Review of the flagship smartphone Samsung GALAXY Note II

    Good day, Habr!

    Today we would like to tell you in more detail about the flagship smartphone Samsung GALAXY Note II, which yesterday everywhere broke into the shelves of our country. We presented some of the information exactly after the official presentation of the device in the Samsung gallery , which was held on October 2. In this article we will reveal all the innovations, technological and software, that the second generation of GALAXY Note has, all the advantages that are designed to bring the new smartphone to the leaders in the market of mobile devices. So, under the cut you will find many letters (solely on the case) and no less than photographic pictures (to please the eye).


    The new flagship has an enlarged screen with a diagonal of 5.5 "(the first model had a screen of 5.3"). The frame around the screen has become thinner, and its surface is reliably protected by the “bulletproof” Gorilla Glass 2. The size of the smartphone is: 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm (that is, it also became even narrower and thinner than the first GALAXY Note), while the weight of the device remained virtually unchanged (180 grams versus 178 grams in the first-generation device), and the battery grew by a quarter in capacity.

    Also on the front side there is a speaker grill, a multi-colored LED-indicator of the device status, light and proximity sensors, as well as a front camera. At the bottom there is a mechanical button for accessing the main menu, which has become more elongated and easier to use + two touch buttons on its sides: “Menu” on the left and “Back” on the right.

    The back side of the smartphone is a cover made of durable and thin plastic, which bends well, but does not break (Samsung's proprietary development, which is used in all the company's top-end smartphones). At the top there is a slot under the camera, framed by a silver frame, to the right of the camera is a flash.

    At the ends of the device:
    • Left - volume rocker;
    • Right - power off / lock button;
    • Above - a 3.5 mm headphone jack and an additional microphone for noise reduction;
    • Bottom — microUSB connector, S Pen slot, and main microphone.

    It is worth noting that the power off and volume buttons have become more ergonomic compared to the first GALAXY Note due to the fact that they are located lower on the case.

    An impressive 3100 mAh battery is hidden under the cover, as well as slots for microSD and microSIM cards. On the inside of the lid itself, you can find an NFC antenna.

    In the first days of sales, GALAXY Note II will be available in two colors: “white marble” and “gray titanium”.


    As we already managed to mention above, the screen is noticeably extended, winning another 0.25 inches in the diagonal, despite the fact that the device itself has become somewhat narrower and thinner. This was made possible thanks to a change in its proportions: in the first GALAXY Note, the aspect ratio of the display was 16:10, and the second model of the smartphone acquired a wide format, optimal for watching video in HD resolution - 16: 9 (1280x720 pixels).

    The GALAXY Note II has HD Super AMOLED, thanks to which the smartphone has excellent viewing angles and a large margin of brightness.


    First of all, it should be noted the quad-core Exynos 4412 processor with a clock frequency of 1.6 GHz. The technological process by which it is produced has been improved: the Exynos 4210 processor with which the first GALAXY Note was equipped was produced using the 45 nm manufacturing process, and the current Exynos 4412 - 32 nm. An impressive amount of RAM (2 GB) also impresses: from now on, not a single application running on GALAXY Note II will upset users with brakes and lags. Built-in memory will vary from 16 to 64 GB + there is the possibility of expansion with microSD cards. The graphics accelerator has remained unchanged: the Mali 400 MP4, however, its resource is enough for the needs of almost any game.

    The battery is another item that has been significantly improved: its capacity is now 3100 mAh (in the previous model, there was a 2500 mAh battery). In general, in terms of speed, the smartphone is the most advanced on the market among devices running on the Android platform. In order not to be unfounded, we conducted performance tests on all the most popular benchmarks, and here are the results we got:




    As you can see from the results, GALAXY Note II always remains in the lead in performance. Next, we conducted a test of the graphics performance of the device:

    Nenamark 2:

    And here the device was also in the lead: 58 frames per second - this is practically the maximum that can be obtained in this test.


    A photo. The GALAXY Note II uses the same camera module and LED flash as the GALAXY S III. Nevertheless, in the new device they improved shooting in low light conditions: the corresponding mode is now available in the shooting settings. Also available are the following modes:

    • By default, there is a simple shot (one click - one shot).
    Burst Shot. Continuous shooting for up to 20 shots in a few seconds.
    HDR. The mode is intended for shooting high-contrast scenes in which there are both bright light and deep shadows.
    Smile.A function that allows you to catch smiles: after you press the shutter, a photograph will be taken only at that moment when it captures smiles on the faces of objects.
    Beautiful face. The effect that allows you to "toned" skin defects, giving the face a healthy and clean shade.
    Panorama. Nowadays popular panoramic shot: you slowly move the camera from side to side, and it captures the picture.
    Caricature. A grotesque filter that intentionally distorts colors.
    Face tag. Also very trendy feature today. Detects the faces of friends in photos, after which you can call them or send messages.
    Best Shot.Allows you to choose the best one from several shots by overlaying fragments from the best photo.

    Below you can see examples of photos:

    Also in the settings there are many plots for every taste: portrait, landscape, night, sport, room, beach / snow, sunset, dawn, autumn colors, fireworks, text, twilight, backlight.

    Video. The video capabilities are almost identical to those available on the GALAXY S III smartphone (only the ability to shoot in Slow Motion mode was added). The maximum resolution is 1920x1080 pixels (1080p). A convenient feature is the ability to take photos right during shooting.


    Bluetooth 4.0 (LE). File transfer is carried out via Wi-Fi 802.11 n, the data transfer rate can reach 24 Mbps.
    USB 2.0. In Android 4th generation, the USB Mass Storage standard has been replaced with MTP (there is also PTP mode). Data transfer rate - up to 25 Mb / s. The microUSB connector also supports the MHL standard: using a special cable, you can connect the phone to the TV via the HDMI input.
    3G. The device supports the ubiquitous HSPA + with a maximum mobile data rate of 21Mbit / s. For GSM networks, EDGE class 12 is provided.
    Wi-Fi.Supports 802.11 a / b / g / n standard (2.4 and 5 GHz, dual-band Wi-Fi). Also, the 802.11 n standard supports the HT40 operating mode. It allows you to double the Wi-Fi bandwidth, but this requires support from another device.
    Wi-Fi Direct. A relatively new protocol that actively competes with third-generation Bluetooth. It allows you to find devices, activate a connection with them, and through the file manager manage files of other devices, as well as transfer files from the device to the device.
    NFC technology is implemented in the smartphone. The various possibilities of its use will become known later.
    S Beam.Samsung proprietary technology that allows you to transfer large volumes of files to another device in a few seconds. Until recently, it was available only on the GALAXY S III. In essence, S Beam is a combination of NFC and Wi-Fi Direct. The first technology is used to authorize phones, and the second - to transfer files. Perhaps this is one of the most convenient and fast means of transferring files between devices.

    ▌S PEN

    The S Pen has undergone a number of improvements - both in appearance and (to a greater extent) in functionality. The pen has become thicker and this has a positive effect on the ease of use. 1,024 levels of pressure are recognized.
    Moreover, now the smartphone feels the presence of a pen, even if you do not touch the display, thanks to the projection point that appears on the screen when you bring the pen to it. Nevertheless, the hardware changes are not as impressive as the number of software innovations and chips that were not in the first GALAXY Note and which became available in the second:

    Air View. The function allows you to view photos and pictures in fast mode (a kind of preview) without having to click on each - just point the projection point on the image.
    Popup Note. When you double-click the pen on the screen during a telephone conversation, a pop-up S Note will appear in which you can record important information.
    Quick Command. The ability to create handwritten commands and assign them certain functions (for example, you can create the command "@ brother" and program it to automatically ring or send a message to a friend).
    Easy Clip. An extremely entertaining function with which you can cut out fragments of images from any sources and paste them into your notes, messages and e-mails or store them in the Snippets folder.
    Handwriting recognition.This function, even with untidy and “oblique” handwriting, copes very tolerably. Handwritten messages can be sent by mail, and using the S Planner organizer, you can take handwritten notes and save them in memory.

    Photo Note. Surely, everyone has old albums with photos, on the back of which is written something like: “Moscow, New Year, 1985”. Similar handwritten notes, only in digital format, can now be left on the back of photographs stored in GALAXY Note II.
    Gestures.There is a button on the body of the S Pen. When you click on it, the smartphone can understand some gestures. Both Quick Command and Easy Clip also belong to this type of gesture. In addition to them, you can still take a screenshot by holding the treasured button and poking the screen with the pen. Another useful feature: by holding the pen with the button held down from the bottom up, you can call up the menu of quick commands.

    In general, the functionality of the S Pen has grown by an order of magnitude: its presence in the smartphone is very relevant and convenient.


    Below we provide a series of screenshots demonstrating the user interface and applications on GALAXY Note II:


    The battery was originally one of the reasons for pride in the first version of GALAXY Note. In the new model, this parameter is no less significant - GALAXY Note II carries a battery of 3100 mAh / 3.8 V. Its capacity is 11.7 W * h, which brings it closer to laptop solutions. The smartphone has settings for energy saving, which allow you to extend the operating time of the device if you disable some functions. It charges up to no more than three hours if you use a complete 2A power supply.



    GALAXY Note II significantly surpassed the progenitor in all key parameters: it lies more conveniently in the hand, its screen has become even larger, optimal for HD-resolution. The S Pen has become more sensitive and functional, iron has become faster and more modern, and the battery has become much more capacious.

    The first GALAXY Note was initially received by the audience with bewilderment and doubt about ease of use. However, the smartphone dispelled all the ironic reviews addressed to itself, becoming a sales leader (over 10 million copies were sold worldwide) and, in fact, created a new premium class of mobile devices. GALAXY Note II, being an improved and more advanced smartphone, undoubtedly, further expands the possibilities for creativity, work and entertainment.

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