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Galaxy Note 2 impressions/reviews


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#1 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 26 2012 - 11:58 AM

Most of this post is copied from another thread, but I thought it would be good to break it out into its own thread.


I haven't really gotten a lot of time with it yet, but here's what I've seen so far:   The display is very nice. At 50% brightness (I hate auto brightness) it's nice and vibrant, and from the limited time I've had playing with GS3 devices, it appears clearer and sharper. And yes, it is freaking huge.   Pocketability is no problem. It doesn't stick out of my pocket and I don't feel it jamming into my hip when I sit down. It is a tiny bit harder to maneuver in and out when I'm sitting down, but if I'm standing, it's no different from my 4.5" GS2.   I'm not sure what the percentage of one handed use will be, but make no mistake -- no amount of manual gymnastics will allow me to use this like my GS2. I could hit all fours corners with my thumb before. Now it's pretty much impossible. I'll see how that affects usage.   I installed Nova Launcher to increase the number of icons on the home screen. The Touchwiz default is only four columns but 5 in the dock. I changed it to 6 X 5. I haven't activated the phone yet and I don't have all of my contacts and such on there. I'm still slowly installing apps. I think Nova Launcher is a must.    Browsing via Chrome is super fast. Faster than my GS2, faster than my Transformer Prime. The pages render at desktop-like speeds. This part is great.   The back isn't nearly as slick and slippery as I read about. Actually, it's got a friction feel to it (the Gray model at least) and between that and the even distributed weight, I can easily balance the phone on my fingertips. I can hold it at a 70 degree angle across my fingers without having to grip it.   My first pet peeve is that I can't quite reach the Back key if I'm holding it in my left hand (which is my preferred operating hand). This really impacts one handed operability.   You can sideload Adobe Flash and use it in Firefox without having to do any special settings or workarounds.   Draw Something with a stylus is THE GREATEST THING EVER. Too bad my sister is the only one willing to play anymore. Instead of spastic fingerpainting, the SPen feels like you're really drawing. I can draw very detailed pictures now.    My GS2 couldn't do it. My Transformer Prime couldn't do it. But my GN2 can stream ts files, that is, recorded mpeg2 HD files. It's not as perfectly smooth as mkv files (it stutters for a few seconds before it smooths out and slows down if there's a lot of movement), but it's watchable.    Browsing is much, much faster than the Transformer, and Flipboard smokes on the GN2. HTML5 video is super smooth.    There's a delay on the lock screen when you first turn on the phone. If you swipe immediately after you power the screen, you might end up swiping a couple of times before unlocking the phone.    The entire copy/paste functionality is much smoother now. It's hinkier on all my other devices.    The dual window mode does not work out of the box. I assume I need a firmware update to activate it. I won't be able to do that until the GN2 is activated. 

#2 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 26 2012 - 01:52 PM

To say the browser is fast is an understatement. It's not just that it renders pages quickly - it actually outperforms my desktop browser at times. And this is on full desktop pages, not mobile sites. Pages heavy on pictures that used to make my browser stutter before now load quickly and smoothly. Basically, all of Sam's complaints about Android browsers have been vanquished in one fell swoop. Not having played too much with the GS3,I don't know if this is a function of the 2gb of RAM or the Exynos processor, but this thing just flies. And typing is amazing on the GN2. I feel like I'm 30% to 40% faster now. I still have to use SwiftKey, however. The stock keyboard is better than usual, but it's no SwiftKey.

#3 of 62 Sam Posten

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Posted October 26 2012 - 04:53 PM

So it's less clunky than the Nexus 7s browser? That would be impressive if so, not because I intend to ever get a Megalodon Shark Phone but because those improvements might come to other Android devices.... Thanks for the impressions!

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#4 of 62 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted October 27 2012 - 02:07 AM

I think we need a pic of you and/or Ron on the phone w/ it (sans headset). Posted Image


_Man_


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#5 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 27 2012 - 03:06 AM

Flash on the GN2 is FANTASTIC. Even the on screen controls work flawlessly.

Unfortunately (ironically), Flash is officially dead on Android. If you want to check it out, sideload the Flash apk and install Firefox. Flash works on Firefox without any hacks or root needed.

There are still plenty of sites that haven't transitioned to HTML5, so it's not a trivial matter to simply drop Flash.


#6 of 62 Sam Posten

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Posted October 27 2012 - 11:14 AM

It is for me :)

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#7 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 27 2012 - 04:41 PM

You'll like this Ron - after 13 hours of pretty heavy use including dozens of photos and a few videos, the battery was at 24%. But I only started with an 87% charge (that was the best I could do before leaving the house). Now, I didn't activate the phone yet, so this doesn't take into consideration 3g and cell antenna activity. But Note 2 owners are reporting an average of 15 hours of heavy use before dropping below 10%. YMMV, but that's some badass schizz.

#8 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 29 2012 - 06:43 AM

I installed Widgetlocker (which is just so much more functional than the default lock screen) and now the unlock lag is gone. Since I can add app shortcuts to the lockscreen, I don't have to "unlock" the phone much (I just jump right in to the app).

#9 of 62 Keith Plucker

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Posted October 31 2012 - 06:05 AM

Behold, the Galaxy Note 2 SmartDock. If I go with a GN2, I think I would pick up one of these.


-Keith


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#10 of 62 Hanson

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Posted October 31 2012 - 01:12 PM

I finally activated the phone today, and the phone part is hands down the best I've ever experienced on a smart phone. The radios just blow away the 3g and voice on my old Galaxy S2 - in areas where that phone did not work well, the GN2 was getting full bars, crystal clear voice, and the fastest Sprint 3g I've ever experienced.

#11 of 62 Hanson

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Posted November 01 2012 - 12:32 PM

The most impressive things about this phone: 1) Super fast. At everything. Browsing, opening apps, etc. No lag, just pure performance. 2) 3g speeds are more than usable. I was hesitant to go with a Sprint LTE phone because 3g was godawful slow on my S2 and Sprint LTE is non-existent. 3g on my Note 2 is almost as fast as 4g on my S2. 3) Battery life is PHENOMENAL. I've been crazy busy at work since Wednesday and haven't had much time to sit down and charge. The Note 2 had battery to spare - my S2 would have drained completely three times in the time my Note 2 went down to 36%. I am completely impressed by the battery life. 4) Call quality is the best. My GS2 had spotty reception all around the office and died if I went into the hallway leading to the bathroom. Forget the bathroom itself - just turning the corner to head to the bathroom meant a disconnected call. Now I can talk on the pot. I even get usable 3g. Blown away. 5) I am loving Draw Something. My artistry had improved a dozenfold. Thank you SPen.

#12 of 62 Sam Posten

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Posted November 02 2012 - 01:14 AM

Big start: http://techcrunch.co...al-galaxy-note/

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#13 of 62 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 03 2012 - 07:52 AM

Looking forward to getting my hands on this phone in 6 days.


...and AT&T screwed up in my favor.


I was supposed to be charged close to $700 (with taxes/fees)

for this phone out-of-contract.


They only charged me $400.


Once I sell the GS3 for that price it will be a wash.


Things couldn't be better right now.


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#14 of 62 Hanson

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Posted November 03 2012 - 12:38 PM

I spent the past three days trapped in my office working on Sandy related issues. I was texting almost continuously, and on the phone constantly (my call logs are HUGE). The Note 2 was a complete champ, and had I been using my S2, I would have lost my sanity. Not only was I able to access data and take calls all around the office, the battery life was incredible - I was barely able to sit down for more than a couple of minutes, which meant I wasn't able to charge most of the day. Yet with all the calls and texts and data usage, the battery never went below 35%. Not being concerned with my battery was a load off of my mind in that situation. And when I did get a breather to charge the phone, it charged so quickly that I got back almost 1% for every minute on charge. I also used the speaker phone for conference calls as well as the 3 way calling feature. It was an impressive baptism of fire.

#15 of 62 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 03 2012 - 11:53 PM

Can't wait to have this phone on Friday.


Thanks for the very encouraging updates.


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#16 of 62 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 04 2012 - 05:03 AM

Hanson,


You experiencing any of the dropped frame rates or

news feed flashing as described in this video?

(By the way, really good video on comparing Note 2 to Galaxy S3)





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#17 of 62 Hanson

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Posted November 04 2012 - 06:42 AM

Seems rather trivial. I haven't noticed it myself.

#18 of 62 Hanson

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Posted November 09 2012 - 08:16 AM

So did you get your Note 2 yet, Ron?



#19 of 62 Ronald Epstein

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Posted November 09 2012 - 08:17 AM

Got it this morning.  Much better than the GS3.


This is the ultimate Android phone in my opinion.


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#20 of 62 Hanson

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Posted November 09 2012 - 08:47 AM

Last year, I was all prepared to get the Evo 3D after owning (and loving) the Evo 4G (plus the previous 3 phones I owned were HTC WinMo phones). But I paused -- the Galaxy S2 looked great. But the Evo 3D came out in June, just in time for my contract. The S2 had not firm release date. But I decided to wait it out because I was convinced it was the better phone. That decision paid off.


This go round, getting the S3 was a no-brainer. But again, I felt like the Note 2 was the better phone. But they were talking abut January 2013 as the release date, but I was upgrade eligible in September. I decided to wait, because I was convinced it was the better phone. Luckily, Sprint released their at the end of October.  I think I made the right call again.





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