Samsung Galaxy Note 2 hands-on review
The pen is mightier than the word?
IFA 2012 Samsung’s big idea, well, big phone actually, has not only spawned the 10in Galaxy Note but, at IFA, the company announced the Galaxy Note II successor to its original 5in
stylophone stylus phone. It seems that if you add a pen to a touchscreen device these days, then it acts as insurance that you haven’t copied from Apple. Note how there are a soon to be lot of devices touting scribble sticks and none are made by Apple – memories of the Newton Message Pad have all but faded.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 packs a Jelly Bean sweetener
So what does the Note 2 offer besides an even bigger screen at 5.5in, and not being an iPhone? For a start, this handset features a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and runs Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean – it is very slick, make no mistake – and its 3100mAh battery together with some power management wizardry should get you through the day.
S Pen gesture shortcuts
The new S Pen can utilise a range of gestures for shortcuts and you can scribble down phone numbers and it will recognise your handwriting making it easy to add to your address book later. Forget speech recognition, scribble recognition is the new black with Google searches performed from your jottings.
Writing to Google...
Found a section of a site you like and want to keep? Simply encircle it and add it to the scrapbook or insert it into note that you can then scribble on and save for later. Alternatively, put it in an e-mail send off to all and sundry.
Collect clippings by simply encircling content with the S Pen
Note to self?
The S Pen, which features enhancements courtesy of Wacom licensed technology, will even perform tricks without touching the screen. It’s called Air View and if you hover the pen over certain icons or app functions, selections and other changes can be made fluidly. For instance, hovering the pen over a video playback timeline will pop-up a preview thumbnail as scroll through to find a scene.
Yet where the Wacom-based digitising tech really shows itself is in the pressure sensitivity. It has 1024 levels that seem set to equip street artists for the Facebook generation – the portrait pictures you’ll get in tourist hotspots could end up appearing on a different wall than the one in your loo.
Street art pad for the Facebook generation?
The Galaxy Note 2 is just 9.4mm thick and 180g. It feels like a perfectly intuitive touchscreen device, yet with no calls possible from the show devices at IFA, the notion of holding one to the head didn’t really transpire. As a talker, will it be a conversation piece
take when called upon or will a headset be the preferred choice with the Note 2 consigned to the back pocket? Coming in October, price as yet unannounced be sure to check the size of your pockets when it comes to taking Notes. ®
After previously being vaguely anti large phones I have been slightly fascinated by the Note, so I recently one on eBay just to try it out, after all I could always toss it back if I didn't get on with it.
I am a convert now, so much so that I have found myself using my Nexus 7 less for web and email and my Nexus S not at all for calling.
Thought it might be just too large, but most of the time I don't notice it, except maybe not being too comfortable driving with it in my jeans front pockets. I happily trade that off for the massively more useful amount of screen space.
If all did was phone, then I wouldn't bother with it. Making calls is less than 10% of what I do with it and as such I find it a real boon
I will be spending my upgrade on the Note 2 and probably get most of what I paid back on eBay for the Note 1.
As for caring what I look like when I occasionally use it as a phone. Really… you care what people think?
Don't trust these guy's what?
I can see why you would be confused. I often see silly twonks holding bars of chocolate to their heads and talking to themselves. I initially thought they might be on the phone, but everyone knows that a telephone looks like an oversized banana made of bakerlite with a coily cable
Hooray for Samsung for bringing back the stylus from the dead. I know HTC did this with the Flyer, but that was horrifically overpriced, and so didn't sell too well. Whereas the Note seems to have done quite well.
Is this going to be marketed as a small tablet for around £200-£300, or a top-end phone, priced at £500? The difference is getting pretty huge now. The Nexus 7 (admittedly not trying to make a profit) is going for £160, and yet the Galaxy III is way up there above £500.
I'd like a stylus device, but I'm not sure I'm willing to give Samsung £500 for one, when I've already got a work smartphone and a personal iPad.
Although I do wonder about the screen size. It's man-bag time, or put this in your pocket, and find you're unable to bend your waist, due to being stabbed in the stomach by your phone. Or put it in your back pocket and squash it when you sit down.
The Note's UI can just as easily be navigated using a finger. The reason the stylus controls are there is so that when you are using the stylus for a specific task (e.g. drawing) there is no need to put it to one side and start using your finger again to navigate through menus. You'd have realised this if you'd stopped to think for 2 seconds.
"it's probably an indication that samsung aren't good UI designers"
I thought consensus among fanboys was that Samsung ripped off their UI from Apple who happen to be the greatest designers on the planet...