Discussion about
DanCooper

How would you change the Galaxy Note II?

In just three years, the Galaxy Note has grown from a niche device to a must-have, which is almost as eagerly anticipated as Samsung’s Galaxy S flagships. When we placed the Galaxy Note II in the hands of our tame phone driver, they had nothing but praise for the handset. Oh, except for its sky-high price, that is. But what of you, we ask? What particular things did you love or loathe about this particular slab of glass and plastic? Share your experiences.

sort by

83 replies
WorkingsUK

The First thing should be allow installing apps to the sd card!!! (without having to root) 16GB to store apps on these days, and even three years ago, is just a total joke. And tell Samsung to not tell fibs about models that dont exist, (e.g. 64gb model).
4 like dislike
EdHandy

Odd, mine lets me do just that, at least since the (fairly recent) 4.3 update.
1 like dislike
Elantric

With AT&T Note2 - today (March 2012) I'm still on Android 4.1.2 - which is the latest version AT&T has rolled out without me rooting and installing a custom ROM. I hate being detached from the source with AT&T being the gatekeeper of how I get to use my device.
0 like dislike
EdHandy

I hope you mean March 2014. :)... and interesting; T-Mobile got 4.3 about two months ago. I was annoyed enough about never having gotten 4.2, but we eventually got 4.3. It looks like that came available for (and via) AT&T as well: www.androidcentral.com­/android­-43­-update­-hitting­-a... -- have you done a manual check for OTA updates in the last couple months?
0 like dislike
CommentatrPrime

Jelly Bean or Kit Kat is your friend.
0 like dislike
WorkingsUK

Download 'DiskUsage' and you'll see that feature doesnt really work unless my phones software is bust.
0 like dislike
bombastinator

and you can't root btw thanks to KNOX. This is a phone you can't actually own.
0 like dislike
EdHandy

I don't see any sign that KNOX prevents rooting unless you enable it for the secure "work" environment. The newer ROMs, like many other manufacturers, try to detect root, but even that has been broken:
www.ibtimes.co.uk­/root­-galaxy­-note­-2­-n7100­-android...
0 like dislike
bombastinator

That comes pre checked on the note 3. Since the successor to the note 3 is already out, it makes sense to take both into account.
0 like dislike
WorkingsUK

Giving a bit more info on this from another post, moving app to sd card is just a con!?! and doesnt actually do anything regarding making use of a real sd card:

Yeah, on my Samsung Galaxy S4, I see two places:
/storage/emulated/0/ vs /mnt/exSdCard/

The former is (as the name implies) "Emulated" - Not real. Faked with "Memory" (whatever that really is - some sort of flash?)
The latter is the real, physical "External" (micro-SD) card that I inserted.

The Android App manager seems to be only capable of moving apps to emulated (boo!) - Even no mention is made of this - Making the movement (essentially) ineffective.

Of course, I can store pictures, Music & etc in the real SD, and A few apps lets me browse to the latter for their storage place.
But come on Google? If I have a real SD card inserted, and I say move to SD, ASK ME WHICH ONE! - Please?
0 like dislike
Elantric

I switched from an iPhone 4 to a Note II in October 2012, and cant wait to switch back to IOS when Apple releases their large iPhone later in 2014. My complaints with the Note2 are that bulk of the operations I take for granted on my old iPhone just do not work well with Android. I run a few User forums and frequently have to cut and paste important info I wrote in an old post when using SMF, pHp, Vbulllitn type online forums. - and its a terrible experience with the Note II. The problem is with Android OS version 4.1.2 when I edit a post and I locate the cursor to the precise point in the middle of my message, when I hit "paste" - it throws my clipboard contents up at the top of the message, which makes this copy/paste from clipboard feature impossible to use. Also being a musician its very apparent Android is terrible for real time low latency audio processing - not in the same league as IOS. So I find the best way to change Note II is replace it with a similar sized iPhone in September 2014
2 like dislike
transientexpat

I completely agree. Check out my thoughts above. Quite similar to you.
0 like dislike
apallohadas

Sounds like User Error.
0 like dislike
Elantric

In which regard? - I have the same issue (defective Cut & Paste) irregardless of browser used (Chrome, Dolphin, XScope, Opera, etc)

Try for yourself and edit a post right here. On my Note 2 (Android 4.1.2) "paste" will throw the contents of NoteII's Android OS clipboard only at the very top of the post
0 like dislike
Elantric

Well - Ironically tonight I checked for any OS Updates, and coincidentally The Android 4.3 update was available from AT&T (finally) and this actually solved my Cut & Paste problem. So this helps a bit! But I'm still going to replace it with a 5" iPhone once those are available later this year.
1 like dislike
Onebeachbumm

After reading your post, I too checked AT&T for updates and nothing was available, but I am using AT&T through Straight Talk. Would that make a difference on updates?
0 like dislike
timchoi89

When I was in Hong Kong in December/January of 12-13, I dropped my Nexus 4, broke it, and bought a Note II in it's place. About 6 months later I sold it.

Despite me loving, the screen, the stylus, and the GREAT battery life, I just can't stand the cheap plastic feel. That's the ONE thing I would change about it. If you're going to use plastic, you need to pull it off right and make it classy looking. One way of doing that is using a matte finish and not a glossy one. The Note III improved this by using the soft touch fake leather texture which I actually didn't mind but the fake stitching ruined it for me lol.

The other thing I would change is to make TouchWiz a lot less in your face and less Samsung crapware also.
1 like dislike
CommentatrPrime

There exists no durable phone. The classiest looks are always skins or phone cases.
0 like dislike
timchoi89

I didn't mention anything about the durability, I just want a better looking phone that feels more premium.
0 like dislike
jenniannie

Check out casefanatic.com they have cases that give a different backing - metal, etc. Samsung may make cheap plastic back, but they made it removable and change-able!
0 like dislike
one80oneday

Suppose I'd make it like the Note 3...
1 like dislike
sugarweasal

I too am curious why this is about the Note 2 and note the Note 3.
1 like dislike
tubepassenger

I've noticed Engadget have run this type of article for several outdated products. I guess that it is automated and posts a set time after the initial product has been launched.

For products that update every few years, that's fine. But when you ask the same question about products that get updated frequently, the question sounds stupid and the answer is obvious. Engadget needs to stop doing these "How would you change" columns as it is just creating useless noise.
0 like dislike
EdHandy

My own thoughts, having gotten mine in Dec 2012, and having been on the smartphone bandwagon since a PalmOS Kyocera in 2003 (followed by two different HTC Windows Phone models, and the Samsung Epic -- the latter for those who don't recall, being Sprint's keyboard-equipped version of the original Galaxy S)

I'm still really happy with it, and haven't seen any phone that seemed worth upgrading to.
  • The camera is decidedly so-so. It's definitely an improvement over the Epic, and it's good enough for casual snapshots, but it can't really replace a decent low-end point and shoot. It seems like some newer phones are starting to approach that.
  • 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 would be nice, but I do OK at 1280x720, and the resolution is high enough that unlike the Epic, whether it's Pentile or not isn't obvious.
  • Battery life was pretty poor on the early T-Mobile ROMs. It's gotten a lot better as they've released updates, even with adding LTE into the mix. With the 4.3 update, it's been really good most days.
  • TouchWiz has some really nice points (easy access to settings, not quite such a flat black and white look) but it's really, really heavy and I don't think I've EVER used any of the Samsung "value added" software except S Note, and especially (as many other people have said, especially not the stuff that duplicates standard Google stuff or Facebook.)
  • The update to 4.3 took WAY too long given that they skipped 4.2 entirely.
  • I like the color (Titanium Grey) and the materials. It's simple, no fuss, and doesn't stand out or get in the way. I know some people want a phone with more flash, but for my money, it says "I'm all about functionality" and that's what I wanted. It's also stood up a LOT of abuse... between my being a klutz and having a one year old.
  • I like the flip cover add-on a lot. This is the first smartphone I haven't felt the need for a case or screen protectors for.
  • This is the first smartphone I've had make it to the two year mark without the battery feel like it's getting old. User-replaceable batteries have been a "must have" feature for me, and I've got a spare for the Note II, but I rarely need to use it.
  • I carry a lot of media (all on SD card), but I don't game on my phone and never found the memory space for apps a problem on 16GB. Except for games, Android apps just aren't that big. I don't think the internal storage has ever been more than half full, although my 32gb card is mostly full.
  • This is the first smartphone I've where the speakerphone volume is actually loud enough.
1 like dislike
LeeBv

About the flip cover, I used the Samsung flip cover for quite a while and then had a near-disaster when the Note fell to the floor, but fortunately on a carpet. I found another flip cover (search Amazon for D30, I think) that doesn't replace the back but does protect the corners. It's almost as slim and works great. (No - I'm not connected to the manufacturer.)
0 like dislike
Komm

For the love of god Samsung, ditch the cheap plastic and actually make your phones out of something durable.. Other than that, I was able to fix the broken USB board on mine recently and I'm working on re-adding wireless charging. So I guess its not too bad aside from being as cheaply built as possible.
0 like dislike
CommentatrPrime

Most users will put their phone in a case, the whole plastic issue is so 10 years ago already. I've had many different new generation phones and NONE are durable.
1 like dislike
apallohadas

Agreed. I've never had a phone I didn't put a case on. (Maybe an old razr phone or something. Maybe.)
0 like dislike
sugarweasal

I hate phones put into cases. Go Naked. It's the way the phone is meant to be.
0 like dislike
freespace303

I spent at least 2 months researching stuff about my phone before I bought it, which included cases and roms. None of my previous phones has had a case over them cause I usually hate phone cases, cause they are ugly and bulky. But knowing how slippery the Note2 is, I made it a point to find a case I was willing to deal with, cause this phone is expensive!

I wanted my case to be as slim as possible but still be protective and semi-grippy, so I ended up getting this case from amazon within a week I bought my phone.

www.amazon.com­/gp­/product­/B00AECECGW­/ref­=wms­_ohs­_p...

Huge Galaxy Note 2 Case thread on XDA... (yes, I read it all, lol)

forum.xda­-developers.com­/showthread.php­?t­=1931209
0 like dislike
Elantric

I agree! I always put my phone in an Otterbox or Seidio Defender case asap. While others report cracked screens after a fall, my phone gets dropped hard several times a month and still runs fine. I would never dream of running any smartphone that costs +$500 "naked" and non protected.
-1 like dislike
xmalford

The plastic complaint is overplayed. Everyone puts the phone in a case making it a moot point. Besides the Aluminum that apple uses dents so easy, and the glass they used in the past = fail. I work iphones all day long and just about all the glass ones are shattered and broken.
0 like dislike
Villuminati

My Father has this phone, I've used it multiple times and answering this is easy.

- Make TouchWiz use less system resources and get rid of pointless bloatware. To me, bloatware is anything that can be downloaded from the app store manually or anything that repeats a feature the phone is already capable of (i.e Facebook or S Voice)

- Plastic. Flimsy as .... it would be nice to have a part plastic, part aluminium device. I personally think that the bumper around the screen of the Note II is much nicer than the Note 3. If would be nice if they were real aluminium though.

- Vibration Motor. The vibration motor on the Note II is extremely jumpy and overpowered.

- 1080P or LCD non-pentile. Amoled is great, but at 5.5 inches pentile kills a 720P display.

I think the Note II is really what established the Note brand and my father has no complaints with his device. I am certainly an enthusiast with a plethora of device experience, and so like to mix my experiences to create one fantastic smartphone. Certainly one of the best phones of 2012.
0 like dislike
Indiwiz

Note II SAMOLED isn't pentile, but I don't think it's the standard RGB layout either.
1 like dislike

This post has been removed.

WillSokol

www.oled­-info.com­/galaxy­-note­-2­-uses­-non­-pentile­-o...
0 like dislike
EdHandy

I agree with one of the points; TouchWiz has a lot of bloat (although a few of its changes, like having settings more accessible) are nice.

I can't disagree more on the vibration motor. I want a motor strong enough to feel it through a fairly thick pocket, or if left on the table. This has a pretty good one, but stronger wouldn't hurt. Unless it's so strong my girlfriend starts asking to borrow it. :D
0 like dislike
CommentatrPrime

A plastic phone is more durable than a metal phone, just a heads up.
-1 like dislike
chap19150

Please Samsung, get rid of the crappy UI and the inscessant nagging popup messages
0 like dislike
CommentatrPrime

Probably carrier bloatware. You should contact your carrier and complain. Might get a discount on your next bill.
0 like dislike
mash75

1. Always using case, so plastic or otherwise not an issue. Dropped it recently from 1m with case to the concrete floor. Nothing happens. Also take out the screen protector. Be brave!
2. Need Nokia grade OIS camera. I use the phone as A4 scanner and email directly with the excellent Camscanner.
3. Yeah, less bloatware and stuff.. I'm using ARHD with touchwiz and it's way faster than Samsung's.
4. Other than that, I'm sticking with my Note 2 for another year if Note 4 has no OIS camera as the S5 or Note 3.
0 like dislike
Sudaorb

My biggest complaint is that the stylus doesn't activate the menu or back buttons. You have to use gestures for some reason.
0 like dislike
lhutchison

I had the note, note II and now the note 3 I didn't love the first note but the note 2 was a great step up, i liked the fact that it actually used the exynos processor and not snapdragon, Samsung could do a lot better on their phones if they would just put the internal resources they have to good use when making a phone. I like the fact that Samsung is finally dialing back all the touchwiz crap. That was one of my biggest complaints with the note 2, it was so resource heavy the note 2 struggled at times even with its industry le a doing 2bg of ram at the time. It would have been nice if Samsung would have made the s pen work on the capacitive buttons on the phone like they did with the note 3. I personally do not mind the plastic, from experience it seems to me a plastic phone hold up better in a fall then something made out of metal or glass (cough cough iphone). The main thing in my opinion that Samsung could do to make them get more praise is to kill down touchwiz. The super amoled display on the note 3 is awesome it was not on the note 2 I'm glad to see that tech getting better because in my opinion amoled has better color depth than LCD. Another problem amoled displays had was brightness LCD was better in sunlight every time but now it's getting better the note 3 display dose fine in sunlight, the note 2 did not.... so I guess basically most of the thing I disliked about the note 2 have been fixed with the note 3.... The note 3 is a superb phone. Also just so I make my self clear I'm not a Samsung fan boy I've had more HTC and Motorola devices than anything but I am a fan of the note line just not the GS# line.
0 like dislike
take1ads

Hopefully this gets to Samsung to make changes to the note 4. That didn't make it to the note 3. I had the note 2 and my main thing I disliked was the text message. I shouldn't have to click Text message then click to back out of the last message to send a new one, or when I would get a new message still have to click back out of the last message to get to the newest one. Come on Samsung the small details make a world of differences. They should let real heavy users from the USA test them.
0 like dislike
EdHandy

I just use hangouts for text messages now.
0 like dislike
freespace303

omg that infuriated me, I had to go all the way into the actual text message and act like i was going to reply, JUST to get the notification to go away.
0 like dislike
bwbeeman

I am still using the original Note, and still love it in spite of the poor battery life. I don't care about the plastic/metal housing issue, only that if they are going to use plastic that the cover be replaceable when damaged by a drop. Take a clue from the automotive industry and the crush zones in a car body. I am wondering why Samsung includes all those garbage apps, and ATT makes it worse with their own worthless applications. Just make the phone faster, and easier to make use of the SD add-on memory. Else, why have the feature if you cannot direct all apps to that memory space? Why don't other smart phones have the S pen feature? Now, I can put my Palm Pilot skills to good use by taking my Note to conferences to record the occasional link, or name/phone number.
0 like dislike
andreaslmp

Hi!

The only thing I would miss on the Note II is a PixelQi screen.
PixelQi creates dual (e-ink like and LED like) screens on one screen so one can use the screen on regular mode including under the sun or on e-ink mode.

PixelQi is now working to do those screens with PhotoVoltaic capability to charge the smartphone.
I have a Adam Notion Ink tablet with a PixelQi screen and it is extemelly confortable to use it everywhere including under heavy sun light (the ambient light also illuminates the screen).

I would also do the Note II body on legalized wood.

I would add a feature to block all the user unauthorized data collection.


The Note III and the S5 dont have FM radio, which I would also miss.

Have a nice one!
0 like dislike
WillSokol

The Note II was an amazing phone for it's time and was better than any other phone on the market but the only thing that bothers me is touchwiz. Of course today there are things I complain about on the phone aside from the OS such as screen resolution and processing power but the one thing would make this a perfect phone would be a Google Play Edition Note II. We can only wish that Samsung makes one for the Note IV.
0 like dislike
Indiwiz

The design 1st and foremost, I'd add a 1080p LCD, better cameras (although they're already pretty good) , stock Kit Kat with the TW camera software and other goodies (multi window, S-Pen integration, etc..) , and my Nexus 10 has me spoiled with front facing speakers so i'd add those too.
I could do without the Exynos , Snapdragon devices usually have better dev support.
0 like dislike
share:

33 users following this discussion, including:

  • timchoi89
  • WillSokol
  • sarahluo
  • jenniannie
  • dave
  • bombastinator
  • lhutchison
  • chap19150
  • bukhrin
  • SWKerr

This discussion has been viewed 12476 times.
Last activity .