After a month of usage, here are my impressions:
Firstly, my N2 has Never been rooted- though I did have that 'Your phone has been modified; cannot update' bug. Yet, when the firmware was available OTA, it updated fine.
After 2 days of fooling around, memory usage didn't seem stable so I formated my phone.
1. I can move some apps to SD. I'm a big media user & space is important.
2. Some integrated apps can be turned off. Maybe a minimal option, but welcome nonetheless.
3. Battery & memory optimization appears somewhat improved. I think apps open quicker & my media in the Gallery refresh faster- though this could be all in my head.
4. Sometimes I use Samsung's default Video Player & now a Samsung Link icon is present during playback- it's quite useful to quickly stream the content I'm watching to my Smart TV.
1. Wakeup, turning on the phone, & restarting appears 2 seconds longer.
2. On low battery, I cannot manually adjust screen brightness.
3. The Video Player content list is now a blinding white background, unlike the Gallery which is black. (Don't understand why there isn't a option to change to a 'dark theme.')
4. New apps preloaded like Knox which I have no intention of running/using.
In closing, I do not use Touchwiz (on Nova), the default music app, the camera app, & yet to own a Gear device- so no impressions here.
I updated because I know the Note 2 is a VERY capable phone in terms of its hardware- I love this phone, no firmware will bring it down. I'll look forward to some decent software improvements when Kitkat hits.