The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the second generation phablet with a built-in S Pen with many tablet-like features along with a smartphone experience similar to the Samsung Galaxy S III. In this review of reviews we reviewed all the major reviews, then accented them with some special features, we noticed.
- Most Liked Features: huge HD screen, fast quad-core processor, S Pen, great call quality, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, round corners design, lightness, good battery life, fast camera and bright screen.
- Least-Liked Features: too big to carry, doesn't replace a tablet, complicated, lack of spell checker and expensive.
- Overall Average Ranking of Samsung Galaxy Note II: 4.25 out of 5.
- Networks: Largest 4G LTE network Verizon Wireless, good/fast coverage AT&T, minimal LTE coverage Sprint and HSPA+ only for T-Mobile.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the top of the line of what some are calling "extra large" smartphones. The screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note II is large enough for easy typing and S Pen functions in landscape or portrait modes. Some reviewers thought the size was large for one-handed use and looks huge when held to your ear. Bluetooth is recommended for those who think it looks too big. However when LeBron James uses the Note 2 it looks like a regular phone.
The 5.5" Super AMOLED (1280x720 pixel) screen has an 16:9 aspect ratio better for HD video, than the original Samsung Galaxy Note that was more square in shape and harder to hold. Compare the Samsung Galaxy Note II vs original SG Note.
The pressure sensitive S Pen was designed by Wacom is more comfortable to use than the S Pen on the original Galaxy Note. It is especially useful for doing artsy things with photos, writing handwritten quick notes and for some handwriting recognition.
Special software that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Note II are:
- Samsung Sharing - Samsung created a suite of apps to make it easy to share photos, videos and more. Share Shot is lets you automatically share photos with other Samsung Galaxy Note II /S III owners. S Beam lets you beam files to other SG Note II/S III devices.
- Screen Recorder -helps you remember everything you did on the screen
- Easy Clip - takes a screen shot of the screen which can be sized by the S Pen.
- Visualize - offers images that illustrate hand written words.
- AllShare and GroupCast - share video content, games and movies and TV shows from Samsung Media Hub wirelessly with Samsung Smart TVs, laptops, tablets and other consumer electronics.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II offers good photos and a bit grainy photos in low light, while outdoor photos and video are good. Image stabilization works well but can take photos during video with stabilization on. The quad-core processor is very fast and performs well in benchmark tests.
Multi-view mode less you split screen and is available in the latest update which has been delivered to the Sprint model and will coming to other models.
Features of the Samsung Galaxy Note II include Android Jelly Bean, quad core 1.6 1.6GHz processor, 16GB storage on board, microSD slot, 8MP camera with built-in flash, S Pen, front 2MP camera, Bluetooth, 3100 Ah battery, mobile hotspots, Wi-Fi and S Pen.
Although Santa Claus is shown using the Samsung Galaxy Note II in the latest commercial there is a learning curve for all the S Pen features. Who then will want to buy it? Students, artists, creative types, note takers, mothers who can't lug a tablet and poets or very short story writers.
Previously men argued that a smartphone has to fit in a pocket to be useful. Handbag, backpack and manbag carriers won't mind the size of the Samsung Galaxy Note II as much.
Reviewers noted that the $299 list price at Verizon, AT&T and Sprint is very high and even higher at $369.99 at T-mobile for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. However, Amazon Wireless has reduced the price of the Samsung Galaxy Note II to $174.99 for new AT&T customers, as low at $99.99 for new Sprint customers and $199.99 for new Verizon customers. Buy Amazon SG N2. Wirefly has a special deal $299.99 for new and upgrades for the T-Mobile version.
The difference between carriers is network speed and deployment. The Sprint 4G LTE network is not fully deployed. T-Mobile has very fast HSPA+. Both AT&T and Verizon offer 4G LTE speeds. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is one the best smartphones of 2012.
Many reviews missed what we believe is the most awesome feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, handwriting recognition that has been improved since the original Galaxy Note with which our editor wrote an entire article sitting at the beach using the S Pen. Handwriting recognition has been popular in Europe for years, it is not promoted in the U.S.