Ten great things to do with the Samsung Galaxy Note II

Ten great things to do with the Samsung Galaxy Note II

Summary: The Galaxy Note II has already sold more than 3 million in just over a month and I am loving it. Here are ten things I do with my Note II, some of which I can't do with my other smartphones.

Ten great things to do with the Samsung Galaxy Note II

Yesterday Samsung reported that they have sold more than 3 million Galaxy Note II devices in just over a month. If you recall, the original Galaxy Note sold over 5 million earlier this year at an average rate of about 1 million per month and then recently passed the 10 million sold mark. The Note II, see my first impressions, is already starting off at a faster pace and as you will see in my Monday morning top smartphone article it is my favorite Android device ever.

The Galaxy Note II is a big phone, but for those data centric people like me it is nearly the perfect device. I haven't picked up my Google Nexus 7 since I bought the Note II as the large 5.5 inch display satisfies my small tablet needs with the additional functionality of the S Pen and integrated cellular service. The S Pen has gone from a rarely used accessory to something that is a major benefit of the device. I use it daily and it has helped integrate the Note II into my life more than other smartphones have in the past.

To get an understanding of some reasons Samsung may have sold so many Galaxy Note II devices (it helps that they did a better job of a more global launch this time), here are 10 cool things I do with my Samsung Galaxy Note II:

  1. Take notes with the S Pen: It seems we have mostly gone away from writing things down with a pen or pencil, but I do find I can get a bit more creative with a pen. Inking on the Note II is a pleasure with the great feeling S Pen and powerful applications available, including S Note. My wife also appreciates handwritten love notes :)
  2. Experience Air View: I heard about Air View and thought it was a gimmick, but the ability to hover over the week and month views of my calendar and see the details for appointments is very useful. I also find web browsing with the Air View scrolling to be efficient. Even entering text is made easier with the S Pen in Air View on the Samsung keyboard or Swype.
  3. Use Google Now: I kept going from my Galaxy S III back to the Galaxy Nexus because I found the Google Now function in Android Jelly Bean to be so useful. Google Now acts as your assistant without you having to do anything directly, which is what a smartphone should do. I also find the voice activated search implementation to rival Siri and often give me even better results.
  4. Drive with Google Maps Navigation: There are now solid navigation products on all mobile platforms, but I keep going back to using Google Maps Navigation on Android devices in large part due to Google Maps is what I use on my computer and thus all my favorites and searches are quickly accessible. The offline support is not as good as Nokia Maps, but most of the time I have a signal available.
  5. Capture photos with my voice: I find the camera to do quite well at capturing photos and video and the slick voice integration that lets me capture a photo by saying, "capture" or "cheese" helps reduce photo blur introduced by touching the display capture button.
  6. Watch movies on the big screen: I bought a functional case, this one, for only $10 to use with my Note II for watching movies on the airplane and during my commute. The large 5.5 inch display is great for watching videos and the large battery means I can watch a few without even worrying about charging up right away.
  7. Read ebooks: I use my phones for reading books during short periods when I am out and about waiting in lines, shopping at the mall, or in other times when I have a few minutes available. Phone screens are not as good as my eInk readers for reading ebooks, but the Galaxy Note II bridges that gap and is actually great for reading books for long periods of time.
  8. Perform engineering work: As an engineer that conducts shipchecks from time to time, the Note II is great for working on a ship to review and markup drawings with AutoCAD WS. There is also a great application called ForceEffect, also from Autodesk, that helps you calculate forces on different structures after you enter load conditions. I look forward to a release of an Otterbox case to better protect the Note II in the shipyard.
  9. Play games: I don't play a ton of games, but I am a fan of Words with Friends and the Note II display is great for playing this game. I just bought the Moga gaming accessory and downloaded Asphalt 7 to play. This combo is pretty amazing for playing these kinds of games and there is no need to use my Nintendo DSi or PSP now.
  10. Browse the web: I use Chrome on my computers and it works extremely well on the large display of the Note II. I love the ability to sync everything across all platforms with Chrome and the larger display of the Note II allows me to even post articles to ZDNet right from my Note.

There is so much power and functionality in the Galaxy Note II that I could probably come up with 100 cool things to do with the device. What are your favorite things to do?

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Topics: Mobility, Android, Samsung, Telcos

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  • I hope Sammie get around to bringing some of this to the Note 10.1

    I loves me my Note 10.1, but we're feeling left out...
    The Werewolf!
  • Android Lets Vendors Take Risks

    A device like the Note and Note II could never have been created on a platform strictly controlled by an owner who gets to tell the device makers exactly what kind of hardware they can and can't bring out (i.e. all of Android's main rivals). It can only be done in a market where the players are given a free hand and allowed, even encouraged, to take risks. Because not all the ideas will be successful, there will be failures. This freedom to both succeed and fail is what has allowed Android to come out from nowhere to become the number-one mobile platform in just a few short years.

    And when there are successes, look for them to be rapidly copied, and then improved upon, by competitors. This encourages the players to be even more competitive, which benefits them and consumers. But only if companies don't try claiming ownership of ideas by patenting them--patents just destroy the whole concept of free-market competition.
    • I think it's only a matter of time

      until we start seeing riskier WP8 devices.

      But right now, you're absolutely right. Android is the place where phone makers take a lot of risks and sometimes reap rewards.
      Michael Alan Goff
      • Re: until we start seeing riskier WP8 devices.

        Why didn't we see any riskier WP7 ones?
        • Because of restrictions

          There was a lot of good to be said about the WinCE kernel, but it was a very limited kernel. I don't think we could have seen a lot of things that take amazing hardware because the software likely wouldn't have supported it.
          Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: Because of restrictions

            You got it half right: it wasn't restrictions in the kernel that kept innovation out of the Windows Phone market, it was, and continues to be, Microsoft's policy restrictions on what can be done with Windows Phone. Microsoft went to all the trouble of defining entirely separate tablet versus phone OSes, where would a "phablet" device like this fit in? It wouldn't.
          • But

            Nokia Phablet proof-of-concepts have been circulating around the web.

            I don't think it'll be long until we get one.
            Michael Alan Goff
          • Re: Nokia Phablet proof-of-concepts have been circulating around the web.

            You mean those Photoshopped fakes?

            If Microsoft could shut even those down, they would.
      • Wow

        Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
        • veronrio

          You lost me forever at "iMac"!
          • Spam

            You'd think that with all the experts at zdnet there would be no SPAM in the replies. TOO BAD. I guess I will stop reading zdnet.
    • Agree 100%

      This is what the various fan boys completely fail to recognize. It could become Apple's second undoing. Unless you have almost complete market domination and control, sometimes illegally, like MS did for years, an army of hungry and motivated competitors will eventually hunt you down and perhaps devour you.

      Apple will ultimately have to sacrifice market share, margins or both. My guess is that Jobs biggest failing was being a control freak.

      It looks to me like Ballmer was seduced by Apple's initially hugely successful business model, trying to control the W(P)8 hardware. I think he may be starting to reconsider. Too much control will stifle the very creativity you are talking about and ultimately cost you a dominant market position.
  • Correction 3,000,002.. Me and my wife will be buying one this next weekend.

    Correction 3,000,002.. Me and my wife will be buying one this next weekend. Really a great phone, and it fits in my pocket perfectly. I use bluetooth connections in the car and earpieces, like with almost every phone so size is not a problem. The real benefit is browsing, typing, and doing any other touch screen task. I have big hands and I ALWAYS fat finger while typying. The Samsung Note II is the first smartphone in which I have zero fat finger types. I don't have little hands so the Samsung Note II fits perfectly in my hands. I guess it fits like it will fit a small person with small hands. I was looking at it tonight.. What a beautiful phone...!!
    • My wife and I ........

      You would never say "Me will be buying ...."
    • Note Lover

      The Galaxy Note 2 is the best device on the market and the screen size the positive aspect of it, in my opinion. I have small hands and have no problem with it whatsoever and I would recommend it to everyone. It may take a day or two to get used to the size, but once you have, you'll never want to go back to a small screen.
      Note Lover
  • 11

    You can use it for self-defense. This thing may hurt almost as seriously as a hammer!
  • note II cases

    what happened to the link in the article that you said you got your case for the NOTE II, it does not go to the site to get the case, it goes to another page on your site, please update I must have a good case when I buy my NOTE II, I wanted to wait to see what MS would do with wp8 but they are too slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. MUST have a NOTE II NOW!!!!!
  • my Note 2 easily killed my iphone! (good riddance)

    Love the list, but your links to whatever cover you got and the moga link lead to error pages... can you update the links? I was looking forward to seeing what cover you thought was good.

    I love my note 2, still haven't figured out what it's main use is, but that's because it's great at nearly everything!

    My note 2 replaces my iphone, which I feel has run its course. Maybe the greatest surprise of my Note 2, is its ability to be a nav unit in my car. My other phone was horrible at it, but my samsung is an amazing gps nav unit, especially with the car navigation mount iinstalled. I LOVE this phone!!!
    • my Note 2 easily killed my iphone! (good riddance)

      Which car mount did you choose? I need one, but am interested in how your choice is working out.