I came from the Sony Xperia Z review directly to the Note II and expected the transition to be better, for Samsung, but it's not. Sure, it's a great phone, but it has a specific audience. Those who want something bigger than the 4-something-inch smartphones we have now, and those who would actually use the S Pen.
Then there are the elderly or those with bad eyesight, the Note II is a great fit and Samsung have some great text enlargement options for these users. But is it enough for the average user to upgrade from, let's say, their Galaxy S II (not III) or their iPhone 4/4S (not 5)?
Yes and no. Again, you'd have to fall into that category of either wanting the bigger screen, and not minding that it can, at times, feel awkward because of its size - or, you want to use the stylus pen here and there on the Note II.
This doesn't make the Note II a bad phone, because it's not, it's just that Samsung have so many devices that are close to the Note II now - that you're going to have to buy one based on pretty much a specific feature. There's the Galaxy S III, S4, the upcoming Galaxy Mega (in 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch flavors) and the countless other devices in the Galaxy range of smartphones.
If you were close to pulling the trigger on the Note, then the Note II is worthy of that press - do it and you won't regret it if you are a Note fan. If you were after a big smartphone, but the 5.5-inch screen on the Note II is a little too big, the 5-inch screen on the Galaxy S4 might just be the one for you.