The Samsung Galaxy Note II from a webmaster perspective

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 4, 2012
Updated • Apr 11, 2013
Google Android

I recently upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy Note II after two years of using a Samsung Galaxy Wave for nothing but phone functionality and SMS messaging. I wanted to switch to a smartphone that I could use for webmaster related tasks and for Android apps tests and review to post them here on Ghacks.

Several factors played a role in my decision to buy the Galaxy Note II and not an iPhone, Galaxy 3 or any of the other phones out there. First, it features a large screen that allows me to read emails and access websites without having to use the zoom in or out buttons, something that my last phone could not really do at all, and that other phones with smaller screens are not that good in either.

Not having to zoom is one thing, not having to scroll that much to read an email or access a website is another. The phone displays more content on the screen than the majority of phones out there so that you do not have to scroll that much anymore.

samsung galaxy note ii website

The big screen enables me to use it more effectively for webmaster related tasks. The WordPress app for Android for instance provides me with a dashboard that I can use to moderate comments, write new articles or do other administrative tasks. And since the screen is bigger than on other phones, I see more contents on the screen at the same time.

wordpress app android

The phone, even though it is quite big, is comfortable to hold. One downside here is that you can't control all buttons and options with just the hand you are holding the phone.  I guess, if you have really large hands you may be able to reach all of the controls, but I can't. That's however more a question of how you use the phone, and I never really needed to use a phone with only one hand before. There is also a one-handed mode app that you can use, which aligns controls on the right side so that they can be reached more easily.

The S-pen was the second feature that I was particularly interested in. I was not really sure what to expect, but had hopes that it would allow me to use the pen to enter text faster or even use it to write WordPress articles while on the go. Text recognition is quite good, at least when you write in your phone's system language. You do however have to verify to make sure the character recognition got it right, and that's the main thing that is slowing you down.The other thing that is slowing you down is the fact that you have to stop between words when you are writing with the pen. It is also not possible to write as fast as you would do on paper or when using the on-screen keyboard which is disappointing.

The pen is not useless though, and that's for the following two reasons:

  • I can use the S-Note app to write down notes in my own handwriting and speed. That's a great feature that is speeding things up considerable as text recognition does not have to be used at all.
  • I use the pen to navigate the phone and to type on the on-screen keyboard when I have to. I prefer using the pen as it get rids of accidental typing errors when you hit the wrong character on the keyboard and need to go back. It adds precision to the process in this regard.

android notes taking

In regards to the pen, there is one design decision that I do not understand. The menu and back buttons on the phone can't be activated by the pen. The home button is different but still awkward as you have to apply pressure to trigger its functionality. The two buttons are touch buttons which won't activate at all if you touch them with the pen.

The 3100 mAh battery offers lots of juice to get you through the day, especially if you turn off unneeded features and dim the screen.

The Galaxy Note II is a worker's phone, at least for me. It may not look as shiny as the Galaxy 3 or the iPhone but that's not really what it is all about. It's large screen, pen and battery make it an ideal companion for a long work day, when you are on a business trip or a day-long meeting.

I have to admit that I do not use it to phone, at least not a lot. If you phone regularly you may find it a bit awkward for that purpose as it is quite big. While it is not really heavy, it looks kinda like you are holding a brick to your head.


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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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