Samsung Galaxy Note 3 enters the phablet ring: 5.7" AMOLED display and new S Pen

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 enters the phablet ring: 5.7" AMOLED display and new S Pen
Tears of joy are running down the cheeks of phablet fans worldwide today, as the third edition of the phone that created the category was just announced by Samsung at the IFA expo today.

It is dubbed Galaxy Note 3, runs Android 4.3 with Samsung's Nature UX overlay, and will throw its weight into quite the different phablet environment than what it was used to the last two years. 

New S Pen

Against the formidable competition of gigantic phones like the Sony Xperia Z Ultra the Note 3 wields a new S Pen stylus with increased functionality, dubbed Smart Freedom. The new S Pen pops up a circle with five actions to choose from when you press its button - Action Memo, Scrapbook, Screen Write, S Finder, Pen Window - and there is a much enhanced Multi Window mode now, letting you switch seamlessly between applications without closing the window, drag and drop stuff into the open ones, and you can even draw your own app window with the stylus via the Pen Window function, with a size and shape of your choosing.


There is stitched leather material on the back, quite the bold move by Samsung, and the handset is not wider than the Note II, for example, at 151.2 x 79.2 x 8.3mm, despite the larger screen, while it weighs the reasonable 168g. There will be official cases in nine different colors, and the S View cover now has a much larger window opening for more information pouring in.


We get a 5.7" Full HD Super AMOLED display - a feast in its own - as well as all the flagship bells and whistles we'd expect this season, and even more. Blazing 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa or 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 chipsets will be inside, depending on the market, and 3 GB of RAM are above and beyond anyone's offerings. The handset starts you off with 32/ 64 GB storage plus a microSD slot (up to 64GB).

The 13 MP camera on the back seems to be directly borrowed from the S4, ensuring some of the top quality images coming from an Android phone, plus it comes with high-CRI (color rendering index) LED flash. Depending on the model, the camera can record 4K Ultra HD video (we are guessing with the Snapdragon version), or 1080p video with 60fps. In addition, Ultra High Quality Audio (~192KHz, 24 bit) support is present, just like on the LG G2.

As for radios, the Snapdragon version of the phone will support 6 different LTE bands, there is WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS / GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth v 4.0, IR LED (Remote Control), and MHL 2.0 port for wired connectivity. A hearty 3200 mAh battery is keeping the lights on, which should be plenty for the phablet, with only a few other handsets out there sporting similar or larger capacity, and Samsung cited 40% more video playback than the previous Note, which is quite the achievement. 

The handset will arrive September 25th in more than 140 countries worldwide. In the U.S., it will appear later this year on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and U.S. Cellular.

Related phones

Galaxy Note3
  • Display 5.7 inches
    1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Single camera)
    2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh
  • OS Android 5.0 Lollipop


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