Tag Archives: Samsung Galaxy Note II

Qi Wireless Charging Receiver Card – Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Review

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A few days ago I posted an article about wireless charging. It was all about some receiver cards that attach to the battery in either your Galaxy S4 or Note II. I bought one for my Note II and I’ve spent the last few days playing about with it. As usual let’s start the review with some good and bad points.

Good Points

  • Relatively cheap
  • No new backplate needed
  • Simple setup
  • Qi compatible

Bad Points

  • Only 0.5A charge rate compared to normal 2A
  • Slow charge rate
  • Can only be applied to one battery

Design

The receiver card comes in a pretty nondescript box, inside is no different, no instructions, just the card and a tear off strip of paper that reveals a strip of adhesive.

The only interesting part of the card is the tab with two pins on, that connect to two pins near the battery pack in the phone.

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In Use

In use the receiver card is pretty easy to set up. You reveal the adhesive on the card and attach it to your battery making sure the two pins are able to contact the pins on the phone.

The next step is really easy, you just put the backplate back on the phone. That pushes the pins into place. All that remains to do then is to find a wireless charging pad.

As I’ve got a couple of Nokia pads I didn’t need to get another one, which made my test for the Note II a whole lot cheaper. I’ve got a flat pad and an upright desk pad as well. The Note II being a huge phone didn’t sit correctly on the upright one, meaning the receiver was no where near the charging coil. Luckily the flat pad was easy to use and I just plonked the Note II down and it started to charge…… Slowly…..

To fully charge the Galaxy Note II whilst turned off, from 1% charge to fully charged took 9 hours. Yes 9 hours.

Up until now I’ve only ever tried out wireless charging on Windows Phone devices, which all have a rapid charging feature thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips they all share, so charging only takes a few hours. The Note II has a 3300 mAh battery which takes a while normally takes a good few hours to charge (it comes with a 2A charger), so charging it with a 0.5A pad takes forever.

Having it charge wirelessly is handy, just being able to drop it down on a pad and slowly charge it whenever you’re at your desk is really useful, it just felt more of a chore than anything, mainly down to the time involved. I normally use one of those charging docks to keep a spare battery charged up, as the prospect of having to plug in makes me feel restrained!

Conclusion

Overall the receiver card is quite useful, it’s just fell fowl to the limitations of wireless charging and a huge battery pack. If your sat at a desk for hours constantly needing to use the phone and you can’t be bothered to keep unplugging it then this might be one solution. For £12.99 I thought it was worth a go, especially now I can charge it wirelessly. I think in the long run I will probably continue swapping batteries when one dies and only really use the wireless element if I’m near a pad and I’ve got plenty of time.

You can get the receiver card from Clove here, they also have a Galaxy S4 card here and you can get cheap ish Qi charging pads here as well.

Qi Wireless Charging Receiver Card – Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Momax The Core Smart Case for Samsung Galaxy Note II – Review

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Momax have taken a fresh look at the case/stand hybrid concept with The Core Smart Case, which uses an origami inspired design for the stand coupled with a traditional gel casing.

Good

  • Fits perfectly
  • Magnetic fasteners
  • Screen protector and cloth included

Bad

  • Stand angle is too upright
  • Unstable when stood in portrait

What’s in the Box

The classy looking box contains a screen protector, a screen cleaning cloth and the case itself. The packaging is designed to keep the gel part of the case straight and rigid, so there’s no chance of twisted gel case syndrome that plagues so many of the cases sold in markets, etc.

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Construction
The Core is basically a gel case with a faux leather flap sewn to it. The clever bit is the way the flap’s internal structure has be segmented to leave flexible channels between rigid sections. When folded correctly (it takes a little practice) it forms a sort of pyramid affair. Magnets in two of the segments hold it in place. Once folded back against the phone, like a swan made from a napkin, a stand is born.

A nice finishing touch is a magnetic tongue that holds the flip part of the case down when closed.

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In Use
The soft gel fits the handset very well. The cut-outs for the camera, flash, headphone jack, speaker, etc. are all in precisely the right places. When I say precisely, I mean with laser guided accuracy; I’ve never known a gel case to fit this well. The S-Pen is easy to access, which is another downfall of many budget cases.

The flap is very rigid, despite the segmentation, and provides good protection for the screen when closed.

When being used as a stand in landscape orientation the phone is very upright, meaning the viewing angle is a little too straight on for used on a desk, for example. I found myself having to prop the front edge up on a pad of Post-it notes to get it just right. Despite this, even without the makeshift prop, the phone never felt like it would fall forward.

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Portrait mode was a different story though. The phone was in constant danger of toppling over without being wedged against something. I’ve given up using it in portrait, it’s just not secure enough.

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Conclusion

I have been using two styles of case with my The Samsung Galaxy Note II since I got it: the official Samsung flip case and the official Samsung leather pouch. Both of which are excellent cases, but neither are perfect. Personally, I don’t like gel cases, but I can’t argue with the protection they provide. The Core seems to combine the best bits of all of the above, without looking tacky.

Protection of the handset is excellent, build quality exceptional, and it looks good to boot. As long as you don’t want to stand your Note II in portrait a lot I would wholeheartedly recommend this case.

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The Momax The Core smart case is available through Gearzap in black, red and blue for £21.95, along with a selection of other Samsung Galaxy Note II cases.


Momax The Core Smart Case for Samsung Galaxy Note II – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Kidigi car kit for Samsung Galaxy Note II – Review

Kidigi Samsung Galaxy Note Car Kit

Most generic car kits just aren’t man enough for the Samsung Galaxy Note II, so Kidigi have addressed this with a nice, meaty dedicated kit.

Kidigi are a specialist third party mobile technology accessories company from Hong Kong that caters for most popular handsets (they even do Blackberry Z10 accessories!). This is the first product I’ve actually bought of theirs, even though I’ve heard mixed reviews in the past.

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So, what’s it like?

Good

  • Permanently wired design
  • Easy to put phone in and take out
  • Very sucky sucker

Bad

  • Doesn’t dock, as such
  • Can be a little bit bouncy

First Impressions

The Kidigi car dock arrived in a very unassuming plain cardboard box, which didn’t exactly scream quality. Once opened I was relieved to see that the dock does look the part. The box contained the cradle and arm separately, a Kidigi branded car adapter with curly cord, and an instruction booklet.

Being made from pretty much 100% plastic (much like a Samsung phone!), I was wary of build quality at first, but everything slotted together with satisfying clunks which gave me the confidence to trust it with my pride and joy.

The kit consists of two parts that I’m going to call the arm and the cradle. The arm has a windscreen sucker on one end, then an adjustable elbow joint. On the other end there’s a ball joint and the attachment for the cradle.

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Suck it up

The sucker deserves a mention on its own because it’s the suckiest sucker I’ve come across. I mean this thing could pull the windscreen in – even when it’s not locked down. Beware when taking it off if you’ve got a crack in your screen!

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Big cord/little cord

The cradle itself has a micro USB connector on the back and a short cable coming out of the side. The idea is that one connects the car charger to the socket and leave it there permanently, then use the short cable to plug the phone in. This means the curly cord doesn’t spring back into the foot well every time the phone’s removed.

The big cord/little cord solution is simple, but I’d have preferred some sort of fixed dock, much like the OG genuine Samsung Galaxy Note car kit that James reviewed back in the day, into which the phone slotted and connected in one movement.

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The handset itself sits in a channel on one of the long sides, then a padded clip folds over the other edge to hold it in place. At first I was sceptical at how well it would actually grip due to the small contact area between clip and phone, but it works remarkably well.

A nice touch is that there is an insert that, when removed, will allow enough extra room to fit the phone in when a slimline Cover-Mate (same manufacturer) case is on it.

This design means the cradle is best suited to being used in landscape mode, which is ideal for me, but it holds the phone nicely in portrait anyway.

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Bouncy bouncy

Whilst the handset is held well and the sucker is like a limpet, but the arm section is a little springy, meaning that on our pothole infested roads there are times when the phone appears to be bouncing around (I’m talking bouncy like an office chair, for example, not like a bouncy ball). This was a little alarming at first, but I’ve learnt to trust it now.

Conclusion

I went looking for a genuine Samsung car kit after using one with my original Galaxy Note because I was so impressed by it. It turned out that they weren’t able to oblige, but all in all I’m pleased that I ended up with the Kidigi.

I got mine from Amazon for £19.99 including delivery, but at the time of writing they’re out of stock. At this price it’s great value for money. The only other place I could find one is Mobicity, but they’re selling it for £32.39. I still think it’s a reasonable car kit at that price, but not the bargain that Amazon was offering.

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Kidigi car kit for Samsung Galaxy Note II – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III will receive Android 5.0

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III will receive Android 5.0

According to a report from an insider, Samsung will likely roll-out Android 5.0 (when it launches) to its flagship Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III.  Given how new the Galaxy S 4 is, we can safely assume Samsung will launch Android 5.0 for this device without a hitch.

Moving on, the Samsung Galaxy S II and the original Galaxy Note will receive an upgrade for Android 4.2.2 and stop.  It’s always sad to see a manufacturer stop R&D for new software updates, but Samsung did provide several updates for both of these devices.  For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S II began with Gingerbread, was updated to Ice Cream Sandwich, and now sits at Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

It’s nice to see Samsung already plan for Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie for the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II.  Google is largely expected to introduce Android 5.0 in May during I/O, even though it is yet to be confirmed.  One of the bigger complaints among Android owners is the lack of updates from the manufacturer, so it is reassuring to see Samsung proactive about software updates.

[SamMobile]

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Samsung Galaxy flip cases BOGOF in O2 stores [Bargain]

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Bog off! Yeah you with the Samsung Galaxy phone, you heard me. Bog off to your local O2 store and grab yourself a couple of clip-on flip cases.

Samsung do some great accessories, and one of my favourites is the flip style case that replaces the battery cover and adds a flip-over screen protector.

There are now a rainbow’s worth of colour options for the Galaxy S3, S3 Mini or Note 2, and best of all they’re currently buy one get one free at O2 stores for a limited time.

The cases normally go for £25, so if you fancy protecting your Samsung Galaxy phone and giving it a fresh wardrobe makeover for £12.50 a pop, then you best get down to your local O2 shop and tell them we sent you.

Thanks to eagle-eyed reader Justin Wilson for the tip-off.


Samsung Galaxy flip cases BOGOF in O2 stores [Bargain] is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Otterbox Commuter Glacier case for Galaxy Note II – Review

I’m quite a fan of large phones, I’ve owned both of the Galaxy Notes and before that I owned a Dell Streak. With each and every one I always found myself balancing the phone on a narrow edge or just shoving it my rucksack to carry it around. For some reason the larger the phone the more I feel like I should have a decent case for it. Recently I got the Samsung Galaxy Note II and, as is always the way, I hit eBay pretty quickly after receiving it to get a case. I wanted one cheaply and quickly andsettled for a white TPU thing that discoloured in my pockets and is now a mixed white, blue and brown case. At this point in time I normally reach a crossroads. Do I sell the phone or do I just buy a better quality case? Well this time round I went for a better quality case.

It is normally a toss up between two or three manufacturers. Case Mate make some great cases and so do Otterbox. As I was browsing through the long list of variants on the Amazon site I found a nice looking white case. No, not another cheap TPU one either, this was a white and grey Otterbox Commuter case.

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As my Galaxy Note II is white it just seemed the right thing to do, so I ordered one from here. To start the review off here are my good and bad points

Good Points

  • Very solid construction
  • Nice looking
  • Well thought out selection of flaps and holes

Bad Points

  • Makes the Galaxy Note II (even more) enormous
  • Quite expensive
  • Silicone corners can grab hold of pockets and fluff
  • Polycarbonate back plate makes it slippy

Design

The Otterbox Commuter case is possibly the best looking case I have ever seen. In my jilted opinion of course. With it you get three parts.

The first part is a tough grey silicone inner liner. This forms a glove around the phone, it has flaps cut into it for the headphone jack and the Micro USB socket. It also has holes cut into it for the two microphones, the S-Pen and the camera. The volume and power buttons are covered by the inner and have nice solid buttons over them. The inner also forms part of the screen protection as it protrudes by about 2-3mm from the screen, meaning if you drop it face down you should be ok as long as it’s a flat surface. As the inner is silicone any shocks to the phone are absorbed. Within reason of course.

The second part of the case is the hard polycarbonate white outer layer. This is the tough layer that deals with impacts and scratches to the back. It wraps around and clips onto the inner layer, the flaps from the inner layer have to be poked through the outer to get it to sit in place, which if you have never used a case like this may take a while. With previous versions the outer layer also covered the buttons which made getting the case on and off a nightmare, with this version the outer covers the back, part of the sides, the top and the bottom. Leaving the absorbing inner layer revealed on the corners.

The third part is a screen protector which I foolishly never use. It’s just sat on the fridge at home, waiting to be sent to the next owner in six months time. It is nice they include this in the package really and some people will no doubt use it.

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In Use

In use the Commuter case felt really solid and it didn’t detract from the great looks of the Galaxy Note II. The version I bought was the “Glacier” version which is for the white version of the Note II. I haven’t noticed any discolouration yet, but I’ve only had it a few days. The Note II is a big phone and if you’re a skinny jean wearing hipster then I doubt the Note II will fit in your pocket and it’s even less likely it’ll fit with this case on. Maybe a bumbag (fannypack) is the solution, I don’t know. Personally I’ve resorted to my back pocket. The other thing that grates slightly is the flaps. If you want to charge your phone you have to open the flap get the plug in. It adds a few seconds to the process but at least it stops fluff getting in your holes.

Conclusion

In conclusion I found this to be a great case that makes a great big phone even bigger. But it also makes it nearly bomb proof (metaphorically speaking) I now feel I can chuck it around quite a bit more vigorously than I was before. The price is a bit of struggle to get over, but I think I’ve bought this case for the duration. I won’t be putting the discoloured TPU case back on. If you fancy one of these then most accessory retailers sell Otterbox products, but I got mine from here as it was slightly cheaper at that time.


Otterbox Commuter Glacier case for Galaxy Note II – Review is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Samsung introduces amber brown and ruby wine as new colors for the Galaxy Note II

Samsung introduces amber brown and ruby wine as new colors for the Galaxy Note II

Should the current color options for the Samsung Galaxy Note II not exactly meet your expectations, then you may be happy to learn Samsung has two new color options ready to go.  The new colors include amber brown and ruby wine, which are interesting and vibrant to say the least.  Unfortunately for some, these new Galaxy Note II options will be an exclusive to Korea for some time.  There’s no word if Samsung will introduce these options to other markets.

Pricing will remain the same for the two new devices.  If you like the way the Galaxy Note II looks in either of these colors, then I’m sure you can find one in your local retailer in Korea starting today.

[Engadget]

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Is a black version of the Galaxy Note II right around the corner?

Is a black version of the Galaxy Note II right around the corner?

In case titanium gray and marble white aren’t your preferred color options for the Galaxy Note II, then you may be pleased to learn that a black version of the phablet is rumored to launch soon.

A leaked press image of the Galaxy Note II in black surfaced on an Android blog earlier today.  It is either a well done Photoshop job, or is indicative of things to come potentially as early as MWC 2013.  We’ve seen Samsung offer a wide array of colors for the Samsung Galaxy S III depending on the market, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Samsung offer something similar for the 5.5 inch Galaxy Note II.

In any event, stay tuned for official confirmation from Samsung during February’s Mobile World Congress 2013.

[SamMobile]

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AT&T’s Galaxy Note II scheduled to receive multi-window update tomorrow

AT&T’s Galaxy Note II scheduled to receive multi-window update tomorrow

One feature missing from the launch of the Galaxy Note II by Samsung in the United States has been the multi-window feature.  Fortunately, Samsung has worked closely with several carriers in the United States (most recently T-Mobile) in order to rectify the situation.  According to an official statement sent to Engadget, AT&T is going to roll out an update for the phablet device starting tomorrow, December 27th.

The update, as the title indicates, will contain the necessary package for the multi-window feature.  Basically, the feature allows you to run two apps simultaneously.  Each app takes up half the display (as the default setting), but that is easily customized.   I used the feature before, and it works pretty well, assuming you want to view apps at once.

Users can expect to receive an OTA notification beginning tomorrow.

[Engadget]

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for T-Mobile multi-window update now rolling out

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 for T-Mobile multi-window update now rolling out

One of the sweet features on the Galaxy Note 2 is the multi-window, which allows it to run two apps side-by-side on the same screen.  The feature makes you wonder why every Android tablet and other smartphones with large screens do not have the same feature.  While you may not use the feature every single day, it is a nice option to have in case you want to have two apps on display simultaneously.

The update is now live for Galaxy Note 2 owners on T-Mobile.  The update is now live OTA and you can try to manually pull it from the software update settings page.  Otherwise, you will have to wait until the roll-out is complete.  As a reminder, the update file is 73MB in size and contains Microsoft Exchange and Gmail fixes.

[AndroidCentral]

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