Samsung Galaxy Note II - Is this love that I'm feeling?

Samsung Galaxy Note II Hits Korean Store Shelves

Samsung Galaxy Note II Hits Korean Store Shelves (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

Despite my four years as a tech journalist, and several more as a gadget geek before that, I have rarely fallen in love with a mobile phone. I once had a Motorola that lit up with disco lights when it rang – which I dubbed ‘Disco Phone’ – but I have always tended towards flings, rather than full blown love affairs with these devices.

The thing is when you first unbox any handset, it is all shiny, new and begging to be played with.  But the novelty always wears off so quickly and within a matter of weeks you are looking elsewhere to trade in and trade up for the next new mobile with the even flashier lights.

Well, that is how you feel until you find the one ladies and gentleman, and I believe this time, my love is for keeps.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II looks beautiful. It may be on the large size for some with its 5.5″ screen, but for me this meant fewer mistakes when typing and made it a lot easier to find in my bag when having to sift through all my junk to answer a phone call.

The 1,280 x 720 resolution on the HD Super AMOLED screen is crisp and clear, and together with the size of the screen makes watching videos, reading large documents or video calling with colleagues a pleasure rather than a chore.

The screen also compliments the easy to use camera, giving you great views of your 8MP rear shooter or 1.9MP front facer with simple pinch to zoom design and auto focus.

Despite its size, the Note II is surprisingly light at 180g – compared to the iPhone’s 144g – and although it isn’t made to slip in a pocket, it is thin enough – 9.44mm – to not take up much room in a laptop bag or briefcase.

Samsung Galaxy Note II Hits Korean Store Shelves

Samsung Galaxy Note II Hits Korean Store Shelves (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

I never thought I would celebrate the return of the stylus either as my last one was part of the flimsy design of Nokia’s Express Music phone, but this accessory is much sturdier and slips seamlessly into the casing of the device.

When using it on screen, you can hover the pointer over menus to allow for drop down options, and when your choice is made, the reactiveness of the screen is quick without being oversensitive. But it is all the extra features the Note II enables that make the stylus such a welcome addition.

The handwriting recognition is superb and it became my default choice when sending emails or text messages to friends and colleagues. The ability to select sections of text or images and cut it out using the stylus was also great for collaborative work on large documents, but felt as easy – if not simpler – that doing it on a PC or laptop.

The thing is the Note II is not designed as a basic phone. It is designed as a tool for multi-tasking with a built in component of being able to make calls. This is not the first time a smartphone has been advertised as this, in fact that is the point of most smartphones, but it is the first time I have used one that genuinely felt like a mini computer in your hand and would make me consider leaving the laptop at home.

Samsung Galaxy Note II Reaches Global Sales of...

Samsung Galaxy Note II Reaches Global Sales of 3 Million (Photo credit: samsungtomorrow)

It is only when calling that the Note II falls down. The positioning of the speaker for calls is too close to the edge of the device, meaning have to fiddle about with positioning before you get decent audio. Also, there is no denying you feel a tad silly holding 5.5″ of plastic up to your face.

But I can forgive this thanks to nifty Samsung ideas with calling, such as if you have someone’s contact details on screen, you can lift the phone to your ear and it will automatically dial for you. Also, you can either swipe right if you want to send a text message or swipe left to make a call, depending on your preference for the contact.

The only reason I can see that the Samsung Galaxy Note II won’t be to everyone’s tastes is purely physical. But I believe size matters for the better, and one week with this will leave your iPhone or BlackBerry feeling awkward and fiddly, whilst the Note II will make you realise how simple day to day tasks can become with a bigger screen.

It may be large, but it still pulls off sleek. It has the performance of a complex machine but the simplicity and usability of a Fisher Price calculator. Big is beautiful when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Note II and I see a very happy future for the smartphone and me. 

Available free on Vodafone Red Business plan for £40.83 per month with a virtual landline number, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, 1GB mobile data and 2GB UK Wi-Fi 

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