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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 hands-on review

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 hands-on review


So we have now got the latest phablet – a 5.7 inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – the Samsung late 2013 flagship that has been released on 25.9.2013 in Hong Kong today. The Note 3 (GN3) features a squarer design compared to its older generation Galaxy Note 2. GN3 has

definitely thinner edge design and a much higher definition 1080P screen resolution AMOLED screen. Before going over the review, lets briefly take a look at the technical specification of the GN3.

  • Android 4.3 with latest version of Touchwiz
  • 5.7-inch Super Amoled display, 1920×1080 resolution
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU for 4G LTE variant
  • 1.9GHz Exynos Octa Core CPU for 3G variant
  • 13MP rear camera with LED Flash
  • 2MP front facing camera with BSI sensor and smart stabilization
  • Full HD 1080p 60fps video recording (4K recording available in some models)
  • NFC (Near Field Communication)
  • Bluetooth LE
  • 32GB/64GB on-board storage, expandable via microSD card (upto 64GB card supported)
  • 3200mAh removable battery
  • microSIM card
  • S Pen with optimized features – Air Command: Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, Pen Window, S Note, Multi Window, new Easy Clip, Direct Pen Input

The GN3 vs GS4

The GN3 under review is a LTE version but the design is the same as the 3G version.


Now we have put together the GN3 and the GS4 (Galaxy S4), the Samsung May release flagship. Of course the GN3 looks much much bigger than the GS4 which has a 4.99 inch Super AMOLED display. How about thickness? The GS4 is 7.9mm thick while the GN3 is 8.2mm thick. Judging from the mathematic data it seems the GS4 is slimmer than the GN3 but the GN3 is not really ” that thick” if you take a quick look at the images below. The white colour of the GN3 has magically make the device look slimmer than the GS4. When compared to the GS4, the back cover of GN3 does look more elegant. However, some might also dislike the pseudo – leather material which might be susceptible to accumulation of dirt. The material which we talked above is close to leather feeling but it is indeed plastic. This might easily happen on the white version of the GN3. The GN3 now looks more business use than ever before, while the GS4 looks very young and energetic.



The S-Pen has undergone huge design change. The stylus pen now appears to be more plain and independent from the GN3. The floating touch techology has become mature now. The moment you pull out the the S-pen you will immediately find a menu appear on screen which gives you options for the use of the stylus. You can screen cap things by pressing the s-pen and crop on screen. Using air command, you will be able to enter the S-Note, draw on the screenshot, open some little widgets such as calculator, phone…etc. The S-pen is the only great feature that the GN3 has also in its line of products. Good application of the S-pen will surely maximize user experience of the GN series. In addition, the S-Pen’s accuracy is not to be disputed. Both soft and hard input on the screen can be properly reflected on the drawings. It could also become handy for those who would prefer drawing on the Phablet like the GN3.


The 5.7 inch 1080p screen is gorgeous on the GN3. The device presents flawless 1080p videos. We have went through a couple of applications including the YouTube, MYTV by TVB HK as well as some mainland China cider streaming applications. All of the video playbacks were found of Good quality.


In terms of battery performance, the GN3 is really an over- achiever. I unplugged the phone from power in the morning at 0745 hrs and now it’s 1811 hrs. The battery level is still at 38%. During This approximately 9 hours period, I disabled the battery saving mode and kept the 4G LTE on with medium to high level of screen usage. This suggests that the 3200 mah battery that the GN3 holds is more than enough for full day usage. This will be a great news for those who want a long lasting battery.


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