It’s been a long time since I published anything here. It’s not that I’ve written nothing meanwhile, I’m just rather selective about what I’ll publish. While skimming my unpublished posts folder on Google Docs I found and article I wrote when Samsung Galaxy S3 first came out about my initial thoughts. I was using S2 back then and found the new S3 format simply ridiculous. 4.2 inches was the one and true best size for phone screens in my opinion back then and the post was spiced with jokes usually made of Hummer owners.
I stuck to the option til about 1.5 months ago when I first laid my hands on Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Samsungs 5.5” flagship smartphone. We were simply getting something to eat with my co-founder at supermarket closest to our office. Samsung had set up a stall with Galaxy Note 2s and hot girls presenting them. That’s a combination one can’t just walk by so we stayed there and took a look. Both of us had heard something about the device I was interested in the actual multitasking with 2 windows, my co-founder was intrigued by the 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
We spent about 20 minutes at the stall. The girls were really nice, but the thing I was in love with in the end was Note 2. 20 minutes was all it took to make my S2 look small as an iPhone (that concludes the mandatory joke on iPhones in every Android related blog post). So as a Christmas bonus we got Note 2s for everyone in Aplefly.
I’ve been using it for close to a month now and I can bring out only one negative thing. You will look ridiculous talking to it. You’ll look like there is a satellite dish attached to the side of your head. Other than that, it’s the best piece of technology I’ve laid my hands on, besides who uses a smartphone to make calls anyway?
First of all, it’s fast. Boy it’s fast4 cores at 1.6 GhZ and 2 gigs of ram make it almost as powerful as my computer few years back. It sure allows smooth switching between apps and great gaming experience even when playing with HD settings.
Next thing worth mentioning is the stylus. A nice thing while taking notes no doubt but other than that I considered it rather worthless addon. I was wrong again. As the screen detects the proximity of stylus even before actual touch it opens the mobile web to mouseover events. Something that could never work with regular touch screens.
Enough about specs and features, there are thousands of articles and YouTube videos covering that. The real question is not about the specs but about how is it to use on daily basis?
The thirst thing people notice about Note 2 is it’s size. And almost exclusively the first comment they make is about it not fitting into regular pocket. This is just wrong it does fit into normal pockets just fine. I admit it can be a bit tricky to get it out in a car seat, but you should be using a hands free while driving anyway.
From features point of view I’ve begun using handwritten notes during meeting. Not on paper of course, but in the Note using the stylus. It’s really comfortable and let’s you avoid the awkward moment of silence while typing in the information client just told you on iPad. Only it won’t be silence really as the only sound in the room will be the annoying letterpress sound iPad makes. It’s better than regular paper-notes because I can’t lose them and I can easily share them with rest of the team.
Second thing is that I’ve been using my iPad a lot less recently (and I don’t just mean during the meetings). 4.2” screen of my old S2 was not large enough to read longer texts or even browse web comfortably I used to do all that on iPad. Now I read all my emails on my phone. Note has demoted my iPad to e-book reader status. That’s practically all I do on it besides development.
Gaming experience is way better on bigger screen. I try out many games as it’s practically mandatory as an indie developer, but now I enjoy it quite a bit more.
Do I recommend switching your small phone for phablet? Absolutely.