Its been 15days since i am using the Samsung galaxy note 2 and it seemed an appropriate time for me to write a review . Now remember this is not an official review but a user based opinion so please do not complain and forgive any grammar or speeeliingg mistakes !
I still remember my first phone it was a Nokia 1100 some 7-8 years ago . It used to play some 8bit black and white games and for me it was a big deal particularly since handheld gaming devices were expensive in those days and i didnt even earn a penny . Years passed and phones changed and now phones are used for god knows how many purposes , from multimedia , photography , productivity , communication , gaming , fashion etc etc and in some instances even for driving a car . I use my phone for calling only about 10% of the time and other features are used the most . With increase in features the dimensions of mobile phones is also starting to increase and the note 2 is a living example of it . It is too small for a tablet and huge for a mobile , so people who like to have either of the one will find the note a boon . It was similar for me . I was always attracted with big screens and what better phone to get then the note 2 . This is actually my 13th phone and 7th smartphone and so i think i know some good deal regarding phones or my opinions shold hold some value . Sorry for the long intro but i had to write it of my mind .
To describe the note 2 in one word , HUGE ! No matter what everyone are saying this thing is huge and not for every people but Samsung has done its best to make it as portable as possible . Yes it is good to hold in a hand but you still need some practice if you are coming from smaller phones . Screen in 5.5' long diagnolly . Just one home hardware buttom between two capacitve touchscreen menu and back buttons at the bottom . Towards the right we have lock/power button , typical Samsung and on the left there is a volume rocker . Couple of sensors , notificatin led and 1.9MP camera in front and 3.5mm headphone jack at top . The multifunction Micro USB port is now located at the bottom . Behind we have 8MP camera with led flash and mic at top and a speaker at the bottom . Overall the design and built is good and i can say that it is better looking then the original note . My one issue is that the home button and lock button are not very hard to press so that you are going to accidently press them a lot .
Most important reason people will buy this phone other then the S-pen is its screen . The 5.5' screen is a delight to look and work on . Colors are accurate and vibrant and never felt artificial . Screen is also really bright and outdoor visibility is not an issue , i am coming from Nova display which was one of the brightest screens from LG . Viewing angle is great and is the best i have ever seen on a phone , even beats the 4s and iphone 5 . I have them both .
For me these are the most important features . It has a new feature rich gallery which looks cool . It opens up in Albums view, but photos can also be sorted by Location, Time, Person (photos with tagged faces), Group and Favorites. When we open it the app switches into a split screen mode. The left side shows the folders, while the right displays all the photos in a rectangular grid .
Music player is also excellent and audio quality is one of the best i have ever heard . Tested the quality with Klipsch s5i and Philips SHE9800 and output is super clean but may be slightly low if compared to my ipod touch 2G . 100% volume of note 2 = 85% volume of ipod but i prefer it that way . If you are an audiophile then the first thing you will have to do is to discard the stock earphones and head over to xda forum to check if vodoo rom is available . The quality can rival many top media players .
The default video player is best i have seen on any devise . The video player lets you squeeze the best viewing experience out of the large, high-res screen. You can adjust video brightness, color tone and enable outdoor visibility too. The chapter preview fumction detects chapters in the video and shows a rectangular grid, with live thumbnails ! It plays all the files thrown at it and it is the first time on any device i am yet to install a third party video player . The video player on the Note II also has a feature called Pop up play - it moves the video in a small floating window and you can use other apps on the phone while still watching the video. You can use pinch zoom to adjust the size of the pop up video .
The Samsung Note II's main camera can capture stills of up to 3264 x 2448 pixels and 1080p videos, while the one on the front takes 1.9MP pictures and 720p video . Camera app is built with features with never ending list so i will just post some sample pics to do the talking . I will add more outdoor pics later .
This thing is a gaming beast for a handheld phone . I have installed most of the demanding games and apps on it and all of them run super fast . Gaming experience is enhansed due to its large and brilliant display .
WEB BROWSER :
This is the closest you can get for a desktop experience . Flash support was not present initially on jellybean but a simple google search will solve your problem . Web browser can play 1080p files flawlessly and also many of the flash based games and websites . the S Pen also comes into play when using the browser. With it, you can hover over elements of the page as you would with a mouse . This comes in quite convenient for all those sites that haven't updated their interface yet to work well on a touchscreen where you can tap something, but not hover over it .
For such a large screen i was expecting average battery life but i was wrong . Battery performance is also one of the best in smartphone industry .With 96% charge I watched full 3 movies with audio being streamed via bluetooth to my car audio system and yet around 18% was remaining ! Web browsing via wifi will give you about 5-6 hours . This is on stock firmware without any battery saving apps !
Spen of note2 is definately better then the one in note 1 . It add a ton of features like preassure sensitivity , air view hover , comfort grip etc to name a few . Overall, Samsung has done a really good job of the S Pen integration .
Special mentioning must be given to this feature . I know all or most of the smartphones do multitask but samsung has taken it to a newer level . If you long press the back button a screen pops towards the left with different apps . You can drag any apps towards the right and use them simultaneously . This is true multitasking . You have to watch it to understand , i cant explain it clearer .
The New S-pen in better but i so wished that it could also work with the 2 capacitive Menu and Back buttons . Those work only with our touch . The S-pen works only on the screen . Browsing would be a lot easier if the spen had worked with the Back button !
In this review i have hardly mentioned even about 30% of the note 2's features . The Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100 is one beast of a droid and a major step forward for the class it represents.
If you have to decide between thr original note and the note 2 then definately the note 2 is worth the extra few grands . Currently the difference between them is roughly around 7-8k in Indian market . If i have missed anything or you want to know extra things regarding the Note 2 then do let me know . I would be happy to reply !
- - - Updated - - -
Some more camera pics ::
- - - Updated - - -
Will update the performance , benchmark scores and pros/cons tomorrow !!!!