on November 21, 2012
JUST A REVIEW OF SOME OF MY THOUGHTS ON THE NOTE 2, NOT A FULL BLOWN CRITIQUE:
Switched, after many years, from APPLE to SAMSUNG. It took guts, my friends.
I am totally immersed in all things APPLE, have been since my first Apple IIc computer.
Owned desktops, Mac clone Power Computing desktops, every ipod, several imacs, mac minis, iphones....you get the picture. I live in that "closed" but very efficient environment.
I was, as of two weeks ago, a Samsung/Android virgin.
I got my samsung galaxy note II from Best Buy (they offered a $75 coupon which may, at this writing, still be available), but online purchases were backed up a month so they found me a store in my zip code that had one: 86th and Lex in NYC. Salesperson there, in a huge a crowded store, told me it was the first Note II they had sold.
I was afraid that I wouldn't have access to the many apps I had grown to love on my iphone. I have found them all, and more. I was nervous that the criticisms of the "plastic-y" build would be true. Although the snap off back of the Note II is ridiculously thin and flimsy, once it is snapped into place, the phone feels solid.
I was warned that it's too big! blah blah blah....It is not too big. After two hours of playing with the Note II, I picked up my iphone and....laughed. Yes, it is THAT easy to become accustomed to the perfect (for me) size of this phone. If you can't reach the dial pad, keyboard, shortcuts with one hand....just go into settings and select "One Handed Operation". Brilliant.
It feels great, slips into top pocket, or jacket, inside coat pocket. (although it will fit, don't sit on it in back pants pocket) I think it needs a cover, ordered one for 10 bucks on ebay. The back of the phone is way too slippery and slides too easily. Get a cover that offers some friction but minimally increases the size of the phone.
Apparently, Samsung fixed all of the gripes from the original Note. I don't know, but they have thought of a lot of great stuff.
Ordered a 64GB SD card on which I will store mounds of music, vids, and pix. THat's a lot of storage space. They say that Apple does not offer memory upgrades on the iphone because SD cards are too slow and would compromise the speed of the machine. Yes, but the new microSDXC Memory Card Ultra Class 10 UHS-I from SanDisk is rated FAST and built for this phone. $60 at B&H Photo. I have to say that snapping off the back of my phone to reveal battery, simm, and SD card slot is an incredibly satisfying experience for an iphone guy.
Battery capacity is huge, but don't get too excited. With 4g, bluetooth, 5.5" screen, etc....it lasts a day, just like any other phone. The thing I've discovered that does improve battery life somewhat, is getting yourself an app killer. I have ADVANCED TASK MANAGER. Just kills the unused but running apps and widgets. Also incredibly useful: the pull down notifications window. From any screen, swipe down from top to reveal a list of notifications from all sources: email, Facebook, app updates. Just view them, swipe them to the right and they are gone. Notification light on upper left hand corner of phone reminds you to check. It's instantaneous and handy.
Transferring CONTACTS from my MacBook took some investigation, but they are all there. There are also apps to help you retrieve all of your SMS messages, which was very helpful. I haven't figured out the calendar transfer yet...but I will.
Updating/syncing happens OTA all the time. You can, of course, control this.
Samsung offers KIES and KIES AIR, a program you place on your laptop to facilitate transfers to and from your phone. Also available, Android File Transfer, much more basic but useable. I had trouble when both were on my laptop at the same time. There are loads of options in the PLAY STORE.
SUM: Note II is beautiful, sleek, and fast. I have not become proficient with the stylus so you will have to look elsewhere for opinions on that part of this phone.
Camera is cool, but do I think the pictures are great because of the luscious screen? I don't know. Everything looks good on this phone. It's fun and I'm glad I took the leap.
on December 28, 2012
I've owned phones within both the Apple and Android ecosystems (iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket). I also used several generations of corporate issue BlackBerry devices. I found that after the novelty of the iPhone wore off, Apple's "take what you get and like it" attitude towards customization didn't work for me. I had to jailbreak just to get the phone to do kinda what I wanted it to do, but Android truly lets me unleash the device's potential. If you like to tinker, the Note 2 is a great one, but it's also great on its own. Fantastic user experience out of the box.
This is the first of the bunch that's been instantly satisfying. Unlike the others, I'm not too concerned about watching and waiting for the next best thing. It's a great device to interact with, and if you're prepared to deal with the extra size it's a wonderful upgrade. It fits just fine in any of my pockets, though obviously it's bulkier. Expect comments about how huge the phone is, especially from people who want thin, tiny, air weight phones like the iPhone 5 that could probably take flight in a strong Autumn breeze. Let them have it! I'll take this :)
It's actually not even that heavy (6.3oz), and the larger screen size makes a big difference for browsing, taking notes, and reading books on the Kindle app. I can't comment too much on the S Pen since I don't really use it much - look elsewhere for feedback on that.
One of my peeves with smart phones has always been battery life. Remember when you could charge your mobile one or twice a week? Smart phones are basically small portable computers so obviously they're going to take more juice... but, with all of my previous smart phones I was lucky to get a full working day out of a single charge. I use my phone *a lot* during the day. With my iPhones, I had to carry a spare pre-paid mobile since I couldn't change batteries. With the Galaxy SII, I carried two spare interchangeable batteries and had to do at least one change each day. With the Note 2, I have stretched a charge out to *3 days* on light-use weekends, and can go a full day plus an overnight on a single charge of normal use. Wow! They nailed it on this one... No wonder given that the stock battery on an iPhone 3G was about 1600mAh, on a Skyrocket was 1850mAh, and on the Note 2 is 3100mAh. Sure, the larger screen and faster processors, etc should be expected to draw more... but there also seems to be better power management in the stock Jelly Bean OS. On all prior phones I disabled push notifications, location services, and so on just to get mediocre battery life. On the Note 2 I have it all running full bore, as I should be able to, and still get great battery life.
In short, the battery life is amazing and I no longer feel like a slave to the nearest wall charger. If you need a device that doesn't lose 30% of its charge during a 1 hour phone call or browsing session, this one is will please you.
Neither AT&T nor Samsung bloated the phone with an extraordinary amount of bloatware, though the usual junk is present. Unlike with prior devices, the quality of the stock ROM / UI is pleasing and I did not feel an immediate need to root it just to make the device tolerable. I still rooted it to install a number of apps that I like to use that require root. Unnecessary unless you want to.
Thank you Samsung for finally nailing it!
on February 19, 2013
I had always been an Apple fanboy, but lately I found that their products lacked the innovation they once had. A few months ago, I sold my iPad and switched to an Android tablet. I was happy that I did. Changing phone's was the next logical step, and when I saw the first commercial for the "next big thing" I was hooked.
There are so many things to like about this phone. The screen is huge, but it is gorgeous. Although it is large, I still find it easy to hold, although I do prefer my headset. But I always have. The battery life is great, so much better than my iPhone was. Plus, the battery is removable and thus user replaceable. You can also add up to a 64gb memory sim, which was the first thing I did after buying the phone. I'd recommend you do the same. Android Jellybean OS is easy to use, easy to customize, fast, and packed with great features.I was pleased to see I would not have to go without such things as do not disturb (called blocking here), reply with text, and all my favorite apps like Facebook, instagram, and more! Switching from iOS to Android was simple. Google play gives you a free tool to upload all your music from iTunes, and I already had a Google account set up. I was up and running in a few moments.
But the best part of the phone is the S-Pen! I have found this phone to be my notepad in meetings and when I need to quickly jot down ideas when on the go. I recommend turning off the hover feature however, as with it on I found the pen too sensitive. I love being able to take notes in my own handwriting, and doodling can be fun if not distracting as well. The ability to sign my name to an email is really cool!
Google now is much better than Siri, and S-voice is not so bad either. I love that the phone checks my calendar and gives me information about where I am going, including travel time, traffic, and weather. It even figured out my work schedule and checks the roads before my commute.I invested in the flip case which also protects the screen, as well as an iHome dock for it. The call quality is clear, the phone has 4g, and it works great and is not buggy at all. The camera takes great pictures and the front camera for chatting is not so shabby either.
Are there drawbacks? Sure, but to me they were insignificant. For me, the only drawback would be that unlike iPhone, there are not many docks and stuff out there. Sure there are many bluetooth items available, but a good quality plug in dock is hard to find. For me, that was the only downer.
If you plan to purchase this phone, I recommend you also invest in a memory card (no less than 32gig but 64gig would be best) and some kind of case. It's a big phone and I'm sure you'd want to protect it if you were to drop it. A bluetooth headset would also be a good investment. No need for extra chargers however, the batter lasts all day!
on December 18, 2012
I sold my original Note to obtain this and I have to say that this phone is an evolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note, but this evolution is mainly due to the software.
I understand that the hardware internals have been given a refresh, such as the Exynos CPU. But much of it doesnt differ too much from the original Samsung Galaxy Note. It is still the same camera, screen looks relatively the same also the pixel count is LOWER than the original Note. The form factor is much more pocket friendly as well as more hold-it-against-your-ear acceptable. Instead of the original Note's blocky bulk, this one is longer and sleeker instead of wider.
What really sets this phone apart from the original Note and from other Android phones is the software and the S-Pen. Samsung really has listened to its users in the S-Pen dept by make it more ergonomic (I understand this is subjective). Many user's have also probably cried out about the constant loss of the S-Pen as my voice is part of that group. And at last, the phone will notify you if the S-Pen is too far from the phone.
Software-wise, I have to say it is both an revolution and an evolution. Taking out the S-Pen will trigger an S-Note widget where you would then choose a template for notes. My imagination goes off on a journey about other possibilities with the S-Pen. Maybe trigger a few events when the S-Pen is taken out or placed back in. A nice touch is the haptic feedback when taking it out as well as putting it back into the holder.
What makes the software a revolution is Multiwindow. In one word, INCREDIBLE. In the past, I would need to read my email, highlight selected phrases, copy, open up S-Note, and then paste or write down my ideas. Now its all on one screen. I can scroll my email and then jot things down without all the additional steps in between. My only minor gripe is that Samsung should include a native multi-DPI setting so that the Note can have the resolution of either a tablet or phone. This would increase screen real estate (or decrease for the latter) so that more information can be viewed. Imagine being able to view Google Maps and typing up an email about location and direction without constant scrolling/zooming.
For those that are hoping that there are numerous ROMS available, unfortunately that is not the case. There are a handful of ROMS at the time of this writing. Certain ROMs are not stable or have missing functionality while others are a more slimmed down (de-bloated) version of the stock ROM. I miss my original Note mainly because of the number of ROMs available.
As stated, the phone is an evolution of the original Note hardware wise. Not much has changed internally but the form factor is a bit more palm and face friendly. Its the software that really makes this phone.
on November 22, 2012
I just did a price matching and got this phablet from a local best buy store for 199.99.
I will start off by saying that I am a phone nerd. Since I started earning, I have had all the phones out there, starting from Windows 6.5 (HTC Tilt, Tilt 2, Pure) then iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and also all the android phone that I thought were attractive (Nexus S, Moto Atrix, HTC One X, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 - both international and US version, Galaxy Nexus - international version, Galaxy Note and i don't even remember what all phone i have owned...)
Now that we have that list out of way, I will say that this note 2 is 'THE' best phone I have ever owned! It has everything you will ever want. You will not regret buying this phone. Quad core processor and 2 GB ram is amazing. LTE is blazing fast. You will get a lot of roms from XDA soon. The phone is already rooted and has custom recovery available at XDA.
Close your eyes and get this phone!
I have an unlocked phone and use with ATT and T-Mobile.
When one opens the box, there is a sense of awe. People ask "Is this really a phone" was one reaction I got. It is an amazing piece of hardware. I have used Android devices starting from Cupcake version, used iPhone, HP Veer with webOS, Windows 7.5 HTC Titan 2. This phone is the sleekest and one of the best so far. It is fabulous! I find the big size to be very good and not a problem at all. Will the Galaxy Note 3 be 6" ?!
The manual pdf is definitely a must read, there are lot of tips in the manual that comes in handy. For example motion based sensors are extraordinary. Closing the phone with palm silences it. Sliding palm takes a screenshot. There are several such examples. Read the manual.
Out of the box, connect to wireless and get the phone logged into Google account. The advantage of Android phones is that once you are logged into Google universe, everything gets synced up especially if you have been using Android. The position of power button is at an excellent position for your hand on this Note 2. The additional LED for notification on top is very handy. Listen Apple? The camera serves some really futuristic ideas also. It can check if you are looking at the phone and disable screen lock (even if you set timeout to say 30 sec). Also it can serve as password unlock. Amazing! These can be set from Settings Menu.
The Android version as of Oct 26 2012 is Jellybean 4.1.1. Kernel version is 3.0.31-259982. Model GT-N7100. I got the 64 GB microSD card. Get this mobileUltra, it is the latest as of Oct 2012. (SanDisk 64GB Mobile Ultra MicroSDXC Class 6 Memory Card with SD Adapter - Retail Packaging. Settings show an available space of 59.45 GB. So along with 16 GB built (system shows only around 10.46 GB), my Note 2 has 80 GB memory. With music in the Google Music cloud, I intent to use the memory for video/pictures as a camcorder/camera.
I strongly suggest going through Settings and customizing many things as per your desire. I did Voice Input, Keyboard (this comes with English(UK), change to English(US) for example. Fiddle around the settings and you will be amazed how much you can customize. I also did Battery % to appear in notification bar.
One thing I found the default keyboard did not show Mic button. I realized it was next to Sym button. Long press it and choose Mic. And then on, it will appear in default keyboard. Also customize the accent. It can do magic for typing. I type paragraphs at a time effortlessly. This is Google backend servers at work. The Mic on Samsung Galaxy Note 2 does a fantastic job!
S-Pen, Ah.. I was truly impressed. You have to use these to believe it. The note taking was very fluid. Samsung seem to have nailed it. I wrote up an equation in Equation mode - x^5 = x^2 + 2x + .... Something completely random, another one d/dx(an equation) and it recognized perfectly and asked it to search, it went to Wolfram Alpha and solved it. It is at first unbelievable and then it starts to sink in this is a computer program made well. Like it should be in first place! Export to pdf is very good. The main thing is the pen is very fluid and feels like a fountain pen writing.
Overall, the phone feels very smooth and snappy. The screen is crisp and clear. Apps can even be multi screened. Samsung approved apps can be placed two in a screen. Eg. Maps on top and email on bottom portion. I doubt I will use this, but handy.
One gripe I have with this phone is speaker is on the back. Typically if you lie the phone down, the speaker is blocked on bottom. I wish the speakers were in the side. This is a design decision and not sure why phones have speaker on back. But the speaker volume is very high, so I am not complaining too much.
One big pain point with Android is once you purchased/downloaded for free Apps, they cannot be permanently deleted. So even if you get a junk app, and delete immediately they are permanently there in your Google Play store. From the phone's play store I got 300+ Apps. One cannot choose 50 apps and say get all these. You have to do one by one. After getting one, the screen resets to beginning. So I went to a computer browser and pushed apps to pone. This is easier and faster.
UPDATE: In Jelly bean, you have a circle with a / and pressing it prompts a pop up to delete. After delete it reverts to top of the list again. Why dont they go to same spot. I have hundreds, so it is a pain, nevertheless good feature. I will delete few every day!
Some of apps I have as of now :
Android Status : Android Status app shows ARMv7, Max Freq 1.6 GHz, BogoMips 1592.52 Memory 1.79 GB, Free 365 MB, Internal Storage 10.46 GB Free 7.18 GB. Total Process running 271! Kernel 159/User 112 Interface has IPv6 as well as IPv4 address
Angry Birds (Space/Seasons)
Amazon App Store
Car Maintenance Reminder Pro
Google Currents (nice way to read News)
FM Radio (needs headphone)
OverDrive Media Console: Library eBooks & Audiobooks (public library consumption of media)
Microsoft One Note (legacy docs, skydrive of 25 GB is good)
Subsonic Music Streamer
Terminal Emulator (still need to use vi, yes this is it)
TweetCaster Pro for Android (excellent twitter client)
Plenty of Widgets
Ask questions, the review cannot do justice to Note 2, I find something new always. I will be glad to answer any questions.
on April 3, 2013
I've been doing the Android thing for years now. Been through a few manufacturers in that time. And the Samsung Galaxy Note II is, by far, the best phone I've ever had the privilege of using.
First and foremost, the size. It's hard to talk about the Note II without mentioning its size. Based on the reviews I read on the web, I expected this thing to be enormous. Turns out it's really not nearly that big. It's amazingly thin, and a very comfortable size for my hands. Mind you, I do have somewhat large and clumsy hands. For my purposes, this is the perfect size for a phone. If anything, the Otterbox Defender case I put it in is what makes this phone appear really large. Without the case, most people don't really have anything negative to say about its size. Since I always have large pockets on my person (cargo pants, cargo shorts, jackets with large breast pockets, etc), I have no trouble accommodating this device no matter where I go.
One drawback to the size is how ridiculous it looks holding it up to your face when you use it as a phone, especially with the Otterbox Defender case. For this reason, I got a Bluetooth earpiece (Motorola Elite Sliver) which interfaces perfectly with the phone and allows me to make and receive calls without taking the phone out of my pocket. I can also interact with the phone in various other ways via voice commands.
Of course, the Note II's size brings us right into... the beautiful screen! What a fantastic screen. Best I've ever seen on a phone or handheld device. It's large, clear and colorful. In fact, it was so vibrant that I changed the screen mode to "Natural" to help mute some of the colors a bit. As a photographer, I can really appreciate this screen for reviewing pictures and doing some quick edits. It's the best compromise between a normal phone and an unwieldy tablet. It's also fantastic as a driving tool. Navigation is a dream to use on the large screen, and I can fit a ton of huge shortcuts on one home screen to safely interact with the phone while driving without ever taking my eyes off the road. In many cases, it's possible to use the tablet version of apps on this device for better functionality. For example, I use the SwiftKey Tablet keyboard rather than the phone version. This gives me a huge split keyboard in landscape mode, with room for arrow keys and other neat features, thereby making two-handed thumb-typing a joy. (note: the tablet version of Photoshop Touch is not available for the Note II, Adobe specifically blocks it. Only the Phone edition is officially available, which is a shame)
Can you say fast? This thing is blazing fast. I've got well over 100 apps installed, with at least 30 running in the background at all times. I've got 17 active widgets on 6 home screens, all of which update with online data on a regular basis. The interface never misses a beat, and everything runs smooth as silk. I've run some pretty demanding games (Real Racing 3, Modern Combat 4, etc), and none of them needed any special treatment to run properly.
With all those apps and widgets, I was worried battery life would become unbearably short. But that's not the case at all! If I'm using the phone constantly (which I often am), I can get a solid 8 hours out of it. Mind you, this is with constant use of data, heavy graphics, etc, all without ever plugging it in. If I'm just using the phone occasionally for communication tasks and checking updates (like a sane person), then I'm good for about 2 days on a single charge. None of my other Android phones ever lasted much more than a single work day on a charge, so this is a vast improvement.
Another very unique aspect of the Note II is the S Pen. Some might dismiss this as a gimmick (I did at first). But after learning to use it efficiently, I now see the S Pen as a revolutionary way to use a phone! Taking notes is quick and easy, regardless of my current task. Using the S Pen to interface with the screen helps prevent the accumulation of dirt and oil on the surface. And swiping on the keyboard is much more precise. I can type quickly and efficiently with the S Pen in a way I never could with my fingers. As proof, I'm writing this review on my Galaxy Note II right now!
Some will complain about the Samsung TouchWiz layer on top of the stock Android interface, and I guess they have a right to do so. Samsung imposes some frustrating limitations upon users. For example, the included music player is the default music player, and there's no simple way to change that, even if you have another one installed. If you use the call button on a Bluetooth earpiece, S Voice gets triggered, and again there's no simple way to change that. Then there's all the bloatware that comes pre-installed from both Samsung AND AT&T, and most of it is complete garbage. Media Hub and Music Hub are useless memory drains that can't be disabled, S Suggest and S Voice are inferior alternatives to what's available on the Google Play Store and can't be removed, and the TouchWiz launcher is sorely lacking many features that can make the Home screens so much more useful.
But the beauty of Android is that it's endlessly customizable! There ARE alternatives for all of those crappy included apps. And while I state above that some things can't be disabled or removed, that's not exactly true. If you're willing to root your Galaxy Note II, then the sky's the limit for customization. Rooting this device is unbelievably easy and opens the door to making the device truly your own. I've rooted mine. I'm still running the stock Samsung version of Android on my Note II, but I've gotten rid of all the unwanted bloatware, and replaced the built-in "default" apps with my preferred versions from the Google Play Store. My own music player, my own voice command interface, my own launcher, my own lock screen, all without any interference from the Samsung bloatware. No more Media Hub and Music Hub auto-scanning my device and running in the background every time I turn on the phone. In addition, rooting the Note II has allowed me to better secure my phone (Avast! Mobile Security works better on a rooted device, full system backups are now possible, etc). The Note II is a fantastic device as it comes from the factory, but it really becomes the perfect device once it's rooted.
The only version of the Note II available from AT&T is the 16GB edition (in gray and white). I was initially disappointed that the 32GB edition wasn't available, but it turns out that 16GB is more than enough for all my needs. With a 64GB SDXC card installed, there's plenty of room for all 100+ apps that I use, AND all the data they generate. I still have 9GB available on the phone and 35GB on the SDXC card (with over 30GB of music on the SDXC card). I also keep full system backups handy at all times. Turns out the 16GB of onboard flash memory are more than sufficient, and I had nothing to worry about.
Have I heaped enough praise on this yet? But wait, there's more! The current official Android version for the Galaxy Note II is 4.1.2, which is a very recent version, even if it's not quite the latest. But apparently the upcoming version of Android (version 5, Key Lime Pie) is scheduled as an update in the near future! This device is getting a lot of attention from Samsung, they're not going to abandon it anytime soon, and that's great news for someone who's looking for a phone that will remain relevant for a while.
Yes, it's an expensive phone. And it's larger than most phones. But this device has almost completely replaced my desktop as a daily computing device. It's the best portable computing device I've ever used, and I plan to keep it for a long, long time. Worth every penny.
on November 23, 2012
My first smart phone was the Samsung Focus. At first I thought it was kinda cool, having access to all of my Xbox stuff, but all of that got old when there just wasn't much to do, especially when all of my friends an co-workers had Androids and iPhones.
Enter the Note II... I didn't have much experience with the Android environment, except for fiddling a bit with my wife's phone. First, this phone is huge. My hands are fairly big, and I can handle it pretty well. Being so wide, the thinness of it makes me feel like I have to pinch it to hold onto it. (My Ionic Guardian case just came in and fixes this.)
Just to hit the high points - big screen, fast processor, and I've been using it off and on all day (6:00 now) and I'm showing 69% battery. Seems that the battery will last all day, which nowadays (with fairly heavy usage) is all that should be expected.
Camera takes great shots, and slow/fast motion video is pretty cool (even if a little lower quality).
SVoice works great as far as I can tell. I told it to "Remind me to check Amazon at 7:40" (for a lightening deal) and it confirmed and created the task on my calendar. Then I told it "Remind me to watch the game on Saturday at 2:30." It confirmed the date and time and created the task "watch the game"
Haven't used the SPen much, so can't comment too much on it.
At this point, I don't have anything bad to say about it. It is a bit awkward to hold because it is so wide and thin. My wife has small hands, and she says she couldn't use it. If you have big hands, you should be ok, but will likely want a case, not only for protection, but also for better handling.
The only other thing that I notice, there seems to be a delay when you push the unlock button and when the screen comes on...more than a second. That is a bit aggravating.
I also haven't connected it to the bluetooth in my car yet, so I can't comment on that either. I plan on testing that soon, as well as S Beam. Will update at that time.
Let's get to the nitty gritty:
1- It's BIG. Big for gaming, big for videos, big for web browsing. Simply put, if you want a phone with the most real estate on the screen size, then there is no alternative. Don't be so mesmerized on the 1080p screens that will come out soon. Unless you want to destroy your eyes and use the phone from an inch away, you will not notice the difference in everyday use.
2- It's fast. Yes, the Qualcomm S4 Pro quad-core beats this Tegra 3/Exynos 4 CPU in most benchmarks, but again, unless you are a hard-core geek that is OCD on numbers, you will not notice any difference in everyday use. There is no discernible lag anywhere (it's probably just your slow Internet connection).
3- It's beautiful. Not HTC or Sony beautiful, but this is one sleek and stylish phone. The white is classic, but the Titanium Gray is also super slick. Just check out the back cover and you will see what I mean (yes, even with that cheap-feeling plastic material).
4- Did I mention the screen? It's BIG, it's bright, and it's beee-ay-eeww-ti-ful! AMOLED screens have awesome color saturation and contrast (most times even overkill, actually). Some people say it's not good in daylight. Um, have you tried cranking up the brightness??
5- The Samsung/Android touch. Not everyone may like Samsung's Touchwiz user interface compiled onto Android, but I dare you to find a phone with more features than this one (and similarly the Galaxy S3). Here are the main highlights:
a. Samsung utilizes the front facing camera almost to perfection. You can use it to control your music player; it has facial recognition to sense you are directly in front of the screen so it won't dim and turn off the screen (for reading, web browing, video playback, etc.); it recognizes your facial orientation so that when you are lying down sideways looking at the screen, the accelerometer will not kick in to auto-rotate the screen in the wrong orientation. That is something that has always bothered me with other phones and FINALLY someone has added that feature! Granted, not all these features work flawlessly, but it's a great start.
b. Integration with Google is finally starting to show off in good ways. It was always once that Apple had the superior ecosystem. But now we see the future is bright indeed. Not just evolution, but finally innovation!
c. The S Pen and all the neat things you can do with it. Preview a point in the movie before skipping to that point, and other things like going old-school back to the PDA days!
6- It accepts up to a 64GB microSD card. That turned out to be the dealbreaker for me. Explanation in "cons" section below.
1- It's BIG. With my tiny hands(hey hey), I can hardly do anything one-handed with this phone. Pocketability rating: -2. Putting it up on your face to make a phone call is also a big fail if you're sensitive to public ridicule like me. Have your Bluetooth earpiece ready.
2- It's quite heavy. I really wanted to switch to the Verizon Droid DNA - for a 5-inch screen, it was remarkably svelte and light. And if it wasn't for the fact of pi$$-poor Verizon customer service at their call centers, and that it only had 16GB of memory with no microSD card option, I would have made the switch. The Droid DNA is superior in every way except those things mentioned. I have absolutely no doubt that the Samsung Note 3 (and maybe even the Galaxy S4) will be a 1080p screen with the Exynos 5 quadcore - can't wait!
3- The screen may be bright and colorful, but it's way over-saturated and unnatural. Fortunately, you can go to the screen options and set it to "Natural." "Dynamic" is overkill, and even so is "Standard."
Even with its inherent flaws, I can't help but love it. It's not even a phone, it's a cellular tablet(cablet, anyone??). I'm going to keep it. Until the next big thing is already here....
on March 19, 2013
First off let me say I purchased this phone about a month ago from a Best Buy in my area. Having come from a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 I was very happy with the transition. Now lets get to the nitty gritty shall we?
Women usually come to me and go OMG its so big! (just a little joke to get the guys laughing(sorry ladies))
This model of the note was perfected as far as the pen and the operating system goes. The s-pen on this model is so much more responsive and the android operating system is silky smooth. Also, this being the first Note that I have used I will have to give props to Samsung. They engineered it perfectly. The sound is just as amazing as it is on the Samsung Galaxy Player and on a day of heavy use I get a days worth of battery. Recharging once a day works for me, and dispite what apple users say, this is where it is at. I can easily connect this to my Asus G74SX via bluetooth and play music directly from my phone and it is crystal clear! In my experiences I haven't been able to get an iphone to work with a Windows 7 computer with bluetooth (leave it to apple to mess that up!). If you haven't already check out FLOSSYCARTER's videos on youtube and you can see his video review.
Unfortunately this is the part of the review that I am hating having to do because I love this phone!
You can't use the s-pen on the menu and back buttons.
You cannot transfer apps to your sdcard (as of 3/20/2013 this may change).
For those who have had problems space problems on your phones, if you have anything on your google magazines unpin them and delete the movies off your device. You can always re-download them at any time. I hope this resolves your issues.
Thanks for reading and if you like this review be sure to say it helped and leave a comment below. I may revise this review at any given time when I get a chance.
Good day and God Bless