iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4 - This Will Shut You Up

HIDEOUSLY OBVIOUS REASONS I CHOOSE THE GALAXY NOTE 4 OVER IPHONE 6 PLUS

iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The iPhone 6 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are out on the streets. The talking Apple heads claim that the iPhone 6 Plus is the hands-down winner over the new edition of the Note series.

Even tech blog sites are giving the checkered flag to Apple over Samsung in this race to have the most phabou phablet. It doesn't stack up per the tech specs, but Apple clearly has the most votes of confidence.

Everyone has an opinion about device brands and it is mostly due to preference. But I'm having a hard time trying to follow the "logic" of the loyal Fruit Cult following. I don't think they care what the specs are at all, it's just a foregone conclusion that the Apple device will magically be "better" by default.

In fact, I'd like to know exactly what kind of hallucinogenic drugs these people are doing to think the specs give Apple the win, because it would seemingly take some pretty strong stuff to overlook this helpful little handful of hardware facts...

  • The CPU - the Note 4 uses an Octa core processor while the iPhone 6 Plus sports dual core
  • 1.9GHz cpu processing speed on the Note 4 compared to 1.4GHz on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • Screen resolution of 2560 x 1440 on the Note 4 versus 1920 x 1080 on the 6 Plus
  • Super sharp screen on the Note 4 packs 515 pixels/sq.in but iPhone 6 Plus is only 400pix/sq.in.
  • 16Mp camera on the Note 4 as opposed to 8Mp on the 6 Plus
  • Front-facing camera on the Note 4 has twice the resolution than it's Fruity Phablet counterpart
  • Real multitasking on the Galaxy Note 4, nothing of the sort on the iPhone 6 Plus
  • A whopping 3 gigabytes of RAM packed into the Note 4 while the 6 Plus gets a paltry 1Gb
  • 3,220 mAh of battery power on the Galaxy Note 4 edging out the 2,915 mAh on the 6 Plus
  • Killer download speed of 42.2Mbps on the Galaxy Note 4 while iPhone 6 Plus drags along at 7.2Mbps
  • The super solid build of the metal-band-clad Note 4 as opposed to the lighter, cheaper, more slippery feel of the iPhone 6 Plus

My conclusion? The amount of hallucinogenic drugs or head-meds needed to "make" the iPhone 6 Plus a better device choice than that of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 would therefore be significant. But right when you think logic and hardware specs rules the day, I will say this...

I like the look and feel of the iPhone 6 Plus better than the Galaxy Note 4, and would have chosen it over the Android product if Apple included a pen digitizer on their device. Plus the lacking hardware specs don't appear to give it any less of a speedy user experience.

So there you have it.  Shocked that Mr. Android Boy would say such things? Well you shouldn't be. The point is, none of the specs listed for or against a device amount to a hill of beans. It's all about user preference and the user experience.

For me, the lack of a pen digitizer on Apple mobile devices is a deal-breaker. The Galaxy Note 4 is close enough as a great device that I will stick with it just to have my digitizer pen. I can live with the design changes that I don't like as much, as long as I have the digitizer.

Ironically, the one thing Apple Fruit Cult members boasted about most was that their devices were solid and heavy, while Samsung's devices felt cheap, light and "plasticky" (which I prefer). The chickens have come home to roost.

Carlton Flowers
Gadget Guru

Apple-Samsung Smartphone Slugfest Phablet Style

SAMSUNG GETS SNIPPY WITH NOTE 4 VIDEO DISS

Okay people I'm back. I've been out-of-pocket lately, on blogging vacation. But with the recent developments on the tech forefront, I think this is a good time to chime back in.

Transient

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch has passed, and phones will start shipping within the next few weeks to anxious customers. While the iPhone 6 Plus breaks "new ground", Samsung has taken the opportunity to make a snarky video about Apple's sudden change in design.

It is truly ironic to see what has transpired, truthfully. Looking back over the last handful of years, we have seen Apple make multiple accusations against Samsung for stealing their designs. At that same time, the Apple execs swore that a smartphone bigger than 3.5" was entirely stupid, and it was something you would never ever see their beloved company produce.

Fast forward to the highly anticipated iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, with their massive 4.7" and 5.5" diagonal displays, and it makes me sit rubbing my head wondering what just happened. Apparently, I'm not the only one who wonders what happened in Cuppertino. Maybe they all inhaled, or drank their own Kool-Aid.

How in the world could the same company who accused Samsung of blatant copyright infringement turn an about-face and produce a phone which is in the form of the Galaxy Note without a stylus? Especially after swearing off phablets and larger-screened smartphones?

Samsung released a very sarcastic video that sums it all up. But what I am left wondering is whether or not Samsung will quickly blow the whistle and sue the pants off of their hypocritical chief competitor much in the same way that was done to them.

Only time will tell.

As far as I'm concerned, I'll stick with my Apple iPad Retina Mini for all my iOS needs, but I'll take a pass on the iPhone 6 Plus and stick with the Galaxy Note line and move from the 3 to the 4 when it is released.

I'll let the hypocrites OOPS I mean Apple Enthusiasts have their feeding frenzy with the stylus-less iPhone 6 Plus that they swore off before Apple lost its mind and followed the leader on phablet phorm phactors.

Carlton Flowers
THE GADGET GURU

Is The LG G Flex Curvalicious Display The Wave Of The Future?

REVIEW: LG'S G FLEX SMARPTPHONE BREAKS THE MOLD WITH CONCAVE DISPLAY

I spent a fantastic 2 weeks with the LG G Flex smartphone, and it wasn't the device's technical specifications that had me sad about sending it back to AT&T. It was the display.

In the age of gigantic oversized monstrosities that we call "phablets", not a single manufacturer has come up with something this different. At first, I thought it was a gimmick. But after using it during my test period, it's anything but a gimmick.

The concave display on the LG G Flex smartphone isn't nearly as exaggerated as I thought it would be. We're only talking a depth of about a couple of millimeters in the center of the display at its full depth. But the difference it makes when compared to a flat smartphone is very noticeable.

For people like me who do a ton of reading on their smartphone, the concave display offers a major advantage: it's easier on the eyes. Why? I think this is due to the fact that the radius of your eyesight does not change length from reading the top to the bottom of the screen.

That might sound hokey to you. But is it? The new 4K televisions coming from LG and Samsung have a horizontally curved display to provide a more "immersive" effect, like the big screens at the best movie theaters. I noticed the same effect with the LG G Flex.

This smartphone sports a whopping 6" (diagonally measured) display. With a screen that size, maybe the slight concave design does actually offer something of a different experience to your eyes. And with my 40-something aging eyeballs, I could swear that it added to my ease of reading.

The LG G Flex display doesn't break any records with screen resolution. It's only a meager 720x1280 with 245 ppi. That might sound like techno gibberish to you, but of all the smartphones on the market, this is just average in resolution. But it doesn't need to be any higher than this.

Most of the smartphones on the market that boast better screen resolution don't really make that big of a difference to the average user anyway. But with bright, vivid colors and the huge size coupled with the slight concave design, it brings a brilliance that gives you the experience of watching a big flat screen television.

As far as the flexibility of the display, it doesn't mean that it is indestructible. If you drop the LG G Flex from a height of about 4', you will crack the display. Watching a drop test video did expose the fact that it is not made of an unbreakable material. But the flexibility does have its advantages.

I destroyed the display of my Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone 3 months ago. I had the phone in my back pocket, forgot it was there, and I sat on it. While I did not crack the display, my big butt managed to flex the LCD panel, and it was toast. You cannot so much as slightly flex the LCD panels on any smartphone without chancing completely destroying them. They just can't handle that.

But the LG G Flex does have the capability of bending without breaking. When you place the G Flex on a table face down, you can depress the center of the phone until it is flat on the surface and it will not damage the LCD. That means it will probably survive a chance sitting without spelling its demise. Because of that, I think this smartphone is more durable than anything on the market even though it is crackable.

I think we will see more concave design devices enter into the market in the coming months. With the wave of TVs arriving, and the LG G Flex, other manufacturers are sure to follow. Add to that the fact that Samsung has a completely flexible display in development, and I am sure we will see other non-flat designs coming our way.

Have you given the LG G Flex a test drive? Let me know what you think. I'm curious to know if other users find the display design to be easier on the eyes compared to the standard flat display.

I'll close this update by saying the LG G Flex gets a solid "two thumbs up" from the gadget king (that's me). This is a device I would love to add to my cadre of electronics! Big thanks to AT&T St. Louis for the test device!

Carlton Flowers
Smartphone Flexer

LG G Flex Smartphone via AT&T

Samsung Galaxy Mega Coming To AT&T

MEGA-SIZE SMARTPHONE TEST IS COMING SOON!

The Samsung Mega with its whopping 6.3" display will be coming to my mailbox soon for a full review. I'm super excited about it, and I'm going to spend some quality time running it through the mill.

This is a new concept of giganticizing a smartphone to fill the phablet niche. I think it has definite use, for those that want to perform functions like a tablet can only provide.

It's looking like this will be a budget jumbo smartphone, coming in at a surprising price of only $149 on a 2-year contract via AT&T. But the specs on the phone definitely don't scream "cheap" by any means. Plus it is said to include a lot of the gadgety features of the Galaxy S4, like multi tasking, motion gestures, and more.

I think if your focus is on having a large display and tablet functionality, this might be a hit. The device dosen't pack the power of the Samsung Galaxy S4, but I think it will definitely function and perform well for what it is.

It might be a little bit of a stretch using this as a phone, but I'm open to the idea of having a jumbolicious device like this that provides its own 4G LTE service. I just wish it came with an S Pen, but that might jack the price up beyond what they are targeting.

I'll be watching the horizon for the UPS delivery truck, and I'll give a full report when I break it out of the box. If this is something that would piquie your interest, stay tuned! More info is on the way!

Carlton Flowers
Phablet Fanatic 

 

The Samsung Galaxy Note II Test - Final Parting Words

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II (AT&T) FINAL ANALYSIS - DOES IT PASS?

It is with great pain that I write this post. My test of the Samsung Galaxy Note II (AT&T) has concluded, and it has left my longing hands to go back to AT&T St. Louis. I will try my best to get through this without getting emotional.

This is the second day of my Galaxy Note-less life, and I'm considering grief counseling. I've never been hooked to a more fabulous device than this phantastic phablet. It has forever changed my smartphone experience. Why?

It is because I must now take a step back in time and return to my once-beloved Samsung Galaxy S2, which is a far cry from the larger-than-life magical device called the Note II.

No more will I effortlessly whip through websites and tremendously fast picture downloads with the quad-core-packing Galaxy Note II. No more super-sized 5.5" Super AMOLED HD display. No more convenience of popup video windows and superior multi tasking. It's all over... until I can upgrade.

The Galaxy Note II suprirsed me, and then spoiled me. I had serious reservations about the size of the device since I have smaller-than-average man hands. But when I first unboxed the Note II phablet, I knew that its largeness would be a plus, not a detraction.

I did not predict that I would be able to operate the Galaxy Note II with one hand, but found that it was never really an issue. In fact, I quickly adjusted to the large display and wider, taller form factor. It happened almost instantly.

My brain set a new reference point for how a smartphone should fit and feel in my hand. Now that my test period is over, my Galaxy S2 feels like a toy in my hands. It's almost the same feeling I had when I switched from the iPhone 4 to the S2, only worse.

The Note II erased any desires that I had for a 7" tablet. There's really no need for an in-between device when you have a display that is large enough to be a tablet, yet small enough to be a smartphone. I found that I am definitely in the "phablet" niche.

After reading all of the blog posts and comments about the Note II being ridiculously big, I've decided that the people who enjoy this device make up a niche to be reckoned with. The global sales of this device prove this to be true.

Last year, I had a brief opportunity to review the Galaxy Note 1st generation device, and the Note II makes huge strides over its predecessor. With a slightly slimmer width and taller height, plus the thinner body, it makes the device much more ergonomic.

I enjoyed the 1st generation Note, but that ever-so-small difference in width made it nearly unusable to my small hands. I'm surprised that such a small change in dimensions would make a huge impacct on my user experience. But it truly does.

One-handed operation with the first generation phablet was not good. I couldn't reach the letters on the virtual keyboard, and it cramped my hand after extended periods of time. The Note II never caused me any grip fatigue, and having the added feature of the compact soft keyboard solves any issue of reach.

The biggest things that stuck out in my mind were the smoothness and speed of loading apps, the blazing fast graphics processing, and the apparent quality of the build. Many writers downgraded the Galaxy Note II for feeling "cheap", but I can honestly say I don't understand why.

The device is light enough that it won't self-destruct when it is dropped. But the plastic housing is pretty enough to give the appearance of quality. The silver color was my favorite of all available choices.

I've got 5 months left before my next upgrade. I don't think I will make it. When my finances allow for it, I think I will be purchasing a Galaxy Note II off-contract. I may even consider buying a used or refurbished device once they are readily available.

In my opinion, I think Samsung has set the mark with the Note II when it comes to the hardware, the features, innovation, and overall design. I can't find a valid complaint after heavily using the device for a period of two weeks.

There have been several devices that I have tested that I gave high marks. But the Galaxy Note II is clearly may favorite of anything that is available on the market today. I won't be surprised if other manufacturers start releasing devices that are similar in size and also including some type of smart stylus like the S Pen.

I did find myself using my laptop a lot less while using the Note II. Plus I cut back on taking notes at work and at home with paper and pen. I'm a sticky note addict, and this is the first device that can cure me of my bad habit of cluttering my desk with notes.

For me, the Galaxy Note II has high utility. I found it extremely useful for a much wider variety of tasks. Reading content on the web was purely enjoyable, taking notes was a snap, and having the stylus available is the next best thing to a mouse with a computer or laptop.

But the "fun factor" of the Note II is off the scale. Watching YouTube videos, viewing pictures, and using the drawing applications makes for endless amounts of enjoyment. Plus the speed of the camera "shudder" had me taking more pictures than I ever have with any other smartphone.

2 weeks was definitely not enough time to discover all of the amazing tricks and features of the Galaxy Note II. There were so many creative and innovative things you could do that probably would take a few months just to get through.

I would be willing to pay a premium for the Note II, and recommend to anyone that it is well worth the extra amount you'll shell out to get your hands on one. I leave you with a solid "two thumbs up" if you are on the fence with choosing this device.

The Galaxy Note II is the future in the present time. I only hope that Samsung doesn't distract me with their "next big thing" before I'm able to make my move and get one. Finally I can say that I hope that technological advance would slow down enough to let me enjoy this to the fullest, once I get my very own Note II.

Until then, it's sad, slow mobile computing for me... and all I can do is hold on to my precious memories.

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Note-Broken

 

Samsung Galaxy Note II Review - Feast Your Eyeballs On This

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II REVIEW CONTINUES - THE EYE CANDY REPORT

I spent an entire day focusing on one single aspect of the Samsung Galaxy Note II... the display. I did this by watching movies, videos, and viewing my favorite blog sites. Here are my thoughts.

First and foremost, I'm hooked to the 5.5" diagonal size of the Galaxy Note II. I don't feel I can go back to "small" now. Viewing content on a phablet is the only way to live. And with the 1280x720 HD display this thing is packing, you can't do much better for your eye's pleasure.

For this smartphone, Super AMOLED = Super DELICIOUS display! The colors are very vivid, the contrast is amazing, and the overall balance is just right for reproducing reality. It actually makes it better, in fact. It's not overdone at all, but just takes video to another level.

Watching YouTube videos was a blast. The longest one I viewed was 1 hour and 45 minutes. It was a graphics-intense type of presentation, and it gave me goosebumps. It was as if I were watching a miniature LED TV. I enjoyed it just as much. And with headphones on, the experience was even better.

The other activitiy that my eyeballs thoroughly enjoyed was viewing my favorite tech blog sites. Just sitting the Galaxy Note II flat on the table and thumbing through Engadget and TechCrunch was enough to make me get emotional. Lucky for me, I had a box of Kleenex nearby. It was just a beautiful and touching geek experience.

And not to beat a dead horse, multitasking on the Galaxy Note II takes this smartphone to a level above all. Surfing through my pile of emails with a floating video window open is a dream-come-true for someone with ADD/HD of my magnetude. I will truly miss this feature.

So here's the bottom line, folks... if you enjoy consuming video and blog content on your smartphone, and if viewing such content is high on your list of most-frequent activities, then the Galaxy Note II is a complete no-brainer. Period.

Until they find a way for a geek to pack a 60" LED TV in your pocket with a portable battery, the Note II is the way to go.

Carlton Flowers
Note Lover

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Samsung Galaxy Note II Report Continues - More Discoveries

2 GALAXY NOTE II FEATURES THAT RISES ABOVE TABLETS

Continuing on with my review and test of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, there is one thing I mentioned previously that has to be one of the biggest most usable features of this device...

Popup windows.

Having the ability to open up individual floating internet windows makes this phablet more valuable than anything else I have tried. As far as I know, you can't do this on any other smartphone. I'm not even sure that you can do this on another tablet.

Multitasking on a smartphone is not all that great of an experience. If you have a good multi-core processor and a lot of RAM, it can be okay. Sometimes when you switch from one application to another, then return to the first, it will "forget" where it was and return to the start screen of the app.

I don't see that happening as often with the Galaxy Note II. But the biggest multitasking benefit of the Note II is opening up a window that is small in size, which floats above your active screen. That means I can watch a video from YouTube or a website while surfing through my long list of emails.

That is what I call "true" multitasking, not just the ability to switch from one app to another. I want to be able to stack them up and do two things at once. The Galaxy Note II is the only smartphone that gives this functionality.

The second thing I discovered in the past few days is the amazing camera app. When I first used the camera, I didn't think it was working. I kept tapping the shudder button thinking it wasn't activating. After pressing it several times, I noticed that I had twenty pictures in storage!

Instead of tapping the button and getting a pause, then the fake camera shudder sound, the Galaxy Note II snaps the picture almost instantly. And it's ready for the next one right off the bat. I would attribute this to the quad core processor and the gigantic pile of RAM installed in this device.

There is a tremendous difference between the lag time of hitting the button and the picture snapping on my Samsung Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note II. One you have to wait for, the other is instantaneous. You miss a lot of photo opportunities when you have to wait for the camera to "catch up". Taking pics with the Note II takes it to another level.

On the topic of the camera, there is one more bonus feature that is well worth discussing. It's the ability to shoot MMS video from the front-facing camera for text messages. You cannot take MMS videos with a Samsung Galaxy S2 with the front cam. It doesn't even give you the option.

But on the Note II (and also the Galaxy S3, by the way), when you hit the camera flip icon you are given the same menu choices as the rear camera. You would think this feature would be the same across all Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices, but I guess it's not the operating system. It's in the ROM of the phone itself. So that's a huge plus if you prefer to communicate via MMS video on text messages.

So that's all we have for the most recent fun little discoveries with the Galaxy Note II from Samsung. Stay tuned for more, and share your stories in the comments section below!

Carlton Flowers
Phablet Explorer

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Samsung Galaxy Note II Review - More S Pen Tricks!

MORE AMAZING S PEN DISCOVERIES - GALAXY NOTE II REVIEW CONTINUED

If you can't tell, I'm probably headed towards an all-out recommendation for the Samsung Galaxy Note II. I have fallen in love with the device, and I'm discovering new tricks each day of my test.

I thought I was done reporting about the S Pen, but I have more to share! The S Pen has so many features I may not be able to cover them all before my review period expires. So let's talk about some more super cool things that this amazing stylus can do for us.

In the last article, we talked about hovering. I have to talk about this in more detail. I love the hovering feature of the S Pen because it gives you the power of a mouse. This is not something you can benefit from with any regular tablet or smartphone.

When you hover the S Pen a half inch or less above the screen, the extra digitizer layer for the stylus will detect it and float a small circular cursor on the screen. This has many uses that i am thrilled about.

First and foremost, it solves one problem I have had with my regular smartphone. That problem is forgetting which icons stand for "copy" and "clipboard". I am constantly selecting "clipboard" to copy and paste a phone number or name, only to have to start over again because I hit the wrong icon.

With the Galaxy Note II S Pen, I can hover above the icon before selecting it. When you hover, a small popup will tell you what the function of the icon is. There's no more guesswork with small icons that are not labeled on the screen when you have this feature.

Something else this crazy little thing does... pen gestures! Hold the magic button down and make certain pen strokes, and you get shortcuts. Make a carrot shape (^) and WiFi turns off. Make a star (*) and mute activates. Make a pound sign (#) and the phone number pad pops up. There are even more than this. But gestures create an entirely new smartphone experience.

Back to the popup windows and using 2 applications at one time, the accuracy of the S Pen is invaluable. A fat finger cannot select with the dead-on accuracy of the pointed stylus tip. And the finger-mimicking rounded rubber tip styluses made for standard smartphones does not compare.

Finally, I played around with the cropping feature. I can draw a circle around anything on the screen and copy that to the clipboard. Next, I can share that with a friend via text message or email. It's almost like clipping a picture out of a magazine, only easier. That has tremendous use for me.

So that's the update to the S Pen. I still have a lot more features to discover and report about within the next few days. I'll find as many as I can and share it with you soon!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Note II Enthusiast Extreme

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Samsung Galaxy Note II Features That Amaze Me

S PEN TRICKS AND FLOATING VIDEOS FLOAT MY BOAT WITH NOTE II

As we continue with my Samsung Galaxy Note II test (thanks AT&T St. Louis), I have a couple of features to report that I practically love. I'm just now getting into some of the advanced functions of this phablet, so this is where it starts to get fun!

What I want to talk about is the S Pen. I have yet to figure out all of the amazing things that the upgraded stylus can do, but we can start with a few of of things that jump right out at me.

As I mentioned before, the S Pen stylus takes texting and note taking on a smartphone to a new level. When you use the Samsung keyboard, you can chose the handwriting input mode to compose text messages. It will recognize both plain lettering and cursive handwriting. The accuracy in translating my handwriting is exemplary.

Instead of learning the heiroglyphic writing like the days of PDA's, all you have to do is write like you normally would. I can write on the screen and even go back to add letters to words, cross my T's and dot my I's, all before finalizing the text message. I was not expecting that to work so well.

Usually, when you are entering text that uses handwriting recognition, you can't go back and edit a word that you have written while it is on the screen. Somehow, Samsung has figured out how to add letters to your own handwritten words after they have been recognized. This is truly amazing. It makes writing very natural.

The next thing I noticed is the ability of the S Pen stylus to recognize how hard you are pressing on the screen when sketching. Apparently, there are 1200 levels of pressure sensitivity built into the stylus that allow you to sketch with amazing similarity to a pencil.

I can tell a difference betwen the use of the stylus on the Galaxy Note I and the Galaxy Note II. They have improved the accuracy of the stylus, and when doing artwork, it has the uncanny ability to track exactly where the tip is for maximum effect and realness.

Something else that I discovered by mistake was one of the hovering features. When you are on a website or using a social network that requires you to scroll up and down, all you have to do is over the tip at the top or bottom of the page and it will smoothly scroll the page in either direction.

There are other features of the S Pen like hovering for text message previews and actual video previewing that I have yet to test out. We will talk about that in the next post that covers advanced S Pen use, so stay tuned!

Carlton Flowers
Ophicial Phablet Tester

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Samsung Galaxy Note II Review - Size Matters

DOES THE GARGANTUAN SIZE OF THE NOTE II PRESENT A PROBLEM?

My review of the Samsung Galaxy Note II from AT&T Wireless continues tonight with my discussion of a singular topic: size.

Is the Galaxy Note II phablet too big? Are the critics right who claim it impractical, looks absurd, and has no serious potential as a smartphone?

Well if the 5,000,000 people who have already bought a Note II are any indication, the critics can shut it. Obviously, we are dealing with a niche market that has serious depth.

I am rounding out day 2 of my test, and I have been using the Note II all day long. I've surfed the web, made posts to the social networks, talked on the phone, and read emails. Here's my straight-talk opinion of the Galaxy Note II phablet and its enormous size after using the device for two straight days.

The biggest fear I had before thoroughly testing the phone was not being able to reach the corners of the screen thanks to my small hands. I also had a fear of not being able to text by tapping or using Swype. I figured my one-handed operating days would be over if I bought one.

Surprisingly, this is not an issue. I have small hands, but I have found a way to operate the phone with one hand. Just as I do with smaller smartphones, I balance the bottom of the Galaxy Note II with my pinky. My thumb can make it all the way to the left side of the screen to hit all of the keys when texting.

Sure, I can't get my thumb to the top left of the screen, but it doesn't bother me. I can't reach the top left of my 4.3" Galaxy S2 handset, so there isn't much difference here. But I don't mind reaching around with my other hand to tap an icon on the top row while I'm enjoying the lovely display.

Holding the Note II while having a phone converstaion is a different thing. It does feel a bit awkward in your hand due to its size. I could care less what it looks like to other people, but I think I would have to get used to the feeling of this form factor while talking. It's not a deal-breaker though.

The last point I will make is what my regular smartphone feels like after using the Galaxy Note II for several hours. When I pick up my Galaxy S2, it feels like a toy. The 4.3" smartphone that seemed so big after trading it in for my iPhone 4 now feels tiny.

The Galaxy Note II is a much better looking device as compared to my good ole trusty Galaxy S2. After handing the phablet, my S2 seems to have a cheap feel. Plus it just seems too small now. My perspective has changed. I don't want the small size anymore.

So the final analysis of the Samsung Galaxy Note II size is that it is a positive. The benefits outweigh the inconveniences. I definitely fall into the niche market of people who want a phablet with a gorgeous jumbo screen.

If you have your eyes on this device and want to know whether or not the size will be a problem, you need to go to the AT&T store and give it a test drive. If the features and fantastic display outweigh your reservations on size, get it. You won't be sorry.

Stay tuned for the next review where we will talk about some of the new features Samsung has packed into the Galaxy Note II. Got comments? Chat it out!

Carlton Flowers
Phablet Man

LOWEST PRICE ON SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II AT AMAZON WIRELESS!

Get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note II at the lowest possible price through Amazon Wireless! Prices starting at only $174.99 for new individual accounts signing a 2-year contract.

Hit the link now and check out the details, and save a chunk of money on this device that retails for $299 under contract!

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Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Test - Initial Thoughts

DAY ONE WITH THE GALAXY NOTE 2 FROM AT&T - IT BEGINS

This is not going to be a nerd post. No talk of gigabytes, gigahertz, or processing cores. I'm going to attempt to speak normal English and tell you all of my initial thoughts about the Samsung Galaxy Note II, no holds barred!

The package arrived today, and I was really anticipating what my first thoughts would be just pulling it out of the box and firing it up. I was still hanging on the memory of disliking the size when I handled the non-functional display unit in Ohio.

After I ripped the pagage open and unveiled the device, I powered it up and it was love at... second sight. I barely got the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system loaded, and I was already in gadget heaven. Any thoughts of "it's too big" were immedeately erased.

Looking at the gorgeous jumbonormous screen overshadowed the size. I quickly isntalled my Google account and started downloading my favorite apps. The first app I went for was Handcent, because I wanted to know if I could text on such a gigantic monstrosity of a smartphone.

I pulled out the S Pen, and used the Samsung keyboard to swipe words in the same fashion that the Swype keyboard functions. The S Pen glided across the screen with absolutely no friction. It felt as smooth as my finger.

But when tapping out letters or swiping words with the S Pen, I enjoyed an accuracy that I've been craving since the days of owning my Palm Treo 650. Fat-fingering letters seemed so archaic after maneuvering around applications and entering text with the S Pen.

The next thing I did was to test out the alternative smaller keyboard. It's a setting that comes with the Samsung keyboard, where it shrinks down the size of the keyset and moves everything to the left or right so you can reach all of the keys with your thumb. It worked like a charm and "reduced" the size of the device.

Then something happened that I wasn't expecting. A popup note told me that the S Pen stylus was detected while texting, and asked if I wanted to use natural handwriting input! I said "yes" and the keyboard was replaced with a gridlike note pad. I could write text messages by writing with the S Pen, even using cursive lettering. It changed my entire texting experience.

Next it was time to play with the S Pen and the "Paper Artist" app. This is where I discovered how sensitive the S Pen is to the pressure you are exerting while drawing. You can actually sketch with the effect you would have using a pencil. Press hard, heavy line. Press lightly, light line.

I loaded all of the typical social media applications, and the experience was quite a bit more enjoyable with the huge screen. In fact, Pinterest just looked glorious on the 5.3" 16:9 aspect ratio screen. Oops, I apologize for that techno-nerd outburst! Anyway, they basically looked a lot better on the larger screen.

YouTube was a real treat. I could probably sit for hours and watch video content on this device. It's going to be hard to go back to my seemingly tiny Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone after watching video after video on the "big screen".

Something that was absolutely noticeable was the speed that apps would load, and the ability to quickly jump from one app to another without hestitation. What they are packing under the hood of this hog does make a significant difference load time and functionality of apps.

I made my first phone call, and I didn't feel as silly as all the tech writers swore I would thanks to the phablet size form factor. The phone call was extremely clear, loud enough for my aging ears to hear, and comfortable in the way it fit to my face. That's a biggie for me.

Using the device through the night, I found myself using the S Pen more than my fingers. One big advantage of this is not being forced to constantly clean the screen of greasy finger butter. I'm very obsessive/compulsive about cleaning my smartphone display, so use of the S Pen frees me from my disorder.

I previously thought I could get away with using the fat-tipped soft rubber styluses that are on the market, and not "need" something like an S Pen. That has all changed. The S Pen is sharp, accurate, and exact. And since it has a hard tip, it glides. The rubber styluses that are made to mimick fingers tent to start gripping and skidding on the screen after a few days of heavy use.

I could be dreaming this one up, but it seems that the voice input on the Samsung Galaxy Note II is far superior than the Galaxy S2 that I own. "S Voice" must work a lot better with a more powerful CPU and a higher amount of RAM. I've heard reports that S Voice is not quite as functionally efficient and accurate as Apple's Siri, but it is a tremendous improvement on this device.

Surfing the net on this device is ridiculous. And I mean that in a positive way. The screen is so vivid, and colors so rich, that all of my favorite tech blog sites seem to pop right off the page. I would say that my Internet use would be quite a bit higher using the Note than my 4.3" smartphone.

My last overall initial thought is that the Galaxy Note II feels like a small tablet, yet it is fine as a smartphone. I would have no need to purchase a 7" (or bigger) tablet device if I owned this phablet. I can see myself going with my plan to ditch the tablet idea and use a phablet, thus saving a small pile of money.

I'll be getting into more of the actual details and advanced features this device has very soon. And believe me, there are several significant features you need to know about. But thus far, I'm 100% impressed and pleased with the Galaxy Note 2 after 7 hours of general use.

Stay tuned for more blog posts, audio, and video. Comments? Please share in the Disqus section below!

Carlton Flowers
Phablet Man

LOWEST PRICE ON SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II AT AMAZON WIRELESS!

Get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note II at the lowest possible price through Amazon Wireless! Prices starting at only $174.99 for new individual accounts signing a 2-year contract.

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CZ Blog Reviews On Galaxy Note II Coming!

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II TEST TIME COMING TO THE ZONE

I got great news from my AT&T St. Louis contact today that I will be receiving a Samsung Galaxy Note II for review! It will be arriving tomorrow. I will be doing a thorough test, and will come to a complete conclusion on this device.

I've been dreaming about owning the Note II since the rumors first started swirling about the second generation phablet last spring. And after handling a non-functional display device, I had a brief mind-change on how much I thought I would like it.

Is the Galaxy Note II a device that would meet all of my gadget desires, or is it too big for my small hands to handle as my primary smartphone? We will find out the answer once and for all.

I think the contest will be whether or not I find that the Galaxy Note II has true "utility" for all the tasks that I would like to use it for. The enormous size could be offset by the functionality of the S Pen stylus. That will be the true test.

There are some tasks that I believe the Galaxy Note II could be super useful for. If after using the Note II for a week proves this to be true, it might end up back on top of my list of possible smartphone upgrades.

First and foremost, I want to try to see if I can eliminate the use of paper in my life. I'd like to try the Galaxy Note II in place of notepads and sticky notes while on my job. Instead of going to meetings with a legal pad and pen, only to end up with stacks of sloppy hand-written papers everywhere collecting in my office, I could collect all the info I need with the Note 2.

There's something about using an actual pen and paper that sparks creativity and makes it esier to get your thought processes documented. With the Note 2, I could take notes and draw diagrams just as if I'm using a paper notepad. I'd love to be free of the cluttered paper mess in my life at both work and at home.

Next, I would like to find out if the Galaxy Note II phablet would make a useful device for writing blog posts and updating all of my social media sites. I currently have to do this from my laptop and Galaxy S2 smartphone when I'm not at the desk in my man cave at home.

Depending on how well the Galaxy Note 2 can convert handwriting to ASCII text, this could be a lot more handy than pulling out the big 17" laptop or using my tiny smartphone and fat finger to write posts.

Lastly, I'm totally intrigued with the way you can draw on photos and crop out pictures from the web and save as GIF or JPG files. This could be a valuable tool when posting to Tumblr, or creating blog posts. I don't know if it will be as easy as it looks, so we will see.

Even though the enormous Samsung phablet seems to be entirely too big for my hands to operate, I don't think I would have a problem holding it up to my face to talk on the phone. Bigger is better in that regard. I was never a fan of the micro-sized cell phones that were all the rage a decade ago.

There's one feature of the Galaxy Note 2 that could counteract the size problem. You are supposed to be able to reduce the size of the touch screen keyboard and move it to the lower right portion of the screen. This would make all of the keys accessible with one hand. No need to stretch your thumb all the way to the left side if your hands are small.

Stay tuned and I will be giving regular reports on my test of the Galaxy Note II. I will plan on including some audio and video posts along with regular blog posts. Then I will reveal my final opinion at the end of the test period!

Big thanks to AT&T Wireless for the opportunity to review this breakthrough device from Samsung. This should be my most exciting review!

Carlton Flowers
On The Phablet Phrontier

LOWEST PRICE ON SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II AT AMAZON WIRELESS!

Get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note II at the lowest possible price through Amazon Wireless! Prices starting at only $174.99 for new individual accounts signing a 2-year contract.

Hit the link now and check out the details, and save a chunk of money on this device that retails for $299 under contract!

 GET IT NOW

 

CZ Tech Talk Preview - An Unplugged Geek Fest

CZ TECH TALK FRIDAY EDITION INTRODUCES NEW RANDOM FORMAT

Hi folks. The CZ Blog Man is in a rare mood. I'm gonna try something new, so don't expect normal. If you are reading this, you agree to the terms and conditions of this post, which are as follows:

  • This post shall ramble on, possibly without end
  • Reader is aware that I may not ever make a point or have a purpose
  • Writer reserves the right to change the topic of discussion every 3rd sentence without warning
  • Post could end abruptly without warning
  • Reader agrees to the terms of payment for the post (this is explained at the end)

Now that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions of this post, I will be able to continue with what it is that I did not plan to do. And that is ramble on about whatever comes to my mind, kind of like a brainstorming session. So here we go! It's the Unplugged Friday Edition of CZ Tech Talk!

IPHONE 5 DESIGN

It's bunk. Crap. All these blogs out here posting about this bogus new design that makes the screen only 1/2" taller but the same width are really disappointing me. Come on, geek writers, do you really thing they are going to change the aspect ratio of the iPhone 5?

I talked to my partner, CEO Jake Seeman, of our company CoMo Coding LLC last night. We have an app development company, of which I am the Vice President handling all marketing. I asked CEO Jake if Chief Programmer Stephen Lindhauer had an opinion about these rumors, and if it was causing him any worry. He said yes.

Here's the thing... people like our Chief Programmer Stephen will have a complete psychotic fit if Apple changes the aspect ratio of the next iPhone, because that means all of the current apps would have to be re-written to run on the new weirdly shaped screen.

If they increase the width from 2" to 2.29", that would fit the aspect ratio of the new vertical dimension of 4". That is, IF the new display even ends up with the extra half inch on top. Wait a minute... strike those figures. The current dimension is 3.5" diagonally measured. So adding a 1/2" extra amount to the top would make a greater diagonal distance.

Whatever the case, you get the point. If you make it taller, and not wider, you screw up the aspect ratio. That's why I think all you big boy blog sites are sitting with your heads jammed in a warm moist place for believing this stuff.

Next topic...

IPHONES IN KOREA

I don't know who it is that started this rumor, but as the story is told, they claim that the people of South Korea love the iPhone and are found carrying it much more often than their native Samsung products.

These people also claim that the South Koreans see the iPhone as a status symbol, and they don't give the same respect or value to their own brand.

Well I am glad to report to you that this story is 100% garbage, and I know this for fact. My previously-mentioned partner, CEO Jake Seeman, was actually in South Korea for an entire 2 weeks. He said that EVERYONE in South Korea is walking around carrying phablets. They are all over the place.

He told me that this idea that the countrymen (and women) are carrying iPhones is a complete fabrication. He never saw a single iPhone 3GS while there, and only 2 iPhone 4S's (one of which was his own). So I hand the Turd Trophy to all of you who seem to find it necessary to promote this craptastic rumor.

PHABLET PHRENZY

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is coming! We have just a few days until the announcement. Soon after, we should hear about the HTC Phablet that is coming. I am gonna bet that the Samsung version will be better. I love HTC smartphones, but they are too heavy and bulky. I need light and unbreakable.

I cannot wait to get my hands on a phablet. Unless something life-changing and monumental comes out in between today and October when I can upgrade, it's gonna be Phablet Time for me

---------------------------------

That's all I have for the moment. that doesn't mean that I won't post another one of these unplugged ramblings in the next 5 minutes though. It just depends on the current state of my ADD/HD. But from now on, when you see the new "CZ Tech Talk" logo, you'll know this is an unplugged post.

But before you go, we have to talk about payment. Yes, that's right, this isn't free. You agreed to the terms and conditions of this post when you started. If you made it this far, it's time to pay up. I don't allow stealing.

To avoid possible prosecution and punitive damages, you must pay for reading this post by dropping a comment in the fantastic Disqus commenting section below. Tell me what you think of the rambling topics, share a new topic, or tell me what your favorite flavor of ice cream is.

Whatever the case, make your payment now or you will receive a citation and fine in your email inbox for violating my terms.

Thanks a bagillion.

Carlton Flowers
CZ Unplugged

Take "Note" Part Deux! The Galaxy Note Returns - Fresh Rumors!

WHY THE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE II ANNOUNCEMENT HAS ME AT "HELLO"

Folks, I have not been this excited since the ramp-up to the release of Samsung's Galaxy S2 smartphone. There's a new phablet coming to town, and it's a perfection of the first-generation smash hit!

Yes, the Samsung Galaxy Note II is said to be announced in August of 2012 at a special event. This could be a knock-out punch for Samsung, and they have my full undivided attention. My upgrade is due in October, and this is the #1 device on my short-list!

First of all, if you know me, I have been a fan of the stylus since the days of the Palm Treo.

I was super excited about the invention and introduction of the capacitive induction display when the first iPhone arrived, but the only down point is that you can't use a sharp, hard-tipped stylus with such a touch screen. So when the first generation Galaxy Note came to fruition, I just about did a back flip.

It's too bad that the Galaxy Note came after the Galaxy S2. Otherwise, I'd probably own one right now. But the Galaxy Note II looks like it could be taking some design cues from the Galaxy S-III superphone. That, to me, is a fantastic thing.

Not to get off topic, because I will address this later... but the Samsung Galaxy S-III is the most beautiful, functional, ergonomic smartphone that I have ever gripped in my greasy little geek fingers. Nothing, and I mean nothing comes close to its gorgeous design and cutting edge techno-features.

But I digress...

The only thing that will keep me from buying the Galaxy S-III in October would be a redesigned Galaxy Note II that has the nouveaux look and feel. We won't even get into the techie talk, because new design + S-Pen stylus = "enough for me to blindly buy".

What has me super excited is the fact that the new S-Pen could be a capacitive stylus, which would be a first. All of the capacitive styluses on the market have a fat rubber tip in order to mimick a finger. But the new S-Pen is rumored to be able to convey the micro current that a finger touch would give, but with a sharp, hard, pointed tip.

That means incredible accuracy, and action that would rival a real ink pen versus a fat, rubbery tip that doesn't have pinpoint accuracy. Add to that the fact that even the current version is pressure-sensitive, and able to give varying line width.

What has me so tanked-up about the Galaxy Note 2 is the fact that this will give me the best of both worlds: owning a smartphone plus a tablet. And not only will it be a fantastic, pocketable tablet, but one with the best stylus in gadget land.

We don't know what this thing is going to look like, but if the Galaxy Note 2 is anything like the picture depicted, I'm game! Next post, we will get into the rumored technical specifications of the Note 2, and see how close we can get to the production model at announcement time!

Carlton Flowers
Galaxy Purveyor

 

 

Best Android Phones of 2012 - The Big Phat Note

LOOKING BACK AT THE PRE-RELEASE OF THE GIANT GALAXY NOTE

So... continuing on my series of writing about the best deals on Android smartphones, I want to reel back and re-post one of the lost blog articles that I wrote before the gigantic Samsung Galaxy Note hit the market.

Let's take a look back at what my thoughts were, and then we'll hit the fast forward and talk more about the Galaxy Note and what has become a surprising success of a device!

Here's the "Blast From The Past" post for your enjoyment!

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE SET TO LAUNCH IN FEBRUARY ON AT&T NETWORK

The Samsung Galaxy Note is back in the news! Samsung is set to launch the tremendously-sized tablet/smartphone hybrid on February 19th, 2012 via AT&T. If you have $300 to spare and a hankering for a Texas-sized display, your day is coming!

Bloggers and tech writers are calling devices of this type the "phablet", which is a ridiculous yet catching-sounding nickname for this prototype. The Galaxy Note certainly isn't the first phablet to hit the market, but may very well be the first successful device to enter the high tech mobile market.

In the past, we saw the Dell Streak 5 do a big fat belly flop when it entered the world of smartphones, and it fizzled just as fast as it entered. But Samsung's Galaxy Note has taken a different approach to the phablet concept, and they've added a pile of features that we have not seen in the past.

The Galaxy Note will sport a whopping 5.3" Super AMOLED 1280x800 display and it will be packing a 4G LTE radio. But there's something unique that the Note will include that others have not. The Galaxy Note will attempt bringing back the stylus.

We haven't seen styluses since the days of the Palm Treo. Unlike the stylus-packing "somewhat smart" phones of the past, the Note will have a capacitive screen just like the regular line of Galaxy S devices.

You'll be able to operate the phone with your fat little fingers, and you'll also be able to make much more accurate delineations with the stylus, dubbed the "S Pen".

The S Pen will take you to new levels of functionality. You can make hand written notes on web pages and documents, convert handwriting into standard text, and even take screen shots on the fly. This is something we have never seen in a smartphone, and what I believe to be the biggest missing feature of all the tablets on the market including the iPad.

The Galaxy Note is not packing the latest processing power, however, as it will only feature a dual core 1.0GHz cpu. Honestly, I don't think this is going to cause any lagging or other serious issues with operation, but I sure would have liked to see the 1.5GHz Exynos processor in this device for what they are charging.

Nonetheless, it's going to be a versatile gadget that will stand out in the crowded Android smartphone market. If I wasn't on month number 3 of my current upgrade, and if I had $300 burning a hole in my pocket, I would probably be the first in line to buy the Note.

It would be perfect for the engineer type that I am. Is the Galaxy Note in your crosshairs? Do you think $300 is a fair price for a monstrous phablet? Sound off and let me know what you think!

Carlton Flowers
Phabulous Phablet Watcher

GET THE GALAXY NOTE NOW AT AMAZON WIRELESS!

Take advantage of the price drop on the Galaxy Note! The price has come down to $189 at the Amazon Wireless store when signing up for a 2-year contract! Get all the details on this fantastic "Phablet" by clicking the link above or the picture to the left, and grab yours while the special is still on!