Why I'm Choosing the Note II over the Nexus 4
First of all, let me say that the Nexus 4 on average would be the better phone for most people but due to specific circumstances of mine, the Note II ended up being the better choice for me.
Let me also say that I can't wait. My Galaxy S1 is starting to crap out on me with frequent crashes, a few random reboots, freezes, and taps not registering then registering 2 taps when I tap again. Not to mention the excessive loading times and jerkiness.
My family is tied to Verizon and it would be pretty costly for all of us to break contract and move to AT&T and very costly for only me to break contract and go on AT&T.
2. Screen size
My philosophy is to have the biggest possible easily usable screen. The Galaxy Note 1 turned out not to work for me because 16:10 was too wide. The Note II's 16:9 allows me to reach all the way across the screen and it felt very usable when I tried it out today at Best Buy.
As a student I need to take notes and type stuff with some other app out for reference. Multiscreen makes all the difference.
4. Data plans
T-Mobile doesn't work in my area. AT&T doesn't give discounts for buying unlocked phones but it did cut the price of the Note II to $250.
5. AMOLED vs. LCD
I just like saturation and deep blacks vs. accuracy and better whites. And since the Note II isn't Pentile, its screen is better for me than the Nexus 4.
Mitigating factors of N4 advantages
Touchwiz gives a lot of great features and I'm willing to go to great lengths to customize my phone to get rid of the ugliness without losing the features. My GS1 looks a lot like a GNexus from a homescreen and app drawer POV.
I've actually been keeping track of which phones get which updates and how many. Turns out, even if Samsung phones get delayed updates, they do get the same amount of named updates as the Nexus series. Proof:
GS2/GNote-Gingerbread-ICS-Jellybean (builds are leaking already)
So I have confidence the Note II will go Jellybean-Key Lime Pie-Lollipop.
3. Build quality
The Note II's glossy back doesn't feel nearly as cheap as people like to claim and I've actually compared the feel with the One X. They are both polycarbonate and one was matte and one was glossy. That was the difference not the premiumness. And while the Nexus 4's back is really beautiful, I've dropped my phone on concrete way too many times and I'm not certain I can keep it safe even if I try.
4. The things I didn't actually consider
LTE vs HSPA wasn't a big factor in my decision contrary to most assumptions.
Lockscreen widgets can be fixed with widget locker.
Photo Sphere can be replicated by Photaf.