Review Price £549.99
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Battery Life and Connectivity
One of the most impressive specs of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is its 3100mAh battery. That's a full 600mAh more than the original Galaxy Note, and it supplies this new model with impressive stamina.
Set to playing a video file at full screen, with Wi-Fi and 3G switched off (this is out standard test for tablet battery life) and screen brightness set to 50 per cent, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 lasted for just under 12 hours. That's enough to keep you entertained over the period of most long-haul flights, and is hugely impressive given how small and light the phone is.
In normal use, as ever, the stamina will depend on approximately 376,000 thousand factors. Make judicious use of 3G and you can expect to get a minimum of two solid days out of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Only switch on connections when they're needed and you can stretch that out even longer.
There are a great many connection types on offer here, raring to zap that power. It's LTE-compatible, but that's not of much use yet in the UK until the first networks get their 4G offerings of the ground. EE will be the first, due to kick off its 4G offering towards the end of the year.
Advanced connections we can use right now include high-speed 21 Mbps HSUPA, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. Wi-Fi Direct lets you connect directly to other Wi-Fi Direct devices and trade data without actually having an internet connection.
NFC stands for Near-Field Communication, and was one of the most notable absences from the iPhone 5 - hence making it a thing for the Note 2 and Galaxy S3 to bear proudly. It can be used in various food outlets on the high street to buy small items like cups of coffee, and Samsung has made sure it's of some use even if you have no interest in such transactions - enter S Beam.
S Beam is Samsung's marrying of the NFC and Wi-Fi Direct technologies. Put two S Beam compatible devices back to back and they'll be able to pair over NFC, before transferring files over the much faster Wi-Fi Direct standard. If that all sounds a bit too much like the tech version of a saucy nature documentary, Wi-Fi Direct also stands alone within the file transfer sections of apps like the Gallery.
The Wi-Fi connection can also be used to transfer video, over another Samsung standard called AllShare. This has been around for years, and connects all sorts of Samsung products including TVs, Blu-ray player, tablets and phones. It's actually little more than a branded version of the DLNA streaming standard, there to make the tech a bit simpler for non tech-heads to use. With it you can share, videos, pictures and music.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will also be able to output video directly to a TV using a Samsung MHL cable. That microUSB-sized port on the bottom may look like a standard tiddly USB slot, but it's actually cleverer than that. MHL can transfer HD video and surround sound up to 7.1.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Verdict
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 improves the series formula in several important respects. It looks better, the stylus feels better and the tech has been bumped-up in almost every respect. The only slight downer is that as the original Note proved a commercial success rather than an entirely niche device limited to geeks/freaks/giants, this second edition is a bit pricier.
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