The Galaxy Note 3 is one of the biggest smartphones around and can be classed as a ‘phablet’. Somewhat surprisingly, then, it’s respectably thin at 8.3mm. The thin plastic back that provides access to the battery has a textured leather-look fi nish, and there’s a grooved metal rim around the edge that makes it feel well put together and sturdy. 168g is light for a device this big.
The Note 3 has staggering
specs and performance to
match. It pairs a Qualcomm
Snapdragon 800 processor
with 3GB RAM. And it shows in
benchmarks and from a user
perspective. Games and video
worked well, with no lag.
If you like playing games
and watching video then the
huge 5.7in full-HD screen will
suit you well. Vibrant colour
and deep hue are standout characteristics. The touchscreen is snappy and
sensitive, too, although prone to fi ngerprints.
Storage-wise the options are 32- and 64GB,
and there’s an SDXC card expansion slot for up to
another 64GB of storage.
The S Pen stylus is included for freehand
writing, drawing and a range of other tasks. The
Galaxy Note 3 is the fi rst device we’ve seen with
Micro-USB 3.0 for faster data transfers.
The Galaxy Note 3 has two cameras, a frontfacing
2Mp camera for ‘selfi es’ and video calling,
and a 13Mp rear-facing snapper for more serious
photography and video capture. The latter is a
serious piece of compact-camera kit, o ering such
features as image stabilisation, Ultra HD video and
Taking advantage of the larger chassis used to
house a large display, Samsung has included a huge
removable battery. In our tests of the Note 3 we’d
say battery life is a strong point. We could easily get
through 24 hours and beyond on a single charge.
The Galaxy Note 3 comes with Android 4.3
Jelly Bean installed, as well as Samsung’s own
TouchWiz interface. It’s feature-rich, but sometimes
overwhelming from a user perspective. There’s
access to all the media and apps that Google Play
can o er, plus Samsung’s own app store.
The Galaxy Note 3 is a high-quality portable, albeit
enormous, device that could serve as a smartphone
and tablet in one. It o ers excellent performance, a
stunning screen and reasonable build quality.