    Slightly too big for me, but still one of my favorite phones out! Great review guys!

  • jose415thekidd

    Beautiful and perfect phone! Can’t wait to get my own! Although i do wish it had a better camera!

  • Ron Burns

    I got one yesterday and returned it 20 hours later. I just was not prepared for all the user agreements and new accounts I had to complete and agree to. Then there is the constant google tracking. If you love Google and want them to track and catalog your every move for resale to others in order to better “help” you in a compact size weighing about as much as a brick, then this could be the phone for you but I just could not bring myself to give all that up and PAY for it too. After messing with it for about 10 hours I was able to learn my way around it pretty well but was not able to disable all the redundant tracking features to my satisfaction. That is why I like to buy at Best Buy – they have a 14 day “no questions ask” return policy that certainly did come in handy here.