Is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for You?

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 handset has arrived at Chitter Chatter and those of you familiar with its predecessor, the Galaxy Note, will be impressed with the improvements.

For starters, the screen is bigger – up from 5.3” to 5.5” – which makes it even better for watching TV and movies and surfing the net. In the latter case, the screen will do justice to just about any website, whether it be optimised for mobile or not.

Of course, the main drawback of the size of the screen is that the Note 2 is not easy to handle for those with smaller hands and isn’t exactly going to slip into your back pocket – you’re going to need to put it into your handbag or manbag for safekeeping.

However, despite the larger screen, the Note 2 does slip more easily into your hand than the original Note for a number of reasons.

Firstly, although it’s taller (to accommodate the bigger screen) it’s less wide than its predecessor. It’s also slimmer and lighter than the original Note handset, being only a smidgen thicker than the Samsung Galaxy SIII. And Samsung have made some ergonomic adjustments too – like moving the power and volume buttons down a little so you can operate them without shifting your grip.

Like all Samsung smartphones, the casing is entirely plastic – no cool feel of metal in your palm like the iPhone 5 – and the screen consists of toughened Gorilla Glass to survive those day to day bumps, scraps (and drops.)

The Galaxy Note 2 packs a powerful processor and the latest version of the Android operating system, which means its operation is very smooth and very fast. It’s also powered by an impressive specification battery so despite its generous screen-size, you won’t be hunting for the charger at regular intervals. Reports are that it can play up to 12 hours of video before running out of juice and, with judicious use of 3G, should only need to be charged every other day or so.

The main camera is pretty standard – 8 megapixels – with a user-facing camera of 1.9 megapixels. It performs well in normal lighting conditions, not so well in low light. We like the Burst Group Mode, which uses face recognition technology to identify the shot where the largest number of people are looking at the camera.

As an MP3 player, it outputs clear audio at a decent volume and those who’ll be using it as a phone (rather than a web browser/video player) will be pleasantly surprised by the call quality. It’s also got the contactless payments technology, NFC built in.

We’re also extremely impressed with the new S-Pen stylus – if’s new triangular shape makes it easier to handle and the rubberised tip makes it much smoother to use.

And, perhaps best of all, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is one of the handsets that is compatible with the new superfast 4G network being rolled out by EE.

In summary, existing Note devotees will be impressed with the improvements Samsung have made with the Note 2 and may want to consider an upgrade.

Those new to Notes should consider this handset if they’re using their existing phone for a lot of browsing, game playing and movie watching, and aren’t so worried about the portability issues. Those who use their phone primarily as a phone, with browsing usage limited to some Facebooking and a little Googling, are probably better looking elsewhere.