The Daily Driver: Galaxy Note 2

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Because I work here at PhoneBuff, I get the opportunity to use a lot of different smartphones with the option to pick and choose which one I want to use as my daily driver. And up until recently, I have been choosing to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 as my day to day smartphone. Below, I’ll share my thoughts and experiences with Samsung’s smartphone/tablet hybrid:

Out of all of the things that make the experience with the Galaxy Note 2 unique, I’d say the one that sticks out the most to me is how much attention the smartphone got when I was using it out in public. I’d constantly have people coming up to me and asking me what it was and how I liked it. Needless to say, it was a good conversation starter (hint, hint).

When people asked me how I liked the phone or why I’d use a phone so big, I usually said one of two things (actually, I’d often say both of these): The screen is amazing and/or the battery lasts forever. Obviously, the Note 2’s battery doesn’t last forever. But compared to some of the other smartphones out there, saying it lasts forever gives people an idea of how good it really is.

I mean, with the Note 2 I never had to worry about the battery dying on me. I was able to confidently leave the house or office with less than 40% battery life knowing that it was enough to last me throughout the rest of the night. That’s pretty impressive for even the average user, so the fact that I’m a heavy user who plays a lot of games and watches a lot of YouTube videos makes it fantastic.

Now, the battery isn’t the only reason why I liked using the Note 2. There are other smartphone options out there like the Motorola RAZR Maxx that give you the same type of battery life. But like I mentioned earlier, I watch a lot of YouTube and play a lot of games on my phone. Therefore, the large 5.5 inch HD Super AMOLED display just went hand in hand with the battery performance.

I don’t think anybody out there can honestly deny that watching an HD YouTube video on the Note 2 is better than on another smartphone like the iPhone 5 or the previously mentioned Motorola RAZR Maxx. It just won’t happen. It’s like comparing the movie experience at an IMAX movie theater to what you’d get at home. Okay, maybe not that big of a difference. But you get my point.

As you could tell so far, my experience with the Note 2 was a great one. However, the phone isn’t without its flaws. The big flaw, both figuratively and literally, is the size. Sure, that seems to contradict what I just said about the big screen being amazing. But everything has a price. And in this case it is the comfort of holding the phone in your hand and for some people keeping it in your pocket.

The other (potential) flaw is the build quality. While I don’t think there is anything necessarily wrong with the plastic body that Samsung opts to use with their products, I don’t think it’s the best quality material they could use on a smartphone. I accidentally dropped my Note 2 from about 1 foot high on cement and it got a pretty nasty nick on the corner that it fell on.

This wouldn’t have happened on a smartphone like the Lumia 920 or even the iPhone 5. But like I said above, it’s only a potential flaw. If you never drop your phone, or if you get a case (I was using Samsung’s flip cover that didn’t protect the edges) it doesn’t really matter. But still, I think it is something worth mentioning.

Overall, I was extremely happy with using the Note 2 as my daily driver. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that could get past the larger than average size, even after the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. While the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One are technically “better” on many fronts, the Note 2 isn’t really competing with them at the same level.

Instead, the Note 2 is in a whole different category compared to just about any “smartphone.” And that’s because the Note 2 isn’t just a smartphone, but it’s also a tablet. Besides, the Note 2 has just about everything you could really ask for out of a smartphone. Quad-core? Check. LTE? Check. MicroSD card slot and a removable battery? Check and check. You get the point.

Obviously, the Note 3 is going to be an improvement over the Note 2 (better screen, better processor, etc), but I feel like the Note 2 was one of the first phones that I was able to look at without saying “I like it, but I wish they would have included this..or done that…” And coming from someone who has owned and used more smartphones than most people out there, I think that says a lot.

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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

  • Ryan Crips

    Did that clock and weather widget/ background come with your note 2? If not please advise how to get widget like that.