POINT NO TED

SAM­SUNG HAS UP­GRADED THE NOTE WITH MORE FUNC­TION­AL­ITY AND POWER

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - GGCHOICE - TEXT BY NIDHI SIN­GAL PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY RA­JWANT RAWAT

De­spite all the reser­va­tions about its rather large size, the orig­i­nal Sam­sung Galaxy Note turned out to be a huge suc­cess, sell­ing over 10 mil­lion units in a year. Sam­sung seems to have worked hard on the sec­ond ver­sion of the ‘Ph­ablet’, go­ing for an even larger dis­play while mak­ing sure that the Galaxy Note II re­mains com­fort­able to hold. Plus, the ad­di­tions in the sty­lus in­put en­hances the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence.

DE­SIGN

The 5.3-inch dis­play of the orig­i­nal Note made it a bit too broad for a com­fort­able grip. How­ever, the Note II has a

5.5-inch dis­play yet it is eas­ier to hold. This has been achieved by mak­ing the de­vice longer. There is noth­ing new in the de­sign ex­cept for the length­en­ing and the new Note sports the curved edges of the Galaxy SIII. As al­ways, the home but­ton is be­low the dis­play, flanked by two ca­pac­i­tive touch keys. The S-Pen, the dig­i­tal sty­lus, is placed at the lower end.

S-PEN

Thicker and taller than the orig­i­nal, the S-Pen has started feel­ing more like a pen and less like a sty­lus. The new one is not cylin­dri­cal and hence does not roll away. The Note II de­tects when the S-Pen has been de­tached and in­stantly brings up a new home page that of­fers var­i­ous short­cuts to S Note. Then there is the Air View fea­ture that gives a pre­view of emails, im­ages and videos when you just hover the pen over the icons with­out ac­tu­ally touch­ing them. When the S-Pen floats over the top or the bot­tom of an email or S-Note, it moves the page up and down.

USER IN­TER­FACE

The home­screen shows Sam­sung’s Touch­Wiz user in­ter­face, which has been im­proved by adding a Quick Com­mand fea­ture that lets users cre­ate short­cuts for launch­ing apps. For in­stance, we added ‘W’ for launch­ing the web browser. Then, by draw­ing a ‘W’ on the screen, we were able to ac­cess the Web. An­other user-friendly add-on is the sin­gle-handed op­er­a­tion that shrinks the al­phanu­meric key­pad in di­aller and QWERTY key­pad in mes­sages—very use­ful when you con­sider the size of this phone. The smaller visual key­board can be shifted left or right by click­ing an ar­row. The hand­writ­ing recog­ni­tion was near per­fect. As with the S-Note pop-up, a new win­dow pops up when the head­phone is plugged into the 3.5mm jack.

PER­FOR­MANCE

The Note II is among the first de­vices to run on An­droid Jelly Bean. Pow­ered by 1.6GHz quad-core pro­ces­sor and 2GB RAM, it has the finest spec­i­fi­ca­tions. The Note II han­dled all the op­er­a­tions smoothly, in­clud­ing heavy graphic games. There is also an 8MP cam­era that snaps qual­ity im­ages. Watch­ing videos on the 5.5-inch dis­play was a pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence, as was lis­ten­ing to mu­sic. How­ever, while view­ing im­ages in the gallery, there were black bor­ders on the side, some­thing that was non-ex­is­tent on the orig­i­nal Note. Al­low­ing close to a day-and-ahalf of heavy us­age, the bat­tery backup of the Note II proved im­pres­sive.

WHY WE FELL FOR IT THE NOTE II IM­PROVES ON THE ORIG­I­NAL NOTE BY OF­FER­ING MORE EASE OF USE.

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