The Samsung Galaxy Note II- Totally Worth It!

When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy Note II, there is no comparison really. It’s a halfway device between a phone and a tablet (some call it a phablet). Essentially, it looks like a bigger S3, but it does offer much more. In fact I’m still discovering some things about it.

The Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II. Image from

The Samsung Galaxy S III and Note II. Image from

In Summary- The Good

  • 5.55 inch Super AMOLED Display – someone describes it as oodles of screen real state and I can’t deny this! Awesome for reading, emails, videos, etc
  • Long battery life thanks to its massive-sized battery
  • Great camera – 8MP with auto focus and an impressive 1.9 megapixel camera at the front.
  • Stylus- the handwriting recognition can identify (English) words from even the worst of the scrawlers and its accuracy will make it popular with for those with artistic talent
  • 1.6GHz quad-core processor w/ 2GB RAM- which is super great for playing games and it takes multitasking to another level
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean – there’s a lot of convenience you never knew you needed.. from a taskbar to a comprehensive pull down menu, you get to enjoy the latest version of Android (in the market)
  • Others: LTE, HSPA, microSD support, NFC, GPS etc

Here are two website I’d recommend for review: and

This Longer But Much More Interesting and Detailed Review

The bad
The huge display makes the Galaxy Note 2 unwieldy to carry, it’s also hard to type with one hand. In this city of ours, I don’t pick calls on some streets. However, it still fits into most of my pockets I guess because it’s super slim.

Some Experiences With The Note

The S-Note

I was trying to get creative with the stylus- the S Note Application is quite neat and can allow you to create complicated pieces – but below is all I could come up with.

The picture says it all!

The picture says it all!

One awesome thing (ha! okay there are several awesome things with the note) is that if you’re in a hurry to jot something down, whenever you pull out the stylus, the S-Note app automatically loads on the screen. You can also take a screenshot of what is currently on the screen by holding down the button on the stylus and then proceed to edit the image!

Now you have a glimpse into my inbox! and my handwriting

Now you have a glimpse into my inbox! and my handwriting

The Camera

I have taken numerous pics thanks and with 16GB of internal memory that I’ve hardly used (not currently carrying any movies) I’m equipped for sports and random tours of nature. These make for great photo moments. I take pics everywhere, for instance the shot below was taken from the ladies washroom at work!

A view of downtown Nairobi from Upperhill

A view of downtown Nairobi from Upperhill. Click on it to see the full pic

The Respect

From everyone! I can’t count the number of times people have changed their behaviour towards me when I unleash the Note (I look like I have the money which I don’t!), or how little cousins always cry for my phone whenever they see it, don’t even bother tricking them with any other toys, even they know quality when they see it!

Handwriting Recognition with S-Pen
Sometimes you’re too lazy to write so you can take the pen out and scrawl a message (in English) and it will recognize it.. I’ll have to demonstrate this, not possible to take a screenshot at the moment because the moment I remove the pen from the screen, the words are already recognized..

Intelligent Prediction
When writing, it does not only predict the word but what follows the word.. and the Note II LEARNS people! If I write in a particular style, it starts predicting my sentences. I simply love its intelligence.

Text prediction on the Note II

Text prediction on the Note II

Oh as you can see from the screenshot above, it already predicts the next word possible word and will learn your texting pattern (and language). However since the screen is so huge, if you’re in a matatu, there is a possibility that at least 3 people are sharing what’s on your phone’s screen with you!

S-Voice and Other Intelligent Agents

There’s the usual weather app you can localize to wherever you are, the traffic app that keeps monitoring the roads and guesses (and misses) how many minutes it will take you to get home from your current location, Google Maps and all it has to offer.. eh this list is long. The apps you can find on the market will surely make you an addict of the phone. I have tried my best to control my addiction.

So the other day, my friend Vi and I were playing with S-Voice. It helps to have a slight American accent or at least watch the way you articulate your words. You can tell the phone to do anything for you, e.g. send an email, set an alarm etc and it will do so.

So we tried a search for ‘carbon sequestration’. And with my pronunciation you can see what S-Voice heard. It finally understood Vi, the first two tries are mine:

The search goes on... speech recognition isn't easy!

The search goes on… speech recognition isn’t easy!

The accented Vi then told it to save an alarm after saying I love you…

Vi setting the alarm after the I love message to S-Voice

Vi setting the alarm after the I love message to S-Voice

When I tried to say the same, look what I got..

That's kind of me? You couldn't even like me back, S Voice!!!

That’s kind of me? You couldn’t even like me back, S Voice!!!

So in the end we told S-Voice how stupid it is…

At least an acceptable answer!

At least an acceptable answer!


Because of its processing power, you can have all apps on your phone running smoothly at the same time. Switching between them is seamless, and you can have a video playing continuously minimized on a part of the screen while you do your emailing and texting on the very same screen!

I could go on and on.. but it’s best you see for yourself that it’s worth every cent you spend on it.

You can find the Samsung Galaxy Note II in shops around Nairobi at Ksh 60,000 thereof. Buy from Samsung shops, Safaricom shops, Nakumatt and Tuskys so you’ll be getting the real deal with the warranty.

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3 Responses to The Samsung Galaxy Note II- Totally Worth It!

  1. nice … love’d this review ; feeling challenged by you girl + more inspired


  2. Michael Digolo says:

    Great. When will Note II get a Lollipop update?


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