Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Product Review

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 itWhite Samsung Galaxy Note 3

  • 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


best deals:  Amazon

best price: US$400 New Model

rating: 9/10




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 It has since been superseded by the Note 4 which is the highest ranked smartphone on the Satisfaction Index for 2015.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

SimilaritiesDetails (Note 3 first)
Big Display5.7 inches vs 5.5 inches
High-resolution display1080 x 1920 pixels vs 1440 x 2560 pixels
High pixel density screen386 ppi vs 538 ppi
High screen-to-body ratio74.78 % vs 75.22 %
Quad core processor
Lots of RAM3072 MB RAM
Fast mobile data support (4G)


Why You Should Buy It
Coffee Art - Photo by Galaxy Note 3
Coffee Art – Photo by Galaxy Note 3

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

Duncan McRae
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27 thoughts on “Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Product Review

  1. Love this phone – picked it up on contract about three months ago and have no regrets with it. Had the mini version before hand and that was also a decent phone ( but the screen was just slightly too small for my needs)
    Great review and great phone

    1. Hi Chris. Thank you for the feedback. It is a great phone and it just blitzes anything you give it to do. Have your friends got one? The advantage of my Amazon store is that if someone doesn’t want to do a long term contract they can ùpdate without a big commitment. Pass the word.


  2. Hi there,

    I am a proud Samsung Galaxy S5 owner and I can honestly say it is the best investment I have ever done smartphone wise.

    The only problem I have with it, and I was wondering if you could help out a bit, is I don’t like the constant android updates every now and then. It completely throws my settings off.

    Is there a way to return to default settings and keep it from updating at all?

    1. Hi there George,

      Glad you love the Galaxy S5. Cool phone. I know the automatic updates can be a problem. I have lamented that in the past with the technology I use. “Thank you, Samsung, but I liked it as it was” is the thought that went threw my mind. On the S3 I used to have, it affected how I used the keyboard.

      So to help you out, I have included a link to a YouTube video that is less than a minute long and shows how to turn off auto updates on an S5. I hope it is useful. The link is,

      Please let me know if it was useful to you. Thank you so much for visiting my site.



  3. Hi Duncan,

    I have been hearing some great things about the Galaxy Note 3, and I was just wondering how good you think the camera is compared to other phones. I like to take my fair share of photos now and again and my experience with phone cameras has generally been “Hey, here’s a camera. It works,” and the quality of those pictures are mediocre at best. How many megapixels does the camera take, do you know?

    Thanks for the great article!

    1. Hi Julian,

      It is great to chat with you through my website. Thank you for visiting. The Galaxy Note 3 is the phone I am using right now. The camera is a 13MP single LED flash. I have found that like any new camera, it takes a little bit of experimenting to become fully familiar with the features. So I often take a few of the same scene so that I can see how to use the features better. Some of the shots I have taken here in Thailand where I live have been very good. The short videos have got excellent clarity. I have included two shots I took in Bangkok, Thailand, last Sunday evening. They are on the Gallery page of this website. Most photos were taken with my Note 3 camera. Tell me what you think. It was taken with my Note 3 through a shop front window with artificial light. Nice car also. (A Rolls Royce and Maserati showroom on the third floor of a large shopping mall)

      The Note 4 has the same camera in it and overall has a few more features than the Note 3, but the Note 3 is cheaper since it has been around a year or so. I think it a great option as it has the features of a tablet and smartphone.

      Hope to chat soon,



  4. I’m not totally convinced that the Note 3 is really worth it. I mean, $400+ seems like a crazy amount of money to pay for a phone. There are laptops that cost about as much. Plus, people break phones all the time, so you’d probably have to get a large costing warranty on the phone. However, it would be great to have a 1080p display. I guess it really depends on the type of person that’s buying the phone. It seems like a phone professionals should buy, but families and teens should buy something more affordable. I have a galaxy s5 and love it especially because it only costed me $80 to buy at best buy.

    1. Hi Bob,

      That was a great deal from Best Buy for the S5. Well done. I know that the Note 3 is a lot more expensive than other phones but it does play a crossover role between phone and tablet. I use the Note 3 as a mobile office, note taking when out and about, showing video presentations, etc. It compliments my Galaxy Note 8 very well.

      You are right, the Note 3 would be wasted on kids and teens. But for an office professional, it has proved to be very popular.

      Thanks for your input into the discussion.


  5. This is an excellent review, very professional indeed. I’m currently in the market for a phone so this is a possible candidate, the only thing putting me off is the price.

    The video features look very good, which I want, so I can put up guitar lessons on Youtube.

    I like the android operating system so that’s a plus, as long as I am allowed to decide when I want to update it. I hate it when companies decide to tell me when to update my phone.

    On a side note, I’d like to compliment you on a really slick and professional looking website.


    1. Hi Jay,

      Thank you very much for the positive feedback on the review as well as the website itself. I do appreciate that very much. It is support like this that motivates me to keep powering on.

      Samsung do a great phone. The Note 3 would be great for you as it does an excellent video which would be ideal for you guitar lessons. I play the guitar as a hobby and have learnt a lot from YouTube videos. Price concerns – yes that is always an issue. But I have really started to see that the old adage, “You get what you pay for” comes into play. It is worth the extra so that you can get a quality product. The prices of the Note 3 are slowly coming down, as new models hit the market. Keep an eye through my online Amazon store for any price changes.

      Hope it all goes well for you, Jay.



  6. Hi Duncan, thanks for the great review on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, might make this my next phone. I have always preferred Samsung over the other brands, so I understand your love for them! Lots of my colleagues at work all use the Galaxy S5 and have been raving about what a great phone it is. Awesome website. Regards,Dave

    1. Hey Dave, Thank you so much for the feedback. I appreciate it. My wife has had an S3 for a few years now and loves it. To buy it new would be an inexpensive way for someone to get into the superior smartphone platform that Samsung use and develop. Your work colleagues no doubt will try to talk you into the S5 but that will hit the hip pocket a bit more.

      So all the best in your choice of phone. Chat soon.


  7. very nice graphics on your site! the Font is nice and readable to the audience! You have nice descriptive reviews on the product, and also picking up new WA members while your doing it! I must also mention i enjoy your inspirational section and images. I like your ideas and wish you the best of luck with your website!

    1. Hey that is very good of you to be so affirming. It had been a fabulous learning experience and I hope it can inspire others.

  8. A quite thorough and very persuasive review. I have tried most of the brands and now a satisfied Samsung phone user.

    But as Iphone 7 is going to be launched soon and looks ultra smart, slim and stylish, I wonder what is your view on the lastest Apple products comparing to the Samsungs.

    1. I am keeping a close eye on developments on the Apple platform. They will produce some stylish products but it would an amazing range of changes for me to leave the Android platform. There are too many advantages to it.

      I am glad you enjoyed the review.



  9. I adore my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or, as my sister calls it…”space phablet” heehee. I got mine when it was first out so I paid around 700. Although, I was tempted by the Note 4 I didn’t see enough new features to make it worth my while. The camera is supposed to be much better especially in low light but, I make due. Plus, I discovered a lot of tips after some research about features that aren’t so obvious to us wanna be techies <~ that would be me ; ) I'm interested now to take a look at the Note 5. If they shrunk the screen anymore it would another no go for me. I do so much work and even study from this "space phablet" I don't need anymore unnecessary eye strain when away from my lap top.

    1. Hey thank you for some great comments about the Note 3. It is a great phone and has so much in it. I checked out the Note 5 the other day. It looks pretty cool. But, like you, my current phone is going great right now.
      Thank you for calling by for a visit.

  10. First, I’d like to compliment you on an attractive and professional looking website. The graphics are absolutely amazing. I don’t know if you’re aware, but the link to your Amazon store wasn’t working. It’s okay, I wasn’t about to buy a phone. You certainly love Samsung phones. I’ve used Blackberry and Samsung for work. I can’t give a fare evaluation on either, as a large business typically purchases the phone that can no longer be purchased. Had I read your review, a few weeks ago, I may have been tempted to buy a Samsung. Instead, I went with the iPhone 6 which is great for tracking distance on long runs. Once again, I’m truly impressed with the appearance of your site.

    1. Hi Shawn,

      Yes, I am aware of the Amazon glitch. I am working on it as we speak. Sorry about the iPhone, only joking, Glad you like the site layout.



  11. I do not have any of these phones currently, But maybe one day when mine break I will consider buying a samsung. My wife really likes samsung products and I think she would be happy with that decision if it ever comes down to that. Thanks for this review of this wonderful product!

    1. Hi Bryan,

      Glad you enjoyed the review. What phone do you have at present? When you wife is tasty for the Note 3, my post on smartphone cameras will highlight more reasons to buy a Samsung smartphone. You can take some amazing pictures with the camera.



  12. Howdy Duncan. When I read all the benefits from technology and convenience, I’m not surprised with being ranked highly in satisfying customers.

    Although I am aware of the release, I don’t know much and the details in depth. I am just curious, what if we lost the S pen? Is it quite significant?

    Lastly, QualcommSnapdragon. Compared to the one used by Apple, which one is far better between the two?

    1. Hi Tar,

      The S Pen can be replaced with a new one if you lose it. So no dramas there. I am convinced the Qualcomm is a stronger processor. Qualcomm have continued to work with Samsung to improve efficiency and speed.

      Thanks for the visit to the website.

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