First I want to talk about the reason why I switched from nexus to note 2. I love the nexus but the radios got to a point that my phone was almost unusable. When in a strong lte area I am fine but in a weak area or in between towers it just would not cut it. I chose At&t for a combination of reasons: 1) At&t worked better where I work 2) the ability to use unlocked phones on their network 3) cheaper than Verizon 4) I just got tired of big brother red locking phones and manipulating devices (Galaxy Nexus did not get the support that it should, almost seem like verizon do not want it on their network).
So the review is based on the At&t Note 2 but the Verizon version should be on par.
1) Battery Life: One of the issues I had with my nexus was it could not cut it as an all day device. Though I post on here battery being good the reality is that it was at idle most of the time. On my nexus (with an extended battery) I could check tapatalk a few times, watch a few you tubes and a call or 2 and idle to barely make it through the day (most of the time having to bump charge to make it). The Note 2 is a complete 180 from that. I saw people post they plan on buying an extended battery to them I say no need if anything get a spare battery and battery charger. The past 4 days I used it to the fullest. Day 1 I streamed movies, music, youtube, and was on the web all day and at the end of 12 hours had 49% battery life (heavy use). Day 2: I used it to check the web, listen to music, and keep up with the weather and at the end of 12 had about 60% left (light to moderate use) Day 3: streamed college football game, checked the web, and listen to music and at the end of 13 had 45% left (moderate to heavy). Day 4: Streamed music, paper artist (screen on quite a bit playing with that app), listened to music player for about 4 -5 hours, heavy web browsing at the end of 14 39% left (heavy use). During the 4 days I mainly kept the screen brightness at about 35% (and brighter hurt my eyes unless I was watching a movie), I was on LTE the entire time, and I kept Auto sync on as well.
The Goods: The speaker is loud and crisp and no need for a volume boost app as the volume comes through loud. The build quality is solid and though the device is large it is surprisingly light and thin. A tpu case will do the trick unless you are going to work in a harsh environment. The screen is awesome I enjoy looking at that screen whether it be watching movies, playing with paper artist, or searching the web. Having a screen that large makes viewing web content and video content easy. I can not think of a more gorgeous screen at that size in fact people who but this can leave their tablets at the house. The reception is great did not drop lte once during the 4 days. Camera quality in on par with the s3.
S Pen- when I saw the reviews I said I would barely use the stylus but the past 4 days I found myself reaching for it more and more. The s pen really comes in handy whether it be for drop down menus in the browser, jotting down notes, making art work (paper artist is addictive), cut and paste, previewing email or text message content, or hand writing letters.
The bad: This really isnt an issue just takes getting use to and that is the capacitive buttons. Because the bezel is slim I find myself accidentally hitting the bezel and since it is sensitive a slight touch will activate it. Again not really bad but until you get use to the size and adjust hand position that could annoy you . The other negative for some will be the size. For me I love it but for others it will be a deal breaker.
Overall I have to say this is arguably the best android device ever made. With so many features that are useful Samsung gets a thumbs up for putting a lot of thought into the device. This phone is worth all of the 299 that I paid for it. For once I felt like when i bought a phone I got my money's worth and quite frankly the last time I felt that way was when I bought my og droid. The note 2 is a flat out beast of a phone and well worth the wait. Having a nexus I find my note 2 to have more features and is just smooth as butter. I rooted my note 2 only to use titanium backup to restore app data other than that I do not see a need to rom (the exception is the mod that allows multi window to work with all apps).
I tried to keep it brief because you guys have seen video after video and heard opinion after opinion. Only thing left is for Verizon to give you the phone already.