Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Preview

Interface and functionality

Samsung Nature UX features and S Pen apps galore

Our prototype version of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo is loaded with Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The retail won't come with KitKat either, but we hope it will be updated shortly thereafter. With NatureUX, however, the most apparent visual differences that KitKat brings, like a transparent status bar and full-screen wallpaper, are present stock, so there's not much of a surface difference at first look.

You can expect all the bells and whistles that come with Samsung's homemade interface overlay, like Smart Stay, which keeps the screen on while you are looking at it, and the multi-window mode that can run two different apps on a split screen.

The Note 3 Neo's display size is very conducive to multitasking, and when you add the S Pen apps to the mix, the handset becomes in a league of its own. It offers the excellent S Note application, various drawing and annotating functions in the Gallery or Calendar, as well as the Air View and Air Gestures that let you hover above the display with the stylus or a finger, marking links and evoking pop up info.

Typing on the largish display with one hand is still a chore when you have to reach for the upper left or right corner of the keyboard, depending on the side. You can enable Swype-like functionality that traces your finger from a letter to a letter, and inputs the word for you, instead of pecking at each individual key.

Samsung also offers its Assistant menu in the Accessibility settings, that floats a small square on top of the screen, which contains large back, notifications, menu and so on buttons. This way you don't have to stretch all the way down to the capacitive buttons, for example, just to hit the back key, while juggling the large handset on your index finger – a helpful feat with plus-size phones.

Processor and memory

The first hexacore Exynos has slow 1.3 GHz clock speed and may not be a benchmark monster, but comes with decent 2GB of RAM

We have a new kid on the Exynos block, and it the hexacore CPU found in the Note 3 Neo. It has two Cortex-A15 cores, clocked at 1.7 GHz maximum, and four Cortex-A7s, clocked at 1.3 GHz. The new Exynos is paired with a decent graphics processor, too, ARM's Mali-T624, so it's unlikely you'll have interface or app lag and hiccups, though for heavy 3D games it might be throttling the effects down. This one will go into the LTE version of the Note 3 Neo, while the 3G one will get a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor.

Still, the hexacore Exynos here is clocked much slower than the 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 or the 1.9 GHz Exynos 5 Octa versions of the Note 3, so the difference in benchmarks is poised to be very significant. Same goes for the GPU, which is likely to be faster than Mali-400 in the Note II, but weaker than the Adreno 330 or Mali-T628 graphics processors that can be found in the Note 3.

Moreover, Samsung has put 2 GB of RAM in the phablet, so you can line up many apps open at the same time without slowing it down. There are 16 GB of internal memory (11 GB user-available), plus a microSD slot for storage expansion on the handset.

Internet and connectivity


Samsung's TouchWiz browser looks a bit dated with its squarish interface elements, but it's proven to be one of the fastest renderers, plus it sports Adobe Flash support out of the box. There will be two versions of the phablet - 3G one with HSPA+ download speeds up to 21 Mbps, and one with 4G LTE.
The Galaxy Note 3 Neo offers plenty of connectivity radios, such as Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0. A-GPS, DLNA and FM. In some markets the handset will have an IR blaster for remote controlling your TV or home stereo, too.

More content with (Galaxy Note 3 Neo)

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21 Comments

1. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

WOW! PA team, you're one of the fastest. Faster than other sites to preview a device.

3. Sonny_09

Posts: 49; Member since: May 24, 2013

They are the fastest in previewing Samsung devices.

4. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

True. ;)

17. luigi0824

Posts: 49; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

lol gsmarena has already a finished review of it

2. tiara6918

Posts: 2263; Member since: Apr 26, 2012

Just price it right and this will be a hit

5. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

So, Android users, how is this any different from the 5S, 5C line from Apple? We're comparing the same fruit here: It's the same model of a pre-existing phone that's dumbed down slightly. Anything about specs or screen size are irrelevant - the 5C has the same screen size / OS as the 5S, as does the Neo to the original Note 3. This isn't a knock on the Note - it's an incredible device. But Apple received so much criticizm on the "5Cr*p". I'm curious to see your defense now that Samsung has done the exact same thing.

7. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Because Samsung has been doing this for awhile now...? Apple flaunted that their devices are premium and best in the industry, correct? iPhone 5C put that comment to rest. That's why.

10. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Hey PapaSmurf, where is MamaSmurf? I'm really miss her.

12. demonspeedster

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 31, 2014

because, while samsung presents us this device as an option to their other offering to capture new market and sale, Apple gave us the 5C so they don't have to sell you the original iphone 5, since they want to cut cost and afraid of the 5 cannibalizing the 5S market. Samsung intention is based on greediness, but apple is out there to with evil intention to screw their potential customer

6. gws898

Posts: 24; Member since: May 31, 2013

Does it have FM Radio?

8. jopancy

Posts: 78; Member since: Apr 25, 2012

Also, while at it, does it have TV? a DVD player? a cable receiver? and, and, and can it read my freaking girlfriend's mind? it does?! AWESOMEEE!!!

11. gregoryyy3 unregistered

Why mock him? You sound annoying.

9. adecvat

Posts: 647; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Yeah, put new Note 3 features in Note 2 copy (Neo) and drop Note 2. Shamesung style.

13. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2266; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

last 3 pics looks so washed out even in low light.

14. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1271; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Display is 720p AMOLED OK.. But its Pentile like OG Note / Note3 or NON-PENTILE like Note2 / S2 ??? Thanks

15. mark_ray

Posts: 35; Member since: May 26, 2013

Nice movement from Samsung, it is reaching whole new market with this budget phablet

16. yudi.nemesis unregistered

18. StanoS

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 08, 2014

PA Team, could you please clarify if it is pentile or non-pentile (all 3 RGB subpixels) display? Thanks a lot.

19. COZMAN

Posts: 99; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

The current Note 3 has the legs to stay on the market for all of 2014 with no changes. I have to give it to Apple on this one. Instead of one after the other like before they have slowed down and are letting all these other companies blow their brains out releasing products that closely resemble what is already what they are offering. It doesn't work.

20. predateur

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 18, 2014

Also, while at it, does it have TV? a DVD player? can it read my freaking girlfriend's mind? AWESOMEEE!!!

21. 16.munira

Posts: 1; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

I do miss fm radio..it sucks after paying so much u don't get to enjoy such a basic feature like fm radio...nobody wants to download as it always requires internet connection..

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