Samsung Galaxy Note II lands in the UK

Samsung Galaxy Note II lands in the UKIt's officially the biggest smartphone in all the land, and now the 5.5in Samsung Galaxy Note II can cast its long shadow on the rest of the contents of your newly refurbished pockets.

Far be it for me to say the Galaxy Note II is too big to be called a smartphone, even if I think it is. And I do. Put it this way: the iPhone 5 is a smartphone, and has a 4-inch screen. The Google Nexus 7 is a tablet, and has a 7-inch screen.

The Galaxy Note II is halfway in between. Should Samsung decide that a third generation of the device also warrants a 0.2in screen size bump (as this one does), would it then be more tablet than smartphone? I await your verbal abuse in the Comments.

As for the Galaxy Note II, it's a serious piece of kit, boasting a faster quad-core processor than the more glamorous Galaxy S III, plus it comes with an S-Pen, which as we all know is in fact just a stylus with benefits.

Sound like the kind of thing to tick your digital boxes? Well, if you're looking at a SIM-free or PAYG deal those pockets of yours will already have to be rather deep as it is, as we're talking the other side of £500 to pick up a Note 2 outside of contract – and that's just the 16GB model, not the 32GB.

If you are going to sign up for a deal you can get the handset completely free, but you're looking at 24 months of paying close to or over £40 a month.

No word yet on whether the Galaxy Note II will be offered on 4G LTE by new high-speed vendor EE. It has the capability, but EE has yet to specify it as one of the chosen ones to get the 4G nod.

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14 comments

lutin  Oct. 2, 2012 at 11:37

"Well, if you're looking at a SIM-free or PAYG deal those pockets of yours will already have to be rather deep as it is"

Not as deep as they'd have to be for an iphone 5. Or are you talking about the size of the physical size of the phone?

You can upgrade the memory on this for peanuts. You can currently get a 64gb micro sd card for 37 quid (on hukd)

So that's £537 quid for an 80gb Note II vs £700 quid for a 64gb iPhone 5.


Ain't trollin, just sayin.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 12:31

True, lutin. Nothing trolly about it.
But you might want to compare it to alternative Android offerings that also offer SD expansion.
I honestly do not think that a shopper who's been happy with the 3.5in iPhones of the past who considers an iPhone 5 can be tempted by a 5in + behemoth.
Yes, some vocal folks. No doubt. But the masses? I honestly doubt it.
The first Note, incidentally, was one of the best devices I tried last year, but it obviously isn't everyone's cup (kettle) of tea due to its size. That isn't gonna change. The market for the iPhoney type phones of 4in and smaller ain't gonna disappear.
The success off 4.3 inchers and the SGS3 and Note distracts from the fact that the VAST majority of phones sold are smaller than 4.3 inches.
I would therefore argue the Note 2 is a much bigger thread to Android's own 4.3in+ range. Indeed, more people are probably deciding between the SGS3 and the Note 2 than between the iPhone 5 and the Note 2. In addition to the size issue there is the issue of familiarity - something often underrated by us gadget freaks. People who got used to iOS and bought iOS apps, and use Apple's iCloud and what-not, have an extra barrier to overcome. Same goes for Android users, Symbian fans, WP-lovers etc...
The majority of people do NOT want a hobby when they buy a phone, they want a phone that doesn't require their fullest attention.

Some of the biggest critics of WP7 were former WinMo fans/loyalists and, in Nokia's realm, former Symbian fans.

Look at the Android tabs that launch without access to the PlayStore?! Why do they flop? (well, flop is relative when it comes to non iPad tabs) Because even Android fans want the familiar.

But you are right as to Apple's pricing for storage. The difference between a 128GB Macbook Air and a 256GB one can buy you a pretty nice laptop. That just isn't right.

But others tried the same with phones without SD expansion. Check 16GB N9 vs the ever elusive 64GB ones...

Rich4u2  Oct. 2, 2012 at 12:38

Waited for iPhone 5 to come out( bought wife a iPhone 4 & a new iPad 64gb LTE and an Apple T.V. to boot. I didn't think Apple did enough with iPhone 4S to get my hard earned £'s). Due to Apples apparent arrogant and stubborn attitude, I'm now looking at a Note 2 or wait for the S4. Do I wait for the S4?
P.S. I think the iPhone 5 is a brilliant product, let down by customer care issues

lutin  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:00

Some great points in there Jan. A line that particularly strikes a chord:

"The majority of people do NOT want a hobby when they buy a phone, they want a phone that doesn't require their fullest attention."

I'd definitely fall into the hobby camp, but I've noticed that the less time I have on my hands (ever increasing family!) the more I want something that just works.

In keeping with the family theme, my new number one priority on my next phone is the camera (for taking snaps of my little fella (by which I mean, my son)). I'll be watching very closely over the next 6 months or so to see which phone provides the best camera. I still *hope* it's an android one, but if not, that 920 looks mighty tempting.

Jan, how was your experience with the first Note. Did you find it too big (i'm sure you've been asked that question a lot!)

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:19

Yes, eventually I decided the Note was too big for me. I'm not concerned as to whether it made me look like an idiot LOL But I do like to be able to use a phone comfortably with just one hand - at least for a quick sms. And I just couldn't accomplish that. It's totally personal.
I really enjoyed the Note in every other aspect. And if the choice was between an SGS3 or One X and the Note2, I'd go all-in... buy a Note 2. (which seems to have improved greatly on the Pen and the apps that come with it). TBH, I should probably add that I'm not a big Android fan. I hated the first Android phones I used (Galaxy Spics etc), then, with the Desire and DesireHD I enjoyed a sort of honeymoon of hope and potential; but eventually I just can't quite enjoy it. On 'paper' I prefer Android, but in real life use it just doesn't seem to agree with me. I've had a Nokia N9 for about a year. It wasn't supposed to become my permanent full-time device, but since then I tried and dismissed the SGS3, One X/S, Note 1, Xperia S, iPhone 4S, Bold 9900 etc etc... some just for days, others for months. But I keep finding myself crave the brilliant simplicity, build and solidness of the N9.


I'm a bit like you in that I'm looking for a decent camera. I realised in the last year or so, that I can actually live quite nicely without 99.999% of all those apps around; and that I rarely play heavy games, or watch HD movies on my phone. What I do like, though is taking photos, giving them a quick edit and sharing them... For that I liked the iPhone 4S, and I imagine the iPhone 5 is even better at it. But I mostly use Linux - so no iTunes or Zune.
But I am intrigued by the Lumia 920, also. I'm a bit of a Microsoft-hater, though :p (however, I did use winmo phones for years), and before I can fully decide on a Lumia, I will need to know what exactly WP8 brings. Even WP apps developers STILL have no access to the full sdk - which makes me think: either something is very wrong with WP8, or: they have something really cool up their sleeves. Or they are just acting weirdly hahaha

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:21

@rich4u2,
may I ask what those 'customer care issues' are that, in your opinion, let down the otherwise great iPhone 5? Sounds intriguing ;)

ian2606  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:32

I have the first Galaxy Note and find the size has more benefits than not. I also use the s-pen all the time. Its more accurate than fingers when typing as I'm doing now with this message, and it also doesn't leave marks like fingers do.
After having this phone for around 4 months now I wouldn't change it for any other. Maybe the new Note 2, but no other.

lutin  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:33

Yes, eventually I decided the Note was too big for me. I'm not concerned as to whether it made me look like an idiot LOL But I do like to be able to use a phone comfortably with just one hand - at least for a quick sms. And I just couldn't accomplish that. It's totally personal.
I really enjoyed the Note in every other aspect. And if the choice was between an SGS3 or One X and the Note2, I'd go all-in... buy a Note 2. (which seems to have improved greatly on the Pen and the apps that come with it). TBH, I should probably add that I'm not a big Android fan. I hated the first Android phones I used (Galaxy Spics etc), then, with the Desire and DesireHD I enjoyed a sort of honeymoon of hope and potential; but eventually I just can't quite enjoy it. On 'paper' I prefer Android, but in real life use it just doesn't seem to agree with me. I've had a Nokia N9 for about a year. It wasn't supposed to become my permanent full-time device, but since then I tried and dismissed the SGS3, One X/S, Note 1, Xperia S, iPhone 4S, Bold 9900 etc etc... some just for days, others for months. But I keep finding myself crave the brilliant simplicity, build and solidness of the N9.


I'm a bit like you in that I'm looking for a decent camera. I realised in the last year or so, that I can actually live quite nicely without 99.999% of all those apps around; and that I rarely play heavy games, or watch HD movies on my phone. What I do like, though is taking photos, giving them a quick edit and sharing them... For that I liked the iPhone 4S, and I imagine the iPhone 5 is even better at it. But I mostly use Linux - so no iTunes or Zune.
But I am intrigued by the Lumia 920, also. I'm a bit of a Microsoft-hater, though :p (however, I did use winmo phones for years), and before I can fully decide on a Lumia, I will need to know what exactly WP8 brings. Even WP apps developers STILL have no access to the full sdk - which makes me think: either something is very wrong with WP8, or: they have something really cool up their sleeves. Or they are just acting weirdly hahaha



I was a microsoft hater up until very recently.

I love the direction they're going in term of UI. Love the new outlook interface. I've used their azure cloud services to deploy applications (uses the same metro UI) and it's simplicity personified). I also really like what they've done with windows phone. They're getting very slick in a lot of areas and i have to admit that i'm tempted to jump on board with their mobile OS.

P.S I'm a diehard android fanboy and serial flasher (of ROMS). Currently running MIUI, which is class.

ian2606  Oct. 2, 2012 at 13:40

I watch a lot of tv and video's and youtube etc on my phone. Also like playing games. The screen size is great for doing those.
The music player is also quite good on the note.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 14:07

I watch a lot of tv and video's and youtube etc on my phone. Also like playing games. The screen size is great for doing those.
The music player is also quite good on the note.


Agree. As I said: I really preferred the Note over pretty much all new devices I tried in the last 12 months or so. A sister of mine went from some Nokia 3xxx something to a Note, and she loves it. It's really just a personal preference for me to stick with the 3.9in N9

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 14:12

INTERESTING:

Apparently, some European users say their Note 2 arrived without the split-screen multitasking features advertised in Sammy's promo videos?! http://www.phonearena.com/news/Some-Galaxy-Note-II-units-are-shipping-without-the-split-screen-multitasking-feature_id35102

lg77  Oct. 2, 2012 at 14:50

all the note 2 phones in uk are not 4g ready only 3g so if u have one will not work when 4g comes out !! i was told this by a samsung guy !!! i so want one but only get one when the 4g one comes out

stfual  Oct. 2, 2012 at 15:48

I honestly do not think that a shopper who's been happy with the 3.5in iPhones of the past who considers an iPhone 5 can be tempted by a 5in + behemoth.

I agree on the iPhone but I think iPad users might. I'm always amused by the lines of white headphone wearing iSheep on the morning trains. 6 months ago it seemed like half the train was using an iPad in the morning. But I assume it was a bit unwieldy and they've all gone back to their smart phones. The Note will go in a handbag or manbag. Also if you look at the UK usage stats their are still a lot of blackberries out there. They might go note.

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 2, 2012 at 18:18

I honestly do not think that a shopper who's been happy with the 3.5in iPhones of the past who considers an iPhone 5 can be tempted by a 5in + behemoth.

I agree on the iPhone but I think iPad users might. I'm always amused by the lines of white headphone wearing iSheep on the morning trains. 6 months ago it seemed like half the train was using an iPad in the morning. But I assume it was a bit unwieldy and they've all gone back to their smart phones. The Note will go in a handbag or manbag. Also if you look at the UK usage stats their are still a lot of blackberries out there. They might go note.


With you up to the point about BB users. Blackberry keyboards are one of the main strengths of RIM's output. How does an unwieldy (albeit great) Note 2 that 95% of the population can't use one-handed attract folks that are used to typing conveniently on some of the best hardware keyboards ever made? But then again - I didn't expect my sister would fall for the Note... who knows

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