Samsung Galaxy Note II Definitive Review [Part 2]

S-Pen Airview

Contents (maximize to view)

[stextbox id=”info”]This is the 2nd part of our definitive review of the Galaxy Note II. For the 1st part, click this link.[/stextbox]

[vimeo width=”640″ height=”360″][/vimeo]

Samsung has ingeniously revived the stylus. Powered by Wacom, Samsung pushed the Note 2’s capability to its limit by introducing new features – Airview, Popup Note, new gestures, quick commands and S Pen Keeper. Check out our video above – 1:22 – to see some of these features in action!

[stextbox id=”info” caption=”Airview”]When the pen nib is near the screen for a while, the air view features will appear.[/stextbox]

An info pop-up, video preview or further information will be displayed when you hover the pen over an object.

S-Pen Airview

You can also perform pen gestures while pressing the pen button. You can do operations like:

1. Go back to previous screen by drawing a less-than arrow.

2. Open a menu by drawing a carat symbol .

3. Open a popup note by double tapping the screen.

4. Open a quick command by dragging the pen from the bottom to the top of the screen.


Powered by Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9 Exynos 4412 Quad Processor, the Galaxy Note 2 clearly blows away the competition. It scored almost 6,000 on Quadrant Benchmark, making it faster than HTC One X and Asus Transormer Prime TF201. Please note though that benchmark scores are relative scores as benchmark applications consider the current state of devices. It is possible for Note 2 to have a different score after a week or two.

Galaxy Note 2 Quadrant Score

I never experienced any lag while navigating its OS. Picture this: It only me took 6 seconds to SMS ‘Hello!’ to my wife; 10 seconds to start NFS Most Wanted; and 2 seconds to boot up my camera. I did all these tasks starting from the lockscreen. Of course, the SMS and Camera lockscreen shortcuts helped out a lot during my test.

The Note 2 runs on Android Jellybean 4.1.1 out of the box. Its project butter is responsible for its responsiveness and fluid UI navigation. At this point, I don’t want to say that it’s better than the iPhone 5 because there is no competition. Don’t get me wrong – I’m speaking here as an Apple lover. But if there’s one phone that can topple the iPhone 5, there can only be one – the Galaxy Note 2. I don’t care no matter how different this phone is positioned. In terms of software and speed, the Galaxy Note 2 is better than the iPhone 5.

A day later I bought the Note 2, Samsung pushed an update (N7100XXALJ3) which enabled me to enjoy the multitasking multiview. The latter allowed me to run 2 applications simultaneously via split windows. With it, I can check my Twitter feed while playing a video on YouTube. I thought that that feature sets Note 2 (and Galaxy S3 soon) apart from other phones with similar positioning. It clearly displayed how powerful and capable this phone is.

Galaxy Note 2 Multiview


There’s a plethora of new accessories for the Galaxy Note 2 here in the Philippines: screen protectors, cases, USB OTGs, grip assist, etc.! Two of my favorite cases are the Official Flip Cover (with NFC chip) and Nillkin back cover.


This Flip Cover with NFC Chip is available at Widget City for only PhP1,200.00.

The Flip Cover protects the front and back portions of the phone. As mentioned, this also has a built-in NFC Chip; thus, you can still use the S-Beam even when using this cover. The only downside of this cover is that it doesn’t protect the side bezels. If you want to protect that side bezels sans the protection of the screen, another cover that you may want to consider is the Nillkin back cover (see below).

Nillkin back cover for Galaxy Note 2


The Galaxy Note 2 is available through Globe – free at Plan PhP2,499. If you wish to pay lower monthly bills, you may want to consider getting it at Plan 1799 with PhP3,000 cash out. If you’ve got the moolah – say PhP25,000, you can get the International version (N7100) Galaxy Note 2 with free Flip Cover at Widget City. If you’ve got even more moolah – PhP32,500, you can get the LTE Version (N7105) Galaxy Note 2 with free Flip Cover at Widget City too!

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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