Price as Reviewed: $370 on a new 2-year contract with T-Mobile (web-only)
After already reviewing the awesome Galaxy Note II on AT&T, giving it a solid score of 9/10, praising how awesome it was, in ever sense of the word, it was high time to do another review of it, on another network. So, it’s time to look at T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy Note II: the same specs, sans LTE, instead going for T-Mobile’s overclocked 4G HSPA+ network. The results are a little less amazing; HSPA+ gets you anywhere from 5MBps to 17MBps in the download sectorin New York City and the surrounding area.
The included carrier apps are pretty much equivalent to the apps that AT&T includes on their version of the Note II. Multi-Window, a feature that was just recently added via software update, is fantastic and useful if you want to multitask or switch to other apps quickly — it also just looks cool when you use it.
Samsung Galaxy Note II Glamour Shots
Design-wise, much like the computing hardware, remains the same: overall plastic build, but heavily reinforced and polished, a well-size S Pen, a huge 5.5″ Super AMOLED HD display, 1.6GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, and 8MP shooter on the back, plus a 2MP front-facing camera. For this particular Note II review, I had the chance to use the Marble White version, which actually is a nice change from the cobalt/midnight sparkle blue that Samsung has been laying down on its other Galaxy smartphones, namely the Galaxy S III.
My only gripe? T-Mobile is selling the Note II for $70 more than AT&T does (if you buy the Note II on the internet), when the latter has a better, newer network based off of LTE, while T-Mobile is still stuck using HSPA+. So, if you do happen to score the Galaxy Note II on T-Mobile, you’d be paying $370 on contract, versus $300 on AT&T, which has the faster network (and in some cases, service signal)
Samsung continues to display how much a big player they want to be, and by releasing the same smartphone on different networks, they open up the chances of that happening — which has already become a reality. Just be sure that next time you get a high-priced smartphone with all the latest bells and whistles, that the network you get it on is actually worth it. This is what causes the demise of specific smartphones: put it on a carrier that isn’t as favored as the other, and its review score is downgraded by a full point.