Galaxy Note II launch in Kenya and the Review

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Finally Samsung launched the Samsung Galaxy Note II or Note 2, in Kenya. So far the hype around 5.5-inch phablet, is not as much as what we saw with Galaxy S3 but I think the phone is more than awesome.  When Samsung came up with Galaxy Note I, many were surprised trying to figure out what they ware up to, with a phone which  is not really a phone and at the same time not a tablet.  But now if you take a closer look at the Note II, then you realize that Samsung is trying to sort out the  productivity issue with the phablet…phone.
Talking about Productivity, it has been my main misgiving with the tablets. I have said it before that for the tablets to take over from the desktops and laptops, the designers have to find a way that people can do real hardcore work on them. I think Microsoft  might be on to something big with their recently launched Surface tablets.
As for the Note II, it features major upgrades over the original including a larger screen, a faster processor, highly improved S-Pen, and a slimmer frame with a larger battery.
Screen Size
It is hard not to love the screen size  on the Note II.  It’s 5.5” HD Super AMOLED screen offers better clarity and a 16:9 screen ratio – perfect for content consumption and especially watching movies. It is huge but the display is bright and crisp . Bring in the S Pen and you not only get the consumption aspect but the productivity too. Normally it is annoying the amount of time you have to scroll down when trying to read something on the phone, but that is sorted with Note II. It displays more on the screen and it is possible to see clearly without straining .
By the way of comparison the sizes of Galaxy Note II and Note I remain roughly the same but Note II includes a bigger screen while maintaining a slim body. Side by side Note II has curved edges in a way similar to the Galaxy S3
Design

Straight on to the design and  Corning Gorilla Glass 2-secured HD Super AMOLED screen is outstanding, measuring  5.5 inches. A chrome bezel runs around the screen and the curved edges.  At the bottom there is one physical Home button and two capacitive buttons for Options and Back . The top side contains Samsung badge, sensors, notification light and the front 2MP camera. Samsung maintains the usual side design of  the physical side controls ,volume rocker on the left and power on the right.

Multitasking
The debate about who can multitask and who can’t between men and women is out there but  Galaxy Note II has a clear choice for those who can. Multitasking aspect on the phone is powerful and unique. Welcome to “split screen multitasking” which allows users to run multiple apps at the same time. It  perfectly fit on Note II because huge HD display. So we have a situation where the user can be reading news through the browser on one side of the screen while Tweeting  on the other size.

The Galaxy Note II has  a feature called Popup Video. It  allows users to open a video, move it anywhere on the screen, and then open up other applications while the video floats on the screen and still playing . The speed of the phone allows users to resize and move a video around the screen while being played, without any buffering, stalling or lag.
S-pen

My favorite feature on this phone, the S-pen. The S-pen on the Samsung Galaxy Note II is much improved and features a number of different features that underscore the Productivity thing have been shouting about. The new ergonomic design, the S-Pen allows Galaxy Note II users to draw and write directly on the screen.

It is like it has feelings.  Immediately  you pull the stylus out, it opens up an S Pen menu automatically and bring you on the screen Galaxy Note II S-Pen applications.  Note II notifies you with a bleat if you leave without returning the stylus  back to S-pen holder. It does the notification by  a combination  of the Wacom digitizer and the phone’s accelerometer . The accelerometer judges how far you gone with the phone away from the stylus. And with that ladies and gentlemen, the phones are becoming smarter and smarter.

NFC

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is equipped with Near-Field Communication support.  NFC makes sharing easier than before between two devices. It is the same feature being deployed by the Google Beba cards in Kenya. Among the feature of NFC is the  S-Beam. S-Beam allows users to simply tap two NFC enabled devices together to share larger files. So you can share files from Note II to S3 or from S3 to Note II.

Performance:

Galaxy Note II comes with 1.6GHz Quad_Core processor and 2GB of Internal Memory. On top of that it has microSD slot, which allows the users to upgrade to additional 16/32/64GB of internal memory easily.

Operating System
The Galaxy Note II runs on the  latest Android OS 4.1.1 Jelly Bean overlaid with Samsung’s custom Touchwiz user interface.

 Camera

I think of all the 8MP phone cameras, Note II rear facing camera is the best i have seen so far.
Battery Life:
And one of the main reason I will go for Note II over Galaxy S3 is the battery life . To start with, it has huge 3100mAh battery . From my tests , on average it lasts around a day and a half  before dying. That is with active use.
Samsung Galaxy Note II Price in Kenya
Retailing between Ksh.61K and Ksh.62K
What Do I hate on the phone:
The size which I both like hate and like. It is almost impossible to use it as phone within some areas of Nairobi Town. You know the size.
What is your opinion on the topic?
Kennedy Kachwanya
Lead Blogger at Kachwanya.com
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Kennedy Kachwanya is a technology blogger interested in mobile phones both smart and dumb, mobile apps, mobile money, social media, startups ecosystem and digital Savannah. New media must not forget the strength of old tech.
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