Awhile back I wrote a review of my Google Nexus 7 tablet and people seemed to enjoy it, so after a few weeks with my new "smartphone" I figured I'd do the same.
First off I will start with a similar intro to my Google Nexus review. I am a tech geek (and I develop web sites and do social media for a living). My father likes to joke, if you throw in my "gaming" systems I have so much computing power a satellite in space could pick up the heat signature of my house.
But as with the tablet, since I work out of my house and don't travel much anymore, I never saw the need for a cell phone that did anything more than make/take a phone call, text message, and snap a quick pic from time-to-time. I already have four functional computers and about a $1,000 Siemens Bluetooth phone system (although getting somewhat dated).
Why would I need a "smartphone?" As I found with the tablet, I might not "need" it, but boy do I LOVE IT. If you want a one sentence review, here you go:
I am always the person that wants more computing power, more features, more this or more that, so this will be the first time I've ever said this: this is way more then I needed, but loving every second with it!.A longer review below the fold.
I got the Samsung Galaxy Note II cause although my tablet is made by Google, the hardware for both is made by the same third-party company. I want seamless integration/functionality. Plus, of course they both run the Google Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system. Therefore any app I ran on my tablet runs on my phone and they both sync everything.
Even better, any app I had paid for on my tablet I didn't have to pay for again on my phone. Bonus!
The interface, including the organization of my apps and widgets are a mirror image of my tablet. The phone is just a lot smaller than the tablet.
I am a pretty darn anal and demanding person as it relates to technology but it is hard for me to even find something to bitch about. Outside of the fact gaming on it isn't that fun, cause the screen is smaller than the tablet, I don't even know why I have that darn tablet at this point :).
The phone seems to be able do anything and everything. There isn't a single thing I have wanted to do that I can't. I even expect there are things it does I don't even know it can do.
Out-of-the-box you can just go, but I spent hours getting it to work the way I want (as I did with the tablet), and for me that I could tweak anything and everything is HUGE!!!!!!!! I assume that is the same with all these phones in 2013, but still a huge "thing" for me coupled with my tablet.
The screen quality, although not that of an iPhone (my understanding), puts my tablet to shame. It is just stunning. Everything is crisp. Colors jump up at you.
Maybe the thing I like about it the most over my tablet is my ability to type. I am kind of a "small" dude. My hands are small enough that I can't hold my tablet and type with both thumbs. So I use one forefinger. Bummer! On my Note II I can type like a "mad man" cause that is no longer a problem. Two thumbs better than one forefinger:)
Plus, add in a $1.99 app called GO Keyboard (they have a a ton of apps -- use their SMS app as well) and I can type pretty darn fast and maybe more importantly accurately.
The camera is better then my $450 Sony (2.5 years old -- manual zoom). The video isn't as good as my FLIP, but bought that darn thing and never used it much. Just didn't carried it around. I've taken more video with my Note II in two months then I ever did with my FLIP in the several years I've had it.
But, what about the freaking phone, I mean the darn thing is a phone right :).
As I said I have a really expensive Siemens Bluetooth phone system. It is amazing. It is useless to me now. Dead to me. I can't stress enough how amazing all the phone features are. This is vital to me cause I work out of my house so I spend a ton of time on the phone. The phone itself is so amazing I am "porting" my home and business VOIP numbers to this phone.
Early "smartphone" folks are maybe laughing at me, but laugh away :).
Most of my clients can afford to buy any phone they want. But they want their phone to work well as .... you know a phone. They see their kids playing games, watching movies, all the stuff these vendors highlight in their ads. They never talk about the fact a lot of people are on the phone a lot. Well these darn "smartphones" are exactly what you need, even if you will never watch a movie on one (I surely won't).
Told a client about all the features the other day (her two children have iPhones) and she got it the next day .... LOVES it. She literally said to me "I am on the phone for hours everyday, why didn't anybody tell me these phones can do all this?" I was like "I don't know, neat isn't it?"
How the only two things I am not 110% happy with.
First off is the same problem I had with my tablet. Speaker volume. Don't get me wrong the quality is amazing. I was in the hospital yesterday visiting a family member and my phone rang. My ring tone is just some "stock" one that came with the phone of somebody play acoustic guitar. A nurse came into the room and thought somebody was actually playing a guitar.
But the volume isn't loud enough to hear more then a room or two away.
I get the thing is so small it can't sound like a bullhorn, but alas I hate missing a phone call cause I am in the kitchen and not my office (same floor of my house) and I can't hear it.
The last, which I am getting used to is the Chrome browser. The browser on my tablet is clearly not like the browser on my computer, but it still uses tabs for the pages you have open. Dumbed down version.
But the version on my Note II is dumbed down even more. No tabs. Instead there are, to the far top right a number. The number is the number of tabs you have open. You have to click on that and then they open up as mini-windows. Heck in the long run maybe this is a superior way to do it. But still not something I am used to yet.
So there you have it.
Lets talk some "smartphone" this morning. Cause well as a geek I LOVE to talk about shit like this.