Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review
- Beautiful, bright, screen
- Great battery life
- Lightning fast
- Overbearing TouchWiz UI
- Disappointing speaker
- Very big
Undeniably one of the surprise tech stories of 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Note sold in bucket loads proving that the niche product actually had mass appeal.
Having already served up the improved S-Pen technology with the bigger screen surroundings of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 ‘phablet’ brings more inches, power and multi-tasking prowess to the party with a device that fits snug in the pocket.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Build
Taking clear design cues from the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, think of the Note 2 as a kind of super-sized version of the flagship handset, swapping straight lines for sleeker curves and a white paint job "inspired by ‘nature", so the marketing blurb tells us.
At 9.4mm thick, it’s slimmer than the original Note (9.65mm) but not as slender as the Samsung Galaxy S3 (8.6mm), but at 182.5g heavier than the original Galaxy Note (178g).
In terms of the key physical features, you’ll find the rounder home button at the bottom of the screen flanked by two capacitive buttons. The power button is situated on the right edge of the device with the volume rocker on the opposite side while the charging micro HDMI cable port sits at the bottom of the handset.
The 3.5mm headphone jack sits at the top and hiding at the bottom right hand corner is the new, more accurate S-Pen. At the back sits the 8-Megapixel camera with flash alongside it and the loud speaker at the other end.
Behind the replaceable cover you’ll find the microSD card slot which can expand storage to 64GB and the microSIM slot which will give you phone functionality.
Putting this to your ear to make a call is still likely to draw strange looks, but the more curved design actually makes it feel not so abnormally large in the hand. It does seem more suited to a handbag, manbag or inside jacket pocket than a pair of jeans though.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Features
Samsung’s TouchWiz UI is overlaid on top bringing seven homescreens instead of the Android standard of five, its own web browser, app drawer and branded apps like S-Suggest and S-Planner scattered all over the place.
You can also reap the benefits of new Jelly Bean features including Google Now and expect a speedier UI performance and reduced lag thanks to Project Butter.
Following on from the Note 10.1 the advanced smart pen is based around the same tech found in the Wacom digitizer which means you can expect improved pressure sensitivity while you are being creative.