Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Review: Unwieldy but the best in class


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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 needs no introduction. It was the undisputed king of phablet world until devices like LG Optimus G Pro came and challenged its supremacy.

 As of now, the Galaxy Note II is available at a price tag of INR 30k approx. in the local market.


Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100

In the light of today’s standards it has nothing ground breaking but it runs all the things it supports buttery smooth. I am not one of those raving Note 2 fans but millions of Note 2 users can’t be wrong.

It has many features which made it what it is today but my personal favourite is the LED indicator which reminds me of events in a non-disturbing manner.

  • Big gorgeous display
  • Good camera
  • Uncompromising performance

  • Too big to fit in pocket
  • Unwieldy display




Like the other Galaxy smartphones, it is also fabricated out of plastic. The glossy back panel might pick up a lot of scratches over time. The chrome plated bezel will also lose its lustre with due course of time making the phone look extra old.

The phone is not made to survive deadly falls and needs to be kept in a flip cover.

The 1.9 MP front camera, proximity and ambient light sensor are located to the right of the earpiece grill.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is famous for its big display but having a big display has its downsides too. This 5.5 inch display makes it very difficult to handle and carry the phone.



User Interface

The Galaxy Note 2 runs on top of Samsung’s own TouchWiz UI which not only makes it look good but also adds tons of functionalities.

It is needless to mention that the UI is very smooth to operate. It owes this smoothness to two reasons- quad-core A-9 processor and Jelly Bean.


The touchscreen and the capacitive buttons at the bottom of the display are also very responsive and didn’t miss even a single touch.

Other cool features built into the UI are homescreen mode, schedule message, blocking mode etc.

Special Features

  • Blocking mode– It lets you disable incoming notifications calls, timers, alarms and even the LED indicator- very useful when you want some time in private or when on a tryst.
  • Quick Glance- hover your hand over the proximity sensor when the screen is off to see notifications related to missed calls and messages.
  • Direct call- It makes a call automatically to the contact you have opened in phonebook.
  • Smart Alert- Vibrates the phone and notifies about the calls or texts that you might have missed as soon as you pick up the phone.
  • Double tap to top- It takes does auto scrolling for you and takes to the top in the list of contacts list and emails when you double tap on the top of the list
  • Tilt to zoom- Place two fingers on the display and then tilt the phone to zoom in and out.
  • Pan to move icon- It lets you move any icon to any screen just by holding it and then panning to the side you want to move the icon too.
  • Pan to browse images- Hold your finger on any image and then move the device to browse the images.
  • Shake to update- Updates the device for information related to email, news and weather apps. You can also use it to search for new devices in bluetooth.
  • Turn over to mute/pause- Simple turn over your phone to mute calls or pause music playback.
  • Palm swipe to capture- Just swipe your palm over the display to take a screenshot.
  • Palm touch to mute/pause- Touch your palm on the screen to mute calls or pause music playback.




The Galaxy Note 2 boasts a beautiful 5.5 inch HD Super AMOLED display. Being an AMOLED display, it has excellent contrast ratio and good sunlight legibility.

Many of you might even fall in love with its saturated color representation. Many like me, would not like the extra colors. Note that it doesn’t have color mode options like the Samsung Galaxy S4. Please check the saturation level of colors being represented by the display yourself. It a subjective matter, some like extra colors while the others don’t.

Gorilla Glass 2 is there to guard the display against the scratches from keys and coins in your pocket.

It is impossible to use such a large display using only one hand but some customizations in the UI make it possible to adjust the layout of basic functions like typing, dialpad etc. Thank you Samsung.


Sound and multimediaSamsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100

The loudspeakers are capable of producing excellent audio levels. So, hearing the ringtone for incoming call in traffic wouldn’t be a problem.

The default audio player supports all of the popular audio and video formats. You can easily play all of the videos till 1080p resolution.
However, seeking to a particular time while playing full HD is not instantaneous.




Typing experience is one of the best that I’ve ever experienced on a phone so far. Just to tell you, I don’t like typing using virtual keypads. But on this phone it felt like I was using a full-fledged keyboard.

The prediction and auto complete options work fine. You can also use voice input to replace typing if you’re good at English.




First things first, if you are a netizen then you should buy this phone. The browsing is a treat on this large display of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Scrolling down media-rich webpages and pinch to zoom is smooth as silk.

The flash content runs like Usain Bolt.

I would highly recommend this phone to anyone whose main purpose is to browse the web.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 comes loaded with an 8MP AF camera capable to taking shots with a resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. The LED flash is also there to assist low-light photography.

The colors and sharpness level of the captured images look more towards the natural side. The shots taken in low-light conditions without the flash have decent amount of details but the colors as expected as slightly dull. In our shooting test the green color of twig looked more natural when the flash was fired.

HDR shot is captured within a second and the resultant image looks vibrant.

The video quality is nothing less than what we saw in the video captured by Nokia Lumia 625. In fact, it is much sharper.

So, if you are not out in the market searching for a phone with a generously big display and great camera under INR 30k then look no further than the Galaxy Note 2.

Downscaled Camera Samples at 90% Quality

Low-light Samples


Here are some camera benchmarks which might come in handy:

Camera start-up time ~ 1.25 s
Shutter Lag  No. Zero Shutter Lag


Full HD Video Recording Test


Hardware Performance

The Exynos chipset has 4 Cortex-A9 cores ticking at 1.6 GHz. Please don’t compare it with some cheap quad-core processor which you get in the phones of local Indian manufacturers. It is way better than them.

The Galaxy Note 2 is made for multi-tasking and excelled at our multi-tasking test.


Here are some timing benchmarks:

Startup Time 21.14 s
Restart Time 30.10 s


Benchmark Scores Screenshots

Benchmark Score
Antutu 17050
Quadrant Standard 6752
Nenamark 2 58 fps
Sunspider 0.91 (lower is better) 1019.4 ms


ConnectivitySamsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was the phablet flagship model of Samsung till the Galaxy Note 3 arrived. The connectivity options include support for HSPA+, WiFi Direct, DLNA, USB Host, A-GPS & GLONASS, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0.



The 3100 mAh Li-Ion battery might sound like a beast but a phone of this type needs a high capacity battery. We could not test the battery backup but from the user feedback I can assure that your Note 2 wouldn’t die on you so easily. On normal usage it generally lasts for at least 1.5 days.

The power saving mode can be also be tweaked to make the phone last even longer. The heating issues were negligible which makes it usable even for long duration.


Final Verdict

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 is one of the best phones that your INR 30k can get right now. It doesn’t have the latest in hardware but it will everything smoothly that you’ll throw at it.
All in all, if you can afford to buy Galaxy Note 2 and if an old design doesn’t make you feel sick then you know what to buy.


  • A hard-core gamer
  • A movie buff
  • Internet addict
  • Frequent traveller


  • Can’t handle very big phones
  • Don’t care about stale plastic body design




Specifications: Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7100 


Name of the device

Chipset Exynos 4412
Processor (CPU) Quad-core @ 1.6 GHz Cortex-A9
GPU Mali-400MP4 @ 533 MHz
Display Type Super AMOLED, 16M colors
Size & Resolution 5.5 inch, 720 x 1280 pixels, 267 ppi
Camera Primary
8MP, AF, LED FlashStills- 3264×2448 pixelsVideo- 1080p @ 30fps
1.9 MP
Android OS v4.1.2 JB (upgradable to 4.3 JB)
Battery Li-Ion 3100 mAh
Memory 16/32/64 GB
Connectivity USB Micro USB 2.0 (MHL), supports USB Host
HSPA+ Yes. down- 21Mbps, up- 5.76 Mbps
WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual band, WiFi Direct, WiFi hotspot
Bluetooth v4.0
FM Radio Yes
Dimensions 151.1 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm
Weight 183 g
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity, gyro, compass, barometer
Colors White, Gray, Brown, Pink, Blue
Online Price INR 31500
SAR Value 0.171 W/Kg


Device sponsored by Cell AC

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