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



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.


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.


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.

Samsung Galaxy S III Receives Firmware Update To Jelly Bean On Sprint’s Network

Rumors that Sprint was going to be rolling out Android 4.1 today for the Samsung Galaxy S III seemed to have been true despite all of the speculation. A user over on the Android Central forums shared the update on it yesterday claiming that the roll out would begin today, but now as you can see, it has proved to be true. This makes Sprint the first United States carrier to start shipping out Jelly Bean to the Galaxy S III. Now that they have this train rolling, perhaps we will be seeing other carriers follow their lead. Of course, there is still speculation that other carriers might not roll it out for a little while yet, as TELUS updated their website with estimated windows for when we might see said update. Usually the United States will get the update earlier than Canada, but in some cases we don’t have to wait very long after Canada gets it. That said, since Sprint has started rolling out the update, I wouldn’t be surprised if AT&T, Verizon, and the other carriers followed.

There are definitely a few benefits in Jelly Bean that you should really like. I am personally a huge fan of what Google Now has to offer. It is an amazing piece of software. Galaxy S III users should look forward to seeing the following improvements and features:

  • Google Now
  • Expandable notifications
  • Android Beam
  • Smarter widgets
  • Camera enhancements
  • Blocking Mode
  • AllShare Cast Wireless Hub compatibility
  • NFC One-Touch Pairing Support

The update will be rolling out to Sprint Galaxy S III devices all over the states and will be coming via OTA (Over The Air). It will be gradually rolling out, so if it isn’t available for download as of yet, be patient as it should be coming extremely soon. Users of the Galaxy S III have definitely been waiting quite a while in anticipation of the update since the handset originally released. While other carriers do not have the update, you have to imagine that they will be soon following Sprint with the roll out of the update.

If you are a Sprint customer, and you own one of the Galaxy S III’s, make sure to let us know if you have received the update and what your thoughts on it all is so far. Has it been worth the wait and anticipation, is it everything you expected it to be? Was playing around with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich a whole lot more exciting than what Jelly Bean offers? Good or bad, let us know in the comments below! We really would love to hear from you on the matter!

Stay tuned with The Droid Guy, we’ll make sure to keep you updated for when Verizon,AT&T and the many other carriers start the ball rolling with the update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S III! If you would like to see the full press release from Sprint, make sure to hit the source link below where you can get the official rundown!

source: Android Central


Leaked document shows Sprint is rolling out Galaxy S III Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update on Oct 25th

When Korean manufacturer, Samsung, announced that its flagship smartphone, Galaxy S III, released in the United States would be getting the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update “soon,” it actually left an impression that US customers aren’t getting the same treatment as with customers from other regions. The company didn’t provide an ETA as to when the update would be rolled out pushing bloggers to speculate that the update might not be rolled out until 2013. There was, however, one carrier that hinted of an update this year—Sprint Nextel.

While many think Sprint would roll out the update in November, the most recent document that was leaked and published online suggests Sprint Galaxy S III owners could start receiving notifications today, October 25th. The screenshot does look legit and it says the update will bring software build L710VPALJ7 to the device. The XDA Developer community was the first one to publish the document and it spread like wild fire considering the popularity of Galaxy S3.

Many tech enthusiasts believe an update from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean is simply an incremental upgrade as the core architecture of the operating system remains unchanged. However, the JB package intended for Galaxy S III should be larger than typical packages for other devices because of its features on top of stock features such as Home Screen Management, Android Beam, better Notifications bar, Google Now, etc. It is expected that Sprint would add a few features to facilitate better customer service.

If you are one of the Galaxy S III owners under Sprint network, this is one reason to be excited. But at the end of the day, this information still needs confirmation from either Samsung or Sprint and as we wait for it, we must take this new with a pinch of a salt. Perhaps, the best thing to do for now is wait and see if the screenshot was taken from the actual Sprint document.

[source: XDA Developer Forums] [via: Phandroid]

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Amazon offering discount on Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung’s Android flagship phone for 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S III, is a really great device. Samsung has managed to sell more than has 20 million units of S III in just 100 days. Now here’s a good news, or may be bad news if you have already bought the device. Since we’re closing in on the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5, and people who haven’t bought a new device are most probably waiting for Apple to launch the next gen iPhone, so in order to attract that group of people, Amazon has made the Samsung Galaxy S III deal sweeter. Amazon has lowered its price tag of the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy S III. This move will surely allow Amazon squeeze some more sales out of the phone yet.

The current price tag of Big Red’s version of the device at Amazon is $139.99. Previously, the phone was being sold for $199.99, so that’s a whopping $60 off Amazon is offering. In order to avail the new pricing, customers are required to activate a new connection and sign a two-year contract. For users who are already with Verizon, fret not because you can upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy S III, but the pricing is a bit different. For existing customers, Samsung Galaxy S III will cost $10 more or $149.99 with a new two-year contract. Still, that’s a $50 savings, which is still a pretty substantial saving.

For those who don’t know much about Samsung Galaxy S III, it’s touted as the “best smartphone on the market”, and its features indeed live up to that claim. It has every feature that you would ask. It should be noted that if you are a developer, Verizon’s version of Galaxy S III comes with an unlockable bootloader, which is not a good thing because most of the carriers are fine with an unlockable bootloader. It’s worth noting that Samsung has a Verizon version of Galaxy S III with unlockable bootloader which can be bought from Samsung directly for $599. Coming back to specs of Verizon Galaxy S III, it will be coming with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor as opposed to Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A9 that is found on the international version. It supports 4G LTE, which is one reason why the US version of SIII comes with S4 dual-core processor instead of international’s Galaxy S3’s Exynos quad-core chips. An impressive 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD Display does its job very well in the display department, and the massive 2 gig of RAM may be a game changer. It has an 8 Megapixel camera at back, while 1.9 MP camera in the front can be used for video chat and stuff, and runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, and of course Jelly Bean update is on its way.

Amazon’s deal is apparently up for a limited time only, so if you do fancy Samsung Galaxy S III, you may very well take advantage of the deal. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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