The first thing that strikes you about the new Galaxy Note 2
from Samsung is its size. It's big. Very big. It's not overly
heavy or fat, but if you are a fan of skinny jeans you'd need
bag, as you wouldn't fit it into your pocket.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Price: $1049 (handset only)
Rating: Four stars (out of five)
Over the course of the month I had the phone (thanks to
Samsung, by the way) the initial reaction of everyone I
showed it to was along the lines of: ''Blimey, that's too
big!'' and I have to say that was my first thought - until I
started to use it.
The reason for the size is that the Galaxy Note 2 features an
incredibly impressive 5.5 inch (140.9mm) HD screen and a
nifty stylus hidden in the body of the phone.
It's also got a powerful processor and heaps of inbuilt
memory to keep everything going. Front and rear cameras also
feature, but the important thing with smartphones is how easy
they are to operate: smart, but not overly complex.
Running the latest version of Android, the Note 2 features
everything you'd expect of a modern smartphone, with access
to Google's Play Store and Samsung App Store so you can
customise it to your heart's content.
The Note 2's stylus, however, makes all the difference. Once
you remove it from the phone the S-Pen interface pops up and
gives you access to pen-specific apps such as a notepad,
drawing canvas or to-do list. As well as scribbling you can
also ''write'' documents, emails and text messages and there
is a pretty nifty handwriting recognition system which even
understood my semi-illegible scrawl.
As far as ease of use goes, the Note 2 is excellent straight
out of the box. After a simple set up procedure it's all
systems go and Samsung's Touchwiz user interface makes
everything from texting and calling to organising your apps
to connecting to a wireless network simple.
After using it for a few weeks the standout feature is
battery life. It's incredible. There were days when I'd
hammered the phone with calls, video-recording, taking photos
and a good chunk of Angry Birds and forgotten to charge it
overnight only to find that it was still good to go in the
morning with nearly 50% charge in the battery.
The Note 2 is too big for some and others won't need the
stylus. But if you like the idea of being able to make notes
as you go, this phone grows on you. If you can't decide
between a new smartphone and a tablet then this might be the
After initially thinking it was impractical and gimmicky I've
been converted. I really liked this phone, you get used to
the size. And I've never looked good in skinny jeans anyway.