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An iPhone 5 user tries the Samsung Galaxy Note II

The word puny never came to mind as I thought about my iPhone 5 before two weeks ago.  That was before I gave the Samsung Galaxy Note II a test run the past couple of weeks as my main phone.  Now, returning to the the iPhone 5 feels like using a miniature child’s toy.  When the first version of the Note came out last year, I remember thinking to myself that I would never want a phone that large.  However, after seeing the surprising success of this “phablet”, I wanted to give the Note II a try to see if I can learn to love such a super sized phone.  To my surprise, the large screen and other features of the phone grew on me quickly, and I have no intention of going back to the iPhone 5 as my main phone any time soon.

About the Samsung Galaxy Note II 

The Samsung Galaxy Note II comes with a 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED screen.  It is an Android phone running on the latest version of Android – Jellybean.  It includes Samsung’s unique S-Pen stylus,  a 1.6 GHz quad core processor,  8MP Camera, and 3100 mAh battery.  This large phone is often referred to as a “phablet” as it fits right between the typical sizes of a smart phone and a tablet.

Why I’m Impressed With the Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Screen

I never realized how much I would squint at my iPhone 5 as I read text on the screen until I experienced the large 5.5″ screen on the Samsung Galaxy Note II.  I was somewhat disappointed that the iPhone 5 only had its screen made taller and not wider.  Though this gives you more viewing space, keeping the width the same means text in most apps and on the web remains very small.   I was immediately hooked on how comfortably I could read on the Note II without any eye strain or squinting while holding the phone a comfortable distance from my face.  Text on web pages, apps, and other content on the phone is significantly larger than on the iPhone.  While the Note II’s pixel density is lower than the iPhone 5’s (265 ppi vs. 326 ppi), because you hold the much larger note much further from your face, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two displays during every day use.  The Note II’s display is very large and beautiful and is the most impressive feature of this phone.  Once you go large, it’s tough to ever go back to a smaller phone like the iPhone 5.

The Feeling of a Full Fledged Computer in My Pocket

In some of my past experiences with Android phones and tablets, I was always disappointed with the choppiness, lack of responsiveness, and stuttering of the apps and operating system.  Android has come a long way in improving the smoothness of their operating system in the release of Android Jellybean, and the pure power of the Galaxy Note II elevates Android to a whole new level.  I feel like I have a real, full powered computer in my pocket.  The phone launches apps, surfs the web, plays games, and multitasks more smoothly than any phone I have ever used – including the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is an impressive pocket computer in its own right, but you do feel somewhat limited by what you can do and accomplish.  This is due to the limits placed on multitasking and the lack of widgets and customization on iOS.  When I flip on the screen of the Galaxy Note II, I feel like I am using a full fledged computer.  I have multiple widgets open all the time displaying the time, weather, my twitter feed, calendar, and email inbox.  Samsung’s built in Android skin allows you to open two apps at once.  Though the apps that support this function are limited to the browser, email apps, calendar, text messaging app, note taking apps, and other built in apps, this multi-window feature adds to your multitasking capabilities and gives you the feel of being on a powerful computer.  The fact that this high powered phone handles all of this without a stutter and the fact that the screen is truly big enough to support multiple apps running at once, add to this feeling of power.

The S-Pen

Though many strides have been made in designing usable touch screen keyboards, it is sometimes nice to be able to jot down some thoughts, notes, or scribbles using the good, old-fashioned method of handwriting.  As typing on any smartphone often leads to frustration, incorrect auto-corrects, and mistyped words, it is refreshing to be able to pull out the built in S-Pen on the Note II and use my handwriting to record a quick thought or two without worrying about the phone messing up my message with annoying autocorrects or constant mistakes that are bound to happen when typing on a screen. The built in S-Pen does a surprisingly good job of recording my handwriting and scribbles.  I had never been impressed with the results of using a stylus on a tablet or phone in the past.  Most of my experiences have come from using a stylus with an iPad or iPhone – screens not built for stylus input.  The large tipped, awkward styluses made for the iPhone and iPad are difficult to use and never result in very accurate handwriting.  Using a phone built for stylus input is a night and day difference.  I can write as accurately on the Note II as I can with a piece of paper and a pen.  Even when writing very small, the Note II picks up my handwriting nearly flawlessly.  In fact, I took some meeting notes using the built in Samsung S-Notes app.  I printed out these notes and handed them out to some of my co-workers.  None of them could tell they were printed off a smart phone and all assumed they were just photocopies of my actual handwriting using a pen and paper.  The S-Pen is that impressive.

The Unexpected, Impressive Battery Life

I was skeptical about how good the battery life would be with the Galaxy Note II.  I couldn’t imagine a phone with a screen this large would get acceptable battery life.  However, I was again surprised to find that I easily am able to make it through a day of heavy use on the Note II with plenty of battery life yet to spare.  While the phone does not get the 9-10 hours of screen on time that I routinely get with the iPhone 5, I can easily unplug the phone before work in the morning, use the phone with the screen on for 6-7 hours a day, and make it to the end of the day before the battery runs dry.  The Note II is still a phone that will have to be plugged in nightly, but most users will not find themselves running out of battery even on days of heavier use.  The very large 3100 mAh battery is able to mostly offset the power drain of the larger screen.

It’s Not as Awkward as I Thought it Would Be

I was expecting the Note II to be an awkward phone to carry around and use.  I was surprised to find out that the experience wasn’t nearly as awkward as I thought it would be.  The phone slides easily into my front pants pocket where I like to keep my phones.  It definitely is a much snugger fit and weighs quite a bit more than the iPhone 5 (6.42 oz. vs 3.95 oz.).  This was something that I got used to by the end of the first day, however.  Holding the phone up to your face is a bit strange at first because of its large size, but quickly begins to feel normal after only a day or two as well.  Do expect to get asked questions about your phone or be asked to see your phone by your coworkers, family members, and passersby.  The large size makes it stand out.  I had this happen often during my two weeks of use, and most who saw the phone and screen in action came away impressed rather than turned off to the size once they saw what that extra screen real estate made possible on the phone.

The one downside I have noticed about such a large phone is how difficult it is to hold and operate the phone one handed.  I have nearly dropped the phone a couple of times when attempting to do something one handed.  Apple is right that the size of the iPhone 5 does make it very convenient for reaching anything on the screen with your thumb.  If you are someone who does a lot on their phone while walking down the street or while carrying things in your other hand, this may not be the ideal phone for you.  The Note II does have built in one handed features that move the keyboard or number pad of the phone to one side of the phone for easier access one-handed, but the large size and heavy weight of the phone still make one-handing the phone awkward and leaves you feeling like you will drop the phone.

Conclusion – My New Main Phone

It is funny how my perception of what size a phone should be was altered so drastically by just a couple weeks of use of the Note II.  As I said earlier, the iPhone 5 now feels like a miniaturized child’s toy.  I miss the large screen of the Note II whenever I revert back to the iPhone 5.  Android is still is a bit behind when it comes to app quality and availability.  This is the largest disappointment I have with the Note II.  However, when I think about going back to the iPhone, the thought of returning to what now feels like a miniature screen keeps me from being able to let go of the Note.

As phones are used more and more for apps, browsing, photos, and movies, and less and less for voice calling, I do feel that large phones and “phablets” are here to stay.  It will be interesting to see if Apple again increases the size of the iPhone screen in one of the next iPhone releases.  Until that happens, I’m sticking with the Note II as my go-to phone.

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  • Donovan Shore

    I want one bad. Good article.

  • Magnus100

    the Galaxy Note 2 is by far the best phone experience I have ever had. I do not see how I can ever go back to using a smaller phone or a phone with less features. At this time it has the best and most functional features of any phone.

  • The way I see it, you have a split in the market that devices like the Note and Note II are highlighting. Like you said, a lot of people are moving away from phone calls and are looking to consolidate their devices, especially when on the go. Phablets are a great fit for such a user, because it has much more screen real estate and can perform more like a tablet for all of those non-phone call tasks.

    Then, there is another group, which I am in, made up of people interested in using different devices and screen sizes for different tasks. Instead of convergent, people like me are more divergent, looking to distribute computing across a range of different devices. I actually prefer the smaller phone screen for on the go, because I still make a TON of calls, and actually do use my phone in one hand a lot in the field. In the business I work in, this is not going to change in the foreseeable future, either. We text and email all the time, too, but the phone call isn’t going away for us contractors. I know a lot of my customers who also feel the same way.

    Now, I’m not saying that I would be opposed to the iPhone getting a little bigger. This would definitely help my large thumbs from fumbling so much on the on-screen keyboard. However, if Apple stuck to making one iPhone per year, and it was larger than 4.5 inches, I would not be happy. The tech press and sites like ours may not tend to publicize it, but there are a lot of users out there who want the choice of a top tier device on any given mobile OS without a gigantic screen. Unfortunately, it seems that they are getting harder and harder to find.

    When I need the bigger screen, I have my iPad Mini with me all the time now, either in my laptop bag or a mobile gear bag. It is bigger than any phablet, and most importantly to me, it runs full tablet apps. That’s always been the big deal breaker for me with large phone and small tablets, like the Nexus 7. They just run smartphone apps. When I move up to the bigger screen, I want apps more suited to it there with me, and the iPad Mini delivers that.

    So, mine is just a different perspective. It’s all in what you need and how you are looking to use it, I guess. I just hope that if Apple does go big, like some are predicting, that they don’t leave the rest of us who don’t want to behind with a second-class device, like all the Android OEMs are currently doing.

    • David Cramblett

      I think you make a lot of valid points in your comment. I just want to correct you on one tiny detail, in that the Nexus 7 is a full fledged tablet that runs the tablet version of apps where applicable.

      • Where applicable seems to be the key phrase here. Many apps, even popular ones are scaled up phone apps and look ridiculous on a larger screen

        • lawrence mcatee

          yes and no… Even tho they are phone sized they still scale nicely from our 16:9 aspect ratio phones to our 16:9 tablets… this is one thing that really makes me wonder what is going on at apple…

      • I didn’t say that the Nexus 7 wasn’t “real.” Considering the dearth of tablet apps for Android a year ago, it was very smart of Google to go with the 7″ device first, because it better takes advantage of the existing library.

        However, having used all of the involved devices extensively, I stick to my guns on the difference in apps between the two platforms. The vast majority of apps that I used on the Nexus 7 looked EXACTLY the same as they would on an Android smartphone, just scaled up. No difference at all. There were very few HD or tablet specific versions with a different UI or enhanced layout for the larger screen. Just Gmail and a few others.

        This is a completely different story than the iPad Mini. I can’t tell you the last time I ran an iPhone version of an app that was up scaled. It’s been like 2 years now. All apps that I have (over 200 at the moment) are either universal, with enhanced tablet UI or at least upscaled art and text, or full on tablet-specific HD versions. It’s apples and oranges it’s so different.

        The contrast is even more stark now have a Nexus 10 instead. It has a beautiful screen, but even fewer apps that truly take advantage of what it is capable of. Smartphone apps are very clunky on a full sized 10″ tablet.

  • I experienced this about a year ago when I made the switch to the original Galaxy Note. I eventually went back to using an iPhone 4s for quite some time and was always regretting the decision. The tagline I saw passed around the XDA forums was “Once you go Note, 4 inches is a joke”. And that really does ring true. Granted 5.5″ is massive, and definitely not for everyone as James mentioned but for a segment of the market – the Note 2 is a wonderful device.

    I still prefer the iPad Mini (and iOS) for a lot of things, but my daily driver right now is also the Galaxy Note 2 (alternated with a Nexus 4). The Note 2 a vast improvement over the original Note (in both performance and how it feels in your hand) and well worth considering if you’re looking for something bigger than what Apple brought to the table with the iPhone 5.

    • paleh0rse

      I’m still holding onto my original GNote and waiting for my upgrade eligibility and the GN3! Which, coincidentally, should both arrive around the August time-frame… 🙂

      • I’m seriously wondering what Samsung can pull out with the GN3… I don’t think they can go much bigger with the screen, they’ve already got a quad-core with 2 GB of RAM. Unless the can improve the screen (which looks terrible next to a Nexus 4) I jst don’t know what else they can do to improve.

        • paleh0rse

          An improved screen, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and their shiny new octa-core chip would work for me… 🙂

        • And if they can do that for the same price as my Nexus 4… I’ll be in line along with all the android crazies!

        • paleh0rse

          And let’s not forget about a gigantic slice of Key Lime Pie….

  • Eric

    I agree more with James. I really hope Apple doesn’t succumb to the blog pressure to go larger on the screen size for the phone. I use my Apple devices a lot. I would rather see them have options for screen size than force everyone to the larger screens. I may be a minority, but I’m not a big fan of the taller iPhone 5. I liked the size of the 4S. If I want a larger screen, that is what the iPad can do for you. If I had eye sight problems, I can see where larger text and extra real estate might be better. But I don’t want something larger in my pocket.

    • Gardenol

      You can’t really say that till you try it though, it’s understandable from i5 compared to i4s since there isn’t much change in how you read things, but even the gs3 with it’s 4.8″ screen just makes reading things feel so natural compared to only being able to see a few words a time on the screen. As for fitting in pocket most people look at how big the screen is, forgetting how flat the phone is. once you slide it into your pocket, you don’t even feel it because of how thin and sleek it is.

      • Greg Cardall

        I agree 100% with Gardenol. I had my wife hooked on iPhones for a few years, and when I switched to Android (Note and now the Note 2), I finally got her to jump into the Android pool with the GS3. She was hesitant at first, and the UI’s are definitely different and it took her some getting used to, but now she says exactly what you mentioned: She loves the screen and will now actually surf the web on her phone. She even admitted just this last week that she used to hate getting on the web on the iPhone due to the lack of screen real estate, and now she surfs it all the time.

        Great article and great comments. I 2nd what Lawrence said previously.

        • i had a hard time going from evolte 4.7 back to my one s 4.3 … phone screens are probably the only place .4 inches matters lol

        • Jwhap

          Yeah, similar experience with my wife. She did not use her s2 much for surfing the web, she uses her s3 all the time though.

      • ScottyByrd

        Just got my wife the Note 2 and shes loves it.

  • Arek

    You must have large front pockets of yor trousers, defenitely you don’t wear jeans.

    • I wear jeans all the time. The Note 2 fits just fine in them. As long as your jeans don’t fit like you should be in a Wrangler commercial from the 80s … or they don’t have “skinny” on the label, you should be fine.

      • yeah fits in all my jeans fine , and i dont know one girl who does not carry their phone in a bag

    • OptimusL

      It fits in jeans just fine, you probably meant that he doesn’t wear skinny jeans.

    • remydlc

      it fits on my skinny 32 sized jeans, i have bulky legs, too. 🙂

      • Skinny jeans… but bulky legs? Is such a thing possible?!

        • remydlc

          I’m not a white dude with skinny a$$ leg. I used to play soccer and worked them out. I also have a big ass to be a man :p yet I still manage to wear skinny levis and CK jeans.

    • paleh0rse

      Stop wearing your sisters’ jeans, and the GN or GN2 should fit just fine…

      • +1 Internets for you sir.

  • Ricardo Piologo -Brazil

    I have iphone and ipad but I was always impressed with the releases of samsung because unfortunately the apple does not impress most. glad to see a post that makes me think of this and see that I’m not the player that many say is perfect.

  • what about the sea of the customization options that are available.. !!

  • lawrence mcatee

    I literally just posted to say I was extremely impressed with this article and even more impressed with the comments. This is an apple blog obv. and I expected a completely different tone in the comments section. This was a bold article to post pitting the evil sammy against the mighty iphone lol But great read with great points and great comments. *tips hat*
    (from a dedicated android fanboy!)

    • I’ll second that. It’s nice to see people being open minded in this way.

      • Hugo

        Great article and (as expected) very nice comments. Perhaps these are just the open minded and balanced comments that are soooo hard to find in Android related websites nowadays.
        In my personal case i wouldn’t let go of my iPhone 5 as my main phone. I love everything about it, including the “human” size and the fact that my phone can be used as phone in every situation, including sports. I don’t need to stand out in the croud with no big toy in hands. Plus, i just personally feel that iOS is much more organized. Everything is where it is suposed to be. I don’t no clock on the notification bar plus a giant widget duplicating that info.
        Whenever i feel like i need a larger screen size (at work) i just use my Nexus 7. It’s as simple as that. And in my case, no phablet will ever replace my iPhone 5 as my main phone. Even for quickly catching up with work notifications on the street.

        • I have the Note 2 and had the original, came from the 4s. I got my mother a iphone 5 for Christmas and while playing with it did enjoy that it just works!!! No organizing apps of adding or deleting things, everything is up to date, etc, but I just the a large screen now 🙁 Even the new W8 phones are solid!!! Especially the Nokia 920, also nice and just straight forward! Either way you can’t loose if you buy a solid flagship phone no matter what OS it is. There are pros and cons to all!

        • What’s great about Android is you can choose to not have the clock there if you think it’s redundant. Just longpress it and slide up to the top and it’s gone. Choices are nice 🙂

    • Yes, very nice article. And well described. I felt same as I was reading through.

      I myself switched from iPhone 4 to Galaxy S3 last September and I found S3, great in many aspects. Although I originally planned for buy Note 2 but I could not convince myself to use such a huge device considering I was used to have a iPhone 4. so I settled for S3 but after using my brother’s Note 2, I regret my decision every day. Note 2 is one of the best device in terms of performance, user experience and battery life.

      Now sometimes when I use my older iphone 4, it sure do looks like a small toy. Although I miss some excellent jailbreak tweaks of ios on android and I wish they will available on android in future. 🙂

  • Having used an iPhone for the last 4 years and thought is was the best thing I ever owned, I found it was refreshing to update to a new phone and operating system. I have had the G note 2 for 3 weeks now and would’t go back. It is by far the best phone and with the best software I have used by a long shot. What made me change was I was sick of the small screened on the iPhone.

    I said to my wife prior to getting the GN2 I would go back to Apple if they increased the screen size. But as I said i won’t be going back it really is that good! The problem I see for Apple now is they need to increase the screen size, but now they need to update there IOS software too. Now if they do a major software upgrade people are going to be in of a shock, which at the end of the day people may choose to upgrade to a new system altogether. And for me it will make no difference, and unfortunately for Apple others may feel the same.

    Just for the record.

    I have a iPad and a Mac and found it very easy to transfer all that I needed for the GN2. Looking forward to the Galaxy note 10.2 coming out whenever that might be……

    • “the problem you see for Apple?”

      The Company sold a record 47.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 37 million in the year-ago quarter. Apple also sold a record 22.9 million iPads during the quarter, compared to 15.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

      I think they are doing just fine, and so do millions of other iOS users. I don’t see the screen size as being a problem. If they eventually add a larger screen size iPhone, I would definitely be intrigued, and would consider buying it, but to say it’s a “problem” is silly.

      • they did great yes , but i think id go with market share not units sold
        im almost positive they lost market share all around this yr

        • Nope–Apple ranked as the top smartphone manufacturer with 36.3 percent share last quarter.


        • Scott Nezos

          Smartphone manufacture yes, but has no where near the users as android combined. Both are good products, but yes screen size is a limiting factor for a lot of people. Hence screens over 4″ for the past 2 years.

        • Users don’t matter when every Android manufacturer except Samsung is losing money. Lots of money.
          Android sells in large numbers due to cost. Yet Android developers make a tiny percentage of iOS developers and users don’t use their phones nearly as much. This is why Google makes more money from iOS users than all those Android users.

        • Ruel Smith

          I don’t care who makes how much money from what device. I care what the device does for me. I have an iPhone 4 that I’m about to upgrade. I want a larger screen and if Apple doesn’t deliver, I’m looking elsewhere. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels that way.

        • darkcrayon

          You’re making the same point though. How much money someone makes on which device is as unimportant as simple raw numbers of devices sold, unless it directly translates to things like software developer interest, 3rd party accessory interest, etc. Fine to want a larger screen of course. But the original point was that Apple isn’t “in trouble” just because more devices sold happen to boot up into one of the many versions of “Android”.

        • That’s really the most powerful argument for Android. What does the device do for me. Android beats iOS in that fight all day long. Especially the Galaxy Note 2. It’s much more useful than other smartphones, particularly iOS.

        • Scott Nezos

          I am sorry, but when was this every about the developers, and how much they make? It is about user experience.

        • I think he meant OS marketshare.

        • Greg Bissell

          except they are only about 15 percent worldwide and the bump last quarter was the iphone 5 release. watch what happens to their market share this year when the new android phones come out. watch that stock drop more and watch them copy android more with a 5 inch phone like they copied them with the smaller tablet this year and the stolen notifications system the year before. whats next are they going to steal widgets, multitasking and stylus phones next? lol

        • Ruel Smith

          Okay, I’m neutral in all of this, but if you want to talk about who stole what, Android was a straight ripoff when Schmidt was on Apple’s board. Android was revamped from being like Blackberry to being like the iPhone overnight, when Schmidt saw the prototype.

        • Greg T

          This is only for the U.S. not worldwide if I am not mistaken. Apple will always have a strong showing in the U.S. where all the isheep fans are located.

        • Kids say things like iSheep. Run along now.

        • Nitebreed .

          Top smartphone manufacturer in the United states. Please be clear about that. They just took that back from Samsung because they released a phone at the end of the year. Samsung releases there’s between March and May so Samsung will again be the number 1 phone manufacturer in the U.S. and the rest of the world which they already are now.

        • Apple reports units sold. Sold to actual people. They also report their profits. Samsung reports units shipped, many of which are sitting in warehouses and they won’t say what their profit from mobile devices is.

        • You may want to check the latest US smartphone market share numbers for making that statement. Apple’s marketshare actually rose quite a bit during the fourth quarter, after the release of the iPhone 5.

        • OptimusL

          Why area you limiting it to the U.S.?
          U.S =/= world.

          Android has the overall majority marketshare, Apple having more markeshare in just the U.S. does not change that.

        • Marketshare doe not matter.

        • Market share is meaningless sans profits.

      • I thought he was saying the problem for apple trying to get him back as a customer. They definitely don’t have a sales problem.

      • david brand

        sales are down, everyone knows that. I doubt they sold more this year than last, keep drinking the kool aid. Iphone and iPad are substandard out of date, and behind the tech curve by 5 years. Everything new they bring out was “borrowed” from better OS’s , and honestly dont you know that Samsung provided most of the parts that go into your beloved iCrap, including the screens for the longest time. Get your head out of Steve Jobs dead ass, please ! thank you.

        • Ah, Android trolling on an Apple site. How incredibly original. Time to check your facts, though. Apple’s quarterly report, Kantar, Nielsen, and commScore all seem to disagree with your expert sales assessment.

        • david brand

          When Apple writes a report of course its going to be Apple positive. Im not trolling, i owned an iPhone 4s and then a 5 briefly, and was disappointed in how there was really nothing new in the 5 except for the number and screen size. I agree with many others on this Apple site that the 5 was unimpressive, and quite disappointing. The truth hurts and the truth is that most of us Apple users are realizing that we own outdated tech that really is just “pretty” and pretty aint cutting it anymore. I actually sold my iPhone 5 for a pretty penny to some sucker on ebay, and used the money to get a HTC ONE S on T-mobile, and ive never been happier. Once you go Android you never go back.

        • I have owned no less than 10 devices in the last three years. I never left. Never even considered it. None of them has held my interest for more than a few months, and I’ve sold them all. Not to “suckers,” mind you, but people who hopefully had a use for them and found them to be worth what they paid me. As bored as I already am with the Nexus 10, it will probably meet the same fate.

          I’m glad you like your One S, but before heaping more condescension and insults on Apple users (ie. trolling), bear in mind that one size does not fit all. Android may be for you, but it is not for everyone.

        • Nitebreed .

          I have a question? how do you get bored with an OS that allows you to customize it to be what you want, but you don’t get bored with ios which doesn’t allow you to do anything? you have rows and rows of icons. That’s exciting? I’m not being rude I just seriously don’t understand? is it because you’ve been with them so long you don’t want to give another OS a real chance?

        • Greg Lamb

          Having the ability to customise may not necessarily be a good thing. In a busy life a lot of the time you just want an OS and phone that just works. The lack of uniformity in Android developers and having to tinker too much can sometimes be a hindrance.

          As for battery life, it is also different for everyone. Some people stay in areas with exceptional reception with their carrier for the majority of the day but some people may be in low signal areas a lot and hence have bad battery life. For me, the many Android phones I’ve tried never last as long as any of my iPhones.

          Still would love to get the perfect Android phone and OS version. Maybe one of this years phones with Key Lime Pie???

        • HTC do make solid phones, but the battery life is HORRID!!!!! Especially on the “One” series, I have had both the One X and One X+! Had to return the X+ twice due to the battery and just stayed with the Note 2!! I even thought of going back to iphone 5!! Android is good, but like everything else has its pros and cons!! Plus if you are going to troll T-Mobile blows!!!

        • david brand

          t-mobile is good for me, but then again im in NYC, i heard it blows outside of major metropolitan areas….I might get a Note 2 eventually…Plus the One S’s battery is fine, why would you return a phone because of the battery ? did you actually think it was a defect ?? and really battery life is bad in most phones in general, not just HTC. The note 2 has a bigger battery so of course it lasts longer.


        • darkcrayon

          Funny, when I pick up most Android devices they feel outdated to me – sure the screen is busier and there are more “features”, but the response and overall performance/feel of the OS makes is seem like the hardware is a lot weaker than it is on paper. Going back to Safari alone on iOS is like a breath of fresh air – hey look, the screen actually responds to fast swiping and resizing.

        • Greg T

          It may be an Apple site but it is discussing an Android product Mr Clueless

        • You are very wrong about that. You also sound like a particularly immature teenage boy.

        • david brand

          Saying something with no facts to back it up because youre upset i said that apple sales are down for the iphone 5 is the acts of an “immature teenage boy”

      • Nitebreed .

        Forget the numbers. Listen to the people. The people will let you know the direction before the numbers do

      • jeffrey evans

        One of the problems that needs to be reviewed is how much Apple’s world market share has changed compared to how many new markets they’ve opened up. When you factor in how many new carriers and territories are now selling the iPhone, their world market share doesn’t line up. Apple should be seeing far more growth in their total sales due to the new markets but that’s not been the case, total growth has been much slower. It’s taking more effort for Apple to increase, and eventually they will also see that impact their total revenue as margins continue to tighten due to stiffer competition in the mobile market.

        Apple is being forced out of their comfort zones in order to stay competitive. This has never been a good strategy for them, they’ve always relied on building less products with higher quality. As they continue to push more products out the door, quality has suffered. They’ve also fallen back on releasing beta products, something that totally contradicts their philosophy on quality. While they still make money of great volume, doing so is requiring much more effort and will not likely continue in the near future like is has this past decade. Apple’s greatest fear is being reduced to existing as “just another company,” something they’ve worked hard to avoid but thanks to Android and now WP, the market isn’t theirs for the taking like it used to be.

    • If apple does make a 5″ iphone I would be very tempted to go back!

  • whoknowswhereor

    Great review, I personally would add the fact that I can simply connect my ps3 conroller wirelessly to my note 2 which is connected to my 40″ tv. Great gaming experience. For psx games and games like shadowgun deadzone.

  • Christopher Robert

    If you are having trouble using the Note2 One handed you need to add PIE to it. You can download the apk here (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1330150) Its lets you set up a customized software button navigation on the side or bottom of the screen. allow you to have all of the features you need within reach of one hand. It is a key feature for the phone and has opened a whole new world of use on mine.

  • Gustavo Gomez

    just wondering which apps are you missing?

  • I have the opposite experience… Every time a new droid comes out I try to give it a spin… I worked for verizon for a bit… so I got to try them out…. I do like the samsung products… one issue I had was after heavy use… my eyes always hurt which i did not get the the iphone…Also… I am an avid gamer…and the game selection sucked… every big game that came out was always delayed when it came to droid…I liked the customization and the live wall papers… as well as all the FREE stuff… I may try again when the next big thing comes out but for now….I have not found the droid that does it for me

    • Jwhap

      I suggest trying a jellybean phone. Android has changed quite a bit in the last year!

      • JB Doesn’t change the “game selection sucks” problem. There’s still a lot of really good games that never make their way to Android (Bejewelled Blitz for example) or if they do they are released by a third party which ruins the experience (example pocket planes or tiny tower).

        • This is a real issue on the Nexus 10. Lots of gaps. No infinity blade. No Real Racing 2 ( won’t install), no FIFA 13, no NBA Jam, NBA 2k13. The only EA top tier game this year on Android is NFS Most Wanted.

        • I’ve played the heck out of NFS Most Wanted. Still bummed out they didn’t include the open world. But I’m with you on the gaps. RR2 would be stellar on the Note 2!

  • Kyle Muehl

    I’m just sick of all android phones turning into behemoths, I want to switch to apple partly only because it’s my only option to get a not shitty sub 4.3 inch phone.

    • nugs

      Nexus 4? and im sure theres many more.

      • Nexus 4 is a 4.7 – Although useable is maybe 4.5 due to the software buttons on the bottom of the screen.

        Having one in my possession I will say its about 80% great. The battery life is less than stellar. There’s a couple bugs Google needs to hammer out (google msm_hsic_host wakelock) which should improve battery life considerably.

        If you’re looking to stay Android, but don’t want an aircraft carrier sized phone in your pocket, the N4 is worth a look.

  • Zenstrive

    Good for you!
    Never come back to iOS, I would say.

  • norkle

    Want apps with more polish? You’ll have to give up the benefits of having the Apps work side-by-side, but Terry Google Calendar, Handcent SMS and Dialer One as improved alternatives to the stock apps by Samsung. You may even want a different launcher.

  • Richard Craig

    I used an iPhone 3G for two years, and at the time I thought it was the greatest thing ever (and at the time, it pretty much was). My partner had the original G1, and I’d usually laugh at him for it because it was so clunky and unattractive with lackluster app support. Then Saumsung brought OLED to the Galaxy S line, a tech that I’d been lusting over for years and had been waiting to see in a good phone, and I just couldn’t resist jumping over to Android for a couple years. That was 2 1/2 years ago, and I still use my Galaxy S 1 (the T-Mo Vibrant) to this day, and being able to install a custom rom that runs Android 4.2, I can say that I am far more excited at the prospect of a new Android phone than I am at anything Apple has done since my 3G. I do miss a lot of the games, many of which still aren’t and may never be on Android, but I have fallen in love with Android in a way I never did with my iPhone. Now I look at the iPhone and all I see is its relatively tiny screen and the dumbed-down iOS that has changed very little since my 3G 4 1/2 years ago. Whenever I would update my iPhone, it would get slower and more frustrating to use, yet with every release of Android my phone has become faster, smoother, and better in every way. It just seems like Apple is doing the same exact thing with their phones and tablets that they did with the Macintosh… they came flying out of the gate with an awesome product, but their “walled garden” approach, how they tie their own hardware and their own software exclusively to one another, and their inability to improve the software without requiring improved hardware allowed the Windows-based PC to become the market-share behemoth it has been for two decades now, and I see the exact same thing happening with iOS all over again. Apple does Apple, and that works for a lot of people, but its ideology and approach eventually alienate so many people that they just can’t hold on to their market share. In a decade, I predict iOS running 10-15% of devices while Android powers 70-80%, right in parallel with the Mac vs. the PC. I’d love for them to prove me wrong one day, but I have a feeling they never will.

  • remydlc

    great review. I agree with all you said as well, and few people i know. I dont own the Note2 but played with it and it is a great device. I have a Nexus 4 and a galaxy S3 that replaced my iphone 4 a while back and my blackberry. Never regretted it… Multitasking and the widgets got me sold right away. no need to jailbreak anymore.

  • Hugo

    Everebody is always so nostalgic regarding the beloved Nokia 3310 of their teens, and these days nobody can read on a 4 inch screen no more.
    So lets buy a 5.5 inch one that anyone can see from 1 mile away while we are holding it further from the face. I actually read this on the article. Bahhh….

    • paleh0rse

      huhwhut? O_o

  • Greg Bissell

    most users that go to android would never think of going back to ios, its just all downhill for apple as more and more sheep shed their wool ans lose their ignorance they willbe kicking themselves that they didnt go to android sooner

    • I’ve been on both sides. I rock a Note 2 (and a Nexus 4) for my phones and don’t really see me going back to iOS for the phone purpose, but having used the Nexus 7 (and various other tablets) I’ve stuck with the iPad Mini and don’t see me switching to Android for tablet use. The only Android tablet I’m even considering in the near future is the Note 8.0 – Simply for the S-Pen because there’s no iOS stylus that even comes close to the S-Pen.

  • Joseph Mays

    I’d like to say I did sell my iPhone 5 from Verizon for the Galaxy Note 2. I am all about functionality and this phablet allows that for me.

    Where will devices go next? Remember thinking in the past when we all thought a Pentium 100mhz was the stuff!?? Where will devices go from here with there soon 8core gpu and more ram and the OS’s regardless of Apple or Android are becoming very powerful.

  • Never been on this site, but excellent unbiased article!!! Keep up the great work!!!

  • D59568555

    Good talk! I love android. I honestly think it’s the future of computing in general. Its great to see you apple boys experimenting with it. I’m honestly not trying to have a go BTW but I do encourage those of you on the fence to take the plunge. Maybe two years ago you would have bbeen dissapointed with the android experience but now you simply wont believe what you’ve been missing.

  • kito

    A lot of people are too proud to have an iPhone and stay iPhone users (in my entourage, its like that). dont know what they’re missing

  • Samuel Serafim

    You are welcome.

  • Thomas Vales

    I switched to the Note 2 from an iphone 4 in December and Cant ever see me going back to that size screen. Sure android has its annoyances like anything but I think its benifits far outway its short comings.

  • islanderyap

    Nice review. It’s great that this phone went beyond your expectations. I am planning to get this phone at the end of this month. As for Apple products, I have an ipad 3, and I really like it. I’m looking forward to when Apple makes the ipad use this s-pen technology or better. hmmm, what would Job do?

  • KJ

    You think that’s cool!? Check out the note 2 with floating apps! It can run literally like 5-6 apps on a screen at one time!!! http://www.squidoo.com/best-android-floating-apps