Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review: A Bigger, Badder S3

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is out and about, and it’s an impressive piece of work indeed. It’s bigger and more “finished” than the first Note.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 looks a lot like the Galaxy S3 – rounded corners, thin bezel and a huge screen. It has a home button in the centre and touch buttons along the sides. One button is for the menu and the other is a back button.

The original Note was declared to be too big and people said it wouldn’t be used as an everyday phone because of the 5.3” screen. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 now has a 5.5” screen but doesn’t seem that much bigger. The screen aspect is 16:9 and this works perfectly when you’re watching HD video on that Super AMOLED 1,280x720p screen.

So, it’s big, and if you’ve got large hands you’ll be fine. You’ll be best with a Bluetooth headset as it can get uncomfortable to hold the phone up to your ear for a long time. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also comes in marble white or titanium grey.

Its features are amazing – a 1.6GHz quad core Exynos chip with 2GB of RAM. There’s 16GB of internal storage and you can boost it up by another 64GB. It runs Jelly Bean and is the first handset pre loaded with it to arrive on the market. Hands on, you can’t fail to be impressed by its speed. It’s faster than the Samsung Galaxy S3 on ICS even.

The 3,100mAh battery gives 12 hours of talk time – the original Note had a 2,500mAh battery, so this upgrade is welcome – and needed thanks to the larger display and LTE. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has an 8MP rear camera and a 1.9MP front camera.

Note 2 also has a redesigned S-Pen with several new features. The stylus is wider and more ergonomic, with flatter sides. The tip of the stylus gives you a bit of friction and feels like writing on real paper. Just take the pen from its dock and you’ll get access to all its apps, like Airview, Easy Clip and Quick Command. Easy Clip is fab for cropping images, which can then be shared with friends of pasted into different apps. Air View gives you a preview of content like photos, emails and videos by hovering the stylus over them.

So, we have S-Pen and the usual TouchWiz features, but one stand-out feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its multi-tasking windows. Samsung has reinvented multi-tasking on Android, and it’s so good that it should be adopted platform-wide.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has raised the game of the phablet. It’s a great device, and despite its size it should prove popular. The size might send some into the smaller arms of the S3, but the truth is that the Note 2 is a bigger, more feature-packed and faster Galaxy S3.

Alex customizes his cars and smartphones like its going out of fashion. Jumping between Korean and American, not only does Alex provide in-depth reviews but he usually hangs on to the models for some “real world testing” weeks at a time.