02
Nov
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Back when Samsung announced that, as of March 2012, it had sold 5 million Galaxy Notes (a period of roughly 5 months), much of the tech journalism world was a little taken aback. Myself included. How could a ridiculous 5.3" phone be selling in the millions? It was a device that was absolutely destroyed by critics in reviews - called ridiculous, cumbersome, and niche. It was destined to be a geek's phone, and a subset of geeks at that.

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But when those sales figures came in, everybody just sort of shut up about the Note being a bad idea. And now the reviews of the Note II are in and, surprise surprise, none are nearly as hard on the phone-meets-tablet's large form factor. Imagine that. (Check out our review here.)

Anyway, Samsung's just announced that, as of this week, it has sold 3 million Note II's worldwide. In 37 days. That's before this thing really even had a chance to launch on major US carriers, so expect that number to jump quickly. Pretty impressive.

Samsung Tomorrow (Translated)

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Christopher Wilmeth

    It looks awesome minus Samsung's bloatware. If there was a Google branded device of this size I don't think I'd hesitate to make it my next phone.

    • Sven Enterlein

      But don't forget that this would most likely not have expansible storage or LTE... Otherwise I'd be right there with you!

    • http://twitter.com/Darkmyth_pt Darkmyth PT

      second that

    • fixxmyhead

      samsungs 'bloatware' are what make this phone without that its just a big phone with no features

    • TheFirstUniverseKing

      The S-Pen would be mostly useless on stock Android.

      • Darklordxnew

        It's pretty useless now to be honest.

        I *love* my note 2...never ever use the pen.

        Could easily replace Snote with papyrus. Same functionality, only better.

        • CactusCat

          I think the S-Pen will be pretty good on a lot of finger controlled games. I'll be able to see what I'm doing a LOT better.

      • Mark

        Agreed. That's why I'm not going to be too interested in OEM based ROM's. Just debloated and tweaked out OEM based ROM's, where the S-Pen functionality is left in place. It's not just the S-Pen, that cool multitasking thing is a Touchwiz thing. There are just some new stuff the note II can do that's just not part of AOKP. Hopefully Cyanogen will keep a fire lit under Sammy's rear and keep them releasing updates sooner than later.

    • http://thedangerbrain.com/ Alfonso Surroca

      I kind of agree. Love the form factor, hate the software compared to my beloved Jellybean. If Google works with Samsung to build a Nexus version of the Note, I am going to throw so much money at my screen.

    • hot_spare

      Bloat is one factor, optimization is totally different. Samsung is able to really get more from the hardware (driver optimization). If you look at N4 and N10 benchmarks, they are really bad. N4 with quad core Krait and Adreno320 is giving numbers worse than dual core Krait with inferior Adreno 225. How is this possible unless google seriously messed up 4.2? It's not just one single benchmark, it for everything. How can Optimus G with same hardware running ICS consistently get much better results compared N4?
      N10 browsermark/sunspider are half of what is in Chromebook. They both run same SoC. Obviously that means it has to do a lot with software. When A9 SoC in Note/GS3 beats the A15 in SoC in N10, then it means either the benchmark is wrong or the software is not optimized.

    • Robert Mahon

      For once, I've found the extra software/functionality to be ok. The bloatware from TMobile in JellyBean can be set to be disabled to stop it appearing, and the Touchwiz stuff has a lot of settings to turn on/off/tweak most of the functionality. I don't mind it if it's configurable.

    • NeedName

      I want a 6" Nexus Phablet! I would be all over that on release day. . .

  • atlouiedog

    Has anyone every played The Avengers on a screen that size outside of those demonstrating a product?

  • Thomas’

    I've seen more women with this phone (the first Note) than men. Maybe just pure coincedence, maybe Samsung landed an unexpected hit with a new smartphone target audience.

    • atlouiedog

      I see many more women than men with phones of all types over 4.5". I think it has something to do with carrying them. If you phone is always in a bag, it doesn't matter if it's enormous.

      • Muddy

        plus the shocking amount of men now wearing skinny jeans

        • John O’Connor

          gender reversals? men wearing woman's clothing and woman with the tim-the-tool-man-taylor big boy toys...

      • Farhan

        Plus it's easier to find a large phone in the bag than a really small one. No more having to "look" in the bag when a girl gets a call.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          I remember predicting this back with the original Note. A lot of women don't even talk through the Note, they use a bluetooth earpiece. I know a bunch of girls, Asians especially, that do this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

      I'm seeing it too. Big purses = big phones I guess.

      • Alex Murphy

        You know what they say about big purses...

    • Nathan J

      I think women are a little more apt to use a phone with a large surface for jotting down notes, and sharing large family photos. You know how mothers, particularly young mothers, are always sharing their child's or children's latest photos with everyone at the office. (Fathers do it too -- I'm sure I would.) The big phone helps with that. Plus, web browsing on small phones is varying degrees of bad. Bigger screen, more content.

  • hot_spare

    You may also want to add that SGS3 also touched 30 million sale mark.

    http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_has_sold_30_million_galaxy_s_iii_devices_worldwide-news-5040.php

    • Mark

      Nice. The GS3 is an awesome phone, no slouch. I'm going the Note II since it's newer and has slightly better specs, but nobody would lose out by going with the GS3, especially if they can't handle the larger screen. When they mention Android Flagship phones, the GS3 is always at the top of the list and due to its popular it means a lot of accessories and community support. GS3 rocks, it's the slightly older cousin to my future Note II. I'm coming from a GS2.

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    I'm not shocked. I've been seeing these massive things everywhere. And the hilarious thing is its mostly my female friends. It makes it even more comical looking (as you can tell I am not a fan) when a 5' nothing 100lb girl with small hands is talking on a small tablet.

    • TylerChappell

      I too for the past several months have noticed many a female walking around with Galaxy Notes! Must make their boyfriends feel bad.

      • John O’Connor

        maybe that's their new measuring stick for um, other things. i.e. If you aren't this big, then walk away....

    • andrew__des_moines

      Facebook renders much better. Enough said.

    • Alex Murphy

      Also many women carry purses, which makes it even easier to carry, so I wouldn't be surprised if well over 50% of Note 2 owners are females.

  • mikkej2k

    Will the dock accessory for the Note II work on the original Note?

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    And in future news, Apple sues Samsung for...ummm...being successful?

  • http://profiles.google.com/grantbarker.com Grant Barker

    I saw this phone in the flesh for the first time today, and wow! It's beautiful. I can't wait to get one when they are released sometime this month (November) in Japan.I didn't know that there is an antenna which pops out of the top right corner, for watching TV. etc. Wonderful device. I played with it for half an hour and it's a beauty.

  • 27yearold

    I want this phone with a qwerty

    • Nathan J

      Bluetooth keyboards. They start at $15-16 on Newegg for what looks like the bottom half of a QWERTY phone with the screen broke off, to $31 and up for the "iMac" style keyboards. That's what I've got, except it's black (Motorola brand). Flat keys, not as nice to type on as a real keyboard, but beats all the soft keyboards.

      • thedoginthewok

        So do you just carry the keyboard in your pocket with your phone? Or is there a phone case where you can put the keyboard and the phone in? I'm genuinly curious, as I wanted a keyboard again, since I replaced my Motorola Droid.

  • yarrellray

    Niche device ''IT IS NOT'' Cumbersome ''IT IS NOT'' This is a legitimate device that ''STOMPS'' all current devices that are on the market today. This is the ONLY device that has true multitasking the way it truly was meant to be with split screen running various applications in the background. The funny part is this device has so many features available to it that it makes every current device on the market a complete JOKE...I own the current GALAXY S3 and it's a wonderful device but not on the level of the GALAXY NOTE 2. Anybody sleeping on the GALAXY NOTE 2 is totally silly and out of touch when it comes to the tech game. NOTHING ON THE MARKET COMES CLOSE TO TOUCHING THIS DEVICE...On November 15th I will be purchasing this device without question....

    • Mark

      Agreed. Android lately has been 'copying' Apple, non removable batteries, no D-Pad, no slide out keyboard, no microsd, etc. They've also been making their OS more 'friendly' for the masses, which is well in good but they're removing features sometimes. The Note II is the first real latest Android phone to actually innovate and bring something DIFFERENT to the market, something Apple and even other rival Android phones, can't do. Whether people like it or not, change is good. If everyone's doing the same old same old, and constantly copying one another and just enhancing little things here and there, nothing truly imaginative comes out. The Note II is all about imagination and trying something different to see how it sticks. And the sales figures are showing that people like 'different'.

    • cumbersomerayyarrell

      Please...you were telling everyone how this was a day one purchase for you...
      So, why wait?
      You're the joke

  • Mark

    Good. I'm getting one. The more it sells the more community and developer support there will be, read, custom ROM's! But given how heavily customized this thing is for the S-Pen and it needs Touchwiz to use the features, I don't imagine AOKP/Cyanogenmod/MIUI/AOSP based ROM's will be popular. But I'm hoping for a good solid OEM based ROM that's been debloated and tweaked. Let the fun begin, I can't wait for my AT&T Note II

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      I don't think Samsung has permission from Wacom to release the driver source for the S-Pen digitizer. I'm not sure, but I believe I read that the S-Pen only functions like a normal stylus without those drivers (it doesn't recognize pressure levels, the button, or make a distinction between your finger and the S-Pen).

      That's part of the reason I keep hoping Google will release a Nexus device with a smart stylus, it will open up a world of possibilities for building new interfaces and blowing passed the limited stuff Samsung has created.

      • Zackme LoL

        You are utterly wrong. Have you ever seen it? Try it? It does recognize pressure levels and has a button. I don't know where you got your sources but it must be outdated..

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          Congratulations on the intensity, you've got a bright future in flame wars on internet forums. Seriously, chill a bit. For your very first comment, you went to a 10 when a 5 would have made more sense.

          I said up front that I wasn't sure about how the S-Pen functioned without the proper drivers. I double checked and from what I can see, the very early versions of non-TouchWiz ROMs did have a lot of problems with the S-Pen. It looks like most of the issues were resolved over the first 2-3 months. I'd do some deeper research, but I've already lost interest in talking to you...

  • jay

    One of the big 'complaints' about the original Note is that you can't put it in a pocket. What the (mostly) male reviewers missed is that a good chunk of the population (such as my wife) does not stick a phone in a pocket but in a handbag, where size is no problem. She loves hers, she's very much a graphics oriented person and the big screen is great.

  • kinster02

    I will soon be part of that 3 million + crowd.

  • ObamaisaDouche

    this proves people are idiots. that phone is ridiculously big.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dacha.liceknjiga Dacha LiceKnjiga

    who told you it was a bad idea? everybody in this world buying larger screen, that's normal