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Samsung Galaxy Note II Review

0. phoneArena 24 Sep 2012, 08:40 posted on

The GALAXY Note carved a brand new niche for itself, and more than 10 million units have been sold so far. Now we have its successor, the Note II, which transitions the Note family feel from the I’m-with-dork to an oversized-Galaxy-S-III-with-stylus impression. It also ups the ante with a much more ergonomic S Pen stylus that learned new tricks, a larger 5.5” screen in a thinner, narrower body, die-shrunk quad-core processor, and 2GB of RAM. Are there other improvements in store? Read on our review to find out...

This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:23 6

69. hung2900 (Posts: 956; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)

Premium materials with iDents and iChips, blazing fast processor but still behind Note2, nice screen with high ppi but still too small and an optimized OS with the lacks of a lot features, superior iLost.

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:47

136. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)

their restrictions and limitations keep them lghtyears behind thats it simple and clear

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 09:47 8

22. xfire99 (Posts: 833; Member since: 14 Mar 2012)

I should never read a review on Note 2. I love mine Note, was not going to get Note 2 and after this review.
+ Better battery life.
+ Better and louder sound.
+ Better screen.
+ Better camera.

Now I do want to upgrade mine Note to Note 2. But gonna wait until it drops in price first and Im not in hurry to upgrade. Still love mine Note.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 09:58 3

26. infernal88 (Posts: 113; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

+ twice as fast
+ more S pen apps " but i think it is already ported to note I "

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 09:47 4

23. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3763; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

I really have to give it for Samsung this time...excellent phone, looks as well as the hardware in the hood. I was skeptical at first when i heard about the Note 2...but this is just plain awesome. I like how is has became narrower, it looks like the SIII but only bigger.
The physical home key, is what i don't like in Samsung but this here, down in the Note 2, is cute...like it.
Daniel, i like this review. Fair, detailed and informative. Not really a fan of Samsung, but i'm beginning to like it...:D

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 09:50 2

24. Quezdagreat (Posts: 428; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)

And they say apple phones looks the same. Looks exactly like the s3

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:04 4

27. speckledapple (Posts: 892; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)

This is my new device come November. Getting the 64GB version and pair that with a 64GB microSDXC card.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:13 1

29. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

I seriously doubt the 64GB version will make it to our shores. The 64GB version of the S3 didn't make it here & it's the more popular phone. Either way, this is the one to get.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:21 4

30. TheCellX (Posts: 50; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)

I will buy bigger pants to carry my Note II... my next phone.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:27 2

32. Volcomguy51 (Posts: 18; Member since: 23 Jan 2011)

Might get this than the S3, so many good choices. Hope Apple doesn't sue for making a phablet then buy a house for another thief. This is why Apple is so corrupt. Go Samsung and go Android!

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:29

33. papss (unregistered)

Anyone heard the price of this beast with contract? Im pretty set on the L920 but this is one fine phone

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 10:39

36. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

Lumia 920 is almost certainly going to be cheaper, probably $100-200 on contract; when the original Note hit it was $299.99 on contract

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 11:10 2

42. doejon (Posts: 398; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

ouuu iiiii willl looooovee my note 2 4 sure!!! :D

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 11:22 4

44. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

Actually the score should be higher than 9.
The one gripe they came up with is as minor as can be.

Fantastic device, probably the best handset produced to date.
Should be really awesome drawing and creativity tool also

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 12:03

52. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Question: On the radios you said its 100mb/s LTE and 21HSPA. Are you sure that's not 42+HSPA? Tmo will have a hissy fit if its not 42+.. and it would be a bit odd at this point in the game anyways.

Also, any word on if all GSM versions are going to be built using the same LTE/HSPA+ chips with pentaband compatibility like the Nexus? That would just be sweet.

If I can get past the massive size of this thing, it may just be my next phone unless one of the new Nexus devices come close. Bout time we get the good hardware in America again.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:18 1

68. Daniel.P (Posts: 105; Member since: 14 Jul 2011)

Samsung has the global version as 21Mbps -http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote/note2/spec.html?type=find - but in the New York unveiling it confirmed the US versions will be "optimized for the fastest 4G LTE and HSPA+ 42 networks..."

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:46 1

71. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

sweet. I guess that means its probably not pentaband then if they have a version for the US and for everyone else. You'd think that would be more common by now.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 12:39 1

61. jibraihimi (Posts: 761; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

Has Samsung Galaxy Note 2 released in any country................???? According to my knowledge it hasn't been released anywhere. So Phonearena basically you're reviewing pre-release unit, so instead of calling it Review, you guys should have called it 'detailed preview', and then make changes to your detailed preview when the device finally lands for general consumption. I hope that when you will review Release build of Note 2, then you will get better benchmark score, and above all experience will be much better, which can help thi phablet get 9.5............. Any ways still, the review/preview was good.....

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 12:47

62. jibraihimi (Posts: 761; Member since: 29 Nov 2011)

"There is a choice of 3D views in the Gallery app - Timeline makes the pictures march towards you in an increasing order chronologically, and the Spiral View is suspiciously like the spiraling Gallery we saw prepped for Samsung’s Tizen OS."
While looking at the picture of gallery with 3D view, I was thinking same, that Spiral view looks very much similar to Spiral view of Tizen which leaked out few months ago. I think now that what we saw in that leak was the leak for Note 2, or maybe samsung might be unifying the UI experience in tizen to the touchwiz UI on it's android smartphones; this looks more plausible as they did same with Bada OS...........

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:04 1

63. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

touchwiz and Tizen are basically the same thing as far as looks go. Samsung keeps both Tizen and its android overlay looking very similar that way in case Apple wins and android collapses, they can just pop out a dozen Tizen based smart phones that look exactly like their android ones. Most people would gravitate right to it because of familiarity to the look. It's a smart business decision.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:09

64. Rayzin (Posts: 83; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)

I can't wait to hold this phone in my hands. I'll probably use up all that battery life just staring and admiring it all day at work :)

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 20:19

93. sammyfan (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

Exactly LOl!!!

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 13:51 3

74. saiki4116 (Posts: 379; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)

lol what an irony....iphone 5 and note II rated same...iphone 5 with it's easily scratchable aluminium back and apps that cannot scale properly to the increased screen and maps that get you lost and without innovative and productive features like Airview,smart stay..,etc(another irony is that apple are bragging about the newly introduced panorama mode which has been present in the some of the feature phones of Samsung)....

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 15:51 2

79. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

Glossy cheap plastic is still and always will be a deal breaker for me. If it's more than 500 bucks than there is no excuse for using anything but metal and premium textured polycarbonate.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 15:56 2

81. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

you do realize that samsung uses polycarbonate right? if its glossy or textured, it does not change what it's made out of...lolol

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 23:53 1

99. bigstrudel (Posts: 518; Member since: 20 Aug 2012)

Yeah but it completely changes the feel and how easily it scratches. It feels like its made from plasic cups.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 16:09 1

83. driveme (Posts: 26; Member since: 16 May 2012)

It went like this, Honey do you like my S3, good, I want you to have the best so why don't you take it and will wait for a month or so and maybe something I like will come out. Note 2 I'M all yours.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 17:45

88. pandambaba (Posts: 28; Member since: 18 Feb 2012)

i'm curious to know when samsung will put a limit on screen sizes for their phones. pretty soon they are going to go from phablets to full blown mini tablets.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 20:11 2

91. sammyfan (Posts: 21; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

The Price of Galaxy s3 is now 33K and Note is 28K and s2 is 24K, so we have a broad range of best smartphones.. and apple iphone 4 34K, 4S 42K and 5 (50K

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 20:43 2

94. aoikemono27 (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

They kept the same crappy plastic body of the GS3. I have a hard enough time feeling comfortable holding the GS3 with that body. The Note II is a no go. I actually own the original Note and every time I use it, all I can think about is how cheap it feels. The flimy back is squeaking since one of the corners doesn't snap on properly, and the chrome trim has already gotten scuff marks since it scratches so easily. The GS3 build is even cheaper than the GS2/Note build, so I can only imagine how horrible the Note II will feel.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 21:35 1

97. tiara6918 (Posts: 2036; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Best Smartphone by Samsung! I just wish they used a different back panel so it could be more comfortable to hold but nevertheless, everything that this phone has to offer is simply amazing!

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 08:57

104. ddeath (Posts: 168; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)

Yeah man! Fantastic phone. Anyway, most of us will use a case so the back isn't too big a deal. :)

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 22:11 4

98. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

iPhone 5 = X-Wing

Samsung Note 2 = Imperial Star Destroyer

End of review

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 02:23 1

100. fenixsama (Posts: 32; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

at last! a confirmation. it's microsim. ^_^

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 09:21

105. sweetokhan (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)

Best i wl get it

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 19:35

110. juvane (Posts: 5; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)

Day one purchase for me!....is At&t getting it first or what?

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 18:50

112. abrinson (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)

Is it possible to adjust the icon size so you get 5 app shortcuts across the screen like on the original Note? That is one of my favorite features, actually using the real estate the screen provides. Otherwise it's just a big screen with big icons.

posted on 28 Sep 2012, 08:53 2

113. fineazzpc (Posts: 1; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)

When is the Note 2 coming to US? Got to have it! Sorry HTC, been with HTC for over 8 yrs!!!

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 02:46

129. yajia1 (Posts: 151; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

I can't even imagine how horrible that can be. Been with them for 3yrs. I was always afraid to get my phone from my pocket and turn the screen on because the battery would drip and not last for a day! Blinded by brand loyalty no more, I ditched my last HTC, the OneX, bought this beast. Lasts 3 days with 12hours screen-on time. Couldn't be happier. Gone are the horrible battery life days.

posted on 29 Sep 2012, 07:16 3

114. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 139; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

They rated the Note II below the S3. It is in fact better in every way, it is better than the iphone 5. Apple has peaked. Soon Samsung will bring to the US a two Sim cards Note II and Apple will be left in the dust.

posted on 04 Oct 2012, 23:59 1

117. techviral (banned) (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)

Read latest review about samsung galaxy note II here


it covers all the main features of note II and also software and hardware specification.

posted on 05 Oct 2012, 10:01 2

118. avinashmunnu (Posts: 15; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)


Click The Above Link See the Results Of SGN2 Battery

That Was Freaking Aswome

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 05:37

121. JohnnyCageisagirl (Posts: 1; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)

I own a note 2 and the audio and noice cancellation was pretty good

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:26

122. someones4 (Posts: 625; Member since: 16 Sep 2012)

The day when samsung is able to sell 1 mil phones in a day signifies the end of apple.

posted on 06 Oct 2012, 08:58

123. nexusrocks (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Oct 2012)

I really like phone arena. Just discovering the site. Will be a regular reader. I will definitely try this out at gizmotakeout or rentacell. The size does concern me

posted on 10 Oct 2012, 02:29 1

126. TonyStark (Posts: 9; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)

Why not 10?

Ah, I see. No bitten apple on ts back.

posted on 10 Oct 2012, 06:31

127. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3724; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

People say such stupid stuff on this site...name the last Apple phone that got a 10 from PhoneArena. In fact, name any Apple product that's ever reveived above a 9. Good luck with that.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 02:49

130. yajia1 (Posts: 151; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

The fact that it scores a 9 is more than enough proof. 9 for that crap? LOL.

posted on 22 Nov 2012, 07:48

131. GrosseFatigue (Posts: 139; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

Listen it should rate more than 9, more than the iphone, more than the Nexus, more than the new htc, still too small with a 5" screen to surf the net and read the newspapers. It is the best "cell phone". It is nearly flawless and next year it will have a 1080p screen. I have no intention of carrying a tablet around.

posted on 01 Dec 2012, 23:10

132. JuanitaAlfonzo (Posts: 7; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

My biggest fear in holding a phone this big and heavy is dropping in the sinks at my hair salon in Atlanta. I carry it everywhere! Since we got the 4GLTE here in Austin, I've been tempted to get this with AT&T; taking notes would be great. But I've heard HTC phones are great around water.

posted on 27 Dec 2012, 14:20

133. johnriii (Posts: 238; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

I hadn't even considered the note 2 until I actually held one. didn't know anything about the specs, nothing. now, 7 months can't go by fast enough until I upgrade to this beautiful beastly piece of technology. Razr maxx HD was on my radar, but now...I can barely even look at it! the only thing that would change my mind is the S4, which should have the same basic specs, in a smaller package.

posted on 01 Apr 2013, 11:36

134. koiboy (Posts: 1; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)

This phone has to be without a doubt the most un-user friendly phone on the market. We are on our 3rd one (returned the other two) as they could not be set up. Had dozens of experts try to set it up and no one has been able to do so. Wish we would have bought a BlackBerry but we wanted the big screen of a Samsung.

posted on 02 Apr 2013, 13:08

135. johnriii (Posts: 238; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)

sorry to hear that. I played with one in the verizon store a few days ago, and had no problem whatsoever getting into settings, changing homescreens, etc. apparently it's not a common issue, seeing that this is one of the top selling phones out there, but I hope you can get it set up soon.

posted on 03 Sep 2013, 23:52

137. transgressor01 (Posts: 12; Member since: 24 Aug 2013)

this phone is a BEAST :D

posted on 26 Sep 2013, 10:15

138. danishaslam (Posts: 4; Member since: 22 Sep 2013)

Galaxy Note 2 is so big that if you put in airplane mode, you can climb it and go flying.!

posted on 21 Apr 2014, 07:51

140. visammansur (Posts: 1; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)

The video camera makes one feel like SH*T when one runs or tries to edit the movie on computer. With Nokia camera, regardless of the position of the camera while filming, the film is played in the proper way on computer screen. With Samsung Note ll camera, unless you hold the telephone with the Samsung sign pointing to your left hand with the volume key on the side of the phone pointing to the ground, you are likely to have your videos playing upside down on a computer screen. I have now tons of films I shot in different places at home and abroad playing obliquely or completely upside down on computer screens and TVs including a smart Samsung TV. So far, I have no idea how to reverse this problem. Help!!!

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