This is a review of Arkon Sports Mega Armband for use with Note 2 and Note 3. Amazon.com: ARKON Sports Running Jogging Neoprene Armband for Samsung Galaxy Mega and Note 3 and Large Cell Phones for Workouts - Retail Packaging - Black: Cell Phones & Accessories
Let me get one thing out of the way. Yes, the package of this new Sports Armband from Arkon says "for Samsung Galaxy Mega", but its the PERFECT Companion for Note 2 or Note 3. Here is a reason why. Every single armband I have reviewed in the past was designed for a specific phone, either for 4" or 5" or 5.5" screen sizes. What it means that the largest acceptable phone for that size will fit but either without a case or with a very slim case. Now, think about it, sports armband is designed for an active lifestyle activities where you want to secure your phone to an arm and where it could get exposed to some physical abuse. Do you really want to keep your $600 phone naked without any protection? Of course not!!! You want to keep it stored in that armband pouch with a case on. One of the options is to use an armband for a bigger size phone so it would provide an extra room for a case. Until now, the only thing available for Note 2 / Note 3 phablet was armband designed specifically for that screen size. The solution to this problem - Arkon's newly introduced Sports Armband for Galaxy Mega which is going to be come your Note's best new friend
Let me start first with a quality of this armband. Sometime after my review I get comments with people saying "but I can get the same one for $5-$6 cheaper on ebay." I have compared cheaper ebay armbands in the past and the quality of material and workmanship of stitching was never the same. The armband pouch is designed to be stretched in order to fit a large phone, and the quality of Neoprene material and the stitching to the front plastic cover will make a difference between using the armband for a few years versus throwing it away after 2-3 weeks. Its a fact, and you will realize that you saved yourself $5 just to end up buying a new armband a few weeks later. With this argument, $17.95 price tag and 2-year warranty sounds like a really good deal. You can clearly see that Arkon didn't cut any corners and used top quality material with thicker neoprene layer, tougher touch screen plastic cover for display, and wider elastic band with different velcro options to shorten and lengthen it. There is also two reflective tabs that will come handy when you are jogging in a dark.
From functionality perspective, I used the extreme scenario where I dressed my Note 2 in ZeroShock protective case with 9300 mAh Zerolemon extended battery. We are talking about extreme case where the weight and the thickness of the phone almost tripled and the length and width got extended as well to external dimensions of almost 6.5" x 3.5" x 0.75". I'm not gonna lie, it was a tight fit, but it was definitely feasible. The pouch also has an inner pocket where you can store your drivers license, credit card, and a few bills. Designed for Samsung Galaxy phones, the top and bottom openings are universal where you have clear access to a charging port and headphone jack. Also, you can press on power and volume up/down buttons where the only limitation is response of the buttons on the case itself. Furthermore, touchscreen response was perfect accessing/tapping on shortcuts, sliding a finger and flipping between screens, and also pulling down notification menu. The plastic screen is clear and doesn't distort the color of the display. I also tested it with my UAG case, obviously thinner than ZeroShock, and it was a lot easier to slide the phone in and out of the case. But as I mentioned before, its definitely feasible to use this armband even with ZeroShock case which is bigger than Defender. Also keep in mind, no armband designed specifically for Note 2 will be able to fit the phone with either of these cases. Due to similarity in external dimensions between Note 2 and Note 3, this armband will work perfectly for N3 as well.
Overall, I found this to be a perfect companion for anybody who is planning to use their Note 2 / Note 3 while exercising and prepared for all the comments from their friends about "strapping a laptop to your arm"
But in all seriousness, if you are using your Note smarphone in an armband during exercising or planning to start using it after making that New Year resolution - do yourself a favor and make sure to use your precious smartphone protected inside of your favorite case with a decent size armband like this Arkon Mega that can fit it without any compromises.
Here are the pictures.