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I’m a traditionalist when it comes to most things. Even if I want all the new things (but refuse to wait for them), I still like the fact that I’m set in my ways. I’m like an old man in this regard. When I buy a new thing, I expect it to work with how I do things. I can adapt to a point, especially when the technology makes it worthwhile, but when it comes right down to it, I like the way things are right now. Typing, for example, has always been something that I prefer to do on a full, QWERTY keyboard. I do prefer software over hardware these days, but it always hasn’t been like that.

And now, surprisingly enough, I’ve completely stopped typing on my phone altogether.

A few days ago I picked up Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. I wasn’t sure about it, especially considering my (very brief) time with the Galaxy S III, but I pulled the trigger and bought it. I was quick to say that the screen, measuring in at 5.5-inches, was too big: I was wrong. I was quick to say that the stylus, or S Pen, was just a gimmick: I was wrong. These things work so well with the Galaxy Note II, that they are indeed features, and not simply ploys to be different within the clogged market.

More than anything, though, that S Pen has completely changed the way that I use my phone. And not just in the normal, “Hey, I’m going to use this stick to touch things on my screen!” either. (Yes, I do use the S Pen to activate options. And I’m okay with that, too!) Using Samsung’s proprietary applications like S Note showed me, right out of the gate that using the stylus was going to be something worthwhile, so I tried it for replying to a text message.

And I haven’t looked back since.

Yes, just to be clear, I am “handwriting” text messages. I am, for all intents and purposes, replying to people on my smartphone by, literally, writing them back. And this is something that didn’t take me a few uses to get used to, or something that I had to work on to like. No, handwriting a reply, or even starting a text message like this, felt more natural than I ever thought it could. It’s probably just the Galaxy Note II itself, but it feels natural for some reason, and I can’t quite figure out why.

What struck me as strange, though, was the fact that I was using handwriting recognition to do all my text input. I wasn’t just doing it to reply to text messages or in GTalk. I was using it to enter in Web addresses. I started using the stylus for everything on the Galaxy Note II, and it happened so suddenly that I didn’t realize the transition had happened. Now, more often than not, I have the stylus out and I’m usually entering text with it, in one app or another.

I thought, maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the stock keyboard on the Galaxy Note II, so I made sure to try it out yesterday. I gave it a real effort. After all, I’m a traditionalist and typing on a keyboard is something that, up until I purchased the Galaxy Note II, I prefer to do. But it isn’t the keyboard. It’s fine. And if you’re a fan of Swype, then the keyboard is perfect for you. But you know what? I just don’t want to do it anymore. I don’t feel like typing.

I want to write.

I agree with Taylor that the DROID DNA by HTC isn’t a phablet, because Samsung put a lot of work into making sure that the Galaxy Note II does indeed fit somewhere between your smartphone and a tablet. In that regard, the stylus’s inclusion seems to just make perfect sense. For me, using the S Pen has become natural, and I don’t find myself interacting with the Galaxy Note II without it much anymore. I’m surely not going to start knuckle-tapping my screen anytime soon, that’s for sure.

So tell me, Dear Reader, did you pick up a Galaxy Note II? If so, what do you make of the S Pen? Have you given handwriting recognition a shot, outside of the S Note (or other S-inspired) app? What do you think of it? Let me know!


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