TWO INFINITY AND BEYOND
|From CNET Review|
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After the release of the Giant Phablet Note one a year ago, here comes one of the most highly anticipated High-end phones in the market. Boasting Quadruple 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9, a HUGE 5.95 inch screen oozing with bright and lively colors partnered with Gorilla Glass 2, up to 64GB INTERNAL and a 2Gb RAM for multi-tasking, this phone , in my most humble opinion, holds the crown for the best Smartphone today. At the price of at least P25,000(approximately $596), do you get what you paid for or do you go for another? Read on my amateur review!
PHOTOS ARE TAKEN WITH ITOUCH AND SAMSUNG GALAXY S3 (BOTH ARE NOT MINE)
1.1 The BOX
As mentioned before, the box or packaging of the product has its own benefactor for the feel of the phone, the more expensive looking a box is, and the more candy it is to our eyes. As for the Galaxy Note 2, the box is looks simple, similar to the packaging of most of their phones. But, with the hype of the Galaxy Note 2 all around the world and knowing that you have the best Smartphone today, you would go gaga over the box itself. With the Samsung logo stapled in the box, would you seriously doubt the quality of what the box holds inside? I have used three different brands of last year’s Galaxy S2, i9100, i727 and shv e110s, all of them are splendid. I am pretty sure that most of those who bought this product would keep the box for a long time. This is something to brag about.
1.2 What’s in the Box?
Opening the box you see the Phone! Yehey! The Package includes the standard manuals shit, which are virtually useless and unread, the charger, headphones, and the USB cable. It’s a shame that the TV-Out is not included. The USB Cable feels strong and rugged. The earphones included are top notch. If you are a sound geek I can safely say that these stock earphones are not half bad. You also get a mic, so that’s a definite plus one compared to the usual earphones.
It’s a real bummer that no TV-out was included but the Packaging itself and the included package is pretty standard. But this is in no way those packaging that come with a ‘Kanin Palang Ulam Na’ (Simply the bread is worth your money) ß Hell to translate. Hahaha. As of now, I would still say and give the N8 the packaging King title.
2. PHONE SUPERFICIALITY (9.5 out of 10)
Here it is the Ultimate Smartphone! Holding it for the first time made me feel stronger and weaker at the same time. I felt excited and terrified at the same time (This unit is not mine if I break it I don’t know how the hell am I supposed to pay for this). Lastly, it's as if you've reached the unreachable and you weren't ready for it. Personally, I prefer bigger screens for phones as I frequently watch movies or series, so this feels just right despite its very bulky state. The phone essentially looks like a bigger Samsung Galaxy S3. The front showcases Home, Back and Menu, with the 1.9Mp Front Camera and the scratch resistant Gorilla Glass two, of course it did not test its scratch resistance, and again this is not my phone. (Though I did try to scratch another friend’s un screen protected S3, and it was indeed scratch resistant). The back shows the speaker and the camera and the sides contain the power button and the volume rocker.
If you are not a fan of bigger screens or bigger phones, this maybe not for you as this phone often uses both hands on many tasks especially for texting. You can use one hand but save yourself the trouble and use them both. The S-Pen (which will be discussed later) also feels and looks exquisite; it feels like you are holding a rather expensive pen. Definitely a plus one to the phones’ punch in the eye candyness department. If you don’t like the cover, hundreds of accessories are available in the market. Overall this phone looks and feels great, it’s not that heavy for its size, the only problem you would ever encounter with this is the filthy, loathsome, despicable creatures known as snatchers, robbers, or any other criminals. This phone looks so good it magnetizes the eyes of everyone around you, better be careful using this publicly. I would suggest a Back Up phone if you fancy media playback publicly, Cherry Mobile Flare, perhaps?
3. PERFORMANCE EVALUATION (9.414 out of 10)
3.1 Speakers (9.2 out of 10)
With the very limited time I had, I barely had time to enjoy its sound; I would say that the Note’s speakers are top notch. Certainly not the loudest but it has clear and undistorted sound. Using the earphones, sounds are amazing, loud and clear at max volume. I found this a good factor for a Samsung phone; all their high end phones have superior sound when earphones are plugged in. As my friend said the quality of the sound is identical to S2 and S3, so I would say it is indeed good.
3.2 Display / Media Playback (10 out of 10)
The 5.95 inch display works extremely well for me, vivid colors everywhere. The 267ppi* shows crisp display. Image browsing is superb. Movie playback is excellent. I could not say anything more about its media functionality as they are definitely the best I have seen. Since I did not have time to play movies of higher file size, I could not say about the quality, if I have to make an assumption, I would say it can play 1080p videos fine. If not, what the hell are those huge ram and four cores for?
*Pixels per inch, more ppi more crisp display
*Pixels per inch, more ppi more crisp display
3.3 Gaming (9 out of 10)
Of all the Smartphone’s I have had the chance to play with, my experience with Galaxy Note 2 is the smoothest. There were absolutely no lags in mainstream games such Temple Run, and Jetpack Joyride. Again, the screen provided excellent gaming experience for my rather chubby fingers.
For HD games, I am yet to test any HD games. As with my previous blog, I’m not an HD Gamer as I am a console and handheld gamer. If ever I would have one of these I don’t think I would exhaust its battery on gaming.
No questions asked. This phone shot the best bunch of photos I have ever encountered all my cellphoning life and yes, I have seen the S3 at work. This phone takes photos very quickly, when I used it earlier, I pressed the shutter and wondered why it took so long. I was amazed to know that it had already taken a shot without me noticing it. My friend told me it is capable of burst shot, 20 images in 3 seconds. WOW. The Auto-Focus function of this phone is beyond compare. When you change scenario, the focus changes and adapts within a fracture of a second. The front-camera is almost infinity time better than my S2 as the colors are much more vibrant and lively, definitely beats the crap out of Motorola Photon 4G’s 8Mp Camera. Qualities of rear camera images are crisp, bright and accurate with respect to ground truth*. Since I am a Phone Camera Crazed geek, I was overwhelmed with the image quality. In terms of speed and quality and the various numbers of selections one would truly appreciate the advancements made over the past year. (Especially me who currently owns their last year flagship S2)
*Ground truth allows image data to be related to real features and materials on the ground.
3.5 Need for Speed (9.8 out of 10)
RAM and Clockspeed Review
Many of you might wonder what are RAM and the Clockspeed for? Should I go for higher RAM, less clock or vice versa? The answer depends on how you use the phone. Random Access Memory (RAM) is used to determine how many apps your unit can run simultaneously. So bigger RAM means you can multi-task much more applications without worrying about lagging on the system.
Clockspeed is used to determine how fast your system will run a certain application. Simply put, higher Clockspeed means faster phone. THIS IS THE GENERAL IDEA ON RAM AND CLOCKSPEED. Factors on speed are determined by the chipset architecture.
Coming across Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, arguably the fastest Single-Cored Smartphone, and various Dual-Core Smartphone, Motorola Photon, S2 i9100, S2 SkyRocket, S2 SHV E110s, Cherry Mobile Titan and Galaxy S Advance, the jump to a 1.6 GHz Quad-Core processor is a giant leap! As aforementioned, there were no lags in any task done. Of all the Dual-Cores I used, Motorola was undeniably the smoothest but then came the Note 2 which made the Motorola Photon 4G Lag. If The Flash had a phone this would be what he uses.
The 2 GB RAM is just generous. I was perfectly happy with the 512 RAM of Xperia Arc S and Cherry Mobile Titan as I rarely multitask. Then along came the high-end 1 GB Ram Dual Core phones which made me happier, more RAM more task. The Note 2’s 2 GB Ram is just too much, for a test run I simultaneously ran 4 games (I ran them in the background), while running the music player and browsing the gallery. The result? The phone still ran absolutely smoothly.
3.6 User-Friendliness (9.9 out of 10)
Bias Time. The Jelly Bean out of the box is sweecool (Sweet and cool). The Android OS is one of the most user friendly OS as it allows you virtually unlimited ways to customize your phone to your personal preferences. With thousand of applications and millions of user you will never feel alone. If you are into customizing ROMs, you will never run out of choices as this phone already has developer support in XDA. So why did I not give it a perfect 10? Simple I have always hated the Touch Wiz interface of the Samsung Lineup. Though this maybe simple to overcome, older folks who share the same hate I have for the Touch wiz may not find a solution as easy as some of us younger folks.
3.7 Battery (8 out of 10)
Ahhh the battery life. Android’s worst enemy. Android’s battery life almost always seem to be the primary concern as most phones suffer Overnight Charge. Most phones are charged at full battery in the morning only to be drained the whole day. It is unlike those Symbian phones which almost never run out of battery despite heavy multi-tasking, Hi Again mister N8. Surprisingly, my friend told me that the Note 2 can last up to three days with light use but still fails to pass the 1 day mark if it would be used heavily. The Note 2 can be reliable for a couple of days as long as you use it lightly, like texting and what not. But it would be a waste of money to simply use the Note 2 for texting or calling. Most of us would buy an android for the rich multimedia experience and gaming on the go. Don’t deprive yourself of the joy that the Note 2 can bring. The 1-day duration under heavy usage is very generous for a phone with a display this big. Charging is 2-3 Hours and did I mention that this phone support wireless charging?
This is something that is a definite eye candy for me and maybe others too. The S-pen provides extra functionality to your phone. The most dominant is the free hand writing of course and the more accurate results on drawing apps. The S-pen also offers customization of shortcuts, you can out any gestures to execute applications. The Note 2 detects when the pen is pulled out and can actually detect it from a distance. Sadly, as for my experience, the S-Pen did not work on the S2 or S3 or any other android device I tried.
SWEETER THE 2ND TIME AROUND (9.2148 out of 10)
To summarize and repeat everything, this is arguably the best phone today. Minor setback maybe uncomfortable operation with one-hand, no camera key, almost the same 1-day battery charge for heavy use and the relatively big price tag (just recently released). All of these are surpassed by the phone’s rich features which cannot be experienced in any other phone. The existence of its S-Pen skyrockets the Note 2 Experience from its other competitors. If you worry about the battery and use the Note 2 mainly for texts and calls, you wasted a ton of your money. If Vegeta is to use his Geiger counter on this phone it would be OVER NINE THOUSAND! If you get the Note 2, don’t be afraid to drain its battery by using it continuously, it was made to be used that way, do not deny yourself of everything the Note 2 can do, make the most out of your money, play movies, games music, whatever floats your boat. Just don’t do it publicly if don’t want your $600 go to thieves. Overall, you get what you pay for with this purchase.