back to article Samsung Galaxy Note 2 review

I’ve no idea what the Korean is for “let’s stuff everything we can into a phone and ram it up Apple’s jacksie” but it’s a fair bet the phrase was used at the inception of the Galaxy Note 2. This Android handset is the feature-packed successor to the surprisingly successful Galaxy Note that I was quite taken with late last year …

COMMENTS

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  1. Alex Walsh

    Build quality

    One of the most important features, which was completely ignored by the review is the build quality. Is it a flexy and plasticky as some of the other Samsung flagship devices???

    1. Vince

      Re: Build quality

      I don't believe so, at least the one in my hand seems pretty well built.

      It's a damn impressive mini tablet.

    2. Al Taylor
      Thumb Up

      Re: Build quality

      Build quality is very much akin to the Galaxy S3 so while it is all plastic, and the battery cover is a bit bendy when not fixed in place it still felt solid enough as a unit. I'd have no qualms about taking one on a two year contract from this perspective. And at least being plastic it won't start showing up minor scuffs and scratches.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Build quality

      I own a 3rd hand note and apart from bragging rights, I can see nothing wrong with Samsung build quality on their flagship devices.

      The steering wheel on my car will flex and feels plasticky and, thats the most crucial thing I'll hold in my had of a day.

      Of course if you were after feel good factor, you'd already own the iphone 5, thus not bothering with this review.

      1. Alex Walsh

        Re: Build quality

        @ 08:44 GMT Anonymous Coward

        I've got a Motorola Atrix, which is built like a tank. I looked at the S2 at the time, and in most ways it was a better phone but it felt cheap and nasty compared to the atrix IMHO

        1. dougal83
          Megaphone

          Re: Build quality

          Yeah I had a HTC hero for a bit that is solid and feels weighty in the hand. Also I could already feel it sticking in my leg when it was in my pocket. I tried a Samsung galaxy s2 for a week, and it was far easier to use(Swype keyboard is AWESOME) and I never felt in in my jean pocket. That shred my idea about weight equals quality. I almost traded in my trusty Nokia for one! But now I'm going to have to get the S3.. I felt that "The S3 looks like a too big phone" (forgive the poor use of English in the quote!) Once I put it in my hand, hey it fits...even fits in my gf's tiny hands..hey it isn't to big, just looks that way. Appearances can be deceiving... but f@#k me is the phone intuitive to use! Quite loving the widgets on the slider homepage, which is a far cry from the Apple interface that is stuck in 2003(or whatever) with rows of icons... Apple phones are backwards imo. My mate was telling me how amazing iOS was and how you can use gestures, etc but I just stopped him there, bottom line is that if you can't just pick up a phone and use it, the phone is s#@te.

          Fin. Am off to form an orderly queue of one to get an S3.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Build quality

            "bottom line is that if you can't just pick up a phone and use it, the phone is s#@te."

            Interesting you should say that. My old mum was due an upgrade, currently on iphone 4, wanted better camera, better screen, but crucially didn't really want to shell out £250+ for an iphone 4s/5.

            So we plunked for a S3, which Vodafone kindly said we could try for 14 days.

            So data transferred over..nope, Samsung software doesn't work on a PPC mac...google sync...well some of the data made it.

            So sim out of the iphone, into the S3. Phone rings.

            Green Telephone appears, Red telephone appears.

            Mum presses the green button, nothing. I press the gree button nothing.

            We look at the screen, no instructions, nothing, more presssing. Call missed.

            Apparenlty Samsung can't be bothered to write slide to answer on the screen, so for the S3, you can't just pick up the phone and use it, it fails the first test quite badly.

            Just for fun, tried it with a few more people that hadn't got either an iphone or android device, i.e older candy bar phones and the like, same thing, press the green button, nothing, more cursing.

            Are you sure you want an S3?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Build quality

              Amazing, you must be living on Sheppy or something.

              I don't do voice calls when I can help it, but when the S3 did eventually ring, figuring out the interface took me a good.. oooh one second- my bad for not RTFMing.

            2. Goat Jam
              FAIL

              Re: Build quality

              I note that you have 1/17 in the votes department, which I feel is totally unwarranted.

              When I first had a Samsung Android phone I experienced the exact same bullshit with the retarded swipe-to-answer-but-we-wont-tell-you-thats-how-it-works rubbish.

              As you say it is first and foremost a phone. If you build a inherently simply device such as a phone with a UI that is anything other than immediately obvious to a first time user then you are doing it wrong.

              Somebody at Samsung needs to go and buy a book and learn what "affordance" means.

              Can't wait for the new Samsung door handle. It'll be the one that is round and looks like it turns, but in reality it doesn't turn at all, but rather flips on a hinge, the direction you flip depends on whether you want to open or close the door. The correct direction for a particular action is to be determined by trial and error on the part of the user.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Build quality

                You get little arrows that make it quite obvious now. Don't know about earlier versions. I imagine most people would need to go look up what affordance means... Just because they didn't get it exactly right (although it's always seemed obvious to me) first time, doesn't mean they aren't continually improving things. Or are you an iphone user? ;-)

              2. Chet Mannly

                Re: Build quality

                "If you build a inherently simply device such as a phone with a UI that is anything other than immediately obvious to a first time user then you are doing it wrong."

                Answered a call 30 seconds after turning on my original galaxy s and figured it out before the second ring.

                Just because you aren't sharp enough to figure out such a simple thing doesn't mean there's something wrong with the UI or the phone!!!

                1. Goat Jam

                  hrrrmph

                  "Answered a call 30 seconds after turning on my original galaxy s and figured it out before the second ring."

                  Well, congratulations, you "figured it out"

                  Which is to miss the point entirely of course.

                  Answering a phone should be such a simple operation that it should not require "figuring it out"

            3. Julian 3

              Re: Build quality

              You can set it up to use the physical home button to answer phone calls instead of swipe to answer.

            4. Paul Westerman

              Indeed

              Don't know why you got so many downvotes. First time I received a call on my Note I couldn't answer it. Had to Google it to find out how. RTFM you say? Pah!

            5. N13L5
              Pint

              Re: the anonymous coward who couldn't figure out slide

              really...

              I was surprised too by the sliding thing, but hell, after a push didn't work, whats the next possibility for a finger on glass??

              If that was too hard for you, get a 'John's Phone', you'll be pleased.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Build quality

          @ Alex Walsh

          More fool you then because the build quality of the S2 is very good.

          Just because it's thin and has a plastic back doesn't mean it won't happily bounce off the floor.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Build quality

            "Just because it's thin and has a plastic back doesn't mean it won't happily bounce off the floor."

            Or off concrete after falling 4 metres as mine did.

            The case has a slight rough spot where it landed and the battery cover popped open by one clip. I was pleasantly surprised.

      2. Cosmo
        Devil

        Re: Build quality

        > >The steering wheel on my car will flex and feels plasticky and, thats the most crucial thing I'll hold in my had of a day

        Are you sure? I'm sure there's something else that flexes slightly that you hold in your hand of a day. You have worries if it's plasticky though

    4. LarsG
      Meh

      Was the reviewer paid by Samsung to say so many nice thing?

      It goes against other reviews that state while it is good, it is not great, there is flex, there is stuttering and there is a general lack of polish and smoothness of the operating system.

      I've used one and I have to say that even with the power it fails because it has a jerky response. The Touch Wiz needs to go and then JB can be properly optimised for the device.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Was the reviewer paid by Samsung to say so many nice thing?

        Really?.. I have been researching this phone for a month, have (almost) read every review out there from the major websites to the geeky ones - NO one said what you quote above. Everyone says amazing hardware and performance but some criticise physical size and the temperature of the colour 'white' - that's it! This phone has also topped most benchmarks!

      2. Peter 48
        FAIL

        Re: Was the reviewer paid by Samsung to say so many nice thing?

        well the question could be reversed - are you paid by Apple or some other competitor to go round saying bad things about it? Aside from the fact that it is highly unlikely that you actually had one in your hand, your comments fly in the face of every single other opinion and review out there which declares the phone to be very smooth and slick.

      3. N13L5
        WTF?

        Re: Was the reviewer paid by Samsung to say so many nice thing?

        Were you paid by Microsoft to say the device has jerky response, while every reviewer said it's smooth as butter?

        Pro Tip: you can deactivate Touchwiz and use Nova Launcher instead, which is very quick and light on Resources, and you can still use the Samsung apps you want for pen etc...

    5. Alex C
      Thumb Up

      Re: Build quality

      I have to say the build quality of GS2 astonished me - mine recently got hurled down 20 foot of stone steps. It acquired some mild bruising around the edges and a small very scratch on the screen. It hadn't even powered off.

      Also after 17 months of battery swapping every day the flimsy looking back panel is still going strong. It might be light and thin but if it's anything to go by Samsung products are tough.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    unsatisfying review :(

    so the review only mentions on two pages the note function and on the other the screen. does it work as a phone? does the thin phone etches into the skin if holding it at the ear for more than 5 minutes? how do you download the scribbles to other devices, etc? pictures look great, but that can be photoshopped. unsatisfying review - little is said about software for sync with your computer for instance. Since I had only wp7 and iPhone I don't know android so well.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. wobbly1

      Re: unsatisfying review :(

      Top of page 3 "How does it work as a phone? Superbly, thanks to a size that puts speaker and microphone closer to ear and mouth than smaller devices can manage and very good active noise cancellation".

    3. Ancient Oracle funkie

      Re: unsatisfying review :(

      Re your question "does it work as a phone?" Can I point you to the paragraph on page 3 that starts: "How does it work as a phone? Superbly ..."

      As for your other comments, I think I'm right in saying that El Reg reviews aren't necessarily the most in-depth you'll find.

    4. Al Taylor
      Alert

      Re: unsatisfying review :(

      " does the thin phone etches into the skin if holding it at the ear for more than 5 minutes?"

      Not at all. At 9.4mm it's not actually all that thin by modern standards.

    5. Andy Miller
      Thumb Up

      Re: unsatisfying review :(

      As for downloading scribbles etc, I've not tried to download an picture from my Note v1.0, but it was surprisingly easy to send a sketch via Skype and e-mail to a colleague. I say surprising because I wasn't expecting to actually use this feature in a business environment, but suddenly it was the right solution and it just worked...

  3. Peter 48

    price

    three actually has the phone on payg for £499 which seems like quite a bargain for such a beast

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: price

      It's because it is dead easy to produce a device that is large, you don't have to worry about battery life so much as you can stick in a 33% bigger battery.

      The real challenge is cramming more into the same space.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: price @ac

        Cramming a bigger battery into the same space?

        You mean like it says in the review that they did between the note 1 & 2.

        AC commentard fail.

      2. Mark .

        Re: price

        Yes this is why laptop-sized ipads are so cheap, and those 7" tablets are more expensive. Oh wait.

        And you should congratulate Samsung for putting the power of an ipad into the much smaller Note :)

        (And although larger devices can have larger batteries, the larger displays tend to hog more battery too.)

    2. Peter 48
      Happy

      Re: price

      btw, according to their supports page three will also unlock any PAYG phone on the day you buy it for £16

  4. Dave Fox
    Thumb Up

    Multi-tasking

    Don't know if the ROM on the review model has it, but there's also split screen multitasking on later ROMs if you hold down the back button. Apparently, the first batch of UK Note II's didn't get this feature, but will get an OTA to add it.

    http://www.talkandroid.com/134347-samsung-highlights-multitasking-feature-on-galaxy-note-ii-smartphone-in-new-promo-video/

    That should add a few percentage points to the score! :)

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Keyboard

    Is there a decent BT keyboard that works with it and about the same size?

    1. Bugs R Us

      Re: Keyboard

      @Mage - I don't if there is or not. Have you tried to Google for one? It has Bluetooth so you've got your pick of third party accessories.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Keyboard

      A Reg review round up of the top ten Bluetooth keyboards is overdue, nudge nudge.

      A quick look at the internet suggests BT keyboards made for iDevices works fine with Android, if you're okay with the the usual Apple @ " swap.

      1. Matthew 3

        Re: Keyboard

        ...and don't mind using esoteric shortcuts when you need a hash key.

      2. miknik

        Re: Keyboard

        I bought a HP Touchpad bluetooth keyboard for my Android devices, was the bargain bin price of £20 and a lovely bit of kit. Can highly recommend.

        It seems that stock Jelly Bean doesn't support a proper UK keyboard layout for bluetooth keyboards, but I managed to fix that with about 10 minutes of googling and tinkering (requires root though)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keyboard

      And worth mentioning that it supports USB OTG so feel free to plug a USB keyboard in if you fancy.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Keyboard

      There are several BT keyboards available for phones.

      My smallest one is about the same size as the GalaxyS2 it's mostly used with, while a laptop-scale one sits on the desk at home when working there.

      There's one at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kit-Universal-Mini-Bluetooth-Keyboard/dp/B0047ZGNGO along with a bunch of other links at the bottom of the page.

    5. N13L5

      Re: Keyboard

      Everything from $12 jobs from china that look like 80% sized Apple keyboard copies, to Logitech jobs for $90, that are really also from china, but *might or might not* have better keys and a better battery.

      If this thing sells even better than the last Galaxy Note, we could even expect finding covers with integrated keyboards, like they make for tablets...

  6. Shaun 2

    I think it's time to upgrade my Note :)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gimme gimme gimme. Holding out for the LTE release mid October. I hoped this would rock, it sounds like it rocks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2 Note 2s?

      The Note 2 is on sale now Sim Free. Is this the 3G and 4G version or is there another version just for 4G?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2 Note 2s?

        The blog at Clove.co.uk says in fact there are 2 variants of the Note 2. How confusing for us punters that bought the Note on the first day of availability. CPW claimed the Sim Free version they sell is 4G!

  8. Dcope

    As a note one user..

    ...6 months in and it still does eveything i need, so more cpu and a slightly better screen, both of witch im satified with atm, hmmm dosnt scream at me to update guess ill see what Note 3 is like towards the end of contract, that said nice evolution and it does seem to iron out a few niggles will be interesting where they take it from here and what software features they will dribble back to the original.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: As a note one user..

      I agree with DCope, I have the Note 1 and it never lets me down, doesn't lag and has a great screen.. I have difficulty in justifiying the upgrade, the N2 does come with JB though ( the N1 will eventuially get it too, hopefully soon).

      I have a colleague prepared to buy my N1 for 250€ so if one of the local shops comes out with a decent offer I might be a little more tempted to upgrade change.

      Overall a great phablet* for someone that doesn't already own one but a difficult decision for those that do.

      *( I know there are some commentards who absolutely loathe that word but it seems well suited),

      1. BorkedAgain
        Thumb Up

        Re: As a note one user..

        +1

        The Note1 is such a fantastic device I'd have trouble justifying the upgrade for myself, but given the number of people that have asked for a look at mine* and then left nodding and cursing Apple in the past few weeks I'd say they'll sell a few of these...

        * Oo-err missus...

    2. N13L5
      Pint

      Re: As a note one user..

      I had already bought a Galaxy S2, when the Note came out just a few months later, so while I liked it, it was bad timing.

      This Year, I purposely avoided buying the Galaxy S3, cause I figured the Note 2 couldn't be far behind...

      Since drawing and painting with precise pressure sensitivity is a major benefit to me, as is the increased battery life, I'm pretty stoked about getting the Note 2 now, I'm just wondering how long I'll have to wait for the 64GB version...

      I think I saw it somewhere, that they'll have one with 64 GB, right?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most sophisticated and it only has 16GB storage? sure, you can upgrade it but if that's the case, why not 8GB or 4GB?

    The screen is bigger, that is all, not higher resolution, 267dpi compared to say 326 of the Nokia Lumia 920 (higher even than the iPhone).

    Quad core is overkill when few applications are massively multi-threaded, just optimise your OS or stop using hooky interpreted Java code.

    It's basically a bigger S3 with a better quality screen.

    Oh and why in the conclusion are you having a dig at the iPhone 5 which you gave such a good score? be consistent please.

    1. Dcope
      Happy

      Hook line..

      ...and sinker, the dig is there to bring you out to make posts like this, predictable? apple has made billions out of the same type of people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hook line..

        Of course there are never any comments on Apple stories/reviews that are full snipes about iSheep and fanbois are there?

    2. Ali on the Reg

      "It's basically a bigger S3 with a better quality screen"

      You say that like its a bad thing

    3. Thomas 4
      Thumb Down

      I'll bite...

      "Quad core is overkill when few applications are massively multi-threaded, just optimise your OS or stop using hooky interpreted Java code."

      Damn right AC, this processor is far too fast. Why the hell do we want fast processors in the latest iterations of smartphones and pads? We should have been happy with the 500Mhz processors we had back in the days of iPaq. Goddamn kids.

    4. Chet Mannly

      "It's basically a bigger S3 with a better quality screen."

      Just like the original note was basically a Galaxy S 2 with a bigger screen. That only sold in the millions!

      "Oh and why in the conclusion are you having a dig at the iPhone 5 which you gave such a good score? be consistent please."

      Because the iPhone 5 has proven less than perfect since release? Maps, case scratching, and today I read that there are big software-related battery drain problems for some devices.

      If you want a big screen phone with working maps out of the box then the iPhone 5 is out for the moment, and the Note 2 definitely fits the bill.

      I think your fanboi is showing...

    5. Al Taylor
      Alert

      SIII

      "It's basically a bigger S3 with a better quality screen."

      Indeed, that's a fair description of the Note 2. And since in my opinion the Galaxy S3 is a better device than the iPhone 5 that makes the Note 2 better than something that's already better than the iP5.

    6. David Dawson

      Quad core is overkill when few applications are massively multi-threaded, just optimise your OS or stop using hooky interpreted Java code.

      ===

      please understand the difference between interpreted code and a JIT bytecode compiler, otherwise don't bother commenting on this aspect, as you look a bit silly.

    7. MrXavia
      WTF?

      WTF? only 16GB? surely in the new Cloudy world 16gb is more than you need..... </sarcasm>

      I actually have a 16Gb S3, andf I carry multiple micro-sd cards to improve capacity... Since I can switch them out at will, plug into PC's with a tiny adaptor on my keyring.. oh and not worry about spotty data connectivity...

      That is why no need for more than 16GB built in, you can just keep your media (Which is the only reason for a big storage really) on micro SD cards and switch out as needed...

      I have around 320gb of capacity sitting in a stylish credit card sized holder in my wallet......

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I have around 320gb of capacity sitting in a stylish credit card sized holder in my wallet......"

        Linky to the holder, please?

        1. 404

          Re: "The title is too long" error..

          +1

          meetoo

          ;)

        2. Geoff Campbell
          Go

          Re: "Linky to the holder, please?"

          What a great idea. I found the DiMeCard, no doubt others are available:

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005SPQ8XK/ref=pd_1ctyhuc__bxgy_01_01

          GJC

          1. MrXavia
            Thumb Up

            Re: "Linky to the holder, please?" DiMeCard

            Yep thats the one, 8 cards, I have 2 x 64gb and 6 x 32gb giving me a nice 320gb of data in my wallet, very handy as I keep a full backup with me of all photos/docs/etc... I don't trust the cloud (plus would take ages to upload), and while I have a NAS backup, its still in my house...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Linky to the holder, please?" DiMeCard

              Thanks both, appreciated :)

            2. 404
              Facepalm

              Re: "Linky to the holder, please?" DiMeCard

              Learn something cool every day... combine that DiMeCard with a buttload of GB's and a USB stick reader.... negates the need for individual USB thumb drives...

              Damn. the possibilities...

              ;)

    8. Bugs R Us
      Facepalm

      Re: The "dig"

      The dig t the iPhone is just a way of suggesting that the Note II is a worthy alternative to the iPhone 5 and maybe even a way of saying that given all the extra features of the Note II, they all function as intended, which is not quite the case with the iPhone 5.

      16GB because it's more useful than 4Gb or 8GB. You know, like when you have $10 instead of only $5.

      Beyond around 240PPI, at a distance of about 12 inches from your eyes, you can't tell the difference.

      Quadcore is most definitely needed. You don't think extra cores are put to use when running two apps at once, i.e. when using pop-up video.

      Nothing wrong with Java. It means any Java developer can develop apps or Android with little or no extra learning curve, and no developer licenses needed.

    9. Steve Evans

      "Quad core is overkill when few applications are massively multi-threaded"...

      We're not running one thing at a time any more... It's called true multitasking. Something which has been baked into Android since the beginning. You can have dozens of apps running, and swap between them, not just a chosen few functions some fruity devices would lead you to believe is multitasking.

      1. Arthur 1

        Re: "Dig" at the iPhone 5

        You see that part at the start of the "dig" - which you had to read past - where it says "For a pound less"? Yeah, that's why the "dig".

        This just in: Reviewer compares device to only competing device of same cost. Commentard offended and confused by this travesty.

    10. Mark .

      "The screen is bigger, that is all, not higher resolution, 267dpi compared to say 326 of the Nokia Lumia 920 (higher even than the iPhone)."

      That's not resolution, that's density. Density is resolution / area. Thus, a completely useless stat for saying which device is best. If someone took my phone and made it smaller, but with the same resolution, the density would increase. But I would consider it a worse phone, as it's now smaller.

      At least you mentioned Nokia rather than iphone, as it's Apple and their fans that usually make this the number one most important stat ever, even though it's irrelevant for most comparisons. But it's funny that after Apple made this their single selling point, they've been outdone on it anyway by Nokia (who haven't even mentioned it as a selling point, AFAIK).

  10. Glostermeteor

    It's a bit too big for me personally but it sounds like a spiffing device.

    Also proves that TheRegister is not fainting in awe of Apple as some commentators on this websites have accused them of doing.

  11. John Latham

    "With a 1.6GHz...quad-core processor...the Note 2 has a superbly sweet and fluid UI".

    6.4 gigahertzes to run a UI makes retrogrouch baby jesus cry.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: "With a 1.6GHz...quad-core processor...the Note 2 has a superbly sweet and fluid UI".

      I still have no idea what " retrogrouch baby jesus" means. For the benefit of late comers, J Latham's post was previously at +2-1... now he's on minus... so obviously someone has the drift of what he's saying.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "With a 1.6GHz...quad-core processor...the Note 2 has a superbly sweet and fluid UI".

      Is this the self same John Latham who forces that horrific fvwm95 derivative with mouse-point window focus, and notes unironically containing "Windoze" onto Manchester's CS undergrads? Because you certainly bloody sound like him.

  12. wackston

    Voice and Handwriting - again

    Hmmmm handwriting recognition improved over original note. Well that puts it squarely in the probablystill useless ballpark.

    Me I love my note (a mobe that fits my fingers gimme!) but am i alone in finding both voice and handwriting recog a sick joke. Useless was putting it mildly. I kept wondering how mich "level 3" hospitality big S had been handing out to reviewers...

    1. Al Taylor
      Thumb Up

      Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

      The handwriting recognition does actually work now, even with my left-handed scrawl. As you say, the original was pretty wretched but Note 2 interpreted my cursive scribble correctly more often than not. It's a big, big improvement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

        I'd rather a keyboard - can tap type quicker than I can write and it's got better accuracy. Tried Siri on a '5' the other day - it's actually getting much better. A stylus is just something to lose - at least you always have your fingers with you.

        1. Pristine Audio

          Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

          I can write faster using Swype on my Note 1 than I can type on this keyboard. Voice recognition on the latest ICS incarnation of the Note 1 is also much improved, though I still prefer to Swype.

        2. mm0zct

          Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

          Almost 3 years on and my N900 still has it's stylus. When the stylus clicks neatly into the body of the device it's quite easy to not lose it. I do prefer my physical keyboard over touchscreen typing or handwriting though, which is one reason why I'm hanging onto my N900 as long as possible.

          If the Note2 had Maemo5 quality multitasking and Android wasn't quite so restrictive I'd be a lot more interested.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

      Think Apple are onto more of a winner going for better voice recognition - handwriting recognition is about 10 years old these days and is still poor. Stylus - in the words of scotty - how quaint (although I know that was about a keyboard / mouse).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

        "...Stylus - in the words of scotty - how quaint (although I know that was about a keyboard / mouse)..."

        That bit really annoys me in those films: Scotty starts typing and can type at about 500 wpm, coz he's from the future and is therefore so much more advanced than our poor 20th century computer users. But 'Shirley' he'd be more likely to make the slowest, one-finger-peckiest typist in the world look fast, as he's probably never seen a C20th keyboard outside of a museum, let alone used one before.

        It'd be like me going back in time to Albrecht Dürer's time and being instantly able to typeset ten times faster than everyone else around.

        [i really need to get a life!]

      2. N13L5
        Devil

        Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

        With a good predictive keyboard, I really don't need handwriting recognition.

        That doesn't mean I don't love the pen, cause you can draw and scribble and design stuff without loosing it on a napkin. If I use a pen, I don't want it 'recognized' I want it to stay handwritten.

        Not to mention that with 1024 pressure levels, you can do high quality artwork of whatever kind you might need to produce.

        Nice job, Samsung officially has a heart for artists.

        Wasn't supporting creatives once Apple's claim to fame, a long, long time ago? Now they just hypnotize the rabble...

      3. Mark .

        Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

        Only being able to use a bare finger, rather than choice of finger or pressure sensitive pen - how quaint.

        And whilst I agree handwriting recognition is limited, voice recognition is far more so. Not that Android can't do that - Android (and Symbian) had voice recognition years before Apple decided to make it their prime marketing feature.

    3. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

      My stylus is mainly used for playing 'Fruit Ninja'. It feels like a solution to a problem very few people have. As for voice recognition - it only works problem free about 40% of the time. That's below the 'give up' threshold.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Voice and Handwriting - again

        Hiya, AC 101,

        Just to clarify, you're talking about JB's built-in voice recognition that doesn't require a data connection, I take it?

        The ICS voice recognition (done on Google's severs) works for me about 75% of the time, but that might be because my voice approaches 'received pronunciation' or because I only use voice search for phrases I suspect it will guess correctly (eg, 'Rail timetable Paddington' not 'coque au vin recipe')

  13. Chris D Rogers
    Unhappy

    This will upset the Jesus Phone fanbois - seems this Samsung device has not only copied all of Lord Job's ideas for the Jesus Phone, but added a few others of its own - shame its not got a decent amount of storage though - 64G is an insult to anyone - particularly those that wish to take advantage of the HD screen, a HD movie being some 2-10G depending on codex used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Codec.

    2. Dave Fox
      FAIL

      WTF?

      Guess you've never heard of replaceable MicroSD cards then?

      Need more films, carry more MicroSD cards! It's not exactly rocket science is it? ;)

  14. Ali on the Reg

    Is that anti-Apple bias in the review? You'll never get invited to their big meets! (No I'm not a fanbois, I prefer my Samsung 7.7).

  15. Joe K
    FAIL

    Can we have pictures of the thing

    ...and not some CG renders?

    It makes it look like you've never even seen the thing and are just making this shit up.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Can we have pictures of the thing

      "It makes it look like you've never even seen the thing and are just making this shit up."

      Shhhh! That is how most reviews are done, on any publication.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Size and weight are close to the original, so the new device will still fit in the back pocket of my jeans without issue.

    Thems is some mighty baggy pants you've got there. (The Note 2 does look like a great bit of kit though).

  17. Arctic fox
    Happy

    "let’s stuff everything we can into a phone and ram it up Apple’s jacksie"

    Now there's a thought. A modest suggestion for Sammy's next marketing campaign, "so good Apple want it banned".

  18. Saucerhead Tharpe
    Linux

    Damn me for buying too early

    I have a Note which I love. The size is, as said, good for making calls.

    The handwriting recognition is weird. It works, but seems to interpret cursive better than plain script.

    Snazzy as it isl I don't see myself upgrading unless a rich uncle I never knew about suddenly popped his clogs, but this is a desirable thing.

  19. That Awful Puppy
    Thumb Up

    Bloody hell

    This sounds like the first Droid device I might actually want. Would have to see paw it for a bit first, though, cause I think it might just be too big for me.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saw a Note 2 yesterday

    I popped into our local Carphone Warehouse yesterday, mainly to ask what the chances were of getting a Nokia 808 Pureview on contract (responses were (a) "what's that?" and (b) "no chance, sorry" - I should've known better :-( ). I'd gone in a few weeks ago with my wife, who upgraded to a Galaxy S3 (which she loves), and the chap in there knew I was eyeing up the Note 1, so he brought out the Note 2 which they'd just taken delivery of yesterday.

    From a brief play, I must admit, the Note 2 is tempting - like an even bigger S3 (and the S3's not small). Aside from the downgrade in the camera department from my beloved Nokia N8 (then again, that applies to just about ANY 2012 phone aside from the 808 Pureview), I think I could happily live with the Note 2, especially if it'll pair with my Jabra BT headset and Apple BT keyboard. Might even replace my netbook at a pinch?

    Contract coming up for renewal near the end of the year - food for thought...

  21. Moktu

    I can't believe I'm actually excited about a phone release.

    ::Dribble::

  22. samirsshah
    Happy

    "It has the physical presence of an A380, the power of Concorde and the stamina of a U-2, and is packed with more features than a Swiss army knife. ®"

    This is what I wanted to say all the time for Samsung Galaxy Note II but I did not have the eloquence power of yours. You just took the words out of my mouth.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gorillaphone. Just too big for humans.

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Trollface

      @Gorillaphone

      Don't worry; you'll probably go through a growth spurt when puberty kicks in

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's MOAR! The shamsung school of design

    it's way too big for a phone, sammy phones will soon be the size of your face at this rate!

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: It's MOAR! The shamsung school of design

      It's their biggest phone. They do many different sizes, giving the consumer the choice of which size to buy. Strange concept, I know...

      GJC

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: It's MOAR! The shamsung school of design

        @GJC

        The Samsung Tab 2 10.1 3G will work as a phone. It's bigger than this Note2.

        It depends upon an individual's definition of 'phone' and 'tablet', so who's to say your statement is right or wrong.

        1. Geoff Campbell
          Pint

          Re: @Dave

          True enough, and I can certainly see the Note family being classed as a Tablet rather than a phone, as well. Ain't choice grand?

          GJC

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: @Dave

            Aye, your points stands : D

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Phablet is such a nasty name - bit like Phat. As a tablet it's too small for most people and as a phone it's too large. I'd rather a small(er) phone and a larger tablet - yes this tries to do both but a friend has one and it's a source of much ridicule.

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Mushroom

      Re: Ridicule

      And have you asked your friend whether or not he is happy with it? Or do you just ridicule him based on your preferences? I used to have some "friends" like that, until I decided that they were in fact no such thing.

      GJC

    2. TheRealRoland
      Thumb Up

      Mobe-lappy?

      Or Phlappy? Since someone was thinking about using this as a netbook in a pinch ;-)

    3. Chet Mannly

      "As a tablet it's too small for most people and as a phone it's too large."

      That's exactly what most thought when the Note 1 came out.

      Several million sales later it obviously turned out to be a surprising hit. Good enough for a follow up anyhow.

      In any case, if this is too big then get the S3. If that's too big, Samsung make smaller devices as well. That's the benefit of choice :-)

    4. Mark .

      This makes no sense - phones and tablets are the same kind of things, the only distinction being that phones also have the phone functionality. But they do everything that tablets do, and people use them for all those things too.

      What on earth is it that is done on "tablets", that isn't done on phones?

      I mean yes, if we were talking full blown tablet PCs, that might be one thing, but given people are happy to accept 10" iphones as tablets, this isn't the case.

      If 5" is too small to use for Internet, games, software, or whatever else people use large tablets for, then any other smartphone is also too small.

      There is a tradeoff between portability and screen size, but there is no magic divide (indeed historically, tablets were small too). Whilst getting two devices is a solution for some people, (a) not everyone is the same - e.g., some people's two devices might be a Galaxy Note and a 10" tablet, or a Galaxy Note and a netbook/laptop - and (b), not everyone wants to faff with two devices.

      Having a choice is good. With Samsung, you can pick whichever size of device or devices you like. Unlike a certain company that only lets you pick two sizes, at two extremes of the spectrum.

      Why would your friend be ridiculed? Because it's too big? Well okay, but let's ridicule people with gigantic ipads too. (And by source, I bet that means that you ridicule him - sad.)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's like that homer simpson designed car - but misses the point that most people want to slip their phone into their pocket and hold it with one hand. Certainly not a phone for the ladies which after all is 1/2 the market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Except my missus, who is a petite lady, actually lusted after the original Note when it came out. She went with an SII eventually because she got a really good deal, but still looking for something to take notes on at work...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a rare beast to find a woman genuinely lusting over technology.

        If you have a SII I'd keep it and get a proper tablet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah she's definitely a keeper :)

          Looking into the Note tablets for her birthday/christmas

        2. N13L5

          Re: If you have a SII I'd keep it and get a proper tablet.

          Wrong

          thank you for playing...

          a "proper tablet" takes up way too much room for how little use pure tablets are. (just media consumption mostly)

          Also, the precise, high quality pen input does matter when you create a lot of artwork and are now able to do it on the go.

          We're not talking about smearing a fingertip across a tablet here...

    2. The Wegie

      Not one for the ladies?

      "Certainly not a phone for the ladies which after all is 1/2 the market."

      Um, let's see now. I'm five foot four, female and slim. I also have a Note 1 which fits in all my pockets and have no trouble holding it with one hand.

      Not quite enough in the Note 2 to tempt me down the upgrade path with a year to run on my contract, particularly as a lot of the software improvements are supposed to be coming to the Note 1 in the firmware update that;s already started rolling out in Germany.

      1. Rob
        Thumb Up

        Re: Not one for the ladies?

        Thanks for that, I just went into town and put my name down for a Note 2 LTE version when it comes out. I've been um'ing and ar'ing what to go for on my next upgrade and your comment finally sold me on the Note's size. Now just have to wait for the upgrade date, damn my patience.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Not one for the ladies?

          >It's a rare beast to find a woman genuinely lusting over technology.

          Gross over-generalisation that might contain a grain of truth:

          Man "Wow! What does it do?"

          Woman "Meh. What does it do for me"?

          Though purely anecdotal, one piece of tech that I saw more women use than men is the Kindle e-reader. Professional ladies who work hard, then want nothing more than to sit on hot beach for a fortnight reading books. At home, libraries and charity shops can cater to their reading needs, but come holiday time two dozen paperbacks takes up a fair chunk of suitcase.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not one for the ladies?

        Well at least the Note now runs more up to date software - too Samsung quite a while to get it on the Note 1 - let's hope it's better on the Note 2 although my bet is they will lose interest in the '1' now the '2' is out. Good luck.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FAIL

      "but misses the point that most people want to slip their phone into their pocket and hold it with one hand. Certainly not a phone for the ladies which after all is 1/2 the market."

      1. If a lady wants this phone, she will probably buy it.

      2. Ladies tend to use something called a 'hand bag', depending on the lady, these can have much more room than a pocket.

    4. MrXavia

      Odd.. since the only people I know with a note are women....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Odd.. since the only people I know with a note are women...."

        The only person I know with a note is a 5 ft nowt woman, in fact, not exactly a giant..

      2. Chet Mannly

        "Odd.. since the only people I know with a note are women...."

        +1 (well 3 actually :-)

        I don't know any guys that own Notes, plenty of S3's though

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stylus = fail.

    Handwriting recognition = fail.

    This is 2012 not 1995.

    Size = fail.

    1. Tim 69
      Facepalm

      If only...

      I'd love something that I could take a photo of the people present at the meeting, recognise their faces and use their email addresses, actually recognise my handwriting, turn it into an email and then send it out to all those present so that I don't have to convert my notes to an email...

      Stylus? Check. OCR? Check. A few other bits? Not quite yet. 1995? Definitely not...

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: If only...

        What year is this? Who's the President? Aargh!

    2. Arctic fox
      Headmaster

      @AC 3rd October 09:12 "Stylus = fail."

      Please share with us which equipment you have used since 1995 which had a modern touch screen and a good quality digitizer pen, hmm? We're all agog to know why you think they are such a waste. Surprising as it may seem the equipment has improved quite a bit in the last seventeen years.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Stylus = fail."

      Really? I just bought a stylus for my touchscreen devices, for sketching. The improvement is enormous, it makes it genuinely enjoyable.

      You should probably tell companies like Pogo and Wacom who are selling bucketloads of the things that it's a fail, I'm sure they'd thank you for your peerless insight and stop making them forthwith.

    4. Toothpick
      Stop

      Stylus = fail

      Looks like an Obviously! post posted as an AC

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Stylus = fail

        >Looks like an Obviously! post posted as an AC

        Possibly, but then it didn't have Obviously!'s trademark habit of telling people to calm down before flying off the handle.

      2. Jaques Croissant

        Re: Stylus = fail

        "Looks like an Obviously! post posted as an AC"

        I'm not convinced, it's not UNHINGED enough with ENOUGH CRAZY capitalisation and PUNCTUATION!!!!!?!

        (..and the spelling is too good, and it's not sweary enough, or homophobic enough, etc. etc.)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For basically the same cost as an iPhone 5 (and it's basically massive and 50% heavier) it's going to be a hard sell for many - 5m sold in the first weekend - doubt it.

    1. Dave Fox
      FAIL

      It isn't going to sell like an iPhone because, wait for it, it's not an iPhone!

      It is, however, going to sell extremely well for what is essentially a niche smartphone at the top end of the market, which is exactly what the original Note did.

      Samsung don't have a one-size-fits-all mentality, and therefore produce a range of devices to suit consumers who like a bit of choice.

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        @Dave Fox "Samsung don't have a one-size-fits-all mentality,"

        Precisely the point - indeed it is a point that a particular section of Apple's fan-base miss (or at least pretend to). There are of course two different business strategies at work here. When it comes to phones Cupertino specialise (very successfully) in a very limited range - fine, it clearly works for them. Sammy's strategy is somewhat different, "imagine a niche and then fill it". It is fairly ridiculous to compare apples and oranges (no pun intended). People should by all means compare the SGIII and the iPhone5, they are after all direct competitor devices but the rest of Samsung's repertoire in this area has absolutely nothing to do with the f****** iPh******!

    2. Mr.Mischief
      FAIL

      It wont sell like an iPhone because it isnt an iPhone.

      Fanbois don't really compare things properly.

      A fair comparison would be:

      Compare all the iPhone sales numbers vs All the Android phones sold by Samsung.

      or

      You can't compare the sales of the entire production of one company vs just one product line of another.

    3. Chet Mannly

      "5m sold in the first weekend - doubt it."

      Samsung probably still sold 5m phones - that's the advantage of giving consumers choice and not putting all your eggs in one basket :-)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember a quote from Jurassic Park (along the lines of):

    "They were too busy thinking if they COULD they didn't stop to think if they SHOULD".

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      I thought you were going to go with the Jurassic Park quote:

      "Is it heavy?" [Yes]

      "Then its expensive. Put it down!"

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Unless the Galaxy Note II is so huge that it's able to break out of people's pockets at night and eat them, then I don't think it's so much of a worry.

      As a customer service issue, huge lizards eating your clients is a waaaaayyy bigger issue than making a phone that maybe doesn't sell so well. Although feel free to come back and say 'I told you so', if the Note II goes rogue, and turns out to be a man-eater.

  31. Steve I

    Looks a nice gadget...

    ...but don't want the phone part of it. Can there a phone-less version but possibly with 3G data?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: but don't want the phone part of it.

      It's a shot in the dark, but maybe you could get one but not use it as a phone?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: but don't want the phone part of it.

        Any tablet with 3G radio and SIM is likely to have loudspeakers and a microphone, even if the microphone is primarily intended for VOIP or voice search functions. Therefore, it has all the necessary ingredients to be phone. Providing all this but then not allowing it to act like a phone would at best look like stinginess and 'hardware hobbling' on the part of the manufactuer, and at worst might open them to lawsuits should someone require it to make an emergency call (which all phones can do without a SIM- its part of the GSM standard).

        I really don't get your question, so I feel I must have misunderstood you. Can you clarify?

        1. mumm-ra

          Re: but don't want the phone part of it.

          "Providing all this but then not allowing it to act like a phone would at best look like stinginess and 'hardware hobbling' on the part of the manufactuer, and at worst might open them to lawsuits should someone require it to make an emergency call (which all phones can do without a SIM- its part of the GSM standard)."

          Nonsense. There are plenty of 3g capable tablets that don't work as normal mobiles- even though it would be hilarious to hold an iPad to your ear like a modern Dom Jolly.

  32. Bugs R Us

    Too big? Depends on what you have now.

    Going from 4" to a Note II, then yes it'll feel a lot bigger. Going from a typical 4.7" smartphone to Note II, not a big deal.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gad damnit, Leroy

    This looks like a nice device- possibly even more of a kickass pocket computer beast than my S3. Oddly, I have recently picked up a stylus (Pogo Sketch+) after buying Sketchbook pro to run on my Nexus 7, so I can see the appeal for doodling, at least, even if it's not needed for day to day interface stuff.

    Oh well, I absolutely don't need another mobile device, with my iPad, multiple Androids and Kindle, so I will just frown at the reviewer for leading me into temptation, and think of kittens.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OMG IT LOOKS JUST LIKE AN EYE PHONE! It has rounded corners and everything!

    Quick, sue them, John-boy!

    (etc.)

  35. Sulphur Man

    Is it any wonder Apple are suing Samsung from every angle possible. Products of this quality must be terrifying them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why - this is niche and I'd be surprised if it sold 5% the volume of the iPhone 5. It's too big to be a phone and compromised as a genuine tablet. I'll pass.

  36. jai

    no thanks

    too big to be a phone, too small to be a tablet

    1. 7-zark-7

      Re: no thanks

      There are quite a few potential customers out there that hardly use their phones for voice but email/netflix/fb/internet; they can't justify buying a separate tablet type device due to cost; Its bigger than a phone but a small enough tablet to put in your pocket. I can see the appeal.

      Also some people are giants. I work with one such behemoth and this will appear normal sized in his shovel like hands.

      1. mumm-ra

        Re: no thanks

        "Also some people are giants. I work with one such behemoth and this will appear normal sized in his shovel like hands."

        We prefer the term "differently average". Or something.

        I am one such, a happy user of a dainty little Galaxy S3, and think this looks like a fantastic device.. Can't justify the upgrade right now, sadly, but it does look damn fine.

        (My girlfriend used the phrase "clown shoes", and I sulked. I probably should have woken her up dressed as a clown, that'd teach her.)

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      "too big to be a phone, too small to be a tablet"

      You are now reading this in the voice of Johnny Cash.

    3. Chet Mannly

      Re: no thanks

      "too big to be a phone, too small to be a tablet"

      Sales of the first note (which was essentially the same size) beg to differ...

      Besides, just get an S3 if this is too big

  37. Martin Huizing
    Coat

    "The S3 looks like a too big phone but the new Note looks like a beautifully proportioned small tablet.

    Size and weight are close to the original, so the new device will still fit in the back pocket of my jeans without issue."

    The S3 looks, in this case, like a perfect phone. Are you carrying them both in the same back-pocket?

    Maybe better leave the note in the inside pocket of your coat, in case you sit on it!

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4G/LTE is missing

    Hi,

    I nearly bought one on Oxford Street.

    Carphone Warehouse have the white one sim free at £550

    Phones4U had it sim free for the grey one at £570

    3 had it at £515 but locked to their 3 service. So, you would need to unlock it and then no doubt lose your guarantee.

    I want it off the High Street as I have bought phones of the net before and if there is a problem then its hard work to sort it out. For £50 more I will pay for the privilege of being able to walk up to someone and complain.

    The reasons I did not buy one are:

    Missing 4G/LTE - The UK model does not have this, even though the iPhone5 does.

    Only 32GB - It seems you can only buy the 32GB models at the moment.

    Grey Price - The white one is everywhere, but the Grey one is only it seems at Phones4U in the high street and costs extra :(

    I suspect as the US model is delayed to November this so, that it will have 4G/LTE (which the Yanks will expect as standard). By that time I am hoping that the Note 2 in the UK will be shipping a newer model with 4G/LTE, 64GB and Grey at a the same market price of the White ones.

    Therefore I am going to wait a month and then but it once we hall all the features available.

    Spending that amount of money on a phone, I am willing to spend more for it to be 4G compatible as this will then allow it to last longer before the next big upgrade.

    1. Rob

      Re: 4G/LTE is missing

      Apparently according to the interwebs news, EE will announce the 4G model on the 15th October which will no doubt coincide with the release of their new tariffs. Phones4U sales person said the same as well.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: 4G/LTE is missing

        >Only 32GB

        It has USB OTG... with microSD cards (and the tiny little adaptors that make them USB thumbsticks) being about £0.50p per GB at the moment, I personally am not too fussed about the internal memory. You then have the advantage of being able to drag and drop your files from any machine (WinXP/OSX/Linux)* without installing any software.

        Okay, it might fiddly, but you only have to do it after watching all the movies you have on your internal 32GB...

        *Android devices show as as being MTP, not Mass Storage Class devices, so XP and Mac can be tricky. Presumably Linux too. Using Sony Bridge on MacOSX to transfer files to the internal memory of my ICS phone is very slow.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 4G/LTE is missing

          Because a OTG connector and a USB stick looks just so cool.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 4G/LTE is missing

            >Because a OTG connector and a USB stick looks just so cool.

            The connector and the USB stick is only attached for the five minutes required to transfer your movie onto your device- you'll ideally then plug it into to USB power according the Reg guide to maximising the lifetime of your li-ion battery (keep it beween 100 and 80% if you can). Chances are, the movie will either be on the phone's screen (no one else will see or care) or via HDMI on a big TV (in a darkened room... no one will see or care, they'll just be happy there is a film to watch).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4G/LTE is missing

      Weirdly, one thing that works if you're looking for a sim-free phone, and don't trust all the dodgy geezers is.. Amazon!

      I haven't lost my mind- they often have stock before other people, can do quick shipping, and are super helpful with returns, so you never ever get screwed. I bought my old HTC Desire that way, back when they were brand new, and no bugger had any, got it as a Saturday delivery- was very stress free.

      There are tons of dodgy little twats selling phones online, so your caution is wise.

    3. Chet Mannly

      Re: 4G/LTE is missing

      "Only 32GB - It seems you can only buy the 32GB models at the moment."

      So buy a 64gb microsd, making it 96gb. If you need more than that buy a $3 USB OTG cable from ebay and plug in as many flash drives as you want.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4G/LTE is missing

      I have an email from CPW saying the Note 2 on sale in their shops has 4G, and the chap in the shop showed me the spec on his screen but he was looking at GSM Arena who also have made a mistake. How confusing now that Tesco are selling Note 2s on Orange and these are not the 4G compatible devices. But if you buy directly from Orange (today) you can get the 4G version!!!

  39. David Paul Morgan
    Go

    HTC Flyer would have been nicer...

    if the 3G version had had voice enabled by default.

    Yes, I know that you can root it and enable voice, but we love our Flyer and it's little e-stylus .

    These notepad devices are coming to be very popular and do seem to be meeting a demand.

    More choice, I say.

    (I'm still using Palm graffiti on my Asus transformer...)

    i think Samsung could have saved themselves a LOT of bother by not putting the oval ON button right in the middle of he bottom border!

  40. the-it-slayer
    Happy

    It's not a phone/smartphone due to its size...

    That is all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not a phone/smartphone due to its size...

      Agree. Take it to the pub and let your mates rip the p*ss out of you. Phones to not have to be tablets - I hate the word PHABLET how about TAHONE?

      1. TheRealRoland

        Re: It's not a phone/smartphone due to its size...

        I'm telling you: phlappy.

        But, to get this clear, you're buying a specific phone so you don't get embarrassed in a pub?

        Hm.

        1. Tom 11

          Re: It's not a phone/smartphone due to its size...

          It's a slate....

          End of ;)

  41. Ants V

    Different formats of phone should be encouraged

    This phone is too big for some people - but it's great to see variety. People have different needs, after all, but mobile tech seems to be forever trying to squeeze consumers into one-size-fits-all solutions (the ubiquity of laptops with wide format, glossy, and lousy resolutions is a common years-old complaint with few alternatives).

    Personally, an X One/S3/5s-sized phone with double the thickness to support an over-sized battery would be great for me - because personally battery life is something very important and I find it lacking in present gen smart phones. But it isn't made (excluding the cheap aftermarket "solutions" for the S3) because I suppose the market isn't thought to be big enough and the present products should be good enough for everyone's needs.

    Which means I like the idea behind the Note, and welcome its second version. And if it has even more success maybe other manufacturers will go out on a limb and try different things.

  42. 7-zark-7
    Paris Hilton

    Pen retention?

    Can someone tell me how the pen is kept in place and whether the mechanism will wear to the point of uselessness over a 2 year contract?

    I have memories of my old M2000 where the friction keeping the pen secure failed after a year. Turn the phone upside down and out fell the pen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pen retention?

      Stylus - really - in this day and age. What next a slide out keyboard?

      1. GregC
        Stop

        Re:"What next a slide out keyboard?"

        I live in the constant hope that this feature will return in a high end smartphone.

        I suspect my disappointment will continue for some time...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re:What next a slide out keyboard?

        YES PLEASE!

        I was so annoyed when they stopped making phones with slide out Keyboards...

        I only went for a screen only smart phone when they finally made them large enough to type on, but they still pale compared to my old Kaiser II for typing!

        1. TheRealRoland

          Re: Re:What next a slide out keyboard?

          I miss my kaiser2 (not at&t's coverage!) Same goes for my old blackberry torch 9800. Stuck with a 9930 on Verizon; simply because of the keyboard... No slide-out, though :-(

          Off-topic:

          Although the latest OS upgrade for the playbook, combined with my 9930 - killer combo :-) Sending sms messages using the tablet, bridged to the phone!

        2. Tom 11

          Re: Re:What next a slide out keyboard?

          Ditto on both statements!

          I was so gutted when the Nokia N9 changed from a MeeGo qwerty number to a winphone7 touch screen device last year, i had to settle for a sodding HTC desire Z :( :(

          Really, the day the charge port fell out my N900 was the day my mobile social life died...

  43. Tom 11

    Spamming Vodafone

    Brilliantly, my contract is up in 6 days time, I have been spamming Vodafone near daily with requests for the release date on this fine temptress. I own the Note 1 as a company phone, so really looking forward to one I can properly play with!

    1. Tom 11

      Re: Spamming Vodafone

      Wow, I popped back on here to see if anyone had mentioned if the softkeys were now compatible with the stylus, and noticed a down vote?? I wouldn't expect up or down votes on me creaming over a new phone. I can only guess you're the clueless fool who works on the other end of Vodafones customer service desk. Other than that, explain yourself!!!

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Spamming Vodafone

        > I can only guess you're the clueless fool who works on the other end of Vodafones customer service desk.

        Is a strong possibility. Call centre staff tend to amuse themselves by looking at the internet in-between calls. A good number of websites are blocked, but the Reg is usually allowed.

      2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Re: Spamming Vodafone

        @Tom 11

        I guess it could be the stupid pr#*k who's just spamming the comments as AC saying it's too big, etc. They are probably envious after signing a 5 year contract to buy their current phone, to find that maps doesn't even work)

        As for soft keys with the stylus; the Note 1 has gestures; you press the button on the stylus and draw right to left to go back, or draw bottom to top to"pull up" the menu.

        1. Tom 11

          Re: Spamming Vodafone

          Ahh yes! the gestures, a feature I'd completely forgotten about, nice 1 :)

          BTW, Am in possession on this beast as of Saturday morning just gone. Love it, such a flawless bit of kit!

  44. joejack

    Soft buttons in landscape mode

    Wonder how hard it is to accidentally trigger the soft buttons when holding it in landscape mode?

    Anyone?

    1. The Wegie

      Re: Soft buttons in landscape mode

      "Wonder how hard it is to accidentally trigger the soft buttons when holding it in landscape mode?"

      It was a pain only for the first couple of days. After that, you adjust.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Re: Soft buttons in landscape mode

        On the note1, I do find it happens sometimes with the back button. (maybe I'm holding it wrong?)

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love the Note

    I went from an N8 to the Note 1 on the basis of the original review. I have to say I was extremely happy with the N8 and didn't think I'd be all the impressed with Android or the Note, but they blew me away. The only weakness for me is the camera, it's still decent in ok light, but the N8's xenon flash is superb. I've zero problems with the size, the stylus functionality has really surprised me and the large screen has rendered my laptops nearly redundant for surfing.

    Personally speaking I'm not sure that there are enough advances in the Note2 to make it worthwhile for me to upgrade, but I would really like Samsung to try and work on their camera sensors a bit more in future. As it is the Note 1 has been far and away the best piece of tech/equipment/gadget I have and I'm sure the Note 2 would be an equally great buy.

  46. PassiveSmoking
    Meh

    What about accessibility?

    Last time I used an Android phone (HTC Desire, for the record), the accessibility was all but non-existant and it was pretty much unusable.

    You don't even mention accessibility in your review.

    Has Android done anything to address accessibility issues? If so, what? How do they compare against the accessibility features in iOS?

    I'll consider an Android device again but only when they can stand toe to toe with iOS devices on the accessibility functionality they provide.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about accessibility?

      I saw a conversation in #android-dev between a Google dev and someone with poor eyesight. He said they (Google) are aware and are working on Android's accessibility features. He hinted at OS level zooming in all applications which I believe iOS has.

      Note this will be at least android 4.2+ before they're released.

    2. PassiveSmoking
      FAIL

      Re: What about accessibility?

      I love how the fandroids downvote every time I point out a very legitimate flaw in their Chosen OS.

      Don't get me wrong, iOS has plenty of flaws of its own (6 and its Maps fail especially), but the point is that until they fix the broken accessibility in Android it's useless to me. And to plenty of other potential customers with vision problems.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Slow SunSpider Performance

    If this has a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, why are the SunSpider results about 8% slower than on the iPhone 5, which has half the cores and a slower clock speed? Is this just down to a poor JavaScript engine within Android, or an inefficient processor?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Slow SunSpider Performance

      From Anandtech http://www.anandtech.com/show/6324/the-iphone-5-performance-preview:

      "As we mentioned in our earlier post, SunSpider is a small enough benchmark that it really acts as a cache test. The memory interface on the A6 seems tangibly better than any previous ARM based design, and the advantage here even outpaces Intel's own Medfield SoC."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Slow SunSpider Performance

      The A6 is closer to a Cortex-A15 (but custom designed), than this which is Cortex-A9 based.

      Not the same cores.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps Apple should let people use the iPad as a phone - then they could look equally as daft. This thing is too big to be a phone for human hands.

    1. Anthony Cartmell
      Happy

      I find the Note to be an ideal size for a smart phone. The extra length means the microphone is nearer my mouth while the speaker is by my ear. In fact it needs to be a little longer to match a standard old-fashioned telephone handset. Also the screen is a joy to use, making remote administration of servers nearly as easy as on a laptop. Given that all this fits easily into any pocket that my hand can fit in, it's a very useful and powerful device.

    2. Dave Fox
      FAIL

      One can only assume that when you talk about "human" hands, you are referring to members of your particular pygmy tribe, and not the human race as a whole! :)

      My hands are average size at best, and I have no trouble holding or operating the OG Note with one hand, and I don't look daft when using it as phone.

      I really do wish people would stop using terms like "too big" when discussing the Note and Note II unless it is accompanied by the words "for my purposes" so some other such qualification.

      I have no use for an iPhone, but that doesn't mean I think they are useless - just that they don't suit my own particular needs and requirements. And it's not because I'm an Apple hater either - the 4 Macs in my house, including the particularly lovely Retina Macbook Pro I'm typing this on, are a testament to that! :)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I know two people with Notes and they both admit it's a HUGE phone - one says he would not buy another - the other is not sure but sees no reason to upgrade to the version 2.

    3. turnip handler
      Joke

      "Perhaps Apple should let people use the iPad as a phone - then they could look equally as daft."

      People have already managed that one by using the iPad as a camera.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "People have already managed that one by using the iPad as a camera."

        There is nothing more infuriating than being in a crowd trying to see over people and having the tools you speak of in front of you. The N7 got it right in this department IMO, tablets should not have rear cameras.

    4. Chet Mannly

      "Perhaps Apple should let people use the iPad as a phone - then they could look equally as daft."

      Ever heard of a bluetooth headset?

    5. Shane 4
      Facepalm

      Why

      Yet I still see a lot of people using flip style mobile phones which extended are longer than Note 2!

      I find it even more daft watching iphone users leaning over at lunch table at work just to try and read their tiny screens,Squint much?

      Nice try! ;)

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone with a Note 1 better upgrade as Sammy will probably lose interest and you will be scuppered for updates.

  50. jonathan keith Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Tizen

    Put this out running Tizen and I'll have one as soon as I can get to the shop.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FM? World phone? CDMA? TV?

    Does this phone have a built-in FM receiver? Believe it or not, that is actually a very useful thing to have.

    What about a world phone version? Quad band, and ideally supporting CDMA/EvDO as well as LTE (sorry folks, but in the US, Verizon isn't lying about having the best over-all coverage of the nation.)

    Lastly, with the new DVB-M and ATSC/M standards, I'd like to see somebody put that into a phone as well.

    THAT would be the "does it all" comms device. (well, yes, *I'd* like to see 2m and 70cm, but that's not wishing, that's just being greedy.)

  52. jestersbro
    FAIL

    All of your posts are pointless!

    You lot! Seriously! Every single one of you has missed the most important point in the article! Who really cares that it's huge, plastic, stylus equipped, fast better/not better than an iPhone/tablet/anything else!

    Didn't any of you question the most improtant thing? The arms of the man in the video are massively hairy and his hands AREN'T!

    Do you think he waxes them?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: All of your posts are pointless!

      >The arms of the man in the video are massively hairy and his hands AREN'T!

      Hey kids! Don't test your cigarette lighter for at least 30 seconds after refilling it!

  53. JDX Gold badge

    can sense the pen before it touches down

    I'd like that with typical touch-screens. I miss tooltips!

  54. Ray Mills
    Thumb Up

    The og note is not big

    All other phones are little dinky things. As for software updates, I have gone cm10 on my one and it is just awesome. I have had no problems with stability even on the nightlies. I saw someone earlier comment that android was restrictive, what are they smoking?

  55. Shane 4
    Thumb Up

    isheep?

    Someone mentioned it's too fat? Umm it's thinner than my iphone 3GS!

    Another mentioned price will be too expensive? Ummm once again it's actually cheaper than iphone 5 for a 16gb model for pre order where I am.

    http://www.kogan.com/au/shop/phones/ iphone 5 $749 unlocked Galaxy Note 2 16gb Unlocked $679

    I can't wait for this beast to come out, Easy decision for me. Android time!

    I might have to start doing this more often I think, By that I mean skip a generation or two of new tech instead of my usual rush out and buy latest,Because no matter what I get now it IS such a massive improvement and guaranteed WOW factor. ;)

    P.S. Must remember this for damn graphics cards,I fall for it everytime!

  56. Nigel Steward
    Thumb Up

    Note 2 looks excellent

    I have had a Note 1 since it's announcement; my first non-Nokia 'phone for many years; I am delighted with it, and consider it was the best available when I made my choice.

    Having handled the Note 2 the build quality seems fine, and it will be top of my list when I come to upgrade.

  57. N13L5

    paid shills abound

    Half the AC's appear to be M$ and Apple shills working in concert

  58. SD24576
    Thumb Up

    Mine just arrived this morning - Clove still has stock of the white ones and delivered before 9am next day for 6 quid which was pretty good. It's just doing the first charge up, but first impressions are that it looks great and the build quality feels great - the only exception to this is the battery cover when it's being prised away from the body which I was terrified of breaking. The grey colour actually looked a bit worse to my eye when I did a shop browse yesterday - the texturing almost looks like little scratches so it wasn't for me.

    The manual is full of hilarious gems - "do not insert the device into your eye...", "do not bite or suck the battery", "do not store the device in a microwave or pressure cooker".

  59. Andrew James

    Just placed my order

    Just ordered myself one of these in white. Upgrading from a HTC Desire S... which only has a 3.7" screen. Huge difference in size, nearly 50% bigger screen diameter. Awesome !!

    The screen resolution is superb by comparison. Desire S is 800 vertical pixels x 480 horizontal.

    is it too big? I just drew out the measurements on a piece of paper, laid my HTC on top of it to get an idea of the scale. Then folded the paper to make it the same size as the shape i drew. Fits well in my hand (though no depth to it really), so should be just fine for me. Will take some getting used to though. And i dont think my car cradle will fit it, might need a new one. Although i could possibly fit wheels to the phone and ride to work like a skateboard.

    1. Andrew James

      Re: Just placed my order

      Phone received.and after a few hours pretending to work while I played with it, im getting used to the scale and loving the thing more and more. The HTC feels tiny now!?

  60. Andrew James

    ps...

    No direct reference to the screen resolution in the review. No actual mention of the dimensions or weight. Just a vague comparision to the original Note. As someone who hasnt used the original, this isnt helpful. Am i supposed to read the original review first?

  61. marathonman

    4G ready?

    I was about to pick one of these up on Sunday when a sales assistants in store told me that the current model wasn't 4G compatible and that Samsung would release a version which did support LTE. I know as of yet there are no live 4G network providers but to those of you who already own this phone, are happy with the browsing/download speeds?

    Thanks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: 4G ready?

      T-Mobile tell me the 4G version is being released on the 15th October - I'm currently holding out for it.

      1. marathonman

        Re: 4G ready?

        Thank you! I'll wait that little bit longer then!

        1. Andrew James

          Re: 4G ready?

          8mb today ... vs 3.6mb on old phone at same time.

    2. Andrew James

      Re: 4G ready?

      Typicqlly im getting 50% better down and 70% better up in the same location on t-mobile as I am seeing on my htc desire s. Not blistering, but 6mb down compared to nearly 4 and reduced ping times too.

  62. edoardo
    Thumb Up

    had for a week - just great

    only pain ... MTP connection to the 64GB SDHC card with Mac OS X

    all the rest is just flawless.

    excellent reading device

    excellent music player

    excellent browser/mail/calendar client

    very good camera

    handy S-pen

    not too big at all to use, it's the rest of the phones that look like small toy things !!

    1. the-it-slayer
      Facepalm

      Re: had for a week - just great

      The small toy things are what you call proper smartphones. Actually things you can hold properly and talk to people/communicate with. Seems like the things you listed required a tablet instead. Sheeeesh,

      1. BorkedAgain
        Facepalm

        Re: had for a week - just great @ the-nay-slayer

        I think the point, if you would but listen, is that those things do not require a tablet, can be done on a smartphone, but are a comparatively joyous experience on this slightly larger smartphone.

        I typed all of that nice and slowly, just for you. Don't know why I bothered.

        Back to your "proper" smartphone with you. None so blind indeed.

      2. Andrew James

        Re: had for a week - just great

        To be fair, it's true. A regular sized phone does seem like a tiny little toy by comparison after just a short time spent using the Note. My wife pointed me toward her iPhone 4S last night and asked me to read the message she just received while she was doing something else. I picked it up, and its just tiny... almost comically small by comparison. And i've only had my Note for a week.

        But yes, sometimes its a bit too big. One handed use is not as easy as it is with a <4" screen. But for general use when you've both hands available to you, its an absolute delight to have a screen that big. Flipping it round into landscape in the sms or email or music apps gives you split screen with content on one side and list on the other. Which is handy, if not essential. And while yes, a tablet or tv would be better for watching a movie, i watched an hour of The Dark Knight on my lunchbreak the other day and at a distance of about 18 inches it was no smaller than watching it on my tv in my living room from the sofa.

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