Verizon Galaxy note 2

Since its introduction back in October, Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 has skyrocketed to superstardom, pushing 5 million units and earning the top spot on holiday gift guides across all carriers. It has also been written about ad nauseam, without countless stories popping up across the internet ranging from that display (it’s as huge as they say) to the battery life (it’s as phenomenal as they say). Here at Android Central, we’ve got reviews on file for both the international and T-Mobile models, which both come to the consensus that this might just be the biggest, baddest phone you’ll be able to stuff your stocking with this holiday season.

So how does Verizon’s model differ from what we’ve come to know and love? Aside from the few details below, this behemoth is nearly identical to every other iteration, from the breakneck performance of the quad-core Exynos processor to the TouchWiz-touting Jelly Bean UI. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—the Note 2 is simply one of the best Android devices ever produced.

If you want more mouth watering details on that 5.5-inch 720p SuperAMOLED Plus display, or that whopping 3,300 mAh battery, head on over to Alex's and Phil’s reviews. Hardware-wise, they're the same.

If you want to see what makes Verizon’s model unique, hit the break for the full rundown.

Branding, branding, branding!

Let’s get it out of the way up front—the Verizon’s Note 2 is one of the most heavily branded, overly-tattooed devices you will have ever had the pleasure of knowing. There really isn’t any way around it—  you’ll find a Verizon logo on the home button, as well as oversized Verizon and LTE logos on the battery door. There won’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind that you are a loyal Verizon customer.

But fret not — there are already plenty of solutions out there. Our own Jerry Hildenbrand spotted some aluminum decals floating around the internet that fit perfectly atop that branded home button, and Samsung's popular Flip Covers will replace that tattooed battery door with a clean, Verizon-free one. 

Personally (and I’m probably in the minority here), I don’t find the logos to be all that offensive. Sure, they’re there, but they’re not all that more prominent than on any other Verizon device. The Note 2 happens to have a home button where Verizon’s front logo usually ends up (Samsung got away with omitting it on the GS3, but that luck seems to have dried up), so fellow long-time Verizon customers will feel right at home here. I’m actually more offended by the rear logos, as they’re noticeably bigger than on other similar devices. But for those who protect their phone with a case, or plan on picking up one of Samsung Flip Covers, this is truly a non-issue. The long and short of it: what Verizon has done here isn’t all that different from what they’ve consistently done in the past.

Multiwindow

Note 2 verizon

Samsung’s Multi Window functionality might just be its flagship lineup’s most innovating and useful feature, but after AT&T launched its model with the functionality absent, Verizon customers were left to hold their breath. Rest assured, Multi Window is alive and well on Verizon’s Note 2, and works like a charm.

The concept is simple: hold down your back button and a menu of seven apps appears to your left. Drag one to the top of your screen, and drag another to the bottom. Voila! You’ve got two apps running simultaneously, a magic trick made possible by the Note 2’s uber-powerful processor and RAM, along with its monstrous 5.5-inch display.

For right now, Multi Window is limited to seven apps: Email, Gallery, Messaging, Video Player, Internet, Polaris Office, and S Note. Samsung has said that YouTube and Gmail are on their way, but for now there’s no exact timeframe as to when we’ll see the additions.

Hackability

Android Central

We’ve become pretty desensitized to Verizon’s heavy-handed influence over manufacturers, so the Note 2’s locked bootloader comes as no surprise. It’s been debated time and time again, but it always boils down to Verizon explaining its decision to no one’s satisfaction. Luckily, we’ve seen a recent trend of Verizon releasing “developer editions” of its most popular smartphones (e.g. the Galaxy S 3 and more recently, the Droid RAZR HD), but there’s no word yet regarding the Note 2.

But just because Verizon has thrown us a few banana peels doesn’t mean an unlocked bootloader isn’t possible. We’ve seen extensive efforts on the GS3 and other recent devices result in an unlocked device, and as of this week developers have already rooted the Note 2. While a full unlock hasn’t been achieved just yet, we’d venture to guess that it’s not all that far off.

SIM-locked

Verizon Galaxy Note 2.

We were pleasantly surprised to find Verizon’s recent Droid DNA ship SIM unlocked, meaning its compatible with both AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. Our excited piqued even more when we heard from our friends and WPCentral that HTC’s Windows Phone 8X was in the same boat. But alas, our hopes were dashed to find out that, at least for now, this trend appears to be HTC’s doing and not Verizon’s, as the Note 2 is locked to Big Red’s waves only.  We’ll keep an eye on the developers out there to see if anyone can come up with a work around, but history has taught us not to hold our breath for this one.

The bottom line

Verizon Galaxy Note 2.

Verizon’s Note 2 enters the game a little later than we had all hoped, but for most customers of the nation’s largest carrier, it was well worth the wait. The Note 2 is a stunning addition to an already robust portfolio; at any other time of the year, we could easily say it is the best device on Verizon’s shelves. But after the releases of the Droid RAZR HD, the MAXX HD, and the Droid DNA, the Note 2 faces some stiff competition this holiday season. You can’t go wrong with most of Verizon’s offerings right now, but if you’ve got a taste for the quality UI we’ve come to expect from Samsung, and a display that bridges the gap between your phone and your tablet, the Note 2 is well worth your $300.

 
There are 63 comments

PJMAN2952 says:

Verizon just destroyed the look of the phone with that stupid branding on the home button.

lyrisist35 says:

The branding doesn't bother at all. Most of the time I don't see it because it's at the bottom of the phone (where my hand or thumb is) and when I put my thumb over the home key, I don't see it at all.

mwara244 says:

It's the principle of the matter. Vzw knows people use cases and your hands cover up the back logo. Most people set their phone down face up so they put the logo their making us unpaid and forced advertisers of their product, which we buy outright, without compensation whatsoever. If verizon wants to shave off %10 of my bill every month or offer the phone at a discounted price I'd then be happy to advertise for them. Until then, this is them trying to take advantage of the consumer making them free advertisers of their network.

mwara244 says:

doubled

balthuszar says:

andrew is completely correct, it's not any different than any other verizon phone having the verizon logo on the chin on the front...samsung just happened to have put a button there and verizon put their logo in the same spot which happened to be on the button...i don't get all the flap verizon is getting about this honestly

Honestly enough is enough with the things VERIZON decides to do with the devices that run on it's network. It's pretty infintile and comical that not only do they change the cosmetics of the outer appearance. But they then decide to mess around with the internals of the device. Starting out with this classles WIFI notification that stays stuck in the drop down menu. The infinite scrolling feature that was stripped out of the application tray as well as stealing the headphones that Samsung shipped with all devices on all the carriers. This simply shows that Verizon could care less about their customers and they have just gotten to big for their britches. Google kicked them to the curb for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus debacle from last year even till now they can't update a simple stock device. Down to just updates in general all the other carriers Galaxy S3 devices have jellybean except Verizon. I'm pretty sure that Samsung did not produce the Galaxy Note 2 for Verizon to institude their own cosmetic changes to the device. Rest assured Verizon won't be seeing anyother Galaxy Note devices in the future just like they will NEVER SEE ANOTHER NEXUS DEVICE...Personally I am glad my carrier distributed the devices that was intended by Samsung instead of that heap of gue verizon is making it's customers walk around with. It's pretty clear that Verizon has some kind of Inferiority complex in comparison to the other carriers. Not only do they nickle and dime you on your bill monthly now they specialize in cosmetic changes on the outside of devices as well as internal changes to devices after shipped by the manufacturer. Verizon is nothing more than a pitiful conclusion.

squiddy20 says:

"enough is enough with the things VERIZON decides to do with the devices that run on it's network." When has this ever not been the case? It is VERIZON'S network, is it not? You weren't complaining about it when you were with Sprint a little over a year ago. How stupid are you?
"Not only do they nickle and dime you on your bill monthly" This coming from the dope who claims to be able to "get whatever device whenever [you] want to" and how you like to "hand out loans" to people, and how you're "rolling with the big boys". You have no right to complain about the monthly bill while carrying on the way you do about being soooo rich.
"It's pretty infintile and comical" It's spelled "infantile". Surely if you actually had a smartphone, it'd correct your abysmal spelling.
"this classles WIFI notification that stays stuck in the drop down menu." ...Which a lot of people will find helpful. Despite what you think, the world does not revolve around you or your pitiful opinions.
"as well as stealing the headphones that Samsung shipped with all devices on all the carriers" They probably did that because just about everyone has a set of headphones. I know I haven't used the pair that came with my Galaxy Nexus once, and I never used the pair that came with my Samsung Moment either. Why use wired headsets when there's an abundance of Bluetooth headsets? Do you not think?
"all the other carriers Galaxy S3 devices have jellybean except Verizon" You'd better re-read the article again dumbass, it's got Jelly Bean. It might not be 4.2.1, but it's Jelly Bean. Oh, and unlike your Note 2 on T-Mobile, the Verizon version has multi-window capability. Idiot.
"I'm pretty sure that Samsung did not produce the Galaxy Note 2 for Verizon to institude their own cosmetic changes to the device." If that were even remotely true, do you really think Verizon would be selling the Note 2? You really don't think at all, do you?
"It's pretty clear that Verizon has some kind of Inferiority complex in comparison to the other carriers." This coming from the dope who is going on and on about tiny little cosmetic changes that most people won't notice and finding a myriad of other ways to knock down the Verizon version specifically. Seems someone's trying to bolster his confidence in the product he supposedly owns...

Sachmojo says:

Like Verizon much?

Rob White says:

Hey Squiddy, seriously bro, just let this troll rant & forget about him. He's been going on about HTC or Sprint or Samsung or whatever for well over a year or so on here. And of course he's been 'Pimp Slapping' them all the way through NYC or something along those lines.

I keep seeing you two go at it in some Disqus forums too. He's got serious inferiority issues to deal with so just let him have it. It is quite comical seeing his rants & near racist commentary sometimes on here. Everybody can see through it too. So just politely step back when you see him on here bud. It says more about Phil as editor that he lets Richard get away with some of these rants & insults than to ban him like he's done before over some stupid things. This comes to mind;

http://www.androidcentral.com/old-and-busted-motorola-droid-just-won-new...

Yet he lets Richard continue his insults & rants against others. Just let it go man.

kisypher says:

damn dude. did Verizon fuck your wife or something?

atlas9171 says:

Somebody had to satisfy her...lol

Haha, I read this as "Galaxy Note 2 Mini review," not "Galaxy Note 2 mini-review." I was like "Ummmm, so an S3?" Haha. Nice article though.

Incubus123 says:

Me too!

jimmy5cent says:

I'm sure this is just a typo, but why does the title call it the Verizon Galaxy Note 2 Mini.

113 says:

It means a "miniature-review," as in a short review of the Note 2. Not a miniature Note 2.

jimmy5cent says:

I with draw my earlier statement. I didn't get it. Thanks for clearing that up.

AJC1973 says:

It doesn't it says galaxy note ii. Mini review.

Punctuation is important.

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Let's eat mom!

Lol

CharlieL3 says:

So, how's the battery life on this device? I'm not going backward from the Razr HD, no matter how nice the display looks.

cj100570 says:

Battery life is awesome. I'm a moderate to heavy user depending on my day and I'm getting 19+ hours between charges. On my Galaxy Nexus I was lucky to get 5. Last weekend it was off the charger from 8 a.m. Saturday morning until noon on Monday and still had 30% charge. I only used it for 2 calls totalling about 5 minutes during that time.

rohanlady4 says:

Incredible! I unplugged my phone at 2:30 this morning. It's now 6:30 in the evening on the same day. Played some games, checked FB a few times, sent some texts and used a bunch of other apps and I'm still at 61%. I've gone from 2 a.m. (I unplug it in the middle of the night when I roll over and see it's charged) and gone till midnight with a 50%+ charge still. I had the Thunderbolt and I'd unplug my phone at 7:30 and by 10 it would be down to 75% or lower.

NavyVet420 says:

Fantastic isn't it. I had mine for 2 days before I had to charge and that's straight out the box. This phone doesn't eat battery like I thought it would. Guess that having that Quad core is good for something. Plus that beast of a battery. I get roughly 30 hours before I have to charge again. Thats with running AB SW, Email, Scorecenter, texting, etc.

CharlieL3 says:

Thanks for the replies. I've always been a Motorola guy, but this phone is tempting.

cj100570 says:

2 logos equal over branding. Interesting, as I look at the pages of all the carriers I see phone with 2 logos on them; 1 on the front and 1 on the back. Placing my Note II next to a Rezound and an Incredible 4G, the Verizon logo on the Note II home button is smaller than the logo on the other 2 phones. I guess people just need a reason to bitch and moan. Because honestly, it's no worse than the branding on 99.999% of the other phones from Verizon and every other carrier.

Flangan25 says:

Just not true...maybe it's in the 0.001% of all phones out there, but my Sprint Note 2 has NO carrier branding. On the outside, it may as well be an unlocked int'l version. Just sayin'...

lyrisist35 says:

Did I read that the Verizon version has a 3,300mah battery? That's funny, because the battery mine has says 3,100mah. If Verizon jerked me around on the batter size, I wanna know so I can get what I paid for.

wonkman says:

Since you're a stickler for syntax, you should know that "with draw" is one word.

return_0 says:

Missed the reply button?

wonkman says:

no, it skips to the bottom sometimes and it really pisses me off.

one80oneday says:

Guess mini review means review without editing...

Bobbman says:

I had a "chat" with Verizon when I bought a note 2 for a chistmas present for my father in law. In the chat I was assured the sim card could be swapped out overseas to use a different provider. Is that not true?

AceXMachine says:

Don't worry, the device is SIM unlocked. What they are referring to is technically an MCC (Mobile Country Code) lock if I am not mistaken. Basically, any SIM/Provider using a U.S. MCC will be denied. In short, you can use it with an international SIM, just not a U.S. based SIM (like AT&T, T-Mobile etc). Almost all VZW smartphones have been this way for a while, which is why so many people were "excited" to see the DNA accept an AT&T SIM.

mick4394 says:

Multi-Window support appears to be up to the app developer to add. After the most recent update, greader showed up as a Multi-Window app on my Note 2.

Hopefully more app developers will follow suit.

mattym320 says:

My god that home button is hideous

Agreed. I just can't get beyond it. It offends my soul.

rohanlady4 says:

Silly. Get a life. It's barely noticeable, especially on the white phone. As for the back plate, truthfully, I never even noticed it until it was mentioned in the article and then I had to pry off my new cover to verify it was there.

Immolate says:

It is a source of spiritual mortification, and yet it's a minor nit as well. Once covered, it becomes completely inoffensive. Bad idea Verizon, but it has no influence on my buying decision.

MikaelPe says:

The Verizon Galaxy Note 2 does not support car-mode and aux-out through the micro-USB, like the S III does. This means you can't install a car-dashboard application type CarHome Ultra and you can't use it with a car-dock. We at iBOLT hope Samsung will fix this soon (in next update) so users can get the full benefit of this otherwise absolutely great phone.

corymcnutt says:

I couldn't agree more. The Note 2 is by far a much nicer phone than my Bionic, but when I put my Bionic in a car dock, I was greeted with a wonderful menu system, the same when you placed it in the bedside dock...up came a nice nightime menu...I can't believe a phone as sophisicated as the Note 2, doesn't offer the same features.

IamReady says:

?? I believe you are mistaken. I use Car Dashboard on my VZW GN2 and Car Mode starts right up when I open the app. And audio out through USB works fine in the Smartdock Multi-Media Hub on my desk...

TBolt says:

Thanks for the quick article explaining the differences.

jengobengo says:

I also appreciate the mini review. I just read the Day 1 DNA vs. Note 2 breakdown and learning about the difficulty of using the Note 2 with one hand (with coffee in the other) bums me out. I really wanna go with the Note 2, but I guess that would mean the end of "quick"/subtle phone usage. I'd get a lot more productivity out of it with each use, but I wouldn't be whipping it out as much I guess. (insert "That's what she said"-esque joke)

Immolate says:

Note 2 allows you to use a reduced keyboard that allows one-handed/thumb typing. This is an easy-to-use feature.

Krishaun27 says:

.

Galaxy Note II mini...I love it! The new name for the GS3. As if Samsung's naming scheme is not confusing enough.

My Note II on Sprint has about 20 multi window apps available to it... I'm sure that'll come to Verizon soon... Pretty awesome feature especially on a big arse screen.

Sachmojo says:

[wrong thread]

Xopher says:

I was thinking another difference is that Verizon disabled Blocking Mode. It comes in very handy for turning off notifications at night while still allowing family calls to ring through.

IamReady says:

Blocking mode is there; just hidden. Here tells you how to get it:
http://www.droid-life.com/2012/12/02/how-to-enable-blocking-mode-on-veri...

imnuts says:

The phone is SIM Unlocked. Guess you forgot to put another SIM in and use it, but several people have used T-Mo and AT&T SIMs with success for at least calling. You need to add/edit the APN info for working data, which I don't think anyone has done yet though.

Mptrh336 says:

imnuts is right. I have successfully operated this phone (Verizon specific version) with a straight talk sim running on AT&T. It works. I didn't go through the steps to getting the apn set for internet, but voice and text were operational out of the box. Considering my Verizon GS3 is fully operational right now on H2O (minus 3g, running on Edge only) I am sure the Note will be just fine too.

NavyVet420 says:

OK maybe this has been covered, but WHY did the ATT version NOT have Multi-window available? If its a Samsung product and it works on Big Check Marks network, then why not on Big Swirly Globe network?

IMHO this is the best phone on the market. I have had mine for 2 weeks and not a complaint. Even the Samsung Battery/Flip cover case thingy is spiffy with its velvetesque soft lining on the flip cover inside. But, the only drawback is that the velvetesque lining tends to attract particles if you have the flip cover folded back while laying on any surface. One might scratch the screen with sand, salt or pepper.

I have installed Chrome on mine and its super fast. I am also using Nova Launcher which hasn't bogged the phone down like Go Launcher did for a few days. Overall the Note part 2 is worth the investment. I like the S-Pen, plenty of apps available for it. Mobile Sketchbook from Autodesk is worth its weight in gold..

csimms32 says:

bootloader has already been unlocked just not released yet! adam outler over on xda has unlocked it just hasn't released it to everyone to do

"or that whopping 3,300 mAh battery"

AC cant get through one story these days without an error.
Battery is 3100mah

SamTime says:

Cantu explain why Verizon or Samsung disabled *#*#4636#*#*

yankeesusa says:

This doesn't work on the sprint version either, whatever this is.

schmogo says:

Multi-window? So, is that similar to what I was able to do with my Palm Pre(-)?

yankeesusa says:

The logo on the front doesn't look too bad. If I could afford their prices I would love to have this phone on big red with their awesome lte speeds. What bothers me a little is the bigger letters on the back. That was not neccesary. But like they said, most people will cover it with a case.

soulquarist says:

Thank goodness Sprint didn't plaster their logo on their version of GN II. If they did, I definitely would've selected a different phone - either the Optimus G or the Galaxy S III. Yeah, superficial on my part, but it's just too distracting visually.

Immolate says:

Agreed... you're superficial.

Just kidding. Us phone divas have to stick together!

I must buy this, and I must buy this now!

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ktklein says:

I heard the VZW version of the GN2 does not have the wires/pins for inductive (wireless) charging like the other carrier versions do. There is YouTube video showing an owner of the VZW version soldering his own wires on and then adding the coil to the backplate. I can't get VZW or Samsung Mobile to confirm this however - I've sent numerous emails & tweets to both; only Samsung responded saying they cannot comment on carrier specific information and that the answer had to come from VZW - very lame response if you ask me, but at least they responded unlike VZW.

jengobengo says:

Thanks! Best Buy has a pretty good offer (5000 reqard zone points/$100) for signing up for a new/extended contract, so I will likely pop in there and check it out.