Friday , August 18 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note II — First thoughts

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.

Hardware

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.

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.

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!

Software

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.

Overall

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!)

 
Thanks: Mobicity for the review device.

Geoff Fieldew  

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17 Comments on "Samsung Galaxy Note II — First thoughts"

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GingerNutter
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GingerNutter

Be interesting to find out how well/not well the LTE version holds up in the battery department compared to the 3G.

PizazzWP
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As a a switcher (from iPhone to Android), this is one thing I don’t like – there’s a new model every few months to make me drool!! When I was on iPhone, that only happened once a year.

But, it’s a nice “problem” to have. 😀

I will find a way to justify the Note 2! 😀

me
Valued Guest

I am definitively getting this phone. I am off contract and I am over iPhones, the iPhone 5 does nothing for me. I’ve been following this phone for a month now but besides Kogan and the like I can’t find any news about the carriers bringing it out. Only Optus is supposed to have the 4G version in December. I don’t want to that long!! come on Samsung, make it happen. PS I am writing this on my tiny iPhone4 Screen

Michael
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Michael

This will be next phone, I can’t wait for its release in Australia. I’ve gone the iPhone path, but now I need a change, and the note 2 is just what I want.

Boulton
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Boulton

Nice review Geoff. Makes me want to sell my tablet and phone, and buy the Note2.

Member

Cheers 🙂

Stephen Crisafulli
Valued Guest

Im getting this phone question is do i wait for Telstra to stock it or just get a nice cheap non 4g one from kogan. After 4 months with LTE on my one xl i see no expansion of lte and no need for it just yet. I think the 700mhz LTE phones will be the time to switch and all current phones I bet wont support 700mhz LTE

Dene Barry Charlesworth
Valued Guest

I have the original Note & couldn’t envisage going back to a tiny S III

Robert
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Robert

I come off contract with an SGS in a month, I am tossing up between the 4G version of the Note2 and the SGS3 4G. Hardware specs (other than physical size) seem about the same, and to be honest, I think I prefer the user interface of the Note2…

Budorat
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Budorat

I just got the SGS3 4G and I can report it is awesome. Having said that I got it on contract as a filler phone until the SGN2 4G is released in Aus. My wife is an iPhone user, she took one look at my SGS3 4G last night and got instantly jealous…. luckily she gets this device once I get my note 2.

Mick
Valued Guest

Can’t wait for the Note-II LTE… This should be an awesome phone, for those of us who don’t really use a phone to make many calls, want a tablet, but then don’t really want to carry two devices around.

Member

If I was only able to carry around one device this would be it.

Peter Graham
Valued Guest

I don’t see the point in devices this big .. you either need a phone or a tablet. These Phablets are just to big and my prediction is that in a year from now they wont be around due to poor sales. Just my opinion.

taki
Valued Guest
taki

This is my dream phone (I have both Note & S3) & I think it is the only phone/tablet I need to use.
I don’t need other tablet & even a notebook. For full productivity I prefer a configurable desktop with a decent LCD/Kbd/Mouse/USB3 HD (or NAS).

And most important – nobody thought the Galaxy Note will be so successful.
It is the the only mobile solution that has all the features (including advanced stylus/mouse) & fits in a pocket.
This is the best device for mobile workers. The stylus is the new mouse. Just my deep thought.

froggyperson
Valued Guest
froggyperson

well I’m getting one, I’m not used to such a large phone screen but the functionality is there. multi-window support…gonna be plenty useful for me.

Tommy Wong
Valued Guest

The note may not be selling well in Aus, but they are as popular as the iPhone in Asia countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan

Member

Some people just want one device, instead of two. Both phone and tablets were in plentiful supply when the original Note was released and yet it sold millions. It’s not for me but the only reason we have the Note II was because the first was so successful so I very much doubt your prediction will come true.

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