CNET is available in the following editions:
Read our full review
Add your review
Comment: Lovely mobile.Am eagerly waiting for buying this.Love to the core.All the features ,apps all are really pretty.
Good: none, plastic, faulty, AVOID
Bad: Crap build quality, numerous bugs,I advise you to AVOID
Comment: The first thing you'll notice about this phone is its ridiculous size. If you can look pass that, you might consider it because of precisely that, the h-u-g-e screen size. You would also expect that because of this screen that this device would be suited for posers or people with 'small man complex'.
And you would be right - Samsung marketed and pimped it to consumers as all about their screen as well. However, do beware that it has absolutely horrible banding/screen issues that makes watching any videos with dark scenes (or anything with dark shades of grey for that matter) impossible - they all show up as dirty dark blocks/blobs. (for details just google "samsung note II screen issues").
The sad part is that their previous AMOLED phones didn't have such issues, but the latest ones in the series (Note,S3 and Nexus) do! They definitely changed something up in their production recently, probably cost savings when they moved production to china.korean company and chinese build quality usually means disaster.
When i brought it to Samsung's attention, they refused to acknowledge the problem and claimed that it was perfectly fine. The service center I was at even went as far as to suggest that since their sample model phone they had at the back exhibited the same artifacts, that my phone looked to be in perfect condition. This korean customer service didn't have an happy ending but it did massage a ton of money out of my pocket....
Looking around on various web forums, it seems like this is a fairly widespread problem for Samsung note II's (and not the only screen problem mind you, just the most obvious one) and apparently it's due to some poor QC on their part after transferring production to mainland china and you might get one that's good (apparently low probability), or one that's horrible like mine so yes, do check your operators return policies or wherever else you might be tied into a 2 year contract on a door stop!
So yeah, it's basically a lottery to see if you can get a working one. so I'm not even sure what the probability of a "perfect working screen" is.
Some reviewers reported to me in confidence that they have exchanged as much as 10 Note IIs in an attempt to get one such unit that works. Since that was not an option for me all I can do is suck it up
Or so I thought. Until even with very minimal usage, it was barely 4 days old before the next problem arose - the wifi broke. I just got it fixed a few days ago by wiping the phone and reinstalling the firmware, but I'm just waiting to see what the next problem will be with this expensive abomination that could have been a great phone, but trust the money grabbing south koreans to release this untested POS, instead i have ended up being taught an frustrating and expensive lesson to NEVER buy anything from Samsung again!! The only thing I can do now is hope that the problem is with the software and that can be fixed with a new OTA update, unlikely knowing samsung who drop support after 2 months and move onto the next plastic POS phone with android '5.2445 sweet ttongsul'.
So in conclusion, if you're looking to watch videos on-the-go or use it as a photo-book, get the the new ipad mini instead. If you just want a phone with basic web functions/emails and such, get something cheaper instead like the nexus 7, you'll end up at the same place after all without a hole in your pocket nor a oversized korean rock in your pocket.
Samsung woo you with hype and glitzy editorials on this very website but it is smoke and mirrors, the tablet phone is DOA and i advise anyone looking to buy samsung to.....
Good: Screen size general spec
Comment: Bit of history first...purchased the G1 back in the day and loved it and the operating system. Went over to Apple with the 3GS and then moved back to Android (Galaxy SII running Gingerbread) and then back to Apple with the 4S. So why the move back to Android? I loved the G1 because it was so different at the time but changed to the 3GS when my contract was up. The iPhone 3GS was great again, completely different to the G1. I fancied a change so purchased the SGSII running Gingerbread. I hated it. It wasn't as intuative for me, very buggy and compared to the iPhone (at the time), had a million baffling options. So, after two weeks, made the jump back to Apple with the 4S.
Then the iPhone 5 launched with iOS6....still the same old, same old. It's like driving the same car for years....same things to look at...boring. The 4" display....again, big let down for me. I wanted something nearer to 5". iOS6...nothing new really (everytime they bring out a new version they say there are over 200 improvements...where?). So, I've again made the switch to Android..this time with Jelly Bean on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE. I purchased the LTE version as it was the same price as the 3G version and thought it a little more future proof). Firstly, what a massive improvement Jelly Bean is. It works and works perfectly. Very quick and intuative but (it seems to me) less options which makes it (for me) more user friendly. Still highly cutomisable but without millions of menus and sub menus to confuse.
The phone...what a great phone it is. Big? Yes, very. But it will fit in all my pockets barring a shirt pocket. Fast? Yes, very. Start up time too is great. Battery life? Well, you know what it is like when you get a new phone, playing with it, tweaking it, downloading lots of new apps etc. Even with all this going on, I fully charged the battery on Tuesday evening and didn't need to charge it again until Thurday afternoon. Awesome.
Anything bad? Nothing so far and I don't expect it. I won't have a word said against Apple or it's operating system but I needed a change and I got a change for the better. Anyone hesitating, don't. Anyone wanting to make the switch, do.
Good: S Pen Large Screen
Bad: Hardware Quality , official Arabic font
Comment: nice review , i need ur help here , i am confused between note 2 and his bigger brother the note 10.1 , regarding the spen and its functionality , is it the same in both devices? or is it better in the note 2 since it is newer ? thx
Good: Practically Everything
Bad: Not enough RAM
Comment: I own a Samsung Galaxy Note (SGN) and will get the SGN2 later next year. I really like this phone, I wish people wouldn't use such dramatic words to describe this phones size, "Large" is quite sufficient, Gargantuan is ludicrous and very drama queen. This Phone obviously satisfies a need in the market and the SGN2 will make an already excellent phone even better.
I had the HTC Desire and was so frustrated that I couldn't have all the apps I wanted, having to uninstall apps to put others on. The SGN now satisfies that need and its a pleasure to have all the apps I use without having to uninstall some. Re the camera and video I think both are excellent, my images are very clean and clear and for a phone camera I'd say its very good. As for video, I would have loved to have seen a 60fps option on HD 1080p or 720p would have been awesome. The screen can be a touch sensitive but rather that than having to mash the screen to get stuff to work, the stylus is a dream and things like text recognition is sublime.
I tend to push my phones to the max and I have noticed some lag but I think that is due more to the lack of RAM than anything else and I do tend to multitask on apps. I never quite get why they even bother putting such small amounts of RAM in a device nowadays, 4GB RAM should be standard, but what do I know I'm just a end user grunt.
Good: Large screen, Android, powerful, fast, S pen, removable battery
Comment: Will get one ASAP.
Alas, in the US wireless carriers grab the customers by the balls because of quasi-monopoly: only 2 carriers use the worldwide standard, GSM; others use their own, local technologies and necessitate customized phones (not working with GSM).
Good: The specs, sheer performance, multi-tasking capabilities, display, battery, multimedia features and of course, the S-pen.
Bad: If anything, maybe it's a tad pricey, and the camera might not be quite up to the mark compared to the HTC One X's
Comment: This is the ultimate smartphone; a smartphone powerhouse, which has carved a nice niche for itself in the market. The size is definitely one of the main factors in deciding whether or not to go with this phone, but that's ultimately down to the individual's preference. You either like it, or you don't. Having said that, you will eventually get used to the size and other phones will seem 'small' to you!
Good: all of it
Bad: cant find anything
Comment: this is simple, it has nothing to do with personal taste, just pure functionality..the Note is the dogs danglies, Period. Throw your laptop in the bin, give your iPad to someone you don't like because this thing has it all. Miles ahead of the iBone 5 for web integration, JBean is superb on this thing... I just cant fault it, buy one now or be left behind in its wake.
Comment: This is the best phone on the market..Very pleased to have it
Comment: I am amazed at the number of reviewers who criticise the Note (which I have had many months and find incredible) because it is "difficult to use with one hand." It makes me wonder why this is so important to them, and what they are constantly doing with their other hand (although I could have a good guess ....!)
Log in with your CNET UK or Facebook account to post a user review, or click Join to create an account
Please log in, register or login with Facebook to add a review or comment
Ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers if you should buy the Samsung Galaxy Note 2
More Mobile Phones in Crave
About CBS Interactive
Copyright © 2013 CBS Interactive Limited. All rights reserved.