Goodbye iPhone, The Galaxy Note II Is My New Gaming Phone

Up until recently I had been counting the days until my December mobile phone upgrade eligibility, the day I could extend my contract for another two years in exchange for a discounted iPhone 5. There'd been a gnawing anxiety deep in my gut, growing strong each day my friends possessed Apple's latest gadget and I did not. Then I got my hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

I was introduced to the Galaxy Note II during a meeting earlier this year with the folks at US carrier T-Mobile. I sat down for the meeting and laid my iPhone 4 down on table. The T-Mobile rep laid the Galaxy Note II next to it. I was so taken aback by the difference that they took a picture of the two together and emailed it to me after the meeting.

They used the Note II to show off games, figuring its 5.55-inch 720p Super AMOLED screen was perfect for such purpose. They were correct. I've been playing everything on my own Note II, from Need for Speed Most Wanted to Candy Crush Saga, and I am always impressed by the sharp colours and brightness of the screen. The comparatively tiny iPhone screen, in all its retina glory, just doesn't measure up. Powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, there's nothing on Google Play this baby can't play, short of Tegra 3 optimised titles (thank goodness for my Nexus 7).

It's proven better for business applications as well. I figured the built-in stylus was a feature I would never use, but I find myself jotting down notes with it on a regular basis. Sometimes I use it to play puzzles games. There's even a nifty feature for capturing screenshots -- hold down the stylus button, press it to the screen for a second, and instant screenshot. That's come in incredibly handy with my new position as Kotaku's mobile czar.

Sure, the Galaxy Note II is huge, but so am I. At 6'6" with giant ham hands, I imagine me holding a Galaxy Note II, lovingly referred to as a phablet (a cross between phone and tablet), feels much like what it does when normal-sized people hold normal-sized phones. If you want to see how a normal-sized person reacts, ask Owen Good -- after seeing the Note II in action during our trip to Kotaku's New York headquarters last week he bought one for himself.

The Galaxy Note II has the power and convenience I need and it's Fahey-sized, but ultimately the credit or blame for my switching from iPhone to Android is on Apple's shoulders. With the release of the 5th generation iPod Touch, featuring all of the power of the iPhone 4S with the screen of the iPhone 5 and a ridiculously thin body, I don't need an iPhone anymore.

If I want Apple gaming in my pocket, the iPod has it covered. The Samsung Galaxy Note II has everything else covered.


    I know it's just a coincidence, but all the Galaxy note 2 ads and the brought to you by Samsung thing at the top? Suspicious... :P

    Last edited 21/12/12 5:40 pm

      Kotaku AU and US are owned by separate entities so the ad campaign is coincidental in this case. But guys you really should put a note indicating that this isn't a paid for post.

      Kotaku has been sponsered by Samsung for about a week at the moment. So have the other Allure sites, and I still saw the iPad 4 beat a samsung in a tablet showdown.

        :D Yeah, man. Just made me laugh is all, not accusing them of any thing!

      You've never heard of contextual advertising? It's been on the Allure sites for a while now.

    I just can't stand how big they are. For everything other than gaming they're a totally impractical size.

      I've had one for about a week now, and impractical it's not. Fits into pockets just fine. It does require holding with both hands, though, when you want to do something. Though it is supposed to have a one-handed keyboard mode, I've not tried it.

      Best phone I've ever owned so far!

        Agreed... Had an iPhone for ages but I love my replacement Note II. The One-Handed keyboard isn't that different, but you get used to using one hand anyway. It's so light and the battery's so massive the size isn't really a problem.

    I'll stick to my dedicated gaming handhelds thanks

    There's one main reason I've been sticking to the iphone: iTunes (or the app version/section of it).
    Say what you like about it but iTunes is big enough to get pretty much all the games.
    I had an android phone previously, it kicked ass power-wise but there were bugger all games (worth playing.

      iTunes was the reason I changed over to android... After losing all my phone data more than once because of stupid "syncing" with the pc for games and my music collection due to OS updates, etc. Honestly in the end it was a painful 2 years using an iphone. But thanks samsung and google, no syncing, simple drag and drop, flash websites, etc etc etc. One product from apple was enough for at least the next 10 years. Sure the marketplace on Android is slightly smaller but the upgrade in features was like 100 to 1, seriously. No turning back.

    Actually my iPad become my gaming device, before it was the iphone but now its gone back to a phone and has alot of utilities on it from camera apps and news apps and more. The note 2 would be great for gaming due to the screen but sorry, you still look like a goose when you make a call in public with it.

    But touch gaming sucks.

      It's different, but I wouldn't say it sucks. I thought some mechanics are quite inspired. But to each their own. :)

      But with an Android phone, you can install ScummVM and play the classic adventure games. Touch screens are perfect for Day of the Tentacle and those sorts of games.

    The best thing about the Galaxy Note 2 is the giant screen, after using it for a while just about everything else feels tiny. It's great for movies/tv shows and gaming, not to mention it's also got great battery life and nice stylus functions. I have had mine for a month and absolutely love it.

    Weird, same thing happened to me. Was going to get a iphone 5 but after playing with the Note 2 at a voda store it sold me. I love that I can have 2 apps on one screen. The best thing is the battery life, 3 days it lasted me!

    BTW have you noticed the shift on this site from apple lovers to Samsung lovers?

    Mobile gaming isnt that great.

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