Camera:

We’ve got an 8-megapixel shooter on the back of the Note II, and the camera interface is the Nature UX one. Things like zero shutter lag, and burst shot when you keep the on-screen button pressed come standard, plus this thing is almost instantaneous when it comes to focusing and taking a shot. We also have 12 effects to choose from and a variety of scene and shooting modes like HDR, Best Shot, which takes eight shots is rapid succession and suggests the best one, Best Face, Panorama and smile recognition – the works. Adding even more appeal to its arsenal, the Note II is graced with slow and fast motion video recording, which is something that we don’t normally find too often.


With its high-end status and all, it’s quite nice to find the Note II producing some likeable shots with its 8-megapixel rear camera. As a whole, it’s undeniably sharp when it comes to snapping photos outdoors under sunny conditions – a bit over-sharp with its details to tell you the truth. Meanwhile, its color reproduction rides on the fine line of being on the oversaturated side, which makes for an appealing gesture at first glance, but the handset luckily manages to handle dynamic range pretty well. Under low lighting situations, however, there’s some diminished qualities with its results – like some noticeable degrees of noise and its softer details. Yet, the LED flash manages to counteract some of those deficiencies, especially when it turns on prior to snapping the shot for proper focus.




Likewise, the handset’s 1080p video recording is also very good, considering that it has the balance appeal to make it stand out. With its 29 frames per second capture rate, sharp details, and minimal artifacting, there’s a lot to like about its satisfying quality – even more when its continuous auto-focus manages to refocus very quickly on the go. However, we have to say that its audio recording quality is a bit coarse, but it doesn’t degrade the overall quality of its results.

Samsung Galaxy Note II T-Mobile Sample Video:



Samsung Galaxy Note II T-Mobile Night time Sample Video:




Multimedia:

The Nature UX music player supports categorization by artists, albums and playlists, and has easy access to a plethora of sound modes like faux 7.1 channel surround sound and Concert Hall, as well as equalizer presets. You can share the tunes you are currently playing to your buddies with the AllShare Play app on the other Samsung phones around, and the Music Square tab places your discography in a mood matrix to choose from. In terms of audio quality put out by its speaker, it’s without a doubt very strong with its output, but there’s a small presence of strain at the loudest volume setting.


The gallery takes a good advantage of the large screen real estate, splitting the screen in two while in folder view, offering easy access to all folders on the left, and swift scroll through the pictures they contain on the right. You can also preview the folder content with the S Pen stylus Air View functionality.

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. Individual photos can be edited with a pretty rich number of functions besides the usual crop, rotate, and annotate scenarios.


When it comes to watching videos, a bigger screen is naturally more preferred, right? Indeed that’s the case here, as the Samsung Galaxy Note II shows its worth in this particular category. Of course, it’s enabled to play a wide array of video codecs out of the box – like DivX, H264, MPEG-4, and XviD. Playing one that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution, the Note II captivates our interest thanks to its smooth playback, large screen size, and vibrant colors. Just like on the Samsung Galaxy S III, we can choose to use the Pop Up Play feature to overlay the video on top of whatever we’re doing, but its mightier processing power enables us to resize it to our liking. Oh yeah, the Air View feature is incorporated as well by giving us a preview by simply hovering over a section in the video timeline.



Software:

Naturally, both Samsung and T-Mobile’s presence is found throughout the handset in the form of various applications – these include Kies Air, Game Hub, Media Hub, Music Hub, S Suggest, Samsung Apps, T-Mobile My Account, T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile TV, and Visual Voicemail. Aside from the usual set of third party apps preloaded with the device, there are a few noteworthy ones that manage to pique our interest. Specifically, there’s the app called Paper Artist that allows us to make some cool looking adjustments with our photos – again relying on the use of the S Pen. Not only are we given a depth of image filters to apply over our photos, but we can use the S Pen to highlight and enhance specific portions to give it a neat sketching effect.



FEATURED VIDEO

89 Comments

1. dr_fajardo12

Posts: 134; Member since: Aug 26, 2012

its difficult to pick one: LG optimus G or Lumia 920 or Note 2. My money dont know what to do D:

5. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Just a 9, PA? I would have thought it'd get 9 and change (equivalent of an A, rather than an A- or B+) but short of A+ (9.6+). That said, I'd still get the Lumia 920 over anything and everything out this year, and probably into most of next year.

8. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

Hey do you know windows os well? I have a question to ask

12. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Yes, I own a Lumia 900 and use it for my daily phone if you're referring to Windows Phone. I also am very familiar with WIndows for computers as well. Feel free to ask anything!

16. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

What's the difference between windows 8 between windows RT? I googled a lot only to find that even tech websites columnists have confusion about their difference. Is win RT a hybrid between win 7 & win8? Also whats the point of Win Pro? can you enlighten me on that?

28. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

Windows RT is developed under the ARM architecture, so therefore it does not run any of the windows xp, vista, 7 programs. Windows 8 pro on the other hand, is developed under the X86/X64 architecture and it runs all of the legacy programs and apps from previous operating systems. Note: Windows RT and Windows 8 pro share the same Native code (kernel) and both have the full desktop environment in the background.

61. jshan

Posts: 200; Member since: Dec 25, 2011

Hey man I'm asking you this cz it's like your a xpert on mobile industry eh ? K so give me your idea bout iPhone and android (iOS and android ) which is the best between em ?

69. shandesilva

Posts: 105; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

jshan my friend, you still havent made up your mind? :)..its android !,,,and the galaxy phones are much better than iphones in lots of aspects.

70. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

I like both Android and iOS operating systems, they have their cons and pros. Android is an open source operating system developed under the linux core, it gives you almost the same freedom as a linux operating system on a PC, many customazion options, the ability to root it and great third party support. But all this comes at the cost of performace in some cases, most Android phones lag at a certain point, and they are not the easiest phones to use. But I think they finally got it right with Jelly bean. iOS: It's a well built ecosystem all around, music, videos, movies, apps...almost everything you need. However it is a closed ecosystem, meaning that everything you do or use has to come from Apple. Third pary support is great too. The operating system is very simple to use, but sometimes boring and that makes you wanna upgrade your phone every year. There is no lag at all, at least 98% of the time. In my case, I trust the finns more (Nokia), finland has the highest student achievement rate. They always come up with great stuff, I also like their designs and build quality of their products,I like their maps system (which is the best), and finally the great support that they're giving to their Lumia line.

79. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Between ios and android, Android hands down. Better ecosystem, better phones, cheaper to own/operate, and upgrade. That said, I've moved from Android to WP and haven't looked back. It's a good system, just not for me, and, really, probably not for most general non-enthusiast consumers. iphones have had their day, the world is moving on.

14. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Seriously, there are no "cons" listed here, how is this not a 9.3-9.5?

19. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

"Seriously, there are no "cons" listed here, how is this not a 9.3-9.5?" iP(hone/ad) bias?

63. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

oh tyou want to be like the palm pre at 9.9?

6. sheik

Posts: 249; Member since: Sep 12, 2012

Wait for nexus or Go with Note II. You will never regret for choosing that. Want reasons? Note comes with JB out of the box where as Opt G still runs ICS not to mention that 4.2 is gonna be released in next week. And note II is still lighter than 920 with its gigantic 5.5 screen and has better eco system compared to windows store.

7. The.Dark.Knight.Rises

Posts: 72; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Pick note 2. You don't have to insult yourself by buying LG.

13. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

LGs are just fine, and Nexus devices have a nice aspect to their ownership in terms of getting the newest OS versions sonner than anything else (typically, unless you're on verizon).

43. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You can root & not have to deal with Verizon. I am on Android 4.1.2 & I have Verizon.

80. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

True, but you void the warranty on it, and I wouldn't do any rooting until after the warranty was up.

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

My thing with the Galaxy Note II will be the root scene. I root because I get total control of customization, features & performance. I know the source have been released but I am really interested to see how it does. If the phone proves to have GREAT developer support on both the phone & processor then I am there. If not I am really hoping for this rumored HTC Nexus 5 to be a reality. I have to admit that if I didn't root & would be ALL over this sexy/beast called the Samsung Galaxy Note II. For a stock phone this is REALLY hard to beat. The battery life is really, really impressive. Droid Razor MAXX HD who? lol

30. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

dont worry about Dev support as Sammy has already confirmed on twitter that they are looking into problems concerned with the proper documentation related to exynos. so I guess it will have great Dev support.

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

The phone is one sexy piece of hardware for sure. But is it worth nearly double the cost of the Nexus4.. that's my issue. And unless the N4 just sucks, I cant find many reasons that it's worth the extra cost. Have to wait to see N4 reviews to find out for sure though. Sammy definitely hit a high end home run with this thing though, that's for sure.

40. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The Samsung Galaxy Note II has the S-Pen, the 3100 mAh beast of a battery, the support of up to a 64GB MicroSD card & the real stunner that beautiful 5.5" RGB Super AMOLED HD screen. All those things equal better than the LG Nexus 4. Plus more functionality. To me the price is justifiable. Now add GREAT developer support as ZEUS.the.thunder.god is saying & I really thing this phone has no rival. I just really hope what ZEUS.the.thunder.god says really pans out.

44. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

totally agree.

48. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

that 5.5 inch rgb screen is still amoled in which i am sure the IPS LCD on the N4 is much clearer and brighter plus its a quad core nexus for gods sakes! Gonna have key lime pie, a better processor S4 pro, and to top it off........THE PRICE MAY ONLY BE 400 DOLLARS!!! sorry but no bueno for me..... nexus all D way lol

49. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey that's you. I respect that. The Qualcomm quad-core S4 Pro is indeed the best, no doubt. The Exynos 4 quad-core @ 1.6GHz is not to shabby either. The screen is debatable, they are BOTH 720p screens just that one is 4.7" & one is 5.5". You will be able to see & read things better on a larger screen so the advantage has to go to the bigger screen always. You are right about the price point. Sure the LG Nexus 4 will be cheaper but it won't be able to do what the Samsung Galaxy Note II can, but the Samsung Galaxy Note II WILL be able to do what the LG Nexus 4 can. Also about Key Lime Pie, I ALWAYS root. To me if you own an Android & you can follow steps like in a cook book, then you can most definitely root. If I get the Samsung Galaxy Note II, I will root that beast. I will make it how I want & make it perform better than Samsung could ever do, thanks to the GREAT Android developer ecosystem that is out there. I will have Android 4.2 Key Lime Pie. Maybe not the same day the source is released but as early as a couple of days to a full week after the LG Nexus 4 gets it. That is how fast rooted non Nexus phones get the most up to date Android versions. So when I root my Samsung Galaxy Note II in theory I will be turning the phone into a 5.5", S-Pen powered, 3100 mAh battery & up to a 64GB MicroSD card reading Nexus. As always with the ability to put a custom ROM & Kernels that I choose. That is the beauty of Android, plain & simple. +1

41. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

well I have to disagree with you Remix on the price. I think Sammy has justified it. As much as I love my GneX, I have to agree that this phone is a beast and real value for money. But thats just my opinion.

42. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Hey that is my opinion also. +1

45. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

thanx bro. and yeah I read about Sammy taking care of Exynos documentation issue. They are always very supportive when it comes to Dev community. Lets hope for the best. But I was really looking forward to GneX II this year so may be wait for next year or might go for Lg Nexus if price is right here in India.

39. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is good to hear. I love the LG Nexus 4 BUT the HUGE 5.5" screen is so epic.

50. MobileCaseReview

Posts: 242; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

SuperAndro, I agree. As a Note owner in the US, I've been very forunate to have amazing dev support. I've been running liquid smooth on my note since its release and this is straight out butter. The note 2 I'm sure will have plenty of dev support. As much as I love all the innovations Samsung put in, I'm gonna turn that beast into stock android regardless. Crossing my fingers there's a HTC nexus 5. I would hop all over that within seconds get myself into debt haha.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

GALAXY Note II T-Mobile
  • Display 5.5" 720 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.9 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 4 Quad, Quad-core, 1600 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh(15h talk time)

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