The original Samsung Galaxy Note was initially a bit slow on the uptake, until people realised it was a pretty decent phone-come-tablet, which became affectionately known as a phablet. The Galaxy Note II is now upon us, and our very own Geoff Fieldew is working on a review. However, to whet your appetite, Geoff has shared his first impressions with us below.
If, however, you can’t wait for Geoff to review the device, and you know you want one, you can order today from MobiCity for $699.
The biggest plus here is the massive display. It’s responsive, colour rich and text is crisp enough for my eyes. Only really fussy people will find fault here. The overall design is tremendously ergonomic. It’s comfortable to hold with one hand. I have the grey model which is a glossy plastic. As it has a brushed aluminium look, it will divide opinions. A friend has the white model which purists will probably prefer.
Inside we have more power than some desktop PCs, and it really shows. I’m only 24 hours in but there’s been no slowdowns so far. Multitasking, multi-viewing (more on that below) gaming and general browsing and navigation are amply supplied by four general processing cores and the graphics processor. Compute is not lacking!
Touch response is now the standard here. It feels slightly more responsive than the other devices I’m using currently: Nexus 7, Galaxy Nexus & Galaxy S III. Jelly Bean resides here and all of the buttery goodness has translated well. There is nothing to suggest that any of Samsung’s software (and it is vast) causes any hiccups, stutters, slowdowns, etc. Again, I’m only 24 hours in though!
Multi-view. Let me be honest. I was expecting this to be a let down. It isn’t.
You can move about a dozen different apps in from a sidebar on the left of the display. I can’t explain it fully so watch the video below to see how it works. Two independent views (windows?) sit top and bottom or side by side according to the orientation of the display. You can’t control them both at the same time but that’s probably unneccesary.
Unlike what we’ve seen on Samsung’s larger tablet implementation (see Tia’s writeup of the Galaxy Note 10.1 for a bit more on this) I can happily report that it’s all responsive and fluid on the smaller screen.
You can see the demonstration of the multi-view feature at the 2 minute mark.
We’ll have more thoughts in the full review including a run down of the pressure sensitive S-Pen related stuff. My initial thoughts are that the pairing of 1.6Ghz quad core proccessing and Google’s latest version of Android translate to the most enjoyable experience I’ve had using an Android device yet. Time will tell if that continues. The other obvious thing to point out is that the awesomeness is somewhat stifled if you don’t have 2 hands on this monster. You can most certainly use it one handed but you must be deliberate and not have little mitts!
(Ed: Thanks Geoff!)