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.
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.