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I tend to get excited about high-end smartphones. More often than not, no matter what the hype has been or hasn't been, I can usually find one or two reasons why I think I should have the phone. For the really good phones, though, there are more reasons for me to put my fingers on it than not, and those are the phones that manage to stick around for a little longer, compared to some that come and go within a matter of days.

Last year, when the Galaxy S III was getting ready to launch on Verizon's network, I wrote about how excited I was for the phone. That was pretty impressive to me, considering during Samsung's announcement of the device, I wasn't all that blown away or impressed. Yeah, it's a great phone hardware wise, but the software they were showing off just didn't do it for me. Not from my office chair, watching a distant stage through a computer screen.

It didn't translate well, for me, I guess.

That changed once I got my hands on the device and played around with it. Just like that I wanted to own it, use it every day, and show it off. With that short amount of time with the device, my views had changed completely, and I wanted nothing more than to buy it on the spot. Unfortunately I had to wait, so I did, and then I was first at the store to buy one when it became available.

I returned it just three days later. I would have returned it the very next day, but the Verizon store closest to me was an hour away and I didn't feel like making the drive. I'm not a fan of the Galaxy S III. Yes, I like how thin and light it is. Yes, the big display is nice, and the battery life isn't absurd. But I just don't like using it. I'm not a fan of Samsung's TouchWiz on the Galaxy S III, coupled with their use of AMOLED displays.

It's just too colorful. All the big, bold borders for the proprietary applications and user interface itself. I just can't use TouchWiz anymore. Not on the Galaxy S III, anyway.

Because I can certainly use it on the Galaxy Note II. We're talking about, essentially, the same exact phones with the exact same software. The Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III are both running Android 4.1 on AT&T, making only a few subtle differences (and one huge one) the differentiators between the devices. TouchWiz is the same TouchWiz on both devices, except that the Galaxy Note II has a few more features to propel their "combination of a phone and tablet" ideas.

And it's those features that make the Galaxy Note II stand out to me. I don't hate the Galaxy Note II because of the features that are tied to multitasking, or Samsung's S Pen. I actually don't hate the Galaxy Note II at all. On the contrary, it's one of my favorite Android-based handsets, and all because of a few extra features.

I have a Galaxy S III sitting right next to me right now. It's just staring at me with its big dark screen, waiting to get picked up, but I don't want to. I've been told that I should just add some custom themes via a Launcher, or even root it and do some major tweaking to get the experience that I am looking for. But I don't want to do that anymore, either. My tinkering days with software are long gone. I am looking for a phone that makes me happy right out of the box, without any of that extra stuff.

(Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of Launchers, and I've seen some folks with phones that look absolutely amazing after they've tweaked it to their liking. That is just not for me. Not anymore.)

I'm keeping the Galaxy S III for a little while longer, though, because I'm waiting for my Nexus 4 to show up. Which means I'll either have to grit my teeth every time I answer a text message, or succumb to adding a custom Launcher. Either way, it isn't the perfect scenario for me, and I think that's one reason why Samsung has made such an impact in the mobile industry.

They manage their proprietary software very well. When the Galaxy Note was originally announced, there were people saying that there wasn't a point to having a phone that big, running the same software as the smaller Galaxy S model. I would have agreed back then, and maybe I did, but now that the Galaxy Note II has "grown up," and has plenty of stand-out features, especially from the Galaxy S lineup, but is still running the same software at its core, I can't help but think that Samsung is on the right path.

The Galaxy Note II, and hopefully the Galaxy Note III, managed to keep my attention on skinned Android just a bit longer. I'm still waiting to see how HTC does with their newest version of Sense, and I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for stock Android devices like the Nexus 4, but I'm hoping that Samsung can continue to keep themselves ahead of the pack with software tweaks that really stand out for their particular devices.

Right now, as of the time of this writing, the Galaxy S III is tied with Nokia's Lumia 920 in the People's Choice in PhoneDog's Official Smartphone Rankings. On the Expert's side, the Galaxy S III is holding strong in third place. In both lists, the Galaxy Note II is sitting at the top, reigning over the lesser devices.

Do you think the Galaxy S III is just as good as the Galaxy Note II? Or Nokia's Lumia 920? How about Apple's iPhone 5, or LG's Nexus 4? Am I crazy for not liking it so much, but loving the Galaxy Note II? Did you happen to ditch your Galaxy S III in favor of the Galaxy Note II? Have you regretted the switch?


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135 Reactions to this post

"This is a tough one! Which do you like more, Note II or Galaxy S III?"


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Anonymous Uh yeah...It's the Note 2. I must say that the S3 is a easier fit on your hands but after looking at a 5.5 screen you can't help but stick with the screen especially after using it for a while. I don't know what I'm going to do next after my Note 2 because I MUST HAVE A SCREEN SIZE OF 5 INCHS OR MORE.
Heather Alys Alexis ive owned both they are both good phones...i like the s3 for the size but the note two for all the power and big screen to watch movies and playing games:)
Marshal Brown Putting preference aside its a no Brainer that the note 2 is better with more features and a better processor. It runs smoother and can handle anything you throw at it. The only complaint is the size. My wife has the s3 and I can honestly say i'm so glad I got the note 2. I don't have big hands and it's never a problem. The note 2s keyboard can shift to the right or left to accommodate. You get used to it and whenever you use any other phone you find you just want your note 2 back.
Prakhar Agarwal s3 takes home the trophy!!! no sweat!!! great phone wid gr8 UI
Jagminder Sethi S3 for sure!
Wais Hamidi Samsung Galaxy Note II. All the way.
Michael Kergosien Jr Galaxy s3. Note 2 is way too big.
Mark Belkowski both phones are great as ive owned both. ill also be getting the gs4.
Martin Smeaton Love my s3 but I'd trade it for a Note 2 in a heartbeat! Bigger is better gurrrr!!!!
Rob Bullock This really is a silly article...
Louis Agresti I will stick with the most powerful Phone with the best display,the HTC Droid DNA
John Rotarius Note 2 cause the american version of the s3 only has a dual core and the international has a quad if the u.s version had a quad id like the s3
Andre Jackson The note 2 is the best hands down
Shannon Rae Beauford I love my GS3! The Note II would be too big for me.
Lawrence Lepes The Note 2! It has a faster processor, more multitasking processor, bigger screen, S Pen, an updated OS, and a split screen feature!
Mike Lysholm Offenberg Nexus 4 - like a boss
J Alberto Garcia Flores I'm fine with my I just wish it was as powerful as the Note 2
Amanda Grace Love my S3 but I really want a iphone 5
Jay Alejos Note 2
Sean Cresswell Note2 is great!
Andre Anknown have no idea i'm enjoying my nexus 4
Ravin Schmidt Gs3. The note 2 looks cool but way to big for me.
Gustavo Renteria Note II is a perfect phone for me
Andy Huynh Own the S3 but have handled the Note2. S3 is perfect size for me with a medium chunky protective case on it. I don't know how I would ever comfortably use the Note...or find pocket space. Not to mention how big it would be with an Otterbox case on it for example.
Fida Musleh Gs3!!! note looks like a brick that holds my paper down on my desk!!
Joe Keener GS3 but the note 2 is awesome jus too big for me
Josh Billingsley I thought the note 2 was too big too. I guess im used to it. .. But it's perfect. ...I play with my wifes s3 and I think it's too small. Lol
Irene Garza S3! Note 2 is too big.
Dustin Smith iPhone 5
Anshuman Saini note 2 is too big for men. s3 is awesome baby!!!
Jessica Wiseman I didn't know they made pink ones. I like it
David DiPilla The note 2 is a better phone
Raymond Tang Lumia 920
Josh Billingsley I've owned them both... note 2 is better based in processor battery life for sure, and the keyboard (at least stock) is WAY better... Take nothing from the gs3... still an awesome phone., But the note 2 has it faded.
Henry McNeil Note ll
Dorz Lee Note 2
Clarice Louie Galaxy Note II
Keith Ainsley S3. Cause that's what I use.
Cal-Gene Johnson The note is a Fat ugly device sorry.... I see those huge squares and laugh my ass off! tech should be sleek and stylish not bulky and ugly. Just saying...
Michael Katz I would get the Note II if there was a 32gb version. But for now it's my 32gb GS3.
Jason McClellan I've owned both and the worst thing about the note 2 is I can never go back to a smaller screen. The battery is better and the phone is superior.
Steven Basso Note hands down
David Piepho Easy one, Note II
Sushmit Reddy Note 2 !
Orion Pax I would love the Note II if there was a 32gb version.
Marcus Samual Winchester Gs3, though the Note 2 is great. Owning either is great, I own S3
Mathieu Omoregie Now most of this is bias being that some have the s3 and never owned the note 2 and vice versa..... Are these opinions based on people who have had both? I've never had the s3 but love my note 2
Carlos Mendoza G S III had one and had no problems what so ever.
Debbie Kains-Coupal Note II without a doubt
Irfan Farooqi Galaxy s3
Scott Ritchey Note 2,but I'm waiting for the GS4,
Paul Silva Jr. Rocking the Note 2 waiting to see what the gs4 and Note 3 are gonna do
Shawn Gergler Note 2, best ever
Karen Po This is not taught for me. Note II pls I really want one
Jeff Hollins Note 2 superior.
Fabian Toti gs3 ... note too big.
Ayo Q Sipho S3. Don't feel like rocking a fannypack just to carry the big ass note 2. Dumb down the size of the note 2 and it will be a thought
Josh Jordan Yvonne, by then the note 3 and s4 will be out lol just wait it out..
Richard Ignacio Put your hands together.
Yvonne Neilson Shefke Well that helps me decide. only 8 months to go to upgrade.(hating 2 year contract thing.)
Chris Roberts NOTE 2 FOR SURE!!!!!
Dustin T. Robles S III the note II is to big for me
Sanad Arida Note II
BossMan Atl NOTE 2
Ben Kilen Being a large guy... definitely saying note. It doesn't feel big in hand it fits in front ppcket its freaking fast with its quad processors. Size matters
Jose Rodriguez love my note 2! multi-windows and awesome battery life! It is a little too big with my otter box case, but take it off and its a pretty nice fit in my hands
Chris Graham Note II
Travis Wright Note 2 hands down!!
Flako Ramirez Note II is the Decepticons of the TF and as everybody know Decepticons FTW
Alex Buccaneers Ramirez HTC G1 and My touch 3G
Jorge Guerra Note 2. Epic battery.
Sheila Ellis No contest. The Note 2 is the baddest phone out at this time. Nothing that is out at this time has its capabilities, power and battery life. The S3 was the baddest when it dropped but as with most things, newer iterations have greater functionality. I love my GN2 and at least for now, nothing touches it!!!
Jane Johns The Note is too large, Give me the SIII
Marc Martin Note 2 ? No thank you. S3 even though the specs don't match that of the Note.
Chi Johnson Note 2
Rochill Balgue Note 2 of course... :)
Sergio Rubio Note 2....4 cores > 2 cores any day
Kyle Bowser I loved my s3 so I had to get the note2! Love em both
Tony Abiama HTC Hero
Ray Peckett Note 2 baby!
Justin Batalla Note 2. Simple.
Yaasiin Oozeer Note 2!!
Alexandru Klipii let's all admit the fact that.... the SIII's design... simply sucks. I mean... the round corners, the cheap plastic edges.. - that's not how a high-end Android smartphone should be built. (my opinion)
Richard Allen Yarrell I have owned the Galaxy S3 and now have the Galaxy Note 2 both on tmobile. They are clearly the BEST DEVICES on the market. But the Galaxy Note 2 is the BEST ultimate all purpose productivity device ever made since the inception of android.
Matthew C Sjoblom Note 2. Ten times better than the GS3 now. Mine is rooted and running the latest jb 4.2.1 rom. Even faster running stock without over clock
Ricardo Contreras Jr. Either one if it was free
Maziar Kia I agree with Mitch. I've got a Note 2 and I definitely prefer it to S3.The bigger screen/faster CPU/S-Pen all make it overall a better device
Luis Reich Love my Note 2. But had a S3... The Note 2 is just so much better, features, battery life, etc etc
Daniel Yap i like note2 but i love s3. no hates on any samsung devices
Mitch Toland Jr. I have the Note 2 and quite a few of my friends have the S3. I really prefer the Note 2 and all the extra capabilities that come with it. Not to mention the better processor.
DeAndre Ruffin I hate the S III also
LaToya's Page Note Note Note 2!!!!!!
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Note2 but I wouldn't buy either until Androids start receiving timely updates
Cree Ross Note 2
Ken Reil Note 2




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