It’s hard to argue against results. When you’re at the top, you definitely did something right to get there and you’re best served to continue what you are doing. Samsung undoubtedly is at the top of the smartphone world now and the Galaxy Note line (the smartphone, not the tablet) is one of its cash cows. And consequently, the Korean giant wants to give us more of the same goodies with its latest and greatest, the Galaxy Note 3.
By now, people have stopped being surprise by how huge this phone is. Aside from it being on its third generation, there are other phones that are even larger (which is borderline ridiculous.) Still, the Note 3 ‘s screen is just a little bit bigger than its predecessor, sitting at 5.7 inches and also boasts better resolution. Size-wise, it’s a bit taller than the Note 2, but also a little bit slimmer. But the most obvious physical difference is the Note 3’s new back cover. At first glance, it really looks like it’s been covered by leather, a sharp deviation from the plastic-heavy design language of Samsung. But while it does fool many onlookers, it actually is still plastic. Still, it adds an air of quality that the Note 2 seemingly lacks. Whether it makes the Note 3 feel more premium than the competition is subject to debate, though. It does make the phablet easier to hold, which is a real plus for its size.
As before, the Note 3 packs one of the most powerful (if not THE most powerful) innards ever placed inside a phone. How does a 2.3ghz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor with 3GB of RAM sound? It actually is more powerful than some PCs. I subjected it to almost all possible multi-tasking, power-heavy scenario and it didn’t slow down one bit. Suffice to say, you won’t be left wanting more power after using the Note 3. It also has powerful connectivity, including USB 3.0.
The Note 3 rocks the latest Jelly Bean 4.3 and Samsung’s latest TouchWiz overlay. Features are almost exactly the same as that with Samsung’s other flagship, the Galaxy S4. Even the camera is the same: a 13-megapixel rear shooter and a 2-megapixel front camera for those “selfies.” However, the Note 3 has an ace up its sleeve – it shoots 4K “ultraHD” videos. If you’re not familiar with 4K, it is said to be up to four times better and clearer than current HD videos. So people using the Note 3 should be extra careful because if you use it to film anything “weird,” anyone will be able to see the smallest of details. You do need a 4K-capable TV to fully enjoy Note 3 videos, and sadly, those kinds of TVs still have astronomically high price tags.
The Note 3’s defining feature, the S-Pen, also received an update. It now has a metal upper part, and has better overall sensitivity and responsiveness. Writing on the Note 3 using the S-Pen is a pleasurable experience and is simply the best on a glass surface.
As with all monster phones (specs and size-wise) the question of battery life is always a legitimate one. While the Note 2 already has great battery life considering the screen estate, the Note 3 delivers better time due its newer Snapdragon processor. Bottom line, you won’t be scrambling for a charger at the end of the day with moderate to heavy use, just remember not to set the brightness to full.x
So, is the Note 3 still king of the phablet hill? The one that created the market for humongous phones still leads the class. It won’t take the sales crown from the Galaxy S4, but being a more powerful version of itself with the latest Android version isn’t going to hurt the Note 3’s cause. Add better battery life and bigger screen estate, and you definitely have a winner, albeit a tried-and-tested-but-not-innovative one. And until Google releases the Key Lime Pie, the Note 3 will continue on as the phablet to beat.
Reviewed by: Cyrian Agujo