Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Galaxy Note
Do we have the usual generational refresh with the Samsung Galaxy Note II, compared to the original Note, or are there groundbreaking new features that will warrant my extra cash outlay for the newest member of the Note-able family?
This will be the question on Note owner’s minds this holiday season, since, after all, they are in a possession of a giant handset that singlehandedly elbowed out a niche for itself where one didn’t exist before. We will try to answer that question in the comparison below, so let’s roll...
The Note II weighs about the same as the original Note, but is narrower and more elnogated, making it a bit easier to hold and operate with one hand. Not by much, though, since it is still a giant, unwieldy thing to deal with, especially if you have smaller hands.
Moreover, despite that the design now is much more appealing with the polycarbonate plastic on the back that makes it look like an oversized Galaxy S III, the back is also much more slippery, compared to the textured finish on the first Note. Granted, you won’t look like a total dork holding a Note II to your face and talking now, as the chassis has a more signature design.
It is still impressive how Samsung has crammed an even larger screen in a slightly more compact handset, though, and the answer is slimmer bottom bezel - this thing is thinner than both what we have on the Note, and even what we’ve got on the S III.
It is also much brighter than the Note’s screen, and quite possibly the brightest AMOLED screen of Samsung to date, making it better for use outside under direct sunlight. Moreover, the typical coldness of Super AMOLED colors is almost gone now, and the blueish tint when displaying white is down to a minimum, whereas it is very visible on the original Note. In short, the Note II has the best screen Samsung has produced to date, considering AMOLED’s other virtues, like very high contrast and wide viewing angles, making it ideal for enjoying video.
1. nbringer (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)
Somehow I like the design of Note I better.
7. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
no. iPhone 5!
meh just joking. hahaha. you'll see the iPhone 5S pack another redesign with a 5.5" display and say they innovated it.
rather, I like the Note 2's "brushed aluminum" design but I don't like its glossy feel. I prefer the Note 1's textured back.
15. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
a 5.5 display would actually be nice. they might innovate the icon grid again too...
and use wierd resolutions to achieve that perfect "326" retina display picture quality
11. Hammerfest (Posts: 383; Member since: 12 May 2012)
I do as well... but probably for different reasons...
(down with 16:9!)
18. LaserTed (Posts: 9; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)
I do too. I don't like that they share the touchwiz nature UX with the gs3. Notice all the wasted space at the bottom of the screen above the dock? They also won't allow you to put 5 widgets across the home screen. It's nothing major, but if it weren't for lack of perfomance and S pen features I would almost rather go for the original Note.
25. abrinson (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Sep 2012)
I agree, I love the extra room the additional vertical column on the original Note gives you. Does anyone know if it'll be possible to get that extra real estate on the Note II?
3. ogtomasx (Posts: 47; Member since: 25 Aug 2012)
Note 2 is the real deal this phone is the greatest phone this year don't miss out on it... I'm going top get it release day hell yeaaaa Babyyyyyyyyyyyyy...... Quad-Core
4. doejon (Posts: 398; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
phone of the year 2012 SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2
5. Gadgety (Posts: 169; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
OK, so the Note II is better than the Note I. The key question for me is, should I get the Note II or pay half for the Note I? Is the new twice as good? Apt-x (PHONEARENA YOU MISSED THAT!) and LTE really are the key improvements to me.
9. McLTE (Posts: 804; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Only you can answer that question. Did you even read the review??
It's pretty obvious to me that the NoteII is FAR better than the original version. I would not even remotely consider getting the original Note with what is coming with the Note 2.
27. Gadgety (Posts: 169; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
What makes you think I didn't read the review - did I miss the apt-x reference? Daniel P wanted to know our thoughts, and I shared mine.
8. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
PA, your battery conclusions for the Gnote2 are all the same, please update when Samsung releases some details.
I would also like to ask how well the battery is using Wi-Fi.
10. redsox420 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)
@ gadgety.. Get the Note 2.. Reason being, it comes with a Quad core and straight out the box with JB.. The Note 1 may not be able to handle much higher than KLP (key lime pie) or Lollipop (2 next versions of Android)
Note 1 will have limitations sooner than the Note 2..
I hear Google may actually be naming their Android OS versions after Cannabis strains from now on. So K will be for King Kush and L will be for Lemon Skunk, M for Mako Haze, N is Northern Lights #5, O is Obama Kush and P is Purple Diesel, etc.
16. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)
Damn. Your post makes me wanna fire up a bowl lol.
26. redsox420 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)
Hell yeah.. Just did awhile ago.. No passing.. Just Puffing lol
12. speckledapple (Posts: 892; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)
You can tell that they really did improve the device in the second interation. Very good.
13. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Won't be able to sell my Note 1 fast enough come Nov
14. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)
Wait a minute, wheres the damn notification LED? Did Sammy leave that out AGAIN???
17. doejon (Posts: 398; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
its under the "skin" ;-) dont worry there is a notification led :-)
19. k1ng617 (Posts: 264; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)
Thanks for the comparison! I'm now sold. I love my Note, but what good is a phone if I can't use it as a phone in all places?! The earpiece and loudspeaker are atrocious on it! And the best thing is I will have 3 (because I can't stand AT&T service near me) providers to choose from.
20. richardyarrell2011 (banned) (Posts: 510; Member since: 16 Mar 2011)
Yes Sir, Ready to get my Galaxy Note 2 on day one of launch. I love my Galaxy S3...
21. bigdawg23 (Posts: 444; Member since: 25 May 2011)
Since when is 7 hours stellar battery life? I have a Note 1 and no chance of making it through a day. I always have to plug it in. Start taking calls and it will drop 5% increments over 15 minute periods. Last week on a teleconference it went from 90% to 60% in just over 1 hour 45 minutes. Battery life dwindles even faster in LTE areas.
22. Althorius (Posts: 23; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)
The battery is replaceable though. I'm sure there will be some massive aftermarket battery available, or if u are really a power user u can just carry a spare! Gotta love this phone, hands down the best phone I've ever seen.
23. tiara6918 (Posts: 2018; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
Note 2 obviously wins here. The best smartphone ever created by samsung!
24. AnnDroid (Posts: 53; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
A great speaker?? Thank you. This was a deal breaker for me! Very happy.
28. 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.
29. Hovhannes (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
awesome phone but too big to hold it in your hand and make it fell good...QUAD CORE!!!
30. AnnDroid (Posts: 53; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)
I am happy to say, that after 8 days of owning this phone, I am overboard happy with it. Not too large and I'm a petite lady. Loud and quality sounding speaker. Great battery life. AllShare is too much fun. Google Now is enough to buy the phone. The very best phone I've ever owned and I'm a HTC fan. Never liked Samsung or their TouchWiz UI. However, they have improved over the years and now I see no reason to leave TouchWiz.
32. verty (Posts: 121; Member since: 07 May 2012)
Hardware wise I so much prefer the note 1. For me the note 2 is too slim and it will not allow for 5 icons. Also there is too much wasted space and for me its as if the interface is crammed. but for software upgrade I would gladly stay with my note 1. Alas I have to give in and give my note 1 to my wife who is not a tech geek at all but likes the note 1 because I always praised the note 1 when i was using it. I just could not stop praising my note 1. Its the best phone ever!!!!! kudos Sammy!!!! Already i miss my note 1, now I have to scroll sideways when i read my gmails. With the note1 the email fit my screen and i did no right and left scrolling. Sammy should look into this and make corrections.
33. speculatrix (Posts: 3; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)
install novalauncher instead. seriously, it makes much better use of the home page pixels.