When Samsung launched the first version of Galaxy Note, it was just a big giant plastic phone for me. I never thought twice on it and decided this is not for me.
When they launched Galaxy Note 2, I waited for 4 months before I gave it a try. This is the phone, which changed my opinion about the Note series.
Now when they launched Galaxy Note 3, I got the phone in the first hour. I am using this phone for more than a month now but is it worth the hype?
Lets check the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and see some details about the phone.
I don’t think we need any talk about the hardware of Samsung Galaxy Note 3. This phone has one of the best hardware in the market.
- – 5.7 Inch Super AMOLED Full HD Display
- – 1.9 GHz Exynos Octa Core Processor / 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Processor
- – 3 GB RAM
- – Bluetooth 4.0 / USB 3.0
- – WiFi B/G/N/Ac
- – New S Pen
- – 13 MP Camera
- – 2 MP Camera
- – 32 GB On-Board Storage
- – IR LED (Remote Control)
- – 3200 MAh Battery
Just to mention I am using the unit with Exynos Octa Core processor. It is actually a combination of two quad-core processor, a 1.9GHz Cortex A15 quad-core processor and a 1.3GHz Cortex A7 quad-core processor, which works together to provide an Octa-Core processing.
The clock speed is bit lower on Octa Core processor but the battery optimization is high. So you will feel slight difference in terms of performance between two variant, Qualcomm Snapdragon being little fast but battery life is better on Exynos processor.
This is first phone with 3GB RAM and it does show it with the multi window capabilities. It runs really smooth with many apps open simultaneously.
One of the complaints which is always there with Samsung phones is their plastic looks. This phone is no exception, but Samsung has added great leather looking texture with premium stitching on the back of Galaxy Note 3.
I have used Note 2 for almost a year and I didn’t like the round corner build. You cannot use Note 2 without a case on it, otherwise it always gives a clumsy feeling.
Note 3 is different, it is squarer on the sides and has lining. These linings and square edges give a sturdier grip.
I have used it for a month and do not have any case on it, but I have never felt like dropping it.
Note 3 comes with 5.7 inch Full HD super AMLOD screen with 386 PPI.
AMLOD screen has their positives and negatives, they can save some battery but for some people it will have saturated colors.
The same is true for Samsung Galaxy Note 3. With the HD screen, black color looks really impressive on the phone.
Samsung has recognized the color saturation problem with their latest software. They have added adapt display in Note 3, which can adjust colors based on the screen content.
Earlier version of Samsung had different screen mode (Standard, Natural etc.), which can be changed through settings. But with adapt display phone can adjust the colors and saturation automatically for Gallery, Camera, Internet, Video and Play Books applications.
Adapt Display is not available for third part applications but is still a welcome addition.
Samsung Galaxy note 3 comes with 13MP back camera and 2MP front camera.
Camera software comes with lot of options like drama shots, Sports, Eraser, Animated Photo and sound & shot.
Some of them are just gimmick and good for showing off. I have used drama shots sometimes but I do not think you would be using them many times.
Now lets talk about the normal camera, 13MP camera can catch some impressive snaps. But with Note 3, it could have been better in low lights.
It works really great in good light and catches some impressive snaps. It has smart stabilization, which can help in clicking clear picture.
Snapdragon version can take 4k snaps, which is not available with the Exynos variant.
You can also capture 1080p video with Note 3 along with slow motion capture, which works really good.
S-Pen has always been a key differentiator between Note and any other device in the market.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has extended that difference with some of the key features like Air Command, enhance hand writing recognition, link actions etc.
Air Command is a good way to include multiple actions and able to run them through S-Pen. Air Command let you add Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen write, Pen Window or S-finder from any app in the Note 3.
S-Pen also has been enhanced for Text input, now you can use hand written input for any text box.
The integration between OS and S-Pen has been enhanced a lot and features like recent contacts in email or recent media in attachment is a good way to use S-Pen.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with Android 4.3 out of the box. As you can expect with Samsung, this phone comes with some gimmicks and many useful features.
Feature like Air Jump, Air Browse, Smart Pause or Smart scroll are more of a gimmick rather than useful features. It has lot of bugs and needs you to be still while using your phone.
But the features like Smart Stay, Smart Alert, Direct Call, Air View, Air-Command, Air call accept and one-handed operations are very useful, which makes this device more enjoyable.
Samsung has packed a good S-finder in this phone, which can search across the device along with the phone and gives you categorized results. This has also been integrated with Air Command, which makes it easy to use.
Here are some of the useful features of Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Air-Command is integrated with S-Pen and allows most important features from anywhere in the OS. You can just click the button on S-Pen while hovering on the screen to get the Air-Command menu.
Air-Command also works while writing emails, you can hover on attach button and click on S-pen to get recently created content. This is an easy way to attach content in the email.
It also works on input text boxes, email send to box (provides most frequent contacts) or on images to show available actions.
S-Finder is a great addition. More and more information is residing on mobile phone these days and S-finder can make it easy to find relevant information.
S-finder can search based on tags or keywords and can categorize the results on timeline, content category or by tags.
It makes it easy to find the information across the phone.
Multi-Window is very common in Samsung smart phones these days but Note 3 goes little extra in it.
You can set Multi-Window as a default mode of operations, which makes it easy to use 5.7 inch HD screen to its fullest.
You can also save the pairs of applications so you can open them together with a single click.
This is Samsung’s own implementation of Flipboard like application. They still use Flipboard engine but categorize the content into personal, social and news sections.
My magazine works in a full screen mode and adds shortcut for some important application. It also has the reading mode for your eyes.
Somehow they are not able to link with Facebook for the social content, so you will only be seeing the content from Twitter, Google+, Flickr, YouTube etc.
It is like any scrapbook for content, you can scrap the content from anywhere in the Note 3 with the help of Air-Command.
You have an option of creating categories and organizing the content in those categories.
Most useful feature is that it keeps the links to original contents and you can play videos directly within the applications.
Here are some of the How To’s For Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Software Features.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with 3200 mAh battery, which can give long lasting usage of the phone.
I have used it for over a month and with minimal usage (calls, emails and SMS), it runs for almost two days in single charge.
With heavy usage (Music, navigation, web, video), it still can last for a day.
I get more then 4 hours of screen time with this phone, which is very good for heavy users.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with USB 3.0, which makes it charge faster. With the bigger battery it is a welcome addition.
Also USB 3.0 makes the file transfer much faster than the older versions.
Though it comes with USB 3.0 but it is still compatible with the old USB 2.0 charger.
Final Thoughts On Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a powerhouse, which can fit into hands. The size has not been increased much from Note 2 and handling is much better.
With the leather looking back with stitching, it does catch eyes in the market.
S-Pen makes it easy to use but it might be confusing for the first timers because of available options. There are many features included in the phone and exploring all of them will take some time.
There are many companies which are trying to reach 5.2 – 6.0 inch market, but nobody comes close to provide these fuctionalities.
If you want to try a phablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the phone to buy.