Originally posted: Oct. 27, 2012
Updated: March 27, 2013 (scroll down past product image) The updated review written here is on the Verizon variant of this smartphone; model # SCH-I605
So the buzz is this: The Samsung Galaxy Note II is a high-end smartphone plus mini-tablet combined into ONE fast, convenient device! From what I understand, many people and tech critics were skeptical about how consumers would react to a large phone when the trends and prevailing wisdom typically tell us “Smaller phones are better. Large ones are absurd.” Well, boys and girls, it’s on the books officially that in 2012, the original Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone has sold millions around the world – So, we all can put that question to rest! 🙂 Many folks want and prefer a large display and a stylus. I’ll bet there are some professionals, depending on their line of work, who truly need those extra centimeters. This phone boasts the following: 5.5-inch 1280x720p HD Super AMOLED display, 16:9 aspect ratio, Samsung’s Exynos™ 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, 8.0 megapixel camera, easy video chatting ability, Android Jellybean OS, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, DivX®, up to 64GB external microSD™ memory, 4x digital optical zoom and more. See every spec of the Verizon 4G LTE variant: Click here
Update to the below for T-Mobile customers!: March 27, 2013: For complete Note II download instructions for using T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, customers can visit T-Mobile’s support page at http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-4962
For T-Mobile customers with sweet daydreams of the full monty of T-Mobile’s LTE network completion (in the second half of 2013), the Galaxy Note II gets you semi-ready with a Qualcomm 9215M chipset inside (for supporting HSPA+42 and LTE).
It is reasonable to expect T-Mobile will announce step-by-step instructions for Magenta customers shortly before their full LTE glory is ready. Source for chipset information, etc: theverge.com. The other carrier choices are: AT&T, US Cellular, Verizon and Sprint.
So, the big question – Should you take the plunge and get it? Affirmative, you should give it a try! This phone will delight most people, even those new to smartphones. For people with small hands, it might not be the best choice but who’s to say. Try it and if it’s not your cup of tea, it’ll be very easy to sell because it’s a quality product and very much in-demand and will remain so for a long time.
At the time of this update (Dec. 6, 2012), by now you’ve read and heard tons about the Samsung Galaxy Note II as far as size & weight, feel, resolution, camera & video quality, etc from plenty of reviews. I figure we can step off the general path for a few minutes (because all I’ll say is it’s super, I love it, etc. But truly, I do. The only negatives are the high-end price range might be out of reach for a lot of people and, for the Verizon model, its backplate is eggshell thin and feels somewhat dainty, but that’s pretty minor) and talk about some of the awesome accessories you can buy/use with this wonderful phablet. As I said, in a nutshell, it will delight almost anybody who takes the plunge and buys one. I’ve listed just a few examples of the many accessories you can use with it below, in no particular order. Enjoy!
Universal Vehicle Navigation Mount
The Samsung Vehicle Navigation Mount has a slim design that will grip most smartphones with or without a case. The dock features a strong gear-locking mechanism which securely grips your phone, and full 360-degree rotation is provided for quick portrait-to-landscape viewing. The vehicle dock is an ideal solution for hands-free calling or satellite navigation with your Samsung Galaxy Note II. Unique charger is included to make sure you’re always charged up in the car and on the road for extended periods.
Cost: Around $50 http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/ECS-K200BEGSTA
Smart Dock turns your phablet into a desktop computing device!!! There’s no need to sync to a PC or manage multiple devices. The dock is equipped with 3 USB inputs, and HDMI™ output and a 3.5 mm output for stereo speakers. So take advantage of your phone’s high-speed internet connectivity and fast processor. Connect an HD monitor, external storage device, and USB keyboard and mouse and give yourself a productivity powerhouse. Search the web, update your social network status, respond to emails and even edit documents and presentations with this setup.
Cost: Around $100. http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/EDD-S20JWEGSTA
Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock
The Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock is compatible with the phablet and features compact design with pop-up micro USB port that also folds flat for ease and portability. The dock can simultaneously charge your Samsung smartphone while listening to music through an external powered speaker. Smartphones can also be docked while housed in the Samsung Protective Flip Cover.
Cost: Around $50 http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/EDD-D200BEGSTA
HDTV Smart Adapter with 11 Pin Adapter Tip
The HDTV Universal Adapter (11 pin) supports HD signals up to 1080p resolution. Connect directly to your MHL-enabled mobile phone with an 11-pin Micro USB input to create an HDMI docking station. Connect a standard HDMI cable to the docking station for easy connectivity to home theater or monitor. HDMI Cable and Micro USB Travel Charger sold separately (price: around $40). Samsung also provides a 5-Pin to 11-Pin adapter sold separately for use with existing 5-Pin MHL adapters
Allshare Cast Wireless Hub™
AllShare Cast Wireless Hub allows users to wirelessly share content with any nearby HDTV or HDMI display. AllShare Cast Hub pairs quickly to transmit pictures, videos and music to a large screen, all while controlling the action from the smartphone. Sleek and minimally compact, the Hub works seamlessly with any premium HDMI-capable TV.
Cost: Around $100 http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/EAD-T10JDEGSTA
HM3300 Bluetooth Headset
The HM3300 is a compact, stylish Bluethooth headset that supports NFC for tap-to-pair easy coupling. The sleek, glossy metal finish compliments Samsung smartphone designs. Features include wide band speech, audio streaming, and voice prompts in six languages.
Cost: Around $50
S Pen™ with Eraser
This ergonomic, full-featured S Pen has a button for gestures and an eraser tip for easy corrections. This updated version of Samsung’s original S Pen truly mimics the feel of an old-school pen or pencil!
Cost: Around $40 http://m.samsung.com/us/article/tips–tricks-galaxy-note-ii#spen
Spare Battery Charger
The Spare Battery Charger ensures Galaxy Note II users always have a freshly charged battery on-hand. While charging a spare battery, the phablet can also sit in the stand at any viewing angle to view content or act as a travel alarm clock! Cool, right? 🙂 This foldable, compact battery charger fits perfectly with the premium design of Samsung’s Galaxy family. Spare battery and wall charger are included.
Cost: Around $50 http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/EB-H1J9VMAGSTA
Protective Flip Cover
Samsung’s unique Flip Cover enhances the look and feel of the phablet with a stylish front cover and glossy snap-on back. By replacing the phablet’s cover, the Protective Flip Cover maintains the phone’s slim profile with a choice of seven great colors. Choose from: titanium gray, marble white, pink, mint, orange, lime green, light blue. Also fits the Samsung Galaxy S III. Fashion meets function!
Cost: Around $40 each; or $50 for two colors determined by carrier; or $100 for four colors determined by carrier
The Protective Cover covers the back and sides of the phablet, protecting against impacts, scratches and dropping.
Cost: Around $30
MicroUSB to USB Charging Data Cable
The MicroUSB to USB Charging Data Cable also allows you to charge your phone through the USB port on your computer. The MicroUSB to USB Charging Data Cable provides the ability to connect your Samsung phone to your computer allowing your phone to become an external modem (Consult your providers if necessary).
Cost: Around $20 http://m.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/APCBU10BBEBSTD