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printed July 31, 2014
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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note II for Verizon Wireless

Form Performance Basics Extras S Pen Wrap-Up Comments  8  

Screen

The screen measures 5.5-inches across the diagonal, compared to the original's 5.3-inches. It actually lost pixels. Where the original had 1280 x 800 pixels, the Note II has 1280 x 720. The aspect ratio has changed to something closer to 16:9. Overall, it's a good display, differences aside. It is as bright and colorful as any Super AMOLED display produced by Samsung. With such a large area to fill, pixels are certainly visible from a close distance (six inches or so), but you have to look hard to see them. It's not as sharp as the GSIII's display, which packs the same number of pixels into a 4.8-inch space. But it's a nice huge canvas on which to interact with your content.

Signal

The Verizon Note II is the best of the bunch when it comes to signal performance. It always remained connected to Verizon's LTE and CDMA networks, and never entirely lost the signal. The LTE 4G performance was particularly good. Thanks to the pervasiveness of Verizon's LTE in the metro NYC area, the Note II was almost always on 4G, and the 4G was blazing fast. Of all the devices I've tested on Verizon's LTE network, the Note II is among the best. As far as calls go, the Note II connected all of them on the first attempt, and never dropped any. As I said, the Note II is a strong signal performer.

Sound

As with the Sprint Note II, the Verizon Note II is a good voice phone. For whatever reason, the two CDMA variants run circles around the GSM variants with respect to phone call quality. The Note II also outperforms other recent Verizon devices I've tested, such as the Spectrum 2 and Droid DNA. The earpiece delivered crystal clear voices at exceptionally loud volumes. The speakerphone is also quite good. It was respectably loud, and the quality was superb. Ringers and alerts are loud enough that you won't miss them unless you're standing next to a jack hammer. In which case, the vibrate alert should do the trick.

Battery

The Note II has a 3100mAh battery. Even with the large display and constant use, the Note II easily lasted more than a day on a single charge. I pushed it to the max several days in a row and wasn't worried one bit about making it to the end of the day. It’s important to point out that this includes nearly 100% time spent connected to Verizon's LTE 4G network. The battery is simply huge, and it provides plenty of power for the Note II. If you charge it every night, you'll have plenty of power to get you through your day.

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