Samsung Galaxy Note 2

You're apparently apprehensive how acceptable the massive, tabletlike Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is, and if the smartphone can accomplish important book functions.

You may additionally admiration if the Note 2's 5.5-inch awning makes it too bulky to authority and backpack as an acclimatized device, and if its array bound drains in account to the monster screen. Can the quad-core processor accumulate up, and will it defeat the purpose if you never accelerate out the Note's agenda pen?

My answers are mostly positive. Yes, the additional Note is huge in the duke and awkward at times to hold, but I bound grew acclimated to it. In specs, it's Samsung's highest-end phone, with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS, a accelerated quad-core processor, an extra-large battery, and an 8-megapixel camera.

smarter software acknowledge a added acquired accessory than before, but it still can't agitate some of the complaints that hounded the aboriginal Galaxy Note.

And while better-equipped for creating and arresting media than added smartphones, the Note 2 is still baby compared with a 7-inch tablet. Really, alone those who could absolutely booty a book or leave it will accede the Note 2 a replacement. Those who absolutely demand a book will acceptable still demand one.

The S Pen defines the Samsung Galaxy Note, and acts as its aloft appropriate feature.

Pricing and availability
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 supports 4G LTE and HSPA+, and will be accessible on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Sprint will activate affairs the "phablet" on October 25 for $299.99. AT&T will address endemic on November 9, additionally for $300. U.S. Cellular's will go on auction October 26 for the aforementioned price. T-Mobile, however, is affairs the buzz for $369.99 with a two-year account agreement; it's accessible now.

Design and build
If you've apparent the Samsung Galaxy S3, again the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 holds few surprises. Start with the Galaxy S3's annular corners, high-gloss surfaces, bare bezels, and bubbled-out screen, again draft it up a admeasurement and add a stylus slot. Samsung aboveboard carries on its artificial attitude in the face of rivals that accept abundant added premium-looking, and possibly heartier, body materials. Admitting attractive, the Note 2 wins no awards for construction, and the awful cogitating surfaces sometimes animation aback ablaze in confusing ways.

This is a ample phone: 5.9 inches alpine by 3.2 inches advanced by 0.37 inch blubbery and belief 6.4 ounces. That's a scattering to be sure, but the weight feels proportional to the phone's dimensions, and any lighter could beggarly a abate battery, which is one accommodation I don't want. Like the Galaxy S3, the Note 2 manages to attending almost glassy and abbreviate admitting its girth. Ancillary by side, the Note 2 isn't a accomplished lot beyond than the aboriginal Samsung Galaxy Note, and is abundant added palmable than a 7-inch tablet.

Still, I won't accusation anyone for activity all-overs over the Note 2's in-hand feel or portability. As with all phones, your ultimate acumen of what feels appropriate depends on your hands. Over the advance of testing, the Note 2 confused through a ambit of easily and pockets. Mine are adequately small, and I capital to see what bodies had to say about its admeasurement and comfort. Best of the women I batten with had no agitation applicable the Note 2 into a bag or purse, but questioned the phone's account and their adeptness to ability the corners of the awning one-handed.

Of the men who approved out the phone, responses were 50/50. Some acquainted accomplished bottomward the Note 2 into a advanced pants pocket, others didn't. Some enjoyed captivation the beyond buzz already they got acclimated to its size; others begin it too expansive, alike with their bigger hands.

I myself was able to accelerate the Note 2 into my aback jeans abridged and go about my day. It ashore out and looked terrible, but it didn't impede my walking about and best of the time I didn't absolutely apprehension it. I alike sat on the buzz a few times; it wasn't abnormally uncomfortable, and the buzz didn't break.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (center) dwarfs the already-large Galaxy S3 (L) and Apple's iPhone 5 (R).

I additionally became bound acclimatized to the phone's size. After a day or two staring at its screen, the Galaxy S3's looked baby in comparison. The iPhone 5's 4-inch awning looked shockingly tiny, which aloof proves that accessory admeasurement is all relative.

If you don't accept one already, you'll demand to advance in a Bluetooth angle for answering calls. The Note 2 looks comically ample at the ear.

Beyond the phone's concrete properties, you'll acquisition accessible accouterments buttons and ports. There's a front-facing camera aloft the screen, forth with a ablaze and adjacency sensor. There's a concrete accouterments Home button beneath the display, sandwiched amid touch-sensitive buttons for Card and Back. The ability button is on the appropriate spine, the aggregate rocker is on the left, and the Micro-USB anchorage is on the bottom. The top houses the 3.5mm angle jack.

On the back, you'll acquisition the camera lens and LED flash. At the basal of the aback console is the stylus aperture with S Pen. Behind the aback awning rests the microSD agenda slot, which can authority up to 64GB in alien memory.

Screen and OS
The Note 2's 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED awning (1,280x720-pixel resolution) is bigger than the aboriginal Note's 5.3-inch display. That translates into a wide-screen 16:9 aspect arrangement rather than the 16:10 aspect arrangement of the aboriginal Note. That helps it fit appropriate in with added accepted cartoon and video playback.

Colors attending active on the Galaxy Note 2's humongous screen, admitting not as aciculate as on HD phones with abate displays.

The Note 2's all-inclusive HD AMOLED awning is as admirable as ever, with abysmal blacks and active colors. However, the resolution isn't as bound as on the Samsung Galaxy S3, which puts added pixels on a analogously abate screen. The naked eye would be hard-pressed to ascertain the looser resolution while watching videos and account text, but back you authority the phones ancillary by side, the accomplished capacity don't attending as aciculate on the Note 2. This is abnormally apparent compared with an alike abate HD screen, like the iPhone 5's 4-inch Retina Display.

The S Pen stylus is an basic allotment of the complete Note 2 experience, but to ascendancy the phone, fingers are all you absolutely need. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean runs the Note 2, with Samsung's TouchWiz interface on top. I've said it before: TouchWiz mostly adds agitating functionality that extends Google's Android vision, but it's accepting a little anachronous and lacks the breeding or agitation of competitors' overlays.

There's a abundant accord of customization, from lock awning shortcuts to a advanced array of motion controls -- some which I love, and others that I absolutely ignore. You'll be able to admission arrangement settings from the notifications menu, which, by the way, action Jelly Bean's added interactions.

Seven home screens are absolutely customizable, and Samsung alike gives you the advantage of booting up "easy" mode, which drops in widgets of most-used apps, settings, and contacts on the home screen. It's all editable, of course.

You can additionally accredit Folio Buddy, a context-relevant home awning that briefly ancestor up back you do things like abolish the stylus, bung in headphones, and berth the phone. Pull out the stylus, for instance, and you'll see a folio with shortcuts to S Note files and templates.