With many manufacturers choosing to use the Android operating system, the difference between two devices can often come down to hardware features and the different User Interfaces that run on each smartphone. For Samsung, their Android smartphones run the company’s own TouchWiz UI and on the Galaxy Note II, this includes the excellent S-Pen and Page Buddy.
Page Buddy is a great feature that creates additional homescreens based upon certain scenarios. Detaching the S-Pen from its holder brings up the S-Pen page in Page Buddy and a new homescreen with the S-Pen widget. Other S-Pen features include Quick Commands, Snap and Share and more.
During MWC 2013 in Barcelona last month, the Galaxy Note II realised we were roaming away from our home network and bought up the Roaming page, which by default displays two clocks – one for your home timezone and the other showing the timezone you are currently in. The four shortcuts at the bottom of the screen also change for different scenarios. Whilst roaming, the default shortcuts change to including Google Maps which again is the ideal shortcut if you’re in a foreign country.
Page Buddy on the Galaxy Note II also support additional pages including an earphones page (which automatically shows when you’ve plugged in a pair of earphones. The docking page appears when dock the Galaxy Note II in the official dock, if you’re able to find one in stock.
Overall the key differentiators between rival Android smartphones are the UI tweaks and hardware features. On the Galaxy Note II, the S-Pen is a unique feature as is Page Buddy. Samsung could add additional pages for actions such as NFC, Bluetooth, Charging / USB and more. Page Buddy is a feature that is really useful but you won’t realise you need it until you start using it.
Special thanks to Dial A Phone for lending us a Galaxy Note II to use during MWC 2013. Dialaphone have a range of deals for the Galaxy Note II. For more Galaxy Note II deals and information take a look here.