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First impressions of the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note II (gallery)

The Samsung Galaxy Note II appeared on T-Mobile shelves yesterday so I made the trip to the store after selling off my Galaxy S III and am now a very happy owner of one of the greatest data focused devices ever.
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By Matthew Miller, Contributor on
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The Samsung Galaxy Note II comes in the standard durable white T-Mobile box I have come to enjoy over the past couple years.

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The back of the Note II box list some of the high end features and certifications of the device.

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Here you can see all of the box contents, including a handy Start Guide and phone recycle envelope.

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Lately I have seen manufacturers skipping headsets in the box, but Samsung includes one with extra tips and it actually is a decent headset.

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And here is the Galaxy Note II. Note that it looks a lot like a larger Galaxy S III, which is a good thing IMHO.

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The proximity sensor, headset speaker, and front facing camera are all found above the display.

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I like that Samsung keeps using the center physical button as it gives me a great way to get back to the main home screen and also launch Google Now.

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The headset jack is up top  with the volume button on the left side and camera centered in the upper back. The power button is in the same place you can always find it on a Samsung device.

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I bought the Titanium Gray Galaxy Note II as you can see by looking at the back.

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The S Pen silo is in the bottom left area of the Note II.

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The S Pen has a slightly different form factor and feels MUCH better in my hand than the one used in the original Note.

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The small pen button is used to switch between pen and touch input functionality.

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Yes, the Galaxy Note II is a large phone. However, it is slightly narrower than the original Note and that alone make a huge difference to me and how comfortable I am with it.

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This smartphone lineup includes the HTC One X, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Nexus, and Apple iPhone 5.

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Back view of the smartphone lineup includes the HTC One X, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Nexus, and Apple iPhone 5.

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This is the default home screen on the Galaxy Note II for T-Mobile.

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Here is the first screen of apps loaded on the device. Some come from Samsung, others from Google, and a few from T-Mobile.

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Here is the second screen of apps loaded on the device.

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And finally the last screen. I only added a few of my own apps and then after these screenshots were taken I went crazy and loaded it up.

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There are several widgets available on the Note II.

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Words with Friends is awesome on the Note II display, even when I am getting my rear end kicked.

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The ability to capture photos with your voice is pretty slick and eliminates the blurring caused by moving your finger on the display.

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S Note is a feature app on the Note II due to the pen usage.

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I was excited to try out this new racing game since my Moga gaming attachment arrived, but as you can see I will have to wait until next week.

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The Calendar app is great and very useful for me.

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Rotate the Note II to get a more useful calculator.

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A few S Pen apps are loaded on the device to encourage you to use the stylus.

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Google Now is on the device, although it is hidden by Samsung and there are a couple tips to find it. Check out my written article for the details.

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Web browsing is good on the large 5.5 inch display.

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Google searches through Google Now are also easy to launch.

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Quick glance lets you see notification status for different services by waving your hand over a locked device.

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You can have video playing on the screen as you do other things thanks to the Pop-up Player.

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Given that the device is large, Samsung includes some utilities for one handed optimization.

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