Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review: Released in 2012, and codenamed the N7100, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was the sequel to a rather surprise smash hit. The original Samsung Galaxy Note arrived the year before and offered something rather novel to the smartphone market. At a screen size of 5.3 inches, this phone was one of the largest ones to become available at the time. Panned as being almost too large (the phone would not comfortably fit into a pocket), it nevertheless ended up being successful. An additional stylus added further differentiation.
The sequel saw an even bigger increase in the size of screen, to 5.5 inches. To be sure, Samsung were keeping their options open at this time. The Galaxy S series were seen as the real competitor to the Apple iPhone series. And at this time their Wave and Omnia series were both going, offering users a choice of both Windows and own-brand operating systems.
But it was the Note series that ended up being some of the most high-spec Samsung phones. The Note 2 was slightly thinner than its predecessor despite the larger screen. It also got an upgrade in the processor department, gaining a quad-core 1.6GHz Exynos. RAM was doubled to 2GB. Many other improvements were less noticeable. Connectivity protocols were updated allowing for faster connections. The battery now was a massive 3,100mAH – one of the downsides of running such a large screen was the poorer battery life.
Much like the iPhone series, the Note had become a fixture and was to be updated every year with improvements. The next year saw the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review Pros:
The screen was the biggest selling point, and not just in size. Whilst not as high resolution as Apple’s Retina Displays, the Super AMOLED produced extremely good contrasts, making it perfect for media consumption.
The phone was extremely well-powered and could handle every application on Android with some ease. With 16GB on board and expandable than microSD it was much more efficient than iPhones.
The latest versions of the stylus appeared. The S-Pen is more than just a stylus, and the phone detects when it is retracted. A button on the side allows further commands. The pen can also be hovered over the screen to give further options. Productivity-wise, the potential of the phone is huge.
The camera is the same resolution as the original Note but software has improved: images are processed with better results and further software modes such as burst shot are very useful.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review Cons:
Such a huge size comes at a cost. The phone weighs in at almost 180g, when standard models such as the Samsung Galaxy S are 110g. Construction is unsurprisingly plastic, to save on space. Durability is good – the phone comes with Gorilla Glass screen which protects against scratches, if not falls. It goes without saying the big size is not for everyone.
The phone is power hungry. Many power-intensive apps which require long screen use produce heating of the phone, as well as use of 3G. With the phones utility almost demanding more use, power can disappear within a day – although the same charge can be levelled at many other top phones at this time.
The phone also is extremely expensive, especially SIM-Free. Whilst the standard Galaxy models came at a discount to their Apple counterparts, this was not the case for the Note.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects:
2012 is pretty prehistoric in the world of phone handsets. But interestingly the Note 2 doesn’t compare too badly to phones even released today. Screens have not got much bigger. Neither has anything else moved on that much, and they are still fully useable today. Price-wise they may offer some pretty good value.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.