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Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Galaxy Note

Posted: , by Daniel P.


Call quality:

Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Galaxy Note
The Galaxy Note didn’t boast any exceptional call quality, especially in the earpiece, but the Note II improves significantly in that respect. Voices are very loud and clear, and on the other end the dual mic setup relayed the sounds without audible distortions, strong and clean.


Needless to say, the larger 3,100mAh battery on the Note II, coupled with the more frugal processor, beats the already stellar battery life of the original Note’s 2,500mAh unit. Hey, it’s 24% larger, after all.

There are no official talk times yet from Samsung, but we made one very unscientific test to check how the Note II stacks up against the Note and the Galaxy S III during the HD Super AMOLED’s most frugal consumption - video playback. We charged all three phones to 100%, put them in airplane mode, pumped up the brightness to the max, and ran the same HD video for an hour and change. At the end the Note showed 83%, the Galaxy S III showed 87%, while the Note II’s monster battery discharged only 8%, bringing it down to 92%.

If we extrapolate from those results, the Note II might very well reach the RAZR MAXX 14-hour playback territories when it comes to endurance.


There is a brand new sheriff in town when it comes to the battle of stylus-laden big screen phones, of which now there are precisely two, and the Note II is a no-brainer upgrade from its predecessor.

Not that the Note II is that much more compact, compared to the original - it is still a beast, but with an even larger display now. That screen alone, however, is worth the upgrade - it is the best phone screen Samsung has ever produced, and addresses all weak points of Super AMOLED displays so far in one fell swoop.

The 24% increase in battery size alone is worth the upgrade, too, as it brings top-notch endurance to the handset, and the juicer is on top of that replaceable.

Or, if you are buying a Note for the fact that it sports a stylus silo, you’d be happy to hear that the S Pen is much improved in the Note II, easier to handle, with a more natural ink flow, and a number of handy new features like Air View and Pop Up Note.

These three in aggregate make the Note II worth it for those that are upgrading from the original, and for first time buyers. When we throw in the much faster camera capture, the stronger loudspeaker, and the software superiority of the Note II with the latest Android Jelly Bean, and the versatile Nature UX, the only thing holding you back to pick a Note II before a Note would be disposable income.

Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Samsung Galaxy Note Video Comparison:


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posted on 25 Sep 2012, 07:41 10

1. nbringer (Posts: 180; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)

Somehow I like the design of Note I better.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 09:02 9

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 15:17

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

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 13:30

11. Hammerfest (Posts: 384; Member since: 12 May 2012)

I do as well... but probably for different reasons...

(down with 16:9!)

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 16:12

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.

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 18:59

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?

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 07:45 11

2. doejon (Posts: 406; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

damn note 2 i cant wait any longer xD

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 07:58 16

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

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 08:09 15

4. doejon (Posts: 406; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

phone of the year 2012 SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 2

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 08:56 2

5. Gadgety (Posts: 172; 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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 10:17 2

9. McLTE (Posts: 922; 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.

posted on 01 Oct 2012, 15:26

27. Gadgety (Posts: 172; 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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 09:00

6. Gadgety (Posts: 172; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)

A question: is the new stylus oval?

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 09:09 2

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 11:35 4

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 15:46 2

16. Android4u (Posts: 456; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)

Damn. Your post makes me wanna fire up a bowl lol.

posted on 29 Sep 2012, 12:11

26. redsox420 (Posts: 90; Member since: 27 Aug 2012)

Hell yeah.. Just did awhile ago.. No passing.. Just Puffing lol

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 14:21 1

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 14:43 1

13. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)

Won't be able to sell my Note 1 fast enough come Nov

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 14:48

14. 1ceTr0n (Posts: 549; Member since: 20 May 2012)

Wait a minute, wheres the damn notification LED? Did Sammy leave that out AGAIN???

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 16:11

17. doejon (Posts: 406; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)

its under the "skin" ;-) dont worry there is a notification led :-)

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 17:51

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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 18:23 1

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...

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 18:52

21. bigdawg23 (Posts: 462; 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.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 22:41

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.

posted on 26 Sep 2012, 03:58

23. tiara6918 (Posts: 2111; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Note 2 obviously wins here. The best smartphone ever created by samsung!

posted on 27 Sep 2012, 10:29

24. AnnDroid (Posts: 79; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)

A great speaker?? Thank you. This was a deal breaker for me! Very happy.

posted on 05 Oct 2012, 00:48 1

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.

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 03:40

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!!!

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 08:53

30. AnnDroid (Posts: 79; 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.

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