At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Note II looks like a smartphone with a glandular problem. After getting some hands-on time with the behemoth device, you'll start to see the incredible level of functionality and power this phone has to offer. Gone are the days of carrying a tablet and a phone. With the Galaxy Note II, one device offers the best of both technologies.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II's primary design is its biggest fault. At nearly six inches tall and over three inches wide, this phone is significantly larger than any other smartphone on the market. The casing is made of stiff plastic, unlike its Kevlar or steel competitors. Even with a lighter casing, the phone still weighs over 6 ounces. Fortunately, the Note II makes up for its bulk with a gorgeous 5.5-inch screen. At 1280 x 720 resolution, the screen delivers accurate colors and a bright display, making it great for watching HD videos and surfing the web.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a great multimedia experience. Whether you're taking pictures with the 8MP rear-facing camera or watching videos or playing games in stunning HD, this smartphone fills multiple roles without flinching. Like with most 8MP cameras, the best pictures come from well-lit, outdoor situations, but the picture options and effects rival some point and shoot cameras. Using the S Pen stylus, creating art and editing images is more fluid than using your desktop's mouse.
Like all smartphones, most of the call quality depends on the service provider. At its basic, the Samsung Galaxy Note II connects to signals well, particular wireless signals, like a Wi-Fi router or Bluetooth device. The biggest problem with using this smartphone is its size and weight. To optimize the Note II as a phone, we suggest using the clear, built-in speakers for conference calling or connecting a Bluetooth headset.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II runs like a champ with its powerful battery. Working both as a tablet and a smartphone, the phone can handle heavy usage for at least eight hours. The battery can last up to 900 minutes of talk time, a better-than-average time for a smartphone. Equipped with 16GB of installed storage, the phone could use more muscle. Fortunately, you can install an additional memory card if you'll be downloading a lot of files or saving a lot of images.
This business-ready smartphone is powered by a quad-core processor, running at a fast 1.6GHz. The Note II can easily replicate a desktop or laptop. The phone runs on Android 4.1 and comes equipped with several business-ready apps. Many of the pre-loaded apps show off the functionality of the S Pen stylus, like a lasso tool that allows you to cut pieces out of any picture or page and create your own images. The biggest drawback to the Note II's functionality would be a lack of third-party apps. Since this phone is one of very few using a stylus, you'll be hard-pressed to find a wide selection of high-quality S Pen apps.
The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the giant of smartphones, but its size and weight contain powerful technology. If you're tired of carrying a tablet and phone, this smartphone will become your new all-in-one device.
The large, bright screen is easy to see, and the S Pen makes writing and drawing a breeze.
This is the biggest and heaviest smartphone on the market.
If you're tired of trying to keep track of your smartphone and your tablet separately, the Samsung Galaxy Note II offers an all-in-one option with great functionality and explosive power.