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Camera

A capable camera with lots of settings to tweak

The 8 MP BSI 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 those steamy video chats and suspiciously happy-looking selfies. This being a Samsung smartphone, it offers an abundance of shooting modes like HDR, Panorama, Beauty face, Best photo and more, arranged in an easy-to-flip-through carrousel, as well as plenty of color effects you can apply to your pictures and videos. Additionally, there are also must-have settings like ISO, metering, stabilization, face detection and resolution.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo captures some pretty sweet 8 MP photos. With no major issues standing out, photos have a mostly detailed, natural look to them. You can surely get sharper, more detailed results with some of the top camera-phones on the market, but for a device in the upper-midrange category, the Note 3 Neo camera's details are reasonably good. As we said, the colors give its images a realistic look, with just enough saturation to achieve a lively feel. Overall, we're very pleased with this camera. Sadly, brighter areas tend to get overexposed as the handset tries to set the appropriate settings for the image you're trying to frame, but, in most cases, this can be easily fixed by switching the HDR option on, as seen on the two horseman monument images in the slideshow below.

Indoor and low-light performance of the camera is decent. Thankfully, it manages to keep the images mostly noise-free, though you should pay special attention not to shake the phone while shooting in such conditions, as this may easily introduce blur into your photgraphs. The LED flash isn't particularly powerful, so it only manages to illuminate things that are just a small distance in front of you. Low-light images taken with the LED flash manage to preserve a relatively good color balance, though results may vary.



Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo 3.5
No data
476
339
Samsung Galaxy Note3 2.7
No data
494
353
LG G2 4
6.5
395
377

1080p video recording quality is tolerable – it's mostly detailed and fluid, though it doesn't really blow us away with anything. Color are once again on the natural side, while the sound is a bit harsh and lacking depth, but it's relatively clear nonetheless. The same thing goes for low-light video, where, thankfully, the frame-rate doesn't drop as the light goes down.


Multimedia


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 that 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. Still, we have to admit that it's a wonderful experience to watch video on the large and vibrant screen of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo 0.43
Samsung Galaxy Note3 0.43
Sony Xperia Z2 0.29
LG G2 0.29
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note3 Neo 72
Samsung Galaxy Note3 76
Sony Xperia Z2 71
LG G2 66


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