Does the note 2 come with flash? I see adobe removing flash from a lot of US models?
NOTE 2 MINI REVIEW v3
UPDATED – Operating temperature, keyboard, body.
I have had my Note 2 almost 2 weeks now so thought I would update my mini review for anyone looking at getting it. I previously had a Note for 10 months preceded by a SGS2 and Iphone 4 and 3G before that. I purchased a N7100 Grey 16GB Note 2 (international) (AU$649+$25 postage) with a 64GB sandisk card ($65) for a total of AU$739.
APPEARANCE – The Note 2 looks awesome, the 16:9 screen makes it look a lot less clunky than the note and the brushed grey looks schmick. The back is more prone to finger prints than the note. The device looks a lot narrower than the note and feels smaller. Despite this the screen width is almost the same and the screen height is a fair bit more.
VIDEOS - videos are definatley better on the GN2 the screen is bigger and there is no black clipping in shadows that plagued the GN. Skin tones aren’t as neutral on the GN2 however.
BUILD QUALITY & BODY – The build quality is first rate (better than the SGS3 which was really good compared with the original note), the back cover feels a lot thicker than the note and the body is rock solid with no creaks or flex. The power button has been shifted down so is less likely to be pressed in a call. The camera is slightly raised which looks a bit funny but it probably means you will get less rub marks on the body (if at all). The micro sd card can now be removed without removing the battery.
OPERATING TEMPERATURE - One thing that is noticeable is that the Note 2 runs a lot cooler than the Note. At idle the note 2 is about 27degC, browsing with wifi or playing games it will run at 30degC, using a lot of 3G browsing the web will run at about 34degC. These temperatures are perfectly acceptable and in general 3 degrees cooler than the original note.
SCREEN – The screen is a big step up on the note. Font is noticeably sharper than the note and whites no longer have a blueish tinge. I would say the screen is brighter than the original (despite what GSM says). The colours are vivid and blacks are black, the only down side is that skin tones tent to look a bit bright tending to orangey pink. The text sharpness is a smidge below the SGS3 (if you really look close) but still awesome and a lot brighter than the SGS3.
PERFORMANCE – There is absolutely zero lag or stutter in the OS, apps or web browsing. Jellybean, quadcore and 2GB of ram mean that the entire experience is quicker and smoother on the note 2. The 2GB of ram is a big improvement over the note which often only had 100MB left. With a lot of apps installed on the GN2 I still have 500MB left, if I clear ram it drops to 780MB used with 1GB available but soon creeps up. Rebooting is super quick, the note 2 is about 28 seconds the note is 54 seconds. (Update: Having installed 120 apps and not having cleared or rebooted the phone for a week i still have 350MB of ram free and its still running really smoothly)
BATTERY – GSM’s battery test is about right. The N2 battery life is getting close to double that of the note. On standby with several active apps it was using less than 1% per hour. Internet use is about 10-12% per hour which is half the note. Videos use about 8-10% per hour. The battery takes about 4hrs 20min to charge from 0% (update) Using the genuine wall charger it takes about 3 hours to charge. I think you could get 3 days on light use, 2 days on moderate and even heavy use would be a good 12+ hours plus you always have the option of replaceable batteries.
OS and SOFTWARE – I was going to try touchwiz this time but it’s still not intuitive. Samsung should purchase Go Launcher or similar and re-start from there. Go launcher is now super smooth and a lot better option for ma. A lot of touchwiz features come through anyway (widget shuffle etc). In general Jellybean and Samsung have really thought about the little things as well. The whole interface is just a lot better looking and laid out (i.e. add contacts button on the top right not top left, $ symbol on the first symbols page). The lock screen is really nice with weather, news and 5 customisable quick launch icons which can be any app. The notifications area is even better. Smart rotation and especially smart stay are really handy features. Help and hints are really well implemented as you set up your phone. It also seems that Samsung have decided to roll out updates quicker which is good. The email app has been improved and easier to access sent items and edit fonts.
I know this will start a storm but… android jelly bean seem to have moved away from blacks and greys to blues and greys…. It looks heaps nicer but I’m sure Apple has some patent on blue? (it does look a bit appleish on certain apps).
The gallery app is very nice but now that we have a 50Gb drop box sync it pics up all our photos from there as well as album art etc. It would be good to be able to permanently remove or hide folders.
SPLIT SCREEN MULTI TASKING – I didn’t have it out of the box but it came as a 40MB firmware update. This feature works really smoothly with no delay. I haven’t looked but don’t think you can add to the standard 13 apps. One app missing from the split screen is a calculator, and office suiute (excel, word etc).
CAMERA - The new camera has a lot of additional features including bust shot (which is amazingly quick) best face, face and blink detection and HDR. Video now has slow motion and fast motion recording. As usual you can adjust exposure, white balance, timer, timer etc. You can set the camera and video to record to the phone or card however burst will only record to the phone due to read speed requirements. Compared to the note the GN2 is a lot sharper, has better colours and works better for macro shots and is a lot, lot faster. I actually wonder if my Note camera was faulty because the GN2 resolution is significantly better.
S PEN – I haven’t used this a lot but it is a big improvement on the note in feel and the functions it offers. Taking notes in a call is a great feature as is the ability to clip parts of pages. The airview feature works well but probably isn’t that handy for me but is does work really well on websites optimised for a mouse.
I notice that to allow Go Launcher notifications you have to disable air view. Obviously a little bug to iron out. (Update, this appears to have fixed itself)
OTHER – The notification light is pretty handy, I have installed the “Light Flow” app to customise the event and colours. The WIFI signal is a lot stronger on the new note. Speaker volume is a lot stronger and call clarity seem better. I haven’t had a chance to work out how to use NFC yet. There is no flash installed out of the box. This can easily be overcome by downloading and installing a flash apk file and allowing flash in your browser (I use boat browser). There is no need to root the device. Playing web based flash video appears to be a lot more reliable and smoother than on the note.
DOWNSIDES – There are a not too many issues with the Note 2.
The big one is you can’t copy apps from your phone to the SD card. You can root your device to get this option. I don’t know if this is Jellybean or Samsung but I don’t know why the minimum phone isn’t 32GB. Even large apps (say 1.5GB) get copied to the phone. In theory you could fill the phone with 7 apps, in reality i have 120 apps installed and still have 5GB free. Unless you have heaps of video or music a 64GB micro SD is probably overkill.
Touchwiz still isn’t an intuitive or customisable piece of software, I am using Go launcher instead and it works really well, looks great and offers a full range of customisation with no lag that was evident on the note.
The Note 2 doesn't support Telstras 1800MHz LTE or DC-HSDPA like the iphone 5, Samsung really needs to lift their game on this. (Update, the N7105 has been released which now supports 1800MHz LTE, given the limited range of 4G on Telstra in Australia I won't be upgrading.)
When opening a SMS picture android still tries to play it as a video??? Whats the go Samsung, i need to save the image to the phone then i can open in a picture viewer.
The standard samsung keyboard doesn't automatically correct mistakes. It shows a few suggestions but will not automatically insert the corrected word. This was available in the note so i assume it will be fixed.
I have noticed occasionally artefacts briefly appear on some widgets, a couple of times a week. I actually think this is an issue with Go Launcher or the widget program not the phone.
As mentioned in a few posts the screen recorder function is still missing.
CONCLUSION – The note 2 is a big step up from the note. All the weaknesses of the note such as the pentile screen, battery life, Ram and processor performance, build quality and appearance have been fixed. Add that to jellybean, numerous additional software features and apps and you have arguably the best device in the world that is almost perfect. I actually feel sorry for the Note 3 designers because there’s not much to improve on.
This is my personal opinion after 2 weeks of use, it’s not a magazine article so I haven’t proof read it sorry. If you have any questions on the Note 2 leave them and I will get back to you.
sorry for the long post :-)
I am a little dissapointed with false advertisement by Samsung. In this vid
they showcase a feature that is missing: Screen Recorder. I got the multi tasking split screen mode on day 1 via an OTA update. However that and the OCR camera function mentioned in GSM Arena's review is not here. Maybe it'll come with another update, and I'd have bought the darn phone even without those features.
What bothers me is Samsung not telling these features weren't present on the device since launch date. They sold stuff to me lying/covering the truth. I planned on using the Screen Recorder funtction for a College Project to be delivered next Friday. Now I got one week to try something else, since the only screen recorder I've found requires root access and I'm not planning to void my warranty.
I love the phone, it's quite impressive. But Sammy was dishonest this time.
Sheikho, 19 Oct 2012Guys, a word fr each owner of Note. 2. Are you the first buyers using mobile, No nowadays eve... moreActually the note 2 is more than just an incremental step up from the note. It is a lot faster and smoother has battery life that is almost double, has a lot more functional spen, has a better screen, has a lot better build quality and appearance, has 4g etc.
Plus phones only come with 1 year warranty.... I buy a new phone every 12 months, sell my old phone on ebay and claim the new one on tax and I have a free phone with a full 12 month warrenty.... nothing to do with status.
Does any one know, why I can see only 10Gb memory out of 16Gb? I could understand something for OS but 6Gb??? I recently bought note 2 and it is a fantastic fablet. One more thing I can not see the report of benchmark test as we can see at gsmarena...
AnonD-41223, 19 Oct 2012Sad few home screen widget need to be updated manuallyThanks..
what about weather widget..? Is it live??
hi. i am planning to buy this phablet. kindly guide me if it has any LAG or HANG prblm??? bcos i am afraid of android suffering frm LAGGING prblms even in S3 even with its massive processor power.
sul2, 19 Oct 2012Does d GN2 launched in India has d split screen/multiple screen functionality???yes............update softwear........it will be fun
EZ, 19 Oct 2012I just got my Note 2. it is unbelievable. From Where did you buy it? If from internet, could you tell me from where?
Anonymous, 19 Oct 2012Hi i am interested in matt finish lamination. How is it done. Is it done by some machine.It's just a plastic sheet, which is attached to the back panel with blowing warm air on the sheet, and can be done at any mobile accessories shop who does lamination.
Anonymous, 19 Oct 2012Hi i am interested in matt finish lamination. How is it done. Is it done by some machine.it's available in all mobile accessories shop who does laminations for mobile. it costs around 200rupees only in Ludhiana India for front guard and back lamination.
Anonymous, 19 Oct 2012How to get the update Plz helpJust go to the settings, about device at the bottom end, software update and then check for updates, usually it will automatically show up, if you are connected to internet.
Guys, a word fr each owner of Note. 2. Are you the first buyers using mobile, No nowadays every one even a beggar owens.. Actually it has become a status symbol and addiction to own latest realease. Actuall their is no edge on nxt models except plus minus in ppi mem or thinness. We have to live in this wicked world , only new model is not enough. Open yr eyes!
AnonD-53316, 19 Oct 2012You will not get it out of box. Just a small software update and you will get it.How to get the update
sul2, 19 Oct 2012Does d GN2 launched in India has d split screen/multiple screen functionality???You will not get it out of box. Just a small software update and you will get it.
Does d GN2 launched in India has d split screen/multiple screen functionality???