Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Hands On Review

I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 which will be my daily driver till next year. Before I bought this phone, I considered Sony Xperia Z1, Google Nexus 5 and LG G2. Let’s find out why the Galaxy Note 3 is my phone of choice over other top Android phones or even the newly released iPhones.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 specs:

  • 2.3 GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor (LTE model)
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32 GB internal memory expandable via MicroSD up to 64GB
  • 5.7 inch Super AMOLED Full HD display (1080 x 1920 pixels) 386 ppi
  • 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
  • 2 megapixel front facing camera
  • LTE, HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth, NFC, Infrared Port
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 3,200 mAh battery
  • Android 4.3 Jellybean
  • Price: P36,990 (Samsung stores), P28,800 (Kimstore), P27,500 (DBGadgets)

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Design and Build Quality:

The Note 3’s design is a step up for Samsung. They have been criticized for making phones with cheap plastic build. It also feels cheap too. Yes, the phone is still made of plastic but the feel is different thanks to the fake leather back with stitching effects. It made the phone look premium.

Display:

The 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED display is just stunning! With a pixel density of 386 ppi, the display is vibrant, sharp and icons just pop. I noticed that the screen produces more natural but warm colors as compared to other Samsung phones with AMOLED panels. Indeed, this is one of the best smartphone display I’ve ever seen.

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Performance:

I have been using this for 10 days now and I never encountered any lags thanks to its powerful quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.3GHz. I noticed some app crashes like Repost and MMDA apps but this only happened once per app. Gaming experience excellent because of the large screen coupled with a powerful processor. New games like Dead Trigger 2 and Plants vs Zombies 2 ran well with no hiccups. My only gripe though is the slow update from Samsung. Other OEMs like Sony, HTC and LG are prepping up for the latest Android 4.4 KitKat while Samsung is still rolling out Android 4.3 Jellybean to Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3.

Camera:

Let’s go first to Samsung’s constant weak point – low light photography. It produces slightly below average low light photos but this is already a big improvement from older models. Photos taken with flash and good lighting conditions are beautiful. I transferred some of the photos taken to my PC and they still look vibrant. The camera is also loaded with features like the ability to erase some in your photo like a person passing by the background or pick the best shot, etc.

Sample Photos:

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Features:

The Note 3’s most notable feature is the S Pen functionality. I find it really useful especially when I chat down notes while in a phonecall. All of Samsung’s hand and eye gestures are all here – Smart Stay, Smart Pause,Smart Scroll, Air View and S Beam. It is also one of the best smartphones that can handle multi tasking. With the help of Multi WIndow, you can run two apps in one screen all of the same time. This is also the first to sport USB 3.0 for faster data transmission and charging.

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LTE!

Battery:

The big 3,200 mAh battery will last for a day and a half with light to moderate usage. If you are, however, a power user like me, this is your phone to get. It lasted 12 hours with heavy and intense usage like hours of gaming, watching videos, browsing the web, social networking, Skype video calls, intense calls and texts. Believe it or not, the phone was 100% charged at 7am and after 12 hours, the phone’s battery is down 5%.

Value for Money:

Yes. It is expensive. If you are going to buy it on retail stores or in Samsung stores, it is priced P36,990. However, if you find this expensive, no worries! Kimstore, DBGadgets and Widget City is selling the device for P28,000 or less.

Verdict:

It is the best smartphone in the world for 2013. Period.

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2 responses to “Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Hands On Review

  1. Pingback: Filipino Tech Addict | Filipino Tech Addict’s Top 10 Smartphones of 2013·

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