Samsung Galaxy Note II Review: The Most Noteworthy Device On The Market

galaxy-note-2-verizon

Bottom Line

The Galaxy Note II is easily the most powerful product Samsung has created. While the 5.6-inch display may be a huge turnoff for some, that doesn’t stop the device from providing cutting-edge performance. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, the Galaxy Note II should be at the very least on your list of devices you are considering. It’s a noteworthy (see what I did there?) competitor to similar devices like the Optimus G and Droid DNA (although the DNA does not have an S-Pen or anything of the like). The device is a little pricey coming in at a subsidized $299. As with any device though, I’d highly suggest purchasing the device outright and grab a Straight Talk plan, which could potentially save you $1000 in extra fees and monthly payments.

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is one of the most sleek and powerful devices I’ve ever used. It’s hardware and software performance is out of this world.

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Ease of Use

The Samsung Galaxy Note II functions like any other smartphone, but there is a bit of a learning curve with it when it comes to the S-Pen and motion actions. There are a lot of extra features packed in the Note II like Paper Artist, motion detection and various S-Pen features, which can all be confusing at first due to the amount of options that are available to you. Within a few days of use though, the Galaxy Note II should feel like any other smartphone you have used, except better.

The device’s speedy hardware mixed with Jelly Bean’s Project Butter makes this device as smooth as butter. Slow loading times are almost non-existent on the hardware and software side of things. If you experience long loading times, I can almost guarantee it’s your network and not the hardware itself. Regardless, if you’re an impatient person, you shouldn’t find yourself frustrated with the device’s loading times whatsoever.

Performance & Reliability

As I mentioned above, the Galaxy Note II’s performance is as smooth as butter. While you may notice some frame rate drops in games, the Note II almost plays them seamlessly. The device loads apps and internet pages almost instantaneously (again, depending on your network strength), which is something that you can really get used too. Going back to the Atrix 2 to test a few things before putting it away felt like a drag.

The call quality of the Galaxy Note II is crisp and clear. In fact, I’ve had a few people mention that I sound much clearer on the Galaxy Note II as opposed to the  Atrix 2.

Network speeds are blazing fast, especially when it’s hooked up to an LTE network. I’m often able to hit 40MBp/s in download speeds. I’ve only once had the network cut out on me, but that was when AT&T was doing maintenance on their cell towers where I live, so I hardly consider that the Note II’s fault.

As for reliability, I don’t think any smartphone could get you through the day like the Galaxy Note II. The device features a 3100 mAh battery, which often gets me through 1 1/2 days without a charge (that’s on the basis that I’m not using the Mobile Hotspot or playing games frequently). If you’re a smartphone power user, one charge will easily get you through the day until you can reach a charger.

Durability

The durability of the Samsung Galaxy Note II is unmatched. In fact, Android Authority did a video a few months back dropping the smartphone from shoulder length onto the cement. A few scuffs and scratches were found on the device, but everything was in working condition. In fact, Android Authority gave the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Note II’s little brother, the ‘ol drop test as well. The device did not see similar results to the Note II. In fact, it saw much worse results.

The Galaxy Note II won’t wear out easily.

Overall

The overall quality of the Galaxy Note II is unmatched (although, the S III touts a lot of similarities). At the time of this writing, its performance and reliability is some of the best you can get in the market. Despite better devices in the works for 2013, the device will no doubt still be something to consider and won’t be looked at as “old technology.”

I am very impressed with the quality that the Note II provides. This is easily one of the best devices Samsung has ever produced. I would recommend the device in a heartbeat to anyone who can get past the idea of a large screen.

AT&T Motorola Atrix 4G To Get a New Software Update Soon

motorola-Atrix-4G

Motorola has announced, through their Motorola Owners’ Forums and Motorola Feedback Network, that they are looking for testers for a software update that will be headed to the Motorola Atrix 4G. The e-mail did not say what was included in the upcoming update, but many have hopes that it will be Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich despite earlier claims that the device would stay on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In the past, Motorola has used soak tests from anything ranging from massive OS upgrades to mere bug fixes.

Motorola hasn’t said when the soak test will begin, but since e-mails are starting to go out, it shouldn’t be long from now. You can check out the e-mail below.

Hi,

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Motorola ATRIX 4G on AT&T to participate in an early preview of a new software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Motorola ATRIX 4G on AT&T, please excuse and ignore this email.

Click this link – redacted – to take the enrollment survey if you wish to take part. Note that you must be a member in good standing of the Motorola Owners’ Forums to be included. The registration window could close without notice so please respond as quickly as possible.

This is a confidential test under the terms of the Motorola Feedback Network. Do not post any details or information about this on any public sites.

Thanks — please understand that start times are always fluid. We ask for your patience if you register but don’t hear from us right away.

Matt

Motorola Owners’ Forums
Motorola Feedback Network

source: Android Central

LG France Director Addresses Nexus 4 Supplies

nexus-4

We’ve seen a lot of controversy regarding Nexus 4 production. Rumors even began to spread that LG was halting Nexus 4 production entirely. More recently, LG told the Korean press that they have had no issues with supplies on their end.

Today, an interview with Cathy Robin, LG Mobile France’s director, may just give us an explanation into the lack of availability of Google’s LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone. Robin told French outlet Challenges.fr, “the supply problems are not solely related to LG.” Google presented LG with their sales forecast based off of the performance of previous Nexus phones, which, as we all saw, were exceeded by the supreme demand of the Nexus 4. Despite these issues, Robin insists that LG and Google’s relationship are going “very well.”

During the interview, Robin also made sure to dismiss rumors that Nexus 4 production was either slowing down or coming to a permanent production stop. In fact, Robin claims that LG is boosting up their production, and by mid-February the Nexus 4 should be readily available to interested and potential customers. In other words, LG is preparing for a big Nexus 4 push in February, which isn’t that far away now.

Now that rumors of the Nexus 4’s production coming to a halt has been squashed, those that want to snag themselves a Nexus 4 only have to wait a mere a month.

source: Challenges.fr

Nexus 4 Charging Orb Spotted On Swedish Retailer

Google-Wireless-Charging-Orb

The Nexus 4 is certainly an outstanding smartphone, but the one thing that has been driving consumers nuts is the fact that we have seen little to nothing on the wireless charging orb since the Nexus 4’s launch.

A sparkle of hope surfaced today, as the charging orb has surfaced on Swedish retailer Dustin Home priced at 739 kr (including 25% VAT) or $114 USD. It’s a bit pricey, but for a wireless charger, what would you expect?

The listing does say the shipping date is February 12th, but that’s very unlikely considering how many “delays” the Nexus 7’s docking station received from online retailers.

Who knows though, maybe February 12th will end up being a solid shipping date.

source: Dustin Home

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Samsung Galaxy Pocket Plus Launching In the Coming Months

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A new leak hints that Samsung might be preparing to launch the Galaxy Pocket Plus, the successor to the budget-oriented Galaxy Pocket, very soon. The rumor claims Samsung will release the device globally within the first half of 2013. The Pocket Plus, much like the Galaxy Pocket, is aimed at the low-end prepaid market, but it will sport some decent hardware.

  • Android IceCream Sandwich (4.0.4)
  • BCM21654, 850Mhz Broadcom SoC
  • GSM (GSM850/ EGSM900/ DCS1800/ PCS1900), WCDMA (W850/ W1900)
  • 4G Bytes (eMMC) + 4G bits (RAM) memory
  • 2 megapixel camera
  • 2.8″ QVGA TFT (C-type, Multi Touch)
  • 1200mAh standard battery
  • A-GPS / BT v3.0 / USB v2.0 HS / WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) / FM Radio
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Digital Compass

The hardware in the Galaxy Pocket Plus looks good for a budget smartphone, except the 2.8-inch display will be a huge turnoff.

source: SamMobile

Samsung Galaxy S III Receiving Jelly Bean On AT&T

Verizon to unlock Galaxy S III bootloader via an OTA

AT&T users rejoice! The Jelly Bean update for AT&T’s variant of the Samsung Galaxy S III is finally available to download over the air! It’s been a extremely long wait as Jelly Bean has been available to the AT&T Galaxy S III via Samsung’s Kies desktop software since early December, but many don’t want to bother with such a complicated process. It was rather confusing as to why AT&T chose to offer Jelly Bean exclusively via Kies when it came out at the start of December, especially when you consider every other carrier pushed it out via over the air. Regardless, the carrier finally made the choice to make Jelly Bean available via OTA for its users who haven’t updated yet — and that’s more than likely the majority of users since most people either have no idea what Kies is or never heard an official announcement.

As usual, you can only get the update if you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, as AT&T — for some inexplicable reason — won’t let you download the update via the mobile data network. Regardless, it’s a much better option than using the dreadful Kies desktop software.

As usual, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean brings a whole host of new features, including Google Now and the coveted Project Butter, which adds a plethora of performance improvements to the Android OS.

Have you snagged the update for your Galaxy S III yet? Are you enjoying the buttery goodness that Project Butter offers? Let us know in the comments section below!

source: Android Central

Apple Extends Installment Payment Service To Chinese Customers

apple

Apple is looking to make it easier for Chinese customers to pay for their products. No doubt this is an effort to make money off of low-income customers and isn’t a heart-felt option to help prevent Chinese customers from selling their organs in order to purchase the latest and greatest from Apple.

Apple has posted to its Chinese web site a new installment plan, allowing customers to pay a mere 300 yuan ($48 USD) or more for one of Apple’s products to pay in installments. You can see how this is a very handy deal, especially for the low-income parts of China. Apple will be offering interest-free payments for up to 12 months. Customers who decide to agree with 18- or 24-month installments will see interest at 6.5 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively. It seems like a win-win situation when both parties have something to gain. Apple earns extra money off of interest and the consumer doesn’t have to shell out $700 for an iPad upfront.

Upon checking out on Apple’s online store, customers will be prompted to either pay in full or choose an installment plan to pay over a period of months. Customers will be entered into installment plans through the Merchants Bank credit card.

Apple isn’t exclusively offering the installment plan to customers in China, as U.S. customers also have an option for installment plans. Apple allows U.S. customers to finance their products for 18 months. Customers that reach $1,999 or more have no interest for that period. The no-interest option is also available on smaller products, but lasts for a shorter amount of time.

No doubt these installment plans were put in place so that Apple could make more money off of low-income customers.

source: CNET

Image: Apple

White House Petition Response Requirement Raised From 25K Signatures To 100K

wethepeople

Petition authors looking to submit a request to the White House to dissolve the IRS or outlaw patents on naturally occurring molecules are going to have to work a whole lot harder in order to garner an official response from the White House.

Moving forward, petitions filed on WhiteHouse.org’s We The People will need to snag 100,000 signatures in thirty days in order to garner an official response from the Obama Administration. The previous requirement was a mere 25,000 signatures, which was a lot easier to garner and required little effort. The amount required has quadrupled.

Apparently the White House is not interested in dealing with silly petitions like creating a Death Star (although, 80 years from now that could be seen as a serious topic). The increased signatures will “ensure we’re able to continue to give the most popular ideas the time they deserve,” says Macon Phillips, the White House’s director of digital strategy, in a blog post written yesterday. “This new threshold applies only to petitions created from this point forward and is not retroactively applied to ones that already exist.”

Petition creators are going to have to put a lot more work in promoting their petition moving forward. In essence, this requires that actual hard work will be put into this petition. Creating a petition, posting it to reddit, and praying it will go viral will no longer work with this increased threshold. Actual interest must now be garnered.

The Obama Administration originally launched the online petition platform in September 2011. Since its launch, the platform has become a great venue for citizens to bring up serious issues like gun control, how patents are distributed and maybe even have a little fun with it by suggesting the Death Star be built, which was met with a light-hearted response from the White House on Friday. Yes folks, we, unfortunately, aren’t going to be seeing a Death Star built. The White House may have brought up a variety of “major issues” on constructing it, but let’s face it, the real issue is that George Lucas is going to want 50% of the Death Star’s profits.

source: WhiteHouse.gov
via: CNET

Image: WhiteHouse.gov