43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Best smart phone I've owned,
This review is from: Samsung Galaxy Note II, White 16GB (AT&T) (Wireless Phone)
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!