Samsung Galaxy Notice II assessment

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Samsung’s first crack at a smartphone bigger than 5 inches got here final yr within the type of the Galaxy Notice. It was wildly totally different than most telephones we might seen earlier than: it was large, for one, and concerned using a stylus pen, a sorely outdated idea on the time. Who can be prepared to purchase this factor? But, regardless of its monumental measurement, this pill / telephone (forgive us: phablet) captured extra hearts and wallets than even Sammy had in all probability anticipated. The S Pen confirmed that it was greater than only a easy stylus, artists and tech fanatics alike beloved it and a profitable advertising marketing campaign helped push tens of millions of models. The Observe was an plain hit.

Did Samsung understand on the time that it was sitting on a gold mine? It is onerous to know for positive, however its success meant just one factor: an inevitable sequel. The Galaxy Notice II, launched a yr after its father or mother, has some huge footwear to fill. We consider it is as much as the duty, although: it boasts a quad-core Exynos processor, twice the RAM, a good bigger show and an entire new bag of S Pen tips. It sounds compelling, however does the brand new model really trump the previous? Is it value one other sound funding (pricing varies, however it begins round £530 for a SIM-free model) only a yr down the street? We’ll fulfill your curiosity after the break.

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Samsung Galaxy Observe II (N7100) evaluation

eighty five
Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Observe II

Execs

  • A lot improved S Pen expertise
  • Quad-core Exynos presents thoughts-blowing efficiency
  • Lovely, vibrant show
  • Thinner and simpler to carry than unique Observe

Cons

  • SIM-free model is a bit of expensive
  • MHL solely works utilizing Samsung adapter

Abstract

The Galaxy Word II is a large enchancment over its predecessor, and gives unbelievable efficiency and progressive options.

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Word II (Verizon)

Execs

  • Nice show
  • Highly effective quad-core processor
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Service branding is just too outstanding
  • Some essential Multi-Window performance is lacking

Abstract

The Galaxy Observe II is among the greatest telephones available on the market at the moment, however pointless Verizon branding makes it much less interesting than it ought to be.

Hardware

To gaze upon the new child Galaxy Word II is to take a crash course in Samsung’s most popular design language. Whereas the unique bears the identical general look and squarish corners because the Galaxy S II, its successor is — you guessed it — simply as impressed by nature and “designed for people” because the Galaxy S III. We would not rule out the potential for you mixing them up (the dimensions distinction is a lifeless giveaway, however the telephones look fairly comparable in any other case). Certainly, Samsung is now within the behavior of adjusting issues up on a yearly foundation, which can appear extra boring than as soon as each couple months. By adopting an annual design cycle, nevertheless, units just like the Notice II doubtless get pushed by way of the preliminary levels of improvement a lot quicker than they might in any other case. We additionally think about that the corporate’s new technique of consistency could have a big impression on Samsung’s model recognition. House owners of the unique Galaxy Notice — whether or not it’s the worldwide N7000 or one among its many variants — know all too properly the way it feels to get the occasional “what is that factor?” from random passersby. So will the peanut gallery proceed to snicker once you take this out in public? At three.sixteen inches (eighty.5mm) vast, 5.ninety five inches (151.1mm) tall and zero.37 inches (9.4mm) deep, the Word II is barely thinner, narrower and taller than its mum or dad. This, together with the pebble-like form, undoubtedly presents a extra snug expertise if you’re cradling it in your hand, although it is only a tad heavier at 6.35 ounces (180g). Regardless of being extra engaging than the primary Notice, it is nonetheless an indisputably giant gadget, and can proceed to attract stares for that cause. (In different phrases, you will need to provide you with an ordinary speak monitor for these occasions you are approached by curious strangers.)

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Whereas all of us need our smartphones to stay round for a very long time, the matter of construct high quality is extraordinarily necessary right here, given the truth that the telephone’s measurement makes it extra vulnerable to drops. That is why we’re proud of the corporate’s choice to make use of a polycarbonate chassis, just like the one on the Galaxy S III. After dealing with the Observe II regularly, we’re assured that Samsung’s crafted a sturdy, strong gadget. (As an apart, yow will discover a couple of drop exams circulating the online. Spoiler: it holds up extraordinarily nicely.) As a result of the brand new Word has a bigger show and thinner chassis, the buttons on all sides have been scaled down a notch. The facility key, for example, now rests in a way more pure place that is simpler to seek out by really feel. The one draw back? It is also a lot simpler to press the button by chance. Since we’re discussing button placement, we’ll proceed with the complete Vanna White-fashion tour: starting with the entrance, you will discover an LED notification mild (which wasn’t on the primary Word), an earpiece, sensors and a 1.9-megapixel digital camera above the show, whereas the massive bodily house button discovered under the display is flanked by two capacitive keys (menu and again) on both aspect. The bezel on the highest and backside are smaller than on the OG Notice, although the left and proper bezels are about the identical.

The entrance is frankly the busiest a part of the telephone; Samsung professes a coverage of minimalism the remainder of the best way across the Word II. There is a energy button on the proper, quantity rocker on the left, S Pen holder and micro-USB charging port (with MHL capabilities — extra on that later) on the underside and three.5mm headphone jack up prime. Even the again retains comparatively quiet, sporting the eight-megapixel digital camera module and LED flash simply barely above the singular Samsung emblem, in addition to a speaker grille that hangs out close to the underside. The battery cowl lies utterly flat throughout the again of the telephone (excluding the marginally raised digital camera and speaker) and curves inward because it prepares to satisfy up with the sting.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

A design choice we have all the time appreciated from Samsung is the detachable battery, which has been elevated to three,100mAh (up from 2,500mAh on the unique Word). Above it you will see slots for micro-SIM and microSDXC playing cards in addition to contacts for NFC and wi-fi charging. Our specific assessment unit, offered to us by our buddies at Negri Electronics, is the white N7100, the worldwide model which lacks the superfast LTE speeds many customers crave. Thus, people in search of the quickest Notice II round might want to seize the N7105, which provides the subsequent-gen knowledge in bands 7 (2600MHz) and 20 (800MHz). For these protecting rating, you possibly can see in case your nation makes use of these frequencies right here. Velocity demons within the US may be fascinated about variants of the Word II popping out to AT&T, Verizon, Dash and US Mobile, although there ought to be only a few beauty discrepancies between them and their international counterparts — very similar to we noticed with the Galaxy S III collection. Each international variations of the Observe II are able to 21.6Mbps HSPA+ (850, 900, 1900 and 2100MHz) together with quadband GSM / EDGE. Additionally they boast twin-band (2.four and 5GHz) WiFi 802.eleven a/b/g/n with WiFi Direct, Bluetooth four.zero, DLNA and NFC. In case you’re a gadget aficionado in want of the complete spec record, we have compiled all these specifics under.

Galaxy Observe N7000 Galaxy Word II N7100 Dimensions 5.seventy eight x three.27 x zero.38 inches (146.9 x eighty three x 9.7 mm) 5.ninety five x three.sixteen x zero.37 inches (151.1 x eighty.5 x 9.four mm) Weight 6.28 oz. (178g) 6.35 oz. (180g) Display measurement 5.three inches 5.5 inches Display decision 1,280 x 800 pixels (285ppi) 1,280 x 720 pixels (267ppi) Display sort HD Tremendous AMOLED HD Tremendous AMOLED Battery 2,500mAh three,100mAh Inner storage 16GB sixteen / 32 / 64GB Exterior storage microSD (as much as 32GB) microSD (as much as 64GB) Rear digital camera 8MP 8MP Entrance-dealing with cam 2MP 1.9MP Video seize 1080p 1080p NFC In choose variants Sure Radios HSPA+ / UMTS, GSM / EDGE, LTE HSPA+ / UMTS, GSM / EDGE; LTE (within the N7105) Bluetooth model three.zero model four.zero LE (with Apt-X help) SoC 1.4GHz twin-core Exynos 4212 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 RAM 1GB 2GB MHL Sure Sure, however requires Samsung adapter Working system Android 2.three (upgraded to four.zero) Android four.1 Jelly Bean
Show

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

The Notice II’s show has earned an entire part unto itself as a result of it is, nicely, somewhat totally different. And we’re not simply speaking about the truth that the newer model makes use of a bigger panel with even fewer pixels than the unique: there’s extra to it than meets the attention (the bare eye, no less than). First, a bit of background: when the sequel was introduced with a 1,280 x 720 HD Tremendous AMOLED panel, we naturally assumed that it will be sporting a PenTile matrix. In any case, that is precisely how this sort of show has been specified by different handsets, so it is easy to interrupt out the ‘ol bounce-to-conclusions mat. Nevertheless, the microscope (and Samsung’s spokespeople) inform us that this is not the case in any respect. Oddly, although, it is not the normal RGB matrix as we have been accustomed to on most non-PenTile telephones, both. As an alternative, it seems to be specified by a non-striped BGR matrix through which the blue subpixels are perpendicular to inexperienced and purple, slightly than in parallel. This places the show in a magical place the place few Tremendous AMOLEDs have gone earlier than, however it’s nonetheless a hefty enchancment over the primary Notice. Do not get us improper: we raved concerning the OG’s 1,280 x 800 show (and rightfully so), however its comply with-up seems to be barely higher regardless of the decrease ppi (267, versus the unique’s 285). We doubt informal observers will discover the distinction, however when intently viewing the 2 aspect by aspect, we discovered extra pixels on the older gadget. Darks are a bit of darker on the second-gen mannequin, and colours are only a bit extra saturated, too. The viewing angles on the subsequent-gen Notice are additionally nice for watching films, however they’re primarily the identical as the unique. Daylight viewing wasn’t an issue with the brightness cranked up above seventy five %.

Software program

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

The Galaxy Notice II is the primary Samsung system to ship with Jelly Bean (Android four.1.1, to be actual). All the OS’ new and enhanced options have been labored into TouchWiz UI. This consists of Google Now (lengthy-press the menu button to activate it), expandable notifications and predictive keyboard — heck, even the Jelly Bean easter egg is there. It additionally consists of the laundry record of latest providers Sammy launched on the Galaxy S III, comparable to Sensible Keep, S Voice, AllShare Forged and S Beam. (S Beam, by the best way, provides the power to switch Notice II docs to different Observe II units, however since we solely have one tester telephone, we’ve not had the prospect to do this out.) Popup video, which permits your chosen video to “hover” over different apps, permitting you to multitask, additionally makes a repeat look right here, and it is undoubtedly a greater expertise when you might have such a big display to apply it to. TouchWiz on Jelly Bean is not in contrast to the expertise you’ve got had on Ice Cream Sandwich — Samsung, as you’d anticipate, needs to maintain the UX as constant as potential. One of many largest areas of change is the notification menu: along with the expandable notifications (which might be accessed by taking two fingers and flattening on the notification), the brightness settings at the moment are accessible beneath the fast toggles, and the standing bar now homes the settings button and gives the date and time in a bigger font. There are many different new tweaks that make wonderful use of the brand new S Pen capabilities, which we’ll clarify in additional element shortly. Blocking mode is Samsung’s tackle Do Not Disturb. You possibly can disable quite a lot of numerous notifications, set a selected timeframe for them to be turned off and even arrange a whitelist of allowed contacts that may bypass the block and sound a notification once they name you.

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Samsung Galaxy Notice II (N7100) screenshots

Whereas we anticipate a tool just like the Notice II to attraction primarily to smartphone buffs, Samsung is no less than attempting to make first-time customers really feel snug. You’ll be able to choose to vary from the usual house display to what’s referred to as “straightforward mode,” which is actually only a totally different launcher full with custom-made pages and enormous widgets. Except for that, there are only a few issues that differ out of your regular TouchWiz expertise — it is a relatively half-baked try at wooing a brand new demographic.

Samsung’s set of movement controls are a lot improved from the previous Word to the brand new, with the sequel now matching (and exceeding, in a pair instances) the Galaxy S III’s performance on this division. To recap, you possibly can scroll to the highest of a display by double-tapping the highest fringe of the telephone; tilt to zoom out and in of the display within the gallery or browser; pan the telephone to maneuver icons on the primary display; shake your telephone to search for updates; flip over the telephone to mute sounds; instantly name no matter contact is displayed on the display; and extra. There are a number of newcomers to the Samsung fold: fast look exhibits you a couple of primary notifications whenever you wave your hand over the proximity sensor and there are a couple of new superior settings to regulate the extent of sensitivity required to set off movement when panning or tilting your system. Lastly, one other slick new function is Sensible Rotation. For those who’re like us, there is a sure annoyance that comes with utilizing the telephone whereas in mattress or on the sofa as a result of it switches display orientation on a frequent foundation. When you can sometimes discover toggles that lock this, it isn’t all the time the perfect answer — watching films or taking a look at footage are a few examples. Sensible Rotation makes use of the entrance-dealing with digital camera to find out the place your face is, and can forestall the display from switching to panorama mode when you’re nonetheless utilizing your telephone in a portrait place. Yet one more factor: as with the Galaxy S III, Notice II house owners are entitled to 50GB of Dropbox storage.

S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

The crown jewel of any Word gadget is its accompanying stylus (we all know, we’re not purported to name it that), also called the S Pen, and Samsung continues to enhance on it with every new model. Certainly, the unique Notice, Word 10.1 and Observe II all have considerably distinctive pens, however all of them have the identical overarching design and may work interchangeably. That is useful info for anybody who loses their Wacom appendage, although there’s one disadvantage: not all S Pens are formed the identical, so they do not all match interchangeably in one another’s cradles. The unique Observe pen matches loosely contained in the Word II’s cradle, and we would not rely on it staying in for very lengthy earlier than coming out. Ergonomics are an enormous consideration when Samsung designs its pens and certainly, every iteration appears to have a greater in-hand really feel. The Word II’s S Pen is barely fatter on the button aspect, which — when urgent your thumb towards it — contributes to extra of a real pencil really feel. Additionally including to the nostalgia of utilizing an old style quantity two is the bigger rubber tip, barely greater diameter (8mm) and elevated size of the pen itself. It additionally does not harm you can inform the telephone when you’re proper or left-handed (sorry, ambidextrous customers, you need to select).

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

We suppose it should not come as a revelation that the second Notice’s S Pen and Wacom digitizer have extra in widespread with the Observe 10.1 than the unique Word. First, the gadget acknowledges if you’ve eliminated the pen from its holster and, well assuming you will imminently be utilizing it, takes you to a particular web page with a number of pen-optimized apps. (It additionally enables you to set an alarm that prompts in case your S Pen and Word get too distant from one another.) Additionally, very similar to the pill, the Notice II is able to recognizing as much as 1,024 ranges of strain sensitivity, a 4-fold improve over the OG Word’s 256. In consequence, we observed an enchancment in accuracy and precision when utilizing the pen for writing, sketching and different actions. What’s extra, the display does a a lot better job of calculating how a lot strain you are making use of. This solely scratches the floor of what the S Pen is able to. The Word II not solely ushers in enhancements to present options; it additionally brings a set of latest options that make the telephone much more tantalizing than final yr’s mannequin. Even the button itself is refreshed: now you can maintain down the button whereas drawing gestures on the display to entry options just like the Fast Command device (we’ll cowl this later) and some different navigational talents. Moreover, now you can copy particular elements of the display with Straightforward Clip, which is activated by holding down the button and drawing across the space you need to clip. As soon as it is clipped, you possibly can select to save lots of or discard what you’ve got chosen. You can too choose textual content by holding the button, tapping the display and dragging the pen throughout. And we’re simply getting began — the button is able to a lot extra, and we’ll talk about its many new skills later within the evaluation. Earlier than we dive into the primary function, it is necessary to notice that the Wacom digitizer included within the telephone is able to sensing the S Pen because it hovers over the display, in the identical style that we have seen in Bamboo Pads for the previous few years. As you maintain the pen above the panel you will discover a floating cursor on the display. This opens up loads of fascinating prospects, one in every of them being Air View. Utilizing this function, the Notice II takes benefit of the hover performance in a number of methods. For example, you possibly can maintain the pen over emails in your inbox (within the common e-mail app for now, at the very least) and a pop-up field shows the primary few strains. Do the identical in your calendar and people pesky appointments come out at you in additional element as you scan by way of. Maintain your pen over an unknown icon and its perform will seem, the identical approach as when your mouse is held over one thing in your pc). Our favourite use of Air View is the power to see GIF-like previews of flicks simply by holding the S Pen over a thumbnail. (Cool function value a point out: all the video thumbnails within the participant present these similar kinds of previews with out the pen, which makes the entire display look alive, however the S Pen makes the pop-up display bigger.)

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Subsequent up on the listing of hover-pleasant additions, now you can use your S Pen to scroll up and down on a web page or record. In different phrases, it is now only a matter of holding the pen instantly above the highest or backside of the scrollable display. Positive, it appears gimmicky and pointless, however we found that we used this function extra typically than we thought we might. The scrolling motion is slightly sluggish, so it is uncertain you’d need to use this on a prolonged web site, however it’s useful whenever you simply have to go down the display slightly bit at a time — say, in a settings menu or Twitter feed. One other neat function that takes benefit of the newfound hovering functionality is the power to toggle between brush, pencil and eraser just by holding the pen above the display and clicking the button. This makes for a fast and seamless expertise whenever you’re always making errors (or altering your thoughts) as you draw. Once you’re in S Observe, you may as well maintain the pen above the display and lengthy-press its button to activate one other new function referred to as Concept Sketch. A clean notepad seems, you write down the identify of a specific class (or simply flick through the listing) and an entire bunch of potential illustrations present up so that you can select from. When you select one which fits your fancy, it seems in S Notice the place you possibly can regulate the dimensions and description type — after which you’ll be able to both discover inspiration from it, or simply shade between the strains prefer it’s a coloring guide.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Earlier we talked about that Popup Video is obtainable on the Observe II, however that is not the solely factor that pops up — you are able to do the identical factor with Popup Observe, which is activated by holding the S Pen button and double-tapping on the display. That is principally a miniature model of the S Word app, which takes up lower than half of the display actual property. This implies you possibly can take notes and watch movies concurrently. (Popup Browser can also be obtainable.) That is one of the best instance of true multitasking that we have ever seen on a smartphone, and there have been no lags, coughs, stutters or any signal by any means that the quad-core Exynos processor was buckling underneath the load. If that is solely the start of what these phablets are able to with the appropriate engine underneath the hood, colour us impressed.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

We’re not finished fairly but, multitasking followers. Samsung advertises one other function referred to as Multi-Window that parallels — nay, exceeds — the aforementioned Popup Observe in awesomeness. We just lately noticed an implementation of this within the Galaxy Notice 10.1, and it is again, right here within the Notice II as Multi-Window. The implementation is somewhat totally different this time round, with an extended press on the again button brining up a aspect bar of apps to select from. On its pill incarnation, this consisted of a selection of six. This time we’ve far more to select from, together with YouTube, ChatOn, GMail, Maps, Web and, nicely, you get the thought. This listing can also be customizable so you’ll be able to minimize those you don’t need, and convey your faves to the highest. In apply, it really works properly. We had movies operating whereas we checked our e-mail, and fortunately scoured Google maps while we stored some restaurant critiques open within the different pane. Likewise, it is good to see that you should use this in each orientations, with the telephone’s buttons being utilized to the window that’s at present in focus (sounds apparent, however something’s potential). We might have an interest to see how this may scale down onto one thing with rather less show happening, however the Observe II’s ample sq.-inchage definitely makes this a function value utilizing. In case you’ve ever used a twin-monitor setup on your desktop, you will perceive the huge productiveness increase such a function might deliver to your smartphone — particularly given the quantity of display area the Word II gives.

Fast Command is one other new function that takes benefit of the S Pen’s gesture prowess. It is activated by urgent the button whereas dragging the pen up from the underside. A well-known-wanting handwriting field exhibits up, prompting you to write down a command image adopted by a key phrase. As an example, write “@ Susie” to ship an e mail to Susie; “? [search term]” performs an internet search; “# Joseph” tells the telephone to name Joseph, and so forth. On the floor, this does not appear notably helpful when S Voice or Google voice search can do the identical stuff, however this is the kicker: it is absolutely customizable, and you may add in no matter instructions you need — and these instructions can open up purposes or carry out a set of automated duties (assume SmartActions or Tasker). You can program it to show WiFi, GPS and Blocking Mode on simply by drawing a “C,” if that is what floats your boat.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

S Voice makes a return look, regardless of the existence of comparable performance in Jelly Bean. Not a shock. What did take us aback is that it now consists of S Pen handwriting recognition. That is undoubtedly an fascinating addition; from our perspective, it does not make a lot sense to write down down a phrase that we might simply converse in much less time — to not point out the truth that Fast Command already addresses this functionality, albeit in a separate app. This looks like a function that Samsung threw in simply because it might. But it is there if you need it, and we suppose there are a couple of people which might be gushing on the concept. As you’ve got little question come to know, the Notice II is absolutely loaded. The S Pen expertise between the primary- and second-era units is an evening-and-day distinction: the unique Notice looks like only a working idea as compared. That is by far the perfect pen / stylus / whatchamacallit we have used on a smartphone. Should you have been a fan of the Observe, you will be pleasantly stunned with its successor.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Lastly, Samsung has launched model 2.2 of its S Pen SDK, which provides third-social gathering builders the power to beef up their apps with help for hovering, new brushes, particular results and context consciousness. There isn’t any assure your favourite app will magically have cool new S Pen options, however the choice is there for devs to place in somewhat additional spice in the event that they’re .

Digital camera

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Given what we already know of the Notice II’s similarities to the Galaxy S III, wouldn’t it be a lot of a shocker to see the 2 sporting almost similar cameras? Because of somewhat assist from Supercurio, we did some digging and found that the 2 telephones use the very same rear digital camera modules (recognized within the code because the s5c73m3). Sure, each make the most of most resolutions of eight megapixels (three,264 x 2,448 decision), f/2.6 aperture and three.7mm focal size in stills, whereas permitting for 1080p video seize. The entrance-dealing with cameras are the identical as nicely: they max out at 1.9MP and are able to 720p video recording. (Warning: they default to 1.3MP, which is 1,280 x 960. The 1.9MP setting presents 1,392 x 1,392 pixel decision.) However whereas the 2 units could also be hardware bosom buddies, there are more likely to be a number of minor variations in firmware — particularly because the Notice II has further options not but provided within the GS III. So earlier than we dive into the efficiency, let’s talk about what the gadget has to supply. First, it has a brand new “greatest face” mode, which is Samsung’s model of Scalado Rewind: it takes 5 group pictures and allows you to select the perfect faces. That is useful if Bob blinks within the first image and Julie’s making a bizarre face within the second — simply take the perfect of every individual and put them collectively in a single magical completed product. There’s additionally a brand new “low mild” mode, which because the identify implies, is supposed to ship an improved efficiency in that area. Except for these newcomers, you will discover the identical litany of settings current within the GS III, reminiscent of HDR (with robust and regular settings, a selection you are not given on the GS III), panorama, share shot, loads of scene modes, burst shot, macro focus, white stability, ISO, metering and publicity adjustment.

Gallery | sixty six Photographs
Samsung Galaxy Word II samples

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Samsung Galaxy Word (AT&T) samples

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Samsung Galaxy S III for Verizon samples

We have all the time been impressed with Samsung’s digital camera efficiency as a result of the corporate appears extra thinking about high quality than megapixel rely. Whereas each Notes carry out admirably, the subsequent-gen model gave us barely higher outcomes than the unique. The brand new Observe produced extra pure colours — its senior cranked out photographs that have been sometimes oversaturated and oftentimes washed out within the daylight. You will see a smidge extra element within the sequel, as nicely. The Notice II was additionally the winner in managing dynamic vary, bringing out the perfect distinction and producing pure colours within the shadows. As for a way our protagonist performs towards the Galaxy S III, it seems to be kind of a wash; as anticipated, the pictures have been extremely comparable and any variations ensuing from firmware processing have been minor. The LED flash on the second Observe is significantly higher than the unique, offering extra mild and colour saturation. (When in comparison with the GS III, nevertheless, it is robust to see any distinction between the 2.) The Word II additionally does an awesome job of capturing low-mild photographs, as the brand new low-mild mode fares properly at grabbing errant photons. Evaluating it with the Notice and GS III, nevertheless, results in a draw: after taking a number of forms of low-mild photographs, every one had its personal second of glory in at the very least a number of contests.

As talked about, the Notice II is able to capturing 1080p video in MPEG-four format. A fast perusal of the specs exhibits that it makes use of AVC profile four.zero, has a bitrate of 17 Mbps (the GS III is 17 Mbps, whereas the HTC One X is 10 Mbps and the ASUS Padfone is 20 Mbps) and provides a body fee of 30fps. You are given the choice of taking excessive-res (three,264 x 2,176) stills as you report your films, however when you wait till playback to seize that valuable shot, the pixel rely will match that of the vid it was taken from. When it comes to options, the Notice II introduces quick-movement (as much as 8x) and sluggish-movement (down to at least one-eighth) recording modes for movies. You could not need to get too critical with these options, nevertheless it’s a enjoyable alternative to be artistic (instance: quick movement vids are greatest accompanied by the Benny Hill theme track). General, the video efficiency was fairly good: yours really felt snug taking residence films with the household and leaving the flamboyant camcorder apart. It did properly at capturing detailed movement with out getting uneven, and picked up our voices loud and clear. We heard some gusts on a relatively windy day, however it was capable of filter a lot of the further noise out. The one concern we had was with panning forwards and backwards, the place the imagery was uneven, virtually to the purpose of inducing nausea. Frankly, we’re chalking most of it as much as making an attempt to maintain such a big gadget secure.

Efficiency and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

By stating that the Observe II has a shiny 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 operating the present with 2GB RAM and a Mali-400MP GPU to assist issues alongside, the efficiency part virtually writes itself. We have all the time been keen on Exynos, nevertheless it’s particularly fantastic to see it pushed to new frontiers — on this case, 4 cores on a smartphone. As per our regular apply, let’s first see the way it holds up in our benchmark exams.

Samsung Galaxy Notice II N7100 Samsung Galaxy Observe N7000 Samsung Galaxy S III (I9300) Quadrant 6,819 four,411 5,189 Vellamo 2,482 1,243 1,751 AnTuTu thirteen,539 6,301 eleven,960 SunSpider zero.9.1 (ms) 1,023 1,761 1,460 GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen (fps) 114 sixty nine ninety nine CF-Bench 15,267 6,911 thirteen,one hundred ten SunSpider: decrease scores are higher. Galaxy Notice N7000 checks have been carried out on Ice Cream Sandwich.

We have been anticipating to see out-of-this-world outcomes, however even then, we ended up pleasantly stunned: a number of the Word II’s scores shattered something we have seen earlier than, particularly in exams that stress the capabilities of the CPU and GPU. 4 of the benchmarks produced outcomes that simply bested anything at present obtainable available on the market, with the opposite two being among the many highest we have recorded. As for actual-world use, we briefly touched on the silky clean multitasking we loved with Popup Video and Popup Word, and we’re pleased to report that this wasn’t the one space the place the processor excelled. Gaming was a pleasure, with the HD show and succesful GPU teaming up collectively to supply strong and sensible play. With web shopping, we weren’t stunned to see that the Word II is quicker and extra environment friendly, since Jelly Bean provides enhancements in that space. Our website opened up shortly and did not sputter as we navigated, used pinch-to-zoom and did numerous actions on the browser. The Word II has unimaginable battery life, however with a three,100mAh pack and a extra environment friendly OS than the unique Observe (which initially launched with Gingerbread earlier than upgrading to ICS), that is precisely what we have been anticipating to see. In our commonplace rundown check, which consists of looping a video at 50 % brightness, WiFi turned on (however disconnected from any networks) and common push notifications for social media and e mail, we have been capable of snag 10 hours and forty five minutes of life out of it — up simply round an hour from the final Observe. Granted, we may even see a slight decline within the lifetime of an LTE-enabled Word II, however that is nonetheless a extremely respectable end result. We have been capable of get virtually two full days of regular utilization from the system, so this could come as much more of a temptation for hungry energy customers all over the place. For these asking, the Notice II does actually truly make calls, and it is above common in readability. We did not have any considerations with dropped calls, nor did our buddies on the opposite finish expertise any static or different declines in high quality. The loudspeaker earns its identify, because it’s on the highest finish of the sound spectrum — it is lots loud, no matter whether or not you employ the earpiece or speakerphone. This resulted in an amazing audio expertise for us when listening to music or watching films as nicely.

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

Samsung’s music participant presents a full itemizing of varied EQ settings, in addition to a couple of different strategies of enhancing your tunes (3D, reverb, bass increase, live performance mode and loads of others). Additionally, when plugging in a pair of headphones, the telephone acknowledges that you simply’re able to get critical about multimedia and exhibits you a specialised residence web page with numerous choices that may most certainly attraction to you. General, we have been glad with how our music sounded — we might select all the highs and lows with none shrill or overbearing areas. You should not have any drawback loading up most audio codecs, together with MP3 / WAV / eAAC+ / AC3 / FLAC. (For films, you will have success with MPEG-four, DivX / XVID, WMV, H.264 / 263, MKV, FLV and AVI.) GPS on the Observe II, which additionally consists of help for GLONASS, was persistently correct to inside 15 meters; it swiftly locked our place and managed our navigation soundly. Bluetooth four.zero low-power help has been added (the gadget managed to obtain file transfers at a mean velocity of one hundred twenty KB/s) in addition to the identical MHL capabilities because the Galaxy S III — this sadly signifies that you will not be capable of use an ordinary MHL cable, and as an alternative you will have to shell out some extra cash for a particular Samsung-made MHL-to-HDMI converter for HD video output and residential theatre-high quality audio. USB file transfers have been fairly quick, flattening sixteen.forty four MB/s acquired and 20 MB/s despatched. We weren’t capable of check the LTE model, however HSPA+ yielded quicker common knowledge downlink speeds than what we have seen on the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Wrap-up

Samsung Galaxy Note II review

To reply the query we posed at the start of this evaluate, this factor is the actual deal, and it is decisively higher than the system that started the entire phablet craze. With SIM-free variations beginning within the ballpark of £530, it’s kind of on the expensive aspect, however for good cause: it gives greatest-in-market efficiency, an S Pen expertise that blows its predecessor out of the water, a strong OS in Jelly Bean and loads of different options that may make this a tempting supply to even probably the most petite-handed particular person. To take action in a package deal that is truly thinner and narrower than the primary Observe is an incredible accomplishment, and one which’ll be onerous to match. Get able to have your cake and eat it too.

James Trew contributed to this assessment.

Particular because of Negri Electronics for offering us with a evaluate unit!

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<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/samsung/galaxy/word/ii/”> Samsung Galaxy Observe II </a>

  • Key specs
  • <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/samsung/galaxy/observe/ii/” title=”Samsung Galaxy Word II critiques” goal=”_blank”> Critiques eighty </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Sort Smartphone
  • Working system Android (Jelly Bean [4.1])
  • Display measurement 5.5 inches
  • Inner reminiscence sixteen GB
  • Digital camera eight&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
  • Introduced 2012-08-29

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eight.7common consumer score
  • Reception and name high quality eight.eight
  • Show 9.2
  • Battery life 9
  • Digital camera eight.three
  • Ease of use eight.four
  • Design and type issue eight.5
  • Portability (measurement / weight) 7.7
  • Media help 9.1
  • Sturdiness eight.2
  • Ecosystem (apps, equipment, and so forth.) 9

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