"Best Gadget Ever!"4.5 starson by Guerrero-hopso
Pros: Battery life on this device is fantastic.
Camera is great.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
S-PEN Very easy to use.
Cons: Smooth and slippery, Very easy to drop.
Summary: First 2 questions I get when someone sees this device: is that a phone? Does it fit in your pocket? No, its a blender. No, it doesn't fit in my pocket I have to wear a backpack to carry it around. But seriously, it is big for a phone, but it fits in every pocket of pants that I wear easily. I sold my Galaxy Tab 10.1 and my Galaxy S III for this phone. I hate the word phablet, but it is truly both. The screen size allows for all types of media consumption comfortably. The hardware along with JellyBean make the Note II the smoothest Android experience to date. I mean no slowdowns, stutters, or crashes of any kind. Besides having the functionality of a phone, you get many features including S-Pen and a great camera, which in combination makes for something special, and a big battery for the long trips.
I am not an artist, but the S Pen makes it super easy to experiment with. It is really fun and easy (once you know about them) to explore through the features, although I do recommend downloading "User's Digest: Samsung Galaxy NoteII" from the Playstore. It is a basic, yet informative guide that takes you through many of the S-Pen features. And there are many!
The battery life on this device is fantastic. I am averaging 30 hours between charges with medium to heavy use (4-6 hours of screen time), and that's usually with 10-15% left (I don't like running the Li-Ion battery all the way down). There's now a battery on the market that more than doubles the capacity of the stock 3100 mah battery (obviously sacrificing bulkiness and weight) for those of you that never want to put this thing down. But for me, this is plenty of battery life and I am truly impressed considering the thickness and reasonable weight.
The camera is great. There are many features including burst mode, panorama, best picture, and many more. The camera has some trouble in low light conditions, like most cellphone cameras, but it still gets the job done. Under normal lighting conditions the results can be compared to a point and shoot. But where the magic takes place is what you can do with all of your pictures. The camera paired with the S-Pen functionality make the possibilities endless. You can hand write captions, easily crop and paste custom selections from anything that's on screen at any time by tracing with the pen, you can add all kinds of crazy effects and then easily share your creations instantly with NFC, email, text, Facebook, etc. As "slogany" as this sounds, it really does inspire you to get creative.
I do have one criticism of the Note II. And it is by no means a deal breaker. The audio from the 3.5mm headphone jack. Music is not nearly as crisp or punchy as the Galaxy S III. I compared them both side by side. Bass is not as deep and sound range is tighter in general. You can compensate by tweaking the equalizer (I use a paid MP3 player app : PowerAmp, its awesome), but it's still not the same. I checked some forums and people seem to agree; most point fingers to the possible use of a weaker DAC chip (Digital to Analog Converter). Now, don't get me wrong, I still listen to music on it all the time, but it is a minor disappointment.
Taking the time to learn and explore the features will make your experience much more enjoyable with this device. There's a lot packed in there, so be patient. Samsung deserves a lot of credit to have the balls to make a device that many people thought was too big and would never sell. I'm glad they took the risk because this is everything I've ever wanted from a phone/universal tool.
*Note, you can check for best deals for the Note II at: wirelessandroidphones.blogspot.com/p/samsung-galaxy-note-ii.html
Thank for reading and hope this review is helpful.