Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Contacts, Calling and Browser
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 features what is by 2012 measures a fairly standard address book. Once the phone is hooked-up with Facebook and Twitter apps, you can harvest your contacts from those social networks, and any profile pics are automatically linked to those people.
It's easy enough to merge duplicated contacts from different networks too, making setup a doddle. If you're already an Android user, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will also grab contacts linked to your Google account. Extra ways to organise your contacts include groups and favourites.
The call quality of the phone is great. It uses active noise cancellation with a pinhole microphone on the top of the handset to remove some ambient noise to make you sound clearer to whoever you're talking too, and the earpiece speaker is remarkably loud. It's much louder than the smartphone average.
Earpiece sound focuses on the low and mid-range frequencies, making people's voices sound nice and beefy. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 could arguably do with a slight treble bump to make its call experience shine even brighter.
Also, holding such a giant phone against your head does feel odd for the first few times. It's just something you'll have to embrace, or forever live in mild embarrassment.
One part of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that only benefits from the phone's size is web browsing. Whether using the stylus or a finger, the browsing experience here is universally excellent.
Its screen is large enough to do justice to just about any full desktop website - as opposed to a cut-down mobile browser version - it's quick and although the screen isn't quite as tightly pixel-packed as an iPhone 5, small text is legible.
Unlike most Android Jelly Bean 4.1 devices, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 doesn't use Google Chrome as its inbuilt browser. Instead, it uses a Samsung alternative, with some visual bits consistent with the rest of the UI. Chrome is readily available to download from Google Play if you'd prefer, but according to the Sunspider benchmark, both a similar level of performance. And both have "advanced" features including saving pages for offline reading and forced desktop mode.
Neither offers Adobe Flash support, though, which was officially crossed off the Android checklist when Jelly Bean was introduced. Adobe announced that it was stopped development for the Android platform, and now you can't even download the version of the Adobe Flash player that used to be available on Google Play. The result - Flash-heavy websites won't work.