- Reception and call quality Reception has been outstanding and can hold a signal better than my Nexus 4.
- Display Screen is good but it's not as viewable outside compared to my Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S which both had Samsung displays.
- Battery life 23 hours of usage with 6 hours of screen time and still 7% left.
- Camera I love Samsung's camera UI and how there's so much more options than stock. The picture quality is very good as well!
- Ease of use It's easy to use for a beginner smartphone user but, coming from stock, it actually took me some getting used to all the warning pop ups.
- Design and form factor It's big and plastic. It doesn't feel that premium. It's not very pretty IMO. Also, I wish it had an app switcher button instead of a menu button.
- Portability (size / weight) Despite it being big, it still fits in my pocket!
- Media support Supports all your standard video and music formats but I don't use it much for media apart from Spotify/Google Music.
- Durability My friend dropped it on the first day and it didn't shatter like my Nexus 4.
- Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) It has Android so you'll have plenty of apps to deal with. Unfortunately, not many apps utilize Touchwiz's features like multi-screen.
If there's a stand out feature about this phone that I absolutely love, it's the battery life. I work 11 hour shifts and the Note II can easily last that long with very very high usage. At 23 hours and 7% left, the Note II has had exactly 6 hours of screen time. Compared to my Nexus 4, that's twice as much screen time! So, I simply love this aspect of the phone.
Unlike other Samsung phones that I've seen the display on this isn't as great. The screen is good but it's not great because it just doesn't seem to be as bright as the Galaxy S II. I'm going to assume that the Wacom digitizer (for the S Pen) requires an extra layer which in turn increases glare. Other than outdoor visibility, the screen is good.
I don't like TouchWiz's UI but there are some redeeming aspects of it. It's pretty intrusive, it's too user friendly, it adds too many warning pop ups, and there are several things that annoy me about and I'm not sure if it's a bug or not.
What I mean by it being too user friendly is that in many things you do, stupid pop ups will always come up to warn you of what you're about to do. It only adds a second or two to whatever you're doing but, when you're coming from stock Android, it just comes as intrusive and annoying. Another annoying thing about it is that every time I restart my phone, it clears out all the default apps. This means that I have to select my default launcher again, default keyboard, default browser, etc. I'm thinking that this is a "feature" to help those less familiar with smartphones when they've accidentally set an app to be a default something. It's really annoying and totally slows down the fast start up of the phone. Lastly, S Voice is so stupid. Seriously, it's useless and you're better off just disabling it.
Apart from the annoyances of TouchWiz, there are some great new features it adds. TouchWiz added many gesture features that I really appreciate. For example, if you're on your friends contact info and you raise the phone up to your ear, it automatically calls him/her. Another feature is swiping your hand across the screen to take a screenshot. The last feature that I really like is how the screen doesn't turn so long as it detects your eyes are looking at it. I would like to see these nifty little features added onto stock Android.
So, in the end, I really want to give this phone a 9 but I can't because of TouchWiz's annoying UI and weird bugs, I'm going to have to give an 8/8.5.
Update: I realized that I didn't talk about the S Pen at all. It's a cool stylus and it has its uses but it's definitely not a game changer.
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