The Galaxy Note 2 is the best Android smartphone I have used to date. It is much slicker, smoother and more responsive than the previous Galaxy Note. Best of all its battery life is just insanely great – I estimate it is at least twice that of the Galaxy Note and depends on usage of apps , it can even be 3 times more. I have achieved on screen time of 9 hours easily on the stock rom/stock kernel. I would say this is the only Samsung phone that I do not mind using the stock rom and stock Touchwiz UI. The more powerful and efficient chip Exynos 4412 quadcore 1.6 Ghz together with Android latest OS Jellybean 4.1.1 had indeed done wonders to this phone.
This post is about how I flash a upgraded official rom than followup by rooting it and installing ClockworkMod Recovery
UPGRADING rom to XXALJI
The phone comes with firmware XXALIH which does not have the Multi-Windows feature. MultiWindows allows multitasking by using 2 apps simultaneously on the same screen at the same time. One just need to hold down the back key to enabled this feature. From the list of standard apps ( 12 available ) , just drag the app one need to the homescreen and you will have 2 apps on the homescreen. The viewable portion of each app can be simply adjusted by just dragging up/down the centered arrow. The newer rom version XXALJI has this new feature
This is what I did to upgrade the rom
1. Install Samsung USB drivers v18.104.22.168 in PC. Download drivers here. Or you can download KIES from here and run the exe file to install the Samsung USB drivers. This is necessary so that when you connect phone to PC, the phone can be recognised.
2. Download Odin v 1.85 from HERE . This is a software needed to flash roms on the phone in PC
3. Download the rom XXALJI from sammobile.com . You need to register in order to download. You can also download the latest XXALJ3 if you wish. Extract the 1.09 GB zip file to get the file into tar format N7100XXALJ1_N7100OXXALJ1_N7100XXALIH_HOME.tar.md5 ( 1.53 GB). Copy this file to any location in your PC
Put the phone into download mode by pressing simultaneously the vol down+power+home button – select vol up so that your phone is now in download mode.
Connect phone to PC through the USB cable. In the Odin window , you will see a yellow box with com number if phone is successfully connected. Select PDA and browse to where you have kept the rom tar file and select it. Leave other settings as default. Press START The flashing will take about a minute and do not disconnect the phone until the phone is successfully booted up
Check the new rom version at Settings/About Device/ build Number
ROOTING and Installing ClockworkMod Recovery
2. Boot phone to DOWNLOAD mode ( as per above ). Connect phone to PC
3. Launch Odin. Select this tar file as PDA. Leave the rest of settings as default. Press START. The root and CWM will be flash over within half a minute. Wait for phone to reboot successfully before disconnecting from PC
4. Check root successfully installed by looking for the app SuperSU in the apps drawer. Test this by downloading from playstore Titanium Backup or AdFree. If root is successful, these apps will launch successfully
5. Test CWM recovery by simultaneously pressing down Home+Power+Vol UP buttons. At the second Samsung logo splash screen, release all the 3 buttons. You should see the Recovery menu
This method will increase your flashing counter to 1. You can remove this easily by downloading the app Triangleaway – run the APK file and just follow the guided instructions. Details are available here : http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1494114
There are 2 other methods you can root your phone:
1. Chainfire CF Root : http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1933542 .
It is basically same method and using Odin to flash the CF Root tar file. Read this link as the instructions are very clear in post#2
2. Using the Toolkit by mskip
Install the exe file in PC . Connect phone and just run the tookit program. You will see a big menu of choices. Just select your choice and you will be prompted and guided accordingly. Very detailed instructions are also given in this link