Samsung Galaxy Note 2 vs. Galaxy Tab 2 - Review

The Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy Tab 2 both had release dates in 2012, and Samsung still sells plenty of both. Galaxy Tab is considered a tablet, while the Galaxy Note is a smartphone. Note 2 and Tab 2 both have large screens and numerous other similarities, but how are the two devices actually different?

This comparative review aims to figure out which Samsung Galaxy device best suits you.

Screen Size

Note 2 has a 5.5-inch screen, which was considered big in 2012, when Galaxy Note had its release date.  A hands-on review for Note 2 is currently underway at iTech Post and we'll be posting it soon, but one thing we can tell you now is that Galaxy Note won't feel like a smartphone if you're using an iPhone, or even a Galaxy S3. The Note 2 is colloquially termed a phablet and in our hands-on review, making calls with it definitely felt a little awkward, like holding a tablet to your ear.

The Galaxy Tab actually is a tablet that you hold to your ear to make calls. Though we haven't tried it ourselves, we occasionally spot people on the street talking on their Tab 2 and it seems uncomfortable.      

If you're primarily looking for a phone, we'd recommend neither the Samsung Galaxy Note nor the Galaxy Tab.

Operating System

Galaxy Note 2 had an August 2012 release date while the Tab 2 release date was six months later in February 2012. Although the Galaxy Note launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Galaxy Tab came with Jelly Bean out of the box. For our review, the release date has little impact, since both devices have received Jelly Bean updates. However, Note 2 currently runs Android 4.1.2, while Galaxy Tab is at 4.1.


The aim of this review is to establish distinct uses between The Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab. If you're in search of a specs-based comparison, you can find one here.

On that point, there's unfortunately not a lot to say. At the end of the day, the devices are only 1.5 inches apart in screen size, and this difference does not create a clear delineation. Further, the Samsung Galaxy Note has a stylus built-in, making it even more of a tablet.

Essentially, the Samsung Galaxy Tab is a blown-up Note 2. As a phone, the Galaxy Note is flawed, while the Tab 2, in our opinion, is unusable. Beyond that, it's really just about how big a screen you prefer to experience TouchWiz.

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