Samsung Galaxy Note 3 hands-on

Did we expect anything drastic with the design? Seriously, this is Samsung we’re talking about! It’s distinctively a Samsung smartphone, as it follows the same design cues and characteristic found with the recent Galaxy S4. However, there’s one refreshing change – it’s now doused in this...
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25. RomeoJDR

Posts: 245; Member since: Dec 09, 2011

I constantly hear people who adamantly rave plastic is just as premium as other materials. There is a reason Samsung always trys to make the plastic look like other materials. It is cheaper to fake those materials then actually use them. You can like plastic all you want and it has its durability advantages over harder materials (definately not Droid's Kevlar), but the majority will side with the other materials having more of a premium look and feel. That said, I still want this phone as Samsung puts out the best product regardless of chasis and as of late provides the best non-nexus software support keeping their gadgets up to date. This design is may not be up to par with Sony or HTC, but it does offer this multitasking productivity beast a decent business like look.

37. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

I don't get this, people keep saying people will pick other materials over plastic yet it's not harming Samsung and all those others that are using "premium" material are struggling. Also aluminium isn't even an expensive material, but apparently it's "premium". I just think maybe us techies emphasis "premium" material than the average customers. Surely if the Samsung phone felt as bad as some techies say it wouldn't be doing so well. Marketing will get you to take a look at the device but if it Feels crap then people wouldn't buy it. I just think maybe the average person didn't care as much as we think we do about a phone being plastic.

67. RomeoJDR

Posts: 245; Member since: Dec 09, 2011

Us tech addicts look at Samsung as being the lone major player that continues to offer top tier phones with both micro sd support and a removable battery, specs that match or exceed the competition and put together in a package that just flat out works flawlessly. Aluminum is cheaper than polycarbonate by the pound but costs more to process so Samsung chooses to save some bucks using plastic without compromising function. Their craftsmanship and looks is definitely sufficient enough for most of us not to ignore the beauty of a product they put out as a whole and don't care if other products hold an edge in appearance. The majority of casual consumers out there will buy based on brand recognition or even more importantly "trendiest." If I asked my wife what HTC is she would have no clue despite being a smartphone consumer. Then there are the minority who will walk into a shop and get whatevers the prettiest. If HTC didn't have that going for them then they would had been lucky to have sold as many Ones and One Ss.

76. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

Agree with everything you said which was the point I was trying to make that maybe we techies look at choice of material and put to much emphasis on them when average consumers the choice of material to the majority plays little to there purchase. I have no issue with plastic.I hate glossy plastic lol but this love fest with tech journalist and there fetish for metal is annoying lol.

41. kenemu

Posts: 26; Member since: Oct 22, 2011

well, its meant to be a great device of the year, however, personally i dont like the front fasade as it resembles exactly an enlarged version of SG II two gens ago ! and the silver strip around seems protruded too much from the front panel. The back leather cover is one good try anyway. Samsung's design seemingly going into a dead end.........

42. jeff_1

Posts: 105; Member since: Aug 30, 2013

Is this all? Im not surprised..why? because none of the major manufacturer has a groundbreaking innovation for innovation for samsung..nothing to copy samsuck..hahaha

43. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Definitely the phone of the year!!~~ Love this beast, bests all other phones and the best balanced phone!!~ GO SAMSUNG!~

50. scorpionreign

Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 27, 2008

What a waste, and a big disappointment. I'll keep my Galaxy note 2 and root my phone when the ROM is available. Hopefully the Galaxy S5 will is better.

52. Samsungadroidrules

Posts: 104; Member since: Jul 28, 2013

ITS BEAST! I love the drastic changes in its design from Note 2! :) And new innovative features! WOW! Samsung really listens to their customers. I guess only Jealous Cheap Bitter Samsung Hters will say crap things about this Phablet! Great Job Samsung! I have the Samsung S4 now and my Sister and officemates looking to buy this one! :)

53. electrophage

Posts: 73; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

Buy the Galaxy Mega 6.3 this year like I did a week ago when I concluded the Note III screen would only be .25 of a inch bigger and get the biggest screen in North America. From what Ive seen, you wont lose anything as the mega performs just fine for all normal uses, and the S Note app on a screen the Mega's size works fine with your finger or a capacitative stylus. Ill probably buy a Note IV next year when sammy makes the screen big enough to compete with the other phablets and changes the design.

55. JMartin22

Posts: 2370; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

Random PA author whom I hadn't seen before trying to downplay the Note 3 with tech blog talking points? Oh the shame.

56. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

Sorry samsung lovers, this is nothing amazing. It's the Galaxy S4 to the S3. Am i wrong? They minimized bezel, cool they joined the club. Other than looking nice nothing was done here! That leather is so gimmicky. It's meant to be fancy but it looks almost cheesy. The screen doesn't even look good (that or touchwiz looks that terrible). I think it's touchwiz not the screen itself. Either way this is almost as pointless as motorola Maxx being released as new for 300$. Hardly the next big thing guys c'mon... LG is more innovative than Samsung and i can't wait to get my hands on the real "next big thing", the G2

59. RH234

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 21, 2013

Nice. Enjoy your Lucky Goldstar

87. Blazers

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

Hahaha LG doesn't want people to remember those days lol.

57. infinitemethod

Posts: 151; Member since: Sep 04, 2012

"Overall, we see all the iterative improvements we’d normally expect to see, like in the specs department, but it doesn’t try to innovate further to continue widening itself in the playing field." Give me a break. Everytime a new iphone comes out I have never heard such a thing said. Hands on fail.

58. R-vjn

Posts: 301; Member since: Jan 07, 2013

What a disappointment..! So I guess its the G2 the king of androids in 2013, great job LG. And btw, the performance of N3 as mentioned by PA ''It’s fast, really fast, but it still somehow doesn’t feel as snappy as say the LG G2 – or to an extent, the Motorola Moto X. Then again, this is still a pre-production unit we’re checking out right now, so it’s bound to see some tweaks and enhancements to better its performance.'' Keep in mind that the G2 was also a pre-production unit, even the one PA reviewed and it still slammed the competition hands down, so sammy fans, admit it..LG G2 is the king..!

60. RH234

Posts: 52; Member since: Aug 21, 2013

So how many millions will the G2 outsell the Note 3 since it's the King?

63. zachattack

Posts: 621; Member since: Jul 31, 2013

Doesn't matter lol the Note 3 will be inferior no matter how many brain washed fan boys / girls buy it. G2 is undeniable in its right to rule. The Note 3 is the Note 2 with new looks


Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

sales =/= quality samsung fanboys are really no diff from apple fanboys. whatever samsung puts out "its the best" and they just buy it bcos its a samsung device. very similar to apple's fans

90. poping unregistered

... and may i know which brand of phone do you buy? ...


Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

currently using a sony. but i dont see how the brand of phone i used has anything to do with what i said. ive used LGs, Sonys, Samsungs and Nokias and by far i had the worst experiences with Samsung. And that comment i made was what i have observed from this site


Posts: 436; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

the design is just really stale, and the back looks horrid imo. it looks really really tacky. the front just really reminds me of the original Note/S2, its 2013 samsung, dont recycle a design from 2011. if i could change my phone, i'd probably get a G2 or hold out for the One Max

64. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I honestly wasn't expecting much but I am impressed. The thing is a beast and it does the one thing other phablet competitors screw up on, it stays the same size as the Note 2, which is about the max that you can go basically. The Z Ultra and Maxx are going to fail hard based on size and weight. Don't get me wrong, change is good to shake things up sometimes, but if you wan't to make the big bucks like Apple and Samsung, you don't introduce something like a 40 mp camera or large sensor phone until there are NO COMPROMISES when introducing it. The Xperia Z1 is a total brick because they tried too hard. The Note 3 is pushing the boundaries as far as you can go without compromising the Note 2's perfect phablet size. In fact, they made the width smaller and width thinner. That is impressive engineering and I think it is about time that the haters give them some more respect rather than saying that they don't introduce enough new things. I mean, do you actually want Samsung to not go balls to the wall and push things forward? The GS4 could have used DDR2 ram and Gorilla Glass 2 like the HTC One but they went all out and matched the Xperia Z's 13mp camera and 7.9 mm thickness, while making the phone much smaller than the Z. Plus they added DDR3 ram, Gorilla Glass 3, octa core cpu, clocked the S600 higher, and added in a 2600mah battery in a 7.9mm body. Sure most won't notice how impressive those feats really are but even if you despise Samsung, at least give them credit for going 100% at all times and trying to beat everyone at every category. Whether or not they failed or succeeded in their mission is up to you but it's obvious they try to beat everyone by including the absolute latest of everything in all of their products. I personally don't want them to stop. Even though I doubt I will buy a GS5, let alone a GS4, I still rather them use Gorilla 4, DDR5 ram, 12 core CPU, at 5mm thin with a 3200 mah battery instead of using old hardware and put an emphasis on design or software. Hate all you want, but the Note 3 is exactly what makes Samsung bad ass. They make everything as powerful as they can as compact as they can with as many features as they can. That said I would never buy this, its too big. The Note 10.1 2014 on the other hand might be worth considering although I doubt I will upgrade from my Nexus 10.

68. Trex95

Posts: 2381; Member since: Mar 03, 2013

Any one noticed that the dial still lag on note 3 like S4!

70. TheM16

Posts: 80; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

hide the plastic with ugly leather? oh boy

77. newbey123

Posts: 701; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

It would be tolerable if it was real leather, but its cheap pleather wihic will dry and crack. Can't wait for the beast One Max to drop.

83. shikroi

Posts: 187; Member since: Sep 24, 2012

Well its not leather. Its plastic molded to look like stitched leather.

73. phoenix985

Posts: 27; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

I really don't get you at all. Probably, all of you who are talking bad about this phone are just kids or crazy fan boy who is trying to justify a purchase of some other brand and just trying to make yourselves feel better. Although I own GS2, and like Samsung as a brand I will never say that other phone is bad or crappy or anything else just coz I would not buy it, or I can't buy it...All of these phones (G2, SXZ1, SXZ ultra, HTC) are really great and it just a matter of preferences which one you want to choose. If I'm trying to be unbiased and compare these phones to the NOTE 3, It gives the most for the buck. Best possible specs available at this moment (Samsung has always the best hardware at the moment of release), great screen, design is something I would not discuss since it is a good looking for me, but not necessary to others, and the S-PEN. All other phones are pretty similar, have the same CPU, same GPU, more or less the same screen size, but the S-PEN is NOTE3 exclusive feature, and awesome in my opinion. All the possibilities you can do with it are just amazing, multitasking at its best. None of other manufacturers have made anything similar. If I look at the XYZ1, it’s a great phone per se, but nothing interesting for me. CPU and GPU are ok, nowadays standard, design wise is ugly (my opinion) coz it looks as a brick with huge bezels, has water, dust proof feature that might be cool for someone, but I do not intend to swim with my phone or take it to Sahara, so not a dealmaker for me. It has 20mpx cam, which is cool, but also not a dealmaker for me coz since we past 5mpx all photos look great for me and I do not intend to print a jumbo billboards so no use for me on that as well. But what matters is size, weight, battery, microsd and functionality and here is the SAMSUNG the king, coz it is not a regular phone, it’s a niche phone and shouldn't be compared to the XYZ1, yet to the Ultra which, in my opinion is a huge brick the will be a fail since it cannot match NOTE3 in any aspect except its size, which is at the same moment a deal breaker. Looking at the phablet category, I cannot find better phone than NOTE3. Sure, there are some specs better on other phones, but overall, NOTE3 is the king, best benchmark scores, latest tech, S-pen, features, Knox security...actually, the only thing I could say it could be done better is design. I am open for discussion so please, let me know why other would be better than this, and please don't mention design and materials….Ppl are taking about the same SAMSUNG design, yet praising SONY design, but just look at their last 30 phones, all the same design, so don’t be hypocrites. Maybe Samsung is not the best looking phone in town, but sure has better ergonomics. Nevertheless, OEMS should be the same, coz we wouldn’t have any competition and at least you have a large choice, so in the end, take what you like and STFU. Love what you got, but respect others!!!

74. Kiiro

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 05, 2013

Look at that gigantic and beautiful bastard. I own a S4 and, even though it looks really big on my friends' hands, I don't find it that big on mine (kind of a big guy I am). This phone on the other hand seems like it will completely eclipse my hand. Also, I'm a sucker for big screens and I do use my S4 quite a bit as a GPS (I'm kind of new in town, so it really comes in handy). For that matter, that extra screen space sure will be helpful (not that the S4 is nowhere near small, but it is the kind of situations in which more is actually better). The UI? Yeah, it may be crap but I'm sure those 3 GBs in RAM and the slightly better CPU can make up for that and, hopefully, there'll be a clean ROM that can be installed and put those bad babies to better use. The one thing that is kind of a bummer for me is that even though the screen is obviously bigger than the S4, the PPI's aren't following. Not that most people can notice, though. I'm seriously considering ditching my S4 and grab one of these. For me, the pen functionality is way more useful than the hand gestures, which I never actually use (got tired of it half working all the time).

78. poping unregistered

this is how you make phablets... did you all hear that? this is how you make phablets...
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