Samsung Galaxy Note II Review

The original Galaxy Note helped propel hybrid devices into the spotlight and despite a number of criticisms it went on to sell impressive numbers. Now Samsung has released its successor in the form of the Galaxy Note II, featuring a larger display, quad-core processor and Android Jelly Bean out of the box.

While many ill-fated ‘phablets’ fail to make the grade, will Samsung once again prove that the phablet form really does work?

Despite housing a 5.5-inch super AMOLED display, the Note II comes in at a surprising 182 grams and slender 9.4mm thickness, meaning it just about caters for one handed use. Although very different when in action the Note II has clearly taken some style cues from the Samsung Galaxy S III, with its rounded corners and chrome-injected edges.

Under the hood Samsung has packed in a 1.6GHz quad-core processor as well as 2GB of RAM, both of which work to keep the Android Jelly Bean experience swift and seamless.

One of the highlights of the handset is the integrated S-Pen stylus, which compared to the original Note boasts a lot more functionality. The communication between the stylus and the handset has been enhanced, so as soon as you remove it from its holster the S-Note app opens automatically and if the stylus hasn’t been attached when the Note is moved away from it, the user receives an alert to tell them so.

The S-Pen has also undergone a bit of a makeover so it sits more comfortably in hand and the sensitive rubberised tip works well with new features such as Air View, which allows users to hover over content on a page to get a preview in a pop out window.

Similarly Pop-up Play, which first appeared on the Galaxy S3, is on board allowing users to multitask whilst watching videos.

An impressive 8-megapixel autofocus camera resides within offering video capture at 1080p. Images produced are of a high quality, with great colour reproduction, even in low light. There’s also an extensive range of image capture options to add a novelty dimension to your pictures.

When it comes to staying connected you’ll never have to worry thanks to a number of functions including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, so you can access and share files while you’re on the go.

It’s obvious, from looks alone, that the Note II isn’t going to impress everybody and if you’re new to phablets its oversized chassis might well be a bit overwhelming. But, despite its dimensions there’s no denying that the Galaxy Note II brings a wealth of flagship features and functionality, offering an impressive user experience that’ll no doubt quickly make you forget about its measurements.

Written by Sarah Hazelwood, technology writer at Dialaphone, the home of cheap mobile phones.