Five things we hate about the Samsung Galaxy Note II

Here's five things we don't like about the Galaxy Note II so far

Here's five things we dislike about the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

Here's five things we dislike about the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

It hasn't officially been released in Australia yet and Samsung has kept quiet on a potential Aussie release date, but we've been lucky enough to get our hands on Samsung's newest smartphone, the hotly-anticipated Galaxy Note II.

Samsung Galaxy Note II unboxing and first look

Thanks to Australian online store MobiCity, we've been using the Galaxy Note II for a few days. Here's five things we don't like about the Galaxy Note II so far.

1. There's not many good S Pen apps

The new S Pen is longer and better designed than its predecessor, but there remains a lack of apps that have been specifically optimised for it. Samsung's S Note app is handy and a great example of what the S Pen is capable of, but that aside, there aren't many good quality, third-party apps designed with the S Pen in mind.

There aren't many good quality, third-party apps designed specifically for use with the S Pen.
There aren't many good quality, third-party apps designed specifically for use with the S Pen.

A quick look in the Samsung Apps store shows a few other apps under the category "Best S Pen apps" but none of these are really noteworthy. Most of them seem overpriced and while many of them will work fine with the S Pen, not all are completely optimised for it. As an example, most won't be able to take advantage of the S Pen's pressure sensitivity capabilities, which is really what gives the S Pen a distinct advantage over an ordinary stylus.

2. The glossy finish

Our review unit of the Galaxy Note II is the Titanium Grey model, which has an extremely glossy finish. It will ultimately come down to a matter of personal taste, but we found the finish a bit over the top. It's glossier than the pebble blue version of the Galaxy S III and is therefore hard to keep free of grubby fingerprints and marks. It also looks a little cheap in our opinion, even if the excellent build quality isn't an issue.

Of more concern was the fact the Galaxy Note II appears to scratch and scuff rather easily. After just a few days use our unit developed some visible signs of wear and tear, particularly around the edges and on the removable back cover. While we like the materials used in the build, we think Samsung would do well to give the Galaxy Note II a better finish — perhaps a matte surface like HTC uses on the One X and One XL smartphones.

The glossy finish on the Galaxy Note II is hard to keep clean and looks a little cheap, in our opinion.
The glossy finish on the Galaxy Note II is hard to keep clean and looks a little cheap, in our opinion.

3. No 4G connectivity...yet

The N7100 Galaxy Note II model we have in for review is a 3G device only, so it doesn't support the 1800MHz 4G networks operated by Telstra and Optus in Australia. Samsung will eventually sell an N7105 model that features 4G capability on the 1800MHz network, but there is no confirmation this is the model that will be sold in Australia — so far, Samsung has refused to comment about a potential Australian release of the Galaxy Note II.

One point to keep in mind with a 4G model is that it isn't likely to possess the same stellar battery life as the 3G-only version. LTE connectivity is known to be a huge battery drain but the N7105 model features the same 3100mAh battery as the N7000. That is likely to translate into less battery life, though we'll be keen to put that to the test if and when we can get our hands on the N7105 variant.

4. TouchWIZ UI isn't the best looking

This will be another personal preference, but we've never been the biggest fan of the way Samsung's TouchWIZ UI overlay looks. While it certainly adds plenty of functionality and features, we wish Samsung would try and tie more into the stock holo theme that Google uses on Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. TouchWIZ looks much like a cartoonish version of iOS, in our opinion. While some people may like this look, we suspect many other users don't.

Samsung's TouchWIZ interface doesn't really tie into Google's holo UI theme.
Samsung's TouchWIZ interface doesn't really tie into Google's holo UI theme.

It's not just looks either, as TouchWIZ also has some annoying design issues. Despite the Galaxy Note II's huge screen, the software only allows you to have four icons vertically across the display. This doesn't make sense on a 5.5in screen as its such a waste of valuable space that could be taken up by more icons or larger home screen widgets, for example.

You can always get around this issue by installing one of the many third-party Android launchers available in the Google Play Store (we recommend Apex Launcher or Nova Launcher). Keep in mind that some of TouchWIZ's motion features, such as panning to move an icon to another page, won't be available if you choose to install a third-party launcher.

5. The volume buttons are easy to accidentally press

The Samsung Galaxy Note II has a volume rocker on the left side, much like the Samsung Galaxy S III. While the button is well positioned and provides good tactility, the extra size of the Galaxy Note II means its easy to accidentally press when in your pocket.

The volume buttons on the Galaxy Note II are easy to accidentally press.
The volume buttons on the Galaxy Note II are easy to accidentally press.

While listening to music through headphones with the phone in our pocket, we found that the volume was accidentally bumped up and down multiple times. Wearing jeans, this happened frequently. While it isn't a huge issue, those who like to keep phones in their pocket while listening to music may be best advised to purchase a case or find somewhere else to store the phone.

Do you have any questions about the Galaxy Note II? Are you considering buying one? Let us know in the comments below!

Related content

In pictures: Samsung Galaxy Note II unboxing and first look
Samsung quiet on Aussie Galaxy Note II release
Samsung Galaxy Note II preview
Samsung Galaxy Note review
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 review
Samsung Galaxy S III review

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World




Can the Samsung Note II offer Apps, like the iphone? In particular: Snap-Chat or Instagram? If someone likes Apps, which phone would be a better fit?
I just can't decide if I want the Note II or the new iPhone...




@Katydid Can't believe you're asking this. Android has something like 600.00 apps. Instagram is one of them. Don't know about Snap-chat.
Try both phones in the shop. The size is completely different. And choose which OS fits you. I myself would go for the Samsung Galaxy S3 (maybe the Note is a bit too big?).

Leo S


Wow these are mostly simply your preferences. I'm somebody who doesn't buy the android hollow theme. I prefer gloss over matte any day, and you expect the phone to have 4G in your country when it isn't yet released in your country?? Wow.

Please stop wasting our time here.



@Katydid Are you trolling? The phone runs on Android, which has something like 625,000 apps on the Google Play Store, and growing.



1 thing I hate about pc world, if it's not an iphone its not worth having!



Unfortunately, all the things hated by this person who wrote this article, are pure BS. The Galaxy Note II is way ahead of this Iphone5. What a crap of reading this evaluation!!



I think there is a lot that's down to personal preference on phisical size, OS, gloss vs matt, PRICE and if you prefer a phone that is gorgeous & easy to use or a messy and difficult... I have my preference & each to their own I guess.. don't know why you'd want a phone that's this large though.. I guess some people must..

Law Legends





I have been waiting for the Note 2 and waiting for news of its Australian release. You can only hold off for so long so I agree with Law Legends if it is not announced soon I will have to buy another phone.



I went to the shops today and asked a few of the phone shops if they knew when this phone was going to be released, one guy told me he thinks it will be released a few weeks after it is released in the US. I hope not! i want it NOW!! lol



The 4G Note 2 is definitely coming to Australia, and we'll be seeing it around early- to mid-November, as it is distributed to providers/stores, with Optus coming first. Colours are white or titanium grey.



What kind of an article is this?
Who asked you want you don't like about it?
There were 10M Note 1's sold and Samsung prject 30M Note 2's.
It won Samsung an award for most innovative smartphone 2012.
You are the odd one out, out of touch and out of step with reality.



Im in AUS and I bought a note ll a few weeks ago from kogan and
I think its a much better phone than the I phone! Picture qualitly
Is great and I had so much trouble with my I phone.. the menu button
Played up, the speaker stopped working.. note ll 10/10



^ I too bought a note II from Kogan about a week or two ago - best purchase ever. Such a great phone.



Who wants Snappagram?
There have been apps for smartphones for 5 years before there were iphones and there are countless more on Google's Play Store.
No doubt there's some rubbish apps there too.



I've been hanging out for the Samsung Galaxy S3 on 4G in Australia
but somehow it hasn't quite grab me
I currently have an iPhone 4S 32Gb - not a fan of it

Then today I saw a You Tube video for the Note 2

I fell very much in love with it with it's multifunction ability
It size - if it can fit into my jeans/pants pocket relatively easily/easierly
I'll be keen to suss it out & could be quite eager to grab/buy one

Also, I can across an article in the AFR
Samsung launches Galaxy Note II in Oz
Published in the last 13hrs 35mins & Updated in the last 4hrs 40mins
Current Time is 11pm AEST-daylight/Summer time

According to the AFR:
Samsung’s Galaxy Note II will be available in Australia for $899 outright from next week.

The Australian model will be 4G from the get go on Telstra and Optus... It will have a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2 gigabytes of RAM

At the launch event last night in Sydney, Samsung demonstrated a split-screen mode on the phone/tablet, that allows users to open two apps at a time, that’s missing from the overseas versions of the phablet that we've seen. The Australian version of the Note II will also come with the turn-by-turn navigation app, Navigon, free of charge. So it looks like the extra wait for Australia to officially get the device has paid off, though it’s worth noting that the overseas model, which you can already get here through importers such as MobiCity and Kogan, is more than $250 cheaper.

The International Business Times (IBTimes) reported back in 16 Oct 2012 that:
color options, which include Titanium Gray and Marble White

Galaxy Note 2 marks a few firsts: it will be the first device with a display larger than five inches, the first to launch with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and the first to feature a quad-core processor out of the box.

The forthcoming smartphone-tablet hybrid will feature a 5.5-inch screen, making it one of the largest smartphones on the market. This gives users a 0.2-inch bump in screen size from the original Galaxy Note
Additionally, the Note 2 will feature a thinner and lighter body than its predecessor, a Super AMOLED display, an 8-megapixel camera, Near-Field Communication, LTE connectivity, and a redesigned S Pen stylus.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Specs


Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Specs: 10 Things you need to know

There may be more S pen apps down the track with the stylus also been in the Note 10.1

According to T3 The Gadget Website above

S Pen

This is of course what makes the phablet so special and now the S Pen currently available for the Galaxy Note 10.1 will be bundled for the 5.5-inch device. That means a better grip, a rubber tip for greater friction on the screen and increased pressure sensitivity for greater accuracy.

New S Pen modes

As well as the usual integration with on board S Pen apps like S-Note, S Planner and Email, new features including S Pen Air View which will allow you to hover the stylus over content like emails allowing you to view them without navigating away.

There’s also Easy Clip to crop and even flip pictures to edit or add a personally handwritten message. PopUp Note will bring up windows anywhere on the screen while you are working away on something else while PopUp Web similarly means you can open up a browser window anywhere.

I would be curious to so see what it looks like in Marble White
Although I like the sound of Titanium Gray but I would look that as well
Then compare the 2 colours

The Australian model of Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be available in 4G version

According to T3 The Gadget Website above

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Building on the enhanced functionality introduced in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will join the likes of the Nexus 7 and the ASUS Transformer Infinity with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean being available straight out of the box. Samsung’s TouchWiz UI will of course be overlaid on top so expect a distinctly different experience from the Jelly Bean packing devices we’ve seen so far. The good news is that the latest Android update will be available for other Note devices which means you will be able to sync S-Note data across devices.

I imagine I would purchase a case for the Note 2

According to T3 The Gadget Website above

In terms of space to play with, there will be 16, 32 and 64GB versions with MicroSD card support which is expandable up to 64GB



This is all Apple propaganda. Apple is shaking in there boots because they're is a lot of people who really like this phone.

Peter Hindley


The 4G model is the N7105. I love this phone after 2 days of coming from an iphone 4. No lag, write notes anywhere without carrying paper, beautiful screen , Don't need itunes to interface, mini usb which should be standard, windows drag and drop , sd card. This is a business machine at it's finest . 10/10 samsung . Probably the best phone in the world to date



I have turned my into an iPhone Phab tablet Phone with a few apps and a launcher over the OS. I love it.

Occasionally it has been going into settings mode for no reason when watching youtube videos. Might be the Youtube app though.

Other wise I love this phone. Just need to grow some larger hand, or maybe someone can make an app that turns one of the hard or soft buttons into a screen size toggle, so I can reach the things at the top left of the screen (when holding with my right hand). My left hand was devoured by a shark in Dec.



You realise that on jelly bean you have the ability to put apps on the home screen in folders. Meaning 4to a row is BS. Please learn how to use Android operating systems before you say stuff like this under your companies name



Galaxy note 2 owner here I agree this phones sucks , battery life is horrible and iphone 5 wins hands down.



"We don't like the glossy finish and blah blah..."

So essentially PC World is in bed with Samsung, because you didn't list ANY of the countless MAJOR problems.

I am Mark


One more annoying thing the headset control sucks!

Don't get me wrong I love my Galaxy note 2 but compared to my old xperia mini pro, this thing failed in the audio department. Earphones that came with it are annoyingly hard to use the play/answer button won't cooperate. Even tried downloading apps for it, still.

Joyce Puty





The Note has been a total joy for me, fitting happily in most pockets. The one feature that has been underplayed is the cinematic experience watching movies/series. I'm already jealous of the increased specs and battery life for the Note 2. The Note series is a big winner.



I always accidentally put my phone volume too high or too low. Actually that is still ok what I really hate is that I keep accidentally pressing the power button and it fucking turns off... gosh.. always!



Is there a way to disable the phone being unlocked when you plug in the headphones?



Reading this on My note 2 and LMFAO ...

Ashley Rein


This phone is the best phone out I wouldn't change anything on this phone and I recommended everyone to get this phone the battery last for two days even with being on the internet talking on it and playing games.I have never had a phone do that. The memory on this phone is incredible I can put as much shit on this phone as I want. I have a computer and I don't even use it cuz my phone is my computer now you can do anything with it. I know I'm repeating myself but I can't even explain how much you can do on this phone. The s beam it's awesome to use also you don't have to worry about pictures changing sizes from the text messages cuz it was to big or whatever cuz it just goes to the other phone when they touch. I will never go back to anything else now that I got this phone.I can't I'm soiled with it now.

Steve Rand


I bought one a few months ago and didn't see this review.
First thing I did was turn the screen off when changing volume. Then when I went to turn the phone on I turned the volume down. Then I put it on my gripgo in my car and the volume down button was resting on the dash and it turned the volume all the way off after a few bumps in the road (not a problem when I had an iPhone... no buttons on the side.. where you HOLD THE PHONE IN YOUR HAND).
It took some getting used to, then my wife bought the S4... the first thing she did was turn the phone on out of the box and it booted to safe mode. After some Googling we worked out that she had inadvertently held the volume down key at the same time as the power key on bootup. Thanks Samsung... what a poor design!
Other than that, these phones are brilliant. (oh and perhaps never getting my ear lined up with the tiny earpiece when taking a call)

Bill Rimkovich


Can i also download with this phone?

I am Roddy


Within the last week or so my phone automatically turns the volume down ... or off ... while I am listening to the radio. How can I turn this feature off? I listen to the radio while I exercise ... having to stop every 5 minutes (sometimes less) just to turn up the volume is irritating. Help ...

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