When it comes to Android phones, there are literally hundreds to choose from, so how do you choose from the baffling array of cool-looking smartphones on offer?
To help you decide, Samsung has developed TouchWiz – its own singularly awesome, user-friendly overlay to bring the best experience to its Android smartphones.
Make no bones about it, this Android 'skin' brings some incredibly powerful features to the Samsung GALAXY Note II, making this smartphone way more intuitive than any of its rivals.
A motion-based Quick Glance
For instance, the Samsung GALAXY Note II is imbued with several rather cool motion-based features, such as Quick Glance, which lets you simply reach for your phone when it's locked and immediately view key information such as new messages, missed calls and battery life, all gently displayed in a soft glow. What sounds like a minor feature is actually a major boon.
Alternatively, if you're texting someone and want to give them a call instead, you won't need to hunt around myriad menus to start talking; all you need to do is raise the phone to your ear and the Note II immediately recognises you want to begin dialling.
Again, an apparently minor feature soon becomes a massively useful aspect of your smartphone.
Next up, with the power of the S Pen, the Note II adds even greater depth to Samsung's TouchWiz overlay. For example, you can hold the dedicated button down on the S Pen, drag upwards on the screen and you'll be presented with a special screen to draw symbols to get straight into internet searching, find out what the weather's doing or begin a conversation with your friend.
Doing different things with your Note II
Samsung has realised that its users want different experiences when doing different things with their Note II, so has created Page Buddy to help out. This is a separate homescreen that pops up only in certain conditions and offers you the apps you need when you need them.
For instance, plug in your headphones and get access to videos, music and other ear-based apps you might want. When it comes to the S Pen, you'll be offered a quick option to get cracking with S Note, so you can begin annotating or sketching out ideas instantly.
Perhaps you want to just tidy up the homescreen, but don't know where to begin? Well, firstly you should look at the widgets on offer, as these will give your Note II a greater level of power at a glance.
Simply head into the menu, tap 'Widgets' at the top of the screen and drag the widget you want into place. You'll see these resize to fit the screen, and certain options will let you choose the size too.
Homescreen fun and games
Perhaps you've got too many icons and want to make things look a little more presentable? Hold any icon, and at the top of the screen an option to 'Create Folder' will appear, which you can name whatever you like. This will then act as a source for you to add any other apps onto, simply by dragging and dropping them onto the new folder icon.
What if you want to increase the amount of homescreens you've got to play with? With the Samsung GALAXY Note II, you've got up to seven to play with so you won't run out of space for the things that matter. Simply pinch inwards on the homescreen and an exploded view of all your screens will appear. Drag the ones you don't want into the waste basket to remove them, or hit the plus icon to add new ones. You can also set any homescreen as the default by tagging the Home icon in the corner, too.
And if you want something a little different in the wallpaper department, a long press on an empty part of the home screen (or a swift tap of the menu button) will allow you to change it to anything from a moving Live Wallpaper to a picture that you really care about - and this can be placed on the lock screen too, if you so wish.
Finally, speaking of the lock screen, you can set any icons you want on there to quick launch - all you need to do is swipe across the app you want to open and the Note II will jump straight there. And if you want to change the line up, head to Settings > Lock Screen and you can easily change or rearrange the icons as you see fit.
The power of TouchWiz on the Samsung GALAXY Note II is such that there's always something new to learn, helping you get the most from your smartphone when you need it - so open up your Note II and see what's on offer!