Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo Preview
Midrange snapper with plenty of shooting modes
The 8 MP camera on the back of the Note 3 Neo has an LED flash underneath it, and there's also a 1.9 MP front-facing shooter for video chat. Samsung offers an abundance of shooting modes like HDR or Panorama, arranged in an easy to flip through carousel, as well as plenty of color effects you can apply to your pictures and videos. We won't comment on the samples quality, as ours is a non-finalized version of the phablet, but what we are seeing below is pretty encouraging for the retail phone. The Note 3 Neo is able to capture 1080p video footage with fluid 30fps, too.
The gallery offers split-screen view, with a thin strip listing your folders on the left, and their content on the right, which aids navigation around it. There are plenty of editing options built right into the interface, and when you have the S Pen stylus, drawing on and annotating your pictures, becomes a breeze.
The music player interface with its blocky elements is familiar from many Samsung phones. The UI might be unimpressive, but it offers all the basics, like song categorization, as well as an abundance of equalizer presets and sound modes to choose from.
We also get a stock video player runs all popular formats, like MKV/DivX and Xvid without a hitch, and up to 1080p resolution at that. Its interface and options leave something to be desired, though, but you can always grab a better one from the Play Store.
Large phablet-style battery holds plenty of endurance promise
Samsung has placed a rather generous 3100 mAh battery pack in the Note 3 Neo, which sounds very promising for the resulting endurance. This is just shy of the Note 3's capacity, that has proven to be a marathon runner already, but the screen technologies are different, so we'll wait for our tests on the final retail unit, before we uncork the champagne.
Galaxy Note 3 Neo seems destined for commercial success, as it will appeal to folks who are drooling after the Note 3, but think it is either too expensive, or too big to be carried around comfortably. Samsung said that this year it will expand its big-screen phones and tablets portfolio, and the Note 3 Neo seems to be its first step on the phablet diversification quest.
The budget model doesn't ask you for much sacrifice when compared to the flagship Note 3 phablet. It will also be a great alternative to 2012's Note II, as it is more compact, despite sporting the same screen size, and has new-gen screen, a faster processor and the newer generation of the S Pen. The fact that Samsung is bringing the full S Pen functionality in a mid-range phablet can only benefit us consumers, and we can't wait to land the final retail version to gauge whether the value-for-money proposition will be as good as it seemed during our preview of the Note 3 Neo.