First Impressions Of The Galaxy Note 2

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful phones on the market. After unlocking the bootloader and flashing a custom ROM, I put it to the test during a typical day on the clinical wards. Here are several features I was thoroughly impressed with.

The Screen

Many have dubbed the Note 2 more of a “phablet” (phone + tablet) given the enormous screen size. I’m able to do most tasks with one hand, but it’s certainly easier with two. The ample screen real estate makes it so much easier to enjoy games, browse full webpages, and read PDFs. I’m not a huge fan of the dedicated home button (especially with Verizon’s ridiculous logo plastered over it), but it’s something I’ll get used to.

The Battery

With my Galaxy Nexus, I was nearly out of power after a typical surgical ICU shift (6AM – 6PM) with moderate usage. With the Note 2, I went from 6AM to 8:30PM with decent usage (15-20 minutes on the phone, lots of texts, web browsing, etc) and had over 70% of my battery left. I really couldn’t believe it until I got home, kept using the phone, never charged it, and the thing still had over 45% the following morning. Charge cycles aside, the Note 2’s battery life is phenomenal for a quad-core beast. Won’t have to carry around a power cable with me anymore!

The Split-Screen View

Having the option for a split screen makes sense on such a large display, but if its implementation is poor then what’s the point? Fortunately, an editable tray allows users to simply drag-and-drop applications into the active area. I’ve already found several uses for this:

gmail-youtube
Watching NBA highlights while reviewing prior emails
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The differential for shoulder pain while looking at shoulder anatomy

Unlocked Development

As a Nexus fanboy, I promised myself to never purchase a “locked” device ever again. Thanks to the wonderful world of Android developers, the Note 2 has been unlocked (a process which literally takes two minutes with the Odin utility). Given that the phone is relatively new, I anticipate the development community to continue supporting this device for the foreseeable future. In addition, my favorite unicorn ROM will support the Note 2 in their next build. 🙂

Overall, I have yet to discover any major flaws in my first week of usage. With so many features I have yet to explore (namely the S-Pen), I think I made an excellent choice with the Note 2.

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