That, combined with the Note’s retro sounding stylus, led to plenty of skepticism and outright ridicule.
But unlike some other Samsung handsets, the Galaxy Note II looks and feels refined, thanks to the classy, faux anodized silver finish and a smoked chrome accent ring around the sides.
If you are looking for an ultra powerful smartphone with all the latest toys and gadgets, the Galaxy Note II should be right up your alley.
T Mobile, Verizon Wireless and US Cellular are all expected to follow suit in the coming weeks, though none has announced specific launch dates or prices as of this writing.
AT&T has just announced that they are bringing the Samsung Galaxy Note II out on November 9 of this year.
The Galaxy Note II also supports T Mobile’s excellent Wi Fi calling feature, which taps into any connected hotspot for voice calls whenever there’s not enough cellular signal available.
But while we found the size of the Galaxy S III at times overwhelming, we felt differently about the Note II.
The device is very plasticky; it has a removable silver colored rear panel that feels thin and flimsy when pulled off.
That said, the Note II certainly doesn’t look cheap; it has a sleek and contemporary appearance with shiny, reflective surfaces and visually pleasing curves.
Of course, the size is the real eye catching thing about the Note II: The phone is a whopping 3.2 x 5.9 x 0.4 in.
In September, Samsung introduced the Note II as its “fifth iconic device in 12 months.”.
, longer but slightly narrower than the first gen Note’s 3.3 x 5.8 x 0.4 in.
Personally, we found the Note II a bit awkward and unnatural to hold; it’s too big to use with a single hand, like a typical smartphone, and too small to use like a traditional tablet (even a relatively small one like the Nexus 7).
The 1280 x 720 display gives you ample room for Web browsing, video watching or whatever your tech loving heart desires.
It’s crisp, clear and bright (although you may have to deactivate Samsung’s often wonky auto brightness setting to get the best results).
Smartphone enthusiasts will be happy to know it doesn’t utilize Pentile technology, which is frequently criticized for causing jagged edges and lower quality views.
Android fans can rejoice, as the Galaxy Note II is the first T Mobile handset to ship with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” out of the box.
On the bottom of the phone sits a standard micro USB port that — with the use of a special adapter, priced at $40 on Samsung’s website — can double as an HDMI out port to let you hook the phone up to your TV and watch your videos on a large display.
The bottom of the device also houses a slot where the S Pen stylus resides (more on that in a bit).
Nation’s fourth largest carrier recently launched the popular Samsung’s Android flagship device for 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S III, at relatively higher initial price than the competing carriers.
But three separate Optimus Gs overheated repeatedly in our tests, and automatically dialed back screen brightness to cool down, whereas the Galaxy Note II stayed cool to the touch, no matter how hard we made it work.
This setup results in several unfortunate issues that we outlined in great detail in the “Buttons” section of our Galaxy S III review.
There is one design related disappointment: The grill covering the speaker protrudes awkwardly from the phone’s back plate, creating a rough and rather sharp spot in an otherwise smooth and consistent surface.
So the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beats the iPad Mini when it comes to its processor, RAM and storage.
The result is a blazingly fast smartphone experience with no noticeable slowdowns or stutters; from app loading to Web browsing and even multitasking, the Note II’s performance is consistently impressive.
Also impressive is the device’s stamina: While it’s no Droid Razr Maxx HD, the Galaxy Note II packs a removable 3100mAh battery that provides more than enough juice to get you from morning to night.
Coming to the Classic Plan, the word has it that T Mobile will be pricing it at $419.99 before $50 mail in rebate, so doing some quick math, the device will be costing a good $379.99 after rebate, which is still $80 ahead of what Sprint is pricing their own Note II.
Even with the massive power sucking screen, we found ourselves making it through full days of moderate usage with room to spare.
(It’s worth noting that the Note II model we tested was connected to T Mobile’s 4G HSPA+ network.
The Note II is definitely a beast and for AT&T users, this is some fantastic news.
Models utilizing 4G LTE networks will likely utilize more power and may have different results.)The Note II comes with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.
(The US carriers have not yet specified which version or versions they’ll offer.) The Note II has a slot for a microSD card, too, located under the phone’s rear panel; it allows you to add up to 64GB of additional storage.
Accepted for what it is, the Note II offers a number of unique delights.
With the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S mobile phone, the company’s smartphone lineup was first place in terms of global sales figures for 2011.
While we might give the HTC One X and One S a slight edge in terms of both camera interface and image quality, Samsung’s setup is certainly no slouch; photos taken on the Note II looked crisp and sharp with vibrant, true to life colors and superb detail.
Finally, there’s the actual phone connectivity: While things will obviously vary from one carrier to the next, on the T Mobile device we used, calls sounded loud and clear, and people on the other end reported being able to hear us fine.
(we did, however, feel slightly ridiculous holding a giant slate up to our face to talk.) Data over T Mobile’s HSPA+ network was pleasantly zippy and consistent with typical T Mobile 4G speeds.
One concern: On a few occasions, our Note II unit stopped connecting to T Mobile’s network, making it impossible for us to make calls or utilize data.
Our own personal device, meanwhile — which also utilizes T Mobile’s network — continued to work fine during these occasions.
The stylus supports 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity—four times what the stylus in the Galaxy Note supports.
Amy Unwin is a business journalist based in Sydney, Australia. Amy has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Amy spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.