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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

 Review: September 2012  
 

Rating: 5 stars

In a nutshell: With the largest screen of any smartphone, the Note II is a very special device. The S-Pen stylus and a unique range of productivity tools brings a new level of functionality. Equipped with 4G, a quad-core processor, ample memory and an enormous battery, the only downsides to this phone are its size and its price.

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Best buy: Samsung Galaxy Note II from Carphone Warehouse (£0.00)

 

It's been a year since the launch of the original Galaxy Note, but a lot has happened in that time. Here at Mobile Phones UK, we reckoned that the Note would be too far ahead of the curve for many people to want to own one. How wrong we were! The Note has been a popular phone, and even Samsung's number-one bestseller, the Galaxy S3, has grown to a size that would have seemed impossible just a couple of years ago. Anyway, hold on to your trousers, because here comes the Note II and it does everything the Note did, and a lot more!

How big?

The one thing you can't get away from is the size of the Note 2. It's a love it or hate it thing. Sized midway between a typical smartphone and a 7-inch tablet, it's 4mm longer than the original Note, but 2mm narrower and a whisker thinner. That makes it very large and slablike, but thin enough to hold comfortably in one hand, although you'll need your other hand to operate it.

There's no denying that this phone is too big and heavy for many users. But if you can get past that, then the size has of the Note becomes its key selling point. That's because of its screen. At 5.5 inches, it's even bigger than the original Note and far bigger than any rival. It has nearly twice the area of the iPhone 5's screen for instance. But you can do a lot with such a large screen - it's more like a tablet than a phone in many respects.

The screen is a high definition Super AMOLED display, producing incredibly bright and vivid images, although at 1280 x 720 pixels it has a slightly smaller resolution than the original Note. That's because the screen has been made narrower to give a more conventional 16:9 screen ratio and to make the overall dimensions of the device more manageable.

Not just bigger - faster too

In the past year, quad-core processors have entered the market, so it's no surprise to find one at the heart of the Note II. It's the fastest in any phone too, clocking 1.6GHz, making it even faster than the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet!

The phone is equipped with a mammoth 2GB of RAM as well, and comes with built-in memory of up to 64GB. The microSDXC card slot is capable of accepting new-style 64GB memory cards, giving an upper limit of 128GB total storage, which we think is more than any other current phone.

This hardware, coupled with the enormous screen make the Note 2 perfect for games, movies and indeed more mundane activities like web browsing or checking facebook.

User interface

We're delighted to see that the Note 2 runs the latest Jelly Bean release of Android. It's a significant step up from Gingerbread on last year's Note. Samsung's TouchWiz user interface is layered on top of this, giving a fine overall experience that supports full multitasking.

One of the features that makes the Galaxy Note series special is the inclusion of the S-Pen digital stylus. The S-Pen is pressure-sensitive, so it can tell how hard you're pressing. It also has a clickable button that gives additional functionality. This new version of the S-Pen even lets you hover over the screen without touching it. We were sceptical about the S-Pen in our original review of the Note last year, but we have to admit that it's growing on us. It's clearly of use if you're a designer or have a passion for doodling on your phone. It can be used for making handwritten notes during a meeting or lecture, and the device can convert your handwriting into text. But we think that the greatest use of the S-Pen is probably in day to day tasks that could be done with the finger, but are actually just easier with the S-Pen. Navigating menus, tapping at the keyboard, moving around documents - if you use your Note seriously as a productivity tool, then the S-Pen certainly adds to the experience.

There are a suite of apps that come with the Note 2 that are optimised for use with the S-Pen. S-Note lets you take notes using handwriting. The handwriting recognition feature can convert your notes into next, and can even recognise mathematical symbols and formulae. The S-Planner is a calendar-based organiser that lets you write notes or memos, like a paper planner.

Quick Command lets you write a command using the S-Pen, which the device will then execute in a Siri-like manner. For example, scrawling @jane on the screen will get the email app to pop up and find Jane's address from your contact list.

Within S-Pen optimised apps, you can use the S-Pen to copy and paste text, and even to cut out graphics to past into other apps. When not in use the S-Pen slides away into a neat slot. Even cooler, when you take the pen out of its slot, the S-Memo app (a mini version of S-Note) opens automatically.

Camera

The Note 2 is equipped with a very competent 8 megapixel camera, capable of taking excellent shots. It's equipped with all the features you'd expect, including autofocus, LED flash and digital zoom. It also comes with some extra gadgets such as smile shot and panorama shot.

The camera can also record video at full 1080p HD resolution. A secondary front-facing 1.9 megapixel camera is available for video calling.

4G & NFC

The new Note keeps all the connectivity options of the original, and adds two very significant new technologies.

4G LTE will become available later in 2012 in the UK on T-Mobile/Orange and on other networks in 2012. It offers significantly faster broadband data - up to 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload. That's as fast as fibre-optic cable.

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a wireless technology that enables two NFC devices to exchange information when placed next to each other. This can be used to easily transfer photos or music, and might form the basis of cashless payments using your phone in the near future.

In addition to these, the phone offers quadband GSM and 3G, with HSPA download speeds of 21Mbps and uploads of 5.76Mbps. It also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, plus good old USB 2.0 cable support.

Extended battery life

A big phone needs a big battery, and that's precisely what Samsung have given the Note 2. At 3,100mAh, it's even bigger than the 2,500mAh of the original Note, and much bigger than the battery of a typical smartphone. How long will it last? That depends on how intensively you use the device of course, but it should see even power users through a full day.

Conclusion - a unique and powerful device

The Galaxy Note 2 preserves everything that made the first Note a success, and makes it better. Mobile technology has moved ahead significantly in the past year and the Note 2 has completely kept up with all the new developments. Samsung have refined the design, with a new 16:9 screen ratio, and have improved the S-Pen capabilities. At the same time, Android has been upgraded from 2.3 to 4.1, the processor, memory and battery have been given a boost, and NFC and a 4G capability has been added.

The Note 2 costs significantly more than the original Note, but it's the most powerful smartphone currently available. In the past year the price of the original has dropped, making it affordable to a much wider customer base. Whether you choose the Note 1 or 2, we're sure you'll find it an exciting and rewarding voyage of discovery.


Samsung Galaxy Note 2 features include:

  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, autofocus, smile shot, panorama shot and 4x digital zoom
  • Full HD video recording (Up to 1080p, 30 frames/sec), 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calling
  • Display: Super AMOLED, 16 million colours, 1280 x 720 pixels (5.5 inches) capacitive touchscreen
  • Music player: MP3, OGG, WMA, AAC, ACC+, eAAC+, AMR(NB,WB), MIDI, WAV, AC-3, Flac
  • Video player: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC-1, DivX, WMV7, WMV8, WMV9, VP8
  • A-GPS / GLONASS with geo-tagging and Google Maps
  • Messaging: SMS, MMS, email, Google Talk
  • Advanced personal organiser functions
  • HTML5 web browser
  • Processor: 1.6GHz quad-core processor
  • Memory: 16GB/32GB/64GB with 2GB RAM plus microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Quadband GSM (850/900/1800/1900), multi band 3G, HSPA (21 Mbps / 5.76Mbps), 4G LTE (100Mbps / 50Mbps)
  • Size: 151 x 81 x 9.4 mm
  • Weight: 182g
  • Battery: 3,100mAh battery

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 user reviews

Love this product? Hate it? Please share your experiences to help other people choose the product that's best for them. Please do not review this product if you have not used it. This is a review site, not a forum, so please don't just ask questions. Please do not use swear words or offensive language, and please, no advertising!

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Average rating from 27 reviews:

Reviewed by Mohit Jaiswal from India on 16th Jul 2014
Samsung galaxy note 2 is the best of this price Indian rupee 2 28000.. I have many times this mobile phone.. superb mobile.. updated 4.4.2 kitkat and battery pickup long time 9926596304 my no. So any confusion for buy contact me..
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Reviewed by Ali from Wales on 27th Aug 2013
After having two faulty Xperia T's from 3, I was fed up and decided to get a different handset model. The Xperia T was a dreadful phone, besides from it's 13mp camera.

But, everything happens for a reason and if I hadn't had two faulty models I wouldn't have gotten my Note II!

Now the first thing I want to mention is that the Note 3, maybe around the corner from now- which may put some people off buying this phone, but you must realise; The note 3 will be VERY expensive on release and for a long time after, like the Note II on initial release.

BUT that means the Note II will go DOWN in price. If you are looking for a very robust, durable and extremely functional mobile phone the Note II will be DEFINITELY worth it. I have my Note II a few months before the Note 3's estimated release and it does NOT bother me at all. Why?

The phone is fantastic! I will say, I find no MAJOR fault with the phone. The size is trivial (I have quite big hands) and the price will of course be pricey for many (It is going down, check Amazon)

So here's the Positive points:

-The Battery life. It's huge. I find myself comfortably getting through a day or even two with this. Yes, smartphone standards have changed, a full day is a large battery. (lol) I keep my brightness halfway or lower to really prolong it.

-The screen. The screen is fantastic quality, superb Amoled display and comfortable to view on. Just the right size to carry around. And it's NOT Pentile!
-The S-pen/Note features. Now, I take a lot of notes during the day and the S-pen/Note feature is unmatched, A plethora of templates and features to use. Even if you just want to doodle, it's fun.

The build quality. It may be made from plastic but it certainly doesn't feel cheap. Good in the hand and looks prestige (I have the Grey colour) The screen is well built, no dust underneath the screen or anything of the like. ALSO a removable back is a plus.

The camera. The camera is capable at 8mp, and takes brilliant outdoor shots for sure. Indoor shots can turn out a little fuzzy with no flash or poor lighting. Not a major problem though, the front facing camera does a good job and also records video well. Rear facing recording is also brilliant quality, sound it also good but can sound a little drowned at times.

The negative points:

I can't really find anything here that can't be rectified or is a deal breaker to not buy the phone.

The size. This my differ from person to person. For me, no problem. No hesitation when I ordered it.

The price. It can be pricey, but the price is going down. And it IS a brilliant piece of kit.

The built in keyboard. May not be the best, doesn't auto correct but turn on the slide feature and it will do. You can always download the stock keyboard from the market.

All in all, if you want a durable and reliable phone to last you a while, a phablet (Cross between phone and tablet) to take with you on holiday, you've found the right device. Sure the Note 3 will come out and have some more features. But the Note II's functionality will be timeless and stand on it's own two legs.
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Reviewed by Phil from UK on 16th Aug 2013
Love the phone, had Note 1 a couple of years ago, took a long time to assess this phone, Xeperia Z and HTC One decided Note stood out, and it surely does. Size, speed, aesthetics, usability all great. Even the stylus has been upgraded, but you have to watch this, very sensitive. No issues at present, battery life good but not downright fantastic, screen very good and images are sharp. Camera maybe a let down, but still some very good images in various locations and lighting.
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Reviewed by roger.stark. from tel.aviv on 27th May 2013
sold.all.my.phones.and.bought.galaxy.note.2.really.lovely.
phone.there.is.nothing.bad.about.this.phone.in.one.word
fantasticbuy.one.and.enjoy.it.really.nice
Rating:

Reviewed by Ronnie from Scotland on 20th Apr 2013
I am a mobile addict and I've had the galaxy s3, nexus 4 etc and I'm currently running an iPhone 5 and a note 2.
The note 2 is amazing I'm seriously considering getting rid of my iPhone 5 it is that good.
My main worry was that I'd spent a fair bit on apps on the iPhone but most of the apps are available and Google maps is decent for sat navigation I had tom tom on the iPhone and I'm tempted to buy it for Android as it is great.
Pleasantly surprised that most of the apps are available on the play store and are as good if not better on Android. If you have an iPhone don't hesitate to get this once you get used to the size you won't want to go back to a smaller screen.
The battery is outstanding and lasts a full day no problems.
The screen is fantastic and the widgets are cool I have a live wallpaper and a swipe pad installed and it looks great and I can open apps quicker than the iPhone.
My one issue on the S3 was the keyboard but the note 2 keyboard is great and SwiftKey swipe texting is very quick and accurate.
Can't fault it and with xbmc installed it's all you need for Entertainment
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Reply by Ronnie from Scotland on 11th Jul 2013
Follow up to my original review. The note 2 will be joined by an S4 shortly and I'll need to decide which one to keep. A few annoyances with android though...even with 2Gb of ram there are a lot of delays on some of the standard apps. I still love the screen size and battery life BUT the iphone 5 is still A more fluid phone. No delays switching between apps the whole software experience is just better. One major problem is the screen cannot be read in sunlight it's almost impossible to read whilst the iphone is very clear.

Reviewed by Dmitri from Thailand on 9th Apr 2013
This is THE phone of the phones. If you ever wondered about the SIZE issue (as did I), I can tell you that - a month after using this phone, I couldn't look at any other phone screens, period! Including iPhone... OK, Galaxy S3 or S2 are somewhat compatible, but let me tell you - this phone is so quick and so well done, that in no time it will become your travel Internet connection, Video/Movie player (HD YouTube flicks look fantastic on it), Music player (with or without headphones, cause it is loud enough), your eBook reader, organizer and you sketchbook (provided you have art bug in you... I do). This is not mentioning taking wonderful photos and great 1080 videos (I only wish it could do underwater ones :) ), even in SLOW motion. This is the phone, you won't wonder about about how expensive or huge it was, cause you will be using this baby every day with pleasure. And battery in it IS outstanding. I am a power user and tweak the heck out of any phone I put my hands on (30% battery at the end of the day in my Note2). BTW, they all "died" (the other phones), not being able to withstand my loving touch :), but not this one. It is my fair companion everywhere!!! Ah, yeah, it does fit in the front pocket of all jeans I have and some of them are a rather tight :) If you have the dough, get it without second thought. Not Note 1... NOTE2 - a perfect hybrid between bulky tablets and tiny phones!!!
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Reviewed by Derek from UK on 31st Mar 2013
Upgraded to the Note 2 from an HTC Sensation, and I have to say, this is the best phone I've ever had! The screen size is perfect for watching films and surfing the net, and the picture quality when watching films is outstanding! It's like having a hd tv in your hand. The phone is super quick in everything it does, and the s-pen....what more can I say, is amazing! This phone has nearly made my laptop redundant. The only criticism I have which is not the fault of the phone, is Google's ridiculous decision of taking away the 'move to SD card' option from its Jellybean software. Now we're unable to move apps to the sd card. Additionally, when transferring your micro sd card from your old phone to a Jellybean android phone like the Note 2, the phone is unable to read your stored apps on the sd card. It only sees your videos and photos. This is Google's sinister plan to get everyone signed up to cloud services such as drop box etc, and take away user's option to use sd cards for data storage. How evil is that!! Oh well, before I go completely off the main subject, this phone is worth maximum stars. Highly recommended, and in my honest opinion, the best phone out there.
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Reviewed by Kubilay Albayrak from Turkey on 16th Mar 2013
You should add Note-2 N7102. It is amazing phone who use dual sim card.
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Reviewed by Martin from UK on 9th Mar 2013
Originally had a Galaxy Note after several HTC phones and upgraded to an S3 with my new contract but found the screen too small so went out and bought a Note 2. I use my phone mainly for browsincomparison owningeading books, watching movies and listening to music and for all these I think it is the best phone I have had. The screen is clear and because of the size I can easily read all the forums I regularly visit without lots of zooming and scrolling. The battery life is excellent, I have never run out of juice during the day and although I charge every night it could probably last a second day with light use.

This phone is so good that I have even sold my kindle and tablet and I found I was always using my phone instead.

I don't use the camera much as I do prefer something with an optical zoom but the few times I have used it the pictures have been good but they probably wouldn't handle lots of cropping and zooming in.

Phone calls are perfectly clear and even when my phone says I have no reception I still seem to be able to make calls but this may be due to the signal strength indicator only having 4 bars and not being able to show signals below a certain strength.

If like me you are wedded to the Internet 24/7 this really is the phone to have and it really is a 5 star phone for this.

The only reason I have knocked a star off is that the screen seems to scratch easily. My S3 never had a screen protector and when I sold it after 4 months there was not a mark on the screen. In comparison the screen on the Note 2 picked up hair line scratches within hours and even though it is now fitted with a screen protector it seems that when I come to change the protector another scratch has appeared! It may just be mine has dodgy glass but I don't think so.
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Reviewed by Dawn from uk on 25th Feb 2013
Really happy with my Note 2. Upgraded from the S3 (3G), which had an irritatingly long lag opening contacts or the call log? The Note is blazing fast and totally lag free, no matter how many background apps are running! Gorgeous large screen (hurrah, no more squinting) for Web browsing, emails, reading, media, oh and SHOPPING. Speaker volume is excellent. Love typing on a bigger keyboard. The s-pen is cool but not used it much so far. Not touched my tablet since I got the Note, plus it's a handbag friendly size.

Battery is very good. Managed to get 7 hr on screen time, over a 20 hour period. The average is 6 hrs (lte version). On standby, prob 3 days, at the very least.

The only negative is feeling a little self conscious holding it to your ear in public. A 5'4 woman wielding a whopper seems to draw attention....

I would recommend this phone if you tend to use a phone more for messaging and media rather than calls on the go. Just on account of its size, it is BIG.
Rating:

Reply by S21 from UK on 25th Feb 2013
Be proud, Dawn. Every woman has the right to wield a whopper!

Reply by Dave B from England on 18th Mar 2013
Simply beats Apple into second place where they deserve to be....This is a class beater for almost everyting it does. don't get me wrong it's not 1000 % perfect but be honest there is nothing in this life that is is there ! Don't believe me - go to somewhere like tesco and view it and use it - you will NOT regret getting one.

Reply by Dawn from uk on 19th Mar 2013
Thanks ed, proud & loud ;-) Just one more observation. Audio quality on the note is really impressive. Music sounds fantastic with a good set of headphones, not bad thru the car stereo too. Music addicts should def give this phone a whirl. I wouldn't recommend strapping it to your arm at the gym tho.

Reviewed by Luis3061 from UK, London on 9th Feb 2013
JUST WOW. I went from a Blackberry 9000 in 2007 to a HTC Sensation XE in 2011, and now the Galaxy note 2 in 2013. My god the difference are imense! I loved and still love my HTC, but it was lacking something "speed". It just wasnt very good at multi tasking, it couldnt even pause GTA whilest I checked a message, I would have to reboot. Oh and the battery life was terrible not even half a day, it over heated, it crashed and was very heavy... but none the less it was a really nice phone to look at and did everything else without fault.

Then came the Galaxy Not 2 the other love in my life. I love this phone unlike the HTC I cannot fault this phone. It has everything you could possbily want, the battery life is brilliant even with heavy usage and a bright screen it goes on for more than a day. feel of the phone is not as good but I forgive Samsung, they compensate with the blistering speed. I only have one complaint, and thats the UI TOUCHWIZ! I guess the good thing for me is that I use GO Launcher which I must say is excellent, as long as you spend sometime setting it up.

If your planning to get this phone, GET IT! its big but you will never look back. If your like me and enjoy playing games and watching films, this this is 100% the phone for you... If you enjoy multitasking, having two apps open at the same time on the same screen then this is the phone for you... If you only care about the being in some so called special club of Apple products, and only ever good for apps then this is not the phone for you lol :).

This is a fully blown media phone! Oh another downside is the compatibility with other printers (it only wants to work with Samsung printers)
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Reviewed by Cris from England on 30th Jan 2013
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a great phone for so many reasons. Battery life is great. Huge screen great for browsing. Size is something you get used to...and I could go on and on... BUT...if you have owned an iphone before perhaps all this positives will be eclipsed by the fact Google Play, equivalent of the app store, is miles away from Apples app store...and that is my only problem.
Android is a much more complicated system and less intuitive than apple. Great if you want to customise your phone, use all the widgets, use differeny email providers, etc..
I use the phone for browsing but mainly for downloading games and apps in general. I use my emails for work and itunes for music. If you are the same as me don't go to android as everything will be much more complicated.
I bought the Note 2 purely because I wanted a phablet. I thought It would be ideal have a great phone and a browsing device all in one. I was wrong. I soon started missing the Apple store as I find Google Play quite behind.
Don't get me wrong. It is a fabulous device if Internet is your priority and gaming isn't your thing.
Hope this helps.
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Reviewed by rob from northern irelamd on 26th Dec 2012
first thing you notice when you take it from the box is its size its a big phone. after a few days useing it ive found the size not a problem. the screen is miles better than the s3 much better. its super fast with no lag what so ever. battery is fantastic lasts all day with heavy useage on screen time am getting over 8 hours total time 17 the most ive ever got from s3 was around 5. its clearly the best phone money can buy and ive had all sorts on android phones. i would say before buying one have a look at one in the shop as the size may put some off. as for me the size is ok remember the s4 will likely be aroind 5 inch screen so it seems bigger screens are going to be the thing. simply the best awsome phone i love it
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Reviewed by Paul B from UK on 10th Dec 2012
I have gone from the S3 to the Note 2. I love it! Fantastic screen, easy to use, all the features of the S3 with a few extras to boot. I find the size ok and am used to it after only three days of use. The battery is outstanding. I used it constantly the other day whilst out and about with everything switched on, GPS, Bluetooth, Data etc and by the end of the day it was still over 50%!!! I don't think I could go back to a smaller screen phone now - even the S3 looks small!
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Reviewed by Andy from UK on 8th Dec 2012
I had my eye on this and when it was released I had to get one, sold my S2 and ipad 2 to get it, thus being a phone and tablet. I must say I am not dissapointed at all, this phone delivers everything I wanted in a phone/tablet and the size seems to be just right for me. The sheer amount of different settings and apps make it a joy to use and I still haven't got to all the functions nearly 2 months on.
Don't be put off by the size, just go in store and use a demo model(ask for one if there isn't one around)and I'm sure you will be surprised.
Excellent device, well worth the 520 I initially spent on it.
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Reviewed by Peter from UK on 8th Dec 2012
This phone is really good. I am suprised that the size is actually perfect, other smartphones now seem like toys when i hold them. The screen is amazing and makes internet, apps much better to use. Top marks for samsung with this handset. Love it!
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Reviewed by Magnus from UK on 19th Nov 2012
Have had a large number of smart phones, all brands, for the last 4 years have had the galaxy range, mini, ace, S2, note and now the note 2.First I like the size, the smaller phones would fall out of my hands, ie mini, ace. They were nice phones no real complaints. The S2 is a huge step forward and the note i regarded a good size but a bit limited. The Note2, well it is way ahead of them all, the speed is unreal, picture quality is excellent, S pen is a huge improvement, didnt get the hang of it on the Note but on this is very usable. So many options it keeps me busy for hours.Worth every penny.
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Reviewed by richard from hackney london on 9th Nov 2012
This is a perfect device and i loved it when i had it, it smashes any mobile device out there..THE ONLY REASON I GOT RID OF IT IT WAS JUST TO BIG ..IT IS JUST TO BIG..WHAT A SHAME A PLEASURE TO OWN.
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Reviewed by Daft Jonny from Great Britain on 6th Nov 2012
I have had in the past a blackberry storm which at the time thought was amazing, I loved that it was customisable unlike the iphone.

I then realised that apps were more important so 2 years ago I upgraded to tbe iPhone4 which was amazing. Loved the simplicity and how easy it was to use.

The only downside were ringtones in that could not download straight to the phone unless going through iTunes at stupid prices. Was looking forwards to the iphone 5 only to feel disappoined.

Now I have the note2 lte the things it can do are amazing way ahead of apple I would give it 5 star but miss some of the apple apps and the fact that google play ones are so behind but the experiance of something new overules the apps.
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Reply by Daft Jonny from UK on 4th Apr 2013
Ignore my review missed apps after all. Hated how Facebook worked when posting you tube clips etc as thumbnails didn't appear. Missed the larger ppi and in the end sold my gn2 and bought an iPhone 5 Doesn't have the bells and whistles of the gn2 but the gn2 was too big and I missed the ease if use with the iPhone.

Reviewed by Anam from UK on 5th Nov 2012
Beeeeaaaaast of a phone!!! More powerful than my laptop lol!
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Reviewed by MMI from Pakistan on 31st Oct 2012
Had this phone for a week now. This is an upgrade from my HTC Desire Z. The screen is wonderful and large, the display fantastic, I do get good speed on wi fi; better than my Desire Z. The biggest plus is the battery, I use the phone as an official phone and keep data services and wi fi on all the time, I get through a full day usage and still have 35-40% left. I would only get 16 hours with my Desire Z. The size is big but I dont have issues fitting it into my jeans or trouser pockets and coming from the Desire Z the weight was never an issue. It does everything the S3 does but with the larger display and larger battery it justs does it better in many ways. If you find the Note II bulky or too heavy would suggest the One X(note that I have steered clear from any comparison from the Iphone(s), dont like them, dont use them so any comment/comparison would be meaningless).
My only beef with the Note II is that the camera results suffer massively if lighting conditions are not perfect. The phone loses a star for the poor camera results. One would have thought, with a phone so large, samsung would have put in a half decent camera :(
The display on my Desire z with the S-LCD was definitely better when out in the sunlight but Amoled displays are much more battery friendly so not complaining too much there.
Rating:

Reply by John from Ireland on 1st Nov 2012
Have you tried the low light option in shooting mode? Makes a massive difference, otherwise image is very grainy as you've already seen.

Reply by MMI from Pakistan on 12th Nov 2012
Didn't help much... Its still not great, mind you its an improvement but when i say less than perfect lighting conditions I mean on an overcast day OUTDOORS :) Think I gave it five stars eventhough i had typed 4... will the admin please correct that [Done - Ed.] Thanks for the Advice John from Ireland

Reviewed by John B from Ireland on 23rd Oct 2012
Yes this is a big device but if you have had an S3 then moving to the Note 2 is not to bad at all. This phone is amazing. The screen is beautiful, the features are amazing and it packs in a great deal of power. Battery seems reasonable too but since I only got the phone yesterday I can't give my full opinion on battery life. All in all I give this 5 stars and in my opinion it is the best smartphone on the market at present if you don't mind the size. My opinion is based on owning the HTC One X, S3, iPhone 5 & Experia T this year.
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Reviewed by Naz from Manchester on 19th Oct 2012
Got note 2 on Vodafone upgrade. It's amazing phone. Battery life is fantastic. Screen resolution is brilliant. I phone can't compete with this device at all. All in all perfect device. Thanks samsung ;).
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Reviewed by paul from london on 12th Oct 2012
Upgraded my HTC desire HD to sn2 if you are worried about size of sn2 don't be cause coming from HTC HD no difference at all the sn2 is brilliant call quality excellent and battery life very good only had sn2 couple days but so far very good pleased I choose sn2 over the other phones around you won't be disappointed.
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Reviewed by John styring from England on 3rd Oct 2012
On thursday last week I recieved my iphone 5 64gb from orange and at first was really pleased with the quality of the phone , but as I got more into the phone I found the lack of google maps and the batteries poor performance underworkloads to be a major downside. I collected my note 2 on monday and have been blown away with everything about this phone even compared to my s3 and my original note. The battery after only 2 charges is amazing , the integration with google play and maps with the superb smoothness of jelly bean software is second to none.No restrictions on customisation like on the poor ios6 software on the iphone .In my opinion this is the best smartphone money can buy ( iphone 5 went back yesterday)
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Reviewed by Tony from UK on 2nd Oct 2012
Upgraded to this from iPhone and am blown away. Beautiful large screen, easy to use, lightweight and changeable parts if I scratch it. Fears before purchasing were:
1. Too large for making calls: Actually I can hold it to my head comfortably without looking foolish (so I am told!).
2. Too bulky for pockets: I can honestly say that it fits in my shirt and trouser pocket fine. It is light enough not to feel bulky and noticeable, but I am confident that it won't slip out.
3. Could I do without IOS? Android has caught up with IOS, even if Google cannot match Apple for the number and quality of apps, or the ability to update all phones across the board.
I waited patiently for 8 month for the iphone 5 but was sorely dissappointed with Apple's latest effort.
The new Note is more than an iPhone, it is a proper device for accessing the internet and media. I won't be looking back.
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Reply by Tony from UK on 26th Apr 2013
Umm. I did look back. I now have an iphone5. Issue was it just wasnt portable enough over time, and I missed ios.

Reviewed by Neil from England on 1st Oct 2012
I have the note and wow this is a device worth every penny. The only thing that I find hard to get over is the size, so the note 2 would seem to be too much of a huge monster! However I would give it a go for its faster chip and sheer trailblazing quest to be the biggest smart phone currently avaliable!
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