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I'm now on my third Android phone. My HTC Desire HD had served me very well, but it was two years old, and I was looking for an upgrade, and I was determined to be open to whatever was out there. I'm waiting to see whether Blackberry gets back on its feet before I commit to anything they have. My first smartphone was a Windows phone, and they blew it with me, sorry, no thanks. Several friends had encouraged me to get an iPhone, but I had reservations due to the many restrictions placed on users by Apple.
I went to several dealers seeking their advice. The first place was a fairly well-established store, where the salesperson said he "emphatically recommended the iPhone" because he "owned one." When I said I was leaning towards an Android phone, he said he strongly suggested an older LG model, which as far as I could tell, he was stuck with, and trying to clear them out. From that, I concluded he wasn't there to serve my best interests, only his own, and I decided to seek advice elsewhere. Several other dealers offered various forms of advice, but I then decided to do the remainder of my research online.
I sought out the direct, feature-by-feature comparisons done by organizations which appeared to be fairly impartial. From this, it was clear that the Samsung Galaxy phones were getting very good ratings. I was originally intending to go with the Galaxy 3, but after handling the Galaxy Note 2, I decided it was best for me. I originally thought it was a bit too big, but that was also my initial impression about the HTC Desire HD, which I had been using for the last 2 years, but over time, phones got bigger, and at 4.2" it isn't considered so large anymore. At 5.5", the Galaxy Note 2 still seems a bit large, but it fits well in my pockets, and I am already very attached to the big screen and the stylus.
I was expecting to lose a feature or two in the changeover, but that didn't happen. Everything is better for the most part, and I have no regrets at all about getting the Galaxy Note 2. My biggest fear was dropping it; due to it's large size and plastic body, it's sure to break. That large span of glass mounted on a flimsy body is cause for concern. I already dropped once, but thankfully it was on a carpet. I opted for the integrated screen cover which comes from Samsung, and replaces the back cover. This may help protect the screen from impacts, but not the rest of the phone. I looked at the Otterbox, but by the total size of the thing, no thanks. I found a plastic skin for the body of the phone, but it interfered with the flap, so I cut out that side with a pair of scissors. It works great now, and offers much better protection to the phone. It also adds very little to the overall size and weight of the phone. As I said, couldn't be happier.