Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

T3 4
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

    Love

    • Beautiful
    • bright
    • screen
    • Great battery life
    • Lightning fast

    Hate

    • Overbearing TouchWiz UI
    • Disappointing speaker
    • Very big
    title: Camera / url: camera

    When you pull the S-Pen out from its compartment, it will instantly launch a selection of optimized apps and it is likely that S-Note will be your first port of call.

    Previously just a place to doodle and take notes, the application feels more useful in its latest guise adding the ability to add videos and pictures to documents, support handwriting recognition and Wolfram Alpha integration for working out formulas.

    Other S-Pen apps include S Planner (calendar) and integration with the email client, but it is likely that S-Note is where you’ll appreciate how handy it is as a brainstorming tool.



    Multi-tasking is another feather in the Note 2’s impressive bow for those who are so busy they need to have two applications running at once on the same screen that can interact with each other.

    We got to play with various features including Air View which let’s you hover over functions to preview but the Multi Window mode was only available as a software update after our playtime with the Note 2. Stay tuned for details on that.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Camera

    In the camera department, there’s a respectable 8-Megapixel rear-facing snapper with auto focus that can be adjusted on the screen and an LED Flash.

    Interestingly, the front-facing camera which is capable of HD recording is now just 1.9-Megapixels down slightly from the 2-Megapixel one on the original Note. You can expect all picture editing modes and features seen on the S3 including Face Detection and Best Photo to be on board as well.

    The flash is pretty bright on first use as unsuspecting pictorial targets found out but does manage to pick out colours impressively. Things can get a little blurry the more you zoom in, but it is up there with some of the best smartphone snappers on the market.

  • Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 functions as both a phone and a tablet, but does the combo actually work or is it suffering from an identity crisis?

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

    Love

    • Beautiful
    • bright
    • screen
    • Great battery life
    • Lightning fast

    Hate

    • Overbearing TouchWiz UI
    • Disappointing speaker
    • Very big

    Update: The Samsung Galaxy 2 release date has been revealed as 1 October 2012. The device is set to be available across all major networks.

    Samsung has updated the biggest smartphone ever, defying critics and pushing the smartphone and tablet hybrid idea to the max with an even bigger screen - can it work?

    The Galaxy Note 2 is after the business market and creative types. You still look silly when not using hands-free headphones or a Bluetooth headset (don’t hold it to your ear in public) but we’re warming to that S Pen idea.

    Against the HTC One X,  forthcoming LG Optimus 4X HD and even the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2 really does have a lot to shout about.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Build

    The Galaxy Note 2 is a premium smartphone tablet hybrid like the original Galaxy Note but the screen is bigger - 5.5 inch - although the physical size of the smartphone isn’t, meaning a better edge to edge screen.

    It’s surprisingly light like the Galaxy S3 and the new and improved S Pen stylus (it’s got a rubber end for easier browsing) fits securely in the bottom of what is, essentially, the biggest phone in the world.

    It’s fine for a suit trouser pocket but not your normal jeans, unless you’re a fan of baggy dungarees.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Features

    The refresh of the Galaxy Note includes a beefed-up processor: a quad core 1.6 Ghz chip to power the bigger screen and Android Jelly Bean 4.1.

     

    The S Pen allows you to hover over icons to get more info on apps or content too - you don’t need to actually touch the screen.

    It’s the best implementation of Jelly Bean 4.1 we’ve seen so far and the drawing apps are as fun as ever and unique to the Galaxy Note.

    The camera is an impressive 8 megapixel snapper too and the results are great, if behind the image quality of the recent Sony Xperia T.

    There’s a noticeable jump in speed for general use against the original Galaxy Note too

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Screen

    The 1280 x 720 pixel Super HD Amoled 5.5 inches looks stunning. It evens beats the Galaxy S3 for sheer wow factor and the deep blacks and brilliantly vivid colours work well alongside the responsive new features.

    The 16:9 ratio makes apps like BBC iPlayer look very impressive.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Performance

    The Galaxy Note 2 is a real powerhouse - the features demand power and the Galaxy Note 2 packs a real punch.

    We haven’t tested the battery life just yet but if Samsung can offer a iPhone 4S level of performance, the Galaxy Note 2 could easily make further inroads into the business market.

    As a creative tool, ‘phablet’ or otherwise, the Galaxy Note 2 offers many exclusive features that simply aren’t available on rival phones or even tablets.

    The camera is the only feature which isn’t super-powered but at 8 megapixels, it’s not exactly lacking either.

    And editing large images on the fly feels like using a new iPad and iPhoto but better, thanks to the S Pen.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Verdict

    If your pocket can cope with the size and the price tag, the Galaxy Note 2 is an Android dream - easily surpassing the Galaxy S3.

    While some may laugh, the original Galaxy Note was a brave step that showed originality from Samsung and even inspired rival smartphones from LG.

    There’s no denying that the Galaxy Note 2 is a niche smartphone for show-offs and Android fanboys but, personally, we’re in that camp and think the Galaxy Note 2 is an original piece of fun in an increasingly confused and copycat smartphone market.

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 availability: October

    Samsung Galaxy Note 2 price: TBC

    Words:Richard Melville

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 2 preview
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