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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review: S3 Hits The Gym!

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has hit the shores of the US and it looks like a larger clone of the Samsung Galaxy S3. So was it worth the wait and what does it have to offer?

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review: more than a giant S3

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has the same thin bezel, corners that are rounded and the large display. The home button is in the middle of the handset at the bottom and is surrounded by touch buttons on either side. One of these is to get you home and the other is for the menu. The device is available in titanium grey or marble white.

The sheer size of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has you wondering whether it would be suitable to use as a day to day handset. The display is 5.5 inches; however with the thin bezel it doesn’t really look much larger than the display on the Note or even the Samsung Galaxy S3. The screen ratio is 16:9 and this makes it perfect for watching movies, the display is Super AMOLED.

Those with large hands will have no problem holding the device. However you might want to use the Note 2 with a Bluetooth headset for taking long calls frequently, as it can get heavy when holding it up to the ear.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with hardware that has been improved over the Galaxy S3. It has a quad core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB of RAM. In the US the Samsung Galaxy S3 is dual core with 2GB of RAM and internationally it has a quad core processor and 1GB of RAM, so none have the ideal combination of 2GB RAM & quad-core like the Note.

Storage wise there is 16GB of internal and you can boost this up to 80GB with SD card. The device has Jelly Bean and Project Butter and when combined with the quad core processor, it is very fast and smooth. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is faster than the S3 model we tested running ICS as we flipped through pages in the web browser and ran YouTube videos.

The battery is 3100mAh, the original Note had a battery of 2500mAh. This means you should get around 12 hours of talking with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, even with LTE and the larger display. The camera on the back is 8 megapixels and there is a 1.9 camera on the front too. When tested the battery life was just slightly under that of the S3, lasting 7 hours on Wi-Fi and playing a looped video.

The S Pen features have been improved over the original Note and the stylus has been more ergonomically designed. It actually feels as though you are writing on paper with a pen. It supports apps such as Easy Clip, Air View and Quick Command. Easy Clip allows you to crop images and then share them with other apps. Airview is excellent for previewing videos and messages as all you have to do is hold the stylus over them.

The S Pen feature is superb; however the biggest show stealer is the multi-windows. Samsung have totally rewritten the multi-tasking widget and you can run two apps at the same time in different windows and change the size of the windows independently.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be the game changer in the world of phablets and even with the large size, it should be a best-seller. There are many that will prefer the smaller Galaxy S3; however the S3 lacks the features, screen & battery size, as well as more powerful processor that gives the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 its charm.

Cecelia has the patience of a praying mantis. She spends the day sifting through press releases from all the major brand’s PR reps. From the most ridiculous announcements to those you really want to know more about, Cecelia makes it a point to skim through as many daily as possible so you won’t have to.