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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review

8.6/10 AVG.
RATING



8.6/10
Informr score
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 currently has an Informr score of 8.6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 53 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Huge display
  • Vibrant colors
  • Excellent multitasking capabilities
  • Decent battery life

What's bad

  • Complicated user interface
  • Slow camera
  • Potential S-Pen issues

Larger than many comparable smartphones and slightly smaller than your average tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Samsung’s latest ‘phablet’. With a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen, it offers plenty of display to take notes, watch movies and more. A 2.3-gigahertz processor and 3GB of RAM keep the experience silky smooth. Combine this with the S-Pen, Samsung’s proprietary stylus, and you have a device that is geared toward productivity but has plenty of power for games, video and more.

Despite the large screen size, the phone’s boxy styling and soft leather-like backing make it comfortable to hold and provide plenty of grip. The display has received a boost in resolution from the Note 2 to 1080 x 1920 pixels. This provides a level of clarity and detail that rival the leading devices on the market. Rich Trenholm of CNET remarked that the phone was surprisingly light for its size and that its features justify the large size as well.

Unfortunately, there are a few shortcomings. Both Joseph Pisani of The Guardian and David Court of PC Advisor found the S-Pen’s new design difficult to use. If you have small hands, the thin profile of the pen will suit you well. Otherwise, it can be difficult to grip. This brings us to the next issue: the interface. Many of the Note 3’s new features are based around gestures and button presses using the S-Pen. If you find the S-Pen hard to use, this could cause some serious frustrations. However, once you adjust to the S-Pen, the Note 3 offers features that you will not currently find on other smartphones.


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.3 GHz
Screen Size
5.7"
Camera
13+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


What Hi-Fi

The Galaxy Note family started the trend for phablets, and in many ways it is still leading the way.The Note 3 is an accomplished handset across the board, with a screen big enough to give your videos a boost without needing a whole lot of extra space in your pocket.If you’ve been sitting on t...

- Kob Monney, What Hi-Fi
Good Housekeeping

Of our tested phones, the Note 3 boasts the largest screen at 5.7”. The Note 3 also scored the highest overall on our graphical benchmarking tests, meaning you can be sure this phone will play content, apps, and games with ease. The Note 3 also features superb battery life to boot, streaming v...

- Good Housekeeping team, Good Housekeeping
UnleashThePhones

While the Galaxy Note 3 might seem like it shares a lot of similarities with the Galaxy S4, I think it perfectly compliments the ‘other’ flagship smartphone, offering better hardware, more functionality thanks to the S-Pen, and a slightly updated design.Granted, most of the software feat...

- Dheepak Krishnamurthy, UnleashThePhones
APC

Samsung’s latest Note doesn’t mess with the winning formula, but it’s close to pushing the boundaries of one-handed usability.

- Dan Gardiner, APC
TechRadar

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a great phone and if you were to own one you wouldn't be disappointed. It provides a great onscreen experience - as long as your hands are big enough to reach across it - and its stuffed full of tech to almost warrant its lofty price tag.This is the best Galaxy Note smar...

- John McCann , TechRadar


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.7"

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3's screen size is 5.7 inches with 1080 x 1920 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.3 GHz

There is a Quad core 2.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.4 KitKat) operating system (OS).

Camera
13+ MP

You can take photos with the phone's onboard 13+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3200mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 3200 mAh battery. Samsung's performance ratings are 1260 minutes, 780 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Galaxy Note 3 Specs

Overview
Release date September 17, 2013
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
2100/800/850/900 /1800 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Micro-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (Update Available: 4.4.4 KitKat)

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Quad core 2.3 GHz
Internal Storage 32/64 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.29 W/kg
Body: 0.363 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual, Standard Battery, Stylus
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 3200 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Up to: 780 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 780 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Up to: 660 minutes
Talk Time Up to: 1260 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 17.5 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Plastic
Colors Jet Black, Classic White, Blush Pink, Red, White Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.1 x 7.9 x 0.8 cm (5.9 x 3.1 x 0.3 in)
Weight 168 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology Super AMOLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels
Pixel density 386 pixels
Size 5.7 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Unknown
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Unknown
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, Google Talk
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 3.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 64 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
13+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, ISO, Multi-shot, Panorama, Zero shutter lag, HDR, Exposure compensation, Scenes, Slow motion recording (HD 120fps)
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV, ASF, FLV, AVI
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 60 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, M4A, OGG, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, ASF, AVI, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed (Google Chrome, Google+, Google Play Store, YouTube, Dropbox, Evernote)
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Samsung Galaxy Note III, SM-N9005

S Pen Optimized Features: Air Command: Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, Pen Window S Note, Multi Window, new Easy Clip, Direct Pen Input

Additional Sensors: Barometer, Temperature & Humidity, Hall Sensor

Additional Features: S Voice Hands Free, S Health, Samsung Adapt Display, Samsung Adapt Sound Auto adjust touch sensitivity (Glove friendly), Samsung Smart Scroll, Samsung Smart Pause, Air Gesture, Air View
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Reviews
Where to buy Samsung Galaxy Note 3
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