As you would have noted in my post about customer satisfaction, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 ranks equal second on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index for 2015. That was pretty pleasing to me as it is the phone I have used for the past 4 months and I absolutely love it. Why? Are there any negatives about it that may dissuade a buyer from splashing out?
what many love about it
- A beautiful 1080p display
- Super fast performance
- New, genuinely useful S Pen apps
what some don’t love about it
- Poor loudspeaker
- A bit expensive
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best price: US$400 New Model
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 arrived on the market in September 2013 and within two months had sold over 10 million units worldwide. It has since been superseded by the Note 4 which is the highest ranked smartphone on the Satisfaction Index for 2015. The Note 3 comes with excellent battery life, a brilliant screen display and the performance, well, you just have to check it out. Also, it is worth keeping in mind that the Note 5 should arrive in September this year.
The Note 3 remains a proven performer in its category. The amazing display, its excellent battery life and powerful performance has convinced many reviewers and I am one of them, that Samsung has developed a winning category when it launched and subsequently refined the phablet range of Note smartphones.
The ever-popular S Pen has been tweaked from its earlier appearance and the Note 3 has some funky software to enhance the use of the Pen so that it can be a handy, daily-use part of the phone. The handset has a very balanced visual feel to it. The sleek appearance is enhanced by the almost invisible bezel on either side of the phone. Some users believe that the Note 3 could have been released with a less tacky plastic cover on the back. But I threw that away from the beginning when I bought a genuine Samsung Flip Case that gives my Note 3 a very executive feel to it.
The Note 3 has a larger display than predecessors, 5.7 inches compared to 5.5 in earlier models. Even so, the Note 3 footprint is unchanged. Thanks to the innovative design, the weight has been reduced slightly to 5.93oz (168g).
Software and processor
So what does the Galaxy Note 3 have to give it the power punch that many rave about? It uses a QualcommSnapdragon 800 with 3GB of RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU and has been clocked at 2.3 GHz. For the four months that I have been using it, I haven’t had one lag or hiccup in its performance. The handset doesn’t have any difficulty with the apps I have loaded, (my wife thinks I have a few too many) and while I don’t use it for 3D games, I often show top quality HD video to people I teach or mentor. The videos load quickly and are only slowed by the 3G or 4G service in any given location.
Samsung have continued with the multitasking and layering onto Android 4.3 Jelly Bean via the TouchWiz UI. Have I noticed any problems with performance with this multitasking tool? Not at all. In fact, if you didn’t read the specs, you hardly know it is there. It just does what you ask it to.
The battery performance of the Galaxy Note 3 is exceptional. I will charge it over night and as is the case today as I write this review, I can use it for hours to send messages, surf the net, check Instagram and at 3pm in the afternoon, it is still at 91% capacity. Sure, I haven’t watched a HD movie on it, I have a laptop and 8″ tablet for that, but it is rare that a busy use day drains the battery below 45 %.
What is the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 up against in regard to genuine competition? First, there is the Samsung Galaxy S5, the S4 and the LG G3
Here is a comparison chart of similarities between the G3 and the Note 3:
Galaxy Note 3 and LG G3 Comparison
|Similarities||Details (Note 3 first)|
|Big Display||5.7 inches vs 5.5 inches|
|High-resolution display||1080 x 1920 pixels vs 1440 x 2560 pixels|
|High pixel density screen||386 ppi vs 538 ppi|
|High screen-to-body ratio||74.78 % vs 75.22 %|
|Quad core processor|
|Lots of RAM||3072 MB RAM|
|Fast mobile data support (4G)|
Why You Should Buy It
There are a stack of reasons why you should get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. A big reason is that while it is almost 2 years old, and the Note 4 and Note 5 are fabulous updates, the Note 3 is affordable, with some great features. The camera has the bits and pieces to make those travel and work snaps a breeze to take and of high quality. Yes, it is true, the speaker is a bit weak. I don’t play a lot of music on it since it doesn’t have the power that other devices may have. But once you work out what you need in a smartphone, check out this baby and I am sure the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be a welcome addition to your technology stable.
Do you have any opinions on this review? Please leave a comment below….
Review by Duncan McRae