You might expect that the Note II will be much more similar to its original version, but that’s not the case. It takes on more of the same features of the also new and top-tier Samsung-made smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S III. With that said, expect that they have similar strengths and weaknesses in both the hardware and the software.
At first look, the device looks like Samsung didn’t want to spend much for the hardware. It’s made of plastic, it’s glossy, and let’s face it, it looks cheap. But don’t let that fool you, the Note II is stuffed with top-of-the-line technology and despite that not-so-fancy look, there are no major issues regarding its durability. The Note II is slightly thinner, heavier, and curvier than the original version.It also comes with a very handy S pen.
When I said it’s stuffed with top-of-the-line technology, which meant having a 1.6 GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, microSD slot, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and GLONASS compatibility, and a barometer. The device is available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB worth of storage and that microSD slot is supposedly for another 64GB memory. It can host a USB 2.0 thru its data and power port which sit at the bottom part of the device. There’s LTE available for the U.S., and outside of the U.S. there’s an HSPA+.
The Note II has a 1280 x 800, 5.5-inch 720p Super AMOLED DISPLAY, giving off a bright and vibrant display. It has incredible viewing angles, color saturation, deep black levels, and high in contrast.
Battery life of the original Note was amazing, but the Note II, with its 3100 mAh battery, it’s off the charts. It is able to withstand almost 2 days of heavy using and multi-tasking. The downside of it though is the battery is too big to fit other phones but that isn’t a deal-breaker because that won’t matter, will it?
Equipped with an 8 megapixel back-side camera, which is similar to the GS III, the Note II produces crisp images that works well even when taking close-up photos. It takes a high resolution video at 1080p and it comes with an ability to take a snapshot while video recording is going on, which is a feature that HTC and Apple also uses.
The new S Pen can be used in navigating around the TouchWiz UI. Samsung’s new stylus is longer so it fits more comfortably on the hands. Its handwriting recognition is top-notch that you can use it for texting without experiencing any problem. It also comes with an Air View function where you can let the pen hover over a dot display on the screen and lets you navigate around without clicking or stopping what you were doing. The S Pen is created by Wacom, and in case you don’t like the stylus that comes with the Note II, you can opt to use other stylus pens made by Wacom.
The Note II has Samsung’s Exynos processor clocked at 1.6GHz teamed up with Android 4.1 and 2GB RAM. That translates to a very good user experience when using the device because of its fluid performance and its excellent responsiveness.The device also comes with TouchWiz, which is also similar to that of the GS III.
On the performance aspect, the Note II is superb. It does not encounter any difficulties with the reception for phone calls, allowing users to have uninterrupted phone calls. It has data connection speed that reaches up to 5.45Mbps. And regarding the audio, it performs just somewhere in the middle, not able to completely impress but does not cause head-scratches as well. But the audio does perform well when a high-quality earphone or headset is used.
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