The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the much-anticipated successor to the original Galaxy Note, the largest smartphone on the market and the first true phone/tablet crossover device. While the Galaxy Note 2 release date is penned for October 24th in the US, the Samsung “phablet” is already available in other countries, including India.
We’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with the Galaxy Note 2, and on the whole, we’re pretty impressed. The Galaxy Note 2 is a bigger, beefier and more polished offering than the original Note and is guaranteed to gain some traction when it hits stores next month. Here’s our Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review:
Galaxy Note 2 Design
Design-wise, the Galaxy Note 2 is basically a big Galaxy S3. It features the same basic design, with rounded corners, big glossy screen and thin bezel. If you like the look of the S3 then the Galaxy Note 2 won’t disappoint. In similar fashion to the Galaxy S3, the new Galaxy Note 2 features a single central home button and capacitive touch buttons on either side – one for the menu, one for moving back.
The original Galaxy Note was criticized by some for being too big for everyday use as a phone, with its large 5.3-inch display creating some obvious ergonomic challenges. Instead of shrinking down the size on the new Note, Samsung have actually bumped up the display to a massive 5.55 inches. Despite the increase in screen real-estate, side-by-side the Galaxy Note 2 is not all that much larger than the original Note. In addition, the dimensions of the new screen now create a natural 16:9 aspect ratio which is perfect for viewing HD video on the beautiful 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED display.
While the Galaxy Note 2 is only marginally larger than the original Note, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a big phone. Your impression of the size and its usability as a phone will depend in part on how big your hands are, and what you feel comfortable with. For most users, a Bluetooth headset will be a mandatory accessory as the Galaxy Note 2 appears awkwardly large when held to the ear.
Just like the Galaxy S3, the Note 2 comes in two different colors – marble white and titanium gray.
Galaxy Note 2 Features
The Galaxy Note 2 tech specs are impressive. The device is powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos 4 processor, backed up with 2GB of internal RAM and 16GB of on-board storage with the ability to expand to 64 GB with a microSD card. It’s also the first Samsung phone to launch with Android Jelly Bean 4.1 right out of the box.
The Galaxy Note 2 sports a 3,100 mAh battery which should yield around 12 hours of active use. While the battery on the original Note was just 2,500 mAh, the Galaxy Note 2 features a number of power-hungry features including 4G LTE, a larger screen so effective battery life gains will be minimal.
The rear camera on the Galaxy Note 2 is essentially the same high-performance 8-megapixel camera from the Galaxy S3, and there’s a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.
Galaxy Note 2 S-Pen
The Galaxy Note 2 comes with the new S Pen stylus and a whole host of new S Pen features designed to enhance productivity. The stylus itself has been redesigned and is wider and has flatter sides. The tip now generates more friction, a change designed to make the S Pen ‘feel’ more like you’re writing on paper.
You simply remove the S Pen from its dock to access a bevy of new S Pen applications, amongst which include ‘Easy Clip’, ‘Airview’ and ‘Quick Command’. Easy Clip gives you the ability to trace and crop images from your browser or photo albums and then paste the cropped content into apps or share with friends. Air View lets you preview files such as albums, videos or calendar entries and emails simply by hovering the S Pen over them and Quick Command is a feature that allows you to create custom gestures so you can load your most-used apps with just a few swipes of the stylus.
The new S Pen features are largely intuitive, but there is a lot to get your head around when you use the Galaxy Note 2 for the first time.
The new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 reinvigorates the “phablet” class that it helped to define with the launch of the first Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note 2 is more polished and more refined than its predecessor, and the new S Pen features add additional functionality.
There is admittedly a lot of overlap in both design and feature-sets with the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy 10.1, but the Galaxy Note 2 is a solid offering and will undoubtedly be well received by its target market.
The Galaxy Note 2 release date is just one month away – what Galaxy Note 2 features are you looking forward to most? Will you be making the upgrade? Let us know in the comments below.