Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Manufacturer: Samsung Part number: GALAXYNOTE2TITGRYULK
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CNET editors' review
price range: $49.99 - $599.99
- Reviewed by: Jessica Dolcourt
- Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
- Released on: 10/24/2012
The good: Oodles of screen real estate make the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 terrific for videos, games, and reading; and its improved stylus aids productivity. A blazing quad-core processor, a great camera, and strong battery life round out the advantages of this Android 4.1 phone.
The bad: The huge display makes the Galaxy Note 2 unwieldy to carry, and hiccups in the S Pen stylus and apps can slow you down. The pricey Note 2 isn't a suitable tablet replacement across all categories.
The bottom line: Samsung delivers a powerful, boundary-pushing device that gets a lot right. Yet its complicated features and high price raise questions about its purpose.
You could use this phone as a weapon!
by voraciousink on January 9, 2013
Speed/Fluid GUI (Seriously, it's stupid fast. So is the HSPA+ connection so stop dissing it)
Survives drop test/solid feeling
No free wi-fi hotspot unless rooted
No Apps to SD unless rooted
S Voice instead of Google Now as default
Crappy back cover
Summary: I had my doubts when I went to test drive the phone in store before purchasing it. I can tell you, hands-down, this is the best phone on T-mo right ...
Summary: I had my doubts when I went to test drive the phone in store before purchasing it. I can tell you, hands-down, this is the best phone on T-mo right now. Why not the S3, you ask? Well, the build quality of the S3 feels cheap (although one may argue aren't all Samsung phones?) and it can't survive a drop test even though it has Gorilla Glass. Why not the Nexus 4? Seriously, also Gorilla Glass front/back and cannot survive a drop test. What is wrong with these devices? Google the videos. You would think this thing wouldn't either given its size, but it can. I mean you could probably throw it at someone and knock them out. The Note 2 feels solid in the hand.Pro:
Now, as to why some of the pros and cons are the same. SIZE: This thing is not for everyone. I had my doubts at first, but when I demo'ed the beast, it actually made a lot of sense for my purposes. I'm an artist and I don't have a tablet. This allows me to do quick sketches and jot down ideas. I wear cargo shorts and pants all the time, so I have storage for the thing. It actually feels natural to me now. Now, when I look at my old MyTouch 4g or a the iPhone 5, I gotta squint. Also, I have large hands and it feels right. Surpisingly, one-handed operation isn't too problematic and there is a setting for it. (In fact, I feel like there is some sort of setting for everything.) My wife likes using it every now and then, but honestly can't see having one because it's too big in her hands and won't fit in a clutch. Priorities!
S-PEN: Okay, the S-Pen and the battery cover are about the cheapest feeling things on this phone. The S-Pen is tiny and the click-button on it is awkward. Given the size of the phone, you would think they could make the pen or the button slightly longer. Once you get use to the darn thing, it's pretty amazing. I feel like I have my own mini WACOM system. Coupled with Sketchpad, this device is stupendous. Seriously, what's the point of carrying around a tablet and a phone? Ipad-schmipad. This is where it's at people! The cut and paste function through the S-Pen is a killer feature. So much fun to crop things out of photos and place them elsewhere- mini-Photoshop! I just wish there were more apps that took advantage of the multi-window feature. Given the screen size, it's like you have two phones next to each other: ridiculous!
Android 4.1: Why the OS? The OS is fantastic overall in terms of UI. It's fast, good at managing tasks: shutting them down. I like the long press on the home key to bring up available apps/frequently open apps to switch back and forth or to swipe close. Super-efficient. The problem? With it, T-mo has closed the usage of free wi-fi hotspot. In fact, all carriers are affected ny this as far as I know. Your only option to tether is now to root the device. Also, I do not enjoy S Voice. It just doesn't work well. This is a problem as I got use to using the Hands-free Genius features of the MT4G and, though rudimentary, worked exceptionally well. You can't switch it to Google Now either (which does a much better job) unless you install Home2 (which doesn't take advantage of bluetooth) or root. These are the biggest disappointments for me. The other thing is with the new OS, you can't save apps to your SD card. This makes sense on the level of security but really limits the number of apps you can have at your disposal if you live one of those app-intensive lifestyles. I don't; I would just like the option.
Overall, this is a fantastic product and I can say once you use it (and if it makes sense to you) there is no going back to a smaller phone or possibly any other phone.
Updated on Feb 12, 2013
Seamless social media integration
Sketchpad app coupled with S-Pen is phenomenal. Allows me to blog my sketches straight away. Check nguyeningit on Wordpress for examples.
Cannot execute hands-free voice functions if pattern/PIN screenlock is in place- very weak considering this is standard across so many devices.
This phone is now my official sketchbook/idea notebook. If only they could fix some of the issues then this would be the perfect smartphone- no joke.
The ultimate phablet!!!
by vlatanasov on January 5, 2013
Pros: You can enjoy all the mobility of a smartphone plus the extras of a small tablet. All this powered up by a high end hardware!
Cons: So far I have not noticed cons in spite of the many complain of its size, I am absolutely happy with its dimensions.
Summary: A must have if you want to be free and do whatever you think of on the go. The perfect anti-iPhone!
Summary: A must have if you want to be free and do whatever you think of on the go. The perfect anti-iPhone!
Best phone I've ever owned
by NthingisTrueEvyThgisPrmtd on January 3, 2013
Pros: The big screen, the fast processor, loads of on phone storage, and the ability to expand with a microSD, S Pen, battery life
Cons: The physical home button seems out of place
Summary: I got the HTC Evo 4G when it first came out and felt great being at the front edge of cell phone technology. After two years on that phone, I ...
Summary: I got the HTC Evo 4G when it first came out and felt great being at the front edge of cell phone technology. After two years on that phone, I felt like I was using a phone from the middle ages.
I was drawn towards the Galaxy Note 2 because I had been so impressed with the first Note phone. The one worry I had was that it might be too large for me (and I have pretty big hands). The first time I picked it up, I knew it was my next phone.
It's thinner and lighter then my old Evo, while having a much larger screen and double the battery life. I've used it to stream Netflix, run games off the market, run emulated games, make grocery lists, watched live tv through my slingbox, and it does everything I can ask it to and more.
I have horrible handwriting, and the S Pen still can figure out what I'm writing most of the time. I've all but stopped typing in my grocery lists and sometimes just have the S Pen out while reading articles. The feature that you don't even have to touch the pen to the screen to get it to read that you want to scroll is really nice.
I also picked up the Moga game controller and have used it to play video games. I played mario kart and star fox the whole bus ride home from work yesterday. The big screen makes it perfect for gaming.
The only gripe I have is the physical home button. With everything being so slick and responsive, it's kind of weird and a pain to push an actual button! I know how that sounds, but it just feels out of place on this phone.
Bottom line: This phone has the hardware, this phone has the software. Now that I've had it for three weeks, it seems normal sized to me. I actually found myself thinking, Huh, I could do with a bigger screen. This phone is awesome. Go to a store and play with one and you'll probably end up loving it
An almost perfect phone but the blemishes hold it back
by shawnshine on December 30, 2012
Pros: Screen Size, tactile feedback, adjustable 1 hand operation options, weight, responsiveness, amount of memory (2gb), S-pin and S-Note (if your a note taker like me), Start-up/Shut-down time, Charges very quickly, Battery Life (Begrudgingly).
Cons: Sparse UI, Total lack of any useful widgets, Email app is awful, lack of customizable settings. Internal Storage and SD-Card system design issue (more on that later), Can't prevent contacts lists being updated with every app that gets installed.
Summary: The Galaxy Note 2 is basically an amazing phone on paper and in practice. There are a gazillion reviews that prove this out. However, I'm going to focus on ...
Summary: The Galaxy Note 2 is basically an amazing phone on paper and in practice. There are a gazillion reviews that prove this out. However, I'm going to focus on it's shortcomings, mostly because I haven't really seen too many reviews that have gone over them and also because they are some very serious irritants. For the most part the phone is the high-end performance car of the year. But it's really more of a Corvette than a Lamborghini. Why? Well, it's like going to seeing a new Corvette on the lot and then while driving it you find out that, while motor and drive train are awesome, the interior has plastic instead of leather, the stereo doesn't have a cd-player, much less blue-tooth, the windows are manual roll-down, and the seats are synthetic vinyl. And your gas tank is only 16 gallons, but you can only fill it up with 10 gallons because it was designed and installed by the TATA Car company in India. Still, you can order a 64 gallon tank add-on that doesn't actually attach to the fuel system. They got the exterior, performance, drive-ability, and specs just right, but they kinda forgot all the things that make a high performance car worth having, all the creature comforts that make an expensive car worth having.I forgot to mention that there isn't a way to prevent apps like Facebook and LinkedIn from commandeering your contacts list. I use Google for my contacts and I keep my list very clean. As soon as I logged into Facebook (and LinkedIn) my list got worked over. I didn't get any option to prevent importing the new contacts from those apps. You can remove the accounts by way of removing the app, but Google had already updated my Google Contacts so I'm stuck manually deleting about 300 contacts that I don't want. I will take full responsibility if I did something inadvertently, but to my knowledge I was never given a prompt or acknowledgment that the apps wanted to hogtie my contacts list.
Problem 1: Sparse UI - Once you get past the oh's and aw's of the display, you quickly realize that the UI is about as basic as a phone can get. It's functional, but that's about it. There is so little customization available that you almost wonder if you are really holding the Galaxy Note 2 or some prototype proof of concept model by mistake. You get 5 home screens to start. You really have to dig to figure out how to enable all 7. Have a sort of plain looking notification bar/pull down menu. Thankfully, the pull down menu does have most of the basic settings you would expect, blue-tooth, data, silent mode, etc. But you still have to into settings to enable/disable WiFi which I find very odd. Navigating the UI is easy, but that's just because there isn't really much there.
Problem 2 - Widgets - I do love the Clock/Weather Widget on the home screen but since Samsung basically put the basics in the pull down menu, they didn't do any additional work in creating a robust widget system (Think HTC Sense 4). The few widgets that are included appear to just be after thoughts. There is a laughable calender widget that is really more of a list. You can't set an actual calender up, but it does let you click on the list and open into a calender (by the way, this is the ONLY calendar that will work with the S-pen at the moment). You do get to add your Gmail, Exchange, and other calendars to it though so you can view all of your appointments. My biggest beef is that there are no practical widgets for hardware/software settings. No WiFi, silent, blue-tooth, power saver, timeout, etc. There are a few media widgets for music and video, but they are plain Jane, functional but not much else. There's also a couple Widgets for S-Notes, nice to have but really not needed as the S-Note launches as soon as you pull out the stylus anyway (though, that can be turned off if you wish). Still I'm happy that the option to have them is there. There is also a spartan version of Favorite Apps widget and Favorite Contacts Widget. Fine if you just want something out of the box that is functional, but this is a powerhouse phone and deserves to have a truly outstanding widget suite that taps into it's power user greatness. I opted for getting Beautiful Widgets from the app store as well as Power Widget Lite customizable widgets. Your choice of usability and aesthetics is obviously going to differ from mine, but, if you want additional functionality, your going to have to get off the ranch and head into town.
Problem 3 - Email Client - Again, this is a power house phone for power users. Power Users demand a robust, full featured, and highly customizable email client. The Galaxy Note 2 Email Client is none of that. It is bare bones, and even the bones are a little anemic. It's functional and that's it. You can add Gmail, Exchange, POP, and IMAP accounts. The Exchange account does have a few of the exchange features like remote management / data wipe for Exchange administrators. Here again, this is the only Mail Client that will work with S-Pen, so if you want S-Pen functionality, you'll have to trade off on the Email Client functionality/customization. I'm not sure it's worth it as the client just looks awful, the colors are dark, the text size is huge, (like your grandmother whose legally blind huge). You can turn this down a notch, but it's still way to big. Plus the account colors are a teeny tiny little vertical bar on the left hand side of the messages making it very difficult to figure out which account the message is from. K-9 or Enhanced Email are much better clients and probably the way to go, unless you really just have to have the S-Pen email experience.
Problem 4 - SD CARD Storage / Internal and External - This one here is a ball-buster. In no review have I seen it said that the SD Card Storage design is just Whack-a-Doodle! But it is. It's absolutely crazy insane. Check this out: Your new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes with an SD Card Expansion slot that will take up to a 64 Gig SD Card! That's Awesome! Best in Class! ---- Not so fast! You see, Samsung (and Google) pulled a little trick with ICS/Jelly Bean. Your phone has 16 Gig of internal storage, but 10 of that is converted to what's called a "Virtual SD Card" and it does not actually use your physical (and expensive) external SD Card. I know right, *** (Why the Face)? And it is not changeable. You are stuck with storing ALL of your Apps on internal storage, a whole whopping 10 gig. So that $50 you just boned up for that super SD Card? Yeah, you know. There are a couple options here. One, voice your protests to Samsung, who knows maybe they'll listen if enough people complain and fix it. Two, be content and live with it. Or three, and this is not recommend unless you are absolutely sure you know what your doing, root your phone and apply a mod to that makes your external SD card appear as the internal storage space. To note, if you choose to live it, you will be able to save your pictures, videos, and some downloads (if your browser allows you to set the download path) to the external SD card. But you will have to manage your app space or risk running out of room.
Problem 5 - Slippery, and I mean really slippery. If you have a Galaxy S3, you know it's slippery if you don't have a case, but since you can grip it with one hand it's not much of an issue. With the Galaxy Note 2, it becomes one. This thing is big and for the most part requires two hands for a lot of tasks. I cannot count how many times this thing has slipped out of my hand (or hands) and only by the grace of he who shall not be named has it not hit the floor. It's slick as snot. The Samsung Flip Cover case for it doesn't really fix the issue either and the back cover is still smooth plastic (plus it doesn't provided any protection of the corners). You'll have to pony up for a nice case (or a not nice case if your the kind of person who cozy-ups to the bad boy/girl type.
So for a quick recap, this phone is 90% awesome, and 10% "I can't believe it came with a cheese grater but doesn't have a Popiel rotisserie?" It's a great device with lots to love, it just has some really big irritants, some more irritating than others for sure, but eventually, the kind of things that just get at you over time. There are certainly fixes for all of them depending on how much you want to tinker. Are they enough to make you decide not to purchase the phone? Possibly, considering that had I known about the SD Card limitation, I may have gone with the HTC Droid DNA from Verizon instead (with it's limit of 16 Gig internal memory) and saved about $100 plus dollars. It's something to think about.
Updated on Dec 30, 2012
Updated on Jan 2, 2013Disregard my previous update. I ended up deleting the linkedin and facebook apps and upon reinstalling the options to keep from updating contacts was there. not sure why I had an issue to begin with. Also, there is an option to only display the contact list you want. I wish it had been a little more obvious as to where to find it but it is there.
The Best Phone I ever had.
by PimpThe478 on December 26, 2012
Pros: The ability to customize home screens,the smooth and quick browsing experience,Google Instant,S pen,Large screen to watch video,the ability to align keyboard to left or right depending on whether you're left handed or right handed.
Cons: Although one of biggest selling points was battery life-I found that my battery actually does not last all that long.It is not terrible but not exactly all that long.
Summary: I can't compare it to the Iphone5 or the GS3-so I don't want to make a comparison but it is the most complete electronic device that I have ...
Summary: I can't compare it to the Iphone5 or the GS3-so I don't want to make a comparison but it is the most complete electronic device that I have ever had and that is no joke.
I can easily say its the best phone Ive ever owned.
by ncowen92 on December 18, 2012
Pros: Great for school. The multitasking and availability of the note paired with the S pen makes tasking so much easier.
Cons: I really wish the power button was located at the top of the phone. Also if you use the phone for everything from taking notes to browsing the web to gaming like I do the battery will need a late afternoon charge.
Summary: Coming from an iPhone 4 and never having any smartphone off of ios until now I am blown away. This phone is amazing and has convinced me to never go ...
Summary: Coming from an iPhone 4 and never having any smartphone off of ios until now I am blown away. This phone is amazing and has convinced me to never go back. The phone itself is also awesome for games, videos, taking notes for school, or general use. I would definitely recommend this phone to anyone thinking about it. Even over the Galaxy S III
The most amazing phone yet!
by abbaszahmed on December 17, 2012
Pros: Superb Graphic, large screen for watching movies and videos, faster processor and ease of use!
Cons: Nothing bad of this amazing phone.
Outstanding Gargantuan Artistry!
by reggieburris on December 13, 2012
Pros: Vivid display; smooth; more solid than a S3; removable memory; micro simm ; one hand operations capability settings; integrated texting fluidity; Jelly bean OS; Easily flash enabled with Flash Plugin; etc., etc., etc.
Cons: BIG as in HUIGE!
Summary: The sound is loud and and clarity rivals the iPad if not better. Videos look clear and if the lighting is dim, easily lighten it with the easily accessible brightness ...
Summary: The sound is loud and and clarity rivals the iPad if not better. Videos look clear and if the lighting is dim, easily lighten it with the easily accessible brightness button.
Be ye not deterred by the size. This is the best hand phone, or rather two handed phone on Earth.
by androidcatdog on December 9, 2012
Pros: Too many to list.
Cons: Not pure android, non-guaranteed/slower updates, lesser quality apps than the iPhone 5, less ppi.
Summary: The Note 2 crushes the iphone 5: Lesser SAR radiation level, Jelly Bean OS, Removable long-lasting battery, SD card, LED notification light, Huge display, S-pen, Google Maps, Choice of keyboards, ...
Summary: The Note 2 crushes the iphone 5: Lesser SAR radiation level, Jelly Bean OS, Removable long-lasting battery, SD card, LED notification light, Huge display, S-pen, Google Maps, Choice of keyboards, Light-weight and pocketable, Great camera, Replaceable backplate in case of drop, etc... all make the Note 2 superior. Go big or not at all.The Note 2 has an extra GB of RAM vs the iphone 5.
Updated on Dec 9, 2012
Updated on Dec 9, 2012The Note 2's Quad-core processor vs iphone 5's dual-core.
Updated on Dec 9, 2012The Note 2 has automatic text reflow/ word wrap. With the iPhone 5, you must move your finger on the screen to the right and then back to the left to read all the words. With the Note 2, you can speed-read the whole paragraph without moving to the right then to the left, etc...
Updated on Dec 9, 2012Impractical opinion. The only monstrosity is your fake review.
Updated on Dec 10, 2012LOL The above was a reply to a different review. I am shamed.
Updated on Dec 16, 2012Text reflow is automatic on Android. Iphone 5's "Reader" feature is not available on all websites and never available on any comments sections or forums/ message boards.
A great phone, really big
by gentleteethdds on December 7, 2012
Pros: 1)Nice big screen
2) the S pen and software comes in handy taking notes during class, and other stuff.
3) nice software
4) speedy processor and ram
5) camera is a bit better.
6) battery life not bad
Cons: 1) size takes a while to get used to. but i got big hands to compensate with it
3) need to tone down on the bloatware guys.
4) sometimes the s-pen features are a bit slow. could use more templates
Summary: i sold my galaxy s3 to my friend and picked up the note 2. i found the contract price very steep and i was very skeptical with the phone. i ...
Summary: i sold my galaxy s3 to my friend and picked up the note 2. i found the contract price very steep and i was very skeptical with the phone. i will say that the galaxy s3 and the note 2 will always be my favorite phones. so i took a chance and got the note 2 and the s-pen features comes in handy in school and work.
- Manufacturer: Samsung
- Part number: GALAXYNOTE2TITGRYULK
- Bottom Line: Samsung delivers a powerful, boundary-pushing device that gets a lot right. Yet its complicated features and high price raise questions about its purpose.
- Product Type Smartphone
- Width 3.17 in
- Depth 0.37 in
- Height 5.95 in
- Weight 6.35 oz
- Service Provider Unlocked
- Type Exynos
- Clock Speed 1.6 GHz
- Processor Core Qty Quad Core
- Diagonal Size 5.55 in