Galaxy Note 2 Review: Mobile Productivity

The Galaxy Note 2 is an impressive smartphone that delivers productivity and features worthy of the large size. With a keyboard or by itself,the Galaxy Note 2 is a powerful mobile companion that lets me get work done when there is a break in my day.

After using the Galaxy Note 2 for the past several months I find that I am carrying it instead of an iPad or iPad mini. While I typically carry it as a companion device to my iPhone 5, it is more than suitable as a primary smartphone and small tablet.

With the large display, powerful software and a ZAGGKeys Flex keyboard, I’ve found an excellent mix of portability and productivity in an always connected device that can even handle my occasional phone calls.

Galaxy Note 2 Review

The Galaxy Note 2 and a Bluetooth keyboard delivers great productivity.

The Galaxy Note 2 features a large 5.5-inch display that offers more flexibility than the iPad mini by offering up a multi-view feature that lets users use two apps at the same time. This makes it possible to reference something while I am writing on part of the screen. Not every app will work with the Multi-Window view feature, which is very frustrating  but the included Polaris Office app, the default browser, the Falcon Pro twitter client and others do.

Read: Best Galaxy Note 2 Accessories.

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There are times where I enjoy the focused experience of writing on the iPad mini, but just as often I am left double tapping t switch between email or the web browser to check a fact on something I am writing about.

With Multi-Window View I can use two apps at once.

With Multi-Window View I can use two apps at once.

With the Galaxy Note 2 I can keep a large writing area on one side of the phone and a web page or other app on the left, so that I can do more without taking my hands off the keyboard. This is similar to how I work on a laptop or at my desk.

The Galaxy Note 2’s screen is much smaller than the iPad mini, but when it comes to productivity I’ve found that it is large enough to help me get work done, and certainly large enough to warrant the Multi-Window feature, which Google would be wise to adopt as a standard Android feature.

The Galaxy Note 2 vs. the iPad mini, showing size advantages.

The Galaxy Note 2 vs. the iPad mini, showing size advantages.

The mid-sized screen is one of the best Galaxy Note 2 features in my experience. Shortly after the iPad mini launched it became my go to mobile device, but even the iPad mini and a keyboard are bulky compared to carrying the Galaxy Note 2 and a keyboard. I commonly carry a ZAGG keyboard and a mobile device in my SCOTTEVEST, and after several weeks of switching back and forth the Galaxy Note 2 and a keyboard are definitely more convenient than carrying the iPad mini; and I don’t give up much by carrying the Note 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 and ZAGGKeys Flex keyboard.

The Galaxy Note 2 and ZAGGKeys Flex keyboard.

Though not unique to the Galaxy Note 2, I can quickly connect with my co workers using Google+ and Google Hangouts while on the Galaxy Note 2. I am using the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 with 4G LTE, which delivers blazing fast speeds wherever I travel, so I don’t need to worry about hotspots or connectivity.

The Galaxy Note 2 also features the S Pen, a small stylus that brings some unique features to the table. After getting over the initial excitement of the S Pen, I found that I don’t use it very much. The Hover feature is handy, but I am often using the Galaxy Note 2 with a keyboard, or with two hands rather than with the S Pen.

The Galaxy Note 2 next to the ZAGGKeys Flex.

The Galaxy Note 2 next to the ZAGGKeys Flex.

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is available on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile for around $299, but there are deals on Amazon that offer better prices. The Verizon Galaxy Note 2 is $149 and the Sprint Galaxy Note 2 as low as $69.99.

Comments

  1. Roger Jones says

    Hi Josh, very interesting! I looked up the Zagg on amazon.co.uk here, then I remembered I had a old Think Outside Universal BT KB for Pocket PC which I had with a HTC Pocket PC some years ago. I found it, replaced the batteries, put it on the stand and paired it successfully with my own Note 2!
    SO useful, thanks for the idea, my new/old keyboard is foldable and not much bigger folded than the Note 2. Sometimes it is good to hoard things! This is going to be SO useful in restaurants, on flights etc.
    I am looking at getting the Note 8″ soon, hope this old keyboard will work with that to supplement my handwriting.
    Like you, I have not touched my iPad3 since I got my Note 2 just before Christmas.
    BTW, I am 65 years young.
    Regards,
    Roger J

  2. Charlie says

    I bought this phone from a carrier in Australia. The 4G function does not work on it even though the Samsung Reps have confirmed that it works on the model number GT N7105T.

    Beware of buying this as Samsung was deceptive in my view in advertising Galaxy Note 2 model GT N7105T as 4G.

    • Sir Tyson says

      its possible you need an update to be sent to your phone or it may be your location. ..I have the exact same unit in the U.S. which came from overseas and it does in fact work

    • Roger Jones says

      Agree, and I would bet that most of us are using the Note 1/2 for work-related stuff. The iPad really is about content consumption ie leisure, mostly.

  3. amit kumar says

    Wow amazing phone. Surely Galaxy note 2 is a smartphone that goes beyond user expectations. I have faith in your review in turn I got a full review and specification of this phone this site as well. http://www.gadtecho.com/

  4. Roger Jones says

    Yesterday I flew from Amsterdam Schipol to Entebbe in Uganda, nearly ten hours. When the lunchtime drinks trolley reached me, the air hostess saw my Note 2 and asked, “Is that a phone or a tablet? I’ve never seen it before.” I replied, “It’s both, and more, and I have not touched my iPad since the day I got the Note 2″. She said she is an iPad addict, but was clearly taken with the Note 2. I showed her the S Note feature – killer, now for the Note 8!

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