Galaxy Note 2: Changing the way I use mobile tech

Galaxy Note 2: Changing the way I use mobile tech

Summary: Picking up the Galaxy Note 2 by Samsung was a smart move on my part. It is the best smartphone I have ever used, and the utility it provides is changing the way I use other gadgets.

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Not long ago I was so frustrated with Android I put my Nexus S 4G aside and didn't pick it up for months. Recently I was impressed with what I was reading about the Galaxy Note 2 and its big screen so I decided to give Android another chance on a phone and bought one. After using the Note 2 exclusively for a couple of weeks I am convinced it is the best smartphone I have ever used. It is so good it has changed the way I use my other mobile gadgets.

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Two apps in one!

When I state that the Note 2 is the best phone I have used I'm not saying that Android is better than other mobile platforms. I don't believe that there is a best platform. Some folks will find Windows Phone to be best for them. Others will like iOS and some will even find BlackBerry 10 to be just the right platform to meet their needs. 

What I want to make clear is the total package, both hardware and software, is what makes the Note 2 work so well for me. The big display presents enough information at one time to make the Note 2 worth the trouble a larger phone creates. The software that Samsung has put together for the Note 2 is useful for the things I do. The battery life is long enough to get me through even the longest day of heavy use. The whole thing works together so well, and that's what makes the Note 2 so good for me.

It's so good that I no longer always take a tablet with me when I'm running around. Previously, I would always take a small gear bag no matter where I was going, and I did that to bring a small tablet along. The tablet in the bag was either the Nexus 7 or the iPad mini, depedning on my mood.

I always carried one of the tablets because I hate to waste spare time that crops up when running typical errands. Unexpected delays would see me pull the tablet out to read a book or go online to see what was happening. This happened often enough to guarantee the bag always went with me.

That's not the case since buying the Note 2. While I still prefer the small tablet to do those things I mentioned, the Note 2 is almost as useful doing them. This is why I now only put the Note 2 in my pocket when I head out for these outings. When I pull it out of my pocket it is good enough to be enjoyable doing the things I typically do. 

It's great not having to keep up with a bag when I'm running around like this. I never felt carrying the bag was a hassle, but now that I leave it at home I realize it is so much easier just having the phone.

I still use the tablets all the time, I throw one in the bag when I'm running around for work. Even if the Chromebook is going to be my work machine I like having a small tablet in the bag since it takes little space. The 7+ inch display is so good for many things I do that I like having one along to do them. It's not essential to have the tablet but I like having it just in case.

What getting the Note 2 has proven to me is it is good enough in a pinch to replace that small tablet. It's not quite as useful but it's close enough to step in admirably. I don't feel I'm giving up capability when I use the Note 2 instead of the tablet, and that's a big thing.

I'm not about to say the Note 2 will completely replace a small tablet for me. I don't believe that it will. But it's still surprising to me how well it fills in when needed, and that's changed for the better the way I do some things. That's a very big deal to me.

See also:

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Big enough to be worth the trouble

Top Android apps for the Galaxy Note 2 including multi-view usage

Samsung: The only Android smartphone maker that matters

Topics: Mobility, Samsung, Smartphones

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  • Nice write up James

    Is there any chance you could be more specific about the software that you found useful?

    I have a Galaxy S3 and am considering making the jump over to a Windows phone, so have not put much consideration into the Note2 as I thought it was just a bigger version of the S3.
    • The whole Samsung package

      I find the entire Samsung s/w package to be what makes it all work. That's the launcher, motion utilities, S Pen stuff, etc. It's all good.
      • I can respect that even if I don't fully understand it

        I bought my wife a Nook Hd+, Samsung Ativ 500t and a Galaxy Note 10.1 over the last few months. Her experience is similar to yours with the Note2. She constantly raves about her Galaxy tablet. It is the only device she uses now, which is impressive considering how much of a complete die hard fan she was of Nook devices. She actually made me return the Nook HD+ as it wasn't very stable.
      • another Apple hater

        Im wonder how much did Samsung paid you for this story, my friend has the note2 and is slow, all plastic disposable materials, android is full of bugs and unstable, bigger screen is just for people that needs magnifying glasses for regular phones, battery life is bad, heavy, and overall quality of hardware is bad, and as always Samsung just wants to make a phone that looks and works like the iPhone so they can sell it. good luck!!
        Victor Sald
        • Srue Vic...

          Your "friend"...

          Come back to us when YOU have some first hand experience...
          • Kinda makes me think this "friend" is of the blow up variety

            "my friend has the note2 and is slow, all plastic disposable materials,"
            Little Old Man
        • Doubt it.

          Samsung is spreading a lot of money around and there is no doubt in my mind that some of it is affecting the slant of online articles but I dont think that is the case here. James Kendrick seems to me pretty fair and balanced with his opinions.
          • agreed, and...

            ...everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Personally, the size of the Note 2 is simply too ridiculous to use in public. It's like something out of Austin Powers or maybe a flat screen Orgasmatron from a Woody Allen movie. Not as absurd as regular size tablet users snapping photos at a concert or something, but definitely nerd-style. Plus, maybe he doesn't need the extra gear for other whimsically chosen devices, but he still needs at least a man-purse for that huge phablet. I wonder if the author wears garish ties with plaid pants and takes self-shot duckface pics of himself since subtlety is obviously not his bag, baby.
          • Nerd-style, Really?

            You're commenting on a ZD net article and you're calling someone else a NERD?
          • My wife picks on me about the Note's size.

            And I reply, "I love it when you tell me 'it's too big'". ; )

            Seruously, Samsung has a plan: put every form-factor they can think of out in the market and, if people buy them, make more. Their phones are the most popular phones sold far.

            They don't care if people make jokes about their phones as long as they are selling millions of them.
          • ...

            Depends on the person. For me the size is just right for a phone as a guy who is 6'6" 280 a tiny 3.5 inch screen is ridiculous to use in public kind of a clown phone at that tiny size.
          • That is exactly how I feel

            I'm only 6'3", but I have pretty big hands (and aging eyes) so a tiny little iphone would never cut it for me. I also wear normal jeans, so I can fit a larger phone in my pocket with no issues (you skinny jean wearing guys need to quit abusing your junk!). Just the fact that you would have to constantly pinch zoom to look at stuff would annoy the hell out of me. My DNA is probably the perfect size for a smartphone, for me that is.
          • This is where I am...I wish

            6'4" here and the Note 2 is the phone I want. I just don't have $300 to spend on a phone.

            And I am a big Windows Phone fan. If I have to end up with something in the 4" range, I'll stick with Windows Phone, but for the stuff I here about the Note 2, I will gladly switch to Android.
          • Watch for a sale

            You certainly don't need to pay $300. Many sales have occurred already where the Note 2 is $200 or a little less. The older the smartphone, combined with good timing, the cheaper it gets...being expensive is NOT always a good thing.
          • im 5'4"

            My phone is nearly bigger than me but I love it, it does everything and the screen is large enough that I don't need any other devices
            richard in norway
          • Seriously?

            I think I would be too ashamed to let people know that I'm so shallow that I couldn't use a Galaxy Note in public. What an expensive piece of tech looks like is more important than what it does. Hopefully you can gain some perspective soon because 2013 is the year when we'll see an explosion in bigger phones.
          • Wrong, wrong and wrong.

            You simply have no idea what you're talking about. I've had the Note 2 for about a month and my opinion is the same as this reviewer's. Without getting into any details, I had to be without my laptop for two weeks. The fact that my phone replaced my laptop so effectively just blew my mind. I never realized a phone could be this useful. Whoever complained about it's speed and battery life are either retarded or have no idea about the standards regarding speed and battery life (or have a faulty unit, which can happen).

            And regarding the size... Your opinion on how ridiculous is to use the phone in public is completely irrelevant, because your opinion might not reflect that of other's, like mine. I actually feel a bit of pride whenever I take it out, and if someone were to laugh at me, I'd just smile and think they have no idea what they're missing. Same goes for it's portability. I wear skinny jeans most of the time and the phone fits in their pocket perfectly.

            And I'm not even that much of a nerd. My college course (acting) is as far from anything IT related as it gets.
            Dávid Uzsák
          • No puns...

            ... or size-related sexual innuendos intended :)
            Dávid Uzsák
        • It's kind of you

          but I don't think samsung need you good luck wishes. Considering the popularity of the note2 and S3, many, many people recognise a good phone and even lies from people like you can't change that.
          Little Old Man
        • Hey Vic?

          How much did Apple PAY U? Your comment is so toxic it loses all credibility.