Galaxy Note II (US Cellular) From An iPhone User’s Perspective

note2

As a long time iOS user, I’ve always been a bit turned off by larger screened smartphones, or as some say, the ‘Phablet’. These devices are hybrids between tablets and smartphones, with screens usually ranging between 5″ – 5.5″. And up until recently, I hadn’t had the chance to play around with one of these devices on a day-to-day basis. However, this all changed recently when I received a Samsung Galaxy Note II on the US Cellular network to play around with for a couple of months. Below, I’ve compiled my thoughts on the Android experience on such a large device from an iPhone user’s perspective.

Note: I’ve been an iPhone user for quite sometime. Back in 2009 I got my hands on an iPhone 3GS after switching from Windows Mobile 6.5. Before the 3GS, I was the owner of a first and second-generation iPod touch, so I’ve had quite some time with iOS throughout my life. Day-to-day, I use an iPhone 5, iPad mini and a third-generation iPad with Retina Display. I’ve had experience with Android in the past and have tried out many devices like the Galaxy S III  and the Droid Incredible 4G LTE.

Since the Galaxy Note II’s flagship feature is its enormous screen, I feel obligated to cover it first. During my time with the device, I found that the screen was great for watching movies and drawing with the S-pen (more on that later), but was unnecessary during regular use. Also, because of the Note’s giant screen, it’s next to impossible to use the device with one hand. When taking calls, the Galaxy Note II feels awkward and unnatural due to its screen size. However, though the screen is enormous, it’s very clear and is on-par with my iPhone 5 and iPad with Retina Display. This is due to the device’s 1,280 x 720 Super AMOLED display that looks fabulous in low-light and high-light situations.

As far as performance goes, the Note II is by far the smoothest Android device I’ve used. The device is responsive for the most part and graphic intensive games seem to run flawlessly. This stellar performance is due to the fact that the smartphone is running Android 4.1 and is powered by a quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU clocked at 1.6GHz and 2GB of RAM. This gives the phone all the power needed to run the latest cutting edge Android games.

While the Galaxy Note II’s specs may look better than the iPhone 5 on paper, there’s just something about Android and the Galaxy Note II that feels a bit off. For instance, when using the Note II’s web browser, I often find the device over-scrolling. I’ve also found the Galaxy Note II to be overly snappy when performing system transitions and animations, giving the user interface an unnatural feeling.

The Note II also includes an S Pen, or as I like to say, a glorified stylus. You can use the pen to control the device like you would with your finger, but it can also be used to draw and jot handwritten notes with the S Note application. In theory, this would work well due to the Note II’s massive screen, right? Wrong. Taking handwritten notes with the S Pen feels quite awkward due to the short length of the S Pen itself. The Note II also doesn’t have enough room on the its screen to allow me to comfortably rest my hand when jotting notes. Because of these two factors, I often found my hand slipping off of the Note’s screen, sending my S Pen falling to the floor.

Even though I think the Galaxy Note II is a well performing Android device, it won’t switch me from my good ol’ iPhone. This is mainly due to the fact that the Note II’s screen size and Android OS still seem a bit unnatural to me, though I did throughly enjoy using the device for streaming Netflix videos. However, if you’re a fan of large mobile phone screens and enjoy having the customizability of Android, you’ll probably love the device.

All in all, the Galaxy Note II is a great phone if you’re on the US Cellular network. If you wish to purchase one for yourself, expect to pay $299.99 upfront for a 16GB model on a two-year contract. If you’d prefer to go contract free on US Cellular, the Note II will run you a whopping $799.99.

US Cellular Galaxy S4 Pre-Sales Begins From April 16

Earlier this week, Three UK has started accepting the pre-orders of the Galaxy S4. After some days, it was announced that AT&T will start the pre-sales from April 16 in the US. Now, US Cellular is the country’s second wireless carrier to join the bandwagon. Samsung has already announced that the Galaxy S4 will not be released before April-end.

Samsung has sold more than 50 million units of the Galaxy S III. This handset is expected to even break the record of its predecessor. If you are still unaware of the complete features, then check out the complete specs after the break.

galaxy_s4_us_cellular

Samsung Galaxy S4 features a 5 inch Super-AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) OS, TouchWiz Nature UX, 13 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chats, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and more.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, 16 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 64 GB expandable memory, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE Connectivity, Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll, full HTML web browser, DLNA, HDMI out, Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, 2 GB RAM, Wi-Fi Direct and a 2600 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

US Cellular subscribers can pre-order the Galaxy S4 from April 16. The price and release date has not been announced yet. You can sign-up at the US Cellular’s website to receive an email reminder about the online pre-order offer.

US Cellular Rolls Out Multi-Window Update For Galaxy Note II

Verizon was the only carrier in the US which shipped Galaxy Note II with the multi-window feature out-of-the-box. Other major carriers such as Sprint and AT&T recently started rolling out this update. Now, US Cellular finally joined the bandwagon and rolled out the multi-window update for the Galaxy Note II owners.

The latest update is numbered R950VXALL1 and it bumps the Galaxy Note II to Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean). Apart from that, it brings split screen functionality, minor UI changes, fixed Burst mode issues and a number of preloaded apps such as City ID, Daily Perks, Your Navigator Deluxe, Amazon Shopping, Amazon MP3 and much more. Check out the complete changelog below.

galaxy note 2

Changelog:

  • Split screen functionality (Multi-Window)

Issues Fixed:

  • When taking pictures using “Burst” mode sometimes when you go to gallery, pictures would not be displayed.
  • Device would occasionally toggle between 3G and 1X
  • Could not search images by search option in My files

Pre-loaded Apps:

  • City ID – v. 1.25.1
  • Daily Perks – v. 4.5.14
  • Your Navigator Deluxe – v. 3.1.4
  • Tone Room Deluxe – v. 2.0.31
  • Gameloft Portal – v. 2.1.1
  • Mobi TV – v. 5.1.1.6-216355
  • Amazon Apps – v. 2.6.53
  • Amazon Audible – v. 1.3.9
  • Amazon IMDB – v. 2.7.3.102730110
  • Amazon MP3 – v. 2.7.5
  • Amazon Shopping – v. 2.0.2
  • Amazon Zappos – v. 2.5.1
  • Amazon Kindle – v. 3.7.1.8
  • Slacker Radio – v. 3.2.1062

UI Changes:

  • In drop down menu “Sync” was replaced with “Multi-Window” option
  • Sound icon color was changed from Fray to Green.

The latest can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). It is advised to backup all of your data and completely charge the battery before upgrading the device. If you still haven’t received this update, then just go to Settings > About > Software Updates and check for the update.

US Cellular Launches The Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G

US Cellular recently launched the entry-level Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G smartphone, exclusively for its subscribers in the US. This handset is powered by the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System and it runs on the 4G LTE network, with speeds up to 10 times faster than 3G. This handset comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which allows you type your message quickly and a front-facing camera for video calls.

Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular, said:
“We are excited to offer our latest 4G LTE smartphone for our customers to help them get more done in less time. The large touchscreen and popular QWERTY keyboard for fast typing make the Galaxy Metrix 4G the go-to device for customers who depend on their smartphone to keep up with their busy schedules.”

Samsung Galaxy Metrix 4G features a 4 inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 5 megapixel rear camera and camcorder, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and much more.

It also comes with the usual 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio, Bluetooth, MicroUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 801.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE connectivity, Google Play Store, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot, up to 7 hours of talk-time and up to 14.5 days of stand-by time. This handset measures 4.96″ x 2.54″ x 0.55″ and weighs approximately 5.8 ounces.

The Galaxy Metrix 4G is available for $179.00 after a $100 mail-in rebate and 2 year service agreement. However, you can get this device for $129.00 after a $100 mail-in rebate in markets where 4G service is currently available or will be available by the end of 2012.

U.S. Cellular currently offers 4G LTE service covering 31 percent of their customers in select cities in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. Later this year, 4G LTE coverage will expand to cover select cities in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

US Cellular Announces The Motorola Electrify 2 And Defy XT

Motorola recently announced two new Android powered smartphones, the Motorola Electrify 2 and Motorola Defy XT. These devices will be exclusively available for the subscribers of US Cellular. The Motorola Electrify 2 is second device in the popular Motorola Electrify family of smartphones. This handset runs on the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. On the other hand, Motorola Defy XT is a dust-proof, water-resistant and scratch-resistant smartphone which runs on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS.

Edward Perez, vice president, sales and marketing operations, U.S. Cellular, said:
“Customers who purchase Motorola Electrify 2 or Defy XT will not only enjoy a new cutting-edge Android-powered smartphone, but will also get the best customer experience. A mobile phone should make life simpler and easier to get things done and U.S. Cellular believes the customer relationship with their wireless carrier should be the same.”

Motorola Electrify 2:

Motorola Electrify 2 features a 4.3 inch qHD ColorBoost display, sporting a resolution of 540 x 960 pixels, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, MotoSwitch user interface, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-focus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, VGA front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G connectivity and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, MicroUSB 2.0, WiFi Direct, FM Radio, Ambient light, proximity sensor, Google Play Store, up to 11 hours of talk-time, up to 11 days of stand-by time and a 1780 mAh battery. This handset measures 66mm x 129 mm x 8.4 mm and weighs 130 grams.

Motorola Defy XT:

Motorola Defy XT comes with a 3.7 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 1 GHz processor, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, VGA front-facing camera, 512 MB RAM, 1 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, DLNA, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS, MicroUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G connectivity, up to 5.5 hours of talk-time, up to 12.5 days of stand-by time and a 1650 mAh battery. This handset measures 115mm x 58.5 mm x 11.95 mm and weighs 130 grams.

Motorola Electrify 2 comes with the SMARTACTIONS app that intelligently automates the routine and suggests ways to personalize your phone. These devices allows you to access more than 600,000 apps and games from the Google Play Store. Motorola Electrify 2 is currently available for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a 2 year service agreement. You can also get this device without any contract for 349.99. Motorola Defy XT is available for just $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a 2 year service agreement.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE Arrives On US Cellular For $399

US Cellular recently launched the much-awaited 4G LTE network. The initial rollout of 4G LTE includes select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. US Cellular is the first wireless carrier to offer 4G LTE in several of these markets. Last month, US Cellular announced that the company will soon launch the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S Aviator. Today, the wireless carrier finally launched its first 4G LTE device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

“The Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the first of many cutting-edge devices slated for use on the 4G LTE network,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “This sleek and functional tablet makes it easier than ever for busy customers to simplify and organize their lives.”

samsung galaxy tab 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE on US Cellular features a 10.1 inch WXGA display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) OS, Samsung TouchWiz UX, 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash, HD (720p) video recording, 2 megapixel front-facing camera and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 32 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Adobe Flash Player 10.2, Gyroscope, Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync, Quickoffice HD Editor, Stereo Speaker, Play Store, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0, up to 12 hours of usage time, up to 400 hours of stand-by time and a 7000 mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE comes with a price tag of $499.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. However, for a limited time, US Cellular subscribers in current and upcoming 4G LTE markets can get this device for $399.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a 2 year service agreement. To get this device, simply head over to this page.

Samsung Galaxy S II Now Available At US Cellular For $229.99

Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the most popular device in the history of Android smartphones. This device was recently awarded “The Best Smartphone Of The Year” by GSMA at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. The Samsung Galaxy S II was originally announced last year at the MWC 2011. Within 3 month, the company released this device in its home country, followed by other Asian and European markets.

During the Q3 of 2011, Samsung finally launched this device in the US for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile subscribers. Nearly after a year of its official announcement, Samsung announced the availability of this device for the US Cellular customers. This device is currently available for purchase at the US Cellular’s official website. This device currently runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. However, we are not sure if the US Cellular’s variant of Galaxy S II will get the much-needed Android 4.0 ICS update.

us cellular galaxy s ii

The US Cellular Galaxy S II features a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core Samsung Exnyos C210 processor, Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS, TouchWiz 4.0 user interface, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi Hotspot and so on.

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Swype, Samsung Kies Air, Samsung Media Hub, 16 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, DLNA, HDMI out, NFC (Near Field Communication), Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, Android Market, full HTML web browser and a 1850 mAh battery.

The US Cellular Galaxy S II is currently available for $229.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a two year service agreement. You can also get this device at US Cellular retail stores from tomorrow. To get this device right now, head over to this page at US Cellular.

Samsung Galaxy S II For US Cellular Announced

Samsung Galaxy S II is one of the most popular device in the history of Android smartphones. It is also the largest selling Android smartphone of 2011. Samsung managed to sell 10 million units of this handset within five months of its official launch. The Samsung Galaxy S II is also the largest selling smartphone in its home country. Samsung manages to sell 5 million units of Galaxy S II in South Korea alone.

This handset was announced last year at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. It was first released in South Korea, followed by other Asian and European countries. However, the folks living in the US were left behind. Finally, during the Q3 of 2011, Samsung launched the much-awaited Galaxy S II smartphone, exclusively for the customers of AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint in the US. Now, we have good news for the US Cellular customers. Samsung recently announced the availability of this amazing smartphone for the subscribers of US Cellular.

us cellular galaxy s ii

“The Galaxy S II is the ultimate phone for people looking to simplify and organize their lives,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “The features combined with U.S. Cellular’s unique benefits, like our Battery Swap, make it the go-to device for customers who depend on their smartphone to keep up with their busy schedules.”

The US Cellular Galaxy S II features a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core Samsung Exnyos C210 processor, Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS, TouchWiz 4.0 user interface, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Samsung Media Hub and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, 16 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Swype, Samsung Kies Air, Android Market, full HTML web browser, DLNA, HDMI out, NFC (Near Field Communication) and a 1850 mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S II for US Cellular will be available for $229.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate.

Samsung Galaxy S Aviator And Galaxy Tab 10.1 Coming Soon To US Cellular

US Cellular customers finally has a reason to cheer. US Cellular recently announced that the company will be launching the much-awaited 4G LTE network next month. The initial rollout of 4G LTE includes select cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine, North Carolina, Texas and Oklahoma. US Cellular is the first wireless carrier to offer 4G LTE in several of these markets. The company also announced a couple of 4G LTE devices including the new Samsung Galaxy S Aviator as well as the popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

“With 4G LTE speeds, you can quickly get what you want when you need it,” said Mary N. Dillon, president and CEO of U.S. Cellular. “This 4G LTE network builds upon our industry-leading network satisfaction and is the only one that comes with a valuable rewards program and other unique benefits like Overage Protection and Battery Swap that make our customers the happiest in wireless.”

galaxy s aviator galaxy tab

Samsung Galaxy S Aviator features a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread) Operating System, 8 megapixel rear-camera, front-facing camera for video calls, HDMI port, Android Market, etc. The complete specs of this device is still unknown. This handset might get the new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update, later this year.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes with a 10.1 inch WXGA display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) OS, Samsung TouchWiz UX, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 3 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash, HD (720p) video recording, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Android Market, Bluetooth 3.0, USB 2.0 and a 6800 mAh battery.

US Cellular will first launch the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in March, followed by the Samsung Galaxy S Aviator in April. The price of both the devices will be announced later. US Cellular will also announce the next wave of 4G LTE market later this month.

US Cellular Launches The BlackBerry Curve 9350 For Free On Contract

Back in August, Research-In-Motion (RIM) announced its new BlackBerry Curve 9350 smartphone, under the popular BlackBerry Curve series. This handset runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System. BlackBerry Curve 9350 is a CDMA smartphone. This device is already available for the Sprint customers in the US. Now, US Cellular announced the availability of this handset for its subscribers.

“The BlackBerry Curve 9350 combines everything customers love about BlackBerry smartphones with new features that make connecting with friends, family and business easier than ever,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “At U.S. Cellular, we offer devices that help our customers simplify their life and stay organized, which is one of the reasons why we have the happiest customers in wireless.”

blackberry curve 9350

BlackBerry Curve 9350 features a 2.44 inch HVGA+ display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 360 pixel resolution, 800 MHz Qualcomm 8655 processor, BlackBerry 7 Operating System, Full QWERTY keyboard, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, 5 megapixel camera with flash, image stabilization, face detection, Digital zoom, Geo-tagging, VGA video recording, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR support, etc.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, MicroSD card slot, 512 MB RAM, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB MicroSD card bundled, BlackBerry App World, BlackBerryPlayBook support with BlackBerry Bridge, integrated GPS with A-GPS, NFC (Near Field Communications), up to 9 hours of video playback time, up to 45 hours of music playback time, up to 14.5 days of standby time, up to 5.5 hours of talk-time and a 1040 mAh Lithium-ion battery.

This handset will be available for $49.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in-rebate. Until November 20, the new BlackBerry Curve 9350 is available for free with a 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in-rebate. To get this smartphone, head over to this page at US Cellular