[caption id="attachment_1021" align="alignright" width="409"] My new Samsung Galaxy Note II[/caption]
2013 is upon us! Before 2012 came to a close though, I had one last item to take care of. That was to pick up a new Samsung Galaxy Note II. The GN2 replaces my HTC EVO 4G that I have had for two years now. I think the EVO is probably the first cell phone I've ever owned that by the end of the contract term I wasn't completely frustrated with it and ready to absolutely toss the thing. For about the last nine months or so I was constantly battling a memory shortage on the phone which was quite annoying. Probably the worst part of that was it would cut off my GMail delivery on the phone. For probably the last three months, I started to note some degradation in the battery life. I could still get about 5 hours of regular use out of the phone, but that was quite a bit less than normal.
I became eligible for an upgrade in November, but I was hoping to hold out for a price reduction on the GN2. The Galaxy S III came out over the summer and by October and November there were already specials in place. Unfortunately, the GN2 has proven to be very popular, so there weren't really any discounts over the holiday shopping season.. As I watched football games over the weekend before New Year's Day, I kept seeing ads for the GN2 and knowing how popular they are, realized price reductions were probably a ways off. So I went ahead and took the plunge with a run to the Sprint store on Monday afternoon.
At this point I've had the GN2 for a little over a week. The hardware is excellent which keeps the phone running nice and fast. It is definitely a step up from the EVO. I am still learning my way around with it between the Jelly Bean operating system, the GN2 features and the S Pen. I did load up Nova Launcher (I had tested on tablet in article for TalkAndroid and I've been using it on my tablet) and installed a custom icon pack. I'm still not really satisfied with the look of it - may have to figure out how to create my own icon pack.
My biggest issue so far is the cell coverage in my office. Note sure why, but the coverage seems to be spottier than what I was getting with my EVO. The other thing I've noticed is that the EVO would show me that I was on the Sprint network whereas the GN2 does not. I have to guess that is a difference between Samsung and HTC. The good news is the Sprint sales rep told me 4G LTE should start lighting up in February, at least in the Durham area.
I'm currently doing some testing using the GN2 and my Galaxy Tab to go paperless during meetings. I've made it through three meetings so far and continue to try to find the right balance of being able to capture info quick enough and still access supporting materials. I have a committee meeting on Wednesday evening that I have to take minutes for. Still not sure whether I'll resort back to paper for that.
Anyway, below are a couple screenshots from the GN2. One being the first screenshot I took. Doing that is a welcome feature after HTC disabled it on the EVO - not sure how they expect me to spread the word about how great Android and their devices are if I can't show them to anyone (but that helps explain why they are nosediving financially and in market share). The other shows my initial modifications with Nova Launcher.
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