Samsung GALAXY Note II Review

I was given an opportunity to review the Samsung GALAXY Note II for a week. The smartphone initially launched last month in KL at Zebra Square (blog link here). So before I tell you my experience of using this smartphone, lets take a look at the key features of Samsung GALAXY Note II.

Image taken with Samsung GALAXY SIII
Key Features:-
5.5" HD Super AMOLED screen
1.6GHz quad-core processor
3100mAh battery
Android™ v4.1.1 Jelly Bean
Primary Camera (back) 8.0 MP
1080p HD video-recording (30fps)
Secondary Camera (front) 1.9 MP
VGA-quality recording
Additional Features Single LED flash
Auto-focus & touch focus
Face and smile detection
Image stabilisation
BSI sensor (for better low-light captures)

It was more than a year after Samsung released the very first Note and last month when they announced the Note II, a lot of reviewers oversea praise some of the new features and especially the S Pen and multi window. Earlier this year, Samsung has also released the Samsung GALAXY SIII, successor of the previous SII and my girlfriend just got it recently from DiGi Smart Plan. Now lets take a look the physical differences between the two smartphones. (I don't have the first Note, so I can only compare it with the SIII - hahaha....)

Note II on the left, SIII on the right.
From the picture above, you might notice that the Note II has a significant larger screen with the same HD Super AMOLED technology as the SIII (5.5" vs 4.8"). Note II currently only comes in two colour which is marble white and titanium grey while the SIII has more colour variety which is white, blue, red and the new grey colour. I would prefer the titanium grey of the Note II as it looks more solid and feel less plasticky compared to marble white.

The SIII fits completely well on my palm while the Note II is a bit too large when using it with one hand especially when driving. My thumb just cannot reached the other side of the screen when typing without adjusting the position of the device on my palm.

The back of the smartphones.
They have almost identical design at the back but only the difference is the location of the speaker where Note II's speaker is right at the bottom. Sometimes the speaker will get blocked by my palm especially when I was playing game.

The Note II is powered by the 1.6GHz quad-core processor and 2GB ram with the option of 16/32/64GB internal memory. It's blazing fast and it performs way better than the SIII, I noticed it when I was trying to download more than 10 apps from the Play Store. The Note II doesn't lag at all and progressively download everything until finish. They have also improved the S Pen whereby there's a crop button on the stylus to crop out any image wether its from the gallery or website.

The feature that I like most in the Note II is the multi window which also included in the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1. This features can split the screen into two and you can browse website, write on S Note, watch a video or anything which the Note II is capable of.

The camera function has also been improved compared to the previous Note. The quality of Note II is almost identical to the SIII but I personally think that the picture quality of SIII is slight better. Below is the cropping image to check the noise/pixel.

It shoot good mobile quality pictures during day time and the colour is quite vivid and sharp too. Just don't forget to turn on the anti shake at the setting or you can use the burst mode to avoid blurry images.

Took this photo at Jaya One - Happy Deepavali!
At night time or during low light condition, the noise was quite obvious and a little flare in the image.

Photo taken at Neverland - Laguna Music 10th Anniversary
The Note II was introduced at the price of RM2,299 earlier at the media launch but now there's a few dealers that's selling this device at the price of RM2,099 while the first Note is currently selling at RM1,499.

To summarize up this review, using the Note II was a short but sweet experience for me. It's fast, the screen is great although it's a little too big for my palm but it's really a big improvement from the previous Note or even when comparing it to the Samsung GALAXY SIII. I am currently using the ZTE Blade which is powered by only a single-core processor and to have use a quad-core powered device is surely a great pleasure at the moment. If you really want to experience a superb high performance smartphone, great features and ease of use, the Samsung GALAXY Note II is indeed for those who can afford to buy one! :P

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.: Peace Out :.