Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – The Return of the Phablet
Samsung Galaxy Note II like it’s predecessor has become a showstealer, being a bridge between the phone and a tablet. The phablet! According to a recent news item, more than 5 million Galaxy Note II’s have been sold till date. Yup it is indeed big – the phone comes with a 5.5 inch screen which makes it to look stunning. At the same time, do not be afraid that you will have to hold a big block near your ears when you have to make a call. The phone is actually slimmer than the original Galaxy Note.
The size of the phone is the most debated element. Some find the phone to be OK after they’ve played with it a little bit; some men and women had no problems in sliding the phone to their pant pockets and/or handbag/purse, respectively. But, some find the phone to be too large to handle with one hand, especially when one has to reach the other end of the screen. Nevertheless, the big screen is a winner. The super AMOLED screen makes the experience excellent for media, games and graphics. The phone also overcomes the most popular bluish tint problem that is common with AMOLED displays.
Build – Samsung Galaxy Note II is available in two colors – Marble white and Titanium Gray. A hard silver color bezel runs around the glossy plastic corners of the device. In fact the Note 2 has borrowed it’s styling from the Galaxy S III, making this look like the bigger brother. Even though the device is ‘large’ the slim form factor of the phone makes it feel smaller than it actually is when you hold it. In fact the Note 2 is larger than the original Note!
Processor and Internals – The device has a 1.6 GHz quad core processor, 2GB RAM and 16 to 64GB of internal memory (depending on the model you pick). You can add an additional of up to 64 GB of memory via a microSD slot. Due to the quad-core processor, switching between apps is smooth and swift; but the phone does lag behind when switching between the portrait and landscape views (this can however be locked if you don’t prefer the auto-rotate). The speedy processor also ensures that the apps and games you load on the device don’t lag.
Platform – The Galaxy Note 2 ships with Android Jelly Bean. Samsung has also added their TouchWiz interface on top of the Android layer. The Android Purists can always find things to niggle about this since it overrides some of the Android Jelly Bean interfaces, but the Touch Wiz should go well with most other Android users.
Stylus Pen – The phone comes with a more easy-to-use and handy stylus pen, which is redesigned from that of the original Note. Since it is not round and has squared off edges, the pen is easy to hold and helps keep away accidental presses and doesn’t slip off the hand. Even though the television ads show the S Pen working up it’s magic on the Note, a word of caution – it can be clunky at times and some of the features work well only with Samsung Apps. It’s a useful addition nevertheless for quick scribbles, annotations and notes on the fly.
Software – The camera software has many predefined shooting modes for efficient capture. One of the coolest features is the Best Face feature that lets you take multiple shots of group photos and the feature looks out for out-of-focus faces or faces that look away from the camera. The Best Face feature then combines the best faces (of individual persons) from the different shots to make a better photo. The camera is also able to quickly auto focus on moving objects and also changes orientation pretty fast. The front camera is 1.9 megapixels and helps with good quality video calls.
Battery backup – The 3, 100 mAh battery can keep the phone up to 14 hrs of intense use (watching Youtube videos, streaming high quality songs etc), most users who end up getting the Note 2 is because of the battery life on this device – it just gones on and on, on a single charge.
Overall the phone excels in its performance, look and feel. I applaud Samsung’s attempt to make Galaxy Note II a bridge between the phone & the tablet.
You can get more information on the Galaxy Note II from Samsung’s site.