Sunday, October 21, 2012

First Impressions of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 Smartphone

There's really no stopping Samsung to come out with another great mobile device for consumers, especially for those who love to draw, write, doodle, and illustrate. Last October 16, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has officially been launched here in the Philippines at the Grand Ballroom of Marriott Hotel, Resorts World Manila.

Let me share with you some first impressions and a bit of comparison with its phablet sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Display, Design, and Size
Just when I thought that the Galaxy Note was already big, Samsung has made the Note 2 even bigger -- by just a bit. From the Note's 5.3" display, this new version comes with a 5.5" HD Super AMOLED screen with a little narrower and longer hardware design. 

With its back cover sporting a polycarbonate plastic material, it seemed like it's actually a bigger version of the Samsung Galaxy S3, but not. What surprised me is its even thinner body at 9.44mm as compared to the Note at 9.7mm.

The S Pen of the Galaxy Note 2 is thicker and longer, giving me the feeling of actually holding a pen. In addition, it sounds a beep when the pen is brought away from the phone and it has not been inserted back to its compartment.

Processor and Memory
I love how smooth the experience was when I browsed through the Galaxy Note 2. That's when I found out that it actually has a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor as compared to the 1.4GHz dual-core Exynos in the first Note. And asking around gave me the information that it performs much better with the same or less power consumption as the Note's.

While the Note has only 1GB of RAM memory, the Note 2 has double than that. It has the same 16GB of internal memory and expandable by adding a microSD memory card.

Similar to the features of the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Note 2 now comes with Smart Stay and Popup Video (upgraded Popup Play, enabling re-sizing of pop-upped video), and also comes out of the box with the newest Android operating system Jelly Bean.

Not only has the S Pen improved in terms of design, but also carries additional functionality that makes it more useful. I'd like to highlight the Air View, which enables previewing of emails, photos and videos by simply hovering the stylus over them. With the limited time I had with the Note 2 during the launch, I wasn't able to try other tricks it can do -- but yes, there are more.

One more thing I love about the Note 2 is its true multi-tasking feature, which works like a PC, where I am able to launch two windows at a time. Multiple apps are stacked on the screen, from where I can easily switch among applications. Awesome!

The Note 2 retained its 8MP camera with LED flash and autofocus capability from the first Note. However, there are several new tricks added into it like the Burst Shot (same as Galaxy S3), Best Face (which I absolutely love), and Best Shot modes, as well as a couple of effects to apply onto videos (i.e., slow motion, fast forward, etc.).

As for the video, it's still the same at 1080p@30fps.

With the upgraded processor and memory, bigger screen, more fluid interface, and better battery life, it is obviously a good upgrade from the first Note. What else can you ask for?

Apart from all the great features of the phone, I can only think of three things that may stop you from buying the Samsung Galaxy Note 2: 1 - its size (though great, it still depends on your preference); 2 - its material (some people still like the solid feel and matte texture of other brands); and, 3 - its price (it's selling for Php32,990, actually not bad considering the Galaxy S3 also started with that price).


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