While most of the attention in the smartphone world is currently being lavished on some of the newer devices, including the freshly announced Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the HTC One, there are still other devices out there that are worth the attention of new and first time smartphone buyers. Two such devices are the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD which will be vying for attention in the months to come.
Like 2013, 2012 was full of smartphone releases, particularly near the end of the year when both Motorola and Samsung launched their two new flagship smartphones.
For Motorola, it was the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD, a device that replaced the previous Droid RAZR MAXX by adding a brand new, large HD display while keeping the same massive battery and build design that attracted smartphone shoppers to the phone in the first place.
Since launch, Motorola has also attached Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the Droid RAZR MAXX HD while third-party retailers like Amazon have dropped the price of the Droid RAZR MAXX HD to a more than attractive level. It also helps that the Droid RAZR MAXX HD is available on Verizon, the nation’s largest 4G LTE network. Needless to say, this is a phone that many shoppers are and should be looking at.
Another device that should be on their lists is the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung’s current phablet, which reached shelves back in October and November of last year. Like the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, the Galaxy Note 2 is an extremely compelling device and one that all smartphone shopper should have on their initial list of devices.
And while both are superb options, each has its strengths. Here now, we take a look at six ways that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beats the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD.
One of the unique features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its S Pen, a stylus that Samsung bundles with the device itself. Like a typical stylus, the S Pen allows users to write and draw on the display but unlike other styluses, the S Pen takes advantage of a number of different features that are on board and unique to the Galaxy Note 2 itself.
Maybe the first feature that Galaxy Note 2 owners will encounter is the S Note application which is note taking application that automatically opens when the S Pen is taken out of its storage spot, housed on the Galaxy Note 2 itself.
Other applications include Air View which allows users to hover over things like e-mail, calendar or an image to get a preview of the content before actually having to open it, a feature called Easy Clip which lets users crop content on screen including images to save for later use, and also, the ability to use the S Pen to draw out Quick Commands for tasks like email.
The design of the S Pen is ergonomic which means that users are not going to feel uncomfortable using it for long periods of time, important for a device like the Galaxy Note 2 which shines when used on-the-go.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD does not feature an S Pen or any stylus related applications.
Unlike the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has a removable back plate that users can take off for, really, two different reasons.
The first is to install an extended battery for enhanced battery life. Indeed, the Droid RAZR MAXX HD has a 3,300 mAh battery, but with an extended battery, Galaxy Note 2 owners can install batteries as large as 6,400 mAh in size.
Another benefit is that it makes it easy to replace a battery if and when the battery fails. With the Droid RAZR MAXX HD, there will be a whole process of trying to get it fixed, thanks to its non-removable back but for Galaxy Note 2 owners, the back is simply removed and the battery replaced.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is built with productivity in mind as it is equipped with some powerful multitasking features that just simply are not found on the Droid RAZR MAXX HD.
Two of the biggest multitasking features on the Galaxy Note 2 include one called Multi-Window View and another called Popup Video which are perfect for those that like to do many things at once on their smartphone.
Multi-Window View, which can been seen in the above video, allows owners to split the Galaxy Note 2 in two in order to run two separate applications on-screen at the same time. For instance, users can browse the web on one side of the display while using the Twitter application on the other half.
The other feature, Popup Video, allows users to open a video and move it around the screen, set it somewhere, and perform other tasks while it’s still playing.
Both are features that are not native to the Droid RAZR MAXX HD.
While the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD is limited to a single carrier in the United States, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gives consumers options as it’s available on the five largest service providers in the U.S.
The Droid RAZR MAXX HD is only available on Verizon, but fortunately, it’s the biggest 4G LTE provider around. Still, for those that don’t want to head to Verizon, and there are many reasons not to including the fact that Sprint is the only carrier to offer pure unlimited data to new customers and the fact that AT&T offers it to those grandfathered in, the Galaxy Note 2 is ready and waiting.
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and yes, Verizon, all have the Galaxy Note 2 for sale. Of these, only the T-Mobile model isn’t running on 4G LTE data speeds, at least not yet.
T-Mobile will be offering a software update to Galaxy Note 2 owners to enable 4G LTE which means owners will be able to take advantage of speedy HSPA+ 42 speeds and LTE speeds as well.
The Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD features Motorola Smart Actions which allow users to set up smart actions that are based on location and time. For instance, a Smart Action will silence the phone when the calendar displays a meeting. A Do Not Disturb function can be set up to turn on at a specific time, for instance, bed time. However, while nice, they are not as smart as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2’s software.
Samsung has outfitted the Galaxy Note 2 with some pretty useful features that are a bit more practical than the Droid RAZR MAXX HD’s. For instance, when users flip the Galaxy Note 2 over, it will not only silence a call but it will pause music as well.
It also features something called Direct Dial. With Direct Dial, the Galaxy Note 2 will sense when the phone is close to a user’s face and will call the contact or person who the user is messaging with.
Another feature, called Quick Glance lets users move their hand over the screen while the Galaxy Note 2 is on a table, which will in turn, turn the screen on showing missed calls, text messages and battery life.
Big Incremental Updates
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 beats the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX HD simply because it’s a Samsung phone. That’s because Samsung loves to release new, useful software features for its devices and bring them to owners in incremental Android software updates.
For example, the Galaxy S3 received the Galaxy Note 2’s Multi-Window View and more in a small Android update. And, as we’ve heard, the Galaxy S3 and likely the Galaxy Note 2 will get some of the Galaxy S4’s new software features as well.
Motorola has done a great job of getting updates out to the Droid RAZR MAXX HD but so far, all we’ve seen are some minor enhancements and bug fixes, nothing to the caliber of the Galaxy device updates.